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Tuesday, September 19, 2006

City Hall Surrenders Sidewalks To Homeless

Rather than bothering to defend the rule of law -- and common sense -- in the courts, City Hall has surrendered the public sidewalks to the ACLU.

According to the L.A. Times, a settlement agreement between the City of Los Angeles and the ACLU "would also establish a downtown area — bounded by Central Avenue and Los Angeles, 3rd and 7th streets — where homeless people would be allowed to sleep on sidewalks at night without challenge by police or business owners."

How incredibly gutless can one collection of elected officials be? The City of L.A. has set a new standard -- a new low, that is.

Can someone pinpoint for me the point in history when we lost our collective mind? Can someone explain why the law-abiding, taxpaying citizens of our city must allow people to live on the sidewalks? Just when did we decide that the mentally ill and drunk can no longer be scooped up and taken somewhere for psychiatric treatment or a "drunk tank," respectively?

And is it supposedly "humane" to pretend people who clearly cannot take care of themselves have a "right" to camp on sidewalks?

This city will become a case study on what happens when apathetic citizens leave control of public policy to career politicians whose only interest is maintaining political office. Every day, L.A. becomes more of a Third World Country, and more of a monument to the insanity of political correctness.

Our police, already prohibited from enforcing federal immigration law, will now be prohibited from exerting control over our sidewalks. Why? Because none of our elected officials has the guts to stand up for the average taxpaying citizen. Instead, they are afraid of appearing "insensitive" to the "plight" of the "homeless." Apparently none of them understood that the story about the "Emperor's New Clothes" wasn't about clothes at all, but was instead about having the courage to tell the truth.

Meanwhile, thanks to these same career politicians, the poor are taxed to provide hundreds of millions of dollars in subsidies to rich developers -- so they can build ever more dense housing, thereby ruining the distinctive character of our low-rise city, and aggravating the now perpetual gridlock. And, not content with the current torrent of tax dollars flowing from the middle class to the billionaires, they have put Measure H on the ballot, to add another $2 billion tax burden on homeowners for the next 20 years.

Schools, meanwhile, are not preparing children to function productively in our culture. Instead, they teach that all cultures are created equal, all behavior is acceptable, and, if you come here from abroad, it is America's duty to learn your language and customs, not the other way around. No one stops to think that the reason most countries are train wrecks whose inhabitants flee is, in large part, their cultures. It's not as though every Third World country lacks resources, after all. On the contrary, most have tremendous natural resources. The reason for their perpetual poverty lies elsewhere.

Here, however, we daily abandon the very precepts that made our city a great place to live. Ever wonder what the decline of the Roman Empire was like? Look around: you're living it.

40 Comments:

Blogger joseph mailander said:

The reason other cities have been able to manage their homeless situation while ours gets worse and worse is not because of the lure of the weather. At this point, you can't blame things on Reagan budget cuts perpetually, either---Reagan has been gone for almost a generation. The reason other cities have left us behind is because to other cities displacement and indigence are things to solve, but here in LA they're merely attractive profit centers for certain service organizations.

September 19, 2006 7:29 PM  

Blogger Walter Moore said:

Good point! We have a "homeless industry!" If they ever "solved" homelessness, the bureaucrats and "nonprofit" employees would have to get -- ewwww -- real jobs!

September 19, 2006 7:32 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Joseph and Walter,
a lady from the Central City business Association was on with "JOHN and KEN" detailing what Joseph is stating. The nomber of 10,000 homeless is more like 1,800. But since the "ACLU" got involve, more homeless have come to SKID ROAD. She also stated that not all the avalible Bed spaces are use on a nightly basis. Simply the "PROVERTY PIMPS" will hold their hands out for more funding from the city.

September 19, 2006 7:47 PM  

Blogger Walter Moore said:

The City's statistics on the number of homeless lack any credibility whatsoever. The reason is the identity of the people the City selected to do the count: homeless people! That's right: the City's statistics are based on numbers provided not by City employees, not by census employees, and not even by college students, but instead by the mentally ill, drug addicts and drunks. City Hall then extrapolated those numbers across the entire city based on the few small areas actually surveyed -- if you call have homeless people count one another a "survey"!

September 19, 2006 8:00 PM  

Blogger Zuma Dogg said:

walter,

thanks for the story. i see your point that it's kinda funny there are streets now that are only going to be enforced part time.

what do you think about the $29 million for homeless services, announced in the paper today.

also, i know there is no easy solution, but what are some real ways the City can take meaninful action towards real change regarding skid row?

Bratton will be speaking at the City Council meeting Wed. morning.

If the agenda item is open for public comment, maybe you can provide some info I can hit em up with.

Thanks!
ZD

September 19, 2006 8:18 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Are you joking? I'm looking at buying a building in that area. I can't have people sleeping in front of my place. I moved out of Santa Monica years ago because they let the homeless live anywhere. They used my yard to defecate and urinate. Everyone morning I had to clean up human poop from my lawn. They broke into my home twice. They broke into the neighbors garage and accidentally started a fire which burned down her house and charred mine. Is this permanent? I will either greatly reduce my offer or just say no. Homeless people living in front of my property will drive me crazy.

September 19, 2006 8:27 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Where else will they live Walter?
Many are mentall ill.
Where's your compassion?
$$$$ is nothing when one dies.

September 19, 2006 8:33 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

833 pm - The multimillion dollar downtown LA shelter has every facility any homeless person would want - free housing, food, job training, clothes, etc. - provided they are willing to abide by the curfew and not use drugs or alcohol there - which most aren't, which is why they do not avail themselves of the ample handouts available there. PS - I need a flat screen TV - what am I going to watch, my old projection TV? Please send one over, thanks.

September 19, 2006 8:48 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

"Can someone pinpoint for me the point in history when we lost our collective mind? Can someone explain why the law-abiding, taxpaying citizens of our city must allow people to live on the sidewalks? Just when did we decide that the mentally ill and drunk can no longer be scooped up and taken somewhere for psychiatric treatment or a "drunk tank," respectively? "

Walter...I can pinpoint the exact time. The Reagan budget cuts.

September 19, 2006 9:19 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Sorry to post this here but again why are we paying for outside legal fees? Matt Dowd made an excellent argument today stating that Rocky has over 500 lawyers and in his mission statement he's suppose to SAVE the city money.

BUDGET AND FINANCE COMMITTEE REPORT relative to an appropriation for outside counsel.
Recommendations for Council action...TRANSFER $600,000 from the Sewer Capital Fund No. 761, Department 50, Account No. AGA2,
Wastewater Services During Construction, to the City
Attorney, Fund 100, Department 12, Account No. 9301, Outside Counsel, for the law firms of Greines, Martin, Stein & Richland, LLP ($500 ,000)and Akerman Senterfitt, LLP ($100,000) to assist with the case entitled Dillingham-Ray Wilson, et al. v. City of Los Angeles, Los Angeles Superior Court Case No. BC 208414.

September 19, 2006 9:40 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Wow, Wacko is really frothing at the mouth tonight, ain't he?

September 19, 2006 9:52 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

7:29 PM Mr. Mailander,
Other cities dump the homeless on our streets.

September 19, 2006 9:58 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

You can bet Rosendahl will not be happy if any homeless people get arrested. HE thinks it shouldn't be a crime for them to sleep on the sidewalks. If you were a business owner would you want them at your front door? Thanks to Antonio's ACLU buddie and pick Ramona Ripson the ACLU has prevented proactive solutions to the homeless issue in skid row and I agree that since the ACLU filed the lawsuit the tents have tripled as Downtown news reported. Watch the ACLU kiss butts speak out tomorrow in council and tell LAPD not to touch the poor people. The fact is over 5,000 drug arrests were made last year in skid row alone. Gang bangers are now preying on them.

September 19, 2006 10:04 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

9:19

Get a clue.Federal budgets went up in the Reagan years. That's why we had all those deficits.

The only thing Reagan should be blamed for in regards to the homeless is signing that bill in the 60's to let all the mentally-ill ones out of jail.

If there could be a humane (Big If) system of involuntary commitment of the mentally-ill, with full medical care and full medication, our homeless problem would be gone completely.

NIMBY's wouldn't let a facility like that in their neighborhood, conservatives wouldn't want the higher taxes to pay for it, and liberals wouldn't have something to blame America for.

What a shame.

September 19, 2006 10:11 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

The Decline and Fall of the Rom...Los Angeles Empire, coming soon to a theater near you.

September 19, 2006 10:16 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

10:11 Couldn't be said any better than that!

September 19, 2006 10:21 PM  

Blogger Mayor Sam said:

If you're homeless can you sleep in front of Getty House?

September 19, 2006 10:22 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

I dunno.
Why Not?

Mayor Sam, how old are you?
Are you single?

September 19, 2006 10:29 PM  

Blogger Mayor Sam said:

You know if anything, its really kind of cruel to let homeless be homeless. We used to institutionalize mentally ill people. Now maybe they weren't treated well always, but medical care is far more enlightened. We should be providing four walls, meals and medical care to these folks, not let them just melt away on the curb as if that is some honor.

1029 - who wants to know?

September 19, 2006 11:19 PM  

Blogger Walter Moore said:

Exactly! "Catch and release" is for fish, not the mentally ill. And, as for the willfully drunk or high, I have one word: JAIL. Public intoxication is a crime. It is not protected by the U.S. or state constitutions.

September 19, 2006 11:26 PM  

Anonymous Charlotte Laws said:

I often agree with you, Walter, but not this time about the homeless. Drug dealing and other crimes are perhaps an issue on skid row, and they must be dealt with. But on the face of it, I agree with the compromise between the city and the ACLU.

Where are homeless supposed to go? Should they be sneaking onto private property? Breaking into businesses to get some sleep? This is what will happen if you leave them no alternative. I have read that there are insufficient facilities to accommodate all of LA’s homeless. Correct me if this is wrong.

Why is “sleeping on the sidewalk” such a big deal? Where are the Libertarians on this issue? The compromise states that there are limited hours, and the homeless must be a reasonable distance from businesses and residences.

Concert ticket-buyers may spend a night or two on the sidewalk. People sleep on the sidewalk to reserve a spot for a parade. I admit this is not an every night occurrence, but no one ever complains about them.

What is ok? Is it ok for a homeless person to sit on a bench all night? What about sleeping on a bench sitting up? What about lying on the bench all night instead of the sidewalk? What about walking the streets all night? Have you ever reclined on a park bench? What about a non-homeless man who gets into a fight with his spouse and ends up at the local park with no where else to go that night? Should he be arrested? What about a yuppie lying on the grass in a park in her designer sunglasses reading a book, then taking a nap? Should she be arrested?

I am sorry but all of this talk (from various blog posters, John and Ken, etc.) seems like discrimination against the homeless.

After all, it is public property. Why shouldn’t the public be permitted to use it as long as it does not seriously and directly impact another person’s safety or livelihood?

In my younger years, I would periodically sit on the floor while waiting in line (at say, the DMV when the lines were ridiculously long) to show my defiance of the waiting process. I would just plop right down, and the management would know I was displeased with their incompetence and lack of consideration for their patrons. A couple of times (again in my younger years), I would lie on the ground in public places under similar circumstances. No one arrested me or even complained. Perhaps because I well dressed and not homeless?

I think the issue is the behavior of some people on skid row rather than their sleeping habits.

Charlotte Laws

September 20, 2006 12:15 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Well, Walter, you want schools to improve. Come to Sunland-Tujunga and we will show you a wonderful school.

Apperson Elementary School is highly acclaimed and it sits right behind the proposed Home Depot site which you think is just a swell place for a Home Depot.

Apperson Elementary, after a Home Depot opening, would immediately be inundated with hundreds of trucks, semis, flatbeds, and numerous cars trying to avoid Foothill traffic in the peak hours just as the kids go to school in the mornings.

Then, the children on their way to and from school would be exposed to day laborers throughout the day.

Doesn't that sound like a great way for the school to continue to maintain their wonderful record? Of course, you do, because you love these big box corporations more than school children which makes you a stupid, hypocritical jerk!

September 20, 2006 1:00 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Here we go again. Does someone pay you to do this 1:00 AM? Or are you just a psycho hater? Are you capable of arguing issues without the screeching name calling? So far it seems unlikely.

September 20, 2006 1:58 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Stupid, Hypocritical Jerk is screeching? Go to bed Idiot!

September 20, 2006 2:50 AM  

Blogger Andrew said:

The overall point of not permitting people to sleep and live on the street is that it is cruel and inhumane. Case closed.

September 20, 2006 6:29 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

10:11

Reagan shutting down the mental health facilities happened when he was Gov., not Pres. The Federal budget has NOTHING to do with it.

September 20, 2006 7:36 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Sleeping on the sidewalk is like sleeping with your doors and windows wide open while living in an extremely bad neighborhood. Imagine being a woman and doing this. Homeless women are defenseless, easy victims, more so when mentally ill or substance abusing. They cannot easily defend themselves against the violent, mentally ill and substance abusing men. Get rid of the illegal aliens, and do what we can to take care of our own. One homeless man I met was finding a place to sleep far from other homeless - he said they are too dangerous.
An older friend remembers the depression. If someone knocked on your door and asked for food in exchange for work, you let them in. She also remembers men sleeping in the park. You walked by them without fear. Times have changed.

September 20, 2006 7:42 AM  

Anonymous Benjamin Coffin, III said:

They make fun yet I'm the one attempting to do some good

Or do you really want a neighborhood where people piss on your stoop every night?

Bohemia, Bohemia's

A fallacy in your head

This is Calcutta

Bohemia is dead

September 20, 2006 8:40 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Anger Management Dropout at 2:50 AM should be paid. It beats selling on Ebay.

September 20, 2006 9:31 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Allowing people to sleep on the street when they have no other options will force the city of L.A. to deal with the issue, finally.

Out of sight, is out of mind, and allows the delusion to continue that there is no problem.

Rather than advocating a band-aid that temporarily satisfies those offended by the homeless at their doorstep, push for realistic solutions and alternates -- something that will only happen when the problem stays on the "front burner" that is our consciousness.

We are a great city. We can solve it, for the most part.

Force your city officials to think outside the (cardboard) box. Demand real, human solutions, from them, or demand their resignations.

Contrary to the thread-starter's false conclusion, great cities fall by blinding themselves to their weaknesses and avoiding concrete solutions, not by keeping them front and center and dealing with them.

September 20, 2006 9:47 AM  

Blogger David Hernandez said:

Given the tragic and shameful state of the homeless in the County of Los Angeles, the first step in addressing the problem is to disband the Los Angeles Homeless Service Authority. This 10 member Commissions is comprised of 5 County appointees and 5 appointed by the Mayor.

This commission which has been in operation since 1994 has been doling out up to 6o million dollars a year for 12 years. That’s almost ¾ of a billion tax payer dollars!

For what,? Sorry, before we commit to a plan of action to address the problem, we must jettison the dead weight. While we are at it, a good old fashion audit is in order.

Dome Village is now in the process of closing. I guess the 3/4 of a billion tax dollars are tied up in servicing the homeless industry and paying for the $100,000 plus salaries of those who are so committed to bringing humane tent and card board box housing to our sidewalks.

As with so many other challanges facing the city, there will be no solution so long as special interests can become even more rich at the expense of the needy and on the taxpayers dime.

September 20, 2006 9:48 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

If we can get all the city's homeless to sleep on the street in a central location it shouldn't be that difficult to offer psychiatric help and treatment. With the homeless released by Reagan, many were on meds and functioning at the time of release. They never returned for treatment and there was no outreach. Sadly, the government won't offer it now.

September 20, 2006 9:56 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

To make matters even worse, I'm finding it hard to find affordable housing in the Bel Air/Holmby Hills/ Brentwood parts of the city.

My job at McDonald's doesn't pay enough to provide for a family of 4 in those areas. Don't I have the right to live anywhere I want?

Where's your compassion?

September 20, 2006 9:57 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

BREAKING NEWS!!!!!!

City Council just voted to reject the settlement with ACLU.

September 20, 2006 2:18 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Yeah yeah. Does that mean we will miss the chance to watch Dr. Laws the sensational Walter Moore supporter plop herself down on Skid Row to show it is not how homeless you are, it is how homeless you LOOK that counts?

September 20, 2006 2:57 PM  

Blogger Walter Moore said:

1. Charlotte --
How many homeless people sleep on the sidewalk in front of YOUR house? I'm guessing if your neighborhood looked like Skid Row, your opinion -- or your address -- would change in about nine-tenths of a second.

2. Angry Sunland Person --
If you're so concerned about the children, then why do you reject the proposal I made to exercise eminent domain, fairly compensate the land owner, and turn the area into a park?

3. "Compassionate" People --
Can we agree that the mentally ill should be put back in mental institutions, against their will, because they lack the ability ever to take care of themselves? Can we at least start there?

And, for the drunks and drug addicts, can we agree simply to enforce existing laws against public intoxication? It's that simple, people. You do not encounter this kind of crap in other, civilized countries. They simply do not tolerate it. This country didn't tolerate it either, until recently.

September 20, 2006 6:08 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

The unaimed arrow always hits its mark! Let it read Villaraigosa has accomplished his low income housing goal. Yeah that's it! It is a place where the rich and poor can congregate, exchange drugs and shopping carts, and create new ideas for Villaraigosa's new vision for Los Angeles.

September 20, 2006 6:35 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Congrads Walter Moore, Mayor Sam for getting out the word and pressing the defeat of this obnoxious excuse for "caring" for our homeless. Walter, we CAN agree that the mentally ill need to be put back into instutions where they can get meds and help. The psychosis drugs are way better than back in Reagan's day. Let's try some tough love. And.......anyone who thinks we the people on this site have no power, think again!

September 20, 2006 7:00 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Escape to Red Island while you still have a chance.

September 20, 2006 11:07 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Chance at what?

September 20, 2006 11:17 PM  

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