Monday, February 27, 2012

Please come battle New West Charter on Tuesday!

Please come battle New West Charter on Tuesday!Join hundreds of community members, students, teachers and parents are going to City Hall in force to protect West LA from the effects of that the relocation of New West Charter could cause, namely:

  1. Insane traffic at all hours of the day
  2. Use of public funds to gain a rent subsidy just because they are near a Title 1 Elementary school
  3. Possible continued underserving of the local West LA community and its students by a charter that doesn't answer to the community itself
  4. Please examine the attached documents for more info!

Show up at City Hall (200 N. Spring Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012) on February 28, 2012 3:00pm. Be counted by politicians and take a stand against something.

Please call Councilman Rosendahl on his cell phone: (310) 367-0237 and remind him of his responsibility to his constituents!

February 22, 2012

Re: CPC-2011-1923-CU-SPR

Councilman Ed Reyes
Councilman Jose Huizar
Councilman Mitch Englander
Councilman Bill Rosendahl

Cc: Len Nguyen

As a member of the WLA Neighborhood Council’s PLUM committee, I have consistently voted to oppose New West Charter School’s expansion into the site at 1905 S. Armacost in our modest, already-congested, West Los Angeles neighborhood. I live six blocks away, and not only will this project destroy the livability in the immediate vicinity of this location, but it will have severe ramifications for the entire, surrounding community.

You have to ask yourselves why the administrators and parents are so gung-ho about sending their kids to school in a WAREHOUSE…with no lawn, no cafeteria, no gymnasium. Why do they want to transport them to OUR neighborhood from various parts of the greater Los Angeles area?

Is it because they have a sweetheart deal whereby the state (we taxpayers) will subsidize most of their rent at this boxy, brick, shell of a building? Is it because it’s a block away from OUR neighborhood park which is already at capacity with daily, private school activities? Is it because it’s not far from our LAUSD high school, University High, and they feel entitled to muscle onto their campus to use THEIR gymnasium and THEIR other facilities?

Quimby funds that compensate us for the overdevelopment of our community’s up-zoned areas have gone into Stoner Park to enhance it for OUR local residents…not for a bunch of interlopers who eye it as a commodity they can come in and usurp.

From the first time the New West representatives came to a neighborhood council meeting, the administrators and parents have painted a rosy picture about high-performing students having a quality education while turning a blind eye to the negative impact they would impose on the surrounding community. We want ALL our neighborhood children to have a high-quality education. This issue before you is not a referendum on private schools. This is about the inappropriate use of a warehouse which is directly across the street from very modest R-1 houses, some occupied by elderly people who’ve lived in our neighborhood since the early 1950s.

We have an abundance of private schools occupying industrial space within a quarter mile of this location. We already deal with their traffic and cut-through traffic from businesses in Santa Monica that pass through WLA in huge, sluggish numbers. At least the other private schools were obligated to implement significant mitigation measures to ease the burden on our community, most importantly…school busing. New West Charter School’s answer to the question about busing is, “We can’t afford it.” Their answer to whether they could cut down the size of their student body has always been, “We can’t afford it.” Their answer to the proposal to divide their student body between two different sites is, “We can’t afford it.” New West at this Armacost location??? WE can’t afford it!

They SAY they will carpool and give bus passes to their students and have them ride bikes, but we know that’s not practical for parents and kids from all over town. There is no viable way for them to mitigate the impact of 875 students coming into this peaceful neighborhood and no way to mitigate the impact of morning drop-offs and afternoon pick-ups in this already-burdened community.

The enforcement measures they propose are tied to contracts between the parents and the school. Theoretically, if a student is not car-pooling, he can be expelled. Do you really think they’re going to expel high-performing students who help keep their API up, just because they don’t follow the transportation guidelines? Of course not!

Their proposed car-pooling figures are so unrealistic as to be laughable.  Their plans for queuing cars in our neighborhood are absurd and are presented as if they’re happening in a vacuum instead of in a heavily-trafficked neighborhood.

The fact is, the City has no mechanism for enforcement which could hold New West Charter School’s feet to the fire if and when they were to violate the conditions they say they’d agree to. Their demeanor at our neighborhood meetings demonstrates that they won’t even care if they’re abusing the privilege of situating THEIR school in OUR neighborhood. New West Middle School, at its present location on Pico Blvd., with a smaller-size student body has a history of hostility toward nearby businesspeople. And the best indication of future behavior is past behavior. They are not good neighbors now, and there is no reason to believe that they will be respectful, considerate, compliant or fair with the members of our local community. If you allow New West to set up shop in our residential area on Armacost, there will be no recourse for the residents and nearby business owners who will suffer from the congestion, the dangerous pedestrian and traffic conflicts, the noise, the parking on our streets…

What would our WLA neighborhood GET out of putting New West Charter School at 1905 S. Armacost Ave.? Nothing but headaches, inconvenience and ongoing dangerous situations.

Our residents wouldn’t be fighting a school that served our local community. They’d be more sympathetic if an under-enrolled, local, public school which was the “victim” of changing demographics, needed to bus public school children from other Los Angeles neighborhoods. But this project serves OTHER people’s children who live in OTHER communities and seeks to stuff them and their commuter traffic and their noise and their trash and their parents’ cars on back-to-school nights in the middle of a neighborhood that gets not ONE OUNCE of benefit from their intrusion.

I implore you to vote “NO” on this proposal. There may be a good location for New West Charter School’s proposed expansion, but it is not at the site they currently have their eye on.

Marilyn Noyes
WLANC PLUM Committee member


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