Good and Bad in Van Nuys.

Tomorrow, another breakaway Valley neighborhood will have its hearing downtown and most likely, the Posoville (Part of Sherman Oaks) District of Van Nuys will become “Sherman Oaks”.

The “victory” that the slick, script-reading, angry ladies of Posoville desire is to completely drop out of the Van Nuys community, and join a richer, better regarded area.  Their tireless efforts have not included petitioning the City for more police protection, or to clean up the streets, or to stop cars from driving dangerously as they run red lights at the corner of Kester and Burbank.  They want a new name, not a new city, and they surely will get it.

In their mythical story line, this orphaned neighborhood was somehow left out of Sherman Oaks even though it literally abuts the downtown area of Van Nuys (established 1911).  Posoville is two miles north of Ventura and Van Nuys Blvd. and shares nothing in common with the tony, shaded, wealthy Sherman Oaks that crawls up to Mulholland and into BelAir.


Filthy Mall

Just north of Posoville, in old Van Nuys, the corner of Kester and Victory is a good place to observe what decay and neglect mean, and to ponder the real efforts of residents to live normal, healthy lives in an environment where filth reigns supreme.
Filthy Mall2

I have written for several years, and alerted Tony Cardenas’ office, about the slum mall on the NE corner of Kester and Victory. A $10 broom and a $3 dustpan would work wonders here, but the owner has adamantly refused to do anything to clean his dirty curbs. Every morning, dozens of unemployed men wait here for work, and there are also businesses that pay rent here, and an enormous billboard sign generating income…so Mr. Fogel has no excuse for his civic indifference.   This property is “Exhibit A” in why people like the Posoville contingent are so disgusted and willing to run away from Van Nuys rather than speak up to change the conditions that embarrass us all.

Tennis Lesson

Handball Game
Just a block north of the slum mall, is Van Nuys High School. On a recent summer evening, there were tennis lessons going on, a basketball game, and people-playing handball. On the track, women and men who live on a daily diet of orange soda and fried plantains, were walking briskly, trying to fight the effects of their regular nutritional diet.

I spoke to a friendly, smiling man named Jorge, age 35, who came here to jog and recalled the “glory days” of Van Nuys High School in the 1980’s. “Hey, I like your camera,” he said.  “Do you come here to take photos of Van Nuys High School?” he asked.  I told him I published a blog about the area.  “Hey, have a good night!” he said as he ran off.

There are facilities here, mostly run down, but very utilized and appreciated by the community.

This is Van Nuys:  good and bad.

11 thoughts on “Good and Bad in Van Nuys.

  1. What would one want to see for a “Van Nuys Centennial”?
    This member of the Van Nuys Neighborhood Council would like to know. Yes–I know the limitations–and there may not be enough “spirit” to “Paint the Town” as we might like. But comment–I’d like to know.



  2. Dang, I live off Kester and Victory. My aunt went to Van Nuys High back when she shared a gym locker with Natalie Wood. Nirvana recorded Nevermind in Van Nuys


  3. How exactly did you infer that the women and men on the track, live on a daily diet of fried plantains and orange soda?
    Don’t mean to nitpick, but your statement seems a bit insensitive and typical stereotyping.


    1. Yes. You’re right. I should have said burgers and soda just to make it seem less ethnically targeted.


  4. Dave:

    So far, the only person I know who is actively working on Van Nuys’ centennial celebrations/activities is a “Posoite” Are you formally uninviting him?


  5. I live, unfortunately now, in Posoville (love that name). I was infuriated and disheartened by the easy out the LA City Council took yesterday.

    Your comments about the change have been wonderful this past year — that “Mrs. Cedros Hatteras” post (or whatever clever name it was that you used) summed up my feelings perfectly.

    I refuse to let the change affect me — I won’t change the address I have used for 23 yearsand will always say, “I live in Van Nuys.”

    The proponents of this change are part of the ‘entitlement culture’ that think they are due whatever they want. They disgust me.

    Looking forward to ‘our’ centennial in two years — Posoites not invited!


  6. Mr. abh1wordpress,

    People may tend to fear the unknown, but they can also fear what they’ve researched and determined to be unsafe. The other potential dangers notwithstanding, cell phone towers emit powerful microwave radiation. Studies have show that, depending on the energy transmission levels, long-term damage to living things can be the end result.

    A technical analysis made by an electrical engineer for the area that just recently became Sherman Oaks (whether you love or hate that) showed that what T-Mobile/Omnipoint was planning to do. If you were a local resident and inside your own house, the amount of energy pumped into your body (and the bodies of all your family members and pets) could be as much as the equivalent of five permanently transmitting cell phones, one inch from your head (except in this case it would be your entire body), 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The City has no monitoring program in place to ensure that cell towers are in conformance, so if they malfunction, does anyone notice? That is, until health problems show up several years down the road. This report is on file with the City if you’d like to go take a look.

    There are movements to get the City to address the massive proliferation of wireless communication transceiver since they are now upping up their microwave energy levels so that they can deliver the more data-intensive streaming of video. The laws on the books were written twelve years ago when it was a challenge to even text a message! So far, Tony Cardenas hasn’t shown any interest in addressing this issue.


  7. Andrew,

    Not fair to say that the people in this area have not spoken up about the area. Many of us have — from the corner you frequently mention, to proposals to have cell phone towers placed in our hood, to allowing (2) different strip joints to exist within a short distance of each other. Much like you, I reached out to Councilman Cardenas. Much like you, pleas have fallen upon deaf ears.

    Yes it is time for a change — time for Mr. Cardenas to vacate his position and for someone who truly cares about improving this area to get involved.


    1. There are perhaps people who are speaking up to fight so-called threats to the area.

      I am not sure that a cell phone tower presents any more environmental danger to the health of citizens living nearby than the presence of a concrete mixing facility, an oil depot storage terminal, the 10 lane San Diego Freeway, or the dozens of toxic auto paint and body shops which line Oxnard St.

      People tend to be fearful of the unknown and ignore the dangers of what already exists.


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