The sun breaks through the cloud cover just before sunset. 

Stop selling toxic avgas


Under the Clean Air Act, the EPA regulates emissions from aircraft and the use of lead in gasoline, including automotive gasoline additives, which were phased down beginning in the 1970s. The agency subsequently banned the sale of leaded gasoline for on-road vehicles in 1996, but it allowed the continued use of lead in aviation fuel, known as avgas. 

This leaded fuel is used in the roughly 170,000 piston-engine aircraft estimated to be in use nationwide, including airplanes and helicopters, which operate out of more than 13,000 airports. These small, gasoline-powered general aviation aircraft comprise the largest single source of lead air emissions in the U.S., according to 2017 data from the EPA, and generated 468 tons of emissions that year. 

They constitute about 70% of total lead air emissions nationally, according to a congressionally-mandated report issued earlier this year by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. More than 5 million people, including 363,000 children under age 5, live within 500 meters of these airport runways, and more than 160,000 children attend school in these areas, according to a 2020 EPA analysis. (Grist, 8/24/2021)

Why does the City of Santa Monica continue to sell this dangerous toxin at the Santa Monica Airport? Stop selling toxic avgas!

Robert Brown

Santa Monica


Re: Homelessness czar


After reading Michael Rapkin’s column in the March 31 Argonaut, I have to wonder if Mr. Rapkin has personally ever even seen a homeless person. As a longtime Venice resident, I’ve been assaulted three times by mentally ill homeless people - twice in the past year. My wife has also been assaulted. And that’s not counting the thousands of times we’ve been harassed, screamed at, aggressively panhandled, and forced to walk in the streets when the sidewalks are completely blocked by tents.  

Mr. Rapkin wants to force people in residential neighborhoods to accept multi-unit homeless housing. Mr. Rapkin also wants to force construction of large buildings in residential neighborhoods, without going through the permitting process, and without allowing community input! 

Mr. Rapkin also belittles the well-known facts that homelessness is a public safety issue, and that the vast majority of homeless are either mentally ill, addicted to drugs and alcohol, or both. Essentially, the position Mr. Rapkin is advocating is that of a dictator. His or her word will be the law, and we will have no recourse to unjust decisions.  

Mr. Rapkin asks for new ideas, so here’s one that has never been tried: bring back the mental hospitals. The problem started when the mental hospitals were closed, and will only be solved when they are reopened. This is the best, most humane solution for the mentally ill/addicted individuals themselves, as well as for all of us innocent victims.  

Give jobs and housing help to the few who are simply regular people down on their luck, and hospitalize the vast majority who are mentally ill or addicted, so they can be properly helped - and so they will no longer victimize the rest of us.

Dean Wahls



Re: Homelessness czar


While I agree with most of Michael Rapkin’s Opinion piece about homelessness, he neglected the most important stakeholder: landlords. 

Many people are unhoused through no fault of their own and just need a hand getting back on track, but others require much more. Before leaving my position as assistant to a property owner, I watched Los Angeles’ tenants’ rights groups defend people who smashed windows; stripped copper wiring; broke into the washing machine coinbox; let dogs relieve themselves in the building’s hallway; let an ex-boyfriend/drug dealer crash in the apartment; moved a dozen family members into a studio leased for a single occupant; and much more.  

After spending four to six months in Court proceedings to remove a problem tenant, an owner is likely to have to pay a settlement; then the Court will usually seal the record, forcing the owner to provide a favorable reference and freeing the tenant to start the process over again. And don’t forget, LA is rent-controlled, with maximum rent increases set by the City.

Even when rent is partially or fully subsidized and a counselor is assigned to the tenant, the owner of a duplex or a 12-unit complex will lose tens of thousands of dollars in unpaid rent, damage repair, legal costs, and the ripple effect of long-term tenants moving out because of the disturbances and degradation.

Small landlords are not equipped to absorb such losses, and no strategy for solving homelessness can be successful until property owners are protected.

Phyllis Elliott

Santa Monica