Tuesday, March 20, 2007

What happened at the Community Meeting?

Last Wednesday, March 14th at 7:00 pm we had a Community Meeting
at the L.A.P.D. Pacific Division Station
12312 Culver Boulevard.

Submitted by Venice SONIC.org (Save Our Neighborhood's Integrity Coalition)

Thank you to all of the Venice residents who showed up to last night’s LAPD Pacific Division “working group” meeting. To clarify, this meeting was not the working group meeting that Rosendahl promised well over a month ago, there was only a select few community individuals invited and one charitable organization with services in Venice was present. We were led to believe that this meeting was open to the public and in turn many of the Venice community were turned away. So it is still up to us to keep moving forward to insist the residents of Venice are heard and we get the “working group” that Rosendahl promised set up!

At the meeting many topics were discussed including figuring out how to control overnight van parking, monitor single malt liquor sales and curb public drunkenness (which by the way is not necessarily a crime it is considered an illness according to Senior Lead Officer Craig White).

Here are the things we need to do next!

Since we have been speaking out it seems that our concerns maybe falling on deaf ears, so a picture is worth a thousand words! Let’s get our cameras out and start documenting our crisis!

On Thursday morning a member of our committee reported that when they drove down the alley between Rose and Flower, west of Lincoln, they counted 40 vagrant campers camped in the alley in addition to nearly 20 mobile homeless parked in and around the Lincoln and Rose shopping center.

On your morning walk when all the vans are lined up, snap a picture! When you drive home from work and they are sleeping by your back door, snap a picture! When you walk up to grab lunch and they are laying on the sidewalk on Lincoln in the middle of the day, snap a picture!

Email these pictures to the VeniceSonic.org venicesonic@yahoo.com or this blog livinginvenice@gmail.com

We need to call attention to just how much the increase of homeless are affecting not just our safety and mental well being but our Water and Drainage systems too. Every piece of human feces that is left on our streets is washed down in to our ocean. Every piece of abandon luggage left on the sidewalk can not be picked up by the sanitation department because it may be a homeless person’s personal “possessions”.

Before we know it, summer will be here and the streets will heat up. Remember last summer when Venice had a huge skid-row Staph. problem? What is this?

Skid row staph is an antibiotic resistant contagious Staph infection. Check out the article by the L.A. Weekly on Skid Row Staph. dated November 1, 2006 at: http://www.laweekly.com/general/letters/skid-row-staph/14897/ .

Venice Beach is the second most visited tourist site in Southern California and tourist dollars are very important to the city. (Disneyland is #1) Think of every tourist who sits on a public bench and travels back home bringing the Staph with them!

The cops all talk about it. They do not like to arrest the homeless because of the ever increasing numbers of cases of police, fireman, paramedics and even court personnel coming down with skid row diseases.

Police never touch anything having to do with the homeless without gloves, yet when Ralph’s market here in Venice on Lincoln Blvd. gets one of their carts returned, it very often goes right back into circulation without proper sanitizing. Then we place our family’s food in them and we push them around coming in contact with a major public health hazard without thinking where has the cart been! Think about it next time you grab a cart where has that cart been?

One of the items discussed at the meeting was the Medical Marijuana permits that are opened by the Feds. We need to document all illegal activity we see taking place. Alcohol permits are monitored by the state and the City. some local mini-marts and liquor stores have been selling single shots and single item alcohol sales. This contributes greatly to the public drunkeness (which by the way is legal) If you see this happening you need to carefully document it. Photos are even better in order to call it to the attention of law enforcement in order to get these places shut down. Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) regulations state that there need to be 3 citations over a period of time that show pattern before such a stop to single sales can be instituted.

This spring LAPD will lose 300 - 400 officers with seniority to retirement, due to the end of the “DROP” program. What was the drop program? LAPD hired officers back to the force after they retired so that LA would not be forced in to “crisis” mode. Now the funding has run out and we ARE on the brink of a police crisis. We need to put pressure on Councilman Rosendahl to instate a Police Homeless Task force in Venice. Hollywood has their own Homeless Task Force which was created 5 or 6 years ago and according to the Hollywood officers has made a big difference.

Let your neighbors know about this blog Living in Venice and the VeniceSONIC.org site and be informed of what goes on in our neighborhood.

Every voice (and photo) counts! So please send them to us along with descriptions, dates and times.