Let’s Fix the Root Causes of Homelessness
Re: “A Bridge Home in Venice,” News, June 7
Homelessness is a systemic problem. Building a few expensive apartments is not the answer.
We need to get people job-ready before they leave high school by providing them with practical vocational training, apprenticeships and general job-readiness skills. In my experience, this is not happening in our public schools.
Life preparation classes — understanding personal finance, the cost of living, the personal and social costs of breaking the law and being incarcerated — are sorely lacking. Unless they come from well-to-do families, most students leave school and immediately wind up on the deep end of life without knowing how to swim.
Shelters are a Band-Aid. Social safety nets should incentivize people to lift themselves up, not just tread water. We could start by building dormitories like colleges have and offering jobs on site to help people get an immediate leg up.
Wendy L. Kaysing,
FROM THE WEB
RE: “Staving Off Scootergeddon,” News, June 14
These electric scooters have invaded the bike path. There is already a rule stating “no motorized vehicles allowed on the bike path,” so why is it not being enforced? Riding your bike on the bike path has become a nightmare with these things being driven by reckless idiots.
Re: “City Puts Condo Owners on Shaky Ground,” Opinion, May 10
Richard Fliegel’s piece about fixed-income condo owners’ struggles with the city’s seismic upgrade requirements is spot-on. I am a condo owner in Santa Monica (which adopted a seismic-retrofit ordinance last year), and everything in the piece rings true.
Mandatory soft-story seismic retrofitting targets primarily older condo buildings of a certain size while giving other types of residential properties a total pass on seismic safety, regardless of the condition of a structure. Further, as the piece states, because the requirements are based on an earthquake of a certain size, the retrofitting may be excessive or ultimately prove to be worthless.
Some readers may be crying crocodile tears for folks they assume are wealthy property owners, but the retrofitting ordinances were imposed with no thought to financial hardship (and, as far as I know, with no representation from condo associations). Earthquake retrofitting costs must be covered by all condo owners and, unlike a rental building, an HOA does not generate income (apart from laundry room quarters).
But a bigger issue is that local government (Santa Monica, anyway) is doing nothing to prevent or monitor potential collusion, price-fixing, or price-gouging among construction firms that suddenly have a windfall of retrofitting work, or to ensure that those firms are not proposing the most expensive solution instead of the most reasonable one.
I understand the need for public safety and planning for potential seismic events. I just wish the retrofitting requirements had been enforced with a little more foresight.
These “supporters” of Bird/Lime obviously have not visited the beach bike path on weekends. It’s out of control, completely unsafe, and makes it impossible to enjoy individual or family walks or take a leisurely bike ride. Sadly, motorized transportation has taken over the bike path. Police should patrol the bike path and issue tickets to reckless riders who refuse to reduce their speed. Scooters are a great idea, but they shouldn’t even be allowed on the bike path.
A big chunk of the user base is tourists who are scooting instead of walking. Hardly any connection to cars. -J-
A cool idea, but scooter riders do not obey traffic laws, and that makes them dangerous. I cannot tell you how many close calls I have had with almost hitting a scooter that zipped out of an alley and into my lane of traffic.
These things are just another nuisance ridden by people who do not obey the traffic laws. Coming down a major street last Monday morning, I saw a scooter lane-splitting on the passenger side of my car, slowing an entire lane of traffic.