Friday, August 9, 2013

Another Day in Sunland Park Foreshadows the LA to Come

Two postings in our The Foothills. Observed Facebook Group (which if you're on Facebook, care about Sunland-Tujunga and are not a sock puppet or troublemaker you are welcome to join) caught our attention.

One, a very telling photo by Video Louis Elovitz, taken Thursday at Sunland Park (site of the recent Sunland-Tujunga National Night Out, anti-crime education event) that most are finding quite disturbing. That the situation has escalated as such without any real outrage from our city officials is disgusting.

"Thursday in the Park," by Video Louis Elovitz
Next up, quite the good analysis on why our homeless situation in Los Angeles has reached the tipping point; where millions are spent, folks are paid handsomely to serve the homeless yet no results are yielded, indeed it's getting worse for both the community and the homeless. Joseph Mailander talks with Loren Franck, director of West Side Homeless Outreach, Inc. who has been serving the homeless for nearly half a decade. "I do not have a Lexus in my parking spot. I’m not a part of that machine. One problem that we have is that these big well established agencies are really businesses. They’re non-profits, but they’re really businesses,"Franck tells Mailander. Read the rest of this excellent interview at LA CityWatch.

It seems as if our local officials might want to take a gander at an insightful article, written many years ago by James Q. Wilson and George KellingThe Broken Window Theory. Basically Wilson and Kelling posit that if small infractions such as the homeless sleeping in parks, leaving trash around, getting rid of graffiti, fixing broken windows in buildings - all quality of life issues - are addressed it can actually prevent larger crimes. In the 90s, both New York's Mayor Rudy Giuliani and LA's Mayor Richard Riordan, devotees of the theory, put these practices to work and both cities saw significant drops in crime and improvement in quality of life.

Contrast this with a recent report that the LAPD has changed gears to give up on enforcing a whole boatload of small time but gateway violations such as driving without a license, camping on the beach, using a fake ID to buy alcohol, drinking in public, gambling, defecating in public, trespassing and not having your dog vaccinated for rabies. This seems like just a horrible opposite direction to go that will, combined with the state's recent prison re-alignment strategies in which criminal offenders are being released to the streets years ahead of their sentences expiring, get us right back to those high crime rates and miserable times of the 1970s and 80s.

I guess y'all better buy helmets!

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