The Rape of Ballona
Is the L.A. County Department of Works trying to slip past the Board of Supervisors a plan to alter the mouth of Marina del Rey's Ballona Creek? Activists fear the answer is yes — and, as Joseph Tsidulko reports, reassurances from the department are hardly soothing in light of what they've witnessed so far ("Enviros Say Plan Will Kill Ballona," Jan. 10).
"Great to see coverage of Ballona from L.A. Weekly, although less hyperbolic and polarizing language could have helped to focus on the substantive issues," Walter Lamb of the Ballona Wetlands Land Trust writes. "There are two issues at play here. One is whether the ecological health of the wetlands would be improved or degraded by the removal of the levees and other aspects of the various restoration plans. The other is whether the process by which the final decision is being pursued has been transparent.
"Good people continue to vigorously debate the first question. But the answer to the second question is crystal clear — the process has been anything but transparent. The level to which our public servants are trying to conduct business behind our backs has gone to an absurd level. The Ballona Wetlands Land Trust currently has a public records lawsuit against the Department of Fish and Wildlife regarding documents relating to the ill-advised Annenberg Foundation proposal to construct a large building in the protected ecological reserve.
"Rather than make any effort to disclose the documents, the department spent public funds trying to get the suit dismissed, but a judge overruled their attempt. The lawsuit is going to trial. Taxpayers should ask what the department is hoping to gain by defending against the lawsuit."
"Thanks so very much for starting to investigate our piece of Ballona Wetlands history and the constant fight to keep it natural," Ingrid Mueller writes. "As a 25-year-Venice resident who needs to know that piece of paradise will continue, and whose grandkids need to watch egrets fly and foxes hide and wild fish swim, I don't want to be known as an activist-shmactivist by the Corps of Engineers!
"Our reasons for protests and letters, etc., etc., etc., are perfectly clear," Mueller concludes. "L.A. County needs this piece of green paradise!"
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Our story last week about the San Pedro art scene ("Cannery Row") botched the names of two artists and the area's historical society, too. They are Craig Ibarra, Danial Nord and the San Pedro Bay Historical Society, respectively. Additionally, the aforementioned story about Ballona Wetlands assigned the wrong profession to USC's Travis Longcore. He is a geologist. Finally, our brief interview with Shane Carruth ("It's Not Too Late to See One of 2013's Biggest Head-Scratchers," Jan. 10) wrongly described his relationship with actress Amy Seimetz. She is his girlfriend. We regret the errors.
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