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Take the Long View for Venice Grand Canal

January 27, 2002

Re "Sides Agree on Canal Upgrade, but Not on How," Jan. 21:

The mind-set behind the city's planned restoration of the Venice Grand Canal is the same psychology that brought us AstroTurf and aluminum Christmas trees. God bless Marcia Hanscom's Wetlands Action Network and the Sierra Club for holding the city to the standard of ecologically sensitive habitat restoration instead.

Hopefully, the city will have the smarts to sit down with the biologists who have pointed out the severe deficiencies in its plan and craft a settlement, rather than dig in for the protracted, pointless legal wrangle that Councilwoman Ruth Galanter claims the city doesn't want and that would require the refunding of assessment fees to local residents.

Andrew Christie

Mar Vista

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Your story really didn't give us both sides of the argument. On our walks along the broken concrete path, my wife and I also agree: It is a "woeful site." However, we also know that a long-term view of this treasured part of our county's coastline demands more than short-term (albeit aesthetic) remedies. Important, ecologically compelling facts including endangered species, daily tidal flow and natural (not imported) habitat are a few of the considerations that precipitated a Superior Court judge's decision to bring the city's project to a halt.

John E. Armer

Santa Monica

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The land under question is public property, and the city of L.A. should listen to and work with all interested citizens who have concerns that this dredging project will unnecessarily destroy marine life. We don't need another mess like the Ballona Lagoon "restoration," in which thousands of clams and other marine life were dredged up to die in the sun, while they "fixed" the lagoon.

Kathy Knight

Santa Monica

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