Boat captain scoops up trash; wishes public were more aware

To the Editor,

I am a captain on the Hornblower Harbor Tours on the weekends. Last week we had a very large storm that passed through Los Angeles. As you know, it also left us a huge amount of rain. The problem with this rain is the runoff that comes from the Ballona Creek waterway. It brings tons of trash from streets throughout Los Angeles.

I know that the city tries to catch the trash from the waterway before it gets to the water but it’s not working. Our marina looks like a trash dump. Along the cement walls in Fisherman’s Village is where most of the floating trash seems to collect. However, the main channel gets the worst of it after a rain.

The huge problem that this brings to the boaters is overheated engines from clogged strainers and thru-hull fittings. Generators seem to get the worst of the pollution as they run longer than engines.

Los Angeles County Department of Beaches and Harbors has a trash collection boat, however, they are not working this boat every day after a rain. The city needs to take a stand and help fight to collect the trash after a rain. Last week I took a stand at our dock. I fished out four trash bags full of floating debris that included everything from chip bags to plastic gloves, medical syringes and condoms.

Marina del Rey is a beautiful harbor. We as a community need to help clean up the trash from our slips and our marinas.

People need to be more aware when they throw trash into the street. They need to realize where it will end up. Just driving down the street seeing someone throwing trash out their window makes me ill because I know where it will end up.

Please write a story about the thousands of tons of trash and where it goes after a rain. Also what is the city really doing to help fight this problem?

Capt. Charles Myers, Marina del Rey

Reminds civic center of flag code

To the Editor:

While working at Cirque du Soleil, I park across from the Santa Monica Civic Center. At midnight I notice that the civic center’s flags are still flying outside.

The flag code states:

“Ordinarily, the flag should be displayed only between sunrise and sunset, although the flag code permits nighttime display when a patriotic effect is desired.

“Similarly, the flag should be displayed only when the weather is fair, except when an all-weather flag is displayed. (By presidential proclamation and law, the flag is displayed continuously at certain honored locations like the United States Marine Corps Memorial in Arlington and Lexington Green.)

“It should be illuminated if displayed at night.”

Call me patriotic, but it seems inappropriate to not go by the rules, especially during wartimes.

Chuck Staley, Marina del Rey

Congratulates Atlas family on the work they do to benefit children

To the Editor:

I very much appreciated reading Betsy Goldman’s article in the October 22nd issue of The Argonaut describing the inspired work of Richard and Lezlie Atlas and the Atlas Family Foundation on behalf of children five and under. I hope readers are motivated by this example of Americans who see a need and try in a very thoughtful way to solve it.

Linda Lucks, Venice

Disagrees with Bill Rosendahl’s plan regarding lodging in vehicles

To the Editor,

Please let me offer this clarification to the article on Councilman Bill Rosendahl’s plan to legalize lodging in vehicles. [“Venice Neighborhood Council joins in support of Bill Rosendahl’s overnight parking area plan,” The Argonaut, October 29th issue.]

Last January over 200 residents signed a letter petition to the city vigorously opposing the councilman’s proposal to legalize lodging in vehicles overnight because it would open city streets to becoming urban RV parks even more so than they already are.

Municipal Code Section 85.02, which bans overnight lodging in vehicles, is the only tool residents have to remove nuisance vehicles from their doorsteps (and it is a weak ordinance at that). Thus we strongly oppose his misguided proposal to repeal it.

Rosendahl’s motion is also objectionable because it would give any city councilmember unilateral authority to declare a street segment or a city parking lot an RV campground. There is no say for residents, no limit on the number of vehicles, no limit on length of stay, etc. It’s a blank check.

We have asked Councilman Rosendahl on several occasions to clarify and narrow his proposal, keeping 85.02 intact while setting up a Conditional Use Process (CUP) for parking lots remote from residences to be used for a limited number of RVs. CUP permits are required for churches, recycling centers, and many other land uses which might prove problematic to a residential community if appropriate operating conditions (re: hours, parking, traffic, sanitation, noise, etc.) are not set. We have received no reply from our councilman to this request.

The part of the recent neighborhood council’s motion which was a step in the right direction was their call for an amendment to the city’s oversize vehicle ordinance which would allow the banning from city streets of non-resident vehicles over seven feet tall or longer than 22 feet.

However, even with this change, the LAPD would not be able to enforce the ordinance against any oversize vehicle with a handicapped placard. Since many of the RVs now squatting on city streets in Venice already sport these placards (which are easy to obtain), it is not clear that the oversize vehicle ordinance would be effective.

The most promising solution remains the establishment of resident-only restricted overnight parking (commonly referred to as OPDs) for those blocks where two thirds of the residents want them.

This is why the Venice Stakeholders Association filed a lawsuit against the Coastal Commission to have a judge rule that the commission does not have jurisdiction over overnight parking restrictions on the grounds that they are 1) not development, so no coastal development permit is required, and 2) State law specifically grants municipalities the right to establish overnight restricted parking from 2 a.m. to 6 a.m. and this law passed after and takes precedence over any provision of the Coastal Act.

We are pleased that the city has agreed with our position and has counter-sued the Coastal Commission, in effect joining the residents’ side of the lawsuit.

Information, www.venicestake-

Mark Ryavec, President of Venice Stakeholders Association