Photos of the Silver Strand Art Group Tour Art on the LA Metro July 29, 2015

Block Captains Nora Nicosia, Marilee Karlsen, Clarissa Cervantes and Angela Durrant organized a very successful tour of some of the art adorning the LA Metro System. 15 SSMHOA homeowners attended the event. The tour was docented and members learned a lot about using the system, the art at each station and the history of Los Angeles. Marilee Karlsen reports that along the way they noticed a gas station with a sign of gas  at $4.15–$4.35 a gallon—emphasizing our community’s need for metro. She also says that at the LATTC station they were astounded to see the new apartment structure that hugged the side of the metro tracks.  The docent told us it was so popular that there is a long waiting list.  Really changing the LA style! She added that many in the group felt they had left Los Angeles and were touring another city – as if they were on vacation. Angela points out that, according to the docent, the medium for much of the art along the route is clay which is long-lasting and weather and graffiti resistant.


The tour began at the La Cienega/Jefferson Station which offers free parking. Why is it that some of the best views of L.A. are from parking structures and now the Metro?


The Metro train, which will take them to Union Station, arrives


All Aboard! The Silver Strand Art Group begins riding the rails.

At the beginning of the tour, the group saw a panoramic work showing the history of Los Angeles. The pieces shown below are a few segments of the art work.


The arrival of the Spanish in California in the 16th Century


The movie business comes to town circa 1912


The devastation caused by the failure of the St. Francis Dam in 1928. The dam, near Santa Clarita, was part of the L.A. aqueduct. The disaster ruined the career of William Mulholland, L.A. aqueduct pioneer.


Los Angeles Trade-Technical College: Flower Street Station with photographs of a chef and a construction worker. One part of a series at the station.


And a reversal of art shown above


The tour ends at the magnificent Union Station. Here the group is standing in the lobby. The tour celebrated this unique experience by enjoying lunch at Traxx in Union Station.

Since 1989, the LA Metro system has commissioned over 250 artists, some very famous,  to provide art for the Metro Stations. To learn more:
If you would like to just go on your own, you can type “Art Guide-Metro” which has a map of the system and the art shown at each station.
With special thanks to Marilee Karlsen, Clarissa Cervantes and Angela Durrant for reports on the event. And, as always, thanks to Marilee and Clarissa for their photography.
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Upcoming Regular SSMHOA Board Meeting next Monday, August 10, 2015.

The next SSMHOA regular Board Meeting will take place on Monday, August 10, 2015 at 7:30pm sharp at 131 Quarterdeck Mall.  All registered SSMHOA homeowners are welcome to attend. Homeowners can address questions and concerns to the Board during the Homeowners Forum which precedes reports on the regular agenda items and, if they wish, leave after they have spoken. There will be reports from the Chairs of the  ad hoc Annual Block Party, Landscape, Security, Block Captain, Street, Kid’s Activity Group, Emergency Preparedness and Government Action Committees.

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Tomorrow, August 1, 2015, Jackson and Avalon Garland will have a Lemonade and Baked Goodies Stand on Roma Court

Jackson and Avalon Garland, children of SSMHOA Board Member Gary Garland and Block Captain Beth Holden-Garland will do a lemonade stand with baked goods and healthy treats in front of 4103 Roma Court just past Ketch Court in the Silver Strand. There will also be raffle items and gift baskets.  All proceeds will be donated to the Save The Marina Marsh Meadow Fund (see post below) which will support the Ballona Institute in filing an appeal with the Los Angeles Board of Supervisors. Please drop by to express your appreciation for these two very civic-minded youngsters who have worked consistently to better our community.

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Ballona Institute to file appeal to the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisiors on the proposed Marriott Hotels on Via Marina.

  Which do you prefer?:

David Barish Parcel 9 U

Parcel 9U as it is now. Photo by David Barish


Parcel 9 U with Marriott Hotels

In light of the Los Angeles County Regional Planning’s approval of the Marriott Hotels on Via Marina on July 22, 2015 (see post above), the Ballona Institute has instituted an appeal to the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors regarding their decision. The BOS approval of the lease-option (released only in draft form to the public so far) has been delayed twice. So far no date has been announced for release of either the final draft of the lease-option or the BOS hearing on same.

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L.A. County Department of Regional Planning unanimously approves Marriott Hotels on Via Marina, Marina del Rey del Rey, July 22, 2015

The L.A. County Department of Regional Planning (DRP) held a hearing on the proposed Marriott Hotels on Via Marina, Marina del Rey on July 2, 2015. The hearing was held downtown in the morning during business hours making it difficult for the working public to attend. Nevertheless, many members of the public opposing the project sent emails, letters or called the DRP. The hearing on the hotels lasted roughly an hour and 40 minutes. Twelve members of the public expressed their opposition to the  project, including representatives of the Angeles Chapter of the Sierra Club. In addition a group of Marina del Rey residents managed to get 283 people to sign a petition opposing the hotels in a matter of 3 days.   prior to the meeting. The petition was sent to the DRP.

The speakers in favor with a vested interest were representatives of the developer Samuel Hardage/MDR Hotels, LCC; a representative of the MDR Visitors Bureau; Gary Jones, Director of the Los Angeles Department of Beaches and Harbors and a representative of Unite Here, the labor union which has signed a “Labor Peace Agreement” with Hardage. Apart from these, only three members of the general public  spoke in favor and they were there to  support the union.

In depth: For the draft minutes and video on the hearing go to:

Scroll down to July 22, 2015

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Reminder: Mast Mall/Northstar and Adjacent Roma Court mini-Block Party this Sunday, noon to 4pm, on Mast Mall

Mast:Northstar Aug 2 for blogOr just come! Neighbors, relatives and friends and pets are welcome.

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Urgent: On-line Petition Opposing the Marriott Hotels on Via Marina, Marina del Rey

A group of Marina del Rey residents have put up an online petition opposing Samuel Hardage’s proposed development of parcel 9U as a Marriott Courtyard Hotel and a Marriott Residence Inn. If you agree with the petition, go to:

The petition will close tonight, July 20.The results will be e-mailed to each of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors and submitted at the hearing on Wednesday, July 22, 2015 (see previous post on the meeting).

It takes 1 minute and other than name & e-mail address, other personal data is optional.  An e-mail confirmation is sent to the signer.  Please sign individually, instead of single entry per household.  Any resident of LA County can sign as the Board of Supervisors represent from all over and Marina del Rey was chartered as a public amenity for to the County.

Petition Background (Preamble):

No one denies better use can be made of this land. However, Marina del Rey is supposed to be a recreational area for the People. The County has a fiduciary duty to represent and protect the Public’s interests.

• The Marriott already has two hotels within walking distance. It is an economic concentration of interests to grant the same owner rights to build another hotel. This violates the 7th item in Exhibit C of the Assignment Standard for County Leases.

• Developer gerrymandered areas such as Crenshaw and areas in South LA 80 blocks south of USC to wrongfully claim EB-5 status. The Developer’s ‘Invest LA’ Exit Strategy which declares “After the hotel operation, the estimated NOI will be $9.18M annually, and after 5 years operation the hotel is projected to be valued at $131M. It is expected that after 5 years, the property can be sold or refinance to repay the EB-5 investors. If the loan is not fully repaid upon maturity, the loan will be converted into equity ownership interest in the form of equity stock based on the prevailing Loan Balance to prevailing Market Value at the maturity date.” Invest LA states the number of EB-5 investors will be up to 72. Developer stated he has right to re-assign a County lease. We believe this to be illegal.

• The Visioning Statement, on which the County spent a lot of money hiring consultants and a lot of time vetting, and this RPC approved last year highlights this area is in a Residential Zone. Although Parcel 9U was approved for hotel use years ago, this does not mean a hotel is the appropriate use. The current Visioning Statement concludes this is a Residential Zone.

• Developer touts offering ‘public’ amenities such as paddle board rentals. The Community already has a number of places that provide these services. Also, note the Developer’s valet parking will be profiting from ‘public’ use of amenities; not County parking lots.

• Developer touts providing water taxi shelter. This is NOT a new amenity for the Community. There already exists a water bus on Tahiti near Via Marina, as well as another on this basin further down Marquesas.

• Variance No. 200600012 should not be granted to allow zero set-backs. Hearing Notice cites zero set-backs for the waterfront pedestrian promenade. However renderings also indicate there will no longer be sidewalk along west side of Via Marina. It is unrealistic to think pedestrians zig-zag to boardwalk where sidewalk along Via Marina disappears. The Visioning Statement which the County spent a lot of money, time and this RPC approved last year highlights the need for pedestrian mobility. More people walking along Via Marina, for example to the increasingly successful Farmers Market.

• Visioning Statement says building massing should a like a bowl and step down around the water. Proposed hotel is stepping up compared to neighboring buildings Also the proposed 5 & 6-stories becomes 6 & 7-stories when including elevator shafts and cooling tower screens.

• Via Marina is designated as a “scenic drive”. In order to make an arriving southbound turn into their main entrance, the median and all historic coral trees along the length of their frontage on Via Marina will be destroyed.


In accordance with the Marina del Rey Visioning Statement, we, the undersigned, call for a ‘no’ vote to:

– Not grant a lease for the last open space in MDR to Developer with a track record of litigation with other municipalities and Unions.

– Not grant Coastal Development Permit No. 200600007 for a 5- & 6-floor hotel which really is a 6- & 7-story structure;

– Not grant Variance No. 200600012 authorizing zero set-backs of public-accessible land.

To sign the Petition go to:

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