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EDITORIAL PAYBACK TIME END DOWNTOWN DEVELOPMENT SUBSIDIES NOW.



AFTER three decades of neglecting the homeless, it's no surprise that Los Angeles Los Angeles (lôs ăn`jələs, lŏs, ăn`jəlēz'), city (1990 pop. 3,485,398), seat of Los Angeles co., S Calif.; inc. 1850.  has a humanitarian crisis A humanitarian crisis (or "humanitarian disaster") is an event or series of events which represents a critical threat to the health, safety, security or wellbeing of a community or other large group of people, usually over a wide area.  on its hands that would take $12 billion to solve in a decade.

Of course, that isn't going to happen any more than we're going to spend trillions to fix our transportation problems or provide decent health care, good educations and safe streets, or put an end to poverty.

But, yes, now that the economic and political forces have aligned to focus city and county officials on this problem, it's important that practical steps be taken to help those who can actually be helped.

But make no mistake: These same politicians didn't care at all about the homeless until their developer pals stood to make billions off the revival of downtown that is jeopardized by hundreds of people living on the streets.

As expensive lofts have replaced derelict buildings by the score in the Skid Row skid row

a run-down area frequented by alcoholics. [Am. Culture: Misc.]

See : Alcoholism


Skid Row

district of down-and-outs and bums. [Am. Usage: Brewer Dictionary, 1008]

See : Failure
 area, it was only a matter of time before police started rousting the street people and the politicians started looking to provide humanitarian aid Humanitarian aid is material or logistical assistance provided for humanitarian purposes, typically in response to humanitarian crises. The primary objective of humanitarian aid is to save lives, alleviate suffering, and maintain human dignity.  to those who refused to get out of downtown.

People who plunk down Verb 1. plunk down - set (something or oneself) down with or as if with a noise; "He planked the money on the table"; "He planked himself into the sofa"
plonk, flump, plank, plump, plump down, plunk, plop
 $750,000 for a loft in the heart of Skid Row shouldn't have to pick their way through throngs of street dwellers just to get home. Of course, no one else should either, which is why chasing the homeless to the suburbs is no answer.

So the public must not allow the politicians to railroad through a solution that puts the burden solely on the residents and taxpayers of the county. We cannot have worse public services Public services is a term usually used to mean services provided by government to its citizens, either directly (through the public sector) or by financing private provision of services.  for those with homes who work, pay taxes and aspire to aspire to
verb aim for, desire, pursue, hope for, long for, crave, seek out, wish for, dream about, yearn for, hunger for, hanker after, be eager for, set your heart on, set your sights on, be ambitious for
 better lives in order to help the homeless.

The homeless problem is a societal problem, so it's fair to say the burdens should be shared fairly. That means the so-called "stabilization centers" should be placed in wealthy areas as well as the rest of the county.

It also means that the costs need to be shared. And the massive tax credits and subsidies that have driven downtown redevelopment for the past 30 years - at the expense of the neighborhoods everywhere else - must end.

The residents of the city and county have paid dearly in lost services and higher taxes so downtown could be revived. Now, it's payback time.

Downtown property values are soaring. Building is booming. It's becoming a playground for the affluent.

It's high time downtown started paying off on the public's investment. End the subsidies now - that ought to be the cry from San Pedro to Pacoima, from Hermosa Beach Hermosa Beach (hûrmō`sə), city (1990 pop. 18,219), Los Angeles co., S Calif., on Santa Monica Bay; inc. 1907. It is a residential suburb and a popular resort noted for its fine, sandy beaches and excellent surf.  to West Covina.
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Title Annotation:Editorial
Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Article Type:Editorial
Date:Apr 10, 2006
Words:433
Previous Article:EDITORIAL TOO IMPORTANT CONGRESS MUST NOT LET IMMIGRATION REFORM DIE.
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