The Glamping Solution

Traditional Mongolian Yurt
Ali Al Salem Air Base, Kuwait City
The Sibley Glamping Tent. Price: $1169. Note the wood platform.

With regard to homeless encampments, the City of Los Angeles pretends to be constrained by the Boise decision, and specifically its local variant, the Jones agreement,  from enforcing laws against sleeping on the street.

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals held that as long as the homeless population exceeds the number of shelter beds available in a city, the ordinance cannot be enforced during sleeping hours.

But….what you are not told by the people and corporations feeding off Shantytown, Inc., Boise was limited in scope, and only applied to the night hours, specifically to sleeping.  It did not create a right to camp on the sidewalk and was very opaque about shelter.

In other words, if the City created enough shelter spaces, it could put an end to the encampments inside of a week.

What does Los Angeles have in abundance?  Space. Empty lots. Unused, undesirable slivers of ground, off the well-trod paths, under freeways, in the brownfields.   It also has ample funding, through Props H and HHH, for yurts, tents, geodesic domes, fifth-wheel trailers, and tiny houses on wheels.  The crucial elements being temporary and mobile.

We have soldiers and airmen billeted across the globe in these very spartan arrangements for months at a time. Years.  If it’s good enough for the military, it’s damn well good enough for crackheads. (hat tip, JayDee)

As long as there is running water on-site, access to sanitary facilities, both of which can be trucked in and out, it qualifies.  Small mobile solar panels can provide reading light and phone charging.

What isn’t required? Air conditioning. WiFi. Concrete footings. Sewer lines.

When we landed in Van Nuys our house had NO air-conditioning.
No attic ventilation.
No insulation.
No shade.
Single pane clear glass windows from the 1970s.
After we closed escrow, we had no money to do anything about it.
Not for the first summer.

We would take refuge at the mall, come home at 9 pm, open the door and step into a sauna. We actually camped in the yard during a prolonged heatwave.

Sort of like glamping, but in your own house.

Gagandeep in Basura

Yesterday I found a series of flashcards in the Sepulveda Basin discarded by a person who refers to himself as Gagandeep. They endeavor to explain the fetishistic relation between People of the Favela and trash accumulation.

After this card, the print becomes too small to read.

Gagandeep is a fairly common Hindi name, but in this context perhaps more satisfying as onomatopoeia.

Web search unearths many Gagandeep Singh: a heroic Indian policeman who saved a Muslim from an angry mob,  another who was a murder victim in Idaho, and a whole lot of doctors, including one on Van Nuys Blvd.  It could be the case this spelunker of diamonds in the trash is one of his patients and has appropriated the name.

Amidst the crusader tents of Bull Creek, medieval disease has returned, ass to mouth, to Los Angeles.

Oh, would a pan piper offer to lead them away. Who would ask questions? For ten million dollars I will blow my flute and you will suffer them no more, sayeth the Piper.  You may not know where I’m taking them.  

GoFundMe would answer the call in a day.   For the price of two lottery tickets per Angeleno, probably in an hour.   Then what?

What if an asteroid hit Los Angeles at dawn while the Favela danced around a Maypole in the desert? Our comeuppance.

Or, in the Black Mirror version, we are forced to watch the Soylent Green-like fate to which we have delivered them, and are so guilt-stricken we offer ten times the ransom for their safe return.

Or, we never find out, never see them again, and peaceably adjust to a civic mystery.  Untroubled, we begin to look at our ailing, inconvenient grandparents in a whole new light.

Sherman Oaks vs. Bridge Housing

Last night Notre Dame High School hosted a funhouse mirror version of the dialogue referred to in churches as call and response.

Councilman Ryu: I’m sure you want to hear what I have to say- Booooo! Recall!

I asked the following organizations for advice- They don’t speak for us!

The Sherman Oaks Neighborhood Council- You don’t live here! Put it in your backyard!

Let me be clear, no actual decisions have been made- Liar! The Council has already given its recommendation!

If I know Sherman Oaks- No, you don’t! Liar! Go back to Koreatown! Liar!

After five minutes of abuse, the Councilman abandoned the microphone.   LAPD Officer Pitcher took a turn. The mob was not satiated.

Officer Pitcher: Tonight we have to be respectful- Enforce the law! There are only six patrol cars in Sherman Oaks! How are you going to manage once the shelters are built?

As a prelude to Mayor Garcetti’s run for president, we all have to endure his solutions to the encampments of drug addicts, alcoholics and mentally ill who have flocked to Los Angeles to enjoy its services.    The plan: more free stuff.  In this case, trailers set up on public property as bridge housing.

Right here, on Sepulveda, between the fire station and the barracks.  Those who showed up for the open house to hear the pitch were not having it. No one believes the trailers will be temporary, and cynics have history on their side.  Also, Sherman Oaks doesn’t really have a homeless problem. Yet. Van Nuys has a homeless problem.  The Sepulveda Basin has extensive encampments.  The trailers would pull an undesirable population across the 405 freeway into the neighborhood proper.  Over a bridge, literally. Relocating a problem where it doesn’t yet exist.

To his credit, Ryu stuck around for an hour and took the heat.   How did a guy from K-town end up representing the Valley, you might wonder.

This is how. Behold the perfidy of the District 4 map.  The quadrant in the upper left is Sherman Oaks.   Guess where the Bridge trailers are not going? Hancock Park. Silver Lake. The Hollywood Hills.  That’s why they draw maps this way.   So City Hall can impose its schemes with the toss of a dart. Contiguous districts, fully within the Valley proper, would reflect community consensus.

Which explains, partially, the yelling.