I guess I’m like that big brother (we have turned the clocks forward to 1984, yes?) who sits there saying nothing, sort of not paying attention, but you have to be on your best behavior because you know he’ll run and tattle the first time you mess up.

I was asked by two board members after the Ocean Park Association (OPA) meeting Monday night if I didn’t think this meeting went smoother than the last couple, and I said yeah. Easy call.
I’m wondering if I can eke out a living this way? Get paid to go to every group in town that’s a little lost, and sit there as their conscience, an inspiration to not do anything they wouldn’t want to see in print on Wednesday. The remuneration would have to be high.

I have been to enough meetings at all levels to know there are many, many

well-intentioned, high minded, civic-oriented folks here who spend countless hours

trying to do nothing more than serve and improve their communities, and God

bless ‘em. We all benefit from their quiet work. I also know for every board or

committee where those good folk are the majority, there lurks an unknown number

with ulterior motives behind their every move and decision. Also trying to serve,

but with their own agenda taking top consideration. Power players.



Monday’s OPA meeting seemed organized, efficient, covering a lot of ground with clarity, and on schedule (President Andrew Gledhill brought down the gavel noting that it was “one minute past… meeting adjourned!”).

But — he also earlier cut off the one negative comment of the whole night (“Main Street is filthy! I hate to take people there!”), from four-year member Robin Sherry, who had previously expressed intimidation about coming to meetings, and who that night, prior to being stifled, confided to me that “they seem to be a lot nicer this time, don’t you think?”

So I would say they’re not there yet. Good as your intentions may be, if you’re on even a board or committee, you’re in politics, and the job description includes handling unhappy constituents and their complaints. That reaction stood out like a sore thumb because everything was so tightly orchestrated that there was no room for anything but the upbeat. Sometimes there are more important things than finishing right on time. Often, in fact.

There was much talk that night of increasing OPA membership. Well, then don’t scare them off. It’s as though OPA is trying hard to mature into a useful community forum, but, they’ve been around over a decade.



Other things have changed as well, for the good, in the last few months. Bylaws

everyone knows (because they’re on the website), a much improved website where you can now see all sorts of good stuff they’ve been up to, a clear agenda (but followed too tightly), and pretty good snacks (but I think that was just because the Mayor was scheduled).

Hizzoner was scheduled, and Mayor Ted Winterer ran through an informative

monologue on the events surrounding the recent City Council vote (4-3) to let the airport be an airport (more or less) until 2028. Some have been critical of that long time frame. He claims we got much more than could have been expected out of the FAA, who are holding all the cards, but it’s hard to evaluate the results of closed-door negotiations (which they had to be). His scheduling at their meeting I think also indicates a willingness for OPA to become more informed on important city issues and hopefully to take a stand on them, one that represents their constituents. If they can just get constituents to show up.

Board member and OPA and 4th of July Main Street Parade co-founder Jeff Jarow gave a report on the parade, with some problems to address, mainly costs for increased security required by the City. Main Street and Lincoln were discussed, as usual, as they should be.

On the OPA home page there is a photo of what looks like the entire board, on the beach. Though member attendance quadrupled this month over last, there were still about twice as many people up front, behind the tables, on the board, than in the cheap seats. Past time to flip those numbers.



So many are talking about the appearance of one of our own on all the Sunday

morning news shows. Using phrases like “startling, shocking,” “made the hair on my neck stand up,” “portrait of a young fascist.”

Stephen Miller grew up north of Montana, and made a strong political impression here at an early age. But hardly one that most Santa Monicans would point to with pride. Our Kate Cagle did a terrific piece on him on Inauguration Day, at that time his claim to fame being as Trump’s speech writer for that momentous day. But now he seems to be climbing much more ambitious heights, with the President’s blessing.

I read Kate’s piece, I had read other things, I saw photos of him, but seeing him speak (lecture, pontificate) on those news interview shows was a whole other thing. A scary thing. I soon found out I was not alone in that reaction. See how you feel.



SAD EVENT OF THE WEEK: So long Vidiots, for good. Friday night party/wake, 7 p.m. What a great Santa Monica institution.

QUOTE OF THE WEEK: “[T]he Hollywood crowd feels sympathy for the terrorists, detests Republicans and sees America as an obstacle to a better world.” — Trump Senior Advisor Stephen Miller (of Santa Monica)

(No; yes more or less and with good reason; and as of right now, yes. — CWA)                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               

Charles Andrews has lived in Santa Monica for 31 years and wouldn’t live

anywhere else in the world. Really. Send love and/or rebuke to him at


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