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Dear Editor,

The letter by Stewart Resmer [Santa Monica Mirror April 1-7, 2010] is misleading in its reference to the use of the inverted US flag. The US Flag Code says the flag should never be flown upside down except as a signal of distress and the veterans protesting are distressed that the VA has not found a way to open the many empty buildings on the 388 acre VA property for at least some of the homeless veterans in the Los Angeles area. The Department of Veterans Affairs designated three large buildings to be used to house homeless veterans in 2007 but so far not one homeless veteran has been moved into them. VAMC West Los Angeles management insists that they are waiting for community non profits to turn these buildings into housing for homeless veterans but with 3.2 billion dollars in the Obama budget to end homelessness among veterans it is hard to understand why the VA does not do it themselves. One explanation could be that the wealthy communities of Brentwood and Westwood, through their representatives, have obstructed progress because they do not want homeless veterans housed in their neighborhoods. Another is that the VA fears stories like the Walter Reid Hospital buildings that were old and poorly modified for residency. The property was willed to the government for the express purpose of housing disabled veterans of war, and many veterans do live there in the Home For Heros, the Haven and New Directions but the VA should be able to do better with the empty buildings! The protests at the VA property are based on real issues and if anyone should be able to display the flag in distress mode it would be veterans.

Respectfully yours,

R. Lane Anderson, Marina del Rey

Dear Editor,

I’m a 15-year resident of Venice running for Community Officer in the upcoming Venice Neighborhood Council (VNC) election, and I am working to get the word out on this very important election.

I’d like to take this opportunity to remind everyone about the upcoming VNC election on Sunday, April 11, 2010, at the Oakwood Recreation Center (767 California Ave) from 10 am – 4 pm. If you’re unfamiliar with the VNC, its mission is to preserve the quality of life in Venice. It represents the interest of our diverse, rich community and does so by working with our elected officials on the LA City Council and other city departments.

Venice stakeholders – those who live, work and/or own property in Venice – may vote in this election. The Office of the City Clerk will be administering this year’s election and requiring every voter to register. Please remember to bring a valid, current form of identification such as a Driver’s License, California Picture ID, utility bill, property tax bill, pay stub, business card providing the voter’s name and address, or renter’s receipt.

The VNC represents an opportunity for us to impact local government, determine our destiny and communicate our vision. If elected, I pledge to voice our community concerns about such issues as affordable housing, homelessness, safety and fair representation; and, advocate on the behalf of all our vested interests in the preservation, sustainability, diversity, beauty, charisma and soul that is Venice. As neighbor and resident, I’d like to represent our collective voice and address our community needs.

Please join me on Sunday, April 11 and make your voice heard! Let’s work together for the benefit of ourselves, our neighbors and Venice. Together, we can do anything!

Cindy Chambers, Venice

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