• Postcard from Venice (Italy) – Lance Diskan
  • Parking and Homelessness – Casey Bowen
  • Can we work this out? – C.V. Beck
  • Vote No on Measure B – Dede Audet

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Postcard from Venice (Italy)

Dear ‘Heads,

Carousing singers still active at 2 a.m. outside our hotel window – demonstrating roots of California Venetians in the Che Wah Wah lifestyle. 

Thought I saw Abbot Kinney this afternoon, turning the corner ahead of me in an alley.

One of life’s great treasures is to be part of a Grand Tradition. Happy 40th!

Lance Diskan

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Parking and Homelessness

Dear Beachhead,

As a twenty-five year resident of this amazing community, sometimes I wonder where your loyalty lies. It is certainly not with the hard working people who live here. After living on Paloma Ave. for six years I know all too well the horrendous parking situation that exists in this neighborhood. There is no other fact than this: there is not enough parking to  accommodate the legal residents of our community. 

Why when I get home from my second job at midnight do I feel blessed to find a parking spot FOUR blocks from my house!!!! Countless times I have had to pay hundreds of dollars to have my car released from the tow lot because I had no other choice but to park overnight in Gold’s Gym’s lot. 

Try carrying a sleeping two-year-old and her diaper bag and a purse and three bags of groceries from Hampton Ave. to Paloma and Speedway. Dare I mention for fear of offending the sensibilities of our homeless “residents,” how dangerous it is for a “youngish” woman to be walking this far at night through this neighborhood which is wrought with criminal activity perpetrated by your beloved homeless population. I know. I have been accosted on several occasions. I know they are not ALL criminals. 

However, it is certainly NOT the legal residents of this community committing the robberies, acts of vandalism, assaults and murders which we still find happening even with the massive overhaul of this community. 

You do realize that for every RV that is parked on our tiny, overcrowded streets, there are three to four legal residents who cannot find a place to park their cars after returning from their JOBS where they have been all day rather than lazing around in the California sunshine. Not only am I pro overnight parking permits, I am pro parking permit all day, all night, every day, always. It’s only January. As soon as summer is here, the real parking nightmare begins. Maybe, all of you who are so against OPD’s will let me and my family park in your garage.

Peace and Love
Casey Bowen

P.S.- thank you for your wonderful article on our cherished Sponto. He was a delightful fixture in the neighborhood, whom I’m sure would disagree with my opinion on parking. I wish he were here to have the debate.   

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Can we work this out?

Venice was mentioned on the AM radio station that I listen to, in the context of motor-vehicle living persons this morning.  Bill Rosendahl was recorded as saying that there are no more than 200 motor-vehicle living persons in Venice and he felt that — under the circumstances of the dire economic straits many people will be finding themselves in — the “overnight parking districts” were not realistic.  I thought this was pretty good news, that of realism, for a change, instead of the bombastic hyperbole we are inflicted with by the media on homeless matters.

I figured out that if you divide 200 by the 11 neighborhoods in Venice, that works out to be 18 MVLP’s per neighborhood.  That is not per block but per neighborhood.  If placement is done correctly, this should not be a real problem for anybody.  Isn’t that right?

Why don’t we see if we can work this out for a change? Times are tough, let’s not make it worse. 

– C.V. Beck

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Vote No on Measure B

Dear Beachhead, 

When Bill Rosendahl came to the Jan. 10 DWP Workshop he asked for a show of hands of all those against Measure B. And all but one hand went up.

Then he asked for a show of hands for Measure B and I saw only one hand go up.

Finally Bill asked the assembled Neighborhood Council reps if they would be willing to listen. And almost all hands went up again.

As Soledad Garcia (Chair of the Los Angeles Neighborhood Council Coalition DWP Committee) said, “We are for solar energy. But there should have been timely notification. We think ratepayers will have to pay more for this hasty program.”

I believe Soledad is right. As with all work performed in a great hurry, this hastily cooked up proposition they call Green Energy and Good Jobs does not have the language and polish one might expect from the great City of Los Angeles. I call it the Miserable Measure B, all 27 pages.

Everyone I know is willing to do what is necessary to meet California renewable energy requirements. But why put extra stress on ratepayers? Rates will have to go up more than necessary in order to duplicate training and solar installation businesses already in place.

We are already training people for this in the public education system and there are lots of businesses in the City of Los Angeles to do the work. People ready, willing, and able to do the job right now. People who need the jobs now.

There is more to it, though. DWP reps and Measure B documentation refer to the use of “financial institutions” and “tax credits” as advantages.

Au contraire. In the first place, tax exempt organizations like DWP cannot use tax credits. And who ever heard of a financial institution doing something for nothing?

What their hasty cooking serves up is a mishmash of vague and contradictory ideas for voters in March.

Vague: that is what the judge called it when Measure B supporters hauled 8 dissenters into court for daring to say that Measure B would increase rates. “Who knows? Who knows?’ is what the judge said as he dismissed the claim.

Contradictory: in some parts of the documentation it says that DWP will “operate and maintain,” then go on to say “install/operate.” And on and on.

“…shall install, operate, maintain and repair and/or oversee the installation, operation, maintenance and repair,”

“. . .department’s ownership and operation. . .”

“…installed, owned, operated, and maintained…”

And here is the kicker:

“The Department shall own and operate all Department-installed solar power installations except as required to secure tax subsidies by permitting financial institutions to own the solar power installations, subject to a power purchase agreement with purchase options for the Department…All electric power generated pursuant to this Program shall be owned by the Department and shall be delivered directly to the Department’s electric system without first passing through the meter measuring the electric use by the host program participant.”

Over the past few years a number of financial institutions have tried this and failed when the I.R.S. determined there was an absence of business “substance” in the transactions. What happened is that municipal tax exempt organizations sold city property such as sewer systems, etc. to taxpaying financial institutions via sale/leaseback arrangements in order to confer tax benefits. But there was no business purpose in the transaction other than to confer tax benefits that the tax exempt organizations could not use. That’s a no no.

As a friend of mine remarked, “Maybe they think they can change the tax code.”

The Beachhead has always done a great job of exposing political shenanigans. I hope that Beachhead readers will see that the name “Green Energy and Good Jobs” is just a screen to cover-up a reward to political contributors.

It’s disgraceful they did not consider what the great increase in rates will do to poor people.

Thank you,

DeDe Audet

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