On Saturday, October 16, the San Pedro CPR Cleanup Crew led by George Matthews and assisted by CyberWatch members, pitched in to remove a growing problem of debris and litter from the Western Avenue approach to South Shores. Both groups are staffed by volunteers from South Shores and local neighborhoods.

Neglected for over a year by the City of Los Angeles, the growing blight of trash from 9th St. to 19th St. was removed in 1 ½ hours.  In past years, this task had been performed by LA’s Street Services Dept. Street Services unexpectedly abandoned this task over a year ago. Fed up by the City’s inaction, our neighbors rolled up their sleeves to help out.

According to Ryan Ferguson of Councilman Buscaino’s Office, the heart of this growing problem lies in a bureaucratic snafu between the City of Los Angeles and the state’s CalTrans Department over an outdated contract. The contract states that CalTrans shall reimburse Street Services for maintenance of state highways like Western Ave. Over a year ago, Street Services stopped receiving funds from CalTrans. Street Services then stopped maintaining Western Ave.  SSCA was told that the Councilman’s Office is “working on the problem, but these things take time…”.

Hopefully, Los Angeles’ Street Services will resume their work sooner than later. Our residents are still paying taxes while subbing for the City of Los Angeles Street Services’ workers.

In the meantime, if you’re interested in making a difference in greater San Pedro, please consider joining San Pedro CPR Cleanup Crew Facebook group and becoming a Crew Member.  Working side by side with neighbors and serving a worthwhile purpose can be a really gratifying experience.