Two responses to The Argonaut story on Santa Monica Airport, Sept. 10th

To the Editor:

Regarding The Argonaut’s September 10th article “Homeowners living near the airport practice the art of uneasy co-existence,” I’d like to respond to some of the comments posted in the feedback section in the online version of The Argonaut. (

Before World War II, the runway at Santa Monica Airport (SMO) ended near Centinela Ave-nue on the east and 27th Street on the west. Aerial photos from that time show the homes that were demolished during the war in order to extend the runway to Bundy Drive on the east and 23rd Street on the west.

The runway currently ends less than 300 feet from homes. This is considered unsafe by the federal government in terms of both runway overruns and jet emissions.

When many current homeowners purchased their homes, there were no jets using Santa Monica Airport. For years, a huge sign was embedded in the bank on the Bundy side of the runway which read “NO JETS.” To blame homeowners for not predicting the explosive growth in jet traffic at SMO is ridiculous.

It’s equally ridiculous to claim that current owners bought “cheap” because their homes are located near the airport, unless one considers the current median home price in Sunset Park of $1.3 million to be cheap.

The FAA, after stalling for years, offered to install substan-dard soft concrete beds at the runway ends. When lives are at stake, substandard is not good enough.

The FAA also offered to provide funds to buy up some houses near the runway. Homes were demolished in the 1940s to help with the war effort. Is SMO supporting the war in Iraq? The war in Afghanistan? The war on drugs? The answers are no, no, and no.

Why should the City of Santa Monica destroy a neighborhood for the “convenience” of wealthy travelers who don’t want to be bothered with going through the security lines at LAX?

The FAA needs to follow its own guidelines, install standard runway safety areas, and allow the City of Santa Monica to enforce its ordinance banning the faster Category C and D jets for which the airport was never designed.

To those who think that the Santa Monica Freeway air pollution is as bad as that from jet emissions at SMO, for nearly two decades I taught at an elementary school located about 50 feet from the 10 Freeway. The truck and automobile exhaust from the freeway was bad, but it never stank or made me gag the way the exhaust from idling jets and takeoff blasts at SMO does.

Try spending some time on the streets east of Bundy Drive during normal weather conditions (Sardis, Clarkson Road, Armacost, Westgate, Burkshire, Granville, Stoner, Barry) or west of 23rd Street during Santa Ana conditions (Dewey, Navy, Marine), and then tell me how “selfish” residents are for wanting to breathe clean air.

Zina Josephs, Santa Monica

To the Editor:

Regarding the article “Homeowners living near the airport practice the art of uneasy co-existence,” in the September 10th issue of The Argonaut:

In order to get a true and focused perspective and properly report on the conditions that residents living by Santa Monica Airport experience, it is imperative to spend some time within the community.

I extend my sincere thank you to Argonaut reporter Gary Walker for doing just that. Gary sat with Jacquie, Joan and me in Jacquie’s backyard for an hour. He got a sense of what it’s like living not far from the east end of the runway. Although it was a rather quiet morning, Gary saw, first hand, a few ominous jet landings and smelled one jet idling for about ten minutes before it took off.

If a picture is worth a thousand words, how many words is a one-hour visit worth? The result was, in my opinion, one of the most perceptive articles regarding Santa Monica Airport written to date.

Martin Rubin, West Los Angeles, Director of Concerned Residents Against Airport Pollution

Editors note: This story received a record number of online comments. To read them, check our archives at

Rejects Knabe’s “roadmap” approach to MdR development

To the Editor:

Regarding the story “Knabe blasts Oropeza over Senate resolution on coastal development” in the September 3rd issue of The Argonaut:

If anything should be rescinded, it’s the county’s new “roadmap” approach and motion that was passed by the Board of Supervisors Tuesday, September 8th. Ironically and unfortunately, it’s the board and its staff that have been misinformed about the roadmap and Marina redevelopment in general.

For example, the roadmap approach includes six “pipeline” projects that are to be given priority processing. However, there are really eight projects. The roadmap lists two legally separate and significantly-sized projects (Woodfin Hotel/Timeshares and Neptune Apts) as one. Likewise, the proposed senior retirement hotel next to the Oxford Lagoon shares an EIR with the proposed Holiday Harbor project (where Marina Fitness now stands) and will be heard together. Yet only one project is listed.

And in County Supervisor Don Knabe’s letter to Senator Jenny Oropeza, it is asserted that only six of 19 proposed projects need LCP amendments. Yet the following proposed projects do in fact require LCP amendments in order to be approved: Woodfin Hotel/Timeshares (Parcel 9U), Neptune Apartments (Parcel 10/FF), Senior Retirement Hotel (Parcel OT), Holiday Harbor (Parcel 21), Czucker Project (Parcel 33/NR), Residence hotel on Mothers Beach (Parcel IR), Fisherman’s Village (Parcel 55/56), Boat Central (Parcel 52/GG), mixed use development on boat-launch ramp site (Parcels 49/77) and Marina West Shopping Center (Parcel 95/LLS). That’s ten projects, not six.

The letter further asserts that moving development units between development zones is immaterial because it does not increase overall allowable development. Then why does the LCP divide the Marina into 12 development zones with specific types and amounts of allowable development? And why does the LCP clearly state that you cannot move units between zones?

Finally, director of the county Department of Beaches and Harbors, Santos Kreimann, asserts that the county has been negotiating in good faith with the developers based on the entitlements allowed under the current 1996-certified LCP, thus it would not be fair for them to wait for a comprehensive LCP update.

First, look at the definition of development potential in the LCP. It concludes: “Development potential, by itself, does not establish any right or entitlement to a specific development project.” So entitlements for individual projects are not rights but available by application. And only after the project is approved, does the entitlement become a right.

Second, as listed above, ten of these projects are not allowed under the certified LCP without amendment, including eight that would build on public parking lots, meaning the development potential does not currently exist for these projects.

And third, lease options for three of these projects were signed after the January 2008 Coastal Commission hearing on the LCP Review that recommended the county undertake a comprehensive update of its LCP. So the risk was a known factor when the developers began their negotiations.

So let’s ask Knabe to rescind the roadmap approach and move quickly towards completing a comprehensive update of the Marina del Rey LCP. County and coastal staff admit it’s a bad LCP. Together, we can bring about change that is balanced between the needs of the residents, the recreationalists, the birds and the businesses. It will be a win-win for everyone.

David Barish, co-director of We ARE Marina del Rey

A reader corrects The Argonaut’s use of ‘licensed nurse’ in Sept. 10th story

To the Editor:

The Argonaut story in the September 10th issue, “Nursing facility fined $100,000 in woman’s death” contains a significant editorial error.

The article states that a licensed vocational nurse (LVN) incorrectly re-inserted a dislodged feeding tube into a patient’s abdomen rather than the stomach, leading to the patient’s death.

The same article later refers to the same staff person as a “licensed nurse.”

A licensed nurse is a registered nurse. A registered nurse is not an LVN in the state of California (or anywhere else, where LVNs are titled licensed practical nurses). Registered nurses are higher prepared clinical

professionals and supervise the work of LVNs.

There is considerable confusion in the general public about the various distinctions of nursing and allied health personnel. The Argonaut is contributing to this confusion. More citizens should be concerned with the reduction of registered nurses in long term care settings as demand for these services escalates.

Sean O’Meara, Lawndale, Editor in chief and general manager of Nurses World Publications Inc.

Editor’s note:

Thank you for clearing this up for us and our readers. The Argonaut regrets the error.