The Homeless Lifestyle and RATS and Your Car!

RANTZ & RAVEZ-I have often written about the homeless population and their anti-social lifestyle.

All you frequent RantZ & RaveZ readers know what I am referring to. Over and over, it’s the same old story. The homeless population in Los Angeles is growing and we see little to no improvement in placing those less fortunate people in housing that is supposed to be paid for from the bond measures you approved a few years ago. 

The homeless should be housed in some type of housing other than the tents they erect on public sidewalks or in the motorhomes, cars and trailers that are parked in our neighborhoods, as they use the streets and gutters to dispose of their garbage and human waste, including urine and feces. When and if LA City responds by cleaning up the mess, it all reappears in a short period of time. It is like a merry-go-round. Over and over and round and round. Never permanently stopping.   

The homeless have caused hostility in many neighborhoods among residents and business owners as well as many of us who have contributed financially and in other ways to organizations promising to help bring the homeless out of their depressing lifestyle and back into mainstream society. We have responded to Mayor Garcetti and other elected officials by voting for bond measures designed to provide millions of dollars to build housing and provide services to the homeless population. 

Well, not much has been done to remove them from the streets and alleys of the once proud City of the Angels, or for that matter, many other areas in Southern, Northern and the rest of California. As this sad and depressing situation continues with no end in sight, I have found another issue directly related to the homeless lifestyle that is causing huge problems for the motoring public in many neighborhoods. Until this happens to you, you have no idea what harm and expense the homeless- generated RAT population can cause to your car. 

Yes, I’m talking about YOUR car! The vehicle that takes you to work and is your only means of transportation. You could use the Metro (Bus and or Train) system if it was safe and convenient. However, you have heard about crime in the public transit system, the last instance being a totally innocent rider who was shot and killed while riding the Orange Line, minding his own business.      

We all know from local media reports and listening to the national expert on the homeless population, Dr. Drew from KABC Radio, that the homeless population attracts rats and other rodents that are breeding at an alarming rate -- all attributed to the homeless population and the unsanitary living conditions where no attention is given to any type of hygiene. These rats have invaded our vehicles – they’ve been eating the wires in our cars, the sorts of wires that keep a car running! 

You need to check under the hood of your car to make sure there are no rat nests there. There have been reports of rats causing thousands of dollars of damage by eating wires under the hood. In a recent conversation with the Motorman, Leon Kaplan, the award-winning automobile mechanic who can be heard every Sunday morning on KABC Radio 790 AM, the situation of rats eating car wires has been verified and is a growing problem in our region. Like most of you, I’d never heard of this before. Check it out and make sure your car wires are not being destroyed by rats. Just another problem we live with due to the homeless population and their lifestyle.  

If you live in the San Fernando Valley’s 12th LA City Council District, you can vote for a new City Council representative on August 13. 

The primary election is over, and we now have the top two candidates running for election to the Los Angeles City Council: John Lee and Loraine Lundquist. The winner will represent over 290,000 people living in the 12th Council District. For full disclosure, I am a resident of the 12th Council District. 

I had the opportunity to meet both candidates at recent events and listen to their backgrounds, agendas and qualifications for public office. Having served on the Los Angeles City Council for 12 years, I know from experience what it takes to be an effective councilmember and represent the community that elects you to office. 

Both candidates are honorable members of the community and successful in their various community activities and programs. While the Los Angeles City Council Office is nonpartisan, Candidate Lundquist is strongly backed by the Democratic Party with no Republican support. On the other hand, John Lee is backed by both Republican and Democratic elected officials and registered voters. For the record, I am an N.P.P., No Party Preference. 

While Lundquist is focused on a New Green Economy and Global Warming, Lee is focused on what matters most to me and many others, namely, public safety, the homeless crisis and those matters that impact our daily lives like transportation gridlock.  

When it comes to the homeless crisis, it is not just more housing that is needed -- something supported by Lundquist and the Mayor. What Lee is also focused on, and is addressing, are the issues of mental illness and the drug crisis that directly impact the homeless in our city. 

Lee does not need on-the-job-training because he has worked in various positions for a council office for many years. Lundquist, however, will need to learn the council rules and procedures to get the job done. The learning curve takes time and we don’t have that time given the crises the city is facing every day.      

After reviewing both candidates and looking at the endorsements Lee has obtained from Police, Fire and other public safety agencies that are here to protect us and our families, my vote is going to him for Los Angeles City Council. John has the experience, drive and enthusiasm to deliver for his district and the people of Los Angeles. 

I urge you to vote for John Lee for Los Angeles City Council on August 13.   

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.)