Friday, March 21, 2008

Angry Neighbors Turn Out in Force to Oppose Angels Gate School

“SRHS #15” is bureaucratic shorthand for South Region High School #15, otherwise known as “the Angels Gate high school.”

Responding to the Los Angeles Unified School District’s proposal to build the 800-seat campus off Alma Street below 30th Street, about 120 area residents enlivened an otherwise routine neighborhood council committee meeting on March 19.

The Coastal San Pedro Neighborhood Council’s planning and transportation committee was the setting for an educational workshop on grassroots politics. Chair Linda Marinkovich oversaw the meeting, held to teach concerned residents how to effectively voice their opinions about the school.

A show of hands indicated that the residents were unanimously opposed to the school.

Some specific objections raised at the meeting included traffic on the narrow and winding Alma Street, LAUSD’s failure to provide parking for students, noise generated by outdoor activities at the school and the potential for increases in crimes such as break-ins and vandalism.

Sierra Club leader Tom Politeo explained the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) process and how to influence the outcome.

Coastal councilmember Doug Epperhart discussed the politics of the situation and ways to apply pressure.

Mark Wells, RNeighborhoodsAre1 activist and blogger, detailed key points in the bureaucratic documentation and discussed technical aspects of the project.

Neighbors in the area have formed Neighbors Opposed and Incorporated to Stop Encroachment (NOISE) to fight the Angels Gate school plan.

The Coastal council will likely consider a resolution at its April 21 meeting to offer comments on the proposed campus.

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