Magazine September 20, 2010, Issue

Wringing Bell

Mayor Oscar Hernandez presiding (Roman Genn)
Enrich not thyself on the taxpayer dime(s)

Bell, Calif.

When you come off the 710 and onto the Florence Avenue ramp, there is on this particularly smoggy August day a dirt-encrusted drifter, standing in a litter-strewn, overgrown strip of soft shoulder and holding a scrap of cardboard, on which is written an illegible message for the presumed benefit of passing motorists. He shakes his head slowly, rhythmically, from side to side as you roll by and turn right onto the avenue, passing over what is loosely referred to as the Los Angeles River — a sorry trickle of dingy water moping its way through a weed-lined, cracked-concrete channel,

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