September 1, 2014

Dear Beachhead, 

I don’t get it.  I never did.  
I don’t obsess about RV’s, or caravans, or motor coaches or moho’s or whatever you want to call them.  However, some people do.  I still don’t get it.  Appears to me this obsessing is done mostly by people who have a lot of free time on their hands, concern themselves about what other people do, how they live, what they look like and do they look like an ad in a house good-looking mag… or a commercial…some kind of a beauty contest.
 This has been going on for a really unconscionable period of time when, at the same time, much more important things are going on, like the possible beginning of WWIII or a 2nd Civil War. 
 Why then are moho’s still being manufactured?  Why haven’t they been taken off the market? Seems that you can buy them but you can’t use them in too many places… unless they are new, or corporately owned. This does not seem right to me or even “capitalistic”…for that matter. 
 Reminds me too much of WWII, the Gypsies, the Jewish People, the disabled and what happened to them…

Betty Rexie
Venice, CA
Dear Beachhead,

Thank you for all your fine reporting.

Earl Newman


August 1, 2014

Nick Antonicello
Randy Saludes
Alan Rodman

Dear Beachhead,

Mary Getlein’s July piece (Bonin Walks From Meeting) is insightful and indicative of how Mr. Bonin approaches the Venice neighborhood and governance in general.

The freshman council member doesn’t allow for any serious exchange with residents and the “Venice Life” meeting held on June 18 was another example of that flawed policy.

When first elected to the council Mr. Bonin was a speaker at a monthly meeting of the Venice Neighborhood Council (VNC) and took no questions.

When a Venice Town Hall was held in response to the senseless auto death of an Italian tourist on her honeymoon, Bonin lectured residents on his vision of Venice, and promptly left again after his prepared remarks and no interaction with the hundreds in attendance.

It seems to be the policy of the 11th District council member that unless the environment is controlled, an honest discussion or the ability to ask questions is non-existent.

In dealings with his staff, emails are rarely if ever returned – especially if you disagree with their public policy positions or inaction as witnessed for over a year as it applies to the current condition of the Venice bike path and knolls that separate it from the pedestrian walk.

Building consensus and reaching out to residents in a diversified community such as Venice takes thoughtful leadership from the head, and not the back of the line.

Nick Antonicello

Music Police
I play drums for Phylte Risk (http://VeniceLion.com). I am primarily a Jazz drummer. I play at a low volume that accompanies acoustic pianos and other Jazz and quiet amplified music groups. I enjoy drumming for Al Robinson, who leads the group, and is a great guitar player, who plays through a small battery operated amp.
Our group alternates performances with other acts in front of On the Waterfront restaurant on Ocean Front Walk just north of Rose. The police came by as a loud guitar player was performing, and they shut him down. I told the officers that we had encouraged him, we encourage all performers who come out to play, and do not appreciate the police who come by and say all kinds of contradictory things, and that amplified sound is ok as long as it’s kept to a reasonable level.
So our group began to play at our lower level. The policeman came up to our guitar player who leads the group and was able to have a normal conversation with him as we played, and told him to turn it down. So we did. The police officer and the guitar player were able to converse and I could even hear what they were talking about sitting at the drums while we were playing. The officers told us to play even lower and when we did they then told us to shut down. We did comply. I was angry. They have no right to shut us down, we know the legal decibel level and know the police were being unreasonable. The crowd and the patrons where chanting over and over “let them play”.

So this is when at some distance away from where we were set up I went up to the officers and asked for their contact information, because I wanted to make a complaint against them. They told me they would not give me this information unless I gave them my driver’s license. Well I told them I didn’t want to give them my license and they again repeated the same story that they wouldn’t give me their info unless I gave them my license. So like an idiot I gave them my license. I thought they were telling the truth. I waited and waited and thought they were writing down the information I had asked for and waited and waited and they gave me a ticket.
A ticket for 115.02 LAMC: Amplified Sound: Engaging in the installation, use, or operation of any loudspeaker or sound amplifying equipment in a fixed or movable position;……..

Amplified sound is legal on the boardwalk no matter what the police say.

I’ve lived on the OFW since 1992 and there are many horror stories from many musicians who have been abused, lied to and threatened by the police. Venice has been a circus, loud, noisy since its beginning. Anyone who says they came to Venice for peace and quiet is a bold face liar.

Randy Saludes

Dear Beachhead,

The wonderful DVD, “The Cook,” (Milestone film & video, 2003) starring Roscoe Arbuckle and Harold Lloyd, deserves the attention of Venice. It is a real gem!

The disc includes countless, amazing historic scenes shot right here in old Venice, and Ocean Park!

The first film on the disc, The Cook, long believed lost, was restored when additional missing footage was found in Norway. With  incredible sight gags, juggling food, and wild slapstick comedy, this picture includes amazing footage of a chase on the old Crystal Pier, or perhaps early Ocean Park Pier, with its rickety rollercoaster, in Santa Monica, just south of Pico Blvd. In the background appears what is now the Casa del Mar Hotel, and the whole beachfront to the south, with many rides and buildings under construction. Some of this footage may be misidentified on the disc’s liner notes as the Pike, yet may be recognized as old Santa Monica in 1917.

Surprisingly, this movie includes what may have been the 20th century’s first filmed wardrobe malfunction: high up on the rollercoaster overlooking the Pacific, a frightened cashier, played by Alice Lake, turns to face her pursuer (Al St. John as The Toughest Guy,) when her see-through bodice slips slightly, and she reveals a bit more than just her acting talents.

(See if you notice The Toughest Guy leering – while actually the actor seems to be clinging for his life to a flimsy guardrail!)

The entire beachfront scene from Santa Monica Pier to Ocean Park Pier, Lick Pier, and Venice Pier (“Admission: 10¢”) are the backdrop for at least two of the hilarious early films on this disc. Shot in 1917, as well as in 1920, using a single stationary camera, (just months before the pier being destroyed by fires), these pictures present our whole early beachfront scene, ready to be explored as if through a time machine.

The later, very funny film, “Number Please,” starring Harold Lloyd, gets comedic (and some racially stereotypic) play from the newfangled telephone, but the action soon brings us to the pleasure piers.

Everything there sure looks like a lot of fun, demonstrating how many fascinating and curious attractions the beachfront had going in 1920. In fact, these pleasure piers play their own big role in this picture, since all that festivity emphasizes the irony of Lloyd’s forlorn look, as a lover who has lost again, now lonely in the crowd.

The Merry-Go-Round has a great part in this movie too, as Keaton runs in frantic circles to rescue his girl’s small dog, one who is also an incredible scene-stealer (and purse-stealer,) while we watch the dog’s point of view from a camera placed on the turning carousel.

It may well be noticed that attitudes toward the treatment of animals in film have changed over the last century, though Keaton and this poor hardworking dog will likely still make us laugh out loud.

At the close of the film, a vignette focuses on his sad gaze, then widens out to show Buster Keaton gloomily chugging off on the little Kinney-Marquez Railroad that took happy vacationers on Venice beachside pleasure tours.

Explore more, and tell what you discover!

Yours for all time,
Alan Rodman
I can be reached at (310) 927-2959, if needed.


July 1, 2014


By Roxanne Brown – member: Concerned Neighbors of 320 Sunset (CNS)

Rose Avenue continues to produce more and more upscale restaurants with liquor licenses and late-night hours. And now, it looks like Sunset could become the next Rose. Here’s a quick update on Rose and Sunset, and how to get your voice heard.

THE ROSE CAFÉ: Gift shop is closing to make room for a late-night wine bar.

FIESTA BRAVA at 5th and Rose: Proposed upscale restaurant serving alcohol with late-night hours

THE MARKET at 5th and Rose: See Fiesta Brava above – it will be part of this new development.

609 ROSE: Another upscale restaurant with alcohol and late hours is in the works here.

320 SUNSET: This is our current big fight. We learned in the April Beachhead that owner Fran Camaj, Gjelina’s owner (1427 Abbott Kinney), had proposed development of a bakery with accessory retail at 320 Sunset. And, we learned that he and former Land Use and Planning Committee (LUPC) 320 Sunset case manager, Jim Murez, had failed to mention the proposed off-site beer and wine sales.

Camaj appears to be doing a bait and switch. Now, instead of a bakery, he is proposing a restaurant with 30 employees, serving 20 inside and 65 on an outdoor patio, 12 – 20 feet from residential dwellings. Construction on the “bakery” isn’t complete – it hasn’t opened and Camaj wants to convert it to a restaurant? Was a bakery ever even on the radar?

LUPC April 16th: Many neighbors spoke out against this. One resident had taken pictures revealing that rather than a bakery; it appeared that a full-blown restaurant had been built.

April 26th: Camaj hosted a tour and outreach meeting, sharing with the 60 neighbors gathered that when he applied for 320 Sunset’s conversion to a bakery, it presented less than 10% increase in usage (this falls within the constraints of a maximum 10% increase in intensity per the Venice Specific Plan). Camaj told the community that the prior tenants at 320 Sunset were six architects. A restaurant with 115 people is nearly 20 times that usage – a 2,000% increase in usage.

How can this happen? It seems this kind of “case splitting” is a loophole in the system, which allows developers to apply for one thing and then slip through a very different thing – all allegedly legal – through the city.

Camaj said patrons would be allowed to eat in 320’s parking lot, seated on milk crates. 320 Sunset has a parking lot that could maybe hold 15 vehicles. But, if people are eating on crates there, is it still a parking lot? Where is the real parking? Where will deliveries be made?

With proposed opening hours from 6 a.m. to 1 a.m. (19 hours), noise and traffic will likely be 24/7.

Camaj repeatedly insists (LUPC and April 26th) that he has a seven-year track record as a good neighbor at Gjelina’s. But, the LA Times, Grub Street, Eater LA, the Beachhead and other media have reported on Gjelina’s seating over capacity city code violation and interfering with street parking regulations on Abbott Kinney. Media has also reported on neighbors continually complaining about loud music from the patio being heard in their residences, congestion and noise from pedestrians and vehicles, and lack of residential parking.

Camaj has a permit for a bakery at 320 Sunset. He proposes to obtain a variance for the zoning of 320 Sunset from light manufacturing (M1-1) to commercial. The 300 block of Sunset is currently home to a large, quiet artist community, as well as to senior citizens, families and young couples with children.

Traditionally, restaurants have been on commercial streets like Rose, Main, Abbott Kinney, and Lincoln, not in residential areas. If 320 Sunset gets a commercial variance, what’s next? Other buildings in M1-1 zoning and residential streets in Venice will become vulnerable to similar zoning variances.

No wonder many Venetians believe our community’s unique quality of life is under attack by developers and look-the-other-way political representatives. If there is going to be change, we want what is right for Venice. If you agree, now is the time to be heard.

HAVE YOUR SAY: The easiest way to be heard is to join a community organization. They inform you of what is going on via email or Facebook. You can get information regarding 320 Sunset from: CONCERNED NEIGHBORHOODS of 320 SUNSET (CNS) by emailing us at concernedneighborvenice@gmail.com. And/or go to Facebook – SPIRIT VENICE
More community organizations on Facebook: Venice Community Unity Coalition and Stakeholders of Venice.

Learn what The Venice Coalition to Preserve Unique Community Character (VCPUCC) is doing (see June Beachhead).

Land Use and Planning Committee (LUPC)- Venice Neighborhood Council (VNC): LUPC reviews proposed developments and gets residents input. VNC represents Venice’s voice to the city of Los Angeles. The Venicenc.org website posts their agenda. 320 Sunset may be on July’s agenda.

Go to that meeting and sign up to speak. LUPC meets at the Oakwood Community Center on the first and third Wednesday evenings every month at 6:45 – corner of 7th and California. VNC meets once a month on a Tuesday at Westminster Elementary School at 6:45 – corner Westminster and Abbott Kinney. Your presence makes a difference-no need to talk. There is power in numbers and unity.

TELL CITY HALL: All of these developments, liquor licenses, improprieties, code violations, zoning variances, change of use – way over 10%, case splitting, late hours, and inadequate parking are happening on City Council Member Bonin’s watch. He wants to hear from you. Write him at Council Member Bonin, City Hall Office, 200 N. Spring St. #475, Los Angeles, CA 90012 or email councilmember.bonin@lacity.org Keep a copy – give it to your organization.

Now, you know there is something simple and easy you can do. Join an organization that will represent your views, your voice. You can be heard. Every voice counts.


May 1, 2014

Dear Venice Beachhead,

Esteemed salutations extended to the indomitable Venetian spirit and those who embody that eclectic spirit.

Well, since my last letter (April 2013), my circumstances and struggle for vindication have improved significantly. I felt compelled to share these positive developments with the community and any who read my first letter and may find inspiration in my progress.

Well, to begin. The catalyst for my opportunity to work towards my objectives of freedom and growth was my release from the oppressive confines of California’s prison torture unit, the “SHU” (Security Housing Units) after seven years of the sensory/human deprivation of being all but excommunicated from humanity.

Since then, approximately one year ago, I have created a website to share my life’s work and story with the world and this has opened many doors and allowed me to create relationships with the most influential people in my martial arts. It was through my work, as expressed on my website, muaysena.com, and youtube videos that I was fortunate enough to establish friendships with Ultimate Fighting Championships (UFC) founder and gracie Jin-Jitsu’s most important grand master, Rorion Gracie and Muay Thai Boran’s most sensor grandmaster “GM Woody” (Chinawut Sirisompan) and many others.

As I am sure some will recall from my last letter, I was facing the death penalty for defending myself in prison from a knife-yielding would be assassin, which unfortunately resulted in my assailant’s demise. After five years of fighting with the DA, showing no signs of compromise, my “Big Bro” Rorion Gracie intervened and agreed to testify on my behalf as an expert (martial arts) witness that my actions, while imperfect, were justified and unavoidable. As soon as the DA learned of Rorion’s defense of my response, and who Rorion is, he immediately submitted and agreed to a compromise of a 9-year plea bargain.

While I knew within myself I was completely innocent of any malice and only defending myself, I also knew from my first experience that in our legal system innocence did not guarantee victory. So I accepted the compromise and took the 9 years.

I have been in prison for 11 years for a crime I did not commit. I am now focused on locating any of our community who witnessed the murder that occurred on June 9, 2003 on Lincoln and Brooks in front of Red Hot Videos, who are willing to testify, or at least write a declaration that it was not me who committed this hideous crime, so that I can somehow hire a lawyer to file rights of habeas corpus and end this nightmare.

I hope that my story and this medium reaches the eyes of someone who can and will play an important role in saving my life and that will allow me to contribute my many positive and unique experiences and abilities to society. I believe in karma and I remain resolute and optimistic in my pursuits and belief in the human spirit and heart.

Please feel free to visit my website and learn about me and my system of martial arts at muaysena.com. My movements can be seen on youtube and I am also on Facebook, Muaysena and Muay Sena Combatives.
I end this with many thanks to the staff at the Free Venice Beachhead for all their diligent work to preserve the integrity of our community and combat the gentrification (read:normalization) of a place that is as unique and special as its esoteric inhabitants.

In solidarity, and true Venetians spirit,

Bramajarn Nick “Ninja Nutt” Sena

“The greatest skill is not to fight and win 100 foes, but to defeat the foe without fighting.” – Sun Tzu
Dear Beachhead,

I hardly ever pick up your newspaper. Today must have been my lucky day. I saw the article by Marty Liboff about his mother Ruthie. Oh what memories it brought back. We adored her. She always gave my son (starting 1962 – when he was 2) a BIG hug & a free cookie every time we’d go in. We were loyal customers until the bakery closed. Ruthie, how we missed you. Please thank Marty for bringing back such memories of a wonderful time.

Nesha DeAngelis
P.S. I am sending the article to my 54 year old son in Tucson.
Dear Beachhead,

I support your endeavors and want to continue reading your Free Press! There is so much going on and people bury their heads in the sand. Thank you for exposing the truth(s)!

Mary Richards
Dear Beachhead,

So, as we were walking last night and bemoaned the two home fate of the church at 6th and San Juan,  I heard from a reliable source that church was donated by Mrs. Abbot Kinney to the Venice Community.
Now it’s been a very fast and hush hush kind of deal with somebody buying it and it soon to be demolished.
Nobody even knew it was for sale. The Venice Historical Society wasn’t notified.
Um…This is too under the radar. And, another icky decision impacting the neighborhood.

Jeff Weiss


March 1, 2014

Santa Monica Airport – Nelson Schwartz

Abbot Kinney hotel – Gene Mendez

“Art Tiles at Venice Beach, a Graphic History: 1904-2201″ – Emily Winters

Marty Liboff’s poem – Suzanne Verdal


Dear Venice Beachhead,

My name is Nelson Schwartz. I live one block west of Lincoln in Venice.  The February Venice Beachhead has a letter from Bill Worden in support of the Santa Monica Airport. His letter is almost identical to the letter he sent to the Santa Monica Daily Press which was printed on November 15, 2013. That letter was entitled, “Santa Monica Airport poses no significant threat”.

As a Venice resident, I find it objectionable that the southbound planes that leave Santa Monica Airport turn left and fly directly over the block where I reside but the northbound planes turn right only after they reach the Pacific Ocean. This way, the rich white people who live north of Montana Ave in Santa Monica are not disturbed.

Nelson Schwartz


Dear Beachhead,

Hey Beachhead and fellow Venetians, Have you seen the pro-AK Hotel flier currently littering the neighborhood? It’s a hoot! Each of their responses to their own questions is more nebulous empty evasive nothingness than the one before. I figured they would have the chudspah to use such words as “philanthropic” and “for the benefit of the community.” Bingo! It states that they are “..committing to establishing a philanthropic program that will benefit the Venice community.”  Yeah, me too. Mr. Abrams, you’re fooling no one. Just call it what it is: a monument to  selfish egotistical greed at its capitalistic best. You want to shove this hotel down our throats and you want us to click on “like”? Your kind of philanthropy is killing the golden goose. How hard is that to understand?

Viva La Beachhead,

Gene Mendez


Dear Beachhead,

Thank you for the very entertaining book review of the Venice Arts Council book “Art Tiles at Venice Beach, a Graphic History: 1904 – 2001” by Eric Ahlberg. I would like to add that the reason for publishing this book is a fund raiser with the proceeds to keep the wonderful images of these unique tiles into perpetuity, and to repair and preserve the tiles and the benches that house them. The tiles are very sturdy but the cement structure of the benches is deteriorating. Three benches have been removed by Recreation and Parks (RAP) due to the benches deteriorating, four of the tiles are missing and two are saved encased in cement. The four missing tiles are being reproduced by the original artists, Noel Osheroff and Tamie Smith with a grant from the Venice Neighborhood Council. The soft cover books are available for $20 each. Your donation for this book will help to maintain this unique history of Venice. Books will be available in mid March at Small World Books and other local places to be announced. There will also be a series of book signings at local venues to be announced. Orders may also be placed by email: emilywinters@verizon.net.

Emily Winters


Dear Beachhead,

Kudos for Marty Liboff’s poem, the Venice Primer. He totally encapsulated the essence of Venice at this present time! I laughed so hard, almost to tears!

Thanks for printing it.

Suzanne Verdal

Ballona wetlands: letter from Shelley Luce

March 1, 2014

Dear Beachhead,

Mr. Davis is confused. The Bay Foundation is a nonprofit environmental group in good standing.  Our revenue is from grants and private donations. We are audited annually by a reputable firm and the IRS posts our annual nonprofit filings, along with all other nonprofit groups in the country. We have completed every grant we have received and accounted for every dollar spent, without fail, and have produced excellent results for state agencies, the federal EPA and the communities in which we’ve worked. Many of those grant products—-from greenway plans and kelp restoration to award-winning rain garden and rain barrel projects–are available on our website, www.santamonicabay.org.

The Santa Monica Bay Restoration Commission is a small non-regulatory state agency whose job is to convene stakeholders of Santa Monica Bay so that we can work together for the good of the Bay. Restoring coastal wetlands where they have been lost or damaged, as at Ballona, is an extremely important part of repairing our coastal environment and protecting people and wildlife from development and climate change impacts. Public access to open space, with trails and educational features, is another critical element of our work along the coast.

There are a lot of problems with wetlands, but Ballona is special because we have an opportunity to do something positive now at a place that is in an unnatural state and really needs repair. A lot of wildlife has been displaced by trash, pollution and construction, and our goal is to get it back to a healthy place for all to enjoy.

The misleading and baseless statements in this editorial are obvious attempts to take the focus off an important job: undoing the damage we humans have inflicted on the Ballona Wetlands, and making it a place of beauty where people and wildlife can flourish. State agencies are creating a range of project proposals that will show what is possible at Ballona, and will present them to the public sometime this year for review. It’s a long process, but it’s a big job, and patience is warranted. It has taken us 100 years to degrade this wetlands to the point where it desperately needs our help, and it will take a few years and a lot of hard work to make it healthy again. I hope the Venice residents will work with us and all the stakeholders for a healthy, thriving Ballona Wetlands.

Shelley Luce, D.Env.

Executive Director

The Bay Foundation and the Santa Monica Bay Restoration Foundation


February 1, 2014

Venice Oceanarium – by Tim Rudnick

Santa Monica Airport – by Bill Worden


Dear Beachhead,

I’m happy to say that our annual reading of Moby Dick, on the beach went fabulously. We had a good crowd and great readers who kept the book moving. We actually finished the book on Sunday at 8:00 pm, a great record of 26 hours.

This year, along with the reading, we also presented a showing at Beyond Baroque of the 1956 movie “Moby Dick,” starring Gregory Peck. The audience loved it.

But we couldn’t have enjoyed the success without your generous contributions and sponsorships and we are grateful and thankful to you. We look for your continued support in 2014.


Tim Rudnick, Director, Venice Oceanarium


Dear Beachhead,

A feature article in your last issue of the Beachhead purports to show that our local airport (Santa Monica) has somehow been a “bad neighbor”.  It fails to make its case because the arguments are based on faulty data, falsehoods, and other myth-information.  The argument presented goes like this: the airport only serves the purpose of a tiny minority of pilots living in Santa Monica; the airport is a danger to the community; it is no use to anyone else–so let’s make it into a park.

The author says that there are some 300+ licensed pilots living in Santa Monica and that this shows the facility is being operated for the use of a privileged few. This conclusion is bogus.  The airport is used by people from all over Southern California and the country, and from all over the globe, every day.  Aircraft and pilots based there are but a portion of the airport’s users in any given time period.  More local pilots live in Los Angeles than in Santa Monica.  The airport is a major general aviation transportation hub for the western United States.  Some of the wealth and wellbeing of Venice come directly from it. Santa Monica City has estimated that more than 200 million dollars come in yearly just to them.

To bolster her contention that the airport is physically dangerous, the author cites the now infamous list attributed to Zina Joseph, President of the Friends of Sunset Park homeowner’s group.  This list is very deceptive and can easily lead a casual reader to erroneous conclusions.  The list is a raw, unsorted compendium gleaned from the National Transportation Safety Board’s database of accidents and/or incidents for approximately the last 30 years that are indexed by the words “Santa Monica”.  When this list is culled of irrelevant reports such as those that pertain to occurrences in other localities, or merely run-of-the-mill landing mishaps like flat tires, the dramatic conclusions melt away.  There are about two incidents involving the surrounding communities every three years, on average.  In fact, to the best of anyone’s knowledge only one person on the ground has died or even been seriously injured in the entire 93 year history of the airport.  That is a remarkable safety record, but not at all unusual.  A child at Penmar Park is far more at risk from normal playground activities than from any operation at the airport.

The author alleges that there are dangerous amounts of air pollution coming out of the airport but the evidence she offers either does not support her position or is inconclusive. The recent EPA lead study found no levels of lead around the airport neighborhoods anywhere near what is considered unhealthy by the federal government. The so-called “UCLA study” on particulate matter was not university sanctioned and was not conducted by personnel with the specialized training necessary to conduct it.  Its conclusions are based on two, one-day samples taken in two separate years and tell us essentially nothing worth knowing.  It would be good to know, but one needs to know the true facts, which were not present in the report.

The author opines that the airport premises are not secure.  Again, this is simply not the case.  There is a dedicated police facility on the airport.  Access to the airport is controlled with card keys, and there is practically no crime of any type.  I totally disagree about warrantless searches.  The fact that airport security does not routinely search planes and passengers makes me feel more secure, as a freedom-loving American citizen, not less.

The substantive issue of noise was dealt with back in 1984 when an aggressive noise abatement program was instituted as part of a legal settlement between the Federal Aviation Administration and the City of Santa Monica. Since that time, no neighbors are routinely subjected to noise levels above 65dbl as measured and monitored by microphones in the vicinity of the runway ends. You can still hear aircraft but their noise levels are now on a par with other sources of noise in the community and pose no danger whatsoever. These noise levels are enforced by robust municipal fines and, or, permanent banishment from the airport, in some instances for “busting” the noise monitors.

The author implies that there must be some sort of calumny towards Venice on the part of the FAA or Santa Monica City in the designation of flight paths. Nothing of the sort is true. Flight paths are designed for best-fit noise abatement and flight safety. The Sunset Park neighborhood is a hill and so, for noise abatement and safety, flights go over Penmar Golf Course to get more distance between the departing aircraft and local homes. Aircraft departing on instrument flight rules follow the runway heading (270*) for procedural safety rules set by the FAA.

Most offensive to me is that the writer ignores three vitally important aspects of the airport in an attempt to show that we would lose nothing of value if it were closed.  The first is the role the airport is expected to play during natural disasters similar to the Loma Prieta Earthquake up in San Francisco in 1989.  The airport may likely be our only source of relief for needed supplies and medical care.  In an emergency this airport can handle large military and civilian cargo aircraft and helicopters. It will be a lifeline for all of us, come the time of need.  City and county fire departments routinely stage out of our airport for day-to-day emergencies.

Secondly, the writer doesn’t mention the activities of private aircraft flying routinely for the public benefit.  Groups like Angel Flight West fly needy people, and sometimes animals, for compassionate need, most often medical, into and out of the Los Angeles area with its many major medical facilities and teaching hospitals.  These flights are done by volunteer pilots using their own aircraft, their own time, and bearing all the flight expenses themselves, to help ensure that a fellow citizen gets help.  These pilots help mend a big gap in our healthcare net and they do it out of our local airport about 800 times a year. God Bless them.

Thirdly, the airport channels business and money into our communities – parks take money out.

So finally, the author would have us trash all the beneficial things we get from our community airport to speculate on yet another park. And speculation it would be as Santa Monica has said it cannot afford to build a park should they get a grip on the land and I don’t doubt that. The last two parks built in Santa Monica came in at over $6,000,000 an acre. Even all of the out of control development now going on in Santa Monica, could not cover that kind of overhead.  The city has tried once already to begin a “Century City West” project at the airport in the late 1980’s.  They were only foiled when their attempt to develop 37 acres along Airport Avenue into 6, six-story office buildings was to be put before the people by referendum causing the city to shelve the idea until a later date.  They will try again.


Bill Worden


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