By Edward LaGrossa
First off, let’s make this absolutely clear… I know of no homeless person or RV dweller in my over three decades in Venice that thinks it’s acceptable for anyone to dump their RV waste on the streets or gutters of this town. NO ONE. Doing this is like taking a collective dump on everyone in Venice. The issue is not just the concerns of renters and/or homeowners; but everyone of us in Venice. This especially includes the self-righteous person or persons who are throwing feces and urine under RV’s they deem unacceptable in what they think of as their neighborhood, then calling the authorities to remove the RV.This happened to Louis Garcia on September 30th on Windward Ave. with a note that read: “Hey Fuckhead. I see shit leaking out of this heap. I light it on fire. See you, I kick your fucking ass! I’ll be looking for you M[other] F[uck]er.”
Five days later, an RV did burn down in the Chase Bank parking lot on Lincoln Blvd. and Milwood Avenue and the RV dweller lost everything. They don’t know whether it was an accident or arson. Coincidence? Perhaps not. What we do know is that someone took a picture of this burning RV within minutes after it was caught on fire! Who took the picture? It’s unknown, but a well-known local RV hating web site launched pictures of this burning RV within the hour.
When a web site allows anonymous commenters to stir up hatred and escalate the violence on the pretense that it is their town, not homeless people or RV dwellers, this site could be held responsible to any injuries or death (the anonymous commenters also said they will go after anyone who writes for The Venice Beachhead, which as a free speech advocate, I decided to call their bluff). These haters wanted poor Louis’ head without knowing that he’s never used his bathroom in the two years he’s owned his RV. Now that we have the handwriting of the saboteur, we’ll be able to check handwriting samples to identify and hopefully prosecute this potentially very dangerous person(s).
Committing violence to protect the optimal resale value out of certain home and business owner’s Venice real estate investments is not what defines this unique town. The boardwalk gives us our unique identity and the boardwalk is about artists and musicians. Always has been, always will be. Personally, as a long-time boardwalk musician, I am extremely concerned about why RV dwellers are dumping waste on our streets? Lazy? Drunk? Indifferent? Broke? Maybe so, but the closest dumping station is at Dockweiler Beach in Playa Del Rey, just less than 16 miles round trip from the Rose Avenue parking lot.
The dump cost $10 and the gas to drive to Dockweiler Beach will add another $8 to $10 in an RV that gets 6 MPG. This needs to be done about once every six weeks for a single RV dweller with a 20 gallon tank. Now to someone who owns a million dollar piece of real estate, this cost is no big deal. Of course they don’t have to worry about their excrement. But for someone who is living in their RV and has very little, if any income, this is quite a burden. Everyone has a right to the dignity of using a bathroom when needed. Everyone! As the Bible says: those that have much, much is required (Lk.12.48). This one sentence turned Bill Gates from the riches person on the planet, to the most generous man to the world’s homeless in the history of humanity. That is the compassionate leadership that is needed on this issue.
I drove to Dockweiler Beach to see how the dumping operation worked. I talked with a gentleman by the name of Anthony Rodriquez who works for LA County Beach and Harbor. He told me that approximately 20 people dump on a weekday and up to 50 on a weekend with more in the summer. When I asked him if people from Venice come there he said “not too many because it’s too far for them. Venice needs one there.” He said there’s one in Malibu and there’s one here at Dockweiler, so with Venice in the middle, it would be perfect. The dump site itself is literally a hole in the ground with a metal plate covering it and a nearby water hose. There was no smell what’s so ever. Anthony suggested charging five dollars per dump, affordable for most RV dwellers every six weeks.
The location of the dump station could easily be put in the Venice Blvd. parking lot on the left hand side of the bathrooms where there is now an empty space. RV’s would just have to back up, dump their waste and be on their way. Incredibly, since October 1, no RV’s are allowed to park in our public parking lots in Venice – so they would have to leave after the dump.
So there’s the humane RV dumping solution. Now how do we get the political will to get this done when so many homeowners feel they own the LAPD and politicians as part of LA County’s tax base; and wants them to get rid of all RV’s in Venice? The question is how far we’ll they go to get their goal of privatizing city streets? As if to exemplify their digital KKK tactics of terror; while I was writing this article, someone stabbed the tire on my uninhabited RV that was parked legally in front of my house. I say let’s stop them collectively before someone gets hurt or killed. We do that by identifying who they are and prosecuting the violence they hide behind. But make no mistake about it folks – this is another slice in the larger war of “The People vs. The Money.” Where do you stand?