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Opinion

Letters to the Editor: Why temporary housing for homeless people near LAX is a bad idea

Homeless people in Los Angeles
Homeless people’s tents line a street in downtown L.A.
(Richard Vogel / Associated Press)

To the editor: I read with great interest Rob Eshman’s op-ed article suggesting installing temporary tent housing for homeless people on the empty land surrounding Los Angeles International Airport, particularly to the north.

My family lives half a mile to the north of LAX and I can tell you why that land is empty, why the homes that once stood there are gone, and why putting tent housing there is a really bad idea. The airport noise and exhaust are horrific, and nobody could endure it.

Thanks to the city agency in charge of LAX, my house is soundproofed with quadruple-pane windows, solid-core doors, and insulation above the ceilings and below the floors. Yet we still hear the airplanes all day and night, and anyone who walks or bikes on the surrounding roads can smell the planes’ exhaust.

Inhabitants of any temporary housing would be continuously subjected to the din and stench, and with only a tent to protect them. I wouldn’t wish this torture on my worst enemy.

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Margaret Parkhurst, Los Angeles

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To the editor: Thank you, Rob Eshman.

His suggestion of meeting the urgency of local homelessness with reinforced tent structures has been advocated for a long time, but our politicians are obsessed with long-range construction projects that cost half a million dollars per unit.

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I hope everyone sends copies of this article to their elected representatives.

Harmon Sieff, Encino

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To the editor: Why isn’t building something like an Olympic village for people currently “tenting” on the street a win-win?

The parks and streets would be returned to everyone, and dignity and respect restored to those struggling for survival with this thoughtful, environmentally sensitive solution that delivers needed services.

Jacqueline Knowles, Altadena


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