City is missing boat
To the City Council:
It has become apparent that the City of Santa Monica is missing the boat on bringing the beach concessions and cafe into the 21 century.
Realizing that Open Space Management made mistakes in bringing this process to bid, the City needs to re-start the process from the beginning. This would make it a truly legal and competitive biding process.
Does the The City of Santa Monica have the vision or ability to “landlord” these public beach locations properly? Considering the City has failed to date in this process, the answer is no! Accepting that Open Space Management has made mistakes in this process and restarting the bidding process (and opening the discussion up to the greater public) could bring back credibility to the City and show that they are acting in the best interest of the greater public.
If any of the Council members are interested in maximizing the potential of these locations and coming to terms with its obligation to the public at large, as well as options that have not been discussed, please feel free to contact me.
If you do not believe that the City of Santa Monica has a greater obligation then it has presently shown, then don’t bother! Your lack of response would show why the process failed in the first place. Thank you for your time.
Town/gown animosity not new
To the editor:
I do not think that critics of the SMC Bundy campus should be spared the accusation that they seem to be opposing public education and student safety.
There is a reason the State of California charters colleges and municipalities independently. Town and gown animosity has existed since at least the 12th century. It was clear to our legislatures early on that requiring colleges to submit to municipal regulation would quickly lead to an ignorant population.
Colleges do not directly produce revenues for municipalities. They do not directly produce jobs, “shopping” or “entertainment” opportunities for residents. They do not lead directly to increased income for business owners. In fact, living near a college or school can be damned annoying. But that doesn’t mean you locate educational institutions in the desert.
The Westside is both a job-rich and residentially crowded environment. If a college is to be a part of the community it needs to be IN that community. The Westside contains its own teeming millions. Most SMC students live on the Westside. It has few students from South Bay, the Valley or east of downtown Los Angeles. Santa Monica, Beverly Hills and West Los Angeles are the most populated areas of the Westside and have the highest employment ratios. In short, Westsiders crowd their own streets.
If SMC can’t grow, whose children do you exclude? Who gets excluded from job training or retraining? It is time to stop comparing school development to commercial development. It is time to stop pretending that opposition to the Bundy Campus is anything more than an attempt to put education in its place, a secondary place, a place that is subsumed under the rubric of “development.” That place that will only further undermine the once proud and already much weakened educational system of the State of California.
Linda J. Sullivan
Changes needed in patriot act
To the editor:
As conference committees meet to reconcile the House and Senate versions of the USA PATRIOT Act Reauthorization and the Defense Department Appropriations bills, I urge you to push for the inclusion of key provisions of the Senate bills in their final versions.
Although the Senate version of the Patriot Act Reauthorization bill fails to correct a number of serious civil liberty problems in the USA PATRIOT Act, it is a positive step toward correcting the imbalance present in current law between protecting national security and preserving civil liberties. These corrective provisions include: sunsetting two surveillance power provisions in 2009, six years earlier than the House’s version; limiting delayed notice of a section 213 “sneak and peek” search to seven days, and improving the standard for section 215 secret searches to include a statement of facts about why the search is relevant to the probe, and requiring a nexus between that reasoning and a suspected terrorist.
Senator McCain’s amendment to the Defense Department Appropriations bill provides clear, unambiguous interrogation standards to guide our military personnel in their treatment of detainees in an effort to end abuses like those that occurred at Iraq’s Abu Ghraib prison. Its adoption will send an important message to the world that the United States remains committed to human rights.
Please push for these important provisions to be included in the final versions of the USA PATRIOT Act Reauthorization and Defense Department Appropriations bills.
Virtual DC-3s Coming this way
To the editor:
70 years ago, on December 17th, in Santa Monica, California, the Douglas DC-3 was born.
You probably already knew that.
Flash foward to the year 2005. Microsoft has a program, a flight simulator. “A Century of Flight” it is called, you probably already knew that as well. Anyway, as you would expect there is a group of computer flight simulator folks, world-wide, who fly this flight simulator program quite regularly and more specifically they fly the Douglas DC-3 aircraft in a virtual airline called DC-3 Airways. (“When Flying Was Fun”) They have banded together, on the Internet, and fly together in what is called MultiPlayer.
Let me explain.
In MultiPlayer, an individual in Australia can go on-line (Internet) with the flight simulator program and fly his flight simulator DC-3 along side a DC-3 being flown by someone who lives in Nebraska, U.S.A. In real time mind you. The Nebraska pilot can look out the window of his Flight Simulator DC-3 and see the pilot from Australia right along side of him.
A band of these hearty flight simulator souls have decided to fly cross country, at the same time, (in their flight simulator DC-3’s), headed for Santa Monica, California, for the birthday party celebration in your city, on December 17th. The first leg of that cross-country flight was conducted today, November 19th, 2005.
Each Saturday, up to and including December 17th, these flight simulator pilots will meet on-line, at a designated time and fly another leg to Santa Monica. Today’s flight saw 3 sim pilots from Germany, 2 from England, and the rest (about 10) from the U.S.A, flying to Denver, Colorado. They were all in constant communcation with each other by radio. (much like VOIP) and it was a grand time.
So – look out Santa Monica, we are headed your way, virtually that is, and will land, en masse, at the Santa Monica airport (KSMO) on December 17th.
Thought you might like to see that Santa Monica is in the hearts and minds of all DC-3 affeciandos, everywhere.
If you would like to give it a mention in your paper, on a slow newsday perhaps, just for the fun of it, go ahead!
McCook, Nebraska U.S.A.
To the editor:
The Santa Monica Coalition for a Livable City (“SMCLC”) has created a community post office feature on our website at www.smclc.net. Using the post office, residents can compose an e-mail expressing their views and then send it under their signature to all levels of City government, including the city manager, council, commissions, boards, and to the local press as desired by the sender.
Last week the Mirror published one such letter from our post office. Such letters represent the views of individual residents, not necessarily those of SMCLC. SMCLC’s positions are posted on our website:
To the City Council:
I am a resident who pays Property Taxes, SM City fees, Community College assessments, Unified school assessments etc. My work hours and commute time prevents me from being home anytime before 7:00 p.m. during the week.
I am 5’ 2″ in height and weigh 115 lbs. (ok- I lied – I weigh 120 lbs)
With my stature, I find it frightening and very dangerous to be walking 2 and 3 blocks from where I reside to get home on dark unlit streets because I CANNOT find parking on my street due to the activities at the Unitarian Church.
I am even more upset to find out that most of these evening and odd hour activities are ’renters’ of the Church facilities so that the Church may profit from them!
Am I to risk my safety and well being to walk on dark unlit streets for blocks at a time so that the Church can profit from their renters!
With groups of 60 -70 persons the parking is non-existent for 3 – 4 blocks at a time!
I ask every Council Member how they would feel if this was happening to them or a wife or daughter of theirs. I have nothing against the activities of the Church – so long as it does not put my safety and well being at risk. Therefore, I find it an absolute REQUIREMENT that parking be provided by the Church for their ’visitors’ regardless of the circumstances.
Thank you for your consideration of this matter and I truly hope that the Council Members will make the correct decision in reversing the waiver of providing parking by the Church that the Planning Comission so wrongly approved.
18th Street Resident
To the Editor:
Thank you to The Mirror for your front-page coverage of our November 12 Veterans for Peace procession from the Santa Monica Pier through our downtown, which the L.A. Times declined to acknowledge – the very same week it terminated my former Santa Monica neighbor and long-time anti-war columnist Robert Scheer.
The moral power of those grieving families carrying flag-draped coffins, representing the loss of their loved ones in Iraq, can no longer be ignored.
While our Santa Monica City Council passed a resolution against the war weeks before it began, the war’s horrible cost and questionable purpose have now haunted the entire nation. As the shirts we wore during the solemn procession said, “2000 dead – how many more?”
Santa Monica City Council
No thank you
To the editor:
Please feel free to stop mailing the Mirror to me as I have not read it for at least a month. I find it difficult because your editorial slant is always on the front page where I had hoped to find straight Santa Monica news. The paper tends to be more like an organizational newsletter with a slant that reflects that organization’s mission. I expect a chamber or a political organization to have a slant to their news but not a “newspaper” outside of their Editorial page.
Martin GottliebSanta Monica