RANTZ AND RAVEZ-Respect in and for America has continued to melt away along with patriotic support for our country and flag. Did this happen suddenly? No. It has been a growing trend for many years. Attacks on the system are nothing new. They’ve just gotten worse year after year thanks to our instant media and internet communications. Is there more to come? I am sure there will be. And it will take a major incident like the tragic 911 attack to wake up the people in our country who are concerned, as well as the many lazy, disconnected others in America.
I for one respect the flag and the principals of Democracy for which it stands. I also believe that we are One Nation Under God with Liberty and Justice for all. After my lengthy careers in both law enforcement and politics, I know more than many what it is to love and respect what this country offers to and for the millions who live here.
If you are a major sports figure and don’t like and respect America – if you refuse to stand for our National Anthem or the Pledge of Allegiance – then you should be fired and go find a job and work like the rest of society to make ends meet. Your disrespect for America is disgusting and should not be tolerated by the American people. May God continue to Bless America despite all the political turmoil we have at this time.
Don’t fall for another tax hike to help the Homeless
I have been involved in two community Homeless Counts in the past few years and recently attended a Community Information Session on Homelessness Services Planning for Area 2. Area 2 includes the West San Fernando Valley. I have confirmed what I thought and most of you already know: the homeless situation in Los Angeles is completely out of control and only getting worse each day. The city has no idea what to do other than grab more of our money to allegedly combat the situation.
The homeless are literally in every community and scattered around freeway underpasses and parks and in many other locations. But we have a new problem: an outbreak of Hepatitis A that is killing people and is clearly generated by the homeless population. As I have illustrated in previous RantZ and RaveZ articles, many of the homeless do not use bathrooms and fail to wash their hands or maintain any form of hygiene. Doctors and other medical professionals link this lack of hygiene directly to the homeless population and the Hepatitis A outbreak.
In reviewing the expansion of the homeless population in Los Angeles City, County and throughout the State of California, we find that they have invaded our lives by venturing into our neighborhoods, living here and there in alcoves and parks and parking their motorhomes on our neighborhood streets. They don’t have jobs or conform to what is the standard of living in our civilized society. Many are mentally ill or negatively impacted by drugs. Go to your local market and ask the store manager how many homeless people steal from them daily. To prevent these thefts that have become all too common, you will be seeing more and more security at your local stores.
The County of Los Angeles has a crazy idea to pay you between $50 to $75 thousand dollars to convert a portion of your home to house homeless individuals. Just think what your neighbors will say when you fall for this program and have a homeless camp on your quiet residential street. Like I have said, the City and County and State have no idea how to handle this growing problem in our region other than to charge you more in taxes while they grope for solutions only to find that the system is failing, with more and more homeless people negatively impacting our neighborhoods and lives.
And there’s more. Watch for the establishment of the portable “Andy Gumps” throughout Los Angeles. Just another step in the process of destroying our communities while catering to the homeless population. Imagine how these portable toilets in your neighborhood will impact your quality of life.
Marijuana is Almost Legal
Remember that the voters approved recreational Marijuana in a previous election. On January 1, 2018, it will be legal for recreational use and there will be no more phony doctor’s recommendations needed to obtain medical marijuana. How will this impact the homeless population? Will there be more homeless to deal with? Time will tell.
Latest LAPD Crime Stats – from LAPD Compstat Report 9-16-17
The number of LAPD Officers has dropped below the authorized strength of 10,000 to 9973 officers.
Violent Crimes - 2015 compared to 2017:
Total Violent Crimes: +17.9%
Property Crimes: Total Part 1, +9.1
Traffic Gridlock is Not Improving – Community Members are Upset and Ready to Fight
The Mayor’s plan called “Vision Zero” to reduce traffic accidents and deaths has not been working. I called the plan “Zero Vision” and still believe that it is so flawed it will never work.
Reducing traffic lanes and expanding bicycle lanes has not been well received by the motoring public. In fact, the streets that were modified on the westside have caused nothing but gridlock and frustration for the motoring public. In some areas, the expensive plan is being reversed back to the previous traffic pattern. More and more money is being spent on a plan that is not necessary.
Los Angeles City Councilmember Mike Bonin, who is pushing “Vision Zero” plan, is facing a recall due to his unwillingness to listen to community members who are being delayed because of changing traffic patterns. Time will tell where this matter ends up.
Well, that’s it for this edition of RantZ and RaveZ.
(Dennis P. Zine is a former and retired LAPD Supervisor, former and retired 12-year Los Angeles City Councilman and current General Manager at Bell Canyon in Ventura County.) Edited for CityWatch by Linda Abrams.