FUTURE OF DOWNTOWN SANTA MONICA IS AT STAKE

By Diana Gordon, Victor Fresco, Sherrill Kushner and Jeff Segal

We recently learned, through a public records request,
that the City and its consultants have excluded resi-
dents as “stakeholders” in their planning for the down-
town area. Instead, critical decisions about proposed
height, density, and massing have been shaped by business
interests and developers working hand-in-glove with
the City.

This critical downtown forum, demanded by residents, is
our chance to weigh in for the FIRST TIME on appropriate
heights and densities for downtown, and whether they
should be reduced, not increased in any draft Downtown
Specific Plan that is proposed.

Under existing zoning, downtown was largely limited to
3 to 4 stories, unless residential units were involved.
Then, the City could allow up to 84 feet or 8 stories.

This created a downtown housing boom. Our downtown now
includes about 3,000 new market rate apartments and 5,000
new residents, significantly adding to downtown conges-
tion and parking shortages.

Many of us believe that it’s time to put brakes on over-
developing downtown, rather than relentlessly continue
to build more and even higher and denser office, retail
and residential projects, like condo/hotel towers of
over 20 stories on parcels identified as “opportunity
sites.” We need to understand whether existing zoning
would overdevelop downtown because many downtown proper-
ties are less than the maximum allowed.

We strongly disagree with the proposal that large pro-
jects as high as 84 feet should be the norm now for
much of downtown, including office space, without a
Development Agreement or public involvement except at
the Planning Commission or Council.

We also think it’s a fundamental failure of planning
to allow developers of “opportunity sites” to set their
own height and massing standards, rather than have maxi-
mums specified in the Downtown Specific Plan. Allowing
developers to set their own standards is a developer’s
dream… and a nightmare for residents.

If you agree, please join us and make your voice heard.
To win a fight, you have to be IN the fight. We cannot
do it without you.

Note: The City has now changed the time to 6 p.m. for
a 3-hour public forum (question and answer session –
not the usual breakaway tables format). Residents ASKED
for this!!

Monday, MAY 6, 6 p.m.- 9 p.m., Civic Auditorium, East Wing.

ONE PERSON KILLED IN MIDAIR COLLISION

By Melissa Caskey / melissa@malibutimes.com The Mailbu Times

Update, 8:40 p.m.: The pilot of a small-engine Cessna was
killed when the plane crashed in Malibu Canyon on Monday,
Los Angeles County Sheriff’s spokesman Steve Whitmore con-
firmed.

The identity of the pilot has not been released. Whitmore
also said three people sustained “minor injuries” when a
plane that clipped the Cessna mid-air made an emergency
landing in Westlake Village. All three were treated and
walked away from the scene.

Update, 7:27 p.m.: A spokesman for the Federal Aviation
Administration has confirmed that a midair collision be-
tween two airplanes occurred Monday near Malibu and ap-
pears to be the cause of a one-acre fire that broke out
in a remote area of Malibu Canyon. One of the planes,
which reportedly carried three people, crashed in Malibu
Canyon. The condition of the passengers is currently un-
known. The second plane landed on the West Lake Village
Golf Course.

FAA spokesman Allen Kenitzer said the information was
preliminary and subject to change in a statement.

“There was an midair airplane accident Monday 4/29/13
northwest of Santa Monica, CA,” Kenitzer wrote in an
email. “The first airplane, a Cessna 172, N4677V, was
west bound at 3500FT. The second airplane, also a Cessna
172, who had just departed Santa Monica for an engine
test flight, was east bound at 3100FT. According to FAA
radar data, the flights merged approximately 8 MILES
east northeast of Ventura, CA , at 2:01 PDT. The first
airplane landed on the West Lake Village Golf Course.
The second airplane crashed into mountainous terrain.
The crash started a 1 Acre fire.”

Update, 7 p.m.: Motorists should expect delays in and out
of Malibu on Las Virgenes Road/Malibu Canyon Road due to
sheriff and fire department activity, according to a sher-
iff’s department update.

Update, 6:20 p.m.: Firefighters have fully contained the
brushfire at Mulholland Highway and Las Virgenes Road.

Nearby on a Santa Monica mountainside, investigators are
examining wreckage from a Calabasas plane crash that may
be related to the brushfire. Authorities have not found
any victims or survivors in the small plane’s charred
remains.

“It was a very bad crash, there are no markers or any-
thing to identify anything on that plane,” said Fire
Inspector Qvondo Johnson. “It doesn’t look good.”

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is at the
scene investigating. Tomorrow the National Transporta-
tion Safety Board (NTSB) will arrive to comb the scene,
Johnson said.

Update, 4:56 p.m.: The brushfire near Mulholland High-
way and Las Virgenes Road is 70 percent contained.

Traffic is down to one lane on Malibu Canyon Road and
Las Virgenes Canyon Road after a downed tree fell over
a power line between Piuma Road and Mulholland Highway.
Authorities do not believe the downed tree is related
to Monday afternoon’s plane crashes. Maintenance crews
have responded to repair the damage.

“A tree went down and took some wires down with it.
I don’t believe they’re related,” said Dep. Port of
the Malibu/Lost Hills Sheriff’s Station.

Update, 4:25 p.m.: A one-acre brushfire has been visib-
ly knocked down and is 35 percent contained, according
to Inspector Johnson of the L.A. County Fire Department.
Johnson said fire crews are “forming a ring” around the
fire to put it out fully in the area near Mulholland
Highway and Las Virgenes Road.

Nearby, Johnson said crews were also conducting a search
and rescue operation on wreckage from a plane that crash
landed near the fire. Some form of debris was found at
the scene of the brushfire, but Johnson said the depart-
ment had not determined if it was debris from the nearby
plane crash.

Johnson could not confirm reports that the plane that
crashed in the Mulholland Highway area had clipped a
plane that crashed around the same time in Westlake
Village.

The brushfire and plane crash has shut down traffic
on Malibu Canyon Road from Mulholland Highway to Piuma
Road, according to the California Highway Patrol.

Update, 4 p.m.: Capt. Tom Richards of L.A. County
Fire confirmed that “some form of wreckage” was
found in the brushfire area and crews were still
determining if it came from either of two small planes
that crash landed in the area, one in Westlake Village
and another in Calabasas.

As firefighters work to put out a one-acre fire burn-
ing in the Malibu area near Mulholland Highway and Las
Virgenes Road, early reports indicate the brushfire may
have been caused by falling airplane debris.

The brushfire was reported just after 2 p.m. in a remote
Malibu Canyon location off of Mulholland Highway, which
has made the flames difficult for firefighters to access,
according to Inspector Johnson of the Los Angeles County
Fire Department. As of 3:30 p.m., three helicopters were
fighting the fire as “hand crews” made their way on foot
to the area. Johnson said a total of 115 firefighters
were at the scene.

Shortly after the fire was reported, a small plane
crash landed in Westlake Village. Multiple sources told
The Malibu Times that the fire was likely sparked by
falling debris from the plane.

Johnson said investigators were on their way to the
scene of the brushfire to determine the cause.

“We don’t know if it’s debris from the plane, debris
from that plane clipping another plane, or something
else.”

SMO RELATED CRASH FRENZY PRECEDES COUNCIL MEETING

CASMAT story

Not content with averaging one crash/incident every 6
months over the last 4 years, SMO aviation has taken
things to a whole new level in preparation for tomorrow
night’s City Council meeting. Three planes associated
with SMO have crashed in the last three days.Two of
them apparently crashed into each other today.

On Saturday, a small plane N35884 made a belly landing
at Van Nuys airport after its landing gear failed to lock.
The pilot was not hurt. N35884 is a 1976 Cessna 177RG
registered to Bernard N Harris of Santa Monica.

Then today, April 29th, there was a mid-air collision
where one plane crashed into the mountains causing a
fire and killing the pilot, the second plane was forced
to belly land on a golf course in Westlake Village in-
juring three others. According to Federal Aviation
Administration spokesman Allen Kenitzer a preliminary
review of radar records showed the two flight-paths
crossed just after 2 p.m. A single-engine Cessna 172
(N4677V out of Santa Monica) carrying three people was
flying west at an altitude of 3,500 feet when the second
plane, also a Cessna 172, was heading East after leav-
ing Santa Monica Airport for an engine test flight.

FAA records show the plane on the golf course (N4677V)
is a four-seat Cessna 172 Skyhawk manufactured in 1980
registered to American Flyers flight school out of Santa
Monica. The two aircraft apparently collided in mid air.

This can only add fuel to an already raging inferno of
public opposition to the airport. We are lucky that all
three Santa Monica aircraft crashed elsewhere, but argu-
ments by aviation advocates that Santa Monica aviation
is safe will seem pretty flimsy now. It is this alarm-
ing rise in flight school related accidents over the
past few years that has fueled public resentment.
The fact is flight school operations at SMO need to be
shut down right now. Period. They are a public safety
hazard and a public nuisance and should not be happening
in such a densely populated area. The neighborhood
dodged two bullets this weekend. Enough already.

This raises the total to 85 accidents/incidents assoc-
iated with SMO since 1982. For the flight schools,
the score is now 23 all time. Five of the last eight
incidents (since October 2008) have been flight school
related. Something is very wrong at SMO, particularly
with the flight schools, and it needs to be stopped.

Links:

Crews search for victims in plane crash in Santa Monica
Mountains ( LA Times, Apr 29, 2013)
Midair collision causes one-acre brush fire (The Malibu
Times, Apr 29, 2013)
Two Plane Crashes in Westlake and Calabasas May be Con-
nected (KTLA 5, Apr 29, 2013) – video
1 Dead, 3 Hurt After Small Planes Collide In Mid-AirOver
Ventura County (KCAL 9, Apr 29, 2013) – video

Although not yet announced by the FAA or NTSB, CASMAT
has determined that the second plane that crashed into
the hillside is almost certainly N64030, registered to
Edward Berlin of Santa Monica. This aircraft conducted
extensive engine tests over the SMO neighborhood shortly
before the collision as shown in a screen shot. :

We must also ask ourselves is all those engine test
loops shown in the image above should really be happen-
ing over a densely populated area.

CASMAT = CITIZENS AGAINST SANTA MONICA AIRPORT TRAFFIC

THE LATEST GREAT GATSBY — DOA

Once upon a time, director Howard Hawks told his pal,
Ernest Hemingway, that he could make a good film
out of his worst novel. Hemingway, a man of towering
ego, claimed he didn’t have “a worst novel,” but
after a lot of jousting, he named “To Have and Have
Not.”

In fact, Hawks didn’t simply make a good film out of
a bad novel,and it was a profoundly bad novel, he
made a classic with help from the great novelist
William Faulkner, a fine screenwriter Jules Furthman,
singer-songwriter Hoagy Carmichael and, of course,
Bogart and Bacall. The Hawks version used very little
of the book.

F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “ The Great Gatsby,” is The
One and Only Great American Novel. It was published
in the 1920s and has never been surpassed – on paper
or film. It has been filmed six times – never en-
tirely successfully. In 1926, a silent movie of a
stage play, starring Warner Baxter, Lois Wilson and
William Powell, was made. According to Wikopedia,
reviews suggest that it may have been the most faith-
ful adaptation, but all that exists today is the
trailer.

In 1949, Elliott Nugent made the first Gatsby talkie,
with Alan Ladd, Betty Field and Shelley Winters.
For copyright reasons, it is not “readily available
now,” but I saw it some years ago, and it was adequate.

In 1974, Jack Clayton directed Francis Ford Coppola’s
Gatsby script with Robert Redford, Mia Farrow, Sam
Waterston, and Bruce Dern. It got very mixed reviews,
but was as close as anyone has come to faithfully trans-
lating the book into a film.

In 2000, Robert Markowitz directed a TV verson with Toby
Stevens, Paul Rudd and Mia Sorvino.

And now Baz Luhrmann’s version, with Leonardo DiCaprio,
Toby Maguire and Carey Mulligan, is set to open on May
10. Its release has been delayed a year – not a good sign.
Sony Pictures withdrew some time ago, citing an explod-
ing budget – not a good sign either. .

Luhrman came to fame with a rowdy, over-ripe spectacle,
“Moulin Rouge,” then he did a version of “Romeo and
Juliet” with DiCaprio and Clare Danes, and managed to
bury Shakespeare. He followed that with “Australia,”
a bomb.
According to a story in yesterday’s Los Angeles Times,
when Luhrmann “decided to bring ‘Gatsby’ to the screen
he and his creative team went on the filmmaking equiva-
ent of an anthropological dig. The goal: unearth what
was left unsaid in Fitzgerald’s slender tale of Jay
Gatsby, a millionaire bootlegger, and his unrequited
love for a married socialite…

What was “left unsaid?” Nothing. Fitzgerald said pre-
cisely what he meant to say. The Times story, by John
Horn, went on to say, “… Luhrmann recognized the danger
of missing ‘Gatsby’s’ emotional forest for all of the
novel’s expositional trees. So he, co-screenwriter
Craig Pearce and a cast headed by Leonardo DiCaprio
(who plays Gatsby), Carey Mulligan (Daisy) and Tobey
Maguire (narrator Nick Carraway) looked for clues
wherever they could be found — and then came to their
own storytelling conclusions….”

“Their own story-telling conclusions?” It’s impossible
to imagine that anyone would be more interested in the
collective Luhrmann-Pearce-DiCaprio-Mulligan-Maguire
conclusions than Fitzgerald’s conclusions.

The Times noted, “When the source material left some
questions unanswered, Luhrmann followed his own hunches.
A case in point: The novel suggests that Gatsby, a former
soldier, penned a heartbreaking letter to Daisy on her
wedding day. The book never reveals the contents, but its
impact on Daisy is profound.

When The Great American Novel leaves “some questions un-
answered,” only a fool or an egomaniac would “follow
his own hunches.”

The Times writer actually buys Luhrmann’s bizarre logic.
“Luhrmann and his team decided that the missive was
Gatsby’s confession of undying love in a relationship
doomed by his poverty and set out his thoughts to Daisy
‘You see my uniform hid the truth that I was poor,’
the letter reads in the film’s imagination, its lines
meticulously inked with a turn-of-the-century fountain
pen on vintage paper (in handwriting that mimicked
Fitzgerald’s, no less).

“The full note never appears on screen, but the fact
that Luhrmann felt compelled to create it in such detail
speaks to the director’s attention to detail and the
intricacies of his creative embellishments.” No, it
doesn’t. It speaks to the director’s need to put his
own fingerprints on The Great American Novel, and,
in the doing, destroy it.

According to the Times story, Luhrmann said, “I have
one duty — to the best of my ability to captain the
storytelling team, and to tell and reveal the story…
I set out to reveal ‘The Great Gatsby,’ but I also
set out to do a movie of it…”

No! It is not his duty to “reveal” the story, it is his
sole duty when filming The Great American Novel to
render it faithfully on film. Nothing more. Nothing
less. The story’s there. All of it.

The Times story continues, “While Gatsby’s famous bashes
are even more excessive in Luhrmann’s imagination than
in the novel, with fireworks choreographed to Gershwin’s
‘Rhapsody in Blue,’ the director said he labored to keep
the story intimate and immersive.”

Fireworks choreographed to Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue?”
That’s sounds more like a showoff than a showman. .

DeCaprio now seems to play nothing but icons. Scorcese
miscast him as Howard Hughes. Luhrmann miscast him as
Romeo. Clint Eastwood miscast him as J. Edgar Hoover.
And now Luhrmann has miscast him again – as Gatsby.
Hughes, Romeo, Hoover and Gatsby haven’t even a vague
resemblance to each other and DiCaprio doesn’t look
like any of them. Indeed, these days he looks more
like the vaguely familiar man at the next table in
the Border Grill than himself.
Luhrmann told the Times that criticism is inevitable
whenever you touch a hallowed text, be it by Shakes-
peare or Fitzgerald. “If you go near anything, you
are going to be tarred and feathered,” he said.

Wrong again. To take on The Great American Novel, a
wholly hallowed text, and attempt to put your brand
on it is a fool’s game. It can only end badly.

A while ago, the New York Times reported that “The
Great Gatsby” was being used in certain college courses
as a manual for success. I wondered what Fitzgerald
would think of the news.
He would smile wryly, I thought, but he wouldn’t be
surprised.

“Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgiastic
future that year by year recedes before us. It eluded
us then, but that’s no matter – tomorrow we will run
faster, stretch out our arms further…and one fine morning —-

“So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back
ceaselessly into the past.”
–F. Scott Fitzgerald, THE GREAT GATSBY (1925), final two
paragraphs. Perfect.

FULL INVESTIGATION OF AIRPORT FUTURE NEEDED

From: FriendsofSunsetPark@yahoo.com
To: council@smgov.net, gleam.davis@smgov.net, robert.
holbrook@smgov.net, kevin@mckeown.net, pam.oconnor@
smgov.net, terry.oday@smgov.net, tony.vazquez@smgov.
net, ted.winterer@smgov.net, Clerk@smgov.net, rod.
gould@smgov.net, martin.pastucha@smgov.net, susan.
cline@smgov.net, Bob.Trimborn@SMGOV.NET
Sent: 4/28/2013 7:27:23 A.M. Pacific Daylight Time
Subj: FOSP: Council 4/30/13 agenda items 8-A and 11-A

April 27, 2013
To: City Council
From: Board of Directors, Friends of Sunset Park (FOSP)
Re: 4/30/13 Agenda Items 8-A, 11-A

1) Acknowledging that 80% of participants in the Airport
Visioning workshops and community surveys wanted the
Santa Monica Airport (SMO) to be closed, or operations
reduced, the FOSP Board supports a full investigation by
the City regarding closure of SMO when the 1984 Agreement
and Grant Assurances expire.

2) In an ongoing effort to make the airport more commun-
ity friendly, while not increasing vehicle traffic, the
FOSP Board supports modifications of the Santa Monica
Airport to mitigate its negative impacts on the adjacent
neighborhoods including, but not limited to, the follow-
ing City Staff/Consultant and SPAA-CASMAT-CRAAP recommen-
dations.

The FOSP Board supports the following Staff and IBI Con-
sultant recommendations:

· Landing fee proposal (Agenda Item 11-A) to make
the airport more financially self-sustaining

· Improve intersection of Walgrove/23rd and Air-
port Ave.

· Improve bike, pedestrian, public transport access

· Maintain current character of low impact/density
uses to prevent traffic increase

· Upgrade pavement and parking to create more effic-
ient parking areas allowing remaining surplus areas to be
used for open space/parkland

· Expand recreational uses (in particular maximiz-
ing green space and playing fields)

· Re-purpose and upgrade buildings in a cost effec-
tive, sustainable manner

· Expand art/culture opportunities

· Incentivize unleaded fuel/biofuel dispensing

· Alter the mix of aviation businesses through
future leasing policies, i.e., reduce the number of flight
schools and fixed based operators (FBOs — businesses that
service aircraft)

· Develop performance standards for leases (i.e.,
require operators to dispense alternative fuels or have
more neighborhood compatible hours of operations tied to
lease approvals)

· Muffler Incentive Program — create financial
incentives for flight schools to install aircraft noise
reduction mufflers

· Pursue Flight Path Separation Waiver — advances
in positioning technology (GPS) may enable a reduction of
the 3-mile separation rule, permanently removing the alter-
nate 250-degree heading that took aircraft over more resi-
dential areas in Sunset Park and Ocean Park

· Reconfigure Airport to minimize adverse impacts
on the residential neighborhoods in particular moving avia-
tion uses to the north side of the airport

The FOSP Board supports the following concepts in the
SPAA-CASMAT-CRAAP Plan:

· Decommission the western quit-claim parcel of
the runway

· Increase park space and athletic fields

· Create bike paths and pedestrian trails

· In theory, we support wetland creation. But we
have concerns that attracting more birds to the area will
create a safety hazard for aircraft.

In addition, FOSP supports the following:

· Reduction of tie downs — the number required
in the 1984 Agreement is no longer needed

· Create a solar farm — Councilmember Ted Winter-
er’s proposal

· Study the feasibility of a park funding mea-
sure to raise money for parkland/athletic field creation
in lieu of the absence of redevelopment funds (2012 City
Council Candidate Frank Gruber’s proposal)

· Thoroughly investigate the feasibility of de-
creasing the noise limit and expanding the curfew hours.
We acknowledge that staff believes this would violate
the Airport Noise and Capacity Act (ANCA). However,
Airport Commission investigation has revealed that the
sanction for violating ANCA is cessation of grant money,
and it is already the current policy of the City not to
accept further federal grant funds related to the Airport.

· Actively promote a neighborhood friendly airport
through lease management.

· DO NOT enter into another agreement with the
FAA that ties the hands of the City.

The FOSP Board opposes:

· Further expansion of SMC facilities and uses on
airport property, due to the unavoidable negative traffic
impacts that would result from such an expansion. The SMC
Facilities Master Plan 2010 Update described significant
effects on traffic, including a net increase of 5,678 dai-
ly weekday car trips and 36 intersections of “significant
and unavoidable impact.” Any expansion of SMC facilities
at the airport would be a contraindication to IBI’s recom-
mendation of “limiting development of non-aviation lands
to protect quality of life and prevent increased traffic.