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A Message to Fellow Angelenos This 4th of July

RANTZ & RAVEZ- I am almost done complaining and writing about the never-ending problems concerning the growing homeless population in the greater Los Angeles area.

However, I can’t just stop without giving you some reflection on creating a brighter tomorrow and beyond for all of us who are blessed to have roofs over our heads and food on our tables. 

I have devoted many hours to researching and writing about the homeless population in the Los Angeles region and all of Southern California. I have followed closely the television, radio and newspaper reports on this issue as the numbers continue to grow each year. The most recent homeless count lists the Los Angeles County homeless population at 59,000 and Los Angeles City at 36,300. 

In reality, the numbers are much greater as reflected by the way the homeless count is taken. Being involved in every homeless count that’s been taken, I know that the way it’s done results in numbers that are far from accurate. It is almost impossible to count all the homeless due to the way they live and the way the count is taken. I have seen tent camps in the downtown LA area, along Burbank Blvd. in the Sepulveda basin and along many roads throughout the San Fernando Valley and beyond. 

After a period of time, people who hear and read about the same thing over and over get turned off and move on to other subjects and activities. Well, I guess it’s time for me to move on to other matters impacting those of us living in the City of LA. So, I hope this will be my final RantZ & RaveZ the subject and its associated issues impacting our region, our neighborhoods and daily lives.  

I was pleased to read that two LA City Councilmembers recently followed my suggestion and moved on what San Francisco officials have recently implemented to address some of the homeless population living on the streets of San Francisco. Councilmembers Jose Huizar and David E. Ryu introduced a motion calling for LA City officials to explore the use of the California Welfare and Institution civil code 5150 to address when and how it can be applied for the psychiatric welfare of certain homeless individuals. 

Under the code, a court can appoint a public conservator to assist and remove a person in need of mental health help from the street to a facility for psychiatric hospitalization. This is for their own welfare and safety. The goal is to return them to society and into an improved living situation, keeping them off the streets in the future. With the spread of deadly diseases directly associated with the homeless population, we as a society can’t continue to just ponder ideas. We must act and act now. The Recall the Mayor movement signals just one of the many frustrations associated with this expanding deadly situation. 

City forces remove the homeless only to see them return hours later 

It was a nice day on 1st Street in Downtown Los Angeles when city crews arrived on the sidewalk across from City Hall. Notices had been posted that the city was going to remove any items stored on sidewalks and that all persons needed to vacate the property in the morning for cleaning. The city crews showed up and began to remove trash and other items and then cleaned the sidewalks with cleaning agents. The place looked nice, but as the water dried, the homeless slowly returned to the sidewalk. Within a few hours the place was once again occupied by homeless people with their tents and assorted items. Another day in Los Angeles and the cat and mouse game continues with the homeless population vs the City of LA. As of this date, the City has spent millions and millions of dollars on homeless cleanup programs with very little improvement to show.  

Thank you to those of you who voted NO on Measure EE on June 4 -- The Tax for LA Unified School District 

I want to personally thank all of you who voted NO on Measure EE. As it turned out, we will all save some money and the school district will continue to operate. Believe me when I tell you that there are plans in the works to increase other taxes for California residents and business owners. I will always be honest and tell you the facts about all tax increase proposals and other matters. There are currently talks in Sacramento about modifying Prop 13, along with some others. Stay tuned for information on these matters.    

When it comes to taxes, California is the national leader. This impacts many families in our state who are looking at finding other states to move with their families. I personally have friends who have recently left California and moved to Arizona, Texas, Nevada, Idaho and Washington State. I am told that the living conditions there are much better, and the cost of living is much less.  

I hope that you have a safe and happy 4th of July 

As we enter the summer months with the Fourth just behind us, I hope you all enjoyed the holiday’s activities – including the fireworks, parties and all the rest of the fun. America is a strong country and we must always remember the roots of our foundation. We should all have a happy and productive Life with Liberty to pursue our dreams and the Pursuit of Happiness for all.  

FOX NEWS and Police Pursuits 

When there is a police pursuit broadcast on local TV, tune in to Channel 11. I am the Police Specialist you will hear broadcasting the pursuit. Stay tuned…

 

 (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.)