Speaking at the Van Nuys Planning Summit


On March 26, 2015, I was invited to address the opening of a new Van Nuys Planning Summit held at the Marvin Braude Center. The event was created and sponsored by Quirino De La Cuesta and the Van Nuys Community Council. Here I am in the beginning of the tape, delivering remarks. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hMErqnZKw8w&feature=youtu.be

The Devil Dressed Like an Angel.


On October 8, 2014,  the County of Los Angeles officially agreed to give $551,250 to the Village Family Serices “for acquisition of a real property to serve as an emergency shelter to house homeless transitional age youth”. That property is 14926 Kittridge Street, Van Nuys. It is a single family home on a single-family street, surrounded by…

Power For the People’s Own Good.


Once upon a time there was a broken down place where people slept on streets, garbage filled the gutters, the air was foul, streets were unsafe and violent, schools abysmal, prostitutes walked brazenly in daylight, and uneducated, fat, tattooed people smoked marijuana openly purchased from some sixty local dispensaries. In this land, oil storage tanks…

Blight and Fear.


Van Nuys is sometimes and often justifiably known as a cruddy place. It presents its public face, along Kester, Victory and Vanowen, as one of disorder: discarded mattresses and couches, tagged walls, empty storefronts, littered parking lots; and gelatinous, black spandex covered illegals pushing shopping carts and dragging water bottles to the corner market. Prostitutes walk…

Dysfunction Junction. (VNCC)


The board members, at least eight of them, gathered last night at the Marvin Braude Center in Van Nuys, as they do every month. I sat in the audience wearing my J Crew crew neck sweater, corduroy trousers and Nike shoes. I had washed my face and brushed my teeth. Groomed, I felt oddly out…