|The LookOut Letters to the Editor|
|Speak Out! E-mail us at : Editor@surfsantamonica.com|
Close Santa Monica Airport and Boot Trainers Out of Palisades Park
October 8, 2013
I live in Ocean Park/ Sunset Park and I'm for closing the airport, as are my many neighbors. We don't care what groups have to say. We are home owners and tax payers. We suffer the noise, toxic fumes and on going increase in Jet Traffic. We would like to see the land used for a Grand Park. To serve ALL of the community. Trees, bike paths, streams, native plants, solar, grey water. REAL green ideas. Self sustainable in all ways. Oh and I might add the airport operates in the red and has never made any money for the city. Close this out dated Airport it no longer belongs in the city.
For a paltry $63,000 a year in estimated annual gross income, city staff is prepared to let commercial exercise groups dominate our beloved Palisades Park 365 days a year from 6 AM to 8 PM. That sum won't even cover the salary (plus benefits) of Community and Cultural Services Director Karen Ginsberg who devised this ugly plan which she will present to the City Council for approval on October 8th. And certainly it comes nowhere near covering police and park patrols, garbage pickup, damage repair and maintenance expenses.
What do the residents and taxpayers get out of this sell-out to commercial users? Lots of noise—even on weekends, even on holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas. Wake up folks, it's 6 AM and the exercise classes are in session. The plan ignores residents' requests for an 8 AM start time. When the commercial instructors countered with a 6 AM start, the city staffers compromised on 6 AM! They totally ignored the city's Recreation and Parks Commission advice that the City Council bar "all commercial fitness instruction (including 1-on-1; 1-on-2) in Palisades Park; No commercial fitness instruction, classes or camps may occur in any park before 7:00 am…"
Palisades Park was a gift to the citizens of Santa Monica. They have first dibs on its use. City staffers have no right to bargain away our rights to profit-making businesses that want rent-free access to a priceless ocean view. Why should City Council give them preference over the taxpayers who live and vote here? Why does Santa Monica have to capitulate to their terms to the detriment of its residents?
Let your City Councilpersons know by email, phone or in person next Tuesday evening that they were elected to represent the residents and that Palisades Park is not for sale. It should remain a place of quiet enjoyment, not an outdoor gym.
Harriet P. Epstein
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