How much do we have to tolerate before the elected officials in our state, county and city begin to address and fix the many problems that are negatively impacting our daily lives as law - abiding tax-paying residents of California, L.A. County and the City of Los Angeles.
I will start with a little history about myself. I was born, raised, and educated in the Hollywood area and attended local schools. I had a paper route and delivered papers from my bicycle for the Herald Express. I would visit once a month with the subscribers and collect the monthly charge which was very small compared to today’s prices for most things. I always had pocket change and would buy a donut or cream puff from the Helm’s Bakery truck that delivered in the neighborhoods because I could afford it without asking mom for money.
As the years passed, I noticed that most everyone respected police officers and sheriff deputies that patrolled the neighborhoods in and around Hollywood and what later became West Hollywood. Crime was very low back in the day and most everyone got along. There was seldom any graffiti on the walls in our neighborhood and for the most part all was fine in the Hollywood region of Los Angeles during my younger years.
As time passed elected officials came and went. Mayors and other elected officials became household names; Mayors Tom Bradley and Sam Yorty along with city council president and former USC Football player John Ferraro. I really did not show much interest in politics at that time since my life revolved around school, sports, and family activities.
As I grew older, I began to recognize the signs of community decay. There were signs of a few homeless people living on the streets including Skid Row which I visited when my parents would go to Philippe’s for a French Dip sandwich. Philippe’s is now over 100 years old, and the food is still good and the sawdust is still on the floor. Large groups of homeless now occupy the many streets surrounding downtown and beyond into most L.A. neighborhoods if not all Los Angeles.
Now for the current state of affairs in the southern portion of California in particular.
California is running out of water and we are all required to reduce our water consumption on a daily basis. Limit the use of outside water to 2 days a week and for a very limited amount of time. In addition to that we are now being asked to reduce our daily electrical use due to extreme weather conditions. At the same time large residential building are still being planned and built throughout Southern California. There is the $500 Million dollar Sportsmen’s Lodge Apartment development planned for Studio City. 520 units are scheduled for the site. Thousands of apartments are being planned in Irvine. In the West San Fernando Valley, hundreds of residential units are planned for the Warner Center area. All the building and no water for the residents or landscaping in the area. And now limited use of power including air conditioning to remain cool with extreme heat. Is this planning by local officials or a recipe for a disaster for all of us?
The Sixth Street Bridge continues to drain the city’s bank account
Continuing vandalism and graffiti along the new Sixth Street Bridge has moved the LA City Council to approve $129,000 to provide maintenance at the location. A request for $353,000 was initially requested but was reduced since the violations have reduced at the location. Just another negative situation we must learn to live with.
November election is approaching, and we need to do what we can to help save Los Angeles.
I will be giving you an honest evaluation of the candidates engaged in the upcoming city elections in future RantZ and RaveZ. It is going to be radical times for Los Angeles with some of the more progressive candidates running for office. From Los Angeles mayor to city council and city attorney and controller a lot is at stake for Los Angeles residents and business owners. Stayed tuned for my election coverage.
(Dennis P. Zine is the author of RantZ and RaveZ. The column is published twice a month in CityWatchLA.com to enlighten you on issues impacting Los Angeles and America. Dennis is a 54-year active member of law enforcement and a retired elected official.)