August 2008 – Lincoln Place: Venice Gulag?

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By C.V. Beck

What is going on with Lincoln Place, you might enquire?  Well, let me tell you. It is very quiet over here, too quiet! many might say. It’s like that episode of the Twilight Zone, you know, the one where the bank teller, Burgess Meredith, goes to sleep in the bank vault and wakes up after atom bombs have gone off and he’s the only person left alive on the planet. 

Well, it’s like THAT here, the Venice Gulag! Of course, because it’s also in a vacuum (which nature abhors), certain persons are attracted to the grasses and lawns for purposes of irresponsible dogwalking… that is, these certain persons deliberately come here to let their dogs roam through the buildings, terrorizing and killing feral cats and other animals, and not cleaning up after the waste products of their pets– mostly while talking intently on their cell phone as an excuse. Oh, yes, frequently, these clowns have their backs turned away from their pets, to make sure they DON’T see anything. People go out of their way not to go to the dog parks – but to come here – where they think they can do anything they want to…with attack-trained german shepherds and other large overly-alert canines. I have dealt directly with a number of these grandiose people and on a toe-to-toe basis with same at least once. This continues to happen over and over, like a rerun movie on late night TV. 

 

The security guards, of whom we have a great number, do basically nothing but eat and chat during the day while circling the complex many, many times, dropping their food wrappers and coffee cups from “S-Bux” on the ground and at night, they sleep– while getting paid. 

Many times, I look out the living room window and see security guards sitting in their vehicle or on old beat-up looking bicycles, in my field of view. When I take out the garbage or go to my car, I see them to the west– like statues in silhouette across the meadow (I mean the vacant lot)–where the flowers are mowed down regularly with a phalanx of gas-powered edgers, filling the air with blue-silvery gas fumes and leaded particulates, polluting our earth with heavy metals. Anything green or flowering is destroyed over and over again, just to make sure. 

Additionally, these landscape helpers continue to use with great regularity the unlawful gas powered leaf blowers despite my best efforts to stop them. Management has been informed many times and apparently the guys just don’t get it. I have called the police and the South Coast Air Quality Management District  all to no avail. The one time I observed the office manager stopping a landscape cleaning guy with the unlawful gas powered leaf blower was when a group of potential buyers were on a walk-through this past month. 

These gas powered leaf blowers are not permitted to be used within the city of Los Angeles within 500 feet of a residence, did you know this? Does anyone, really? 

We do NOT have the quiet enjoyment we are supposed to have with garden apartments or any kind of apartments within our used-to-be fair city limits. 

In many parts of Lincoln Place, the grasses have been replaced by bare parched dirt, dry and cracked, part of an apparent “scorched earth policy” by the owner’s harsh and oppressive policies. The dry grasses crunch when I walk on them and there are deep cracks into the earth, some 9”,10”,up to 12-1/2” deep, in front of my place.(I measured today, Sunday, July 20th). Weeds have been allowed to grow up through the blacktop alleyways and throughout the garage and carport areas, nettles grow 4 and 5 feet high, remaining untouched, despite my requests for weeding of weeds and not for weeding of flowers.

 

The Lincoln Place Tenants Association (LPTA) has received two awards coming out of the Barney Frank-chaired Financial Services Committee in Washington, DC, on HUD Housing by the National Alliance of HUD Tenants. 

One award is for our tenants’ role in saving rent control in California in the June primary. The other is for “winning landmark victories to save (our) homes.” These awards were proudly accepted by attorney Amanda Seward on behalf of the LPTA.

 

About two weeks ago now, AIMCO minions began unboarding the empty apartments around those where human beings still live. Why are they doing this? It might have something to do with the last lawsuit in court that we had won.

The appeals court case that found the Ellis Act evictions to be illegal because the California Environmental Quality Act (which protects us) trumps the Ellis Act. 

Some of the former residents have asked when they would be able to return to their apartments. Apparently, what is holding up the works is that the city government has no “mechanism” to return people to their units and needs to develop one, I guess on our backs. 

I helpfully suggested to one of our unlawfully evicted residents that the sheriffs be allowed to smartly walk people backwards into their apartments, thus eradicating the grievous removals of two and three years ago. While funny, this is still a very good idea and would be, of course very visual in a Venice sort of way, wouldn’t it?

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