RANTZ & RAVEZ- As the unreliable Los Angeles Homeless Count numbers are currently being tabulated from the last Homeless Count and scheduled to be released to the public at a later date, millions of dollars for homeless programs are piling up from voter approved tax measures along with dollars from Sacramento.
Meanwhile, local politicians are requesting additional funds to address the homeless population that is continuing to grow throughout the neighborhoods of LA and surrounding communities.
I recently heard a radio news report discussing how members of the Encino Neighborhood Council are going to conduct their own comprehensive homeless population count in the Sepulveda basin after reading that the city reported only 30 people were living in the basin area along Burbank Blvd between Balboa Blvd and the 405 Freeway. I personally know from my frequent travels along Burbank Blvd through the basin that there are many more than 30 people living there in the brush on the south side of Burbank Blvd.
If you want to confirm this observation, take a drive on the south side of Burbank Blvd between Balboa Blvd to the 405 freeway and count the items in plain view from the roadway. There are tents, bicycles, shopping carts and lots of trash piled up along the edge of the road. It has been that way for a long time and it’s getting worse – all of it sitting there, being ignored as hundreds of motorists drive east and west along Burbank Blvd. The many items gathered and discarded by the homeless in this area include a wide variety of household goods.
Since I have been involved in several homeless counts in the San Fernando Valley, I have witnessed how they are conducted. Each volunteer is given a short introduction to the program and is teamed with another volunteer after taking a short test. Volunteers are cautioned not to approach or engage with any of the possibly homeless people. In the darkness, volunteers for that evening check their grid areas and document their findings in a report. At best, this survey is not in depth and is just a visual observation of what can be seen from the comfort of a vehicle. A true and accurate survey would be in depth and provide real homeless numbers. The Encino Neighborhood Council members are scheduled to do just that in the Sepulveda Basin.
I commend and give a huge “RaveZ” to those NC members for getting involved, for taking the time and effort to provide an accurate count that will hopefully bring resources and relief to this homeless population living in the Sepulveda basin. This will assist the Encino community in providing an improved quality of life for both residents and business owners.
How is the crime picture in Los Angeles under the direction of Chief Michel Moore?
The latest Los Angeles Citywide Crime Profile as of April 13, 2019 reflects a continuous downward trend in the crime picture.
Comparing 2019 to 2018 year to date statistics we find the following:
Homicide - 2.9%, Total Rape - 39.7%, Robbery - 6.4%, Aggravated Assaults + 3.1%,
Total Violent -3.6%.
Burglary - 14.1%, Motor Vehicle Theft - 11.7%, Burglary Theft from Motor Vehicle - 9.4%,
Personal / Other Theft - 0.3%
Total Property -7.6%.
Homicide - 23.6%, Rape - 12.2%, Robbery - 5.0%, Aggravated Assault -2.4%, Burglary - 9.1%, Larceny - 14.5%, Motor Vehicle Theft - 11.9%.
Total all arrests: -14.9%.
If you want to check crime stats around your home or in your specific neighborhood, go to www.crimemapping.com
DISCO is BACK on Saturday Night
During a recent Saturday night walk, I was tuning my AM radio and came across AM 1260 and LAOldies.com which offer commercial free music. In addition, they are now playing “Disco” music on Saturday nights. I sat in and hosted the old KBIG in the past when they played Disco music on Saturday Nights. It was a very popular format for some of us who enjoyed the Disco Days. So, if you want to go back in time, tune into to Disco Saturday Night on AM 1260. It’s sure to take you back to Great Memories -- the good Old Days in LA with lower taxes, no homelessness and less traffic on our freeways.
That’s it for this edition of RantZ and RaveZ. See you on Channel 11 with the next police pursuit…
(Dennis P. Zine is a former and retired LAPD Supervisor, former and retired 12-year Los Angeles City Councilman and current General Manager at Bell Canyon in Ventura County. Edited for CityWatch by Linda Abrams.)