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Venice Update

News of Venice, CA and Marina del Rey CA

Town Hall was Very Interesting

By Darryl DuFay

Very interesting Town Hall meeting on the MTA “Bridge Home” proposed project.

You arrived at the Westminster School to see dozens of LAPD all over. Of course they didn’t tell you that the parking entrance was going to be on Main St. Something that hadn’t been done before. Off the parking lot they were not prepared to open at 5:00 for a 6:00 start. No surprise there. They had over 1,000 RSVPs. Seating for 400 inside and 200 outside, with sound only. Slowly but steadily filled up. News cameras all around but mostly on the east wall.

It was raucous but in a “measure” way. From the front row where I sat the back and forth waves of noise for and especially against were refreshing from previous meetings where they were only for. First the “FOR” and then a ROARING “NO” that shook the room.

Alexandra “Alex” Cohen was the “moderator.” Her involvement consisted mostly of lining up people to talk. Councilman Mike Bonin, Mayor Eric Garcetti, and LA Chief of Police Michael Moore were present. I don’t believe Moore was scheduled to be part of the extended discussion. He was not named in the official announcement. It was set up for two and Moore grabbed a chair and moved it over to make a trio. Moore’s presence was a welcomed reminder of the overwhelming response this project has aroused. He significantly advanced the Town Hall. Many Fight Back, Venice t-shirts and white shirts

The Chief of Police was impressive. Below is yesterday’s LA Times article on him.

Moore was getting a real education from the audience about what is going on in Venice especially along the beach and Ocean Front Walk. He was as he should be protective of his officers but as the audience continuing to call out their experiences he took increasing interest and concern. Even to acknowledging that he is very serious about closing the beaches from midnight to 6:00 a.m.

I also sensed about 7:45 that Bonin was seeing himself as become more superfluous to the discussion. He chimed in I believe about the use of SHARE as a viable methods of quickly housing the homeless. Garcetti has raised this method for more quickly addressing the homeless problem. It ended after 9:00.

There are enough unanswered questions about the MTA proposal to drill down and get some answers. Chief Moore can be a great asset in demanding information and holding the MTA et al and Bonin’s and Garcetti’s offices to provide our Venice community with more vital and informative discussions than we have had so far.

Bonin and Garcetti are convinced or have convinced themselves that Venice’s homeless are locals. That thought allows them to make comments that the MTA “Bridge Home” will be able to recycle enough people through so Venice’s homeless problem disappears. When, it fact we will see a rise in transient homeless arriving at the “promised land” — VENICE.


Comments (2)

  1. Anonymous

    Councilman Mike Bonin’s genius cannot be overstated. What a visionary!
    According to his calcumalations all of the roughly 1000 homeless people in Venice will be permanently housed after three years, at which point the Bridge Housing will be closed again. Absolutely fantastic! No more homelessness in Venice! Only three years!
    Mr. Bonin correctly identified that it only takes “a shower” for the homeless to feel human again – all of their issues just swirling down the drain – and their off to live their life in their very own place. Substance abuse? Severe mental illness? No need for long in-patient treatment – all it takes is a shower, some art classes and social workers.
    Mr. Bonin even presented case studies. Such as the moving story of the Vietnam Veteran, homeless on the streets of Venice for 20 years. All it took for him to get back on his feet was a PTSD diagnosis!

    Mr. Bonin is a saint. Sadly there are many that have no heart, that simply don’t want to help the ones down on their luck. You are either for the Bridge Housing, the beacon of hope for so many, or you want these people to suffer on the streets.

    • Lee

      Bwahaha, are you gullible or what? At first I thought you were being sarcastic, but no, you’ve been drinking the Bonin kool-aid.

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