Tractors are back on Venice Beach preparing the winter berms. Photo by Kris Dahlin

A crisis of compassion, not housing
Hooray! The county tells us we have housed 229 people last month. Unfortunately, 234 new people fell into homelessness in that same period! No wonder the streets, encampments and neighborhood tent counts look dismal…worser and worser.

The largest groups of people to become homeless are the elderly, recently incarcerated and youth aging out of the foster system. And we overwhelmingly do not welcome these folks to our neighborhoods.

Meanwhile, a four-story giant is being completed across the street from our modest single-family house. It will likely stay at least half unoccupied for six months or longer as the Westside housing prices continue to climb and the fentanyl prices decline.

We have a compassion crisis as much or more than a housing crisis. No small part of the solution is Permanent Supportive Housing, but good luck trying to find a location for low-cost housing short of a full court press by attorneys for outraged home owners. Landlords and homeowners could do a great deal to reduce the concern and even hysteria over affordable housing.

The T-shirt reading “I support housing for unhoused people in my neighborhood” should become a middle-class mantra rather than a cautionary alert for people attacking the local politician.
We must adjust our compassion quotient or expect a much worse quality of life in the sunshine state.
Robin Doyno
Mar Vista

Secretary Deb Haaland needs to act to save the wolves

Wolves are a national treasure. They cause very, very limited threats to livestock, play a crucial part in the ecological balance of their habitat and any supposed threat to livestock by utilizing easy to do and monetarily viable prevention methods.

Wolves are sacred to the First Nation peoples of this country. Their heritage must be honored.
Mark Glasser
Mar Vista

Venice American Traquero Monument

My name is Laura Ceballos, a Venice native and community organizer in Venice. I am also the committee chair and project manager for the Venice Mexican American Traquero Monument that will be placed at Windward Circle.

The Venice Mexican American Traquero Monument was passed unanimously by the LA City Council on May 5, 2021. Our beloved civil rights leader Dolores Huerta spoke in support of the project. The project was also approved by the Venice Neighborhood Council in December 2020.  There was also a petition with over 1,100 signatures from the Venice Community in support of the project.

Supporters: Senator Ben Allen, Civil Rights Activist Dolores Huerta, The Mexican Consulate, California State Assembly Member Autumn Burke, U.S. Congressman Ted Lieu, The AIDS Foundation, Council Member Mike Bonin, Santa Monica City Council Member Gleam Davis, LULAC, Santa Monica College, UCLA Center for the Study of Latino Health and Culture, Venice Japanese Memorial Monument Committee, Venice Community Housing, Venice Animo Charter High School, MD Margarita Loeza-Venice Family Clinic, Venice Pride, Venice Kush, Save Venice, AmVets Veterans Organization, Great Western Steak and Hoagies, Garcia’s Market in Venice, Hama Sushi Restaurant, and Venice Beachhead.

I am aware that there is an email circulating that was sent by Sonya Reese to all LA City Council members and the public stating that the Traquero Mexican Railroad Landmark will be degraded by the Venice Community Housing Project. Sonya Reese does not represent the Brown or Black Community in Venice and does not represent the whole Reese family.

The Venice Community Housing Project will not degrade the Traquero Mexican Railroad Landmark. The entire Venice Traquero Committee and a majority of the Brown Community in Venice strongly support the Venice  Community Housing Project that will be built in Venice.

Sonya Reese is spreading false information and misleading the LA City Council about the Venice Community Housing Project and the Venice Mexican American Traquero Monument. I find her actions disrespectful to the Mexican Community in Venice.

There are attempts being made by Jim Murez, Robin Murez, Mark Ryavec, Sonya Reese, Robert Haro (a vendido from Casablanca Restaurant) and others to block affordable housing in Venice for low-income families and to prevent the Venice Mexican American Traquero Monument from moving forward.

For clarification, Mexican history is embedded in the city of LA and California. It is a critical part of the birth of LA and California. These attempts are racially motivated. This group claims that they support the Traquero Monument and Affordable Housing, but oppose the location. These bigoted attitudes by so called Community Representatives are racial discrimination against a minority community. I am sure that if high-rise condominiums for the wealthy were being built, there would be no issues with the project.
Laura Ceballos
VMATM Committee Chair

Responding to Ballona Wetlands Restoration Project letters
David Kay never mentions his affiliation with SoCal Gas, which just happens to have a facility on the Ballona Wetlands, so to present himself as an environmentalist is laughable.

This is the same guy who accused me of smoking weed because I wrote about the protection of the trees in Marina del Rey. I also saw him give the bird to people at a public meeting because they disagreed with his position to “restore” the Ballona Wetlands.

I urge all readers to consider the motives, actions and character of a person, because even though his words may come across as reasonable, it is very easy for somebody to spin information for his own agenda. SoCal Gas needs to remove 17 oil wells, so what better way to do that than to have the California taxpayers pay for it under the guise of a restoration plan?

Does David Kay strike you as someone who would have opposed building the marina in favor of the wetlands? Well, now he wants you to believe that he cares so much about them by disrupting them once again after 50 years of natural restoration.

It is irresponsible to spend 9 years and $270 million of the taxpayers’ money on 566 acres of state-owned land for a make-work project in a state where a total of 8,367 fires burned 3,083,507 acres this year alone, regardless of what a so-called SoCal Gas “environmentalist” claims.

William R. Hicks
Marina del Rey