The LookOut Letters to the Editor
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Creating a Buzz

July 17, 2002

Dear Editor,

A beehive is discovered on the Promenade ("Sting Operation on Promenade," July 17). The "bee guy" is called, and one hour later the hive is eradicated. How can this happen in Santa Monica?

That hive was home to a queen and several thousand drones. What happened to our tolerance of alternative lifestyles in this community? Were members of the Apian-American community given the opportunity for input before this crucial decision was made?

The "bee guy" undoubtedly failed to kill every single bee in the hive. How many bees have now been left homeless? Is anything being done to replace the low cost housing the beehive provided? Isn't the destruction of the hive inconsistent with the Master Plan to have more housing downtown?

The hive was destroyed only one hour after discovery. Did anybody go through the procedures for a Demolition Permit? Was the hive fully evaluated for historical resources worthy of preservation? Shouldn't there be a moratorium on hive demolition until we determine whether to establish a "Beestoric District" on the Promenade?

The "bee guy" apparently drove on Santa Monica Boulevard to get to and from the job. Since that street is already utilized in excess of its capacity, didn't these two additional trips require that an environmental impact statement be submitted for Planning Commission approval?

The hive was eradicated with "heavy duty asbestos spray." Can anything containing asbestos actually be legal in Santa Monica? If it is legal, did anybody check to make sure that the exterminator complied with all applicable regulations in disposing of the asbestos waste?

Thank you very much for your coverage of this extraordinarily newsworthy event. Who says Santa Monicans can't cut the red tape in a time of crisis?

Michael Cohen

July 17, 2002

Dear Editor,

Let me get this straight. A guy in a "gas mask" kills thousands of bees with "a can of heavy-duty asbestos spray." Isn't spraying bees (and the surrounding air) with asbestos more hazardous to people in the promenade than the bees themselves? Were masks issued to the "dozens of curious bystanders hanging on his every move?"

Whenever asbestos is discovered in old public buildings, people aren't allowed anywhere near the area until guys in haz-mat suits have thoroughly cleaned up every cancer-causing particle.

What a funny world we live in.

Alan Toy
Santa Monica

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