6224 Cedros Avenue
Van Nuys, CA 90401 Built: 1929 Owners: Shraga Agam, Shulamit Agam


Last year, there was a large estate for sale on a very nice block of Orion St. north of Victory. The house was on half an acre. It had a pool, a guest house, gates, a security system, c.c cameras, a new kitchen, four bedrooms, three bathrooms and about 4,500 s.f. of space. The asking price was about $1.2 million.

I went to an open house and met the realtor. He told me the owner had bought the place only 9 months earlier, but had decided to sell after he realized his street was in a prostitution area.

The home stayed on the market for some six months and then was taken off. I don’t believe it was ever sold.

There are conditions all around Van Nuys right now that we are asked to be compassionate about.

Our beautiful and verdant Orange Line bike path, built and landscaped in 2005, is now home to some 20-30 homeless people who set up tents and temporary housing in the bushes, under the trees, between Sepulveda and Kester.  Nury Martinez’s office summoned cleaners, trucks, men and machines last Friday morning at 10:30am to clean up the mess. And by 1pm the stragglers were back setting up their encampment.

The same situation exists in Woodley Park where the bird sanctuary, the hiking trails and the thick woods are now carved out with garbage, make shift trailers, old cars, tents and debris.

Why is this allowed! Why?

There once was a lovely, large, gorgeous park where you went to hike, bike, walk, run, fly model airplanes and play golf. Now you are trespassing on a halfway house for people between beds, whose bad luck and bad life you must make exception for. You once picked flowers here. Now you pick up needles.

Illegal dumping. Grass uncut for five years. Sober living opening next door. Prostitution in broad daylight. Cars running red lights. Burglaries, robberies, kids drinking beer in the car and throwing their cans on the street. Kids getting high and dropping their marijuana containers on the curb. Sticky condoms on the street.

You ask why a homeless man can move into an empty house on Kittridge and Columbus and live there for a year, using the entire property as his outdoor storage unit, with household debris covering the back and front yards and up and down the driveway. And it takes a year to get him out. 50 emails were needed. Countless letters, phone calls.

And across the street, an unsold property on Columbus is now used as a storage lot for old dilapidated cars. There are some 40-50 sitting in the backyard, their oil leaking into the ground, their gasoline tanks ready to be ignited so that an explosion might happen any day in the heat and the wind.

Another property owner buys a single family house zoned for one house and builds another, rents them both out, and even has two addresses on one single family lot. And he gets away with it.

All the aforementioned were told to Nury, told to the LAPD, discussed on Next Door, written about on this blog, Tweated, Facebooked and officially complained of by residents here.

We put up with a lot in Van Nuys.

And sometimes we are told that calling out what we see- by what it is- makes us insensitive or callous.

On Next Door, I was told that I used a “vile word” when I described whores walking on Sepulveda. The most searched term on this blog is “whores on Sepulveda” and has been for eleven years. There is some connection between Van Nuys, Sepulveda, and prostitution. The entire city knows it. Why deny it? Why is “whore” suddenly a forbidden word? Didn’t Dolly Parton and Burt Reynolds star in a movie musical called “The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas?”


And now we are told to have a heart for the new euphemism, “Human Trafficking.”

But who has the heart for the homeowner stuck with a white elephant house he cannot sell because he lives in the Paid Pleasure Person’s district?

Who cares about hundreds of thousands of dollars shaved off home values for people in Van Nuys, always pushed into compassion for every life except their own?

And who makes the law and who enforces it and why is it that the law nowadays is interpreted so gently, so liberally, so ridiculously against common sense and the common good that it has the strength of a wet Kleenex held up to deflect a nuclear missile?

We put up with a lot in Van Nuys.


3 thoughts on “We Put Up With A Lot in Van Nuys

  1. I must say it is disheartening to hear this update, but not surprising. After all, this “whore” problem drove my family from our beloved home in this area 3 years ago after witnessing how little could be done to combat the issue. Thank you Andy for your tireless advocacy for this area, both written and photographic.


  2. Andy, I’m sorry to say it could get even worse. I’m trying to be optimistic about our new president (I don;t know him, so…) but watching what his staff is saying about his new tax cuts, if they all go through, I might be forced out of my place too. He talks of lowering taxes (ya, right/while increasing military spending and dumping all cheap/outside products coming in) but then talks of killing off all loopholes-like writing off our #1 in nation State’s income taxes/mortgage payments and dividend income. I am retired-at 60-and wonder what is left for me? And hey, ya, I’m the greedy one; I’ve lived here for 60 years-in the same house. My dad before me and step-grandfather before him-each sold to next @ reasonable price. We paid property taxes up the butt from the beginning and I went to private/not public schools. So how did I take anything back from the taxes I paid-but I won’t even be allowed to write them off from Fed. taxes any more? Thus it will behoove me to sell out and give up/move away. my neighborhood has changed completely and there are maybe 3 people I talk to now-the rest put their heads down if-by chance-they pass me on the street…but rarely they do. A plethora of those who came here from other countries bought in while the bush fiasco/following clinton found property values in the dirt and many of old residents had died out. Once in, they followed no laws, many have illegal rentals in their back areas (on SFR) properties. One paved his entire front yard, calls it a giant driveway and now forbids anyone to park on the street in front of his house-in an area way short of parking spaces from all the other developments that were purchased for SFR properties through crooked developers (and add to that the Feds when they took the corner of Kester and Magnolia, through eminent domain, for their Post Office! No one bothers with laws when they overdevelop and leave parking shorted. Everything has been ruined by avarice/greedy pigs who come in, steal their money and then take off leaving a nightmare behind…and I can add a few friends to that list: Mike Antonovich and Ernani Bernardi. It matters not: liberal or conservative when the developers’ money sneaks in the back door! What I have seen and heard in my lifetime simply takes away all of my hope or even passion for seeing mankind continue.

    With that said, I am including a picture of a time when things were far simpler. I’m betting y’all haven;t seen this one yet. I had looked for such for years and was extremely pleased when I finally found it. It’s from 1927, so most of Sherman Oaks/Van Nuys development was yet to begin in earnest!


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