Author: Christina Campodonico

The Homeless Housing Struggle

Westside is a microcosm of Los Angeles as projects to combat homelessness face logistical and financial challenges By Kellie Chudzinski  Despite state, city, and countywide efforts to house those living on the streets the picture of homelessness on the Westside continues to look bleak with rising numbers, more and larger encampments, increased incidents with residents, and stalled permanent housing projects.  The need for more housing is growing rapidly every year.  The numbers recorded at the start of 2020 show 41,290 people experiencing homelessness in LA city and 70% are unsheltered and struggling to survive in tents, encampments, vehicles, and other locations. In 2019, the Westside saw the greatest increase in homelessness in the county, growing by 19%. Though, that number is likely higher now, as the COVID-19 pandemic hit the states two months after the most recent count, with estimates suggesting homelessness is 16% higher since the pandemic began. Observationally, residents are feeling growth in the unhoused population living on the streets.  Recent numbers by the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA) shows that Council District 11 on the Westside, has one of the highest numbers of unsheltered people with just under 3,200. Those numbers may not fully reflect the true number as the pandemic has sent more people to the street with high visibility of homeless encampments in Venice. One resident who spoke with The Argonaut estimated that...

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City & Neighborhood Council Meeting Calendar, September 2020

Joining Local Council Meetings from Home, on your Computer or Phone Compiled by Stepan Sarkisian Covid-19 is making everything more difficult, but the pandemic has made participating in your local city or neighborhood council meeting actually easier. While restrictions on in-person gatherings continue, those interested in attending and making public comments can attend their local council’s meeting on their computer or phone by using Zoom or another video conferencing platform. Zoom is an online video and audio-conferencing service that allows users to communicate remotely from the safety of home. Zoom is available through download or on your browser. You...

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A VP in the Making?

Six Things to Know About Local Congresswoman Karen Bass By Lydia You Los Angeles politician Karen Bass has shot up in Joe Biden’s shortlist of VP candidates in the past couple weeks. With Biden expected to announce his pick any day now, here are six things to know about the California Congresswoman, who represents Culver City, Mar Vista and parts of West Los Angeles in the House of Representatives. 1. She’s a local Born in Los Angeles and raised in the Venice-Fairfax area, Bass has long-standing knowledge of the neighborhoods she represents. She went on to study at San...

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Saying Goodbye

Everything Must Go at the Canterbury Art Shoppe By Katherine Brubaker Nancy Veits started the Canterbury Art Shoppe in 1967. The shop sits on West 87th Street in the Westchester Triangle, which Veits describes as a “tiny part of old-time America.” There are broad sidewalks, leafy trees, and a wide array of mom-and-pop shops that have been owned by the same people for years. Veits was at the helm of the Canterbury Art Shoppe for 30 years, until she sold it in 1997 to the current owner. Today she is back in her beloved shop, only this time as...

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Special Delivery!

Area Seniors receive flowers as part of Westside Pacific Villages’ COVID-19 response By Christina Campodonico Last Friday, some area seniors were surprised by an extra special delivery — fresh flowers! After fanning out from Playa del Rey, volunteers delivered around 140 bouquets to seniors in Westchester, Playa Vista, Mar Vista and Ladera Heights. The colorful posies, made possible through a donation by the Delavigne Family of Playa del Rey to up cheer up isolated seniors and support local businesses, were arranged by Culver Boulevard florist Flowers by Felicia and delivered as part of Westside Pacific Villages’ COVID-19 response. The nonprofit is also doing free grocery delivery and pharmacy pickups for area seniors during this time, but WPV’s Executive Director Carol Kitabayashi soon realized that seniors couldn’t live off bread and water alone, so to speak. The idea for weekly care packages came “naturally.” “Once a week, we do a special delivery to the folks … to cheer them up,” said Kitabayashi over the phone last week. “Today, it was a flower delivery.” “Everyone I delivered to lit up when they saw the flowers,” said Darlene Fukuji, a WPV volunteer and President of the Westchester Rotary. “They loved it. They were like, ‘Oh my gosh, flowers! …. I haven’t received flowers in a long time.'” One flower recipient followed up with a grateful message to WPV’s voicemail, recalled Kitabayashi. “This...

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