Veterans deserve a good home

Veterans deserve a good home

There are 15 comments on the LA Daily News story from Mar 13, 2009, titled Veterans deserve a good home. In it, LA Daily News reports that:

THE names most often associated with Jim Bellows, the fabled newspaper editor who died last Friday at the age of 86, were Jimmy Breslin and Tom Wolfe - the legendary journalists whose early careers he helped ...

Join the discussion below, or Read more at LA Daily News.

Charles Brink

Manhattan Beach, CA

#2 Mar 13, 2009
If the Veterans facility was to be limited to veterans only I would be supportive.

But the plan is to remove thousands mentally damaged skid row persons so the politically connected developers can sell their downtown condos
Cecilia Martinez

Firebaugh, CA

#3 Mar 13, 2009
This story is completely misleading. The proposed facility WILL NOT BE FOR VETERANS ONLY!! This land and those structures should remain what they were intended for Veteran Property Only and run as staffed medical facilities, which could house 300-350 of our Veterans at any given time while undergoing treatment and recovering from war, etc. As medical facilities this land will benefit thousands of Veterans and remain their land. The land was donated by a private party to our Veterans and it should remain as they intended and SHOULD NOT BE TURNED OVER TO PRIVATE ENTERPRISE who can by the terms of the proposed lease do whatever they want with this land. GET INFORMED AND DON'T BELIEVE EVERY HALF SERVED STORY THAT IS PRINTED.

“working to pay obamas regime.”

Since: Mar 08

United States

#4 Mar 13, 2009
Democrats wrote:
Remember that the illegal aliens and millions of anchor babies come first. You live in progressive California where any body that has spent time in the Military should be treated as an outcast and the more crimes you committ and get away with you should be idolized. Liberalism.
And while we're at it, lets treat our elderly that have paid into the system for YEARS like crap. They cant afford their medicine, yet the common illegal in this country is treated to organ donations that rightfully belong to a american tax paying citizen who has been on a donor list for years. W T F ???
I dont get it either, somethings got to change!
Jeff Robinson

Surfside, CA

#5 Mar 13, 2009
Charles Brink wrote:
If the Veterans facility was to be limited to veterans only I would be supportive.
But the plan is to remove thousands mentally damaged skid row persons so the politically connected developers can sell their downtown condos
Remember anything that is supported by the Crime Syndicate who pretend to be "democrats" at election time in City Hall is bound to be a developers dream and a taxpayers disaster.
Bureaucratic Mess

Pasadena, CA

#6 Mar 13, 2009
How do you plan to ensure that they're veterans? How to you plant to ensure that they're honorable veterans?

I think your estimate is grossly over-stated. Plus, why is the responsibility of Angelenos to "take care of" the nation's homeless problem? We already have the burden of the nation's illegal immigration problem. Most homeless end up in LA because of the climate.

Why isn't it the responsiblity of the federal government and private charities to take care of them?

Of course families don't want heroin addicts, crack addicts, meth addicts, alcoholics, ex cons, and the insane around them! That's perfectly reasonable.

I support our military and donate to vet organizations, but your attempt to blame Angelenos and cause guilty consciences is silly.
plumb and plumber repug

Los Angeles, CA

#7 Mar 13, 2009
Democrats wrote:
Remember that the illegal aliens and millions of anchor babies come first. You live in progressive California where any body that has spent time in the Military should be treated as an outcast and the more crimes you committ and get away with you should be idolized. Liberalism.
u repugs blame liberalism for everything!! bUT WHO HAS BEEN MAKING POLICY FOR THE LAST 30 YEARS?? ronald ray-gun 8 years, daddy bush 4, Clinton, but he was hamstrung by the contract ON america obstructionist REPUG majority, and the idiot price 43. That's almost 30 years of repug rule and policy making!!! yet to u braindead kneejerk joe the plumb and plumber regressive,s the lack of funding and care for vet's is the DEMS fault?? pathetic!
Becie

Santa Monica, CA

#8 Mar 13, 2009
Let's keep on track here!

The letter by Toni Reinis and Dora Leong Gallo is misleading, to say the least; but they represent the vested interest of the narrow group who would profit from this disreputable and despicable proposal. If not, why is every Veterans group opposed along with the LAPD, all the neighborhood councils, the San Fernando Valley Historical Society, and the thousands of Veterans who utilize the Sepulveda VA for medical coverage?(also, why were the employees not notified of this land-grab ploy---there must be an injunction of silence, and that alone “speaks” volumes).

As a Veteran and daughter of a WWII vet who both receive our medical care at Sepulveda VA, I have a vested interest in the preservation of these grounds, willed to Veterans solely for MEDICAL purposes. As medical edifices, the two targeted buildings would serve thousands of Vets; this silly proposal, which cannot guarantee Veterans-only tenants (because of the zoning variance necessary to go head with the project), only 300 to 350 people can be served at one time; and they get a 75-year Enhanced-Use Lease, and the option to transfer the deed to the land to the Lessees AT ANY TIME during these 75 years!

I am not denying that New Directions may be a good program, but it is not a “good direction” for the VA to travel!
Marilyn Garfield

United States

#9 Mar 14, 2009
You have based most of your article on the bases that the residents of North Hills do not want our Veterans on the VA property. This is not true...we want VETERANS ONLY. What
we don't want is YOU, the private sector who should keep out of
Veteran affairs. You keep saying you are doing this for Veterans,
well not true...you are opening up VA property to the general population which is not what this land was to be used for.
Will there be more traffic...yes...some will drive and all will have friends and family visit that will create more traffic. Then the ones that don't drive will either use public transportation or "walk".
That is a concern for the residents and their children since you ARE NOT providing a lock down facility! You can not guarantee
all the residents will be clean and sober and they will be in our neighborhoods. And now to property values...you bet they will go down. Realtors have to tell interested buyers that there is a private sector sober living facility on the VA grounds just like my Realtor had to disclose to us back in 1971 that there was a mental ward on the VA grounds. WE bought this house for less than others we looked at of the same amenities and size.
Let the DVA remodel those 2 buildings for medical treatment.
That is what I want as a resident of North Hills within 500 feet
of buildings 4 & 5. I'm sure since you are in the private sector you can find many a need to do your work without getting involved with the DVA. Look at all the general private popultion that could use your help .

Marilyn Garfield
Lawrence Van Kuran

Pasadena, CA

#10 Mar 15, 2009
The 5,000 American Legion Veteran members of our 20th District served by Sepulveda VA do not support use of buildings, facilities and property (including the land) as proposed and discussed by Toni Reinis and the consortium of New Directions (ND) and A Community of Friends (ACoF). Our 5,000 Veteran Legionnaires strongly oppose these plans.

Reasons:
1) ND & ACoF reps have been less than forthcoming in discussions with the local Veterans’ groups, the local Neighborhood Council and others regarding plans for and agreements with the VA regarding Sepulveda facilities;
2) Despite previous contact and requests that they do so, representatives of the ND/ACOF consortium have not availed themselves of the opportunity to either contact or work with leadership of the major local Veterans’ groups (e.g., The American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, et al).
3) ND/ACoF reps that have presented at various meetings where both Veterans and local neighbors and neighborhood council members were also present, have answered questions regarding non-Veterans’ use of proposed facilities with vague verbal statements such as “we won’t do that,”“it is not our intention to…,” and “of course Veterans will hav preference…” Such statements (i.e.,“trust us”) ring hollow in the ears of American Legion and other Veterans, as well as with neighbors;
4) Distinct possibility for loss of use of both VA facilities (i.e., buildings, infrastructure) and land intended for direct Veteran support;
5) The ND/ACoF consortium will have title to Sepulveda VA buildings #4 and #5 plus related infrastructure;
6) ND/ACoF will be able to encumber (borrow against) said property with insufficient specified restrictions;
7) Once they have taken and held occupancy for some minimum amount of time, ND/ACoF can apply to the Dir. Of VA to expand operations, with little stipulation regarding what those expanded operations may be (i.e., whether for Veterans’ benefit or otherwise);
8) There does not appear to be any stipulated guarantees that we can find that, once the ND/ACOF consortium takes occupancy, the property (facilities, land) can and will not be simply sold or given by the Dir. of VA to the NC/ACoF for their own use, this, as part of the VA’s land-use management authority.

Larry Van Kuran, Adjutant
20th District, American Legion
Peggy Burgess

AOL

#11 Mar 15, 2009
Re “Veterans Deserve A Good Home” Daily News 3/13/09

New Directions (ND, and A Community of Friends (ACOF), have grossly misrepresented the facts regarding their proposed conversion of two urgently needed medical buildings into 149 efficiency apartments at the Sepulveda VA.

The issue is simple. Will this project benefit the majority of the veterans and the community? The answer is NO it will not! These are medical buildings, the veterans and the public conscience demand they remain so. This country is at war! To deprive thousands of veterans of urgently needed medical buildings in favor of 149 apartments to house a few would be criminal! The Sepulveda VA serves veterans throughout the San Fernando and Antelope Valleys. Our vets are entitled to receive full service hospital and medical care in their immediate area. That’s why VA hospitals were set up in San Diego, Long Beach, Westwood and Sepulveda.
The sole purpose of the VA’s Enhanced Use Lease Program is to allow the VA to lease Federal Land to the private sector and clear the way for the VA to divest itself of unwanted properties. The 75-year Enhanced Use Lease between the Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA), ACOFand New Directions, gives them title to the buildings and all improvements on 7.05 acres of largely undeveloped Veterans Land, plus 90% of the film and TV revenue, estimated by the VA at over $4 million in 2009. Further, the Secretary of the DVA can sell or simply transfer the deed to the lessees at anytime during the 75 years. If the City of L.A. approves the Zoning Variance needed for the project to go forward, it will open up not only those 7.05 acres but the entire 160 acres of the Sepulveda VA to further development of all kinds and none of it will be for the Veterans.

The project is opposed by the North Hills West Neighborhood Council (NHWNC), whose stakeholders include the 150,000 veterans currently served by the Sepulveda VA. The NHWNC studied the proposed project for over four years and twice voted to deny it. They concluded the Veterans, and the community, would be better served if Buildings 4 and 5, which are clean and in good condition, were refurbished and staffed as medical buildings. As such, they would house 300-350 Veterans undergoing treatment at any given time, while the apartments, even if they were for Veterans only, which they cannot be, would house only 147permanently.

The list of opponents also include the Granada Hills South Neighborhood Council and Foothills Trails District Neighborhood Council (combined the three councils represent over 210,000 stakeholders). two schools, The San Fernando Valley Historical Society, LAPD (Devonshire Division), the 5,000 members of The American Legion, District 20, the local chapter of Viet Nam Veterans of America, Veterans Today Network, We The Veterans and dozens of other Veterans’ Organizations.

The line is drawn in the Sand. We all demand the Sepulveda VA be restored as a full-service hospital and medical center starting with buildings 4 and 5. Our aging veteran population and the tens of thousands who will be returning from Iraq and Afghanistan deserve no less.
dtaerial

AOL

#12 Mar 16, 2009
Lie #1 President Obama begins the drawdown of troops from Iraq over the next two years, we anticipate that between 150,000 to 200,000 veterans will be returning to California. No they are going to Afganastan to fight the Taliban. Lie #2 New Directions and ACommunity of Friends have a solution in commercializing federal land that belongs to the Veterans of America If this land is lost to civilian groupes it will be lost forever and the rest of the VA land will be taken away leaving the veterans with nothing and the beaucrats with everything. New Directions and ACommunity of Friends have stated that persons other than veterans, let's call them forieigners will turn a pristine area for people who earned it through fighting for their country to a slum for people who have done nothing for this country Why do you people that are supposed to be reporters report the whole story you know the other side of the story. I love this country and you make me sick. As always Dennis E. Twohy.
dtaerial

AOL

#13 Mar 16, 2009
Democrats wrote:
Remember that the illegal aliens and millions of anchor babies come first. You live in progressive California where any body that has spent time in the Military should be treated as an outcast and the more crimes you committ and get away with you should be idolized. Liberalism.
This is sombody that believes in the truth the WHOLE TRUTH and nothing but the truth. Remember a liberal believes only half truths. If nobody believes this just listen to obama.
La Raza

Huntington Beach, CA

#14 Mar 17, 2009
Villagairosa's La Raza Los Angeles feels that the Hospitals should be for the masses of the "chosen people" who are starved for health care. Illegals are vital to the City's future.

The Los Angeles Democratic Party feels that squandering scarce Party resources on America's Veterans/Seniors cannot be tolerated.
John Allen

Mexicali, Mexico

#15 Mar 24, 2009
The Veterans Today Network does NOT endorse Ms. Burgess' position on the issue. The Veterans Today Network is an independent voice for all veterans and has posted Ms. Burgess' letter to the editor but that does NOT constitute an endorsement. Signed, John P. Allen, General Manager of the Veterans Today Network at www.veteranstoday.com . Email is [email protected]
Peggy Burgess wrote:
Re “Veterans Deserve A Good Home” Daily News 3/13/09
New Directions (ND, and A Community of Friends (ACOF), have grossly misrepresented the facts regarding their proposed conversion of two urgently needed medical buildings into 149 efficiency apartments at the Sepulveda VA.
The issue is simple. Will this project benefit the majority of the veterans and the community? The answer is NO it will not! These are medical buildings, the veterans and the public conscience demand they remain so. This country is at war! To deprive thousands of veterans of urgently needed medical buildings in favor of 149 apartments to house a few would be criminal! The Sepulveda VA serves veterans throughout the San Fernando and Antelope Valleys. Our vets are entitled to receive full service hospital and medical care in their immediate area. That’s why VA hospitals were set up in San Diego, Long Beach, Westwood and Sepulveda.
The sole purpose of the VA’s Enhanced Use Lease Program is to allow the VA to lease Federal Land to the private sector and clear the way for the VA to divest itself of unwanted properties. The 75-year Enhanced Use Lease between the Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA), ACOFand New Directions, gives them title to the buildings and all improvements on 7.05 acres of largely undeveloped Veterans Land, plus 90% of the film and TV revenue, estimated by the VA at over $4 million in 2009. Further, the Secretary of the DVA can sell or simply transfer the deed to the lessees at anytime during the 75 years. If the City of L.A. approves the Zoning Variance needed for the project to go forward, it will open up not only those 7.05 acres but the entire 160 acres of the Sepulveda VA to further development of all kinds and none of it will be for the Veterans.
The project is opposed by the North Hills West Neighborhood Council (NHWNC), whose stakeholders include the 150,000 veterans currently served by the Sepulveda VA. The NHWNC studied the proposed project for over four years and twice voted to deny it. They concluded the Veterans, and the community, would be better served if Buildings 4 and 5, which are clean and in good condition, were refurbished and staffed as medical buildings. As such, they would house 300-350 Veterans undergoing treatment at any given time, while the apartments, even if they were for Veterans only, which they cannot be, would house only 147permanently.
The list of opponents also include the Granada Hills South Neighborhood Council and Foothills Trails District Neighborhood Council (combined the three councils represent over 210,000 stakeholders). two schools, The San Fernando Valley Historical Society, LAPD (Devonshire Division), the 5,000 members of The American Legion, District 20, the local chapter of Viet Nam Veterans of America, Veterans Today Network, We The Veterans and dozens of other Veterans’ Organizations.
The line is drawn in the Sand. We all demand the Sepulveda VA be restored as a full-service hospital and medical center starting with buildings 4 and 5. Our aging veteran population and the tens of thousands who will be returning from Iraq and Afghanistan deserve no less.
BUZZZZ

Monroeville, PA

#17 Mar 25, 2009
George wrote:
I believe people forget that veterans are people too. They need help and the government should help them out.
I hardly think anyone forgets that veterans are people. They need and deserve the support and all their needs met for demonstrating loyalty, bravery, and patriotism in the face of grave danger without making a fuss about it. They just do their jobs, did their jobs, and they deserve the best. I love our veterans and active military men and women!

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