(Editor’s note: This story appeared on the Westside Current on October 18 and is shared in cooperation with Circling the News.)
BY JAMIE PAIGE – Editor – Westside Current
Two significant fires in the last several weeks have put two CD11 communities on high alert, and noticeably absent from both, Councilmember Mike Bonin.
It took more than 85 firefighters about an hour late Sunday, Oct 16, to stop the forward progress of a brushfire that shut down Pacific Coast Highway at Corona del Mar.
The fire was reported at 8:46 p.m., burning uphill in steep terrain in medium to heavy brush between Pacific Coast Highway and homes on Corona del Mar, said the Los Angeles Fire Department’s Brian Humphrey.
By 9:25 p.m., helicopters were brought into the firefight and Santa Monica and Los Angeles County firefighters were assisting city counterparts, Humphrey said.
Remarkably absent, Bonin, who spent his time on his “personal” Twitter account on Monday attacking Council District 11 candidate Traci Park and never even acknowledging the fire and its impact on the community.
Park, conversely, who visited both fire scenes, did comment.
“Our public safety partners are understaffed and underfunded, but no one is standing up for them. And while Mike Bonin is busy sending slanderous emails about me, I’m here doing his job or him. We deserve better than #BoninDarling to keep us safe,” Park stated in an social media post on Monday.
Erin Darling, backed by Bonin and running against Park, was not at the fire but did acknowledge it on social media as well.
“Thank you to the brave firefighters of Station 69 for their swift response in keeping people safe from last night’s fire in Pacific Palisades. Fire safety is a top priority for me. I will be laser-focused on keeping our environment and communities safe from fires.”
Bonin also never acknowledged a fire that destroyed four homes in the Venice canals in early October. Among the loss was the home of a 71-year-old woman and her 82-year-old-husband.
“I am heartbroken for my friends and neighbors on the Venice canals who lost homes and property in the massive fire,” Park said while visiting the destruction the next morning. ” I will do everything I can to ensure incidents like these do not continue happening in our community.”
That fire began in a three-story home under construction that residents say became a permanent fixture for transients since building at the location started. It took over 100 firefighters to put out the blaze.
Many residents in the area blame Bonin for his hands-off approach to dealing with the ongoing homeless crisis.
“For me, this has been waiting to happen. This has been a ticking time bomb,” said Devon Daley, who lives just a few houses away from the charred homes. “Many of the homeless live out of our garbage cans. We hear noises all the time, yelling and screaming. I can listen to it from my bedroom. People are rattling through the trash cans.”
Park, who several firefighters’ associations back, highlighted this on Twitter Monday.
“I’m honored to be the only candidate in this race that our firefighters trust to lead on fire safety. But, unfortunately, the current status quo is destroying CD11. Mr. Darling is supported by the politician who made this mess; we need to fix it.”