Celebrating the Creative Community of Venice.
I just can’t resist the opportunity to be useful. After work I stopped by Beyond Baroque on my way home, to help Richard get the AV working. I found them putting together a great show about Punk Music. I hung in and helped hang art, and engineered solutions to some cranky gear. The Event Title: “In partnership with the LA Punk Museum, Beach Dancer Films presents the first annual Punk Film Festival.” There were several short films, and the feature was a film about the punk rocking women’s band L7. They started Rock For Choice . This link may take you to their eventbrite page, which has event details.
There was a discussion panel at the end of the event, including 2 members of the band. Everyone agreed the times call for more defiance, and solution building….by young activists. That’s what they were in the film.
The films and exhibits were pulled from the extended community of punk artists in LA, including Tequila Mockingbird‘s Punk Art Museum. The event was sponsored by the Venice Art Crawl, The Venice Chamber of Commerce, and The Silicon Beach Film Festival. For Venice Beachhead readers, these three brands are troublesome, since they drive gentrification, and often have sketchy business deals going on. Yet any artist worth their production value knows who provides the capital.
The photos are from a deliciously overcrowded punked out art exhibit that accompanied the Film Festival. Art exhibits at Beyond Baroque have a short lifespan, sometimes lasting only one night.
Venice Community Housing has released a “Preliminary Vision for the Venice-Dell-Pacific Parking Lots” presentation. This document outlines the general planning resulting from the many conversations they have had with the community and everyone involved.
A Meeting was held Thursday night, 3/9/2017, at Beyond Baroque where the plan was presented to an overflow crowd. Presenters were from Venice Community Housing (VCH), Hollywood Community Housing Corp (HCHC), Eric Owen Moss Architects (EOMA), and Yasmin Tong Consulting.
The plan appears quite well thought out. You can get it by clicking here.
Click to view slideshow.
Date: March 14, 2017
Topic: Mass, Scale + Character
Location: Westminster Elementary School (1010 Abbot Kinney Blvd.)
Your participation is important to this process, so we hope you can attend! RVSP* at https://goo.gl/forms/uvATxmB69ZqC1PYw1! Survey: Mass, Scale, and Character
The Department of City Planning (City of Los Angeles), tailors our public workshops to the community.
Prior to attending this workshop, please take this anonymous survey: https://goo.gl/forms/tjfN5XE2p1EIYr2Y2.
Department of City Planning
The Venice LCP Team
VeniceLCP@lacity.org | Contact Us
City of Los Angeles, 200 N. Spring St. Los Angeles, CA 90012*While an RSVP is not necessary to attend the upcoming public workshop, RSVP’ing allows the planning team to better prepare in order to best accommodate all participants.
Global dirty energy corporations’ relentless drive to exploit our earth is leading to an environmental crisis. Polar caps are melting and ice sheets are breaking off. The metling ice releases methane, accellerating the global warming process. The drought that began in the eastern mediterranean in 1998 is likely the worst drought of the past 900 years. Predictions of global sea rising can range from five feet to eighteen feet. Below is a map of local flooding if the sea rises ten feet. If you look at the entire map of LA County, Venice is the hardest hit. This kind of flooding could also occur during a Tsunami. It appears that Republican Congress and White House will be barreling ahead with drill baby drill, polluting waterways and landscapes all over the US and the world, while the Militarized Police assault any interference. Yes, the planet was despoiled, but for a wonderful time we created a lot of value for shareholders and Wall Street and Venice Property Owners.
By Marian Crostic And Elaine Spierer
IMAGINE VENICE-Well, that hasn’t happened yet — but it won’t be long before Venice residents really do hire a fully engaged law firm just to represent all their neighborhood concerns and interests.
Sick and tired of endless meeting hours, organizing and talking, talking, talking with city officials in one city department or another and the California Coastal Commission, residents are organizing. When all that talk falls on the deaf ears of the “deciders”’ and legitimate questions and problems blown off, the noisy annoying resident rabble will rise up — and they are doing that now.
Serious misdeeds are ignored and rules regularly broken. Our “deciders” quickly and efficiently serve constituents with “juice.” In case you don’t know what “juice” is… it’s those big landowners, developers, “Silicon Beach” powerful techies and “hot” restaurateurs who have lots of power, real influence, spend plenty of money paying for consultants and who put lots of dollars in politicians’ coffers. Voila! Parking requirements get changed secretly, bar operators get permits to take over public parking spaces for their private moneymaking use and building and safety rules get massaged with private “adjustments.” Public property deed restrictions are ignored and bogus building permits issued. Might makes right in Venice now. There are so many pissed off people around here and so many real problems, they don’t know which war to join.
Residents have engaged the services of law firms to force enforcement of the rules. Groups not yet in full combat are consulting with lawyers now. Residents want development decisions based on the rules and that’s not happening now in Venice. Lobbyists, consultants of one stripe or another are running the show. Residents don’t have those kinds of warriors on their side. Banding together and hiring lawyers to even up the playing field is mandatory in Venice now.
Don’t think for a minute that residents want to spend their own dollars, putting in endless frustrating hours of personal time exhausting themselves because they love a good fight. Every one of the “hot” issues here in Venice is all about residents’ unmet expectation that the rules on the books are for everyone and the rule of law is important to the “deciders.”
There are a half dozen neighborhood associations already formed to level the playing field. It is war.
Lax enforcement allowed a massive amount of our housing stock to be taken over by the Airbnb’s of the new economy, restauranteurs have pages of unenforced citations on the books. Zoning Administrator conditions are ignored. Citations mean nothing. Secret deals at Building and Safety and Planning are a daily occurrence. Right now there is a taking of a Deed restricted public recreation property for a homeless use. Residents’ complaints and suggested alternatives are ignored. It’s not hard to understand why this neighborhood group hired a lawyer to fight the city and protect their neighborhood from predictable future problems. Residents now believe that only a lawyer will get their voices heard.
Residents “manning the barricades” are not a bunch of crazies. They are from every neighborhood. Each of the recently formed Neighborhood Associations has its own crisis to manage. They want to assure their efforts yield real results — there is a coalescing of neighborhood groups which never occurred before. Maybe now, the “little people” will finally get some R-E-S-P-E-C-T.
Residents just want the rules enforced. They want an end to the rules-avoiding secret deals made for the powerful. They are not asking for anything more.
The New Venice
We don’t know how many commercial buildings and how many residential apartments were converted and taken over by Snapchat this past year or two, but it is getting easier to recognize a building housing the Snapsters.
The Snapsters now have their own quasi police force. These private security people are all over our town from Abbot Kinney to Ocean Front Walk – reminding us of San Miguel de Allende where every rich person’s villa had an uzi-wearing guard outside on 24 hour patrol.
It sure looks like our new fabulous people just don’t want to mix with Venice’s un-washed. So much for all that PR: “We love Venice’s culture and we love being here.”
These are our new Venetians. We know they just love to hang out on Abbot Kinney and drink at Venice’s pubs and bars — it won’t be long before we see their security force everywhere they are — protecting our new elite.
This is what we have become. First the takeover of our neighborhoods by Airbnb and the rest of the STR Wall Street gold rush tycoons who have turned our neighborhoods into neighborhoods of strangers — and now, our new “Silicon Beach” eliterati who even have their oven private security protection to keep us away from them.
The sharing economy and the social media crowd have brought a tide of money to Venice, got their huge tax breaks from the City, and are filling the coffers of our politicians — but what have they taken?
We are concerned, longtime Venice residents who no longer want to watch what we treasure about our community melt away. Our aim is to lead the conversation clarifying, informing, and uniting us in the preservation of our unique community.
We hope you will find interesting new thoughts here as we ImagineVenice together.
(Marian Crostic and Elaine Spierer are Co-founders of ImagineVenice.) Prepped for CityWatch by Linda Abrams.)
by Eric Ahlberg
Most Venice Voters are depressed and angry. The core of Venice voted 90% for Hillary Clinton. You have to go several miles away from Venice to find a precinct that voted less than 70% for Hillary, and even farther to find the few districts in LA County where Donald Trump won. We live in a super-liberal bubble. Across the country Democrats were more popular in cities, and the most populated metropolitan areas.
This campaign has seen the scale of fake news, factoids, and disinformation grow exponentially. Teams of Social Networkers flood online news and Facebook feeds with paid political porn. The innuendo of corruption, black ops, racism, classism, and sexism. It was, to use The Daily Show’s appelation, the victory of Bullshit Mountain. It proved that if you lie long enough and long enough, and with generous funding, you can fool enough of the people, some of the time.
Has fascism taken over the US Government?
Unfortunately there is a good argument that it has.
It is heartening to see many governors and Mayors re-assuring their people that there will not cooperation with a war on Muslims, Jews, and immmigrants.
Now the mainstream news media, which had expressed some outrage at the racist, sexist, classist, anti-immigrant pronouncements of Herr Trump, is trying to blame the fake news on Russia and the Alternative Media. This is laughable because the mainstream media is the source of the fake news that led to the Vietnam War and The Iraq War, as well as many other injustices and wars.
Here is some more reading.
by Moishe Farblondjet
TIMELINE 2017- During Donald Dump’s Presidential inauguration massive demonstrations take place. Secretary of State Rudy calls out the troops. A phony coup is staged and martial law is declared. All dissidents are rounded up. Secretary of Communications Sarah speaks on all media that TV, radio, the press and computers are now taken over for our own good. The banks are nationalized. Hillary, Bernie, Obama and other liberal leaders are arrested and given lobotomies and forced on TV to declare their allegiance to our fearless leader Drumph. 1984 was just a little late. Guantanamo is enlarged and all liberal leaders are relocated there for their own safety. All Muslims are deported. All non White illegal aliens are forced into work camps to build the great wall. Pot smokers are sent to re-programing camps and given shock treatments. Terrorist acts give the Donald an excuse to nuke all Muslims in the Middle East and we seize their oil. The Attorney General and other racists on his cabinet get the Donald to vaporize Africa to get rid of inferior races. All Latin America below the great wall is forced into slavery and birth control and sterilization chemicals are put in their food and water. Europe is taken over by fascists and all non pure Whites are sent to the newly renovated Nazi concentration camps- “Arbeiten Mackt Zu Frei”. Our courageous fearless leader and his best pal Putin together take out N. Korea, India and Pakistan with H-bombs. Wide scale riots occur in California and N.Y. and troops are sent in. L.A., San Francisco and N.Y.C. are bombed leaving millions dead and starving. An attempted assassination of the Donald prompts him to suspend the Constitution and all civil rights. Blacks and Jews are forced into walled and guarded ghettos where sterilization and starvation takes place. Manzanar and other camps are reopened to house Asians. Michael Moore, Jon Stewart, Jimmy Kimmel, Alec Baldwin and Stephen Colbert are publicly hanged on TV. The Donald has Rosie O’Donnell electrocuted saying she is too fat to hang and personally pulls the switch on TV while yelling, “You’re fired!”. There is an accidental on purpose H-bomb dropped on Israel. We and Russia attack China together. Israel and China fire their missiles and Donald’s mad generals convince him to first strike Russia and then Putin fires his missiles. The Donald runs to his underground bomb shelter with the Sports Illustrated bikini girls and Putin runs to his bomb shelter with a bunch of Russian hookers. Both soon die from sexual exhaustion and over use of Viagra. The cockroaches inherit the earth… The End.
LA settles federal lawsuit in the shooting of Brendon Glenn for four million dollars. Venice Attorney James DeSimone, representing Glenn’s mother Sheri Camprone said: ”This will bring some sense of closure to the family of Brendon Glenn. They will never get over his tragic death. It still seems surreal to the family. Every time I speak with Sheri it’s very difficult for her.
Venice Business Improvement District approved by special voting district and the LA City Council.
After the City Clerk denied the last Venice Business Improvement District for failing to listen to community opposition, this time the objections were listened to and then promptly ignored. The proposal was approved by vote of those included in the district and then approved by the LA City Council, despite many objections by residents, and businesses within the district.
Dear Friends of Venice and opponents of the proposed 601 Ocean Front Walk Office Project,
The proposed office/retail project for the Venice Boardwalk at Sunset Ave was denied by the West LA Planning Commission on September 7th, reversing a Zoning Administrator’s earlier approval of the project. Recently, on November 10th the Commission issued its Determination Letter defending its Sept. 7th vote to Deny. The Letter is strongly worded and hopefully difficult to challenge in court. The developer now has 90 days to file a legal challenge.
The Commission denied the project on grounds that it was out of scale with the neighborhood, the cumulative impact from build-out along Speedway and Ocean Front Walk had not been considered, further measures were needed to mitigate the congestion and traffic, and development for primarily office uses was inappropriate for the Venice Boardwalk in a “Community Commercial” zone.
Let us know if you would like a copy of the Commission’s Determination Letter.
Some folks on this e-mail list are closely involved in opposing the project while others including visitors from far away just signed a letter of opposition. Regardless, the breadth and depth of outcry was an important factor in our victory, and we thank you all.
Eight days after the earth moved in VENICE–while just standing on the sidewalk merely talking to a friend, I was personally screamed at–and then physically threatened by a nut-case: a bi-polar, 220 lb, 30-year-old Trump supporter:
An ignorant–part-time, off-duty security guard–wearing an Iron Cross, and a dirty face, and filthy, dirty, leather.
Who demanded that “Trump has won! You scumbag liberals need to get out of town now… We are taking over!”
Big Nazi–and he was on his way to Subway.
Just to get enough to eat.
Because he couldn’t get full-time work from anybody. I followed him, and he got even more threatening; and in my face: I confronted him; and demanded he explain himself and he refused. So as he was frothing and threatening–I just turned and walked away.
I walked about 50 yards then turned back, looking him in the eye even from there–and I could see him bulking up again.
I get no government checks–but I had 2 dollars in my pocket. I walked all the way, looking him in the eye–and he staring and bulking up back; I got up to him and gave him an honest friendly smile, paused: pulled the money out; as he was now again screaming and in my face and waving his fists–and said:
“I came back because I have something to give you.”
“If you want it.”
“Here, this is yours.” I revealed the money. And extended it to him–in my hand.
He stopped; and turned pathetically grateful. Really nearly drooling with happiness. And inane with nothing but silly, groveling, gratitude;
So holding out the money–in my extended fingers, I said, and now looking at him (with just a little of an honest smirk) “if you’ll take it:”
For I am homeless in Venice also. He drew back–but I smiled calmly and sincerely again–and sincerely said, “No here, I want you to have it,” And he calmed down: smiling, himself; like a kid getting his Halloween candy–and said with his own little bit of a self-satisfied smile, “OK!”
And we talked for the next hour. I urged him to read “A People’s History of the United States.” And a few other things. He’s been homeless since he was 20. He’d read Nietzsche and Mein Kampf.” I’ve seen him twice since; he’s quieted down and very reserved. He acknowledges me, and says he just wants a job. He’s trying hard, really hard, just to get a job–ALL you Venice people. He just wants someone to offer him a JOB. We talked a little more. I tell him how I created my own job for years–organizing foodlines and lived on the street and gone to jail; after quitting my “job” in maintenance for the City. And that I have still gotten everything I need since. I don’t think he will threaten me again. I think he is now thinking about his way a little bit more.
As he is out here now homeless–since he’s been 20.
And looking for a job here.
Meanwhile, this is my own proof that hate everywhere now is not just being hyped. They are feeling unleashed. Even in Venice. And we now know–even in the White House’s inner circle. And I have experienced it personally. As already many others here in Venice.
It’s a fact–and kids in high schools and middle-school playgrounds–are already horrifically at it–all over America now too.
But yeah, Soros is paying them too, right?
It has begun. And now, the OTHER FACT IS that on DEC 19th stopping 270 votes is the simplest thing that can stop it and save at least this next generation of Americans from living their lives under the open bragging of racists and fascism.
Friends, we must do everything we can to uphold the real law on Dec 19–and in the most powerful, and courageous, acts of love and peaceful Democracy and just law; and in the name of a justly upheld and finally rightly interpreted Constitution–stop it. There are many efforts to do this. You MUST participate in it: And as a part of this, also we must ALL urge and support all electors–who will, as a first step, to now stand against ANY AND ALL open racists in the White House–at the very least abstain from voting for Trump or Pence on Dec 19th.
For We must know all their names on Dec 19th. And they must know that we know them;
And the eyes of all in the earth are on them that day.
And that we will never give up and follow them everywhere to stop them.
And we will never forget.
And we must vow now–to keep the White House EMPTY until we do.
WE MUST REFUSE ANY ACCESS WHATSOEVER TO THE WHITE HOUSE TO ANYBODY who now refuses to denounce all fascism and racism before they enter the White House–and has been granted the lawful recognition of the majority of all the people of this country–that they believe that person at that word. How dare even a Republican, of “the Party of Lincoln” with any pride, or respect for even his own Party, allow a President or Vice President to get their Electoral College vote: who refuses to denounce the KKK; or will build a wall, or even advocate deporting ANY undocumented person–without this nation first imprisoning and stripping of its “Citizenship” any and every so-called “CITIZEN” or CORPORATION that, for even one minute enslaved a person for ANY labor; and without giving them all their equal rights, opportunity, medical care, and minimum wages.
Let, until then justice prevail: let any and all deportations begin with the “Citizens” here: who broke THEIR law; rather than the shivering exploited strangers who come-and came here–and took and take on servitude with no rights; just to escape their exploitation and lack of their right to the full human dignity and rights and equal opportunity of that of any CITIZEN of this COUNTRY anywhere elsewhere.
And let us demand–the end of all forms of borders and banks and monetary systems here that are an impediment to that fundamental characteristic of freedom and a democratic society, or any so-called “nation” of “democratic” “laws.”
And lest you believe this is not possible–or that the majority of the people of America do not ALREADY embrace this–and have done so for over a Hundred and Twenty-nine years ALREADY–then read the book:
The most widely read novel of all time in America–for all of 100 years. And the single most important founding book of the modern US labor movement.
My dude, they, these terrified children of ours–are certainly not faking it. No matter how much you scrutinize and deny what is now right in front of us These children around this nation are not creating fake news. They are already living it. And for alls sake, We Must Stop Racism in the White House On Dec 19.
(not-the-editor’s note: the following petition is expired)
TO DO THIS–This petition below needs your witness NOW: It needs you to spread it NOW:
Every person in this nation must at the very least sign this now: your children; your wife; the guy who delivers your amazon package; the undocumented gardner in your yard.
It has gotten over 4 million signatures already. IT is the largest single petition out there already. And it must rightly have 20 million–from all of us–at least by December 19th.
Have you signed it? What have you signed?
What have you done to stop the horror of December 19th?
AND BELIEVE ALL WHO SIGN THIS: BETTER To support afterwards–the impeachment of Hillary Clinton-or any republican whatsoever, that the house may seek to somehow next appoint, rather than let these electors crown these racists and fascists:
Donald Trump, and Mike Pence, now on December 19.
A day that will be the beginning.
Or the end of this candle.
And just to let folks know–I never panhandle.
by Jon Wolff
There was once a movie theatre in Venice. It was called the Fox Venice Theatre and it was right there on Lincoln Boulevard and Vernon Avenue. The Fox Venice showed full length feature movies. They showed classic movies, foreign films, cult films, rock movies, and horror movies. Sometimes, the actors or filmmakers would be there in person to speak to the audience. The Fox Venice put out a calendar of screenings for each month. Every refrigerator in Venice had a Fox Venice calendar stuck on it. Admission in the 1960s was fifty cents. The price went up over the years but, if you knew someone who worked there, you could get in for free.
The interior of the Fox Venice Theatre was of the classic, ornate movie house design. There were Art Nouveau murals on the inside walls of the auditorium depicting giant women crouching, rising, and dancing. The ceiling was a huge, illuminated purple oval with a texture like satin.
The Fox Venice Theatre lasted into the 1980s but it eventually closed down and became an indoor swap meet mall. The exterior still looks like a theatre. But it is changed.
Also, on Lincoln Boulevard, there was a toy store. It was called Jumbo’s Toy Store. It was big and overcrowded with children’s toys. It had cool toys and not the lame toys of today that are produced overseas and are made of cheap dull-colored plastic. Jumbo’s sold monster toys and metal toys and toys with electrical plug-in heating units. All their toys are collector’s items now.
Jumbo’s Toy Store eventually closed down. It became Builder’s Emporium for a while and now it’s a Ross Dress For Less. The building is still there but it is changed.
Everyone has enjoyed Cafe ‘50s on Lincoln Boulevard. Some may not know that, before it was a ‘50s “style” diner, it was an actual ‘50s diner. It used to be called Java Time. The clock over the entrance told you that it was “time for java”. Right now, Cafe ‘50s is closed for repairs. We hope that it opens soon. We wonder if it will change.
Many in Venice remember the pier between the Venice Pier and the Santa Monica Pier. It was called Pacific Ocean Park, or P.O.P. It had amusement park rides and seal tanks and high-dive acts. P.O.P. was closed down and fenced off and, for years, it just sat there with its rusty old rides and a man-made mountain on the end of it. Occasionally, in the summertime, P.O.P. would catch fire. You’d get a phone call from someone saying, “Hey, P.O.P.’s on fire again” and everyone would go down to the beach in the evening and watch the flames accompany the setting sun.
P.O.P. was eventually torn down. At first, it was only cut off below the surface of the water and motor boats wrecked themselves passing over the pilings. Later, the job was completed and now photographs are all that remain. It changed.
Over on Main Street, just south of the Trading Post Liquor Store, there was a mini mall. It had a dry cleaners. It also had a neighborhood hardware store owned by a guy who was kind of mean, until he got married, and then he was very nice. Next door to that, There was a laundromat. An actual laundromat was right there just one block from the Boardwalk. It was called Supersuds Laundry and it was managed by a tough but nice woman named Ruby. She had a short black crewcut and she wore black plastic frame glasses and a pocket chain.
Eventually, the mini mall was torn down. Now, there’s an ugly office building on the site with a wall and a fence around it. It is very much changed.
There are numerous other examples of the changes that Venice has endured. But you get the point. It seems that one thing is always being replaced by something else and, too often, by something worse. When was the last time you saw an ugly gray building get torn down and a beautiful colorful one get built in its place? And why do evil developers come to Venice to change everything good into something bad?
Why do the police and, soon, private security officers come to Venice to harass people who don’t have the money to fight back? Why do tech corporations come to Venice to push people out of their neighborhoods and break up communities? Why does the City of L.A. allow all of this to happen?
Well, who says that the bad stuff is any more permanent than the good stuff? Bad stuff has come to Venice in the past. There were plans long ago to build a freeway through Venice and those plans were defeated. There were maps and designs for turning Venice into another version of Marina del Rey and those designs never worked out. The L.A.P.D. used to bring their riot gear to Venice to bust up gatherings and, today, there are still people gathering in Venice for music and political demonstrations. Venice has endured worse. Venice isn’t ending any time soon.
The same processes that change Venice can act upon those who come to harm Venice. A political change could make developers who flout the laws and convert apartment buildings into hotels face criminal convictions this year. The tech corporations that now operate in Venice could see changes in the internet culture that cause them to fail and go the way of others of their ilk. Their names could fade from memory and their buildings in Venice could change into low-cost rental units for families and young artists. The coming economic downturn could change the property values in Venice. Smart speculators would do well to get out of the market now and the owner of a prominent real estate company in Venice could find herself on the bottom floor when it all comes crashing down. Who knows, a change in the weather could create the conditions where a guy who’s dedicated himself to criminalizing the unhoused gets hit on the head by a meteorite. It happens.
Maybe someday, twenty, thirty, a hundred years from now, a kid playing bongo drums on Venice Beach will read these words and not know of any of the bad things listed herein. And he or she will say, “Nothing changes.”
Spirits of the dead- come forth and show us the way… Just a silly old man’s memories of Venice Beach. Ancient dreams- morning arises- tomorrow never comes. There are no yesterdays or tomorrows or as Janis Joplin once said, ‘’It is all just one long day!’’ In the shadows of Abbot Kinney’s folly have lived the souls of thousands of beautiful faces and characters. Venice Beach- my outdoor church full of love and madness and people of all walks of life from different lands and universes.THEY KEEP TRYING TO WIPE US AWAY BUT WE ARE STILL HERE!
People and places of long ago still live and haunt the Ocean Front Walk. The rich and famous and the poor and unknown from the world over forever wash up on the shores of Venice Beach. Blacks, Whites, Hispanics, Asians, Indians, Jews, Christians, Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, atheists, communists and madmen all sharing life together in a melting pot of love. The high and mighty and the low and lowdown. So many have gone before us and paved the way and changed our lives and then went on their journeys to other planets or have sailed across the river Styx to paradise. The universal dance of life…
Sometimes a sadness comes over me. My heart still sees the old places and the ghosts of those we have loved and died; Eric’Big Daddy’Nord with the Beatniks in the Gas House, the old Saint Mark’s Hotel, my mom Ruthie and Harold and Moe selling bagels and chocolate brownies in the bakery, listening to poetry with the Beachhead founders John and Anna Haag in the Venice West Cafe on Dudley Ave., having breakfast at the Lafayette Cafe, Joseph selling falafel and playing belly dance music in his Finjan Cafe, Arnold the Kosher butcher, the L&M Market and Deli and Henry’s Market, Sponto doing art in his gallery, P.O.P. And the pier with fantastic amusement rides, the Aragon Ballroom with Lawrence Welk and later the Cheetah Club with all the famous rock stars, Al James sitting on his throne in front of the Phoenix House, Milton telling us stories about Miles Davis, Sidewalk Bob with his long beard doing Venice tours, Lawrence Lipton and Stuart Perkoff bringing the Beats to Venice, Miss Daisy singing gospel on her antique Gibson guitar, Jim Morrison writing a song by the shore, Werner Scharff buying up Venice for cheap, Dr. John healing people on Windward, Ted Hawkins singing the blues, Philomene Long writing a poem, Swami X standing on a bench and joking about the world’s problems, Dr. Geek with his big hat doing his rap, Uncle Bill playing his life on a piano, Tibor painting like his pals Chagall and Picasso, the mighty soul of Carol Fondiller, peace activist Phil Chamberlin tossing epiphany footballs on the grass, Hiya Norga Eric, kookie Cosmo, Swedish Lisa petting all the pooches, sweet wonderful Gail, Phoenix the sax man, Abraham’s wife Dianne walking her dogs and doing her art, poet and writer Steve Richmond, Sonny painting and playing guitar and telling how he wrote songs for Jimi Hendrix, politricks with John Thomas, Monae Lei Momi forever a child of sunshine and smiles, dancing with Betty the old bikini ukulele lady, that wild little brat Jay Adams creating the art of skateboarding, wacky Arthur walking like Groucho Marx with his false teeth falling out, Millie Mims a saint of Venice feeding the homeless, Bobby the World’s Greatest Wino, Ernie playing guitar, James Mitchell and the Muddy Bottom Blues Band, Danny’s Deli, and at the Levin Center there was Morrie Rosen helping the poor and elderly, Carol forever a hippie, and sunshine Pauline with a huge smile at 102. Venice Beach, the outside insane asylum with its nuts and crazy drunks like Riff Raff Ralph, J.C., Crazy Mary, Jo Jo and Zorro yelling profanities. The Venice dogs like Bagel the bagel eating basset hound, Danke Dankster with a frisbee in his mouth, and Lisa with dollars stuck in her doggy bikini. And so many, many more… Let us know who we missed. Our hearts break when we think back at all the angels of Venice who now sing and dance in heaven. Their wonderful spirits beam down on us from above. Ashes to ashes and dust to dust… All that they left behind is their love… I’m sure when we get to those pearly gates before Saint Peter he will tell us heaven is beautiful but not nearly as cool and fun as Venice was!
Everyday the beach front changes- someone new, someone dies, someone goes. The sea winds blow you away and the winds blow you back home again. Abraham took his drums and new wife Rachel and moved away. Rasta Randy moved to Hawaii and van-o-leer Patty moved back east. Majid the puppetman and his wife moved to Paris. Jim Smith and Erica from the Beachhead along with great artist Earl Newman and beautiful Gypsy Camille all moved to Oregon. Mesu drumming on Rasta Hill was deported back to Belize and so was cool Mervyn. Musicians and singers David and Rosalyn moved to New Orleans. Some we know not where they are like musician Butch Mudbone, and Sandman Scott making love to his sand babes. And a kiss to all those sweet Venice gals who left and broke my heart. All rivers run to the sea and someday your love will return. There are always new shops, artists, vendors, musicians, nuts and homeless with new art, songs and poems. Some move away, others die and more are born. It is always that way. And soon maybe the Beachhead may end… So it comes, so it goes. The ocean waves wash away the sands of time and someday someone will say, “Did ya hear that old dready with the one eared dog croaked?” And everyone will say, “Who dat?”
Spirits of Venice still haunt my life. Dreams of the dead still live on in my soul. The ocean waves wash away the tears and years- soon come, soon come. Let us give thanks and praises to those who went before us and showed us the way. Amen…
– Gerry Fialka adds:
Betty AND ELTON, Ralph, the cosmic king of the Boredwalk, peace activist Phil Chamberlin and culture jammer Gerry Fialka tossin epiphany footballs with Haley Damian (son of Margaret and Peter, who still serenades us) and Charles seaweed man Political Bill Mitchell soapboxin the truth, Sponto gathering the community.
Written and photos by Eleuterio Navarro
Thank you to the original members of Occupy Venice for being the genesis of this program, Tudor Popescu, Rob Dew, Mike Chamness, Lydia Ponce, David Busch, Clark Davis, VitoJosepher Convertinai, Deniz Guevarra, Naz HB, Sirgei Agalzoff, Jet P Lab, Vlad Popescu, Stephanie Tratto, I know I’m forgetting many others.
Very Grateful to Food Not Bombs for providing us with monthly rations of Brown Rice and Beans, Tanya Selig and Sabino Portillo, you guys Rock Big time.
Also grateful to Trevino Farms and Tutti Frutti Farms at Santa Monica Farmers market for proving us with low cost organic produce wich we use to cook these wonderful meals and also distribute volunteer students and families in need.
Much gratitude to professor Gillian Grebler From Santa Monica College for enlisting your students to help every semester , also PTK Honor Society and Sustainable Works at Santa Monica College for sending members every week as well, It’s exciting to see young people come out serve their community. Gives me hope for a better tomorrow.
Mike Chamness and Vlad Pospescu 3 years of dedication and support to this program says a lot about your dedication and love to your community.
Mike Vermont is very lucky to have you and Venice will not be same without you. Mary and Clark Davis,Karen Daniela Rodriguez, Sonja Humes, Sepideh Kashanian, Jenny Wang, Myla Reson and the countless volunteers that I forgot to mention here, Thank You as well!!!
A Special thank you to my star volunteers: Mai Phạm Thanh, Michele Lozano, Wendy Lockett, Joe Cotten for helping me keep things organize and straight, for coming in on Wednesday and Sundays, for staying late to help with clean up when all is done.
Your dedication to this program is truly inspiring.
Joe Cotten if were not for your handy work in keeping the lights running and other handy work needed it would be hard to do. Thank You.
Thank you to Sepideh Kashanian, Julie Mann, and David King for all your behind the scenes support that makes this happen.
Looking forward to see this program evolve and the adventure that awaits us as we make it happen.
Editor’s Note: The Beachhead Collective has not endorsed any candidate in the CD11 election. We provide critical information about them all, particularly those we detest, or detestable doings by candidates we like. The following is a press release from the LA League of Conservation Voters.
LALCV Calls Out Mark Ryavec on History of Representing Developers and Polluters
LOS ANGELES – One of LA’s leading local environmental organizations is calling out City Council candidate Mark Ryavec for his history as a lobbyist representing polluters and developers – including Donald Trump. Los Angeles League of Conservation Voters President Tom Eisenhauer today released the following statement regarding Ryavec’s concerning and hypocritical rhetoric:
STATEMENT OF LALCV PRESIDENT TOM EISENHAUER
“The Los Angeles City Council makes important decisions affecting air and water quality, how land is used, among other policies. We need City Councilmembers who stand up to the special interests and stand up FOR neighborhoods and the environment.
“That’s why we are very curious — and concerned — by the rhetoric of Mark Ryavec, a candidate in the 11th District. He’s challenging one of the strongest environmental leaders ever to serve on the L.A. City Council: Mike Bonin. More on Bonin below.
“Ryavec says he is basing his campaign on his willingness to stand up to developers and other special interests. He says he won’t take any contributions from developers. Sounds good, huh?
“Here’s what Ryavec doesn’t disclose: he’s a registered lobbyist who fought to expand the Sunshine Canyon landfill and shove it down the throats of a neighborhood that opposed it. He represented businesses before the Coastal Commission. And he represented Donald Trump in his fight to build a 125 story skyscraper on Wilshire Boulevard — on a site designated for a new school. He literally worked for Donald Trump, trying to build one of the tallest buildings in the world — against the interests of neighbors and of schoolchildren.
“So when Mark Ryavec talks about reforming City Hall, we need to remember that he’s a hired gun for big developers and polluters. What is his real agenda?
“Councilmember Mike Bonin, on the other hand, has made his agenda quite clear. His top priority is to put neighborhoods first, and he is committed to being hands-on by meeting, listening and working closely with residents and community groups to get things done.
“Mike is leading the effort to make Los Angeles America’s greenest city. He co-authored a groundbreaking policy committing the city to 100 percent renewable energy to reduce air pollution and carbon emissions that cause climate change, is working to ban fracking and to preserve open space and upgrade storm drains to protect local drinking water and prevent the contamination of our beaches and coastline.
“And Mike was a leader in shaping and securing voter approval of Measure M, which will reduce traffic by 15 percent by investing sales taxes to improve local roads and freeways, synchronize traffic signals, increase bus services and expand light-rail and subways service to more communities. He even instituted a new policy requiring any new development on Sunset Boulevard, including school renovation projects, be designed to reduce traffic along the corridor.
“That is why we — the Los Angeles League of Conservation Voters — support him, and so does the Sierra Club, Mayor Eric Garcetti, Supervisor Sheila Kuehl and more than 900 local neighborhood leaders.
“The choice for us is very clear: We support Councilmember Mike Bonin, who stands up for neighborhoods and the environment.
“And we don’t think voters can trust the claims made by Mark Ryavec, who built a career as a lobbyist and hired gun, representing polluters and developers like Donald Trump. Ryavec will say anything to gain power.”
Founded in 1976, the LALCV is dedicated to electing local leadership throughout Los Angeles County to preserve, protect and enhance the environment. LALCV has helped elect more than 100 pro-environment officials throughout the county. LALCV endorsements are determined by its all-volunteer Board, which is composed of Los Angeles County residents committed to advancing environmental priorities.
Media Contact: Shona Ganguly, email@example.com
This fake news story is likely part of Mr Ryavec’s campaign for CD11 Council Seat. The only related truth to it is that the health workers in the area keep a stock of medicine for MRSA.
County health officials, investigating a report of as many as six cases of the antibiotic-resistant virus known as MRSA (Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) in Venice, released a statement that there have been “no outbreaks” confirmed in the area.
Yo Venice, i.e., Melanie Camp, jumped onboard the fake news bandwagon on this issue, spreading fear, uncertaity and doubt.
Here is a letter sent to Rayevec.
I am frankly dismayed that you would use my photo to boost your own agenda, and even promote the ideas, solutions, hard work, and successes of the Homeless Task Force organization as your own. What started out as small donations to the HTF by the Venice Stakeholders Association a few years back, as initiated at the request of LAPD Captain Brian Johnson, resulted in a firm decision on our part to end all communication with you – we found your agenda toward the homeless not to be in alignment with ours. I personally was disheartened by your self-aggrandizing and abusive nature. We asked you at that time to cease and desist, and evidently you still choose not to respect our request. Now, we are forced to publicly ask you to stop.
By the way, I have your emails in archive that will substantiate our position.
Senior Crisis Chaplain
Executive Director, Homeless Task Force”
michaelkohlhaas.org point us to a tax form revealing the the VSA board of directors as of 2012 was Mark Ryavec, Robert Feist, Bonnie Felix, and Michael King.
Now that the Venice BID is official, and that proposition HHH passed, opponents have begun sabotage efforts including stacking the boards and committees.
Historic core bid executive directrix Blair Besten, nominated for Measure HHH citizens’ oversight committee, is opposed by skid row organizers, service providers, and sane people everywhere
“January 24, 2017
We the undersigned Skid Row-based organizations and service providers write you to express our deep concern with the proposed appointment of Blair Besten to the Proposition HHH Civilian Oversight Committee. This appointment is expected to go in front of City Council on Friday, January 27, and we strongly urge you to reconsider this appointment and instead propose someone who is more qualified and has more experience in working with homeless policy and programs.
Our organizations worked tirelessly in last year’s election to ensure that every voter we engaged voted “Yes” on Proposition HHH. LA CAN’s work on HHH alone through door knocking, phone banking, and GOTV efforts resulted in us contacting more than 35,000 unique voters to support HHH. Now that it has passed, proper implementation is key, and the civilian oversight committee is critical to ensuring that these funds are spent wisely. It is also an opportunity to bring experts and advocates on homelessness and housing to the table to provide the valuable input required to make sure Proposition HHH funding is delegated appropriately. Lastly, we believe that there should be representation from those impacted by homelessness. Expertise comes in many forms – and those with lived experience in homelessness and/or working directly with homeless populations is extremely important.
For these reasons and others, we strongly oppose the appointment of Blair Besten to this committee. Besten is a business leader in Downtown LA whose work has actually contributed to the displacement of low-income and/or homeless residents in our community. As opposed to the other two proposed appointees, she has no expertise on homeless services, policy or permanent supportive housing development. Additionally, in recent years she has been opposed to opportunities to get people off the streets and into housing, like the failed Cecil Hotel Home for Good proposal that would have seen 300 homeless people put into housing.
There are far more qualified individuals within Downtown and specifically Skid Row who would be better candidates for this committee. We would be willing to submit potential names, as our organizations have been serving the homeless population in Skid Row for decades.
In closing, we urge you to not appoint Blair Besten and instead make a greater effort to create a committee of individuals who are qualified and fully committed to getting homeless individuals off the streets and into permanent housing.
Church without Walls
Los Angeles Community Action Network
Los Angeles Poverty Department
United Central City East Prevention Project
Can we organize????”
Again LA City officials have passed laws forbidding both rich and poor from sleeping in their cars and on the street, despite the failure of court mandated programs to house the homeless, due to the problem being larger that the resources assigned to resolving the problem. – eric
February 2, 2017City Said: Dismiss The Case, Judge Says No
On February 2, 2017, Judge Yvette M. Palazuelos issued her ruling allowing the lawsuit filed by the Venice Coalition to Preserve Unique Community Character (VC-PUCC) against the City of Los Angeles to proceed to trial. The judge agreed with Venice activists that the burden is on the city to prove it is following its own policies and procedures in approving hundreds of demotions and huge development projects – while destroying historic neighborhoods and affordable housing, and pushing low and middle-income residents and communities of color out of Venice. The trial date was set for July 3, 2017.
“The City tried to get the case dismissed without a trial, saying that Plaintiffs have no causes of action against the City,” said plaintiffs’ lawyer Sabrina Venskus. “The Court disagreed with the City and is allowing the case to proceed to trial.”
The City of Los Angeles Planning Department’s VSO (Venice Sign Off) procedure fails to ensure that developments comply with the Venice Land Use Plan requirements that all development respect the mass, scale, character and landscaping of existing neighborhoods. Additionally, the City of Los Angeles Planning Department has illegally issued hundreds of Coastal Exemptions, which has enabled developers to by-pass important protections imposed by the California Coastal Act.
The Venice plaintiffs claim that many residents in Venice, especially in the poorer areas, have their rights to due process violated when construction occurs without the full process of notifying neighbors, as is done in many of the swankier areas of Venice including the walk streets. With the current VSOs, demolitions often proceed without any notice or input from the surrounding neighbors, causing extreme duress for many residents.
There are four causes of action that the lawsuit is going to determine: Violation of Article 1, Section 7 of the California Constitution; Violation of the Venice Land Use Plan; Violation of Section 30000 et seq., of the California Coastal Act; and Violations of Sections 30003 and 30610 of the California Coastal Act.
* SUPERIOR COURT OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA, COUNTY OF LOS ANGELES CASE NO.: BC 611549
COMPLAINT FOR DECLARATORY AND INJUNCTIVE RELIEF FOR VIOLATIONS OF PLAINTIFFS’ CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT TO DUE PROCESS UNDER THE CALIFORNIA CONSTITUTION (Cal. Const., art.1, para.7), THE CALIFORNIA
COASTAL ACT (Pub.Resources Code, para. 30000 et seq.), THE VENICE LAND USE PLAN (Los Angeles Planning and Zoning Law), and CALIFORNIA CODE OF CIVIL PROCEDURE para. 526a
Contacts: Sabrina Venskus, attorney for the plaintiffs – 310-985-3168 Laddie Williams, plaintiff, VC-PUCC – 310-908-7174 (evenings best)
Our existence owes itself to one common cause: vehement opposition to the candidacy of Mark Ryavec for the city council seat of the 11th District.
There are countless reasons to reject Ryavec: restraining orders for stalking; numerous landlord and rental violations; abhorrent ad hominem attacks on anyone disagreeing with his extreme, controverted views; fostered fake health scares throughout Venice; various instances of vicious cyber-bullying; and always, criminalizing those suffering from lack of shelter (Ryavec’s privileged upbringing and subsequent inheritance left him devoid of empathy for those less fortunate than he, apparently).
While The Beachhead cartoon of Ryavec as an SS Commandant overseeing the homeless into gas chambers is admittedly risky satire, it nonetheless accurately encapsulates the paucity of feeling Ryavec displays towards those in most need of society’s alms. In Ryavec’s eyes, however, the powerless and marginalized, “can do anything they want with impunity,” leading to his dystopian vision of a Venice where streets are currently choked with “hundreds of individuals” immersed in “harassment, intimidation, trespass, vandalism, home invasions and burglaries.”
Venetian Carnage, to coin a phrase. This deprecating, sordid and false impression is antithetical to the views of Publius and our sensibilities; while our community has many problems, Venice is not a war zone teeming with violence-prone indigents running roughshod throughout the neighborhoods sans restraint. Ryavec’s toxic vision is simply a scare tactic – prejudicial, hyperbolic, alarmist images are Ryavec’s political bread-and-butter.
This is a primary reason we oppose Mark Ryavec for city council: governing implies bringing residents and neighborhoods together for the common good. Ryavec’s recurrent motive, on the other hand, is always singular and specific: what will best profit Mark Ryavec? His unscrupulous, self-centric purposes makes him dangerous and explains his unrelenting willingness to stoop as low as possible in furthering his rapacity for power and advancement.
Overtly obtuse about facts and objective reality, Ryavec nonetheless weaves a fine figure sometimes in interviews or in person — this only makes him more dangerous! He’s an educated man, comes off calm and rational, is always articulate in his asperity and abasement of enemies or the disenfranchised; heck, he often makes it sound like he’s concerned for those souls he actually despises!
Sullen and morose by nature, Ryavec’s peevish disdain for humanity at large reveals itself once you listen carefully, lift the rock and look under it, scrape the prosaic patina to see past the faux grin rounded by a caterpillar moustache: then Ryavec’s rabid and petty intolerance for the unhoused, the vitriolic abasement of his many enemies, the vulgar and odious political tactics he plies, the promiscuity of power he craves for his own self-aggrandizement, becomes crystal clear.
Publius does not wish to give Ryavec more attention than he’s due or his deluded, self-serving candidacy more print than it deserves; but for the welfare and interests of our Eleventh District, we respectfully ask the voters in our community to vigorously reject this most undeserving of candidates.
Ryavec’s constant verbal dreck — where facts are fungible and masquerade as concern for the community — is a political Siren song: only deluded faith or willful ignorance could elect such an unelectable person to the city council. While serving his moneyed masters, Ryavec may make the trains run on time, but make no mistake — his epicurean tastes too closely match that whiff of Weimar wafting from Washington to ignore the fatal cancer of his candidacy for city council.
A final note. Since Ryavec serves as a mouthpiece for the secret cabal of wealthy residents calling themselves the Venice Stakeholders Association (answerable to no one), we have this to say: when the VSA reveals the names of its membership, we will make known the names of the many residents, business people, activists, and other constituents who make up Publius.
Until then, the election of Mark Ryavec would be a disaster for the 11th District and we urge you to VOTE NO and stop his cynical run for city council.
But it needs to be there, in your hands where you may admire it, you may laugh at it, you may curse it because that’s how we roll. Mike Bonin might be cursing John Davis’s article, that’s how he rolls with his staff. Half of everybody is cursing Snapchat, and Mark Ryavec, and cursing that Fake News story about MRSA among the homeless that Ryavec and Yovenice were promoting. Please send us your thoughts about the CD11 City Council Election. Venice played a large role in helping Santa Monica become “The People’s Republic of Santa Monica”. Senior care stories. Poems. I tell you he’s not my President!
Arise, to the call of alternative media, distribute the Beachhead, write for the Beachhead. It’s yours. You can download it here: freevenice.org