To the Editor:

Re: “City of L.A. joins renewed challenge to Coastal Commission denial of Venice overnight parking districts” (Argonaut, Aug. 19):

Does the city of Los Angeles have nothing better to do with scarce funds than to use them to restrict public access to Los Angeles’ most visited beach community?

It is true that Venice has suffered more than its fair share of problems associated with homelessness, and we should be united in our efforts to solve them. But overnight parking restrictions do no such thing.

While restricting public access to the beach and charging residents for the right to park in front of their own homes between 2 and 6 a.m., they also label all homeless as criminals, victimizing the innocent along with the guilty — making law enforcement difficult — instead of providing real solutions that target misbehavior.

Venice Action Alliance has been working with City Councilman Bill Rosendahl’s office, the Los Angeles Police Department and other Venice organizations to expedite the creation of Streets-to-Homes (S2H), a program to move vehicle dwellers off residential streets and into permanent housing, as part of a comprehensive approach to vehicular homelessness.

The Argonaut should be commended for its continuing coverage of the complex issue, but the reference to allowing homeless people to “park in designated lots and have access to services” implies a campground where people might or might not decide to access certain services on any given day. In reality, S2H requires participants to sign a contract agreeing to obey strict community safeguards and police monitoring in exchange for temporary off street parking in designated lots and case management services.

Further details of the program will rightly be proposed by social service professionals rather than anyone whose objectives might primarily be self-serving.

Venice Action has repeatedly invited the Venice Stakeholders Association to join us and our other community partners in this effort.

An (assertion) by a group referring to itself as “stakeholders,” implying “what’s in it for me,” is understandable, if lamentable. But to pressure the city to try to overturn 35 years of California Coastal Act protections in order to ensure convenient parking for a fee is like taking a very expensive sledgehammer to a cantaloupe.

Karen Wolfe, Venice Action Alliance, Venice

Tells of hot dog eating contest planned along with Muscle Beach Labor Day activities

To the Editor:

I strolled to Venice Beach last week and found out that the beach playground area is “going to the dogs.” Edible hot dogs, that is.

On Labor Day, Sept. 6, this great new Muscle Beach sport to replace the declining weight lifting competitions will be held.

The contest will involve well-trained athletes in an all-you-can-eat hot dog competition within a time limit.

So, it appears that the declining quality and amount of weight training equipment in the “World Famous Muscle Beach, Venice” gymnasium is not surprising. It is no longer considered useful or needed.

Oh yes, a physique contest will also be held on that day as they have still proven to be very profitable, and only very few physique competitors have ever trained at the Venice Beach gym anyway.

Henry L. Duval, Santa Monica