Welcome to The Silver Strand News, Marina del Rey, CA

Welcome to The Silver Strand News. We hope to keep all those who live in the Silver Strand in Marina del Rey, California, as well as those who simply appreciate the beauty of this area, up to date on neighborhood news and to encourage communication between those who interested in the area. You can sign up for an email subscription by entering your email address in the box on the upper right. You then will receive an email from  wordpress.com, our web host, asking you to confirm your subscription by clicking on “Confirm Follow.” Without this confirmation your subscription will not be activated.The Silver Strand News is an independent news source and all posts represent the opinion of the author.

Please click on the Heading “Calendar of Upcoming Events” for up-to-date information on items of interest to residents.

Sandra Starr (Author, Publisher and Editor)

All material in this blog, unless otherwise indicated, is © The Silver Strand News.

Posted in History of Marina del Rey, History of the Silver Strand, Marina del Rey/Venice Events, Silver Strand Events, Silver Strand Marina del Rey State and National Representives, Venice Events, Via Marina, Marina del Rey: News on County & City Proposals, Welcome to the Silver Strand News, What Topics would you like to see in The Silver Strand News | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

Upcoming Event: Celebrate Ballona and the 10th Anniversary of Preserving Land for Ballona Wetlands Ecological Reserve

This promises to be an exciting evening.  The event is a celebration, including  distinguished honorees and speakers, organized by the Ballona Institute. commemorating the 10th Anniversary of 640 acres of precious wetlands being preserved and  honoring several Ballona Wetlands champions who stood up for nature.

 

Program: Silent Auction • Music • Great Food • Special Wines • Video Presentations • Surprise Guests

FOR SPONSOR & TICKET INFO: celebrateballona@gmail.com ~ 310-823-7040

Honorees are:

Edward Asner, Actor

Janice Hahn, US Congress member

Maxine Waters, US Congress member

Bill Rosendahl, LA City Councilmember (retired)

Huey Johnson, Founder, Trust for Public Land, CA Secretary of Resources (1978-82)

These honorees will join past honorees: Debra Bowen (former CA Senator); former California Controller Steve Westly; former California Controller Kathleen Connell, former CA Assembly Speaker and former LA Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa; former CA Senator Tom Hayden and  distinguished journalists: Patt Morrison, Nick Madigan, Mary Moore, Jill Stewart, Robert Scheer, David Helvarg, J. William Gibson & Jeff Stockwell

 

Celebrate

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Upcoming Meeting on Proposed Redevelopment of Parcel 44 on Admiralty Way, Marina del Rey

Parcel 44 current

Parcel 44, Admiralty Way Current View

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Rendering from Admiralty Way of Parcel 44 with possible Trader Joe’s in Place

The County of Los Angeles has filed a “Notice of Completion” of a Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) for the Parcel 44 project.  The formal public review period for the document will be from February 13, 2015 to March 31, 2015A public hearing for the purpose of taking public testimony on the DEIR and the proposed project has been scheduled before the Los Angeles County Hearing Examiner at 6:00 p.m. on Wednesday March 4, 2015 at the Marina del Rey Hotel, located at:   13534 Bali Way, Marina del Rey, CA, 90292.  A public hearing on the project before the Regional Planning Commission will take place at a later date.  For more information, please see the links below.

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https://gallery.mailchimp.com/31f65a4a08c40eb9dfdc2457c/images/6f0090ed-7ead-4ae4-8c30-0ef1a518ff06.jpg

 This parcel is leased by  Pacific Marina Venture, LLC, Officers David Taban and Michael Pashaie. It consists of roughly 8.4 acres and is located between Mindinao and Bali Way in Marina del Rey with frontage on Admiralty Way opposite the twin Trizec towers.  Mr. Pashaie is also the leaseholder of Fisherman’s Village, and Parcels 95, 140 and 141 on Washington Boulevard  The architect for the proposal is Jack Hollander, AIA. All existing structures will be demolished and replaced by 5 new structures on the U-shaped property. The developer states that potential sub-lessees might be a Trader Joes and West Marine (currently  located in the Waterside shopping center) and two restaurants. It will also include boater facilities, boat broker offices and retail spaces. In terms of development, it is one of the last and most desirable properties left in the Marina.

While Mr. Pashaie has proven himself to be more sensitive to community concerns than the rest of the developers in Marina del Rey, there are problems with this proposal:

1) Traffic: The project is one block north of the Waterside Shopping Center which has created major traffic jams on Admiralty and Mindanao Way. The presence of additional commercial venues in the same area, especially if the very popular Trader Joes becomes a sub-lessee. will only add to this. Bali Way, like Mindanao, is a very short block in terms of access to and from Lincoln Boulevard. In addition, this particular stretch of Admiralty Way is used by many to access Lincoln Boulevard, exiting left on Fiji Way, on their way to and from LAX.

2) View Corridors: Currently, there is an unobstructed view of the harbor from Admiralty Way, interrupted by only a few low structures. If the proposal goes forward,  three buildings of the five buildings will front on Admiralty and drastically obscure views of the harbor from Admiralty, an officially designated scenic drive.

3) Restaurants: The Marina is full of restaurants which seem to have a hard time figuring out what residents and tourists like to eat. We don’t need more restaurants in the Marina. What we  need are more existing sub-lessee restauranteurs in MDR getting themselves up to date on the very sophisticated taste of Los Angeles eaters and tourists in terms of a variety of choices of excellent food at all prices. We’re not in the  60s and 70s anymore, Dorothy. Marina del Rey faces ferocious competition from restaurants in Venice, Santa Monica and Culver City.

Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Storm brings Snow to Huntington Beach, just south of Los Angeles, on March 2, 2015

The Silver Strand suffered power blackouts throughout the night of March 1 and during the early hours and day on March 2. But, the rain is welcome and at least we didn’t have snow.

Snow on Huntington Beach, March 2, 2015. Courtesy Allen J. Shaben and the Los Angeles TImes.

Snow on Huntington Beach, March 2, 2015. Courtesy Allen J. Shaben and the Los Angeles TImes.

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Reminder: Upcoming Nature Walk for children and parents, Ballona Lagoon, Sunday, March 8th, 2014

                

-1 Join us for the SILVER STRAND KIDS NATURE WALK!

 

    Sunday, March 8th at 2:00 pm.

             Nature Walk hosted by Roy Van De Hoek – Director of the Ballona Institute

                Kids’ & Parents come get educated about the wonderful wildlife that exists

                            on the Ballona Lagoon/Canal and locally in beautiful Marina Del Rey.

         Meet at 4103 Roma Court at 2pm

There will also be fun nature-related crafts after our walk

Please arrive on time as we will be leaving as a group by 2:15 pm.

           RSVP by leaving a comment below.

                                     

 

Posted in Silver Strand Clubs and Groups, Silver Strand Events, Silver Strand Marina Homeowners news | 1 Comment

Call for help on the Little Free Library on Outrigger and Roma Court in the Silver Strand, Marina del Rey

Ethan Beane

The Little Free Library in the Silver Strand is one of many throughout Los Angeles and the nation. However, it is the only one south of Washington Boulevard serving Venice and Marina del Rey. The library is managed by Eric Beane, SSMHOA Board member who chairs Kids’ Activities in the Silver Strand. The library is dedicated to providing books and CDs to children up to age 15.

The basic idea, working on the honor system, is that you “take one book and leave another.”  Eric reports that people are taking books, but not returning them and/or leaving replacements. In addition, people are leaving books that are not suitable for youngsters.

What you can do:

1) If you take a book, either replace it or return it.

2) Do not leave discarded  books by the likes of John Gresham, E.L.James (Fifty Shades of Grey),etc. If you need to dispose of this kind of material,  you can donate it either to the Lloyd Tabor Library on Admiralty Way or the Abbot Kinney Memorial Library on Venice Boulevard at Ocean (the latter holds frequent book sales and would be grateful for your donations).   Just books for young people PLEASE.

3) If you would just like to contribute books, but have none, you can purchase childrens’ books from the used book shelf at the Lloyd Tabor Library for $1.00 each.

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Report on SSMHOA Annual Block Captain Meeting, February 18, 2015

IMG_2457    Jennifer Manoogian, Block Captain and Chair of the Annual Silver Strand Neighborhood Party, hosted the Annual SSMHOA Block Captain Meeting at her home on Via Dolce. Attendees included 18 Block Captains, SSMHOA Board Member Gary Garland,  homeowner Eric Hoffman, Board member Eric Beane and Nora Nicosia, SSMHOA Board Member and Chair of the Block Captain Committee. The 21 Block Captains are dedicated volunteers who enhance our lives in ways great and small. The evening started with guests socializing and enjoying a wonderful spread of delicious appetizers and home-made desserts, contributed by the Block Captains, along with fine wines and soft drinks.

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Nora Nicosia, Chair of the Block Captain Committee

     Nora began the meeting with her agenda carefully  timed by Jennifer on her iPhone. She spoke about the scientifically proven benefits of volunteerism to longevity and mental well-being. As Nora is now in her 90s, with every marble in place, still driving, and an SSMHOA Board member whose ability to think up new ideas and recruit others to work for our community is extraordinary, we should pay attention to her advice.

   Nora first called on Gary Garland, SSMHOA Board Member and Eric Hoffman, SSMHOA homeowner to discuss meetings they have had with Mike Bonin’s office on the proposed Via Marina Route for the auxiliary sewer line. This is a City project which  has been opposed by the County of Los Angeles and many residents, both County and City, living on either side of Via Marina.  As former Councilmember Bill Rosendahl has told us, the City and the County do not work well with each other. Following the meeting, Eric composed a letter to Mike Bonin that was sent to all Block Captains to distribute to their constituents so they can express their concerns. SSMHOA President, Fred Karlsen, along with many other homeowners have also sent a letters to Bonin (for the update on this issue, see: https://mdrsilverstrandnews.wordpress.com/2015/02/26/jon-nahhas-reports-on-yesterdays-california-regional-planning-hearing-on-the-proposed-venice-dual-force/

   Jackson Garland, son of Beth and Gary Garland was going to speak about organizing   Silver Strand Kids’ Activities for the  9 to 14-year age group, but had a last-minute medical problem (he’s fine now) and was unable to attend.

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Penny Akashi (second from right) speaks about Emergency Preparedness. Bill Boyd is next to her.

   Bill Boyd and Penny Akashi spoke about Emergency Preparedness and said that the next educational session will take place on April 18, 2015 at Beth and Gary Garland’s  home on Roma Court. In addition to the walkie-talkies already provided to B.C.s, which were tested, 6 more will be requested. Two Silver Strand ham radio operators  have been found and are willing to cooperate with Block Captains using Channel 2.

   Jennifer Manoogian, Chair of the Annual Silver Strand Neighborhood Party, reported that Peter and Ty Bergman, who have done such a great job for the last two years, will host the 2015 party. In addition, there was a discussion of the mini-Block parties held during the summer. Mast/Northstar Malls have already committed to do their annual Bastille Day party in July and Ketch/Lighthouse will do their Cinco de Mayo party in May.

    In the absence of SSMHOA Board member and Landscape Chair Sandy Gooch, Nora Nicosia announced that the planting of Growing Great Community Garden on the Mast mini-Mall will take place in the Fall of 2015.

    Clarissa Cervantes reported that the Bicycle Group outings have been very successful and will plan another event soon.

   Marilee Karlsen announced that the next Silver Strand Art Group Tour will be on March 10 at the newly restored Hollyhock House designed by Frank Lloyd Wright.

   Eric Beane, Board Member and Kids’ Activity Committee Chair said that the Little Free Library is looking for donations of books for children. Please leave a comment below if you can help with this. Beth Holden-Garland announced that there will be an educational nature walk along the Ballona Lagoon on March 8, starting off at 2pm from 4103 Roma Court. The walk will be led by Roy Jan Vande Hoek of the Ballona Institute. Please leave a comment below if you would like to attend.

   Nora suggested that SSMHOA should start a Film Club. Two films would be discussed each month with a SSMHOA member/ Block Captain hosting the event to discuss the films. Members of the club would contribute food and drink. Please leave a comment below if this interests you.

  There was a discussion about setting up a SSMHOA Community Bulletin Board, perhaps on Facebook, where SSMHOA residents could  provide recommendations on services, i.e. handymen, plumbers,electricians, and contractors.  Nora and Eileen Nugent are willing to set this up.

  With thanks to Mary-Dorothy Line, SSMHOA Board Member and Block Captain,  for contributing her notes to this report.

Posted in Silver Strand Marina Homeowners news | 2 Comments

Jon Nahhas reports on yesterday’s California Regional Planning hearing on the proposed Venice Dual Force

Guest contributor Jon Nahhas has submitted the following report to the Silver Strand News:

The California Department of Regional Planning Commission approved the Venice Dual Force Main Project’s proposed route underneath Via Marina in the hearing, which took place downtown on Wednesday, February 25, 2015. As in the case of the City of Los Angeles, in its public meetings on the project, the County purposefully withheld the details of its own lawsuit from its County Commissioners and was absent from their packet of information.  Anita Gutierrez, Department of Regional Planning Rep, gave a five-sentence summary of the long litigation process and simply stated that the County did not prevail.

The Grassroots Coalition and others presented information to the Commissioners on the dangers of the abandoned gas/oil wells along the proposed route.  Beth Holden spoke about the need for more scientific information and the need to address traffic issues associated with the project.  Dr. Dan Gottlieb discussed the problems with the Shores project including the leaking abandoned oil wells beneath The Shores and false traffic studies by the County.  Kathy Knight of the LAX/Marina Sierra Club spoke on the impacts of other projects and how they are related to the Sewer Project.

The City’s staff was not only backed by County staffers, but the LA Waterkeeper and Heal the Bay (each organization having only attended one meeting).  They were not concerned so much about the botched environmental review as they were the idea of placing the sewer pipe on the beach close to the water (both discussed sea level rise).

The Los Angeles County Counsel quickly tried to spin the Commission after I commented on the huge debacle of the Commission not being informed of why their attorneys spent millions of taxpayer dollars fighting the bad EIR and challenging the City on its deficient traffic studies.  I read part of the County’s Opening Brief in court to the Planning Commissioners during my testimony and it obviously created a nervous situation for City and County operatives (each tried to dispute my testimony):

“The EIR considered a number of impacts, including impacts on traffic from the construction of the Project. The EIR that was circulated to the public, however, understated the traffic impacts of both the Via Marina and Pacific Avenue routes. It severely undercounted the traffic impacts of using the Via Marina route because it assumed that only one lane of traffic would need to be closed during construction. However, the City later revealed that two lanes would need to be closed, leaving only one lane open in each direction. The City subsequently commissioned a second traffic study, which revealed that using the Via Marina route would cause significant reductions in the levels of service at several intersections and street segments along Via Marina. In addition, while the original traffic study only considered the cumulative impacts from ten related projects, the second traffic study considered cumulative impacts from 38 related projects.

           Despite this significant new information, the City refused to re-circulate the EIR to allow the public to understand the issues relating to the Project, including traffic impacts and cumulative impacts, and to comment on them. The City incorrectly concluded that the traffic impacts from the Project will be less than significant because they will be temporary. In addition, the City incorrectly concluded that the second traffic study merely   ”corroborated and refined” the information contained in the first traffic study. There is not substantial evidence in the record to support the City’s decision not to re-circulate the EIR.

            In addition, the EIR was defective because the Draft EIR considered only fifteen projects in its analysis of cumulative impacts in areas other than the traffic, including but not limited to noise, air quality, visual and aesthetic resources, and geology, soils and seismicity.  It later determined that there were a number of additional related projects that were not considered in the Draft EIR, but it never revised the EIR to consider the cumulative impacts from these additional projects, as well as appropriate mitigation measures, and to re-circulated the EIR if the revised EIR includes significant new information.”

  Los Angeles County Counsel did say that they still believe these assertions are true but that they “lost on the claims.”  Technically, they did not lose on the claims – they decided not to pursue.  Why not?

_____________________________________________________________________________

In addition, many residents on either side of Via Marina have written both City and County officials about this project. Homeowner Nora Nicosia, received the following reply from City of Los Angeles Councilmember, Mike Bonin, to a letter she wrote opposing the project:

 Thank you for contacting me regarding your concerns about the Venice Dual Force Main Project.  I understand that you and your neighbors have several concerns about this project and the potential impacts it may have on your community.

  Our existing sewer system in this part of the City is a single line that serves the coastal area of Los Angeles and the adjacent communities, including Malibu and Marina Del Rey, and  we are in dire need of additional capacity in this area, especially to accommodate peak wet weather flows into the Venice Pumping Station.  There is also the issue of reliability – the existing sewer main is approximately 50 years old, and has never been able to be checked to determine its integrity.  Given the age of the line, the increase in system usage over the last decades, and the need to increase capacity, the City must add an additional line to the system or risk a potential environmental disaster.

  The question now is:  Where does this line go?  When the project was first proposed, there were three potential routes that would link the existing Venice Pumping Plant on Hurricane to the Hyperion Treatment Plant near LAX:  1)  the beach (near the existing line); 2)  Pacific Avenue; and 3) Via Marina. The beach route was eliminated due to the significant environmental impacts during construction, as well as possible spill impacts, impediments to beach access, concerns over coastal erosion, and proximity to the existing sewer line.  The Pacific Avenue route was eliminated due to significant traffic impacts, including total closure of two intersections and blocked residential driveways.  Via Marina was thus chosen due to the fact that though there would be traffic impacts, it was the best option of the three possible routes.  There were a few benefits to this option that were not possible with other routes: Through traffic could be maintained in each direction at all times, the sewer line could placed in the public right of way and not need to go under buildings or private property, and the Via Marina route had the least potential exposure to remnant oil and gas wells.

  I understand that for those who access their homes on Via Marina, the prospect of reducing the roadway to one lane in each direction for many months is a serious and legitimate concern.  Unfortunately, it is a necessary challenge that we must endure to ensure that this vital project is built.  The longer we wait, the more chance there is for an environmental catastrophe on our beaches.

 Please know that the City is working side by side with emergency responders in the City and County, as well as the project contractor (when chosen), to ensure the community’s safety in every way possible.  Our staff and the project contractor will also work diligently during the construction project to be responsive to any concerns you may have regarding access, potential noise, and anything else you want to discuss.  In addition, access to all driveways on Via Marina will be maintained during construction.

  I urge you to visit the City’s website on this project, http://eng.lacity.org/projects/vpp/, which includes a link to the Final Environmental Impact Report and other important information. I also encourage you to reach out to Debbie Dyner Harris in my office, who will be happy to answer any further questions or address any concerns you may have. She can be reached at debbie.dynerharris@lacity.org, or (310) 575-8461.  I thank you for your patience and support for this incredibly important project.

 Regards,

MIKE BONIN,

Councilmember, 11th District

____________________________________________________________________________

What remains:

The proposed route still needs to be approved by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors and the the California Coastal Commission (this will be the last stand for those opposing the Via Marina route.) It is now likely that both will approve the project which is scheduled to commence in 2016. These two hearings have yet to be scheduled.

What you can do:

Write to both the City and the County officials requesting mitigations in terms of:

1) Construction hours.

2) Construction worker parking.

3) Information from the city about how they will address the problem of drivers using Via Dolce and Roma Court in order to avoid Via Marina delays.

4) Reports from the City on oil and gas wells and any leaks from same.

5) Reports from the City on preserving mature Coral trees on Via Marina and on  the entrance to Silver Strand Triangle.

6) Demand that the City provide screening for the Venice Pumping Plant at Hurricane St, an eyesore that impacts the views on the Ballona Lagoon. This is something that might interest the Coastal Commission.

7) Demand specific information about how the City and the County plan to address access of emergency vehicles and services to the Silver Strand during the construction period.

Where to Write:

Sheila Kuehl sheila@bos.lacounty.gov [Sheila Kuehl is our representative (33rd District) on the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors]

Mike Bonin, Councilmember, City of Los Angeles Council District 11 <mike.bonin@lacity.org>

Debbie Dyner Harris, District Director. City of Los Angeles Council District 11 <debbie.dynerharris@lacity.org>

California Coastal Commission:

Jack Ainsworth, Deputy Executive Director (South Coast Office):  jainsworth@coastal.ca.gov

About The Silver Strand News

Resident of the Silver Strand, Marina del Rey, California

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Posted in Marina del Rey: News on County & City Proposals, Silver Strand Marina del Rey State and National Representives, Silver Strand Marina Homeowners news, Via Marina | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments