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for people who care about the West

A place to park -- and live


I completely sympathize with and understand the problems faced by Jen Jackson (HCN, 11/22/10). Many Western tourist towns have become unaffordable for the ordinary people who are, ironically, indispensable, working in hotels, restaurants and recreational businesses. The towns should find some way to accommodate their trailers or RVs.

But in "Heard Around the West," you vastly oversimplified the story in Venice, Calif. In the last few years, the streets have filled with RVs piled sometimes two- and three-stories-high with assorted possessions and, frankly, junk. The people living in them cook and defecate in the street, and, before driving away, sometimes dump enough junk to fill a living room, floor to ceiling.

But there's a solution other than eviction: Groups have proposed allowing these people to park overnight in lots normally reserved for summer beach parking. This would give them a legal place to park and live, freeing up the neighborhood streets. So far, the Coastal Commission and city have not been able to agree, so the problem continues.

Crista Worthy
Los Angeles, California