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Venice Update

News of Venice, CA and Marina del Rey CA

Comments–7 June 2013

Barbara B.—Activist and president of Westwood, South-of-Santa-Monica Blvd, Homeowners Assn
RE Duck Pond — Replacement of trees at the Duck Pond- replacements done even 1:1 don’t have an impact of replacement because the trees and greenery being removed are much larger/mature and the new plantings are so often 24 or 36 inch “box” trees. It takes years of growth to do any kind of replacement for what was once there. In Beverly Hills, when they remove street trees, they never remove all the current trees at once. There is a gradual phase in over years with one of every three or four removed. Perhaps it would be possible to convince the project people working on the duck pond that the removal and replacement of vegetation/trees should be done over a span of a number of years to maintain some buffer zone and to provide a place for the birds, etc. to live during the transition period.

RE: Bev-Mo-– Our WLA community had many concerns about the locating of the Bev-Mo store on Santa Monica Blvd. as did the church across the street which hosts AA meetings every week.

We had people who visited one of their existing stores and brought back concerns about: sale of cheap single sale martinis in a cup at the cash register area. (We asked that none of that be sold and that none of those be placed at the cash register area as we did not want easy access to alcoholic beverages for those at the AA meetings or the street people), the running of tastings (particularly at rush hour when people might come by to taste while on their way home /on their way to the 405 and then hit the road). We did not want any advertisements on the windows other than the name of the store. We wanted no price/discount listings for alcoholic beverages posted in the windows or visible from outside. They agreed to no billboard signage/no off-site product advertising. There was a list of voluntary conditions that they offered in response to a number of our concerns. You could ask them for a set of voluntary conditions (but not call them “voluntary” before the Planning Dept. because voluntary conditions are said to be unenforceable). I don’t find those conditions in my computer’s files; I will see if I held onto a paper copy of them.

We had concerns about the homeless gathering in the parking lots as one of our local 7/11 Stores was to close and we were worried about the guys who congregated there moving to this location. (That did not occur.)

The property in question in our area had two parking lots so the parking was not the concern that it will be for the Lincoln location. The problem with parking in our area was that the local NCJW thrift shop to the east had shared one of the lots with the Bev Mo location in the past and once Bev Mo came in that was no longer possible. There were then indirect spillover parking issues for that block and nearby residents.

We appealed the approval granted to BevMo to a local ZA but lost. We had well over the recommended number of licensed outlets selling alcoholic beverages in the area and felt that one more was not needed. However, the NC that covers our area up to SM Blvd. came out with a SUPPORT position which was independent of our input and contrary to our HOA’s position.

We requested a 24-hour phone number where problems could be reported. We were provided with that number.

Karen Burstyn of Del Rey area …
Can’t something be done about the panhandlers who stand at the entrance to the eastbound 90 freeway on Mindanao with a dog? I think these folks get these dogs from shelters or who knows where and I fear for what might happen to these animals.

Leslie S. G. of Howard …
Please ask everyone to clean up after their dogs! It is really getting to be a problem once again. Thank you

Kari Peck of Oxford …
I couldn’t make the Pond meeting, waiting to hear everyone’s comments!

Nancy made a very good point on the trees and Admiralty street noise. City is notorious for chopping mature trees and replacing them with little shrubs which will take years to grow. Trees are also so important to air pollution. Also the homeless situation could be a problem. Look at all the trash by the wall at the bike path!

By the way, anyone on the Triangle interested in helping me clean the “gully” behind the wall on the bike path?? My daughter and I would step up to the plate one Saturday or Sunday morning!

Challis Macpherson of Howard …
RE: Input from Lancaster Sheriff’s department regarding
Community: Exotic Passengers Discovered After Suspicious Activity Call

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Lancaster station received a call of “suspicious activity” near the corner of 50th Street West and Avenue K shortly before 11AM Tuesday. The caller reported seeing two females standing near a van that was parked on the edge of the road. The caller said that one of the females was holding a 4 foot long alligator in her arms. The caller feared the female was about to abandon the beast in the desert. The caller then told the operator that the females had loaded the alligator into the rear of the van and that he was now following them as they drove north on 50th Street West. The caller continued to update the vans location until the responding patrol units arrived. Deputies located and stopped the van on Avenue D near 160th Street West. When they contacted the females they admitted having the alligator inside their van, adding that they also had a kangaroo. The ladies then explained that they are part of the “Zoo to You” program located in Paso Robles Ca. They said they had left Quartz Hill Elementary School after showing the students the animals and were traveling back to Paso Robles when they had to make an emergency stop on 50th Street West. It seems the alligator forgot to use the restroom before leaving the school and soiled its cage. This caused the ladies to stop the van and remove the alligator in order to clean its cage. After a quick photo op, the deputies bid the ladies farewell saying “see you later alligator”.

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