We wish all of our readers a happy and healthy 2012. Let the seas not rise, nor the earth shake. Let there be peace in the world.
Here a few notable events of 2011 in the Silver Strand
The Silver Strand Marina Homeowners, Inc. completed the new fence on the east side of the Ballona Lagoon path thanks to Fred Karlsen, Michael Greenberg and John Nagy, and Bill Cutler and Harrison Starr, former members of the Fence Committee.
Following SSMHOA Board member Nora Nicosia’s suggestion, the Silver Strand Art Group is organized and begins touring local art galleries and museums with Clarissa Cervantes and Marilee Karlsen as co-Chairs. The tours, preceded by lunch at good restaurants nearby, have become very popular with homeowners. So far, the group has visited galleries in Bergamot Station and Culver City, the David Smith exhibition at LACMA and two of the Pacific Standard Time shows, the Weisman Collection at Pepperdine and Under the Big Black Sun at MOCA. More tours are scheduled for 2012.
The Los Angeles Board of Supervisors sends the Woodfin Hotel Proposal on Via Marina back to the drawing board. The hotel was originally conceived as a 19-storey, 225 foot high building totally out of keeping with the low-rise residential surroundings on Via Marina. Thanks to the efforts of David Barish and Nancy Vernon Marino of We Are Marina del Rey, State Assemblywoman, Betsy Butler, City of Los Angeles Councilman Bill Rosendahl, residents of the Silver Strand and adjacent communities, BOS was forced to respond. County Supervisor Don Knabe admitted that the voice of the public, in the form of numerous appearances at meetings and a barrage of letters and e-mails, had been heard. The developer agreed to submit a new scaled down proposal for a 5-story, 65 foot high structure. This, along with the elimination of 2 proposed hotels next to Mothers Beach, also widely protested by the public, is regarded as a major victory for those opposing the County’s aggressive plans to rebuild MDR and a signal to the BOS that they can no longer rubber-stamp projects in order to increase revenue to the County.
Silver Strand Gardens:
Harryot Best’s extraordinary hydrangea on Northstar Mall grown from an 80 year-old sapling. Shown here in full bloom.
John Conner’s always changing, ever beautiful garden on the Esplanade. His dahlias, so hard to grow in our climate, are a wonder.
Native Sand Verbena in bloom along the banks of the Ballona Lagoon.
For the first time in almost two decades, the Los Angeles County Department of Beaches and Harbors announces that it has cancelled the July 4 Fireworks display due to budget curtailments.
Again thanks to Nora Nicosia, Chair of the SSMHOA Block Captain Committee, the Silver Strand homeowners Annual Block Party was revived after a decades long hiatus. Jennifer Manoogian was the orchestrator-in-chief of the event which, with the help of many homeowners, was a huge success. Residents arrived with their parents, their kids, their grandchildren and friends. There was food, there were games, but the most popular entertainments were the Fortune Teller, the Face Painter and the appearance of 2 fire trucks from Venice Station 63 which enthralled both kids and adults.
The Silver Strand News celebrates its first year of online publication. As of December 2011, it has had over 7000 visitors.
The eternal return of birds migrating to the Ballona Lagoon from parts north, year after year, an extraordinary opportunity to see a variety of avian winter visitors settle down for their annual winter vacation in the Lagoon, seeking warm weather and good foraging on the western flyway. Guided by their genetic memory, they have been coming to the Ballona Wetlands for eons. Walk the Ballona path with a camera and binoculars and enjoy the beauty of nature within a few steps of your front door. In March and April, the visitors will lift off to return to their summer headquarters.
Halloween in the Silver Strand has been a tradition since the 1980s when homeowners on Roma Court go all out to welcome one and all to the neighborhood to enjoy trick-or-treating.
Marina del Rey New Year’s Eve Fireworks. Local businesses and organizations chipped in to defray the cost of the fireworks which will, as usual, take place on December 31, 2011 at 5:59pm.
The City of Los Angeles agreed to repair the west side of the Ballona Lagoon Fence on the Silver Strand path. After months of negotiations, SSMHOA Board President, Fred Karlsen and homeowner Brad Cox had a critical meeting with City officials during which, with the help of City of Los Angeles Councilman, Bill Rosendahl, the plan to repair the fence becomes official.
The Lighthouse Bridge.
At the suggestion of Fred Karlsen, the SSMHOA board submits an application to the City of Los Angeles Department of Historic Resources to have the Lighthouse Bridge designated as an historic monument. The bridge is one of four built in 1906-07 to span the Ballona Lagoon. The other three bridges were demolished prior to 1978. They were built to provide easy access from the Silver Strand/Del Rey tracts to the ocean and the trolley line on Pacific Avenue on the Venice Peninsula. The Lighthouse Bridge is a 3-arch, closed spandrel bridge, designed and built by engineers Paul H. Ehlers and H.G. Braun. It is the only remaining example of its kind in Venice and one of the earliest reinforced concrete bridges in Los Angeles. When the bridge was built, Lighthouse was called Neptune Avenue. Originally engineered to carry horse-drawn and vehicular traffic, it is now a foot bridge popular with tourists, residents and joggers. It was condemned in 1972 and scheduled to be demolished in 1977, but instead the California Coastal Commission forced the City to repair it as a mitigation for taking down the bridge at Outrigger. Councilman Bill Rosendahl and his special assistant Mark Grant are helping SSMHOA with this project. Sandra Starr did the research and documentation on the bridge and Nate Nahmias is coordinating contacts with city officials.