The LookOut Letters to the Editor
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Promenade, a Playhouse and Meter Madness

March 26, 2001

Dear Editor:

(Re: The article "Living Wage: Staff Cautious, Proponents Eager, Council Open to More Debate.")

Your article this morning has a comment from Vivian Rothstein that I would
like to clarify. According to the article, Ms. Rothstein believes that "the Coastal Zone, along with the east side of Fourth Street, has benefited directly from City subsidies for the Pier, the Third Street Promenade and to promote tourism along
the coast."

City dollars did not build the Third Street Promenade. Funds for these improvements were paid for by property owners and businesses located in the District. The City was certainly instrumental in the creation of the District, but they did not fund it.

In addition, property owners and businesses pay significant assessments for maintenance, operations, and other on going needs of the District.

Downtown feeds millions of dollars INTO the general fund by sales tax revenue, business license taxes, and property taxes. This revenue contributes positively to the health of our whole community.

Whether one is for or against the Living Wage proposal, it is imperative that facts such as this one are accurate.

Sincerely,

Kathleen Rawson
Executive Director
Bayside District Corporation


The Saga of Jake's Playhouse

by Tom Larmore

(To the tune of Puff, The Magic Dragon)

Jacob has a playhouse in his backyard near the sea.
He loves to spend the afternoons pretending blissfully.
Jake is only 5 years old and knows not of worldly ways.
But his first civics lesson he'll remember all his days.

His father had a father's dream of a haven for his boy.
So he bought a house in Sunset Park with a yard Jake could enjoy.
As they planned the magic playhouse, their excitement grew and grew.
But they didn't know Ken Genser or the things that he would do.

The neighbors were consulted so the plans they all could see.
And changes in design were made so they would all agree.
Jake's dad went to the City and at City Hall was told,
There are no rules for playhouses in the City's Zoning Code.

They started their construction and the trouble soon began.
For Miss Garai who lives next door counts Genser as a friend.
Though she had approved the playhouse, she complained to City Hall.
And suddenly Jake's playhouse was a problem after all.

An inspector talked to Jake's dad in a different tone of voice.
"You'll have to move this playhouse now, you have no other choice."
At great expense he did so, and the City said OK.
But Genser wasn't satisfied to let the playhouse stay.

He conjured up a new rule which would make the playhouse go.
Since it sits upon a platform with a swing set down below,
This playhouse has two stories, he said triumphantly.
So the grass below's a basement that's illegal as can be.

Officials then advised them that the playhouse was a crime.
They'd have to either tear it down or move it one more time.
Instead they hired a lawyer who proved Ken Genser wrong.
So Jake still has his playhouse and he also has this song.

Jacob has a playhouse in his backyard near the sea.
He loves to spend the afternoons pretending blissfully.
Jake is only 5 years old and knows not of worldly ways.
But his first civics lesson he'll remember all his days.

(Tom Larmore is an attorney with the law firm Harding Larmore Kutcher Kozal, which represents the parents of the five-year old, Jacob Levy.)


Meter Madness

March 26, 2001

Dear Editor,

I have observed on several occasions parking meters that will not accept dimes. I figured that the city was about to raise the rates and the futility of feeding the meter small coins was obviated by making it impossible to pay anything but 25 cents.

Not so, on closer inspection I noticed that these new meters will accept nickels. Now, if the rate is raised to $1.00 per hour as I expect it will, a nickel will buy you 3 minutes. Whose brilliant idea was this?

It appears that some of the dumbest things in town have come from our Parking & Traffic Dept. but this takes the cake. Unless of course, they were able to buy these meters at a discount because the manufacturer was dumber than they were.

Jim Mount
Santa Monica


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