Posted September 30, 2015 by The Argonaut in Columns
To Be or Not to Be: A Question of Compassion

Re: “Cadillac Hotel Owner Charged with Murder in Venice Boardwalk Shooting,” news, Sept. 3

My stomach retches and my heart grieves as I’ve become aware of the murder of young Mr. Jascent Jamal Lee Warren, also known as “Shakespeare.”

Homelessness is not community blight in itself; rather, it is what results from a lack of humane and fair treatment of those in the most fragile of circumstances.

For Warren to be the fourth homeless man to die violently in Venice since April is a horrific reminder to love those who have less even more.

I do believe Venice can be a beautiful community if the actions of its residents and visitors shine. I am impressed with how Venice prides itself on being eclectic and artsy. But perhaps it’s time all communities (mine included) start valuing the merit of being known for love, activism and charity.

Will we do the memory of Jascent Jamal Lee Warren and those like him right?
In the words of Shakespeare, Mr. Warren’s chosen namesake: “To be, or not to be, that is the question.”

Indeed, that is the question for us all.

Lara Monge


Re: “Has Mar Vista Become the Rehab Capital of Los Angeles?” news, Sept. 10

The elephant in the room that no one wants to acknowledge is the staggering level of drug and alcohol problems in our society. It is prevalent in every community regardless of whether it’s a beach community or a valley community. Parents drink and use drugs (lots of prescriptions, so that’s OK), students are ripped on Adderall and Xanax, weed is everywhere — especially in our high schools — and even in junior high the kids have access to it all. Communities need places for those afflicted with these problems to heal. The best place to do that is in a community (house) that does not allow alcohol and drugs. Those communities are increasingly harder to find.

I have seen the story change in these neighborhoods when one of these families has a loved one (usually in their 20s) struggling with a severe drug addiction. That’s when it’s OK to have these houses around.

Rest assured, we currently have drug addicts and alcoholics living in our community. If we are concerned with the safety of our families, we should identify those houses that are currently engaged in the abuse of alcohol and drugs in our neighborhood.

We could go door to door
and ask people if they are engaged in unhealthy habits, take that poll to our neighborhood council meeting and ask them to close all the houses that are currently fueling this dangerous situation.

We could monitor their comings and goings, if and where they drive (especially with children), and maybe set up cameras to get video evidence of the rampant disregard to public safety.

But wait, we can’t do that. People have the right to privacy and to live in their home the way they want to. And the funny thing about people’s rights is they apply to everyone. Even the sober people.                             Jeff C.



Mar Vistans are not as hateful as this article portrays us. For one thing, the PCH home was misrepresented to us as a sober living home, and we’ve been dealing with a lot of bad repercussions with many of those sober living homes — break-ins, assaults, vandalism.

I, for one, was happy to learn that this was not to be a 32-bed facility and that it will be there to help people who have been the victims of terrible situations. There were many people there with the same response. But was any of that mentioned? No. Only the naysayers, the cruel, the heartless were highlighted. Only that which would create a sensational headline.

I feel like we’ve been terribly misrepresented. There is nothing balanced about this article. It is a smear job.



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