Your June 19 first-person account by Mark Verge (The Weekly Briefing) suggests that the Business Journal does not corroborate the information presented. Mr. Verge claims that he lists "about 200 new rental properties a day." That translates to 6,000 a month. However, the Rand Corp. recently stated that the city of Santa Monica only has about 1,200 vacancies at any given time.
Therefore, if Mr. Verge's figure was accurate, he would have to list every single vacancy in Santa Monica and several surrounding cities. Despite the success of his business, this is not feasible.
I urge you to check the information your interviewees present. Even though the Briefing is presented as a direct quote, you may be publishing misleading information to the public.
Mark Verge responds: It is unclear how Ms. Markevicius could interpret that the 200 new rental properties a day are confined only to the Santa Monica area. The article states that, besides Santa Monica, we have offices in West Hollywood, Hermosa Beach and soon to be Studio City. Westside Rental Connection covers a wide area bordered to the north by Malibu, to the south by Long Beach, to the west by Santa Monica and to the east by Pasadena.Soboroff's Valley Roots
Joel Kotkin would probably rewrite his "Valley Vision" column (June 12) about next year's mayoral race if he knew about the "Valley Boy" in Steve Soboroff.
It is a 34-year story, beginning in Woodland Hills where Steve grew up and graduated from Taft High School. He spent a semester at Valley College, and held summer jobs in Reseda, Sherman Oaks and Tarzana. After graduating from college and moving to Encino, he taught classes at CSUN. Two of his five kids go to Valley schools, and the rest are on the way.
We have over 100 parks in the Valley and, as our parks commissioner, Steve has visited every single one of them. Many have been vastly improved over the past two years, and 45 now have park advisory boards, created by Steve's commission. Those advisory boards give control over park facilities, programs and budgets to local neighborhoods.
Steve is also the president of the bond oversight committee for our public schools, and he has protected taxpayer dollars from wasteful LAUSD spending, while completing greening and other health and safety projects at over 125 Valley schools. Thanks to the efforts of Steve and his oversight committee, all Valley children now learn in air-conditioned classrooms.
Steve's business, Soboroff Partners, which pays Los Angeles city taxes through its Encino office, has found Valley homes for hundreds of retailers, including Circuit City, Orchard Supply Hardware, Pep Boys, Office Depot, Oshman's, Kinney Shoes, Wal-Mart and numerous restaurants. His mayoral campaign is headquartered in the Valley, too.
If Kotkin's criteria for endorsement include growing up and working in the Valley, improving Valley parks and schools, headquartering a mayoral campaign in the Valley, and helping to improve the quality of life for each Valley resident, than he should entitle his rewrite "Time for Soboroff."
Gortikov Enterprises Inc.
EncinoTraining for African Americans
I commend you for allowing Earl Ofari Hutchinson's commentary piece to be printed in your newspaper ("Black Business," June 19).
The major points made by Mr. Hutchinson are important factors to be reckoned with. I have the fortunate experience of being acquainted with various black, bright, high-tech professionals.
What needs to be done is to alert the young, bright, black youths who are good in math that they could become computer programmers with only an eighth-grade mathematics background. A lot of young people are totally unaware of this fact. A prominent black senior programming analyst told me that!
There could be computer centers built by our successful black businessmen, athletes and entertainers. Build computer training centers worldwide, and there is your answer.
VALDEMENIA M. WILLIAMS
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