of Pacoima is on a crusade to rid his
neighborhood of abandoned vehicles like this van on Glamis street. (Photo by David Crane/Los Angeles Daily News)
At first glance, Morris Pichon's
hillside neighborhood, adjacent to a golf course and Little League fields, looks like one of the rare picture-postcard communities in an otherwise rundown area of the northeast San Fernando Valley.
, who lives in Pacoima with wife Barbara, is upset that a closer look at his
neighborhood doesn't measure up - and the city isn't doing much to help.
The streets behind Pichon's home are littered with dilapidated vehicles, some abandoned so long ago that weeds and cobwebs have become entangled in bumpers, mufflers and other body parts.
"These cars have been here for years," says Pichon
, giving a tour of streets that have become makeshift parking lots for cars that appear to be unlicensed, inoperative, probably uninsured and left unmoved for months.
"You can tell by the dirt on the windshield and the spider webs anchoring the stuff to the asphalt."
, a 68-year-old retired Lockheed Martin
manufacturing analyst who has long been involved in civic activity, is concerned that city officials have ignored - or done little to enforce - a 2006 ordinance that makes it illegal to park a car on the street in the same spot for more than 72 consecutive hours.
is absolutely right - the process has broken down," Alarc n said.
"It hasn't moved an inch in five years," said Pichon, a former member of the Pacoima Neighborhood Council and a board member of the NAACP's San Fernando Valley chapter.
"This is money in the pockets of the city when it badly needs it," said Pichon