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Letter to the Editor:

Dear Editor,I recently got rid of my car and now commute exclusively by bus and bicycle. I live a half block from the beach in Santa Monica and often attempt to use the bikepath on weekends. The problem is I am not alone in that desire. Hordes of bicyclists, inline skaters, skate boarders, pedestrians, and even people in motorized wheel chairs, have taken over the bike path, despite the fact that there are numerous posted signs, and pedestrian walkways parallel the bike path. It has become extremely dangerous for bicyclists to navigate through the crowds. In this modern age, almost everyone owns an iPod, a cell phone, or both. Many of these people (including bicyclists) are oblivious to what is going on around them, as they talk to the air, or boogy on down to their sounds. Sometimes, entire families (with baby strollers) will walk side by side and block the entire bike path. A friend of mine crashed her bicycle in order to avoid an obese pedestrian who suddenly swerved into her path. She suffered a compound fracture when her elbow smashed into the concrete and had no medical coverage… The pedestrian showed absolutely no concern for my bleeding friend and blithely continued on his way, snapping his fingers to the music. Recently, I complained about the situation to a Santa Monica beach patrolman (on his sand buggy) but he could care less about enforcing the law. He told me it was my responsibility to avoid obstructions, and I was free to bike somewhere else, or complain to the city…Jonathan MannSanta Monica * * * *Dear Editor,On September 4, 2006, Milton and Laynett Hunter lost their son when he was shot and killed by the City of Santa Monica Police Officers. Christopher Lamont Hunter was only 21 years old when he died. The police claim that he had a gun in his hand and was turning in their direction towards them. There was no dispute that he was running away from the police at the time of the shooting.Witnesses at the scene saw a different picture of what took place. They never saw Christopher with a gun while he was being chased. They only saw him running.They were in close proximity when they viewed what had happened.More importantly, Christopher was shot on the back five separate times. The Los Angeles City Coroner who performed the autopsy confirmed the number of shots and more specifically the trajectory of the bullets. This contradicted the testimony of the Officers.I agree with Deputy City Attorney Carol Rohr who represented the City of Santa Monica and the police officers involved that to try these type of cases is very expensive, that jury results can be unpredictable and a settlement a predictable result.No amount of money can compensate a parent for the loss of a child. Mr. and Mrs. Hunter’s lives will never be the same. The City of Santa Monica surely must have been concerned about the actions of their Police Officers to make a $250,000 settlement.Robert . FinkAttorney for the Hunter FamilyLos Angeles

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