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It was approaching 8 p. In a flash, the spotlight of a passing squad car froze a fleeing figure. Oxnard Police Officer Jim Struck drew his breath in relief and amazement. On a thoroughfare notorious for illegal activities from dumping garbage to buying sex and drugs, children have been less common after dark than dope dealers, prostitutes and pimps.
In fact, residents say they never saw children in the neighborhood even during the day. So children now play outdoors after dark in the acre Southwinds neighborhood that is bordered by the Ventura County Flood Control Channel on the west, Pleasant Valley Road on the north, Saviers Road on the east and Hueneme Road on the south. City Council members unanimously adopted a plan to maintain increased police protection and stepped-up waste disposal and inspections for building code violations.
The plan, drafted by a task force of officials from six city departments, also promises daily visits by a city refuse inspector, publicity about housing rehabilitation loans aSouthwinds Park on Clara and Aleric streets. They also called for staff reports on increasing police foot patrols and beefing up building Living Oxnard sex so that dilapidated apartments could not pass from one slumlord to another without being upgraded.
What if they see kids playing on lawns, houses nicely painted and lawns well kept? And so it would appear to be. At first blush, Southwinds could be mistaken for any Southern California beach community. The shores of Ormond Beach lie less than a mile away. Cars jostle for precious street parking. Shallow lawns lead to boxy, stucco apartment buildings dating to the early s. On closer inspection, however, the neighborhood that city officials consider blighted becomes a study in dubious distinctions. For the last few years, police say, the neighborhood has been the most dangerous in the city.
Beer cans litter the lawns. Many of the cars turn out to be abandoned. Fraying blankets take the place of drapery on big picture windows. Steel grates cover doorways. And a foul odor emanates from beachfront sewage treatment and industrial plants. In the alley that Living Oxnard sex between Aleric Street and Hueneme Road, abandoned sofas and appliances lay next to brimming and haphazardly strewn dumpsters. Men drink beer in carports, stamping empty cans with their heels.
And in the laundry room of an Aleric Street apartment building, human excrement lies in one corner and a popped balloon in another. On Aleric Street, drugs are so readily available, said apartment manager James M. Older people say they are afraid to walk to their cars. Homeowners fear for their investments. Maureen Finlay was a single parent struggling to make ends meet when she managed to buy a four-bedroom tract home half of a block north of Aleric Street 16 years ago. The scrimping and saving, she figured, would pay off because she eventually would be able to move into smaller living quarters and live off the profit.
Now she has her doubts. City officials are quick to point out that Aleric Street has not always been this way. Housing directors for the nearby SeaBee Base recommended it to naval families. Owners of single-family dwellings left. Landlords had stopped taking care of their property, a trend that, residents say, continues to a vexing extent today. A series of raids had broken the prostitution ring by the early s.
And when the city succeeded in persuading the State Alcoholic Beverage Control Department to revoke the liquor of the offending bar, police hoped that their problems had been solved. Instead, they found a new, more complicated one: drug trafficking and prostitution had moved a block north to the apartments along Aleric Street. By contrast, the days of Plaza Marina did not seem so bad. Now it has even begun to ooze into nearby Port Hueneme.
Inthe city slated Southwinds for redevelopment. The resulting increase in property taxes was supposed to pay for water drainage and sewer improvements and the upgrading of Plaza Marina--now substantially improved under a new owner who has named it Ormond Beach Center. The annual tax also would help fund low-interest home rehabilitation loans, the conversion of troublesome carports to garages and antigraffiti campaigns.
Those funds, however, remain off limits as a result of a legal dispute with Living Oxnard sex county, which stands to lose money under the plan because it would freeze tax revenue flowing to sources other than the city--school districts, the state, the county--at the level. City officials say a lawsuit filed by the county in the matter will be heard no sooner than February and will take months to resolve.
Landlords say Living Oxnard sex have begun to scrutinize tenants more closely. Security gates have been installed and Neighborhood Watch groups have been formed. Southern California Edison has been asked to make street lights brighter. Then government officials got into the act. Housing inspectors have seen that of dwellings inspected meet building code. By October, when the city announced plans for a marina with housing, shops and a golf course, the sisters-in-law had acquired two apartment buildings for a total of units.
But last Sunday night demonstrated how far Southwinds has to go before it becomes just another neighborhood--much less Marina del Rey. An attractive woman in tight white pants sauntered slowly west on Hueneme Road before disappearing into one of the cars that slowly cruise the area.
Squad cars swept past each other, shooting beams of lights into dark alleyways, doorways and bushes. All Sections. About Us. B2B Publishing. Business Visionaries.
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