Letters to the editor – October 2016

Posted: October 7th, 2016 | Featured, Letters to the editor, Opinion | 1 Comment

Suggestions on homeless

I’d like to propose a few changes in homeless policies vis a vis the homeless Downtown. First off, I don’t believe that people should be living on the streets in “America’s Finest City.” It’s not only embarrassing, but downright insensitive and inhumane.

I think we could maybe patch a few less potholes around town and put in a few porta-potties there to serve those people living on the streets in squalor, a number that seems to be getting more numerous all the time.

I also believe it is time for local government to include the homeless population in some fashion. I’m not saying create a City Council seat for them; that might never be feasible. But I think you could maybe begin by having someone from the Downtown homeless community elected from among their own to represent their needs and concerns on a council committee or two, or in some other meaningful way.

That area that the homeless congregate in within East Village is also a de facto “neighborhood.” Why don’t we designate it as such, create a zone or something of the like down there where social services could be located, or maybe even where homeless people could be encouraged to camp, where they would be more safe, while providing them with basic human services like porta-potties, water, etc.

I don’t pretend to know what the ultimate answer is to homelessness, how you prevent it or cure it. But I think it might be time to consider attempting to re-absorb these people who’ve fallen through the cracks back into our society; perhaps by “including” them once again in our political system and processes.

Maybe if we treat them like everyone else, as they deserve to be treated, give them a voice and let them participate, they’d begin to feel like they truly “belonged” once again, and start doing what’s necessary to return to being productive members of our society.

—Dave Schwab, South Park, via email

Fifth Avenue closures

[Ref: “Gaslamp’s new no parking zone,” Vol. 17, Issue 9, or online at]

It will be interesting to see if this truly decreases traffic, since people will still be picking up and dropping off passengers or still be turning on Fifth Avenue to try to get to other streets with parking, not to mention the vast number of people that may not know that there is no parking on Fifth and look there anyway.

What really needs to happen is closing Fifth altogether on Friday and Saturday nights. They should plan a trial weekend soon to see if that is even more successful!

—Mike Denton, via

One Comments

  1. Christina Koch says:

    The Urban Discovery Academy has created something in the East Village, but it’s not what you might think.
    “They are kids, what do you expect?”
    That is the responce given by most everyone in attempts to discredit our complaints about Urban Discovery Academy’s choice to have their children play just feet outside of our windows in their parking lot.
    Depending on which publication read there were varying boosts of their rooftop pavilion and a back yard playground. So why would opt to use the seven space parking lot constructed of concrete, asphalt and curbs to trip over instead.
    There are two dumpsters, one of which that stinks by the end of the week, placed just the other side of our fence, next to the newly placed basked ball hoop on the south side of the lot. Flag football is popular with the older boys on the other half of the seven space. The girls mostly stand around the perimeter chatting or weaving in and out of the ball games screaming for no obvious reason other than to scream.
    There is no grass. No water fountains. No bathrooms. No organization. No discipline, no direction and absolutely no regard for its neighbors right to peaceful enjoyment.
    Recess starts at 9am, just one hour after school starts. That is when s gaggle of children, ranging in grades from K-8th pour out into the makeshift playground delivering their daily does of obnoxious to us.
    Just feet away from their designated playground stands a building with 22 occupants in it. I am one of the residents and like most others in the building, i have liived here long before the inception of the school. I am also one of the people that are effected directly by the incredible amount of noise that is generated. I would have never thought that a school would have so little concern for the members of the community they moved into.
    Although there have been requests, complaints, and pleas nothing is done to alleviate the amount of noise. Oddly enough, the responce is nothing positive. What happens is just the opposite and It is obvious to those that live in this building that the kids are being used as pawns, if you will, and encouraged to exaggerate the amount of noise they create.
    After all, “they are kids, what do you expect?”
    What I expect is that a school that demands so much respect from the community, would have been more decent to the 22 people living in this building. The 22 people that will be homeless soon due to the shady underhanded business going on in the back ground to rid the block of our existence so the school can get busy with it second phase.
    “They are kids, what do you expect?” I expected some common core decency is all.
    I expected the school to delivery some of what it expects from the older kids to do for the younger kids. LEAD BY EXAMPLE.

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