Letters to the Editor

Youth Shelter

I’m surprised that the [Feb. 23] article didn’t raise any eyebrows about why the city is spending $4.1 million to provide 12 beds, in a barracks “sleeping pod” concept, at a cost of $341,667 per bed.

This in a rather unattractive, light industrial area of the city. Even with half of the property providing personal belongings storage for homeless people, the cost/benefit picture appears to present an excellent opportunity for investigative reporting.

I’m sure that your staff is capable of developing some incisive lines of inquiry and has resources to obtain answers.

Steve Baker


Affordable Housing

This city is so concerned with how many angels can dance on the head of a pin that they turn a blind eye to the more practical consideration of how many people they can stuff into a neighborhood. The “Fountain Street Affordable Housing Development,” coming soon to my neighborhood and likely also coming soon to a neighborhood near you, is bringing with it the well-known recipe for disaster of increased traffic, increased parking, and increased density, all squeezed into a small residential area.

Yes, affordable housing is a necessity. I would know: I am on a fixed income and, thanks in part to Long Beach’s skyrocketing utility bills and city taxes, I can no longer afford my home, which I could well afford, on that same fixed income, when I moved into it 24 years ago.

But ironically, my now-inadequate fixed income is also slightly more than the cut-off point for affordable housing, excluding me from the development planned for a location right down the street from my house!

All of this illustrates the widening of the gap between the “haves” and the “have-nots.” The middle class – whose ever-increasing tax bills both pay for the “affordable housing” for the lower class and fill the tax deficit created by the upper class, who do not pay taxes – disappears, becoming part of the ever-increasing population experiencing housing insecurity and inevitable homelessness. And the cycle continues.

So what does one do? I am reminded of the words from “The Gambler”: “Know when to hold ‘em, know when to fold ‘em, know when to walk away and know when to run.” I’m running!

Merry Colvin


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