California: Not on My Beach

Not on My Beach

To many, the Los Angeles beach-front community of Venice conjures up carefree images of roller skaters, street performers and muscle-bound beachcombers. Now Venice is coping with an unwanted new reputation: as a sunny campground for 2,000 homeless people. A tent city on the beach has spurred fears that Venice will become an oceanside skid row. A neighborhood group has been organized to protest a planned soup kitchen and shelter in the Rose Avenue residential area; some claim that an increase in petty crime is driving away both tourists and businesses.

Last week the Los Angeles city council, responding to complaints from...