Stars Asked To Move Jets To Van Nuys

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A Congressional candidate in Los Angeles is asking celebrities to plant their carbon footprint somewhere besides Santa Monica Airport. Democrat Marcy Winograd is suggesting Van Nuys. The candidate for the 36th District has sent letters to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, actors Julia Roberts, Tom Cruise and John Travolta and director Stephen Spielberg asking them to take a "no jet pledge" at SMO. Winograd cited pollution concerns in sending the letter, which has not garnered any responses yet. "The health and well being of people in West L.A. should take precedence over convenience," she told The Santa Monica Daily Press. She said she's not suggesting the stars give up their jets, just move them to Van Nuys where the runways are a little farther away from homes and businesses. It's the latest wrinkle in the ongoing battle over SMO, at which the local city council has been trying unsuccessfully to curtail jet activity for years. The environmental angle got their attention.

Last Tuesday, city council ordered staff to start lobbying senior levels of government on so-called "ultra-fine particles" that they now suspect are spewed by the jets. In fact, Winograd said she got her idea after attending a forum where researchers discussed the high levels of ultra-fine particles in the air near SMO. It's not known, however, if the particles cause health problems because there's never been a definitive study on their effects. Airport manager Bob Trimborn said there are about 40 jet operations a day at SMO.