First of all, we want to assure our readers that we are not making this up. The Los Angeles Times reports that at long last city crews launched a cleanup of sidewalks in the skid row area of downtown Los Angeles. Alexandra Zavis, Skid Row Is Tons Cleaner After Sweep, L.A. Times, July 10, 2012, at p. AA4.
“Hundreds of hypodermic needles, gallons of human waste and numerous dead rats. These were among the items cleared from streets and sidewalks of Los Angeles skid row neighborhood during a 13-day sweep . . .”
“In all, nearly five tons of trash and more than 81 cubic yards of wastewater were collected from six miles of roadway and sidewalks [in the downtown skid row area] . . .”
This included “278 hypodermic needles, 94 syringes, 60 razor blades, 10 knives, 11 items of drug paraphernalia and a stash of marijuana.”
So you might ask why in the world would city sanitation folks allow this stuff to accumulate in such quantities? People could get hurt because of these. If you’ve been unfairly hurt by these kinds of waste at the fault of others consider consulting craig, kelley & faultless llc for more information but I digress. Answer: because of our great respect for private property, don’t you know.
“City officials had said cleaning crews were hampered by a federal court injunction last year that placed limits on the removal of items left unattended on skid row sidewalks. Residents had complained that their property was seized while they used a restroom, filled water jugs or appeared in court.”
This, folks, is a quintessentially la-la land story. Try to build something useful on your vacant land and you will learn in short order that if local government minions won’t let you, you have no property rights, certainly not in local federal courts in which, as one of their Lordships once put it, your property rights are viewed with thinly-veiled contempt. But leave your syringes, razor blades and other such stuff, to say nothing of your feces on the public sidewalk, and the force and majesty of federal law will be heard from to protect your property from overzealous city sanitation types. Only in California!