Wants to thank couple who helped her son after mugging

To the Editor:

My 16-year-old son was mugged on Wilshire Boulevard between Fourth and Fifth Streets in Santa Monica Saturday, February 7th at 10 p.m.

He was alone. A couple walking by shouted at the muggers to stop. These two people then assisted my son by getting him ice for his face, which had been repeatedly kicked.

They hailed and paid for a taxi to bring him home. This kind of random kindness needs to be applauded. Can you assist us by printing a big thank-you? We have no other way to reach out to them. They are residents of Santa Monica. Angels indeed.

Santa Monica, resident and parent

Disagrees with last week’s ad about overnight parking districts in Venice

To the Editor:

I am writing concerning an advertisement entitled “Don’t lose your right to choose” in The Argonaut on February 12th.

The upcoming Venice Neighborhood Council vote on February 21st is not about lack of parking. It is about imposing permit parking on a community, Venice, which has always prided itself on being the gateway to the “people’s beach.”

The proponents of permit parking are seeking to make Venice a virtual gated community where only residents could park their cars at night, and only if they paid a fee to park.

The ad seeks to make use of hot button issues, like not enough parking and some people’s fear of the homeless and those who are forced to live in their cars, in order to stampede Venetians to vote for permit parking. The ad states that “this election is an attempt by non-residents who live in vehiclesÖ” when the Neighborhood Council itself considers the homeless and RV [recrational vehicle] dwellers to qualify as residents under its rules.

Another PR ploy is to cast this election as a matter of residents of Venice somehow losing a right they are entitled to, that of being able to impose, upon themselves, fees to park. This is not a right that many of us want. What many, if not most, of us want is the right of everyone in Venice to have a safe place to live no matter what our economic condition is at the present time.

The bottom line of those trying to force permit parking on us is that they want to drive the poor out of Venice. If they are successful in banning the approximately 150 RVs from any safe haven, many of their occupants will be forced to live on the streets. This is neither humane, nor good policy.

Los Angeles City Councilman Bill Rosendahl has pledged to find a safe and healthy location for our neighbors in RVs. If he is able to do this, the demand for permit parking would evaporate. Let’s give him a chance to work out a solution that everyone can live with, before we commit ourselves to pay to park forever.

R. F. Wagner, Jr., Venice

Objects to Santa Monica’s plan to remove New Zealand Christmas trees

To the Editor:

Again the City of Santa Monica is going to kill dozens of healthy trees merely for “design purposes.”

These are New Zealand Christmas (Metrosideros excelsus) trees. All of them (on Colorado Boulevard on both sides of the street from Ocean Avenue to Lincoln Boulevard) are to be torn out, hacked up, and thrown away. This so that replacements of a preferred species, lemon-scented gum trees (Eucalyptus citriodora), can be planted in the holes left behind.

This process has already begun with the first seven trees, between 6th and 7th Streets on Colorado Boulevard, already red-tagged for removal.

These New Zealand Christmas trees will not grow too large for the spaces they are living in. They are not disturbing the sidewalks. Any future sidewalk problems, if any, will be minimal. They present no hazard. Several of them are quite young and were recently planted. They require almost no care at all. They are very well suited to our climate. All of them are healthy and thriving. They are evergreens.

There is easily 35 feet between each of these trees, and in some cases more than half a block to a block. One or more eucalyptus trees can certainly be planted between each of these New Zealand Christmas trees, which would immediately result in both sides of Colorado Boulevard having been lined with eucalyptus trees, as desired.

Rather than killing the trees that are thriving there now, the city can replace them one by one over the years with the preferred species as they perish on their own. This will create generations of eucalyptus by spacing their ages, which is one of the main goals in managing our urban forest.

In fact, to remove trees, Santa Monica’s Forestry Management Plan (2000) requires that the following criteria be met: the tree must be dead; be expected to die within one year; be diseased with a strong potential to spread the pathogen; be hazardous; or be unable to support itself due to extensive root damage.

Santa Monica could spend the same money and get twice the trees. This is not “sustainable” behavior. We must at least follow our own existing rules, as well as come up with better ways to care for trees in our city.

hat is Santa Monica teaching our children about the value of life when we just kill and throw away defenseless living things as we tire of them with forever changing fashion? Our world is already suffering global warming. These trees are alive. We should not be destroying them just because we feel like it.

Cosmo Bua, Santa Monica

Wants solution to flooding of 105 Freeway at Sepulveda

To the Editor:

We have all noticed that any time there is the slightest amount of rain, the eastbound 105 Freeway on-ramp at Sepulveda Boulevard is closed due to flooding. This has been happening for years now and Caltrans has made various repairs to this on-ramp to no avail. What’s so hard about fixing the drainage?

This backs up traffic into the Sepulveda tunnel and forces drivers to turn left onto Imperial Highway to get to the next onramp. During morning and evening hours this causes a major traffic jam.

The city has the ability to place its detour signs up the exit of the tunnel warning drivers of the closure but maybe they should warn drivers prior to Century Boulevard so that they may choose an alternate route. At the very least, the traffic department could put a couple of traffic officers out there at Imperial Highway and Sepulveda and allow a longer left turn onto Imperial to help clear the backup.

Glen Kacena, Westchester