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Thu, May

Arson Fire on I-10:  Homeless Encampments Affected

LOS ANGELES

RANTZ & RAVEZ - While an army of Federal, State and Local authorities investigate the cause of the massive fire under the 10 Freeway in downtown Los Angeles, 300,000 DAILY COMMUTERS have been suffering the inconvenience and aftermath of the blaze that was intentionally set at the location.  People are late and missing meetings and experiencing great frustration in their daily commutes to school, work, and personal activities.  When will the freeway be repaired and reopened to all who travel east and west along the freeway?  That is a question that only time will tell.  At the time this RantZ and RaveZ is being prepared, the time of repair to the freeway was estimated to be between 3 and 5 weeks for a PARTIAL OPENING of the lanes.  The full opening of all lanes will most likely take much longer.  With rain expected in the area, a delay may be expected. 

Fortunately, the damage can be repaired rather than a full demolition and rebuild of the freeway.  We know the cost will be in the multiple millions of dollars.  With construction crews working 24 hours a day 7 days a week, the cost will surely be shared by the Federal, State and Local Governments; All money that could have been used for a variety of community benefit programs around California and other states in need of economic development.  The one unifying aspect of the tragedy is that it brought many private and public organizations together to help improve transportation in the metropolitan region of Los Angeles.

The cause of the fire has been determined by the State Fire Marshall to be intentional.  The State Fire Marshall said investigators “have been able to confidently determine” that the blaze was caused by arson, though the person or persons involved have not been identified.  Since the area impacted by the blaze is surrounded by numerous Homeless Encampments, it is easy to know who the most likely individual is who ignited the flames that brought hundreds of city resources to extinguish the fierce fire.  Hours of fire personnel deployed in the most hazardous conditions to extinguish the consuming flames.  In addition to the Wooden Pallets that were stored under the freeway, other materials were stored at the location in addition to vehicles that most likely had gas in their gas tanks.  There was plenty of fuel to spread the fire for many hours and cause millions in damage under the freeway and the freeway itself. 

We all know how homeless encampments litter many communities throughout Los Angeles and how often they cause fires at those locations.  When it is cold as it has been, it is common practice for homeless camps to start fires and other items to keep warm.  An analysis of the LAFD statistics clearly shows how often fires are ignited at homeless camps caused many fires ignited by the homeless population.

How many of you have been impacted by homeless in your neighborhood?  You have seen their impact on your community?  Fires, Theft, and an assortment of other crimes.  We should not be surprised or shocked by the destructive fire under the 10 freeway.  It was just a matter of time.  Will this terrible situation move state and city leaders to do something about the homeless living on the streets and lighting fires to stay warm at night?  Only time will tell.

Many people have contacted me about purchasing a gun and obtaining a CCW 

There is a great concern for public safety in Los Angeles and many other cities.  People know that local law enforcement is very short on personnel and when calling 911 there is usually a long wait until the call is answered, and if lucky a patrol unit responds in a timely manner.  As of October 7, the LAPD Sworn Personnel is at 8,977.  This is a far cry from the lofty goal of 10,000 officers. 

Short on personnel in not unusual for the City of Los Angeles.  A recent report noted that Los Angeles has over 7,000 vacant city positions according to Mayor Bass.  The LAPD is 16% short, Public works, street services and sanitation are all short over 20%, Airports and building and safety are short 18% with water and power short 17%.

So, if you are looking for a job, try the City of Los Angeles. 

As far as guns are concerned, it is all up to you.  If you are concerned with the crime situation in your neighborhood and the city, you may want to purchase a gun.  I recommend something simple if you are not familiar with guns. A .38 cal. revolver is good for home protection. Simple to load, aim and shoot.  Many want to purchase a 9mm semi-automatic.  If you are not familiar with guns, you should get something simple to protect you while at home or at work if you are permitted to have a gun at work. 

Once you have purchased a gun, the laws are very restrictive, and the personal liability is very important.  When you are angry with your neighbor who raked leaves in front of your home, you can’t get angry and threaten to shoot him!  This type of activity will only cause you major legal issues.    

The LAPD and other cities are now accepting applications for a CCW.  Carry a concealed weapon.  This is a major change from years ago.  If you are not a criminal and have  a solid mind, you should be able to qualify for a CCW in Los Angeles or the city of your residence.  In Los Angeles, you can view CCW information at…LAPDCCW.

The Governor has signed legislation that will double the tax on Guns and Ammo.  The tax is effective on Jan 1, 2024.

The Wars in Ukraine and Gaza 

The wars in Ukraine and Gaza are continuing.  Protests are taking place in Los Angeles and other parts of the world.  I join you in Prayers for Peace.

(Dennis P.  Zine is the author of RantZ and RaveZ .  The column is published twice a month to keep you informed of activities in the Los Angeles area.  Your comments are welcome at [email protected].)