Misery and Company in L.A.

July 10, 2012

Hundreds of hypodermic needles. Gallons of human waste. Dead rats.

These were among the items cleared from the streets and sidewalks of Los Angeles’ skid row neighborhood during a 13-day sweep that wrapped up Friday, according to city officials.

About time, right?  Occasional visitors assaulted by the sights and smells wondered why so much filth was allowed to accumulate.

In all, nearly five tons of trash and more than 81 cubic yards of waste water were collected from six miles of roadway and sidewalks…

Common sense didn’t spark the cleanup.

It was launched in response to a Los Angeles County report citing numerous public health dangers in the area.

Ah, yes, a report; pornography for bureaucrats.  But in this case the report legally had to precede the action.

City officials had said cleaning crews were hampered by a federal court injunction issued last year that placed limits on the removal of items left unattended on skid row sidewalks.

And so, in a city that’s so broke its latest official fiscal forecast begins with a preface titled: “A Cautionary Tale: The City of Stockton, California”:

A multiagency task force was assembled to develop policies and procedures that strike a balance between respecting the property rights of the homeless and ensuring that people can live and work safely in the area…

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