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Venice Update

News of Venice, CA and Marina del Rey CA

Rec & Parks to Discuss Opening Restrooms at Horizon

Board of Recreation and Park Commissioners will meet Wednesday (4 April), 9:30 am at the South Los Angeles Sports Activity Center, 7020 South Figueroa, LA 90003.

First on the agenda is discussing the 24-hour opening of the multi-stall restroom building, west of Ocean Front Walk at Horizon.

The beach has a curfew from midnight to 5 am and this includes the Ocean Front Walk from east side to the ocean.

Take me out to the old ball park …

ball park

Take me out to the old ball park …

Robin Murez has finished the pocket park she dubbed “ball park” at the corner of South Venice Blvd, Mildred, and Ocean Ave. This little parklette became a 12-year obsession for the Murez Magic. It was a dangerous intersection that had become blind because of an illegal enclosure of City property.

“We went through a legal battle and a huge encampment,” wrote Robin. “Even the naysayers applauded this Venice Ball Park. It has all come together recently because of help from Taylor Bazley, Venice representative from the council office. He helped unsnarl the bureaucracy, get the palm trees trimmed and finally get the project done.

“It’s a contemporary ‘Ball Park’ with drought tolerant, no-mow grassy mounds, decomposed granite pathways, tall trimmed palm trees and giant mosaic balls, to climb or sit upon.

“The ‘Ball Park’also pays homage to the Venice Tigers, a professional minor league baseball team. Their ballpark, for a couple of years during prohibition, was just up the road on South Venice Blvd at Abbot Kinney Blvd.

“The imagery on the mosaic balls are favorite Venice things: Italian Architecture — the faces of the capitals on the columns along Windward; a camel — because we once had live camel rides in Venice; sea kelp and a sea anemone — as we have today.”

Hamlet Curtains One Act, Opens Another


Note this is the story of a concerned neighbor doing what she felt was the right thing to do and all were blessed.

By Kristin

About 6 months ago I began noticing a black cat in my yard.  She had a collar with tags so I figured she’s  just hanging out.  I began asking my neighbors if anyone had a black cat, to no avail.  Time goes on and I decided well I might as well provide her with a little cat food here and there as a treat.  I then decided to post something about her on the Nextdoor app.  No one responded.  I  figured well perhaps she is abandoned by her owner?  No telling. 

She wouldn’t let me get anywhere near her to check her tags.  So I decided to start feeding her regularly and she slowly became more used to me going in the yard.  I was able to get 20 feet from her without her running off.  I began to notice she really didn’t look so healthy and her collar seemed a bit tight. 

I then purchased a Havahart cat trap.  I Stopped feeding her for two days, then set the trap with some tuna loin inside.  She got close to the trap but never went in for hours.  I decided to put some food leading into the trap and that did it.  The next time I looked she was inside. HOORAY!  

My husband and I rushed her over to the Wellness Animal Center here in our neighborhood.  They took her right in and scanned her for a micro chip.  Sure enough she was not only chipped but also had a tag on her collar with a phone number.  I have to admit I was a bit trepidatious about calling thinking who will I find on the other end … maybe the person who allegedly abandoned her? 

I made the call to discover the gal on the the other end was the owner.  In fact, the cat named Hamlet had been missing since October 28, 2016 from SHERMAN OAKS!!!   How did HE get all the way here to the Marina?  Well Justine, Hamlets’ mother, drove over to our home immediately where she and her long lost Hamlet were reunited. He recognized her right way as she took him into her arms to hold and hug him.

Hamlet is now back home and hasn’t skipped a beat.  He checked out healthy at her vet and is now an inside cat.

Don’t Call Venetians NIMBYs; Stand Up To Honor These

Yah, don’t call Venetians NIMBYs. Look what these people have stepped up to do for their homeless on the street, not just homeless in Venice, but wherever their plan might fit.  And a salute to those who have contributed money, items on request,  and time to help.

While the City fixates on new housing for the homeless and those who might become homeless, and yet,  lacks the numbers, these people have lighted the path or paths..  These people have shown that there is more than one way to house the homeless.  Do believe Councilman Mike Bonin might find his 222 here.

  • Regina Weller of the LAPD Homeless Task Force found 98 permanent dwellings for homeless families last year.  Her husband Steve, who was the start and spark for the LAPD Homeless Task Force, died during the year and before he died,  she took a couple months off to be with him.
  • William Hawkins, chair of the Venice Neighborhood Council Homeless Committee and Home for the Holidays, sent 30 people, mostly kids on the street,  home to their families for the Holidays last year.
  • St. Joseph Center, headed by Stephen Butler, found places for 17 individuals last year.
  • Heidi Roberts and her husband John Betz converted a new, four-unit apartment house to a group home for 28 homeless people in Los Angeles.  They are in escrow for another.
  • William Hawkins negotiated placement of 200 motor homes on the Veterans Administration grounds in West Los Angeles for men and women who served in the armed forces .   Negotiations are complete except for  approval of Veterans Administration in Washington DC.
  • Those who have contributed money, property, time.  You know who you are.



Homeless Committee To Meet 26 March

Venice Neighborhood Council (VNC) Homeless Committee will meet 26 March, 6:30 pm at Extra Storage Space, 658 Venice Blvd, Venice.  On their agenda is discussion of a 2018 Homeless Town Hall.

City Dedicates Park on Via Dolce


By Angela McGregor

On Friday morning, March 23, the City of Los Angeles broke ground on Venice’s latest park — its first in over 10 years and an event four years in the making. The new, 6000-square-foot park, at 3507 Via Dolce, will be landscaped with native plants and feature a playground and walkway. Construction will take four months, with the ribbon-cutting expected this summer. On hand for the ceremony was Councilman Mike Bonin, as well as representatives from the two neighborhood associations who helped make it happy — the Silver Strand HOA and the Marina Peninsula Neighborhood Council.

Humphreville LA Watchdog Spoke at VNC


Jack Humphreville, writer for the Los Angeles City Watch online newspaper, spoke at the last Venice Neighborhood Council, about the Department of Water and Power. His latest article is LA City Hall’s Corrupt Cucarachas.

When he was complimented about his speech being funny, his comment was “DWP gives me great material.”

Safran Presents Another Architectural Style to OTA, Answers Memo Regarding Thatcher Yard Project

Entrance off Princeton (east). Frederick Fisher’s more contemporary approach.

Steven Giannetti’s more residential approach.

By Casey Truit and Angela McGregor

The Thomas Safran Associates (TSA) group met Monday (19 March) with members of the Oxford Triangle Association (OTA) to show members a new, more “residential” design for the Thatcher Yard project and to answer questions regarding the OTA memo sent to TSA in response to their initial proposal.

The OTA memo, dated 7 January, was sent in response to the December presentation by TSA showing 98 units. The memo asked for 62 units which would be normal for a 93,000 sq ft lot zoned R1.5. The 98 units would be in line with two additional 35 percent bonuses, which are allowed for affordable housing.

The memo also asked for increased parking, two performance bonds that would insure ingress/egress rights of way thru Jefferson-Marina Drive via Princeton (east) and complete vacation and fencing of Thatcher Ave at Princeton (west) after planning approval and prior to any testing, construction, building.

The fire department has been known to approve a project during the planning process only to say “No” after planning approval and during the construction approval process which is past the time for citizen intervention. The bonds would prevent TSA from building without these approvals.

Parking was increased from 64 to 86 which is better than required for affordable housing.  The memo asked for many other concessions as shown REL.

Most people preferred the second design, done by Steven Giannetti.

In response to the community’s wish that the development retain more of a single-family look, both renderings restricted the height of buildings fronting Princeton & Oxford to 25 feet (no more than the maximum height of the single-family homes facing the Yard on those streets). They also increased setbacks to mirror those of nearby homes. The project is 3.5 stories in one place.

Also discussed were TSA’s standards for determining who can occupy their developments (they currently manage close to 60 properties), security concerns (the facility will have a full-time, on-site manager), energy and water usage efficiency standards in the finished development, regulations and expectations for resident retention, and community concerns and requirements for the construction process.

Elena Theisner, of Safran management staff, explained the process for tenant selection for the TSA properties. Prospective tenants for both affordable and permanent supportive type housing have both a credit and a criminal check. If drug use or alcoholic use is indicated on the criminal check that goes back seven years, the tenant is disqualified.

TSA estimates that, once community approval on a proposal is reached, the permitting process would take at least one year, followed by two years of construction.

Frederick Fisher’s design showing project at Thatcher.

Steven Giannetti’s design showing project at Thatcher.

Screen Shot 2018-03-19 at 6.16.23 PM

VCH Names Venice Median Project Reese-Davidson Community

Screen Shot 2018-03-22 at 9.05.05 AM
Rendering of proposed Venice Median project to be built between North and South Venice Blvd and east of Pacific.

Venice Community Housing and Hollywood Community Housing have named the proposed Venice Median Project the Reese-Davidson Community.  They have named the Community Arts Center after artist Gregory Hines.

These are words and facts from the Venice Community Housing Monthly Newsletter.
Arthur Reese worked in multiple ways to found and build Venice in the early 1900.  He was considered the lead decorator of buildings and attractions, helping to establish Venice’s unique style. He was also the first African American homeowner in the neighborhood.

Rick Davidson was among the founders of Venice Community Housing, and was a tireless advocate, architect and artist working toward an equitable Venice, region, and world.

Venice Community Housing will honor longtime Venice resident and artist Gregory Hines by establishing the Gregory Hines Community Arts Center.

“We are thrilled to be honoring the amazing and varied contributions of these three community leaders,” read the newsletter.

Venice Local Outreach Calendar for the Venice Local Coastal Program

By Darryl DuFay

2018 Outreach Calendar j