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Rosendahl Fires Up Santa Monica Airport Protesters

City Councilmember Bill Rosendahl joins Sunday's protest outside the Santa Monica Airport.

Area residents of staged their latest protest Sunday afternoon and were joined by Los Angeles City Councilman Bill Rosendahl. Earlier this year, , crafted by Rosendahl and Councilwoman Janice Hahn, to lower the amount of noise and pollution at SMO.

Around 1 p.m., roughly two dozen protesters congregated on both sides of Bundy Drive at the intersection of National Boulevard, holding signs and waving to drivers as they passed by. Rosendahl led a handful of the protesters to march to the SMO entrance at Bundy and Airport Avenue, where they planted themselves for about 15 minutes.

Protesters chanted, "Time to shut the airport down!," "No more jets!" and "Santa Monica, listen to Los Angeles!"

"Santa Monica, in its selfishness, has all its takeoffs and landings over my folks," Rosendahl told Patch. "My [11th District] constituents face toxicity every day. This is a health emergency. It's like having a motorcycle in the playground."

In July, California State Sen. Ted Lieu asked for by the California Environmental Protection Agency’s Department of Toxic Substance Control into the toxicity of the soil, vapor and air surrounding toxic pollution stemming from aircraft operations.

Rosendahl applauded Lieu's efforts and said U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer of California "gets it" too. But he scolded U.S. Rep. Henry Waxman, who represents Santa Monica and is the ranking Democrat on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

"I want the House committee to take up this issue," Rosendahl said. "If Waxman wanted to show real leadership, he wouldn't be finding ways to keep the airport open."

Rosendahl argued that politicians need to pressure the Federal Aviation Administration, which has an airport lease with the city of Santa Monica (). He also noted that many people who use the municipal airport are wealthy.

"This is the 1 percent," he said, pointing to SMO.

Similar sentiments were echoed by Martin Rubin, whose group Concerned Residents Against Airport Pollution organized the Sunday protest. (Rubin about his opposition to SMO for Patch.)

"I've always said the city of Santa Monica and the FAA are responsible for the airport and its pollution," he said, "but the users—corporate people, sports figures, entertainment celebrities—should be responsible too. They're coming here in luxury and comfort and convenience, and turning a blind eye to the extreme environmental impacts [of SMO]."

Rubin's group held a related education forum, which Rosendahl also attended, at Saint Andrew’s Lutheran Church in West Los Angeles on Saturday night. Via teleconference, British environmental activists John Stewart and Dan Glass explained how they successfully curtailed plans for a third runway at Heathrow Airport in London.

"This was a first try at bringing in global interests" around the subject of airport pollution, Rubin said.

Other efforts are under way to galvanize additional groups to support shutting down SMO. Protester Lorraine Sanchez, who is a director of the Santa Monica neighborhood group Friends of Sunset Park, said her organization is trying to team up with other neighborhood groups, in part through the neighborhood council that represents all six of them.

"I think it's morally wrong to say to say pollution is OK in someone else's background but not mine."

Protester Suzi Spear, a West Los Angeles resident who lives near the airport, said she and her family have been directly affected by the airport pollution.

"I have to tell my kids they can't be outside sometimes, because during certain times of day the jets will be there idling and spewing fumes," she said.

Spear, who moved to West Los Angeles in 2000, said she knew there would be noise from the planes at the airport but didn't expect to be near an environmental hazard.

"We don't know the health consequences yet, but it can't be good," she said.

For more on opposition to Santa Monica Airport, read about attended by 36th Congressional District race candidate Marcy Winograd. Also, read what 50th Assembly District candidates , and have to say about the airport.

Valerie Griffin October 18, 2011 at 10:19 PM
I’m surprised that neither LA City Councilmember Bill Rosendahl nor CRAAP’s Marty Rubin has corrected the notion that the City of Santa Monica enjoys economic gains from the Santa Monica Airport. Both men were at the Santa Monica City Council’s Special Meeting on October 4 to address the airport. Therefore, both men saw the slide that concluded, “In FY 2010-11, the Airport Campus generated enough revenue to offset nearly all operating costs.” In other words, the City loses money on the airport. To verify for myself that this is not an aberration, I looked at the City’s budget which includes, “The Airport will require loans from the General Fund of $3.3 million in FY 2011-12, $2.6 million of which is part of a return on investment proposal while the remainder is to cover a structural deficit. Another $0.6 million loan is needed in FY 2012-13. Additional loans ranging from $0.6 million to $0.7 million will be required through FY 2015-16. It is expected that the Airport will begin repaying these loans in FY 2016-17 after the current operating agreement with the FAA expires.” I’m not an accountant, but that doesn’t sound like the City is making lots of economic gains from the airport. Those numbers don’t include the money the City has spent fighting with the FAA or in planning for life after the operating agreement between the FAA and Santa Monica expires.
Valerie Griffin October 18, 2011 at 10:19 PM
I continue to be surprised that neither of these men nor anyone in the press seems aware of just how little power the City of Santa Monica has to regulate the airborne noise and pollution generators that frequent LA and Santa Monica. For quite a while, there have been politicians standing beside the Santa Monica City Councilmembers fighting against the excesses allowed and encouraged by the FAA. As far as I know, however, Santa Monica is the only governmental body that has actually spent significant money on the issue. Even though we lost, I do applaud this use of my tax money. Santa Monica’s neighborhood groups, especially Friends of Sunset Park and the Ocean Park Association, have spent countless hours researching and publicizing aspects of the airport. (Roger Allen lives in the area served by Friends of Sunset Park.) This is an important issue. It is not going to be solved quickly, and no resolution will please everyone. I look forward to public acknowledgement, especially by Messrs Rosendahl and Rubin, of the leadership shown by the City of Santa Monica.
Alexander Herman October 19, 2011 at 06:20 PM
The Cit of Santa Monica directs SMO planes over Venice instead of Santa Monica. Santa Monica lobbied the FAA, via Rep. Waxman, to shelve the results of the study on the effect of changing a small percentage of plane routes on improving idle times. Why should Councilman Rosendahl give credit to Santa Monica when they continue to dump the toxic waste and noise pollution of their wealthiest citizens on Rosendahl's constituents? Bully for SM that some people in the government are concerned about their own constituents in Sunset Park and Ocean Park, but they have done nothing to change the daily abuse from SMO planes on Venice, Mar Vista and other City of L.A. areas, which is actually within the purview of their power. Their is a lot to be gained on all sides from City of L.A. residents joining forces with Sunset Park and Ocean Park residents, but let's be real about how SM policies benefit them at the expense of L.A. residents.
Valerie Griffin October 19, 2011 at 06:42 PM
The FAA's published "study" was essentially data-free. An analysis of that "study" may be found at http://www.wilmont.org/system/files/FAA%20Interim%20Review%20Analysis.pdf The 250-heading test generated many thousands of complaints. Also, it has NOTHING to do with the flight schools' pattern flying, the source of most of the flyover problems. Planes take off over a Santa Monica neighborhood and are expected to fly over the area where the ground is lower and people don't live, i.e. the golf course. This reduces some of the noise and pollution impacts and moves some of the risk from residential neighborhoods to the golf course. This geography is outside anyone's control. The shape of "standard" patterns, including the landing approach, determines which homes the aircraft fly over. The City of Santa Monica cannot control this.
Alexander Herman October 19, 2011 at 06:59 PM
This response is simply not credible. On the one hand you say the FAA test generated thousands of complaints, but on the other you try to downplay the change by saying that most of the flyover problems are as a results of the unaffected flying school problems. The jet disruptions that generated the thousands of complaints you refer to are lobbied on Venice residents instead, who already suffer disproportionately, and who have no faith that complaining will help them at all because the airport is in Santa Monica, and they have been historically disenfranchised from political processes affecting airport operations. Furthermore, Santa Monica certainly could direct some percentage of total flights to turn north over SM, as opposed to looping over Venice. Claiming that geography alone dictates the SMO flight patterns is simply not true.
Martin Rubin January 17, 2012 at 07:27 PM
Stay up-to-date on Santa Monica Airport (SMO) issues and community efforts to get rid of the jet pollution (both air and noise), get rid of leaded Aviation Gasoline, get rid of pattern flying at SMO, and eventually close SMO. Sign-up to be on the CONCERNED RESIDENTS AGAINST AIRPORT POLLUTION contact list at http://www.jetairpollution.com .
john printy January 19, 2012 at 01:59 AM
yes I really think that santa monica airport should be shut down, because I the way I see it is, that I think that santa monica airport is just too too much of a Liability, to santa monica, and a disaster just waiting to happen, and with an airport that close to homes, like that, its also too much of a health danger also, with all the planes, and jet spewing out all those toxic fumes from there engines, I say turn santa monica airport into a PARK, with plenty of Trees, and nice green grass, and places where people can have barbeques, and or picnic's, and kids can play, and breath Clean fresh OCEAN air.......

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