Citizens need not apply
To the editor:
I have just finished reading Ms. Burn’s article in this week’s Mirror. I have the following comment: Hitler would have loved the Ellis Act, wouldn’t he have? And so do the developers and the City’s annointed, appointed and their minions…citizens need not apply.
C. V. Beck, disabled resident
American children are starving
To the editor:
I want to commend Paul Cummins’ writing in the Mar.2-8 edition “In His Opinion” column, which offered a counterpoint to the ironic and disproportionate responses we give certain types of deaths over others. However, what he might have noted in the section on “global” tragedies, is the fact that the deaths attributable to poverty, starvation, and malnutrition are occurring not just in “third world countries,” but are tantamount to a silent epidemic across our own nation as well.
I refer Mr. Cummins to Loretta Schwartz-Nobel’s 2002 book, Growing Up Empty, which chronicles the scourge of hunger that is killing and disabling our youngest citizens in record numbers. And the famine affecting the neediest increases (one in ten Americans go to bed hungry, and 12 to 14 million of them are children under the age of 12), even as we pay half-a-billion dollars per year to stockpile food within our own national borders.
The solution can only be another public outcry with a political response as happened in the 80s. For despite those early efforts to alleviate the crisis, the starvation of our children persists, now in greater percentages than ever before. We need to do more than cluck our tongues at the irony that the so many children in the world’s richest nation are going without food. And what more we can do will depend upon not only our awareness of the problem, but also upon our rigorous commitment to be a part of the solution.
Agrees with Cummins
To the editor:
Ahh…I couldn’t agree more with Paul Cummins’s fear that society is in control of those who see the world through the prism of class privilege, elitism, and opulent exhibitionism. One sees it in bright lights all across the Westside of Los Angeles — hiding behind a shield of political correctness, they’re still easilly recognizable: The Limosine Liberals.
The ugly truth about Ca. voters
To the editor:
I read with interest our school district’s superintendent John Deasy explaining in The Mirror recently (The Ugly Truth About School Funding in California) the growing dilemma in our schools as we once again face another financial crisis. This time all fingers point to our governor, and with good reason.
What would be amusing, if not for the fact that the joke falls on our children, is that everyone in this state who voted for him should be pointing an accusing, metronomic finger in front of their mirror. And to those educators who fell for a good looking, macho movie star who can promise us anything if he rehearses his lines well enough, you should be especially chagrined. He vowed never to be beholden to special interests and he promised that the $2 billion cut to our schools (to which our educators naively agreed) would go no deeper. To all of you who apparently fell for his scripted, well-rehearsed rhetoric, let’s just say that you deserve him. Which is too bad, because our kids don’t.
Actually, I said that about the previously recalled governor. We voted for him, we should have accepted this democratic process as legitimate whether or not an intelligent vote was cast, and sudden insight should not be a good enough reason to recall a sitting official unless treason or an outright felony has been committed.
We should have stuck with the governor we had, because now we’re stuck with the governor we’ve got. And I don’t think we have the stomach or time or money to call to Action! Action! Action! another recall vote.
What did you expect of a governor taking the helm of an office that was flooded in red ink? Wasn’t his nickname, The Terminator, a clue as to how he might fix things? Did his glamorous aura really blind those into believing that a Hollywood hunk could repair the damage without being brutally honest about the necessity of raising taxes?
Our current governor certainly has more style, good looks and money than his predecessor, and we still want to believe that our movie stars live the lives they portray on the screen. But until we grow up and realize that off screen, they are just like us only better looking, the best we can do is brace ourselves for the next fiscal tsunami headed our way.
Homeless and trying
To the editor:
My fiance and I are two of the many homeless people in the city of Santa Monica. We are regularly looking for work, and unsuccessfully, I might add, but press on, we do. We bathe regularly and dress nicely and so don’t “look” homeless. We just happen to sleep at the cold weather shelter and dream of working and living in our own space like “regular” folk do. We also happen to have faith in God through his son, Yeshua.
We are distressed, though not surprised, to see the degradation in our society. These days have been prophesied, but living in the middle of prophesy is wierd, to say the least. We work every day to do what society should be doing — helping the downtrodden (since that’s the definition of “religion” and most people agree that America is religious at the very least). If we, the homeless people are reaching to other homeless and people who aren’t at the same time, why aren’t businesses like Samoshel and the Salvation Army doing more? If they get funds every year to help the homeless, like stated in the SMDP, then why are we having to do the job not designated to us? We need the help, too. We can only do so much. They say that character is what you do when no one is around, so our character must be pretty strong, becuase God knows that we do good things when no one is looking- not being big-headed, just honest.
I just wanted to apprise whoever reads this that not all the homeless people in Santa Monica and Los Angeles are trash or tramps. Some are good, honest folk who are a circumstance away from being where everyone who isn’t homeless wants to be. I pray that this letter makes some sort of a difference even if it’s never read by anyone else.
Have a wonderful day.
Santa Monica registered voter
Double standard in city hall
To the editor:
The article “Planning Board Rejects SM Studios Pact” by Hannah Heineman which appeared in your February 23 issue demonstrates the hypocracy and political agenda of the SM Planning Commission.
The Planning Commissioners rightly rejected a Development Agreement which proposed residential housing development located at 3025 Olympic Blvd., due to the project’s approximately 73 dwelling units per acre density and minuscule retail space. “Commissioner Gwynne Pugh summed up the consensus of the Commission for denying the agreement when he raised concerns about the proposed project’s density. The City’s densest residential zone, R4, has 48.4 units per acre. ’This project is proposing 73.2 units per acre’. He went on to say that this project is ’presented as a mixed use project and has 5,000 square feet of retail as opposed to 250,000 square feet of residential. This is a residential project with a tiny little pimple on it they are calling retail’…” Very well stated by Commissioner Pugh as quoted in the Mirror.
Yet, the same Planning Commission voted to approve, on appeal due to widespread and vociferous opposition of the neighborhood, a 72 dwelling unit per acre, 4-story low-income housing development, also with minuscule retail space, at the corner of Pacific and Main in Ocean Park. What could account for such hypocrisy of Planning Commissioners to unanimously approve an equally dense apartment project also with inadequate ground floor commercial space for public benefit on Main Street, yet unanimously reject the SM Studios project of similar density? The answer, of course, is the Main Street project received over $160,000 per dwelling unit in public subsidy, and the developer was SMRR’s favorite, Community Corporation of Santa Monica (CCSM).
The bottom line is that 72+ dwelling units per acre projects are too dense in established neighborhoods outside the downtown district, and the Planning Commission should apply its decisions unprejudiced by partisanship and politics. Applying more favorable and less stringent standards to a single developer, like CCSM, undermines the credibility of local government. Approving projects that are incompatible with existing neighborhoods because the developer (CCSM) receives public funding or because its Board of Directors is staffed with prior City government officials, and then accusing those that disagree with racism demonstrates that City Hall has lost its ethical moorings.
Jeffrey Weinstein, AIA
Residents should vote on it
To the editor:
Downtown Santa Monica has a unique combination of ocean, beach, pier, mountain views, hotels, restaurants and shops. It’s close to all the attractions of Los Angeles, yet far enough away from its high rises and heavier traffic patterns to preserve our own unique qualitites.
Historically, Santa Monica has had an elegant home town feel that is accessible and people-friendly. For these reasons, downtown Santa Monica has always been a huge draw for tourists and local people alike. Traditionally, most residences with coastal views and lush park-like gardens were situated away from the downtown area.
The first Macerich plan, concieved without the knowledge of most of Santa Monica’s citizens, had three 21-story towers full of high cost residences and would have brought in a lot of money. But, sometimes financial considerations are the worst reasons for deciding what happens to a city. Had this plan been implemented, it could have set a precedent of ever-increasing numbers of ’New York style’ highrises containing luxury lofts, condos and apartments accessible only to those who can afford the view. In my opinion this plan did not preserve the historical spirit of Santa Monica, and, judging by the uproar it caused, it did not reflect the views of the majority of Santa Monica’s citizens.
Plans for three 21-story towers may be dead but do we want three 15-story towers? And do we really want to increase the number of residences already in the down town area?
On Wednesday evening, Mar 2, 2005, at a meeting of Friends of Sunset Park, a Macerich executive and Santa Monica’s assistant city manager, described a plan for a series of community meetings designed to allow Santa Monica citizens to have a say in what becomes of Santa Monica Place. Great idea!
The logical conclusion to gathering information from these meetings would be a public ballot. If it was good enough to have a vote in 1976 concerning Santa Monica Place (and Beverly Hills and Redondo Beach citizens are voting on their development issues), why can’t we have the vote again?
Santa Monica resident for over 40 years