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LA's Battle for Venice Beach: Homeless Surge Puts Hollywood's Progressive Ideals to the Test

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Scott Johnson and Peter Kiefer

January 11, 2019

After the first attack, Randy Osborn figured it was just his turn. Tire slashings in his east Venice Beach neighborhood had become commonplace. But when his vintage Land Rover was hit a sixth time in the course of a few months, Osborn, who runs a small virtual reality company and has lived in Venice for seven years, began to worry he was being singled out.

"It may have been random, but it sure felt targeted and concentrated," says Osborn, who now protects his tires each night with a jury-rigged plywood-and-chain contraption that has so far deterred the assailants. Every time he takes his family out of town, he worries about his house being robbed. "It's not a very fun way to live," he says. A lot of residents within Osborn's 15-block area just east of Lincoln Boulevard — where actor Viggo Mortensen owns a home and director Jon Favreau is opening a production office — have similar stories. And though they can't say for sure, Osborn and others suspect the crime is tied to several homeless encampments that have sprung up nearby in the past 15 months.

(Snip)

Sleepless in Seattle and Community producer Gary Foster, who moved to the area two years ago from Westwood and works with the homeless advocacy group The People Concern, says he was surprised by the number of residents who expressed exasperation with — if not outright disdain for — the transient population. "They tend to be liberal, they want to do good in the world, but they're balancing their beliefs with how that might impact the value of their real estate," says Foster, who began his activism after producing The Soloist, about a journalist who discovers a musical savant living on Skid Row.

"There are actually [residents] advocating driving the homeless out of Venice — shipping them off somewhere, which is such a proto-fascist move," says television writer Evan Dunsky, a 27-year resident of the area. "And then what? Do we have to build a wall around Venice?"

(Snip)

Disagreements over the potential causes of the crimes have begun to factionalize Venice's neighborhoods. "It was six months of terror, absolute terror," says radiologist Maria Altavilla, who lives in east Venice. She says that the period of increased health and safety concerns coincided with the expansion of the homeless encampments the past year. She recently arrived home with her two children to find a woman shooting up in her yard. Lately, her husband has expressed a desire to move because of his frustration with the encampments. Several residents shared an unconfirmed theory — suggested to them by a local patrolman — that certain assailants were using the social media app NextDoor to monitor which residents are most vocal about their opposition to encampments and then targeting those individuals for retribution.

As the problem worsens, homeowners are banding together to try to reclaim patches of sidewalk in an effort to deter future encampments.........(Snip)

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It appears to these old (deplorable) eyes, some people are getting a dose of Reality Therapy.

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Beach of the living dead

Scott Johnson

Feb. 26 2019

When I went into private practice one of my first big projects led me to Venice Beach. I took up residence in Venice with my late colleague Bob Collins at the Marina Pacific Hotel (as it was then) for several months. We enjoyed the time in Venice, although it was our impression that we might be the only people in Venice working for a living.

(Snip)

Now the pseudonymous YouTuber Conservative Resurgence has adapted Ring’s American Greatness column into the video/essay below, noted at American Greatness in the post “Video: Homeless Zombie Hordes Take Over Venice Beach.” . The decline registered here is almost unbelievable (to me). This is an important video.

 

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