Too much congestion

To the Editor:

Re: “Development fears” (Argonaut letters, April 19).

I agree that the hundreds of animals and birds that will lose their refuge after the last 111 acres of The Ballona Wetlands is developed is tragic. However, even if people don’t care about the wetlands, is there any reasonable person living here who actually thinks that any development, anywhere in this area, could possibly be a good idea?

There are simply too many people and too many cars in this area for us to really enjoy living here for much longer. I was born and raised in Southern California, but it’s so crowded now, that I just want to move. Who are the people responsible for continuing to allow developers to just keep building and building more and more wherever they please? Why do they still have a job? The only people who are benefiting at all are the developers.

The latest project going up on Lincoln Boulevard across from Ralphs is incredibly cheap looking. The building may not be finished, but it looks like it would collapse after a strong sneeze in that direction.

It is nearly impossible to drive down Lincoln at any time of day without sitting in congestion. It is so hard to drive anywhere around here, that we usually spend our money at stores that are closer to work, or just easier to get to. We go to retail areas in other locations that have ample parking and are easy to get in and out of.

I can’t remember the streets ever being in such bad shape. Crime is out of control – on our street alone, we have had so many break-ins that residents have had to put up warning signs. Parking is impossible everywhere. There are simply not enough resources around to take on any more development. There’s no more space.

The quality of life on the Westside is not being destroyed little by little… It’s being destroyed a lot — right now. Everywhere in the area.

H. Parkerson, Venice

Smoke-free city

To the Editor:

Re: “Fire at Santa Monica apartment building caused by cigarette, say officials” (Argonaut, April 19).

I am writing about the fire in the apartment building on the 1300 block of Second Street on April 13.

It is time for Santa Monica to do the right thing and ban all smoking within the city limits, including the sale of all tobacco products. The loss of any revenue would be outweighed by the health benefits.

It is also not smart for any one using an oxygen tank to be smoking and the city should levy the maximum fine including jail time to the person that started the fire.

Smoking is bad and needs to end now.

David Lauretti, Santa Monica

LMU permit problem

To the Editor:

In response to the article in the April 26 Argonaut on “LMU charging for parking,” I would like to clarify a few issues stated.

In the Loyola Marymount University Master Plan, the 600 new parking spaces the article refers to will not be in the construction phase when the charge for parking in the LMU parking lots will be imposed.

As for the statement “under an agreement forged between homeowners and university officials during the time that the Master Plan was being debated,” I attended those meetings and most of the homeowners did not endorse the permits.

We all agreed that the community should not bear the burden of the parking cost and problems. In fact, the $24,000 LMU will contribute will not come close to covering all the neighbors that will be affected, and will in no way pay for the additional fees for extra permits if residents would like temporary parking for housekeepers, gardeners, caregivers, or even a family gathering at their own house.

Although the neighbors will have a chance to vote on the parking permits, we would rather have LMU provide free parking as they had committed to in the past, and additional parking to keep the student parking on their own campus and off our residential streets.

Ron Marks, Westchester

Let’s talk colocation

To the Editor:

Re: “Deadline to accept Proposition 39 colocation offers set for next month” (Argonaut, April 26).

The principle behind California’s Proposition 39 is very simple – charter students are public school students and should be treated equally to other public school students.

This article incorrectly states that Prop. 39 requires districts to offer charters “underused” space; Prop. 39 requires districts to make “reasonably equivalent” facilities available to charters. We are disappointed that board member Steve Zimmer has taken the position that his support for charter schools hinges on charters’ plans to ask the district for facilities. It is actually against state law to vote against the creation or renewal of a charter for that reason.

In addition, charter schools are not automatically given facilities and, under Prop. 39, can request facilities each year from the district. Charters don’t ask for colocations, but that is what the Los Angeles Unified School District has historically offered.

Charter schools want what any school wants – a permanent and stable home with plenty of space for students to learn and play. LAUSD, including Zimmer, should put the needs of all public school students first, and work with the charter community collaboratively to find long-term solutions.

Readers can learn more about LAUSD colocations at:

Corri Ravare, L.A. regional director, California Charter Schools Association, Los Angeles

Oil globs litter beach

To the Editor:

We walk the beach from the Marina del Rey jetty to the Venice Pier often and have recently noticed the appearance of oily “globs” at the high water mark. They seem to be getting worse.

Today (April 28) the entire stretch of beach was littered with them, many pancake-sized.

It was actually impossible to walk without getting our feet coated with a sticky, oily goop. While it may be a coincidence, their appearance seems to have started with the dredging project nearby.

Is anyone investigating the cause, and determining a remediation before the beach is totally unusable?

Bill Hart, Marina del Rey

Leave LAX northside alone

To the Editor:

Re: “Los Angeles International Airport northside plan.”

Why would Los Angeles World Airports think it is okay to build in this area, where homes were already removed?

We do not need any of those things, most of which we already have in Westchester.

Westchester Parkway is a wonderful road and is hardly ever crowded, which is very rare in this area or any place today.

What is the matter with open space? There’s so little left.

Jeanne Moody, Playa del Rey