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The homeless and Venice

To the editor: Sandy Banks presents a dated analysis of the homeless equation, at least for the population of transients now occupying Venice Beach. (“Garcetti throws homeless to the LAPD,” Column, July 4) 

In her recent column, she uses former Weingart Center executive director Maxene Johnston's characterization of the homeless as either derailed, disabled or dysfunctional. That analysis was spot on for its time and focus — the homeless in downtown's skid row.

But today, residents living close to Venice Beach face ongoing harassment, loss of sleep, the use of their yards as latrines, risk to life and limb, and harm to their daily lives.

The recently passed ordinances to stop camping and storage in city parks and to limit the size of sidewalk encampments offer the possibility that Venice may stop being such a strong magnet for thousands of transients who come to live on our beach due to the mild climate, easy availability of preferred drugs and lax law enforcement.

Mark Ryavec, Venice

The writer is president of the Venice Stakeholders Assn.


To the editor: As a working-class, 30-year resident of Venice, I believe I am not alone in saying that we can no longer absorb the enormous population of the drug and alcohol addicted and mentally ill who are roaming and living in our neighborhoods.

The ordinances' regarding property confiscation are simply a start, a step in the right direction.

I applaud all City Council members who have the courage to vote yes on these urgent ordinances.

Michael Ryan, Venice


To the editor: Banks was right on the money in her homeless article.

Politicians do need to stop saying they are going to “end homelessness,” just like they should stop saying they are going to fix Social Security.

These are serious problems that should not be used for political advancement during election periods. Recently, I drove down Venice Boulevard toward the beach and was amazed at the number of well- established homeless camps under various freeway underpasses.

Letting the homeless just park where they want doesn't help them and doesn't help the community.

Conrad Corral , Cathedral City



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