As a long-running fan of your “Alert Police Blotter” column, I wonder if perhaps (given its recent contents) it should be renamed: “How Santa Monica Police victimize the local homeless.”
If our very wealthy City and its inhabitants devoted its time and money to actually trying to help the homeless – rather than the expensive business arresting them, or shipping them off to places like Hawaii – then we might not have a homeless problem in the first place.
Just a thought,
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Our City Council just spent $100,000 to study the effects of the Residents’ Initiative to Fight Traffic (RIFT). Despite residents’ pleas for a fair, complete and impartial review, the City hired firms to do a study that favors commercial developers. These are firms that consistently favor developers’ over residents’ interests; firms that, when they’re not “studying” RIFT, are literally promoting huge amounts of new commercial growth in Santa Monica. It’s like paying foxes do to a thoughtful, unbiased study on how best to use hens.
What emerged from the City Council’s efforts was not only expensive but predictable: A $100,000 Powerpoint presentation that was a blatant, biased sales pitch for Santa Monica to continue to grow and grow and grow and service more and more of the region while ignoring the unacceptable traffic increase as well as the social and environmental costs to residents.
But leaving aside false assumptions in the presentation, it concluded that RIFT will have NO significant impact on our city’s revenues: Over the entire 16 years of RIFT, by 2023, the City, theoretically, would collect only about $11,000,000 less in new revenues than it would without RIFT. That comes out to about $687,000 per year, or about 1/13th of 1 percent of the city’s annual $500,000,000 budget!
Think about that next time you hear developers and their friends say how RIFT will cripple city revenue: The city’s own study, done by pro-developer consultants, says RIFT will cost the city less that 1/13th of 1 percent of the entire city budget. This versus continued uncontrolled development and traffic for the next 15 years.
And that’s not even a decrease in EXISTING city revenues. It’s 1/13th of one percent less revenue from FUTURE development for a city that has an extraordinarily diverse and enviable revenue stream.
Developers’ only argument against RIFT has now been neutralized by their own consultants. We wonder what their next line of attack will be. Maybe they’ll try honesty – if RIFT passes, developers and their attorneys won’t make as much money. It’s really the only argument they have.
Victor Fresco, Susan Giesberg, Diana Gordon, Sherrill Kushner, Jeff Segal
Santa Monica Coalition for a Livable City
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Dear Santa Monica Mirror,
I offer this poetry effort to you mostly as a consequence of Tom Elias’ insightful piece in this week’s issue of the Mirror (“No Good Reason for Medipot Decision Counter to Voters’ Wishes,” July 10-16). Perhaps poetry can achieve something positive to address the prohibition that prosaic efforts have not.
It’s a persona song, wherein the speaker/protagonist is a Drug Enforcement Agent addressing his superior.
LYI’ JOHN P. WALTERS MARIJUANA BLUES
If you use, you lose
You’re gonna get the blues
Federal pens and yada yada
John P. Walters
Man never falters
Ringer for Anslinger, who learned from
Stay off the Grass
Or he’ll kick yo’ ass
Yo’ Uncle Sammy is in charge
Prepare for war
Al Qaeda’s gonna stay at large
The Berry ain’t Mary
Jane, join the military
Enroll with the Border Guard
Or become a cop
You can kill some slop
And hide dem bones in a lumber yard
But don’t smoke Weed
Thicky sticky seed
You know our Bible says it’s so
Prepare for attack
Har Megiddo, Iraq
Anytown, and anywhere we wanna go
Won’t clean the air
We know ‘bout the Purple Haze
We’ll fix your cell
In a prison hell
So you can learn some Christian ways
Ya, nice to be high
Confuse and spy
That’s why we-they-we call it “dope”
Save yo’ soul
For a holy roll
Good Lord of love might be yo’ hope
Bud helps stress
Don’t say “Yes”
Drug corporations, Yo!
And the Daily Beat
And the Weekly Beat
There’s even things dat dey don’t know
So, if you use, you lose
Stay off the Green Grass
Berry ain’t merry
Jane, don’t smoke Weed
Compassionate caring, and nice to be
Buds be bad, and it’s all a lie!
* * * *
VENICE ECO-FEST, JUNE 28, 2008
As someone who was born and raised in LA, I’ve attended and participated (over several decades) at countless art fairs, computer shows, health-oriented, rock music shows, and various other gatherings on the beach, in the parks, in Civic Centers from Santa Monica to Pasadena to Anaheim and of course downtown LA, etc. I always understood that if something were from 10 to 7, that meant it opened at 10 and closed at 7. If anything, sometimes things stayed open a tad later, due to customer demand.
But no, not the Eco-Fest. It was fine to start shutting down booths more than an hour and a half before the end of the event. It was fine to complain about the crowds or lack of or too much business while customers were still around.
And Jim, the man behind it all, Mr. Earth Day LA himself, saw no problem with it. If people want to leave early, no problem. If they want to complain about business in front of customers, no problem.
Well, it left a bad taste in my mouth. I wanted to buy several metal water bottles, but the man wasn’t interested, the day was over as far as he was concerned. No problem only selling me one, and ignoring the couple next to me.
And if the man from the Aura shop thought it was fine to complain about business and yell at me not to “mess up” items they were putting away, no problem. I won’t be going to his Aura shop in Main Street any time soon. Not after he yelled at me!
Ok, so if you think the day was a success, well, fine. I needed to shoot “who is LA,” and what better event that an Eco-Fest? (Which I planned on attending anyway.) I rode a couple of buses and as I admired and purchased boardwalk artists’ work, I told them I was asked to participate in a photo show. I needed to get to the event with enough time to walk around.
I just had no idea so many booths would be depleted or gone (mentally and/or physically) by the time I arrived. (I got my shot: Tree Man, just perfect!) But I had far more fun on the boardwalk!
As someone very involved in the healing arts on the Westside, I know I am not alone in my feelings. And what’s green about this? Well, if we don’t honor each other, and work together, just how are we going to heal the earth?
And if we can’t have a GREAT time while sharing our work to help the environment while being on the beach on a gorgeous summer day, then how can we expect our efforts, work, energy, etc. to heal if we ourselves aren’t healed? If we complain to and about the very people interested in supporting our causes, our products, etc., how is that going to heal anyone or anything?
So tell me again, what was the point of all this? To somehow become “green” and not change our intrinsic attitude, to make money off this “trend” or do we really care about serious improvement for the good of all?
Am I being too much of an idealist here?
I don’t think so. But I’d hate to see “green” events turn corporate and cold in the infancy of such great global change potential. Or people come to these events and walk away unchanged.
Wake up folks, let the sun shine in, and stop complaining and start blessing what you have: great public response. Embrace us, don’t alienate us. Don’t cut us off and think it’s ok. It’s not ok. Not in the long run.
It’s your choice: work with us or you’ll constantly having to chase down new customers, wondering why your customer base isn’t growing. Not my problem. Thanks to the net, the public has choices.