Says Rosendahl hasn’t tackled toughest issues

To the Editor:

The fawning appraisal of Councilman Bill Rosendahl’s term of office and assumed reelection in the February 19th issue of The Argonaut “After a busy three years, Councilman Bill Rosendahl sets his sights on a second term,” one needs to consider what he’s actually done and what can be expected in the next four years.

Angelenos face severe economic times. New tax increases and spending cuts to this year’s state budget will equate to $13 billion in tax hikes and $15 billion in expenditure cuts to plug a $42 billion shortfall.

The pain of these budget cuts will affect the most vulnerable and the social net will become that less reliable to those who need the most help.

With that said, I find it disturbing that the incumbent would consider a farmer’s market in Mar Vista or a new lease for Beyond Baroque as “true accomplishments” given the magnitude of problems we face here in Venice and around Los Angeles.

Thanks to term limits, nonpartisan elections and the embedded advantage that incumbents enjoy, there will be no competitive choice for council. Mr. Rosendahl has the political luxury of facing an out-of-step conservative who is unelectable with the voters of Los Angeles, much less the highly diversified community of Venice.

Since political parties play no role in the recruitment of candidates for City Council, you have “one-choice” elections until an incumbent is termed-out.

So much for democracy and political reform.

It is disappointing that since Mr. Rosendahl is not preoccupied with the burden of having to campaign or even worry about his reelection which is all but guaranteed, why does he seek four more years to face the tough issues he could not solve in his first term of office?

Specifically, why has Councilman Rosendahl backed the misguided notion of allowing the homeless to sleep in a vehicle? How does allowing the homeless to make a domicile out of passenger vehicles address the issue of homelessness in Venice?

After four years, where is his plan?

Any reasonable individual would agree that the Venice Boardwalk has become overrun with homelessness and the scourge of drugs, alcoholism and the other symptoms of a systematic deterioration of a destination location that should be generating an economic boom rather than becoming a dumping ground for social and governmental failure.

The squandered opportunity to economically revitalize the Venice Boardwalk will be felt for years as we head deeper into economic recession and the further gentrification of this community. Instead of arguing about who’s an artist and the fairness of the lottery system, real public policy should have been implemented on how to assist the boardwalk retail community into becoming a true tourist destination that would rival any attraction in the state of California.

If the incumbent could not tackle the tough issues in good economic times, how will he “champion” these concerns in the current fiscal climate?

Why is it that those who own homes, pay rent, and work hard for a living be made to feel they are the source of the problem? Are we to condone the notion of living in cars as a rational solution to the issue of the homeless?

Mr. Rosendahl has simply dropped the ball on the most important issue facing the Venice community and it’s time he reconsider this course of action now.

While emotional issues such as overnight parking get debated at the neighborhood council level, where is the plan for the general maintenance in a portion of the city where tens of millions of dollars have been invested by homeowners in residential redevelopment all over Venice? That the overall increase in added assessments in home values be redirected back to Venice to solve the needs of this community?

Why is it that most surface streets in Venice are still the original concrete paving done by the contractor Oswald Brothers in 1927? Are we to believe the life of a street paving is 82 years without any resurfacing?

It’s time Mr. Rosendahl delivered on the issue of quality-of-life for all of Venice. That means engaging the tough issues and reaching out in a serious fashion to develop the consensus needed to move forward.

That is the essence of leadership. That is what Venice needs today as well as tomorrow.

Nick Antonicello, Venice Beach

Notes mysterious presence of Mitred Parakeets in Mar Vista

To the Editor:

For the last 30 years I’ve thought that the noisy flocks of green birds were parrots. Recently I had a chance to grab my camera with a telephoto lens and take some up close photographs of “the parrots.” I showed my photographs to a neighbor who is a bird watcher. Between her and the Internet, much to my surprise, I found out that “the parrots” are really Mitred Parakeets.

Mitred Parakeets were imported from South America from the 1960s to the 1980s and kept as house pets. This is where the story gets interesting. Why are they flying over Mar Vista? Some people say they got loose during the Bel Aire fire. Others say it happened when a pet store burned. The birds are found in the coastal areas from Malibu to the South Bay.

When flying overhead they are very noisy and they travel in flocks of about 25. Mitred Parakeets are 15 inches tall, and are green with a red head and an ivory beak.

Stephen Boskin, Mar Vista

Laissez les bon temps rouler

To the Editor:

I just picked up the February 19th edition of The Argonaut. The banner pictured on the cover page advertises the Venice Mardi Gras parade using a French phrase traditionally associated with the celebration.

As a teacher of French, I wanted to point out that you misspelled a word in the phrase. You left off the “s” in “les.” Insignificant to many, this type of error would have caused my students to lose points on a test. I owe it to them to inform you of this omission. Merci.

Joan Gumaer Tyhurst, Westchester