|Westwood's Veterans Home, back in the day|
From yesterday's LA Times' editorial page: [excerpt]:
...Instead of appealing the decision, UCLA could play a helpful role by urging the VA to sit down with the plaintiffs to work out an agreement that meets the needs of the interested parties but also ensures that the federal government fulfills its responsibility. If baseball stays, great. But what is most important is that homeless veterans finally get the housing and healthcare services they need on the West L.A. campus. That's why the VA owns the property, after all. Renovating the two other buildings that have been proposed for permanent supportive housing would be a good start. UCLA, to its credit, has a decades-long history of involvement with the VA's health services on that campus. Hundreds of doctors and residents work there throughout the year, and there are a variety of programs at UCLA that concentrate on veterans' medical and health needs, including Operation Mend, which provides extensive reconstructive surgery — free — to veterans who have suffered severe, deforming injuries. Whether the school could offer additional services targeted specifically to homeless veterans, and whether it could pay the VA more than the $5,000 a month it does now for use of the stadium, are negotiable points for UCLA. "Everything is on the table," says Kevin Reed, UCLA's vice chancellor for legal affairs. Mark Rosenbaum of the American Civil Liberties Union, which brought the suit on behalf of the plaintiffs, has said repeatedly that he and his clients want to sit down and negotiate. Let's get this matter out of the courtroom and get the VA launched on housing its homeless vets — so we don't have to observe next Veterans Day with the same lament.