Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Drain the Swamp, Mike, and Stop Attracting More Homeless to Venice

Over the last several years the VSA has documented home invasions and assaults on residents by the homeless.  

Two recent incidents underline that the councilman's initiatives - opening restrooms at night, allowing camping on the beach, not enforcing the ban on private possessions stored on the Boardwalk and along the beach, not enforcing the limit on possessions stored on sidewalks and parkways, not enforcing the ban on lying, sitting or sleeping between 6 am and 9 pm, not enforcing three foot ADA clearance on sidewalks, not declaring the Jones Settlement satisfied and returning to enforcement 24 hours-a-day of the ban on sleeping on a sidewalk, not funding the Homeless Task Force (the most effective service in Venice at getting homeless off the street), and unilaterally proceeding with conversion of the Westminster Center to storage - simply bring more transients to camp out in Venice and lead to more assaults.

Last weekend my neighbor Tony was socked in the eye by a crazed homeless man while he was innocently riding his bike on the bike path by the Rose Avenue parking lot. He was knocked to the ground and disoriented.  He made his way to the LAPD sub-station to make a report.  On the way he saw the fellow who had struck him.  He reported this to two officers at the sub-station who told him they were to too busy to take a report or to go out and arrest the perpetrator.

Then this morning this report from Sue Choi came in, underlying the magnet effect of the Westminster Center becoming storage for homeless possessions, and the dire result for one of our citizens.

Councilman Bonin,

I'd like to report a clear example of increased endangerment to our community directly attributable to the impending homeless storage project at the Westminster senior facility. As you know, this location is just across the street from the Westminster Elementary school and two preschools. Additionally, our block here on San Juan Ave. is home to 7 children under the age of 8 years.

This morning a worker sweeping the sidewalk was beaten and bloodied by a man who has moved onto our block to wait for the storage center to open.

For the past few days, this homeless man has been storing his belongings against a commercial building at San Juan Ave and Main St. He is new to the area and told my husband he is waiting for the storage facility to open. The police moved him off of Main St. and said he could store his stuff on San Juan Ave. A worker for that building cleans the San Juan sidewalk every morning and this morning, he was beaten by the homeless man with a broomstick. The worker was bleeding and believed his arm might be broken. The police took away the homeless man in cuffs and said they had received multiple calls about this man over the past few days.

Does it take blood to keep our residents and workers protected? A man who sweeps the sidewalk will be limited in his working capacity because a mentally unstable homeless man needs to store his belongings in a newly renovated structure? Something has gone wrong with the world when someone who does honest work for a living is beaten by a man who is given a pass to terrorize our neighborhood.

I have two requests for you:

1. Please advise how we keep this proven troublemaker off our street, because once he is released, he will be back for his free storage.

2. Please vote on Councilman Gilbert Cedillo's motion for a Safe School Zone.


Sue Choi