Tuesday, December 18, 2007

West LA, VA is being destroyed for profit

There are more than 33,000 Homeless Veterans in the Los Angeles Metro Region on any given night (Weingart Center Study, 2004). ...
contact Rep Waxman, and raise hell about the commercialization of the land at the West LA VA... follow the money
district office in Los Angeles by phone at 323-651-1040.
This can & has happened at VA facilities accross the US

Reply to: Francisco Juarez feinsm@juno.com
I have sent out several pieces of Info to various groups about WLA. I forward them & add notes to where I think they will do the most good.

Like I said before, my list is configured not to allow attachments, some items I have received about WLA appear local in scope, and does not provide
addresses & contacts. There are crisis and issues all over the US at many VA facilities. My local VAMC with big backlogs, had several bldgs that were unusable and in disrepair... they are now a nice Junior College... the VAMC backlogs is getting worse... follow the money

I have lobbied several members of congress such as Rep Waxman & Sen Fenstein.

I am aware that Veterans Park Conservancy has signed a long term lease for part of the WLA VA campus for veteran's memorial park and that the
CA Legion endorsed the park.. I urge other vets to join in the the fight to stop the West LA VA from leasing more property to commercial interest

also see
Washington vs. West L.A.: will pluck, power and money be enough to stop the VA's plans?
Returning Veterans Fight to Save “Hallowed Ground” in California
By Sharon Kyle and Dick Price
With the Iraq Occupation grinding through its fifth year, the Bush Administration and its supporters continue to trot out the “Support the Troops” bumper stickers and yellow ribbon decals at every opportunity, shaming us into wasting even more billions of dollars on a failed exercise in empire-building that keeps our soldiers in harm’s way.
Meanwhile, local veterans’ groups here in Los Angeles find themselves fighting a rearguard action against powerful real estate developers and unresponsive government bureaucrats to preserve local facilities that could actually support the troops once they return to civilian life.
To get a deeper understanding of this issue, we met with Jim Maddox, President of the Pasadena Chapter of Vietnam Veterans of America, and Keith Jeffreys, President of Citizens for Veterans Rights. We sat with them in the VVA’s cluttered office in Old Town Pasadena as they gave us a detail-rich lesson on what their organizations are trying to do on the home front to “support our troops.”
“The Veterans Administration wants to sell off or lease out parts of the West Los Angeles VA for use as condominiums or parks or warehouses for movie studios,” Jim told us, pointing to an especially critical issue for the two veterans’ groups. “These properties should only be used to benefit veterans. To us, they’re ‘hallowed ground.’”
Standing up for Veterans
Maddox regularly briefs the local congressional delegation on behalf of his nonpartisan organization and the community of veterans it represents. Several times a year, he meets with Representatives Adam Schiff, David Dreier, Hilda Solis, Xavier Becerra, and Henry Waxman, or their staffs. “I’d love to meet with Dianne Watson, too,” he says with a good-natured grin, “if only she or her staff would return my calls.”
Begun in 1978, the VVA established itself as an advocacy organization to focus attention on issues especially pertinent to Vietnam veterans, issues that had been overlooked by larger, more established veterans groups such as the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the American Legion. The VVA has 50,000 members nationally and about 100 in the local Pasadena chapter, which includes the entire San Gabriel Valley.
“Agent Orange was our first big cause,” said Maddox, himself a Vietnam combat veteran. “People didn’t want to believe it was a real ailment, but the VVA presented the research and pressed the case. It was the same story with the Gulf War Syndrome from the first Gulf War, which officials tried to dismiss. Now it’s post traumatic stress syndrome (PTSD) and neurological deficits.”
“These IEDs (improvised explosive devices) in Iraq act like sonograms, sending shock waves through the brain that could cause untold damage,” he said. “We just don’t know what these IEDs are doing to our soldiers, but we suspect that we’ll see the consequences in years to come, just like we saw with Agent Orange. And we’re already seeing a ton of cases of reported PTSD coming out of Iraq that will only multiply over time.”
“Also, sexual trauma among female Iraq War veterans has become a big issue,” Maddox reported. “The VVA is working to address that as well.”
The Battle in West Los Angeles
Jeffreys talked to us about the Capital Asset Realignment for Enhanced Services (CARES) program, which the VA touts this program as a system-wide process for meeting the current and future health care needs of veterans in modern health care facilities. VA literature calls it “the most comprehensive analysis of VA’s health care infrastructure that has ever been conducted.”
But according to Jeffreys, the CARES program only sounds good on paper. “The VA generates $5 million a year through long-term leases at the West LA property,” he said. “But they lost $350 million several years ago—just lost it—and they won’t show anyone the leases they already have.”
The 388-acre property where the VA facility sits was donated to the federal government in 1888 for specific use by veterans, an intent Federal legislation reinforced in 1998. But during the Reagan Administration, efforts began popping up to privatize parts of the property to pay for operations. Today, a thousand-car Enterprise rental car facility sits on the VA land, as does a Fox Studio warehouse, and the VA offers no guarantees about similar leases in the future.
“Brentwood School has 20 acres of VA land that they got in a sweetheart deal during the Clinton Administration,” said Jeffreys with something less than a good-natured grin. “It’s a school for the well-heeled. Spielberg’s kids go there, and Swartzeneggar’s — but you can bet not the kids of any ordinary veterans. Promises to veterans have not been kept.”
************* VA say's veteran patients are declining and fewer projected to use the facility.... WHO ARE THEY KIDDING
Associated Land Use Agreements are as follows:
• The West Los Angeles VAMC has entered into a 20 year agreement with the
Brentwood School for a land use agreement. The sharing agreement lasts until June
• The West Los Angeles VAMC has entered into a 50 year agreement with the
American Red Cross. The revocable license agreement expires April 2039.
• The West Los Angeles VAMC has entered into an agreement with Breitburn Energy.
The land use agreement is for the oil drilling site. The Department of Interior
controls the mineral rights agreement.
• The West Los Angeles VAMC has entered into a 20 year enhanced sharing
agreement with the Wadsworth Theater Management for Building 226 (Wadsworth
Theater) and Building 211 (Brentwood Theater). The agreement expires December
• The West Los Angeles VAMC has entered into a 10 year enhanced sharing
agreement with the Salvation Army for Building 212. The agreement expires July
• The West Los Angeles VAMC has entered into a 10 year enhanced sharing
agreement with the Salvation Army for Building 207. The agreement expires April
• The West Los Angeles VAMC has entered into a 50 year federal lease agreement
with New Directions for Building 116. The agreement expires August 2045.
• The West Los Angeles VAMC has entered into a 5 year memorandum of agreement
with a 5 year option with New Directions for Building 257. The memorandum of
agreement expires February 2012.
21 / 189
• The West Los Angeles VAMC has entered into a 10 year enhanced sharing
agreement with Sodexho Marriot for Building 224 for laundry services. The
agreement expires in March 2010.
• The West Los Angeles VAMC has entered into a 10 year enhanced sharing
agreement with UCLA for the Jackie Robinson Stadium for baseball games. The
agreement expires April 2011.
• The West Los Angeles VAMC has entered into a memorandum of understanding with
the Veterans Park Conservatory for the Veterans Park.
• The West Los Angeles VAMC has entered into a 20 year enhanced sharing
agreement with Westside Services for parking services which includes Brentwood
Village Parking Lot. The agreement expires in 2020.

From: VeteranIssues-owner@yahoogroups.com [mailto:VeteranIssues-owner@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of feinsm@juno.comSent: Tuesday, December 18, 2007 10:57 AMTo: VeteranIssues-owner@yahoogroups.comSubject: Re: [VeteranIssues] Interesting Article, Fighting For the Soul of Iran
Col,You have a strong following and you can make a big difference in the disemmination of this crucial information. Please, just answer me one thing. Over a period of about eight months I have requested, forwarded and explained that the plight of all Veterans will be multiplied by allowing the facilities at VA, WLA, to be up for grabs (Land Grabs), why don't you show any interest?

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