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Venice Update

News of Venice, CA and Marina del Rey CA

Swinger Says One-for-One Needle Exchange Will Stop Needle Proliferation on Venice Streets, at the Beach


(All photos by Rick Swinger.)

By Rick Swinger, activist, environmentalist, and lives in area

Where did all these needles on our beach come from?

This week we saw news feed after news feed with shocking pictures of needles on the Venice Beach. NBC,ABC,CBS, FOX, MSN, and YahooNews all covered the story.

We heard rumors of needles and medical waste being dumped from cargo ships to folks with diabetes dropping their injection needles in the sand. Both rumors are false I believe.

The sad fact is there are always needles on our beach.

Yes, every single day. Maybe not in the massive dump we saw the other day in one place but even more when you factor all the needles in our alleys, streets and the rest of the beach.

All you have to do is talk to the man from Beaches and Harbors driving the tracker with the hopper cleaning up the sand everyday and he will tell you he always catches needles in his hopper. There isn’t a day that goes by that he doesn’t gets some syringes.

Where is the origin of these needles we see everyday on our streets and how did they get to our beach?

The most likely scenario, in my opinion, is that they originated at the Venice Family Clinic on Rose Ave. On their website they advertise that they have the largest free needle exchange in Los Angeles.

I called their special needle exchange number this week and found out one doesn’t have to exchange needles. They will give you as many as you want depending on their supply, even if you don’t have any used needles to exchange.

Is this method of distributing needles really an exchange then? I don’t know.

So isn’t the most likely scenario that the needles we see all the time on the streets here are exposing our neighbors to health hazards such as HIV and Hepatitis C originated from them? I don’t know for sure but it is a valid question.

Now, the Family Clinic has done so much good for folks it is hard to believe that they would make this mistake. My wife, who is an RN, has volunteered over there. We love the place, but with everything in life, there are unintended consequences.

Trading one health hazard for another is not an option. It is like Carol Sobel and the ACLU trading one human right for another. The right to sleep on the street if no beds are available and then giving up our right to live in a pollution free environment.

Now BID Clean Team did a needle count a few months back and it was published in Venice Update but BID stopped making needle count public on their Monthly bulletin. I don’t know why for that is very useful public information.

LA Sanitation does a needle count but I have never seen it published on their newsletter either.

I have photographed piles of needles on 3rd Ave Camp ,and since it is the largest camp on the westside, you can deduce that the flow of needles ends up on that street, in the nearby alleys, storm drains, and onto our beach.

It is my opinion that the Venice Family Clinic should take a proactive stance and clean up in and around our neighborhood in Venice as did St. Joseph Center to avoid any possible liability to the clinic and to the City of LA. I think they should have a one-for-one exchange of needles in Venice. We as neighbors constantly see these needles on the ground. This proliferation of needles is polluting are streets and our Marine environment intentionally every single day as well as exposing the public to health hazards.

I hope to see an improvement for our Marine Environment because we all depend on it.

Comments (8)

  1. Rick Swinger

    The Glass Companies around here are doing a brisk amount of business thanks to Mike Bonin and Eric Garcetti! Really way to go! Everybody in? Davy Jones Liquor(broke in last Sunday 145AM for a carton of Milk) eating fresh at Subway on Main St and trying to use the bathroom after closing at La Fiesta Brava. Remember Mike Bonin says he can’t accept the idea that there is an inextricable link between crime and homelessness. How about a link between crime and drug addiction/ mental health Mike? Any links there?…. BONEHEAD! Everybody in? Apparently so Mike. #CBSLA #NBCLA #KTLA #ABC7eyewitness #foxLA #SpectrumNewsSoCal https://i.imgur.com/DV7o5Pb.png

    • We got em

      Vch rose had a major burglary they had full fleet of detectives on it and recovers video I was told… still can’t manage get me housing authority ordered videos from ongoing threats and attacks orders in july

  2. Rick Swinger

    The Mother F*cker Screamer Attacks Again at 430AM by 3rd Ave Encampment and the edited audio will be heard today on the AM 790 KABC on the Larry O’Connor Show around 1130AM it was a wake up call for the whole neighborhood and city and proves that this is a mental health crisis not a housing crisis that our politicians and social service corporations are profiting from. I think if you listen closely at the end he says recall bonehead.

    • Stop the hoard

      They are already clients of VCH and st jospehs.. they are keep the worst of worst here to house.. I prove that the mental health outreach and case workers for st j that is signing clients up like me concurrently work on staff at vch as program managers rick.
      I can document why they are keep them here ready to house.. yeah they get fair market value for the appartment units, but they don’t care for the rent as I also document… it’s the funding for services they are able to tailor for each client my interest in therapy and getting back to contributing DOSENT work in thier system… got caught.
      Here is my sign up sheet with st j mental health worker assigned to me and funded to see me 3 times a week who vanished July 25th https://imgur.com/gallery/HlIYHaR
      And here is why the crimes are not reflecting on LAPD crime maps… cause LAPD is liable them as unemployed and Bonin and city send in LAX to come ease the case load.. my assult w deadly weapon attacker who has on video T hreatend kill me again Saturday at 99 store and in front of my own home yesterday..
      Yeah it’s being investigated at lax…
      Dose your own assult reflect in the crime maps rick?? I’m a bet no.. the arson from tenant before me in my unit dose not either.https://imgur.com/gallery/LOwdFZa

      • Trying out run goliath

        He’ll, the crimes I’m accused of the neighbors should be able to see on maps or you know proper authorities addressing them… it’s bad dude

  3. Rick Swinger

    Just published today by Spectrum News! Lookie here more Needles stories now! Kate Cagle did a fine job covering this! Great quote from a junkie too…Just because your a Junkie you don’t have to be a messy Junkie! https://spectrumnews1.com/ca/la-west/news/2019/11/18/cleaning-up-the-homeless-crisis–inside-la-s-dirtiest-job?fbclid=IwAR0nmZWHoU7Stqb8i37DO25xSg4n8h86TVapyZPl1QPUSkM2udmzKfzx0-U#

  4. Former VFC supporter

    Rick, thanks for this information. I will suspend any future donations to Venice Family Clinic until they provide more respect to the neighborhood.

    • Craig A

      Great story and the truth we have needles all over the place on the property the driveways sidewalks and plants we have to be so careful Your children mommies and babies and dogs his needles of caught me off guard just everybody be careful

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