at Main and
To the editor:
I was surprised (and pleased) to read your 12/14/05 editorial calling “The City’s new apartment complex now under construction at Main and Pacific is too large and too tall, an architectural bully on low-slung Main Street, and a dangerous precedent.”
Unfortunately, the Santa Monica Mirror lacked the initiative to expose the arrogance and deceit of the supporters (largely SMRR members) of this project. While the paper reported the City Council’s underhanded tactics of passing an interim ordinance specifically excluding the Pacific and Main housing project from any meaningful review, and acknowledged the City subsidized the cost of each of the 44 units by more than $160,000 (over $7,000,000 was given to Community Corporation of Santa Monica), the Mirror failed to note just how SMRR and CCSM rallied support for this Project.
While those of us opposed to the Pacific and Main project as designed (we were never opposed to the project), spoke against the four-story height, 72-units per acre density, and lack of sufficient ground floor retail and parking, SMRR and CCSM supporters of the project claimed we were bigots and racists, opposed to the project because of our prejudice against people of color. In other words, those opposed to the project focused on the substansive issues, but those in control of City Hall preferred to call us names and make it personal. As we know in politics, negative (and untrue) campaigning proves an effective strategy.
During the planning appeal hearing when the project was finally approved, ex-Mayor Dennis Zane referred to those of us opposed to the Pacific and Main project as the same kind of people who opposed integration and civil rights during the 1960s. Planning Commissioner Julie Lopez Dad questioned my integrity, honesty and values because I opposed the Pacific and Main project, but not the Boulangerie project (the Pacific and Main project is twice as dense as the Boulangerie project which has adequate retail and parking).
Joan Ling, head of CCSM, charged repeatedly that I was “against families” and another ex-Mayor and clergyman, James Conn, publicly referred to all neighborhood homeowners opposed to the Project as “rich people.” Only Paul DeSantis, a local real estate attorney and SMRR/CCSM supporter, acknowledged our differences without demonizing the opposition. Given these statements by narrow-minded community leaders, I must be the only anti-family white bigot with an African American wife and children! (As a humorous aside, while passing Jim Conn in front of his apartment building on Pacific Street, he asked if my children were adopted because they were black.) So you see, prejudice and bigotry come in all shapes and sizes.
With the New Year upon us, I think it wise to consider the leadership in our City and how they go about implementing their ‘vision.’ I see little difference between the Bush Administration and SMRR in how they both achieve their goals. Both organizations are secretive, engage in personal attacks, intentionally distribute misinformation, share an unwillingness to engage alternative viewpoints, and stubbornly resist any compromise of their extreme ideology. The primary difference is that legislation limits the Presidency to just eight years, but there are no term limits in Santa Monica.
To the Editor:
Saying “au revoir” to foie gras has never been more appetizing than since California’s anti-foie gras bill passed and the selling of liver from force-fed ducks and geese has begun to be phased out.
Governor Schwarzenegger isn’t the only one to recognize the foulness of foie gras. The late John Gielgud, one of the finest performers of his generation, used his renowned voice to speak up for the geese and ducks who suffer in this notorious industry. Fortunately, there are plenty of far-healthier, delicious, bird-free dishes that can be used to make parties festive and satiate dinner guests, such as this one:
Mushroom Pâté – 1 Tbsp. Margarine, 1 medium onion, chopped, 2 lbs. fresh mushrooms, finely chopped, 4 garlic cloves, minced. 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley, 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh rosemary 1 1/3 cups bread crumbs. 2 Tbsp. lemon juice, Salt and pepper, to taste
In a large saucepan, heat the margarine and sauté the onion for 10 minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook over medium heat for 20 to 30 minutes, or until all the liquid has evaporated. Remove from the heat and add the remaining ingredients. Spoon into a serving dish and serve immediately. Serves 6.
Enjoy your sinfully delicious food with a clear conscience!
Manager of Campaigns
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA)