Friday, March 16, 2018

Fight Back, Venice Founder Christian Wrede Pens "Confessions of a Venice Nimby" for Argonaut

We all want to help, but squeezing most of the Westside’s homeless services and large supportive housing projects into a single neighborhood just isn’t fair

REad it at:

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Please Make a Donation to the VSA to Support Lawsuit Against Bonin's Attempt to Turn Westminster Senior Center into Homeless "Navigation Center"

I am writing to ask you to make a tax-deductible donation to the VSA to support Venice Kids Count's on-going lawsuit to stop Councilman Bonin from turning the Westminster Senior Center into a full-service homeless "navigation center."  

Bonin initially, and falsely, presented the new use of the center as just storage, while all along planning to open a counseling center that would serve the 1,200 homeless in our community, drawing them to the Westminster site in a residential neighborhood across from the elementary school. 
Venice already has a homeless navigation center operated by St. Joseph's on Lincoln Boulevard at Sunset - it is the scourge of the adjacent residential neighborhood.  Just last year a homeless woman hanging around the facility started a fire in a dumpster in the alley which spread to a nearby home, exposing the pregnant homeowner to noxious smoke and forcing her out of her house for days to avoid harm to herself and her unborn child.  Do we really need another magnet for the homeless in yet another residential area of Venice? 

Donations may be made on this website by credit card, or check sent to the VSA at 1615 Andalusia Avenue, Venice, CA, or to Venice Kids Count at  P.O. Box 1576, Venice, CA (the difference is that the VSA has non-profit status and Venice Kids Counts does not).  100% of donations to VSA for this purpose will be given in turn to Venice Kids Count.


Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Venice Resident Bruce Campbell Succinctly Pushes Back at LA Times for "Shaming" Venetians as NIMBYs

To Roger Vincent, LA Times -

Thank you for today’s article regarding the new 125,000 square foot, $200 million Pacific Palisades Village Center. Great that this swanky area will have a new Amazon bookstore, but disappointing that, as in most new local commercial developments, there is no affordable or homeless housing component.

Meanwhile, the LA Times editorial board has been berating Los Angeles residents for lack of compassion and being NIMBY’s for not welcoming outsized public housing projects with open arms in their neighborhoods. We are being told that proposition H and HHH money is just a down payment for the funds that will be needed.

Why shouldn’t all parts of council district 11 have to share in providing affordable housing? For example 300,000 square feet of commercial development in Westchester was approved by the city last year on former FAA land, without any housing component. Acres and acres of Playa Vista continue to be developed with exclusively market-rate units. The former Westside Pavillon will be converted to office space with nary an affordable unit.

It’s hard to take the argument seriously that “we are not doing enough” when only a few neighborhoods in the city are expected to carry the load of providing the city’s low-income housing.


Bruce Campbell

Friday, March 9, 2018

Press Release: Enforce Sidewalk Sleeping Ban 24/7/Set 300 Foot Ban on Encampments and Storage of Personal Possessions

The arrest of the alleged Surfside shooter, who was living on the sidewalk across from residences on Grand Boulevard in Venice, refocuses on the need for the city to return to strict enforcement of laws prohibiting sidewalk camping and adoption of a new rule banning storage of personal possessions within 300 feet of residential property.

"The VSA has noted for years that within the homeless population there are lethal individuals, as we have just seen in the Surfside incident," Mark Ryavec, VSA president said.  "The city's current lack of enforcement of existing laws allows these folks to live right next to families throughout the city."  

"This is not a risk any family should have to take," Ryavec said, "and in this instance, it is being forced on us by the city's lack of action and concern."

The city long ago admitted that it has met the terms of the Jones Settlement, i.e., the construction of 2500 units of permanent, supportive housing.  This milestone allows the city to return to enforcement of the ordinance banning sitting, lying or sleeping on a city sidewalk or park 24 hours a day as long as enforcement is preceded by some form of shelter offer, such as a motel voucher, shelter bed, shared housing, etc.

As U.S. District Judge David Carter showed in the clearing of a three-mile stretch of the Santa Ana River, enforcement, social services and housing offers can be provided "humanely and with dignity" in the process of removing problematic encampments.

The city must move forward, with the resources now provided by Measure H, to offer social services and some form of housing - vouchers, shelter beds, shared housing, bus tickets to safe family members, etc. - to clear all encampments that are within 300 feet of residences.

Similarly, the city should amend the ordinance that limits personal storage on city property (sidewalks, parkways, and parks) to 60 gallon bins to prohibit leaving any personal property within 300 feet of residences at any time.

"Apparently attorneys for the homeless have accepted that the city can bar people living in vehicles from parking at any time near schools or parks or next to residences at night," Ryavec said.  "This has left them free to park at night on commercial streets."  

"It is far more important that the city extend this precedent to establishing a 300 foot buffer between encampments and piles of possessions, on one hand, and families, on the other hand," the Venice leader said. 

The residents across from the encampment on Grand Boulevard have reported to the LAPD frequent verbal harassment, intimidation, early morning and late night noise including foul language frightening to children, threats of fire bombing, and defecation and urination on their property.

"The Surfside shooter, who apparently has a hair-trigger, could just as easily have shot up a home in response to a call for the campers to quiet down at night," Ryavec said, "with many more people injured or killed."