Not all people. Not the overwhelming majority of them. But the worst just continue to sink even lower. And therein lies danger.

I still believe like a Pollyanna that all people at their core are good and want to do good and be liked and even loved. I believe that all people understand at some level of their consciousness that we are all connected, every person worth as much as the next no matter what their trappings of gender, religion, work, wealth, race, intelligence, abilities, you name it.

Some of you who would agree would put it this way: we are all children of God. An explanation I could get behind… after a fashion… philosophically and probably not the way you mean it. But I would mistrust you until I knew more because lately, in this country especially, too many who claim to be God-fearing (now there’s a telling expression) Christians have given Christianity a really bad name. I would lovingly advise that, since you believe in Hell, you might want to step back and take another look what you stand for.


Are the ones who, I believe, have lost touch with their connection to humanity. They’ve come to believe that it’s them against the world and that their own survival depends on how much they can accumulate. (And it’s never enough.) They have come to be uncaring about the destruction in their wake. They have abandoned their own humanity and sold their souls. They are not even close to the majority but they do number in the millions in this country. And like the mad dog you can’t reason with, we must protect ourselves from them, which is really hard because they have marshalled so much money and political power. I have finally had to recognize that some mad dogs are as big and bad and intransigent as T. Rex (not the band), and I now believe that…


I know I will be pilloried, but consider that I have never really weighed in. I always thought spending so many millions to try to fight the US Government (FAA) was folly because they will do what they want in the end. We are a pesky gnat. But we won! (Sort of. Did we?) When the legal ruling left it an airport until 2029 I kind of chortled and backed off the hot-button issue; that’s a long way off.

I supported LC and voted for it, primarily because I don’t think an airport should be nestled among houses. Someday Harrison Ford won’t be able to hit the golf course and some unlucky homeowners will be having him drop in unannounced for dinner (all of them BBQ’d to a crisp, likely). It’s a disaster waiting to happen. The noise is a problem, the pollution from jet fuel even worse. And of course for years we were giving away bagsful of money to fortunate businesses there who somehow got leases you usually have to obtain with a mask and a gun.


You’re never going to get a park. Why not!? We have it in writing. It’s law.

That 227 acres is worth billions. Billions. Developers have been salivating uncontrollably for decades, and have probably already lined up their Council candidates for 2028. They will find a way. They always do. Because of all I wrote above: the bad guys are insane with greed and will do anything for a few hundred million bucks and are not about to let our petty laws and feckless representatives get in their way.

I always knew that, but was pushed to speak out now by a disturbing op-ed in Sunday’s LA Times by Steven Sharp that makes it clear the disinformation campaign has already begun, 10 years early. You should read it. I’m not going to break it all down. But I will tell you that Sharp, as co-founder and editor of Urbanize LA, is a very visible foil for big urban development. He also works for Kindel Gagan, “public affairs advocacy…we represent some of the largest commercial and residential developers in Southern California on complex developments seeking multiple entitlements.”

But before I thought about his pedigree I was struck by the phrases he used. Regarding the ability now to build a park, in his fourth sentence he asks, “is that really what’s best for Santa Monica?” Shades of Islas, another guy telling SM what they should do. He calls the “opening of a 227-acre site on the Westside… a once-in-a-generation opportunity — housing has to be part of the equation.”

He misrepresents our daily influx of 150-200,000 visitors. He writes that “even well-compensated tech employees… either can’t find or can’t afford housing” near their SM jobs. Baloney. If you’ve got $4K/mo for rent, and most of them do, you can have your pick. He fibs about the cause of the traffic patterns plaguing us. He chides us for already having more access to parks than Angelenos, by almost half.

Most telling, as most of this ilk do, he interchanges Westside and SM as it suits his narrative. And finally at the end he makes his blatant pitch: “setting aside a portion of the [airport] for housing is common sense, no matter how politically difficult it may be.”

Get lost Steven Sharp, and all your low developer friends in high rise places.

Charles Andrews has lived in Santa Monica for 33 years and wouldn’t live anywhere else in the world. Really. Send love and/or rebuke to him at

Join the Conversation


  1. If the airport becomes a park it will be home to 10,000 homeless. If the airport gets redeveloped as planned in 1980 we will have another 30,000 car trips per day. If the airport remains we will have electric powered aircraft and autonomous drones silently getting us around since surface streets will be useless.

  2. Charles – One letter from a developer shill and you are ready to throw in the towel and support an airport that is noisy polluting and dangerous by your own admission? Should we just give up and let the greedy mow us down?
    Now we will hear more fears and fantasies created by the Aviation side like the previous comment. The developers and the aviators want to use OUR land for THEIR purposes while we sit like deers in the headlights with fear and confusion or chickens squawking in the barnyard. Either way, residents lose enjoyment of the land their predecessors paid for to be preserved and used as a park in 1926. Not an airport or and air park, a park.
    Charles, yes, you have remained somewhat silent on the airport, but silence is a message.
    Reconsider and re-evaluate how anyone can accept an airport or a development on public owned land in Santa Monica.
    Or has the towel been thrown in ring.? Over. Finished.

  3. Right, Alan. Still trotting out the “polluting and dangerous” myths after how many debunkings? In a CENTURY, how many neighbors of the airport have been killed by a plane? ZERO. NONE. And yet every year, on average, someone dies on Bundy Drive. Let’s close Bundy and turn it into a “park.”

    Why don’t you take a look around the country at what people are dealing with after the FAA rerouted commercial air traffic. That’s a nice snapshot of what we’ll be dealing with in Santa Monica if our airport’s airspace goes away. You’ll have all the noise and pollution you care to whine about, when heavy planes from LAX get to fly lower and directly over Santa Monica… dumping soot.

    After the back-room deal, larger jets are now gone from SMO; so what are you complaining about? It is now less noisy and less polluting than it was when you moved in (if you indeed live anywhere near it). So where do you get off trying to steal a public resource from the rest of us?

    Every day, the citizens of Santa Monica call out the city council for its corrupt dealings and degradation of the quality of life here. But you’re pushing the idea that it’s going to defy its history and daily behavior to do a 180 with the airport land? How naíve can you be?

    The author is right: This land will never be a park. It’s a financial impossibility, not to mention grossly irresponsible. You’re promoting the destruction of an airport just as technology arrives to address what you’re claiming are your chief objections to it.

    If I were feeling generous, I’d call that hypocrisy. But I think we all know it’s more selfish than that.

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