Palisades News Letters: No Swag Bag for Me

No Swag Bag for Me

As an outsider looking in at The Caruso groundbreaking ceremony (the public was invited as advertised in the local papers). But, when you got there . . . It really was only meant for those in attendance such as Rick Caruso affiliates, fellow businessman, and a hand-picked politicians like Mike Bonin. Rick was casually dressed and gave a very nice. “Hi, I’m your friend and community advocate for uplifting change, togetherness and let’s make a lot of dough.”


Can’t blame him. All the men were dressed like Rick and groomed. I guess they want to be just like him. There were about 200 chairs and a roped off section for the chosen Rick Caruso groupies but only about 70 seats were taken. Each seat had a nice canvas bag filled with goodies for the chosen . . . I decided to take a bag since most were going unclaimed, but was told by a 20-year-old woman that you had to be on The Rick list. Oh, well. Rick needs it more than me. I look forward to the new shops and movie theater. Maybe Rick can splurge for free bags of popcorn at the theater grand opening. Or, maybe we need to buy him a bag of popcorn and a coke. Should be interesting.

Time and change . . . will tell!!!

Gary Carr
(Editor’s note: Gary Carr told the News, “I like Rick Caruso and his project. I’m excited to see the construction and eventually completion. Rick will probably be L.A. Mayor at some point.”)

(Editor’s note: the following two letters were sent to Councilman Mike Bonin and the News. They have been shortened to fit the space, but the complete version can be read on our website.)

No Distribution Station on DWP Lot

I read Michael Lofchie’s letter to you, urging an electrical substation next to Marquez Charter School. Please don’t believe the false narrative that “a small but vocal group of Marquez neighbors” is the only thing standing between DWP and the lot next to the school. Here are some facts at the “tip of the iceberg.”

  1. The Coalition of Palisadians to Keep Marquez Charter Safe gathered 500+ signatures in 2012 opposing a substation next to the school. Since then, our ranks have grown.
  2. In 2011, DWP’s consultants determined the lot has “fatally flawed” Grade “F” geology with an “existing landslide.”
  3. DWP’s own documents show distributing stations are a fire risk.
  4. LAUSD prohibits placing new schools near such “high risk” facilities. Everyone wants reliable power. But we must not put generations of public school children, teachers and staff at avoidable risk of harm.
  5. Lastly, Mr. Lofchie’s petition should be disregarded. First, signatories apparently relied on a misstatement of fact. DWP did not “buy” the lot. Rather, DWP forcibly took the lot by eminent domain years after the school was built and operational. Second, the petition did not identify its author(s) or sponsor(s); this lack of transparency undermines any legitimacy it purports to have.

Niloofar Shepherd

Put the Station on the DWP Lot

As residents of the Marquez area of Pacific Palisades for the last 20 years, we have participated in the ongoing debate to meet the community’s power needs by building a substation on the long established, DWP-owned lot on Marquez Ave.

As a result of some residents’ opposition to the location, due to its proximity to homes and the elementary school, two giant, open, electrical grid tower/platforms have been erected.

How did these issues prevent the use of the DWP lot where they would be mitigated with an enclosed structure, but were of no concern for these exposed and unsightly towers at locations next to a school, popular trail heads, and homes? Where is the Environmental Impact Report for this?

The fact is that substations are in place adjacent to schools, homes and businesses all over the city, for example, Brentwood Elementary, and our own substation in Pacific Palisades next to condos on one side and businesses on the other. A safe, grounded, concrete structure is crucial. The Marquez lot offers more than just a procured, adequate location, it is also an opportunity to improve substations of the future. It can be built with thicker walls, state of the art absorption materials, optimal location and ground level on the lot. Other mitigating elements can be employed, such as berms between the structure and the school/neighbor. EMF can be reduced overall by burying the existing power lines that run the length of the school.

As concerned residents, we urge you to halt construction and remove the temporary towers, and complete an EIR for the Marquez lot.

Rick and Gina Wahlgren

Palisades News welcomes all letters, which may be emailed to Please include a name, address and telephone number so we may reach you. Letters do not necessarily reflect the viewpoint of the Palisades News.

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