January 17, 2021 Breaking News, Latest News, and Videos

Letters to the Editor:

Please convey this to the citizens of Santa Monica:

We stayed at a hotel near LAX after a cruise in May and really enjoyed our time in Santa Monica. Our sincere thanks again to the gentleman who directed us to the proper bus stop; to the two ladies on the bus who helped us with directions; and especially, to the young people, on the bus and elsewhere, all of whom were very courteous and gracious. We surely looked like tourists and the people of Santa Monica were very good to us. Thank you.

Barbara and Andrew Cleghorn

Kanata, Ontario, Canada

* * * *

I totally agree with the City of Santa Monica denying “Peace Activist” as a Job Description. That is a term from East Germany out of the Fifties. An activist is a socialist worker who, through proper planning and a new code of socialistic morals, helps increase productivity of a certain product.

If that activist, for example, is building tractors for the kolkhoz (see Kolchose), he may apply his activist activities and as the result double the output by the end of the Five-Year-Plan. But without the knowledge of building tractors, he could not be an activist.

Plain talk just won’t do. Therefore, a peace activist has to offer more than an ideological idea. For instance, a senator in Washington, D.C., who is against the war, could be a peace activist. So, Jerry, my humble piece of advice is: become a Senator first, and then apply your activist activities.

Monika Bialas

Santa Monica

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Editor:

Your August 14th issue contained a letter from Jeff Segal, a proponent of RIFT, challenging certain statements about RIFT made by Debbie Mulvaney in her letter in the August 7th issue. In reality, it is Mr. Segal who makes several incorrect and misleading statements.

First, Mr. Segal contends that potential new development by the Boys and Girls Club and the Pico Youth and Family Center would not be affected due to an exemption in RIFT for “child or adult day care facilities.” However, these facilities are not day care facilities, but would most reasonably be considered “Offices and meeting rooms for charitable, youth, and welfare organizations,” a non-exempt use under RIFT. Both of these extremely valuable organizations, as well as other important community non-profit uses, such as the Santa Monica Red Cross, would have to compete with commercial development for square footage allocations under RIFT.

Second, he attempts to counter Mulvaney’s assertion that important health care uses will be negatively impacted by RIFT by citing exemptions for hospitals and government facilities and arguing that no “medical building on property owned by UCLA or any other government agency” will be limited. RIFT does not exempt the many necessary hospital related facilities such as medical clinics, laboratories, medical suppliers and outpatient surgery centers that are a critical part of a hospital’s health care delivery system. UCLA hospital supporting facilities that may not be on land owned by UCLA, and any non-hospital facilities owned by St John’s would have to compete for square footage allocations under RIFT.

In fact, under RIFT, a medical clinic for St John’s, the Boys and Girls Club, The Red Cross, and a developer considering a commercial use would all compete for the same square footage allocation.

Third, Mr. Segal misstates the economic impact of RIFT on our local public schools. Mr. Segal completely ignores the fact that an independent economic study projects that our schools will lose up to $1,000,000 per year from reductions in direct property tax revenues if RIFT passes, without regard to funding from the City.

He then contends that the negative impact of RIFT to the general fund is only 1/13th of 1 percent of the City’s budget, and that because of its $6000 per resident budget, the City can easily continue to fund the public schools. While the City is currently fortunate to have a robust economy generating a substantial amount of tax revenue, the economic study demonstrates that under RIFT, City revenues’ will be as much as $11 million per year (in 2008 dollars) lower by year 16. This reduction will result in more competition for the discretionary funding currently provided by the City – whether to schools or any of the many other valuable programs in our City.

It is these negative and unintended consequences of RIFT that underscore its weakness, Although these, and other negative consequences of RIFT may not have been intended by its authors, they make RIFT much too risky a proposition for Santa Monica.

Sincerely,

Craig Hamilton

Sunset Park Resident

JAMS/SAMOHI Parent

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