By Kip Pardue
Councilman Bonin -
What are you doing for the residents of Venice today? As in right now?
Just last week a fire was started by a transient in an apartment building on South Venice. She lit a dumpster on fire which then spread into the building itself. The fire resulted in two responses from LAFD, the second involving 3 ladder trucks and 5 engines. Yet there has been no response from you or your office.
This fire is directly across from the parking lot you are developing for housing. This project will cost millions but in the meantime, you are doing nothing to help the area. I have never seen the parking lot worse – covered in people, campers, shopping carts, human waste. Regina Weller told me she had recently found 9 people under the canal bridge – all traveler kids who refused her offers of housing.
The company contracted to operate the lot (MPI) is absolutely horrible – they pay homeless people to sweep the lot, do no regular maintenance, rarely empty the garbage cans, and never call LAPD or help with the transient problems.
I have spoken to parents at the Linnie Canal Children’s Park who have cleaned up needles and tarps and human waste. This park is located in the canals – usually an area relatively transient free. But now there is a constant presence of travelers eyeing the park and our children – as well as the homes in the area. Break ins and bike thefts are up all over Venice – this is not a coincidence.
There are now three semi-permanent structures set up around the library. They have been there for over a month. One is a yellow tent, one is a system of tarps, and one is a few sheets of 4×8 plywood. SOMEONE HAS BUILT A FORT IN THE LIBRARY PARKING LOT AND HAS BEEN THERE FOR OVER A MONTH and no one is doing anything about it. These structure are right in the middle of Venice Blvd – in plain sight all day and night – directly adjacent to where children come to read and learn.
You have your eyes set on building us out of this problem – a tactic many residents continue to question. But regardless of that being the solution or not, something needs to happen TODAY. We need your help and can no longer stand your tactics of doing nothing. You have not engaged in any further discussion with Venice residents on a public level since unveiling your ideas for the Venice lots. We have questions for you. We have problems you could help solve. Please stop posting pictures of trimmed trees in the Palisades while those of us in Venice are inundated with travelers, vehicle dwellers, and drug addicts who start fires, foul our streets, and destroy our sanity.
Please let us know your plans for RIGHT NOW.