Friday, November 24, 2017

Letter to the Los Angeles Times

From the Letters to the Editor of the Los Angeles Times today:

Singling out Venice Beach

Re: Hep A on the beaches

Los Angeles faces two real crises: the largest homeless population in the nation and a Hepatitis A outbreak. To deal with it, Conor Friedersdorf calls for opening up public restrooms in one community — Venice.

As I would have informed him had he called me instead of citing a two-year-old quote, he is missing the big picture.

Camping is banned in almost all of Los Angeles’ parks, including on beaches. No camping should lead to no campers, thus no need for restrooms late at night.

If the city will not honor the camping ban in all its parks, then it should open all of them to camping and keep the restrooms open all day and night. This would include, for example, camping in the park next to City Hall, with 24-hour access to ground-floor restrooms.

I doubt The Times would welcome the return of an Occupy L.A.-style encampment across the street from its downtown headquarters any more than the residents of Venice want a return to the noxious behaviors that inevitably occur with opening up the restrooms along Venice Beach at night.

Mark Ryavec, Venice