September 25, 2023 Breaking News, Latest News, and Videos

Letters to the Editor:

I am writing to you to express my displeasure with the City of Santa Monica bureaucracy. Writing to them, I have slowly discovered, is a complete and utter waste of time.

I am now the third person I know to receive a parking citation while getting into his/her vehicle. In all three instances, the person walking to their vehicle saw the meter maid stop, get out of their “pod” and take out their machine. In each incident the owner of the vehicle called out to the meter maid but was completely ignored.

I have been told by the city that there is no quota system and I understand that rules are rules. That being said, what about someone being civil or the golden rule? In baseball the tie goes to the runner, shouldn’t the same hold true here? There needs to be a little common sense and goodwill here. Personally, I have been a resident of Santa Monica and a business owner here for five years. I am accosted by homeless every day at my office and even had someone die on our front stoop. My office has been burglarized, my bike has been stolen and I have paid over $3,000 in tickets in the last two years, mainly because the city won’t issue permits for us to park near work so we are forced to move our vehicles every two hours. As I stated earlier, I tried biking but my bike got stolen. All that being said, I volunteer for the city and support all of the local businesses. The city however doesn’t seem to care. In all of the letters I have written to the city regarding my situation, the homeless situation etc., I have received form letters back which basically tell me nothing will change. If a solid community is dependent upon the spirit, goodwill and actions of its citizens, the community should do a better job of keeping them happy.

Someone should tell these meter maids that their small actions and ticket punching mentality have a massive ripple effect. I have no desire whatsoever to help or pick up anything in this city as it seems they have no desire to reason with people.

Name Withheld Upon Request

Editor’s Note:

Santa Monica meter maids. Gotta love them. Several years ago I parked on Montana, got my then-toddler out of the car and hadn’t yet made it to the meter to put the money in when a male Meter Maid pulled up and hopped out of his car, ready to write a ticket.

* * * *

The fundamental problem with the recently published “Homeless Evaluation” is that it should have been a study evaluating the needs of the “Home-ed” residents of Santa Monica. I have been living here for nearly 20 years and if you need an exotic study to figure out that the giant sucking sound you hear is the quality of life in Santa Monica going down the toilet, then you obviously don’t get out much!

Have you been to the beaches at night or early in the a.m.? It’s like a refugee camp!

The walking path along the beaches or cliffs in the middle of the day? Like some sort of haunted castle ride at an amusement park!

Main Street and the Promenade? It’s like running a gauntlet of ghouls to make it down a block!

Raise a family here feeling comfortable that if your wife or child goes out alone that they won’t be harassed, insulted or accosted? Are you insane!

These homeless people are holding the home-ed residents and our beaches, parks, streets and stores hostage!

I stopped caring about the “homeless problem” a long time ago. I care about my problem. I care about my wife’s problem. I care about my neighbors’ problem. And everybody that I talk to feels the same.

The vast majority of the homeless in Santa Monica are deliberately bringing their problems here from somewhere else, and the obvious solution that the City Council has managed to ignore for the 20 years that I have lived here is to vigorously enforce the laws relating to vagrancy (with even a fraction of the zeal with which you enforce parking violations) and send them back from whence they came.

You can’t leave a car parked on the street for five seconds past the time a street sweeper is scheduled to come by without having a parking cop hyper-efficiently printing out a ticket, but you can sleep all night long on the beach, in the storefront of a business or in front of my second floor apartment’s door (as has happened on multiple occasions complete with souvenir pool of urine) without any concern, whatsoever, of being disturbed by law enforcement.

The answer to this problem is so obvious that for 20-plus years, you’ve refused to see it. Vigorously enforce the vagrancy laws. Put an end to the “socially aware” coddling. Make Santa Monica an unwelcome place to be homeless, as it is in Marina Del Rey, and Malibu, and Manhattan Beach, and all of the neighboring cities that don’t INVITE the homeless into their midst.

Simply put, until you do, you don’t need a “Homeless Evaluation Report,” you need a mirror, because City Councilmembers…

…the “Homeless Problem” is YOU!


Eric Bass

* * * *

Walking along 4th Street in Santa Monica early in the morning, looking at the trees that line the blocks between Wilshire Boulevard and Broadway, trees that some greedy merchant in the town wants to cut down, this parable popped into mind: “It is harder for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven than it is for a camel to go through the eye of a needle.” Why…because the rich tend to covet material things over their spiritual nature.

Ron Lowe

Santa Monica

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