Thu, Jun

We Do NOT Live Under a Dome


THE ANGRY ANGELENO - The conversation that LA Politicians, the LA Times, and the Homeless Industrial Complex do not want us to have...

From my previous columns (you can google them), this is connected most to “Los Angeles, You're Ignoring the Elephant in the Room” (July 24) and “ONE Way from ALASKA to LA” (July 31), which discussed giving Homeless Alaskans one-way flights to Los Angeles. The gist of the first article is that we do NOT live UNDER a DOME. There was a CBS TV show “Under the Dome” based on a Stephen King novel (do a google image search or watch a trailer/clip of the show on YouTube) in which an impenetrable glass-like dome barrier forms over a town...people can't leave, but more important to this conversation, people can't enter either. A significant part of our LA homeless population is coming FROM ELSEWHERE (And I'm not talking about Mexico because those folks come here to work)...think homeless young druggies from cold weather states, for example. Besides the OTHER 49 States, homeless people are also coming here from OTHER PARTS OF California.

By the way, there are TWO LA's, the City and the County. Under Mayor Garcetti, the City of LA stupidly took on the role of parent for all the homeless of the United States that come into the City...we will house, feed, and take care of you for the rest of your lives, no matter where you're from, how long you've been here, and at tremendous cost...think newly built fully-stocked apartments in expensive neighborhoods, 3 meals a day, etc, etc...the rest of the United States laughed at us, the LA County Supervisors (and the State of California) were happy to let us idiotically take on that impossible financial burden. Even the Cash Rich Federal Government is taking advantage of us by having the City of LA be in charge of homeless housing for US Military Veterans on the (Federal Government's) West LA Veterans Affairs Campus Land...WTF would we have ANYTHING to do with that?? (google my column “What Katy Yaroslavsky Doesn't Get” for more on this)

This is a City that has been on the verge of Bankruptcy before, that can't provide basic services like tree trimming and fixing sidewalks. If you call the police in my LA City hood, Beverly Grove, expect to call several times and wait TWO HOURS. WTF were we thinking trying to reinvent the wheel on dealing with homelessness...besides taking care of developers and certain nonprofits. This was IN GOOD ECONOMIC TIMES BEFORE COVID...what's wrong with traditional homeless housing, which is ALL THAT THE COURTS REQUIRE. You ONLY need enough BEDS (NOT apartments) with a roof over them in order to enforce a CITYWIDE No Camping Ban. Why not do THAT first??

Meanwhile, how many articles has the LA Times written over the years about traditional Board-and- Care's (that house the mentally ill) closing? I also remember reading about traditional homeless housing not being funded years ago to put even more money into building new apartments. We have an affordable time-tested model to deal with homelessness and we are throwing it out the window spending MANY Billions (with a B...of Our Tax Dollars) on crazy theories. It's like LA Metro (led by some of these same LA politicians) starving Bus Service to throw even more money at Heavy Rail and then being surprised when Traffic gets worse. Big Money Special Interests win and we lose.

The LA Homeless Count and Eviction Moratoriums Point to One Thing

First of all, the homeless count is not an actual count...it's a guesstimate. The number of homeless people rose by 9% for LA County and 10% for LA City. While the results were released on June 29, the “count” was conducted in JANUARY, specifically January 24-26. Mayor Bass assumed office on December 12, less than two months before the count was taken, so these are really a reflection of Garcetti's lousy job more than any sort of statement about Bass. These numbers are also proof of something else...

The State of California's Covid-19 Eviction Moratorium ended on July 1, 2022. According to Mary Salmonsen, writing for Multifamilydive dot com, “Both [LA] City's and [LA] County's eviction bans were among the longest in the [United States]”...The City of LA's eviction ban ended on February 1, 2023, but NO, it didn't. That's because the County of LA was even more generous and that was forced on the City of LA, so it actually ended on March 30, 2023. That's TWO MONTHS AFTER the Homeless Count took place !! So if NOBODY got evicted in LA (while people were getting evicted ELSEWHERE ALL OVER THE USA)...and lots of LA homeless were getting housed with Billions of our tax dollars...why did the LA homeless numbers go up ?? Because there were LOTS of Homeless people coming INTO LA from elsewhere !! Simple logic. Again, we do NOT live under a dome!

You Can't Swim or Walk from Hawaii to Santa Monica

Cordell Dionte Studley (Date of Birth: 7/15/94 ) was just arrested by the Santa Monica Police Department (Santa Monica is a small city to the north of the infamous Venice neighborhood of the City of LA, which is famous for its large homeless population under former council member Mike Bonin). He was arrested for allegedly trying to rape a woman in her home. She woke up to a nude male standing over her bed.

When homeless people get arrested in LA County, I like to type their names into Google and see what pops out, especially if they have unique names...where did they come from?? Back in July 2013 (ten years ago), a guy with the EXACT SAME NAME (and the ages line up too) made the news in HAWAII. He was 18 years old at the time and he was arrested for brandishing 2 knives and threatening employees at a 7-11 when he tried to use their phone and was refused, according to the Hawaii Tribune Herald...charged with 2 counts of first-degree terroristic threatening. That's a felony punishable by up to 5 years imprisonment.

So, let's assume it's the same guy. ALSO, in Hawaii, Cordell Studley was wanted for Escape in the 2nd degree after he escaped in May 2022 (that's a little over a year ago) from the Kahi Mohala Adult Mental Health Facility in Ewa Beach. He was arrested near the end of May 2022 by the Honolulu Police Department. The ages line up again. News account says that “court documents reveal Studley was acquitted by reason of insanity for terroristic threatening charges in 2014.” Also, “Studley has been in and out of the Hawaii State Hospital and group homes when he stopped taking medication for his mental health condition” said the Honolulu Star Advertiser. Oh, and the height matches up too.

So, how do you get from Hawaii to Santa Monica? You can't swim or walk there. Was he handed a free plane ticket like Anchorage, ALASKA is doing? The Guardian dot com, in their famous December 2017 investigative piece “Bussed Out: How America Moves Its Homeless”, told us that “a travel program operated by a homelessness not-for-profit in Oahu, Hawaii, claimed...that several hundred people who were offered subsidized plane tickets to the mainland were moved 'out of homelessness' “ BTW, the same article tells us about NYC using one-way plane tickets to relocate homeless people.

From Rhode Island to Santa Monica

Take a look at a US Map...that's not an easy walk...from RI to CA. “The homeless suspect, Nathanael Roger Lavoie...was booked for attempted murder, felony battery on a police officer. Records indicate Lavoie's last known residence [is] Rhode Island where he left behind a laundry list of felonies most recently in January of THIS YEAR.” [emphasis added] That quote is from Santa Monica Daily Press on August 10, “Homeless Man Arrested for Attempted Murder After Beating At Library”. Was he given a free one-way ticket to CA ? In January, he's Mr. Popular in Rhode Island...then suddenly, a few months later, he's getting arrested at a Santa Monica, CA library...suspicious.

Homeless Bank Robber From Out of State Flees on Bike

Google “Jordan Thomas Franzino”, a 28 year old bearded chap who was arrested by the Santa Monica Police Department for robbing a bank near the end of June in Santa Monica and making his getaway on a bike. It's all over the news, and the articles say he's homeless and from out of state...of course he is.

Homeless Man Stabs Santa Monica City Worker

In March of this year, a homeless guy named Barna Allen Cranford was arrested for stabbing a city worker who was trying to wake him up. Some googling...it appears this guy is from San Joaquin County (Stockton) via North Carolina. Found court records filed in August 2020 (3 years ago) in San Joaquin County against a guy with the same name. His dad appears to have died in North Carolina near the end of 2021.

Wanted in Arizona for Shoplifting

On January 17, Santa Monica Police arrested Hezekiah Campbell, 27, a homeless man “for burglary and vandalism” according to the Santa Monica Mirror and the SM Lookout. “A records check revealed he was also wanted in Arizona for shoplifting” according to SMPD.

From Arizona to Grabbing Somebody's 4 Year Old

On February 7, a homeless woman, Susan Lenore Johnson was arrested by SMPD for Attempted Kidnapping of a mother's 4 year old boy at the beach according to multiple local news sources. According to Canyon News, she “has a criminal record. She was arrested [in July of last year, also] by SMPD and was held on $20,000 bond, given a citation, a court date, and released.” So, I googled this woman, she has more social media than I do, and she appears to hail from Arizona. Possibly 2 LinkedIn accounts, 2 twitter accounts, 2 Instagram accounts, and a FB account found for her ! Appears that as late as May of last year, she was in Glendale, ARIZONA (not to be confused with Glendale in LA County), which is near Phoenix. Maybe Katy Yaroslavsky can permanently house her in newly built housing in an affluent neighborhood of Council District 5 (City of Los Angeles) for the rest of her life on our dime when she gets here.

LA Daily News (LADN) Series on Fentanyl Users in City of LA's MacArthur Park

So, LADN's Clara Harter came out with FOUR articles on homeless people doing fentanyl in the City of Los Angeles' MacArthur Park area at the end of last month. Three are behind a paywall. But you know what I care about...where are they from? One of the articles is entitled “My Fight with Fentanyl: Stories From 3 People Battling Addiction” At the END of the article, it says that “This SCNG [Southern CA News Group, owner of LADN] series was produced as a project for the USC Annenberg Center for Health Journalism's 2023 CA Health Equity Fellowship” (also, “Seattle based freelance reporter Will James served as a mentor and editor.”)...you should have put that AT THE BEGINNING. And if that's the case, why is the product behind a paywall?? So, Ms Harter says that MacArthur Park is the “...HEART of LA's fentanyl epidemic...In any given week, hundreds of people come to the neighborhood to purchase and use fentanyl...the number of people who buy and SELL fentanyl around MacArthur Park has 'exploded' in recent years [according to an LAPD detective] People often make money to purchase [fentanyl] by selling shoplifted goods to some street vendors near the park [said another LAPD detective]...” [emphasis added] One of the guys she does a long featured interview with is from Pacoima (he was living in the San Fernando Valley part of the VERY LARGE City of LA almost all of his life and has been a drug addict for years) and he is “relying on general relief money and the shoplifted goods market to get by.” Another guy is a 32 year old from Antelope Valley (which is OUTSIDE of the CITY of Los Angeles in Northern LA COUNTY, like Palmdale or Lancaster) who “started using opioids in his early 20s “ and eventually sold “the house he inherited from his grandmother” to pay for his drugs. The third person that gets selected for a published long interview is a 34 year old woman from Saint Paul, MINNESOTA. “...homeless on and off...since she was just 14. She came to LA [to escape] harsh Minnesota WINTER about [10 years] ago” Years of drug use have done a number on her health, so it sounds like she's going to need some serious healthcare.

Next article from the series that I'll look at is : “In LA's Fentanyl Epidemic, MacArthur Park Community Bears The Heavy Burden” This focuses on the negative impact on residents and businesses...also behind a paywall. There is a picture of “Matthew, 30, [using] fentanyl in an alley...he first got hooked on oxycodone at his PENNSYLVANIA high school.” Appears he didn't get a long published interview. [you can pick and choose who gets those...an LA Times columnist recently picked and chose a guy from LA doing drugs in San Francisco...what are the odds of that??] This article mentions that Council Member EUNISSES HERNANDEZ represents MacArthur Park. Suddenly, an embedded interview with Joseph, 32, who became an addict at the University of South FLORIDA...why wasn't he part of that separate interview article?? “...he tries to make at least $100 a day, by reselling shoplifted goods” Joseph came to LA about 10 years ago.

Next article from the series, also behind a paywall: “How Can LA Combat Its Fentanyl Crisis? MacArthur Park Offers Clues”...a few new names quoted, but no mention of where they're from...

Final article from the new LADN homeless druggie series, the only one not behind a paywall: “Fentanyl Addiction Fuels Underground Shoplifting Economy in LA's MacArthur Park” So, the beginning of this article focuses on Elliot, a 24 year old who began using heroin at the age of TWELVE in Toronto, CANADA. First picture caption is “Elliot, 24 'boosts' for breakfast...” of him at a nice looking store holding a refrigerator door open and holding a gallon of what looks like chocolate milk. Is “boosts” a euphemism for steals or shoplifts? Did they follow him on a shoplifting run? Only in California. Third article photo is Elliot smoking fentanyl in an LA alley. The caption tells you he's originally from Canada. So, Elliot has a “full-time job” to pay for his drug habit...”he makes 4 to 5 boosting trips a day – stealing from shops all over the City” One time, he rides the LA Metro Blue Line to Long Beach (gotta wonder if he paid for that trip; glad somebody is riding Metro for a good reason) on a boosting trip...to steal in Long Beach. They've got pictures of him using Metro for his shoplifting trip...they followed him the whole way. LA Metro should use these pictures in their ads and on their Twitter Account...GO METRO...TO STEAL!

We do find out that Elliot lived in the City of Compton for a while. We also find out that fentanyl comes from Mexico and China. You can get a 6 month subscription to LADN for a penny, btw...seriously. I did, now that that they no longer employ “reporter” Liz Chou. You can also get 6 months of the LA Times for a penny..because that's what the Times is worth.

Steve Lopez November 2019 Series “Young People Come From Around [United States] To Live On Hollywood's Streets. How Much More Can We Take?”

Guess activist Nika Soon-Shiong (LA Times' Owner's daughter) was busy with school when this came out. Steve Lopez got the LA Times to publish the second of 3 articles of his series with THAT title !! In case you don't know, Hollywood is a neighborhood in the CITY of Los Angeles. The first part of the series is entitled “When an LA Homeless Camp Rises Outside Your [Apartment] Window...” and the HE11 that Hollywood Residents suffer. I LOVE this line: “[Hollywood] Residents wonder if too many people – INCLUDING YOUNG FOLKS ARRIVING DAILY FROM ALL OVER THE COUNTRY – view tents on the streets of Hollywood as a destination rather than a last resort.” [emphasis added] No way a line like that would be published by TODAY's LA Times !! Too much TRUTH there. Hollywood Residents “were under siege” Sounds familiar...like how we feel these days in my little corner of Beverly Grove with Katy Yaroslavsky as our council member (more on that later). “Were they reduced to accepting this level of havoc as the new norm?” Sound familiar? “...the community was promised by City officials that there'd be noticeable improvement on the streets after the opening of the [bridge housing] Schrader shelter [under Mayor Garcetti]...last spring” Politicians LIE. Lopez: “In Hollywood, I heard support for...offering bus tickets to those who might have a better chance of finding help, jobs, and housing IN THE PLACES THEY CAME FROM.” I highly recommend reading this article!

The second part of this Lopez series focuses on the homeless and WHERE THEY COME FROM...Starts with meeting Raven, who is 29, has “been homeless since she was 17, and headed West in June 2019, [mere months before she was interviewed by Lopez] from her home in OHIO.” You mean she didn't get priced out of an apartment in LA to become homeless??  I'm shocked. The LA Times is always telling us about that causing homelessness, that these folks are our neighbors who got priced out of their apartments, and how we should give a blank check to Big Developers...who then use the new laws our sellout politicians create to tear down older more affordable Rent Controlled housing units and replace them with Luxury apartments. Only pre-1978 LA apartments are rent controlled. But you don't hear the LA Times clamoring for the last FOUR DECADES of apartments to be rent controlled, do you? Getting back to Raven from Ohio, Lopez also interviews her friend Joe from TENNESSEE, who “got booted from the bus station downtown...then wandered over to Hollywood...” Lopez wonders “How many Joes can Los Angeles take care of?” Good question!! Lopez also speaks to “a young woman in a wheelchair...about her family in IDAHO...Another young woman, living in a tent, said she was pregnant...A young chap who moved here from OREGON a couple of years ago to get away from his problems...” Lopez talks to Amie Quigley of First Presbyterian Church of Hollywood, who says “...and maybe we need to bill OTHER STATES for the services we provide their residents. A...person can be in LA [only] a year...and get housing before a CA native who's schizophrenic and has been on the street for a decade.” Great line from Quigley: “We have to look at who should be eligible for housing in LA, because it can't be everyone having a tough time of it in CINCINNATI” [emphasis added]

Lopez interviews “Alicia and her sister Tea, both 22, along with friends Gray and Keni, 20 and 23” who used to live in the Hollywood encampment that started the Lopez series, are now in Hollywood shelters, “and waiting for THEIR NEW HOMES...” [emphasis added] Lopez “[finds] the 4 of them...sitting on the sidewalk across from the [Schrader Bridge Shelter], passing a joint. Alicia, Tea, and Keni are from MICHIGAN.” [emphasis added] Alicia says: “It's either be homeless in Michigan and...freeze to death or come here and live semi-comfortably...” Lopez says “[Alicia] did her research on homelessness before heading West, considered Venice, but settled on Hollywood.” Why? She'd “rather be...where there are more services.” Anyway, you should read this series ASAP and  print it out for future reference. I'm worried Nika Soon-Shiong is gonna ask her Daddy, LA Times Owner Patrick Soon-Shiong, to scrub it from the Internet.

(“An Angry Angeleno” is Yuval Kremer, a former ballot candidate for both LA County Supervisor and LA Mayor, who is also a HW Alum. The views expressed by Mr. Kremer are his alone and not necessarily those of CityWatchLA.com.)

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