Calvert St. e. of Kester

A few weeks ago I wrote about how my home in Van Nuys was cited by the Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety (LADBS) for “Loose, peeling or flaking paint along the fascia boards at gables and eaves.” Proactive Code Enforcement inspectors were sent out to walk around the neighborhood and cite properties in need of maintenance. Mine was cited, a notice hung on my front door, and an official demerit is now a government record.

It was sort of bitterly funny, a kind of karmic boomerang, for this writer. 

I have this blog, you see, and all I do is walk around, write and photograph such egregious violations of sanitation, cleanliness and order that it boggles the mind. 

Since 2006, Here in Van Nuys has been shouting in the ears of Former Councilman, now Congressman Tony Cardenas; and now Ms. Nury Martinez, his successor, whose record of housekeeping leaves something to be desired as well.

How does an elected figure work in the center of downtown Van Nuys and see all the garbage, all the dumping, all the homeless encampments around and not make it her number one priority? Is there not an element of shame in allowing Van Nuys to look as it does when you are in charge of it?

2009: Eastside of Kester near Victory. Nothing has changed in ten years.

Since 2006, Woodley Park has become a grotesque outdoor garbage filled encampment of such utter despondency that one can forget that it is actually a beautiful park, a bird and wildlife sanctuary, a recreational asset, a place for biking, running, hiking, field sports. It is not, and never was supposed to be, skid row.

“The latest storms have left a path of destruction for homeless who had been living in the Sepulveda Flood basin. During heavy rains the dam is closed to control downstream flows causing the area to flood, sometimes in minutes. The hundreds of homeless who live in the secluded area known as “the Bamboos” flee leaving everything behind.” (Photo by David Crane, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)


On the walk to and from MacLeod Ale on Calvert last evening, again I saw how utterly sad the upkeep and the maintenance of some areas of Van Nuys are. These are streets within a five-minute walk of Councilwoman Nury Martinez’s office. 

If I were her, I would take a weekly walk around the neighborhood with my staff and photograph and document this. Send it up the food chain to Mayor Eric Garcetti, and to Governor Gavin Newsom and demand that the city and the state step in and end this!

3/5/18 Bessemer at Cedros.

3 thoughts on “Garbage Shaming.

  1. it’s funny you have to repair your peeling paint; im currently under a desperate time crunch to fix our siding of our 100 year old bungalow (which happens to be lead paint) for our new homeowners insurance before they cancel us in two weeks; we’ve got a homelessness issue in san pedro too


  2. That rivals the worst of Skid Row, if not as extensive. Absolutely horrible.

    Way back in the late 80s I spent time trying to sell word processors, cold-calling on the small law firms near the government center. (I wasn’t very successful, to be honest. Worst job I ever had. Tho makes every job I have had since look like a cake walk.)

    I know some of those streets. VN Blvd. was mostly downscale even then, but it wasn’t THAT bad.


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