October 25, 2020 Breaking News, Latest News, and Videos

Letters To The Editor:

Dear Editor,

A very good question raised at this important forum by LA City officials and residents: Why do most of the aircraft using SM Airport fly over LA and not SM? Why doesn’t SM Airport use the skies above SM?

Given the placement of SM Airport next to LA on the east end, arriving flights will use LA for most approaches to the airport. Hence the recent study showing elevated, dangerous air pollution in those neighborhoods.

Don’t be surprised, however, if more and more departing flights fly out over wider areas of SM, not LA, in the future. They have already started doing that. Pilots and the FAA use the skies like they are in the Old West thinking they can go where they damn well please. That has to stop. Concomitant with these deviations from the recommended flight paths will be the dispersion of these same toxic air pollutants identified in the UCLA study over wider and wider areas of SM.

Maybe when cancer rates increase in SM like they are east of SM Airport, SM will get its act together and close the airport instead of permitting its de facto expansion all over SM and the Westside. Maybe SM’s little coterie of councilmembers who mostly live in the small northwest corner of SM, far from SM Airport, will take action. Right now they treat the problems of SM Airport like it was in Pomona.

True, SM is engaged in litigation against the FAA to stop the large C and D aircraft from using SM Airport given the physical limitation of the runway and the likelihood of an overrun and disaster. Always hopeful about the success of the litigation, residents realize that that litigation is an important step not necessarily in being successful in stopping the C and D aircraft, but in supporting SM’s arguments against its liability should a crash occur. SM can say, we tried and it’s all the court’s and the FAA’s fault.

That’s not good enough. SM needs to step up its actions now against the FAA’s de facto expansion of the flight paths. SM needs to quit fighting air quality and health risk studies around the airport. SM needs to quit blocking studies of the emissions from the aircraft. SM needs to act like it’s serious about closing the airport.

Airport staff needs to stop protecting the pilots and the FAA, quit lying to the residents affected by the airport, and quit spending revenue earned at the airport to make improvements for the pilots. The focus now should be on closing down the airport in 2015. Most of the revenue earned at the airport absolutely needs to go to funding projects to protect the people whose lives and health are threatened daily by the airport’s existence in their midst, not to protecting and perpetuating the airport. It’s time that LA and SM families, not runways, prevail.

– Susan Hartley

Santa Monica Resident

Dear Editor

Arianna Huffington’s move your money idea is brilliant. It urges us to move funds from the “too big to fail” banks into community banks in an effort to stimulate local lending, job growth and neighborhood services. Stronger communities result in stronger cities, states and countries. In fact, they are the foundation of the solid edifice we call the United States. The ancillary benefit is to remove the means from the hands of those motivated by greed, ego, and selfishness, to feed their narcissism at the expense of ordinary people. Essentially, to eliminate a black hole, where resources go in and nothing comes out.

The non-profit world can learn a lot from Ms. Huffington’s thought. There is a lot of money held by and donated to charities. It should come as no surprise that the same issues would arise. There are those that are not legitimate institutions who scam empathetic citizens for cash as well as those that are real charities that raise funds to pay the costs of making more money. Services, however, are not funneled back to the expectant recipients. The street is one way and ends in the same black hole. For example, there are two entities in the animal welfare business, one in New York and one in Washington DC, that can be used to illustrate this point. They each shamelessly market nationally, hopeful that uninformed donors will think their funds will help in their respective zip codes. Not so. The sad reality is that sending funds under such a misimpression simply enables them to buy more television ads and does nothing to help homeless and abused animals locally. There are numerous other local charities eclipsed by “national” corporations, even some who have been shuttered in the last two years, with the attending result of leaving the needy in need.

The solution is to move your money to local charities. The resources, new jobs, services and aid to victims will boost the local economy thus strengthening the community’s ability to thrive. As an auxiliary benefit one can actually visit the charity, see and participate in the work, rather than relying on the appearance of a web site or glossy media appeal. Charity begins at home. It is only when we stand strong that we can lift another. Thank you – Arianna Huffington.

– Madeline Bernstein

President, Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, Los Angeles

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