Friday, May 19, 2006

Anywhere But The West Side, Of Course

Today's LA Times editorial is headlined (at least online) Shame in San Pedro.

Sigh.

Our problem this time: the highly controversial redevelopment of former Navy housing - the aply named Ponte Vista community - includes lands sold off at a tidy profit by Volunteers of America (VOA) to developer Robert Bisno. I suppose, at least, it's not another tired indictment of Bisno, but anything that adds to negative Pedro ink . . . well, you know I'm not going to like it.

The Base Closure Act allows homeless agencies to acquire and also resell land from the military so long as the money is used for other homeless services. The Times feels that VOA has sold out - and they have - to the detriment of Los Angeles's homeless population.

But the editorial ends by saying "This city's homeless deserve a second chance, too, in San Pedro."

Riiiight. Because I'm sure the community opposition stems from its lack of homeless housing. I'd love to see the community run up and embrace the project if it included homeless housing. But if you think NIMBYism spikes with traffic or population concerns, try pitching homeless housing.

Personally, I think it would be great to have a mixed development included low-income (well, that's mandated by law) and homeless housing - fully integrated and not-ghettoized - but coming from a paper (and a city) that treats San Pedro as a far off out-post, as a step-child, as non-LA entity, that sentence shows a lot of nerve.

San Pedro's homeless deserve a second chance in San Pedro - but a lot of the rest of the city's problems are already passed on down to San Pedro and Wilmington. So don't peg all of Los Angeles's homeless problems on the sale of 19 o VOAs 28 acres to a developer.

(And, by the way, from what I recall, shame might be better illustrated by LAUSD turning down free land for a school and deciding a bit late and to the tune of millions that the former Navy Housing is the ONLY place for a new high school.)

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