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Letters to the Editor:

Correcting the record

To the editor of the Ocean Park Gazette:

1. I would like to comment on a statement by SMC’s Don Girard in your July 7 article entitled “Neighbors Still Bristling about Bundy Campus.” It says, “SMC representative Girard told the Gazette that the parking structure referred to by FOSP President [Zina] Josephs [at the July 6th Board of Trustees meeting] had been removed, and was no longer mentioned in the staff report.”

That is nonsense.

On July 1st, FOSP and Mar Vista neighborhood representatives received an email entitled “Bundy Campus Materials” from Greg Brown, SMC Director of Facilities Planning. It said,

“The college has posted materials that will be discussed at Wednesday’s Board of Trustees presentation on the Bundy Long Range Master Plan. The materials can be viewed at: http://www.smc.edu/facilities_airport/default.html

“Look under the heading of July 6, 2005 Board of Trustees meeting.”

So we dutifully looked up the college web site. Among the many materials posted was one entitled “Board of Trustees Meeting – July 6, 2005: Bundy Campus Long-Range Master Plan Staff Report.”

On p.6 of the staff report, in the “Discussion and Recommendations” section, it says, “Given the overall building footprint, planning staff has considered essentially two options for the site. One is to operate the site with parking sufficient to support the programs offered on-site. The other is to provide additional parking at the site by means of a parking structure to provide parking for programs on-site and for the College as a whole (for shuttle parking, in other words.)

“College planners…conducted a traffic analysis for both an 800-space structure and a 1,000-space structure….Both ideas can be accommodated by the site….The preferred option [the first option] meets the College needs at the present time and has the least impacts.” The 1,000-space parking structure was estimated by Kaku Associates, the author of the study, to result in 6,100 additional car trips daily.

So, it would appear that, contrary to Mr. Girard’s statement, the parking structure had not been removed from the staff report and that it was indeed mentioned as one of two options.

We also do not find the phrase “at the present time” very comforting, because it implies that, at some future time, the College may decide that it needs more parking space and must therefore build a Bundy Campus parking structure, looming over Mar Vista back yards and bringing more traffic into Sunset Park.

2. Mr. Girard also states in the same article that “adding 30 cars is on top of the 2100 cars per hour that currently use the street…you just ain’t gonna notice.” Well, if you live on the affected streets and have cars idling in front of your home during breakfast or dinner, and you’re trying to drive home from work or trying to back out of your driveway to go to work, and the idling cars now extend another block, say from Venice Blvd. back to Pico, rather than merely to Pearl, you’re “gonna” notice, because there’s never going to be a break in traffic for you to get into or out of your driveway. Since SMC administrators now have their offices located “off-campus” at 27th and Pico, perhaps they are not affected by, or aware of, the traffic situation they’re creating around the main campus and the satellite campuses.

3. One of the other documents posted on the same college web site has “responses” to Santa Monica and Mar Vista residents’ questions. These responses seem to have never been forwarded to residents, although the questions were raised in March at “visioning” meetings.

One question concerned jet fumes at the new Bundy Campus. The college reply is as follows: “The Airport Administration provides exceptionally rigorous monitoring of air quality.” The reality is that air quality monitoring at the airport is not exceptional, it is not rigorous, it is non-existent. When I emailed S.M. Airport Manager Bob Trimborn about this, he replied, “No, Airport Administration does not conduct air quality monitoring….Airport staff monitors aircraft noise and enforces the City’s Noise Ordinance.” South Coast AQMD will conduct an air quality study at S.M. Airport next year, but nothing has been done so far.

So it’s possible that students at the new Bundy Campus may have access to not only a “fine” education but also to “ultra-fine” particles in the air they breathe. Contrary to SMC’s statement, we won’t know until after the AQMD completes its study, perhaps sometime in 2006.

Thank you for allowing me to correct the record on these three points.

Zina Josephs, Santa Monica

July 8, 2005

Why isn’t SM more like LA?

To the editor:

Why is it the City of L.A. Sanitation will let its residents know the holiday pick up schedule, (it is in the L.A. Times) whereas I have never heard a thing from our city and that includes your newspaper?

Why is it we are provided separate green trash barrels when in the last couple of years the trucks have combined the green with the black barrels? This takes place in my alley. Once in a while a truck will pick up the green separately. I have never read they are discontinuing the program. Are they saving on gas? Too much mulch? I work to keep the greens separate. Why should I continue?

Larry Berkin, Santa Monica

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