March 2, 2024 #1 Local News, Forum, Information and Event Source for Venice Beach, California.

Column: Centennial Park Conditions Swell to Unconscionable Consequences at Venice Library!

CD-11, Bonin, Venice Neighborhood Council, LA County all ineffective in cleaning up this mess that is now expanding and spreading! Does anyone care?

By Nick Antonicello

What must happen before anyone in LA City government puts an end to the ever increasing size of the homeless population and encampments at Centennial Park just east of the Venice free public library? 

Must there be a another murder or rape? 

How many bikes must be robbed before LAPD takes inventory of the dozens and dozens of bike frames and tires that have accumulated along South Venice Boulevard now on the sidewalk on the south side of the boulevard? 

How many stationary RV’s must populate the street before a single-ticket is issued by LA Parking Enforcement?

How many homeless individuals must “shoot-up” for all to see before someone, anyone takes notice? 

Councilman Mike Bonin? 

The Venice Neighborhood Council? 

LAHSA? 

LAPD? 

LA Health Department? 

The tent count is now over one hundred, to say nothing of the furniture, self-made structures and other “junk” that has been planted on the median making this encampment look all the more permanent each and every day! 

For the sidewalk is now covered with the stench and the useless junk of these criminal transients where the law or the rules simply do not apply. 

For right is now again wrong and wrong is now seemingly right, or at least tolerable to the point of submission that nothing can or will be done!

Who will step forward and right this obvious wrong? 

How about the multitude of candidates seeking to replace Mike Bonin here in CD-11? 

And speaking of Mike Bonin, who is being paid handsomely to the tune of $300,000 annually has seemingly stopped working since announcing his “retirement” from seeking reelection to a third term. 

For what exactly is his office doing to stop this park from becoming a nest for criminal transients who are in many instances gang-affiliated and have no place taking this park and median hostage from those who actually pay rent and own the properties on this stretch of public parcel now a private haven for the insane, alcoholic and drug-addicted? 

Yes, I am a NIMBY and I don’t want this in my backyard or anyone else’s backyard for that matter. 

I am bitterly opposed to open drug use and I demand that a police presence be stationed at this site and that an action-plan to sweep and remove this encampment begin now. 

I am tired and exhausted of a municipal government that refuses to enforce the law and then blames the victim which is this neighborhood Venetians for the conditions they did not create in the first place!

I am tired of the useless rhetoric and the power and control of this homeless conversation by “out-of-town and non-resident” service providers who “profit and prey” from these conditions and pretend to care about these poor souls when the reality is the conditions just continue to get worse and worse and all the more out-of-control no matter how much money is thrown at the problem or pocketed by the cottage industry of institutionalized and accepted homelessness in Los Angeles!

As the entrance to Venice Beach is now clogged and defecated by these unacceptable conditions, as tourists look for a parking spot to visit the beach and boardwalk, the resiliency of Venice is so strong that no matter how bad things are, they still come to see us and I really wonder at this point why? 

Why would anyone come to visit this Venice? 

A crime-infested and disgusting slum by-the-sea? 

And as I snapped these photos, one of our new homeless “neighbors” snapped right back, as if I should be embarrassed, that the problem is not the conditions at Centennial Park, but the audacity to point this out!

Can government be this broken and dysfunctional? 

And what will it take for Venice to say enough is enough and fight back once and for all? The writer is a longtime Venetian and member of the Outreach and Oceanfront Walk Committee’s of the Venice Neighborhood Council (www.venicenc.org). You can reach the VNC at board@venicenc.org or Mr. Antonicello at 310-621-3775 or via e-mail at nantoni@mindspring.com.

in Opinion
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