The massive, code-busting Plaza at Santa Monica hotel project’s “public benefits” should include free overnight stays for every city resident, foot massages and a continental breakfast. Forty-eight low-income apartments allowing about a hundred lucky out-of-towners to move here just doesn’t seem to be enough.

We own the land, after all. We, the residents, are the real developers here, right?

Mark Shepherd
Santa Monica

Open-door policy?


There is a problem with the Vons on Lincoln Boulevard and Colorado I am hoping the power of the press can fix. In the early morning, when the store is open, they block off the north door so you cannot enter. Should there be a fire and the store fills with smoke, people would not be able to get out of that door.

I spoke to the manager about this and he says they close it for theft protection reasons. They don’t have a cashier on that early to watch the door. I point out the sign over the door which reads, “This door to remain open during business hours,” and ask him why the sign is there. He says in case of fire and he adds the doors are designed to break away should you push hard on them.

I ask him if an 80-year-old could open the door, and he said probably not. I asked him if he could see if the doors are open during business hours and he said he would see to it. The door is still closed. I am hoping that we can avert a tragedy where someone has to die and just fix the problem.

Richard Horowitz
Santa Monica

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