|The LookOut Letters to the Editor|
|Speak Out! E-mail us at : Editor@surfsantamonica.com|
Affordable Shopping, Condo Conversions, Speed Bumps and Music Cuts
February 20, 2000
With interest I always read what Mr. Zane writes; he is an honorable
I like to know how many "people" are housed in Mr. Zane's apartments?
February, 20, 2000
Hello, I'm a John Adams Middle School student. Ms.Woo told me about item
51(the one to take away middle school music aides), please don't cut it.
I'm new to the symphonic band, on my first day the aides helped me get
used to the band.
They showed how to do the rythm sheets and everything else. A lot of kids rely on the aides because we can't be with Ms.Woo only. All of my friends in the band believe the same. So, please do what the students,parents,and teachers want, don't cut item 51!
-Alex Talan, 6th grade
February 19, 2000
I just wanted to say that cutting the music programs at our SMMUSD
Why can't you cut the the physical education teachers, because a classroom teacher can just go outside and make her kids run laps, or, you could cut the librarians and have the teachers make their kids read. But Please don't cut the music program because I have been playing the violin for exactly 4 years and music is VERY important to me.
MY VOICE NEEDS TO BE HEARD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
February 18, 2000
Hi betty...just discovered your column. Read it with interest as I too
I had a lot of fun all fall in my wetsuit and boogie board; a highlight was swimming with a pod 20 dolphins right down here at Tower 26. Now I am counting the days until the run-off stops flowing and the water warms up. I plan to take a surf class through UCLA. Looking forward to your next adventure. From a Mom- on- board,
February 17, 2000
Bringing Back Affordable Shopping to Santa Monica
I recently attended a couple of neighborhood meetings on the newly proposed project for a downtown Target Retail Store. I¹m glad I attended these meetings because I got to get a real feel for how the community is reacting to this idea. Of course, there are always two sides, but, the community is overwhelmingly supportive of the plan to bring back some affordable shopping to Santa Monica.
I think it¹s pretty ironic, that in a town where we put such an emphasis on ³affordable housing², we have lost all of our ³affordable shopping². Where are our low-income, fixed-income, senior citizens, families with children, people using public transportation, and the rest of Santa Monica suppose to go for ³affordable shopping², locally?
In case you haven¹t noticed, it was pointed out at a meeting, that ³affordable shopping² in Santa Monica, has disappeared. Two Newberrys, Woolworth, JCPennys, Europa, and the proposed-site benefactor, Henchey¹s. Someone at the meeting protested that the project was too large and should be downsized by 30%. However, another resident noted that the new Target pales in comparison to the actual square footage of affordable shopping retail space that we have lost in SM.
It was also pointed out that none of those stores had any parking. Target, on the other hand, has plans for 532 parking spaces and is negotiating for an employee parking outside of the downtown area, that will shuttle employees back and forth. This would help mitigate traffic, parking and pollution. An alternative use for the property would be a mixed-use, retail/residential project. A project that like that could be built three times larger and higher, and what benefit would the community actually get from it but more people in an already dense area. Can't one of those traffic nightmares be for our benefit for a change.
Traffic was the biggest concern from both sides, it usually is. However, the truth is, something big is going into that space, IT'S A BIG SPACE. Something way bigger than Target will go there if they don't. You can't tell me that it will have less of an impact on traffic either, especially during peak hours. At least Target traffic will be stagnated, we already have a traffic nightmare downtown, during peak hours. Let's not pretend that Target will make the downtown area unbearable, it already is, at least Target will benefit the community with affordable shopping and do more to mitigate traffic and parking than any other project that could end up there.
Be sure to attend one of these neighborhood meetings, they are very interesting with facilitators that are courteous and well informed. You'll also get a chance to meet some of your neighbors and get a feel for what is going on in your community. I did.
Mid-City Neighbors is planing a community meeting on the proposed Target project. Residents in that area will be notified by mail of the date. Please come and let us know if you want a Target in the downtown area.
February 16, 2000
Or lack of speed kills.
Somehow I don't think my street would ever be approved for speedbumps.
While many may argue that it only adds a minute or two to travel time
This went on for a minute or two. Without paying to much attention I
noticed her tone change to one of excitement. I thought I heard breaking
glass and that caused me to look out my second floor window. Directly
across from our window was the living room window (second floor unit)
of our neighbor.
The window is about 5 by 6 feet. She was not outside her door. Pouring
out of this window was fire. Fire reaching up and out of my sight. Ten
feet or more. The entire window was filled with roaring flame. It suddenly
stuck me that what talking I was hearing was the teenager, no doubt home
alone, inside the unit in a panic. With only one door out, on the ground
floor, and blocked by the raging fire I knew she was trapped and would
soon be severely injured or die. I wanted to run to her door and get her
out but I knew I needed to call 911 first.
The one minute I was talking to dispatch was hell. They were helpful and swift but so to was the fire. The fire grew to now flicking against my window some eight feet away. I could more clearly her screaming and crying in panic.
I hung-up the phone and raced down my stairs intent on getting my hose,
busting down her door and getting her out. What I didn't know was she
had escaped before her path was blocked and I found her out of emotional
control on the sidewalk with her cordless phone in hand talking to no
one as the recieving end had already melted.
The fire department got there in 3 minutes. While I clutched her as she
sobbed the fire trucks arrived from all directions. The hook and ladder
truck extended its' ladder to her second floor balcony to rescue her (both
they and I thought she was inside) within seconds of arriving.
Had she or anyone been inside lives lost would have measured in seconds
not minutes. I can't properly express my respect for our city fire department.
Words fail me.
So when our fire Chief speaks about the need to respond without any delay I know first hand he means it. It means saving lives pure and simple. This young life was not the only one at risk.
Downstairs from her unit is a resident who provides childcare to several
kids everyday. Had the fire department been there in 5 minutes god know
what would have happened.
As it was the unit that caught fire was gutted. Had the teenager been
in the unit one or two minutes would have cost her her life. So consider
carefully the use of speedbumps. The life you save by not having them
could be your own.
February 16, 2000
Item #51 should not be cut. At times we need our aids to fix broken
Copyright ©1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003 surfsantamonica.com.
All Rights Reserved.