The LookOut Letters to the Editor
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Confusion in the Community, "I Still Want to Slap that Guy" and Shaking Up OPCO

March 11, 2002

Dear Editor,

You recently ran a letter from a Mr. Brandon Miller criticizing the Pico Neighborhood Association for participation in the No on U campaign. ("Walk to School, Get an Education and Eternal Vigilance," March 11, 2002)

Mr. Miller is mistaken. The Pico Neighborhood Association did not take a stand on the ballot measure or participate in any flyering or campaigning. Our board of directors has supporters and critics of the measure.

Further, the PNA speaks for its membership and in the broad sense tries to frame neighborhood concerns and priorities. Mr. Miller is not a member of the PNA, but is welcome to join.

Perhaps Mr. Miller has confused individual actions with actions of the Association. His hostility is misdirected.

Information about the PNA can be found at http://www.piconeighborhood.org.

Peter Tigler, Chair
Pico Neighborhood Association


March 7, 2002

Dear Editor,

Re: Allen Freeman's letter ("A Better Lincoln" and "Deception and Arrogance," LETTERS, March 7, 2002). (Eds. note: Italicized quotes are from Freeman's letter.)

"Lincoln Blvd is a high-crime, ugly, blighted, traffic-choked stretch of road that is an eyesore in our city. The good news is that it doesn't have to stay this way."

Stats Freeman -- stats!

The better news is it will stay that way. No one at any store I've ever visited on Lincoln Blvd wants anything to do with gentrification.

Not traffic circles.
Not 2 lanes being reduced to one lane.
Not busways.
Not speed bumps.

"By utilizing the successful attributes of Main St and Montana (traffic calming)..."

Traffic "calming?"
Traffic "calming is when traffic is moving.
Something that's long vanished during peak hours on Main and Montana.

"...bike lanes, pedestrian safety, parking lots behind buildings, good access to
public transit..."

What the.......? Lincoln Blvd has more bus routes than any major thoroughfare on the
Westside.

"...tree-lined sidewalks, etc.) we can create a beautiful and safe Lincoln Blvd that we can all be proud of. "

Who's "we?" And who's paying for all this? Maybe a "Quiche Tax?"

"A better Lincoln Blvd is good for all of us, especially the hardware storeowners..."

Not the ones I've asked...

"...and auto-repair shops..."

An auto shop owner interested in gentrification? Maybe some nice bushes around the hydraulic lifts? How about Palace Guard outfits on the mechanics?

"...who will prosper from a more beautiful, sustainable, and safe Lincoln Blvd."

I still want to slap that guy.

Bob Barnett


March 7, 2002

Dear Editor,

As you may know by now, all 12 candidates on the slate backed by the current board of the Ocean Park Community Organization, were elected at the annual OPCO Community Congress on February 24 ("OPCO Power Struggle Fizzles," February 26, 2002). Although I understand the count was close until the very end, none of the 7 alternative candidates offering a different point of view were elected.

Despite that in years past, it often required a single vote to elect board members, this year's Congress was well attended by existing, as well as new members. Many of the new members and alternative candidates were prompted to action by their opposition to the proposed Community Corporation of Santa Monica project at Pacific and Main Streets.

OPCO cannot represent the community of Ocean Park at large, when it does not embrace or incorporate alternative viewpoints. This became all too apparent at the February 12 City Council hearing for the appeal of the Boulangerie project, ultimately approved unanimously by the City Council.

Although 15 of 16 local residents who addressed the Council were in support of the project, the OPCO representative, Rick Laudati, did not favor the project, despite approval by the OPCO design committee. Evidently, OPCO is not in touch with the concerns or interests of many Ocean Park residents. That is why many of us joined OPCO and sought election to the board.

By focusing on a narrow range of special interests, OPCO fails to address the concerns of those who may not share their political agenda. The organization could become more dynamic and diverse, by building a coalition among all Ocean Park residents. Instead, the same faces and names run OPCO year after year. It's as if the residents of Ocean Park remain unchanged. Yet, we all know the demographics and interests of our community have changed over the years.

In my opinion, it is unhealthy that the viewpoints and special interests of OPCO remain unchanged in the face of a growing and prospering community. Other issues important to the neighborhood, such as the 'temporary traffic improvements' along 4th Street between Pico and Ocean Park Blvd., remain unresolved by the current board. New blood and vitality within the
organization would shake things up a bit, and breathe fresh air into an organization in need of new faces and differing points of view.

Jeffrey Weinstein
Santa Monica


March 7, 2002

Dear Editor,

(Re: "School Board Member Savors Art of the Deal," March 7, 2002)

As a colleague of Tom's on the school board, I want to extend my most sincere congratulations to him. I am certain all of his clients, past, present and future, will be in good hands because Tom is a person with great integrity.

In today's world, business agreements must contractual, but I would be quite satisfied to do business with Tom the old fashion way with a handshake and his promise because Tom is an honest human being.

Julia Brownley
Santa Monica

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