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By Mark Ryavec The author is the president of the Venice Stakeholders Association, a non-profit dedicated to civic improvement. He previously served as a legislative analyst for the City of Los Angeles. The unfolding prosecution of city councilman Jose Huizar for felony corruption, racketeering and money laundering is just the tip of the iceberg of […]

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A congressman and an Olympic swimmer are among 130 million Americans who would face healthcare discrimination if Trump and McConnell get their way By Rep. Ted Lieu and Gary Hall Jr. Lieu represents coastal communities from Malibu to Rancho Palos Verdes in the House of Representatives. Hall is a retired Olympic swimmer who won five […]

Title IX helped America win the World Cup; now it’s time to close the pay gap By Betsy Butler The writer is executive director of the California Women’s Law Center and a former California Assembly member. Flip through any high school yearbook from a few decades ago, and you might notice something missing. Among the […]

Whether in class or on strike, they’re making sacrifices for my education By Makena Cioni The author is junior class president of Venice High School, where she is also a captain of the girls’ volleyball team and president of the Interact Club (Rotary International). Last year she was a leader of the Venice High walkout […]

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The pitched political battle over charter schools no longer serves teachers or students By Wendy Zacuto The author is a former LAUSD teacher and charter school principal who runs an education consulting firm in Playa del Rey. I don’t pretend to understand every nuance of public education, but I can tell you from personal experience […]

The Martin decision means homeless encampments are here to stay until we provide alternatives By Michael Rapkin The writer is a local homeowner, part owner of a restaurant on Ocean Front Walk and a longtime attorney who advocates for the homeless population. A significant court decision last week has made it clear that as long […]

A marina monorail? A boating and wildlife museum? Now’s the time to think big … By Richard D. Schachter The author is a retired physicist and aerospace engineer, a member of the Del Rey Yacht Club and a resident of Mar Vista. As a young pilot flying out of Santa Monica Airport in 1959, I […]

Legado’s attorney says opponents are twisting the Coastal Act to reduce beach access By Benjamin M. Reznik Reznik is a land use attorney representing the Legado Companies in their efforts to build on Culver Boulevard. The commercially zoned lot at 138 Culver Blvd. in Playa del Rey — two blocks from the ocean and owned […]

Build smaller units on less-expensive land, or burn through Prop HHH funds and leave 20,000 homeless on the street By Mark Ryavec A former legislative analyst for the city of Los Angeles, Ryavec staffed former L.A. Mayor Tom Bradley’s Citizens Committee on the Redevelopment of the Central Business District and is currently president of the […]

Some creative pursuits fundraise and humanize; others can exclude and displace By John Seeley I saw no official proclamation by Mayor Garcetti, but April must have been Arts and the Homeless Month in Los Angeles. Starting April 13, there was Homeward L.A. — 10 days of homeless-themed theater, melding a dozen short monologues based on […]

Calls for Venice cityhood are more about improving representation than gaining independence By Michael Feinstein The author served on the Santa Monica City Council from 1996 to 2004 and was mayor from 2000 to 2002. A co-founder of the Green Party of California, he is the Green candidate for California Secretary of State in the […]

Playa del Rey’s road diet debacle is a teaching moment for future L.A. transportation policy By Todd Dipaola, Brooke Eaton, Jim McCafferty, Nancy Brown and John Russo The authors served on the Playa del Rey Safe Streets Task Force and are writing in response to “The Bully’s Playbook” (Opinion, Nov. 30), which criticized tactics used […]

Author and journalist Bruce Russell traveled the world, but he always ended up back in Marina del Rey By Ivor Davis Ivor Davis, author of “The Beatles and Me: On Tour,” was a reporter for the Santa Monica Evening Outlook in the 1960s and a lifelong friend of Bruce Russell. Robert Bruce Russell, the legendary […]

Clueless kayakers and paddleboarders need to start heeding boat traffic in Marina del Rey harbor By Lorraine Alper Kramer The author is an experienced boater and paddleboarder in Marina del Rey. The ever-increasing popularity of paddleboarding and kayaking in Marina del Rey harbor has created a dangerous situation for sailors, power-boaters and paddlers alike: Some […]

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Buzzfeed’s publication of the unverified ‘Trump Dossier’ only bolsters his narrative of a ‘dishonest’ media By Maral Tavitian Tavitian is studying print and digital journalism at the University of Southern California and is special projects editor for USC Annenberg Media ( From the moment Donald J. Trump announced his candidacy inside the gilded walls of […]

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Don’t stand idly by while seniors are evicted — you may be next By Louise Sevilla The author is a licensed clinical social worker and Venice resident. Recent news reports about more than 150 seniors ages 70 to 105 being evicted from their homes in the Westwood Horizons building in Westwood Village have served as […]

Police officers should get more training on how to deal with the mentally ill By Bettina Gantsweg The slight man shuffles along in front of a laundromat on Washington Boulevard, stops and sets down an orange drink in the middle of the doorway. Wearing knee-length black pants, black shirt and a tan cap, he seems […]

Is LAUSD abandoning its core values by creating a new school for Playa Vista families? By Karen Wolfe The author is a local public education advocate and the founder of Public Schools Connect ( The new Playa Vista Middle School approved last week by the LAUSD board illustrates how school choice can clash with the […]

When LAX agreed to abandon its incursions into Westchester, it won the right to increase flight traffic without limit By Charles Rappleye I see that some of the communities around LAX are again talking about court action. Not that they ever dropped the ongoing litigation against airport expansion — Culver City has been suing the […]

Putting conflict above cooperation to attack mass transit only hurts the common good By Ed King King is transit director for Big Blue Bus. He is responding to the Oct. 20 story “They Beat the Bus,” about Venice residents who campaigned to keep buses from using Ocean Avenue. Big Blue Bus has consistently provided safe, […]

Measure M and Prop HHH are once-in-a-lifetime opportunities to address traffic and homelessness By L.A. City Councilman Mike Bonin Bonin represents Council District 11, which includes Westchester, Playa del Rey, Playa Vista, Del Rey, Mar Vista and Venice. If you want to make significant, positive and lasting change in the Nov. 8 election, think “bottoms […]

By Kenneth S. Alpern, M.D. The author is chair of The Transit Coalition, a grassroots public transportation advocacy group. He’s also led both the Planning and Transportation committees of the Mar Vista Community Council. Without a logical or moral defense of overdevelopment, apparently one can always resort to bullying and belittling those who would stand […]

Ballot initiatives by Santa Monica’s Residocracy and L.A.’s Michael Weinstein would hurt everyone By Charles Rappleye Michael Weinstein is a loudmouth iconoclast who has made much money — and many enemies — as the leader of the world’s largest private gay-health advocacy agency. “He’s a thug,” former L.A. County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky once told the […]

L.A.’s public utility, seeking yet another rate increase, has become a monument to avarice By Charles Rappleye So the L.A. Department of Water and Power is seeking a rate increase. Not a small one, either: 4% a year for each of the next five years, regardless of inflation. Sounds like most of what we hear […]

The loudest complainer about the homeless in Venice opposes a city plan to finally  ‘do something’ about it? Give me a break! By Linda Lucks The author, a former president of the Venice Neighborhood Council, is writing in response to “Say No to the Homeless Tax,” published July 21. Mark Ryavec’s latest column inadvertently makes […]

Local lawmakers tried to keep businesses that object to Israeli settlement violence from competing for state contracts By Kelly Hayes-Raitt “You’ve been served,” the stranger said with a smirk as she handed me a neat stack of papers. It was 1996, and I was the spokesperson to defeat three ballot initiatives funded by freewheeling CEOs […]

All this vitriol over the new “Ghostbusters” has me worried that Hillary can’t get elected By Shanee Edwards I’m an entertainment journalist. Mostly, the stories I write bear little consequence to the world beyond Hollywood. I see movies, give my opinions and occasionally break down film structure to help budding screenwriters understand how films work. […]

Local Sanders delegates get stuck paying lavish bills to support a populist agenda By John Seeley The Bernie Sanders campaign generated several firsts in modern presidential politics — embracing the word socialism, for one — but its biggest breakthrough was to show that a candidate backed by small donations from the “little people” (that now-famous […]

City Hall wants to correct L.A. County’s failures by asking property owners to pick up the tab By Mark Ryavec The author is president of the Venice Stakeholders Association and the former chief deputy assessor for Los Angeles County. When it comes to the City of Los Angeles’ proposed $1.2-billion bond for homeless housing, residents […]

Well, at least 2.5 per every square mile in Santa Monica, with yet another on the way By Tony Peyser There are a huge number of Starbucks Coffee locations and — this may come as a surprise to some of you — all 23,768 of them are in Santa Monica. Actually, it just seems like […]

Like alcohol and tobacco, legalizing marijuana will increase kids’ access to the drug By Gilbert Mora The author is writing on behalf of the Westside Impact Coalition, a community group working to improve public health and safety in Venice. A proposal to legalize the recreational use of marijuana will likely make the November ballot. Wherever […]

Frank Mankiewicz’s posthumous memoir recalls a highlight of both our lives: seeing Robert F. Kennedy in action By Thomas Pleasure Since Frank Mankiewicz’s death in 2014, activists, historians, cineastes, journalists and spinmeisters had been awaiting publication of his posthumous memoir, “So As I Was Saying … My Somewhat Eventful Life.” I imagine we all felt […]

The city does not intend to destroy the arts center, but resisting all change isn’t an option either By Kevin McKeown The author is a Santa Monica City Councilmember responding to “Bergamot Must Die,” an opinion piece by Charlies Rappleye that ran in the May 19 edition of the Argonaut. Mr. Rappleye skillfully culled quotes […]

There’s no way Santa Monica’s arts mecca is going to survive city plans to ‘revitalize’ it By Charles Rappleye Bergamot Station started as an afterthought and thrived under the benign neglect of a city that had better things to do. Now the arrival of light rail has convinced the city of Santa Monica that it […]

Register to vote by May 23 — the state is spending an extra $16 million to make sure you can By Alex Padilla The author is California’s Secretary of State. If there’s one thing that every American should agree with, it’s this: Voting is the fundamental right in our democracy, the one that makes all […]

A liberal’s cross-country listening tour teaches him that conservatives aren’t necessarily crazy By Joe McGovern I’m not that into politics. But I’m into it enough to get really mad at the other side, which for me is conservatives. See, I’m your typical bleeding heart liberal. I’m pro-choice, pro-welfare, pro-immigration, pro-gay marriage, pro-environment, pro-high taxes on […]

By Mark Ryavec The author is president of the nonprofit Venice Stakeholders Association. Los Angeles City Councilman Mike Bonin’s recent proposals to address the homeless crisis in Venice remind me of a story. A guy comes out of a bar one evening and sees a young woman down on her hands and knees, looking for […]

The parallels between caring for nature and helping the homeless can’t be ignored By Julia Lee The author is a Venice resident who leads writing workshops with homeless youth. Her husband is Tod Lipka, CEO of the Santa Monica nonprofit mental health organization Step Up On Second. Saturday’s 2nd annual Bird LA Day is fast approaching. […]

Trigger-happy officers who try to weasel out of trouble are the ultimate management challenge By Charles Rappleye Boy that Charlie Beck has a tough job to do at the LAPD. I mean, it’s hard enough, as chief of the nation’s third largest police force, to be responsible for the peace and safety of nearly four […]

A father in Venice dies too soon, just like his father before him By Martin L. Jacobs He was having difficulty breathing. It was early on March 30, still dark outside in his quiet Venice neighborhood. Hours later in the hospital, ER doctors determined that he had pneumonia; an infection in the lungs. It had […]

Thanks to a healthy dose of democracy, major companies will begin to label genetically engineered foods By Andrew Kimbrell The author is founder of the nonprofit Center for Food Safety. For the last 15 years, numerous organizations and legislators have been battling to require the labeling of genetically engineered foods. During that time 64 other […]

In Silicon Valley vs. the Constitution, rule of law should trump corporate interests By Charles Rappleye What a disappointment to learn that the government has come up with an alternative way to bypass the Apple iOS 8 password protections to open the iPhone of San Bernardino shooter Sayed Rizwan Farook. Not that I don’t want […]

Author Joyce Carol Oates on living productively after grief and loss By Kelly Hayes-Raitt “Joyce!” I exclaimed in the empty lobby of the Mexican hotel. “My Dad was in high school with you!” The startled Joyce Carol Oates sized me up: “Oh, who was your dad?” This could cut either way, I calculated. “Bob Kruger.” […]

The facts just didn’t add up for those who fought to save an invasive plant species By Katherine Pease The author is a staff scientist for Heal the Bay. She is responding to concerns raised in the March 10 issue of The Argonaut by the executive director of the Ballona Institute. The California Coastal Commission […]

Hundreds of L.A. children and teens are playing into the hands of predators by sharing nude photos online By Los Angeles County Sheriff Jim McDonnell This week, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Human Trafficking Bureau held a news conference and provided a comprehensive update on the horrific nature and sheer number of human trafficking […]

By Marcia Hanscom Editor’s Note: Hanscom is executive director of the Ballona Institute and chair of the Sierra Club’s Ballona Wetlands Restoration Committee. She is responding to the March 3 news article “Killing Plants to Save Wetlands,” about a restoration group’s plan to remove non-native ice plant from three acres of wetland in the hope […]

Los Angeles needs comprehensive regulations to curb short-term rental abuses By Judith Goldman Venice resident Judith Goldman is a co-founder of Keep Neighborhoods First, a community group that opposes widespread commercialization of short-term rentals. Perhaps no other area of Los Angeles is feeling the intense negative impacts of the short-term rental industry more than Westside […]

Lack of a smooth-running transit hub is the nexus of L.A.’s alternative transportation shortcomings By Charles Rappleye If you want to understand the conundrum of falling ridership despite billions invested in new transit service, you need only visit the downtown headquarters of the LA Metro system. There under the looming shadow of the marble-clad, faux-deco […]

The former L.A. City Councilman’s health is failing, but his legacy remains strong By Ken Alpern On the way to an excellent meeting with city planners about a proposed development near the future Bundy/Olympic Expo Line station, it dawned on me how the changes resulting from the election of Bill Rosendahl to the Los Angeles […]

City workers are demolishing the ruins of L.A.’s Depression-era Nazi dream house By Tony Peyser Rustic Canyon’s 50-acre Murphy Ranch has such an innocent-sounding name, but there’s a dark cloud over its past. The place should have been called The Fuhrer’s Westside Bunker When He Takes Over. However, that’s A) a mouthful, and B) might […]

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