Changes Coming in 2017 and Raising Awareness of the Homeless Community

It’s only nine days to Christmas. Damn, this year went fast and next year will even go faster as we go through so many different changes here. The Mission College will be holding classes towards the end of January without much solicitation of public interest.

The Verdugo Hills Golf Course will be closed and plans finalized for the construction of the Snowball Project. Canyon Homes is awaiting the final EIR on their 200-plus homes on Tujunga Canyon. A new medical center is opening in the old Security Pacific block on Foothill. Somewhere out there lurking is the specter of the White Bird Project with its 400-plus homes. And we have a NEW overseer in the form of City Council President Herb Wesson – who is a for-real politician.

But Wesson did come out to address our needs and fears and give his double-speak performance. The assembled crowd was mesmerized as he took the center stage and wove a tapestry of what he’s going to do for us until he gets replaced by one of the 31 applicants for Fuentes’ abandoned position. Gawd, I loved it when he was asked about Snowball and he waffled around it by saying that “Nothing will happen before the coming election!” And they lapped it up, like dehydrated gophers digging for water. Yes, boys and girls, of course nothing is going to happen before March 7; it’s going to take more than two months to just get the plans approved.

For once, I’m not going to mention any names of the people bailing out on our community because their plans to take it over in the name of the Church of Scientology failed. You know who I’m talking about. But there is one name I’m going to mention: Warren Walker. I’ll bet you are wondering why I singled out this god-fearing, scion of our community, good father and family provider. Well it’s really simple. And YOU have to ask him yourself why he would call me names and call for a boycott of the DIY Center. And while you’re asking, you might ask peole like Tim Borquez and Gyorgi Hakopian, who are the administrators of one of Sunland-Tujunga’s most vile Facebook hate sites.

I’ll let you figure that out for yourselves. But for now with the weather changing we have to address another problem. Our little community has people without heat where they live and some are living and dying on our sidewalks. We see them every day and they are invisible to us as we go our ways. I am at fault for not doing enough to help. And we lost another life last week. He died where he sat, in full view of all the people getting on and off the bus in front of the Bank of America building. Everybody saw him and yet no one saw him. And I don’t even know if his name is really “Antonio.” That’s just what the street people who walked by his spot called him. And until he is properly named, there will be no one to grieve or cry for him. But I feel his loss and like Michele Joeen Wincentsen who died on Dec 12, 2006 at the hands of a distracted driver, I won’t let their memory fade. In Tibet, they have “prayer wheels” that have the names of the departed inside and when the wind blows them, their names are sent to heaven. I don’t have a prayer wheel, but I do have a newspaper that I will use to make sure that they have not passed into oblivion. And it’s not because of the water.

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