web analytics

Venice Update

News of Venice, CA and Marina del Rey CA

And the Container Goes Where?

Storage Container

Venice Neighborhood Council discussed where the storage container should go this year at there monthly meet last Tuesday. Right now it is located next to the paddle courts. It was opened approximately 16 December. It will run no longer than 1 March, which coincides with the closing of the winter shelter.

Most significant is the fact that this year homeless can use the container without going to the shelter. Last year they had to verify they had gone to shelter. This coincides with the “Warn, Bag, Tag, and Store” program.

This allowed use of the container without restrictions, according to Councilman Mike Bonin, ” will help people in need, will encourage more people to seek assistance, keep our streets and sidewalks blight-free, and it will protect the City legally”. The City will be able to go forward with the Warn, Bag, Tag, and Store.

The storage program is provided for homeless to store their belongings so they can go to a winter shelter. Belongings are limited to what one can put on his lap. The city is providing the storage container so as homeless who want to can use the shelter. There is a bus that picks up homeless and drives them to the shelter and drives them back in the morning.

The City of Los Angeles contracted with the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA) to provide temporary nighttime shelter from 1 December to 1 March. The program provides for shuttles that pick up homeless at designated stops at approximately 6 pm and return them to the same place at 6 am. The Westside location for the shelter is the National Guard Armory at Veterans Administration property on Wilshire and Federal.

Much consternation has been made regarding the placement of the storage container. Last Tuesday several places were considered for vote. The First Baptist Church on Westminster at 6th wanted the container stored on their property, in fact, the minister spoke at the meeting stating he had facilities to help people. The one most voted for by board members was the Westminster Senior Center just off Main Street. One board member brought up the fact that the container was there for a day last year and it was quickly removed because of the number of people who complained.

According to the minutes for the meeting, “Councilmember Bonin’s staff was in attendance, and will review the Board’s recommendations for feasibility, considering permitting, available space and other factors. The program will continue to operate out of the storage container behind the paddle tennis courts until a final decision is made.”

Moses Does One Street at a Time

Moses, one street at a time

Update mentioned in previous Updates about cleaning one block at a time. Well, Moses, who is homeless, takes care of area from 18th to 19th, west of Pacific. Perhaps, it should be one street at a time. He was busy sweeping when photo was taken. Update thanked him for cleaning and mentioned how bad one of the walk streets was. He said he would take care of it too. Then he mentioned he needed a new broom. Broom was given to him next day. Wouldn’t it be nice if each homeless person would take care of a street down at the Boardwalk area … all that area to Main. Am sure brooms would be provided. One street at a time.

“Ban on living in vehicles assailed”

Sunday’s Los Angeles Tmes had an article entitled “Ban on living in vehicles is assailed.” This particular article for some reason has not been on the internet.  The one linked was written 5 December about the same subject.

Homeless Moving East–or “Smokin a Bowl”

According to two LAPD officers who answered the alley call regarding man in alley inside wooden box that was moveable using skateboard and had small hole used for speaking, and who answered Robert Levy’s question of “What are you doing?” with the statement: “smoking a bowl,” the homeless are moving from the beach to where it is warmer.

Officers Mankey and Rodin who answered the Tuesday evening call said the homeless are moving east. They want to be where it is warmer than the beach but they will not go east of Lincoln. So Triangle can be considered as a warm, cozy point of interest for the winter homeless.

But back to story. That afternoon Robert Levy texted the question often asked by many: “Whom do I contact?” All the police numbers were given but still nothing happened that afternoon.

Captain Davalos Gets in Act
Update was at the Venice Neighborhood Council meet Monday night. Update spotted Captain Victor Davalos, co-commander of the Pacific Division, at VNC meet. He was asked, more or less in desperation, “whom does one contact for a man in alley in a wooden box that is moveable with a skateboard and when asked what he is doing, answers thru a small hole: ‘smoking a bowl?’ ”

He didn’t waste time answering the question; he immediately started thumbing thru his phone until he found a phone number. Well, it wasn’t real immediate. He did give such a glance that Update answered: “This is Venice!” Update followed him outside. He stated the problem. Figured that one was taken care of.

Update decided to head for home. VNC was progressing horizontally. When entering the Triangle, one could see a police car in the alley paralleling Washington. Update was in pursuit. When car passed the Stanford-Carter alley, the Update’s headlights flashed at the police car. Officers caught on and stopped.

Box Spotted
The whole situation was laid out for them. They immediately spotted the wooden box minus the young man. Box had moved from south end of alley to north end as described by Levy. It was a heavy shipping box and filled with nails. The box about 3 x 4 feet covered up clothes and something else, not describable in dark. The young officers toted the box from the Carter-Stanford alley to the Walgreens trash bin. They offered to disassemble it but no one had a hammer.

Update in desperation asked the young officers whom to contact in such a situation. They said the desk at the Pacific Division. Update explained that this had been done many times to no avail. Please realize Update is not familiar with the details of contact, only end results are told to Update.

Mankey and Rodin The Best
Officers Mankey and Rodin, who were just the best experience for anyone trying to get answers, explained that sometimes one should keep calling to get attention. Update was not aware of that part of contacting police.

Update explained the situation with the supposed knock-knock lookout walking the streets of the Triangle earlier this year. Sonjia Gust of Yale took photo, called police, gave address, etc. Police drove by and never contacted Gust. The photo, subsequently, was blasted throughout Venice via the Triangle Update and had response of many sightings. Whether anything was done beyond that is unknown. Officers said, frankly, they didn’t know what went wrong with that situation.

So call the Pacific Division several times if necessary.

Levy Has Another
Levy says he has another one. “I’ve got another that shows his blue Nike shoes and possibly his tattooed legs with about pedal-pusher length pants. But he was not small…so a bit intimidating, but polite, and very high.”

Watch the alleys. Alleys are less travelled. . Keep them clean of bush, trees, weeds, litter. Let all know you care and use the alley. Alleys have really been cleaned up since the cleanup project started. There are still some weeds collecting litter. Clean them and clean your neighbor’s too if necessary. Weeds make for a warm mattress compared to cement. And for crying out loud, remove all furniture. Use “MyLA311” app, if necessary.

Adopt a Block–Or Clean Up This Mess

Let’s all clean up Venice, one block at a time. Most residential areas are clean of litter but those areas near commercial or near homeless encampments suffer so much debris and litter.

Members of Harrison, one block north of Washington, recently decided to clamp down on two commercial ventures backing up to their street. A group headed by Mike Newhouse and with the help of Len Nguyen of the council office, let the commercial establishments know they wanted some action. They wanted the establishments to clean up their Harrison side. Mike Newhouse, Ruth Seroussi, and CC Carter worked this out.

This is similar to what a group of residents on Carter, headed by Denise Fast, started in the Triangle and will continue starting next year. Carter parallels Lincoln Blvd. Right now one anonymous resident of Carter walks the street once a week picking up litter. And it shows.

The Environmental Group, headed by Erin Sullivan-Ward, of the Venice Neighborhood Council has a cleanup program going in Venice. One day a week, or every other week, they choose an area to clean up. First they did Windward Circle and last Update showed their bags of debris from 3rd. Those two would have been Update’s picks too and next pick would be Windward between Pacific and Speedway.

Someone should talk to these business owners. They profit from the litterers. This is a daily task. Get these commercial owners organized to clean the area before tourist season so they’ll be in practice.

3rd after cleanup
John is shown in red jacket. He had a broken broom cleaning up 3rd. Another person was down the street sweeping. They are both residents of 3rd. John said that both this street and 2nd were bad. It has been less than two weeks since the Environmental Group cleaned it up. Photo was taken Thursday morning and Street cleaning was Monday. At least some of those who live there are taking an interest.

We need more action like this. How about the Venice Chamber of Commerce asking all their members to clean litter in front of their business. We need people to stop this and neighborhoods to stop allowing this littering that is consistent throughout Venice. Neighborhoods should use the Venice ingenuity. How many clubs are there looking for a project.

The “to do” list for Councilman Mike Bonin mentioned perhaps there should be signs showing people how to put litter into the round hole. Sounds silly, but people are obviously having trouble with the task. And yes, Venice does have tourists and does have homeless.

Environmental Group Bags It

Pickedup Bag

The Venice environmental group, headed by Erin Sullivan-Ward of the Venice Neighborhood Council, has been out cleaning up Venice. One week it was Windward circle. Last week it was 3rd Street. They left one pile which was there before they got there and was still mostly there Sunday night this week.

what's left

Bus Stop Trash Cans, Cleaning

Monday, Bus Stop Cleaner
There is a service that cleans the wire park benches and empties the trash cans. They do this five days in two week. Lady, who was cleaning area pictured, said she had just cleaned up the mess at the northwest corner of Lincoln-Washington which was shown in last Update. She works Tuesday and Thursday this week and next week will work Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. She was asked how to obtain more trash cans and she said call 866-633-0068 or email Cecilia Castillo at Cecilia.castillo@lacity.org.

Storage Container for Homeless to Start 1 December

Storage Container

Steve Clare, executive director of Venice Community Housing Corporation,  announced at Tuesday’s Venice Neighborhood Council meet that the storage container program for the homeless would start 1 December 2013 and go until 1 March 2014, which is when the shelters close.  Clare said the sites for the container had not been decided but it might go where it was last year at the LAPD substation at the beach or it might be positioned near the tennis courts.  Pickup for the homeless will be Market Street again.

At Walgreens on Carter

z Walgreens Sleeper

Don’t Fight ’em, Enlist ’em

a Brian and Scott

Well, encampment at Walgreen’s continues.  Update stopped by to talk with them.  Brian and Scott are their names.  Asked them if the police ever bothered them and they said no.  They were told about the house break-in down the street and the pick-up truck situation of last week.  They were asked if they would look out for the street.  Also asked if they would keep the homeless from hanging out at Walgreens and pick up the litter in the street.  They agreed to all.  Brian, the one in the forefront said:  “We’re not thieves, we’re just alcoholics.  And we hate the litter.  We pick it up when we see it.”  It was explained to them that they get blamed for it all so that now the neighborhood will expect them to keep the area clean.  They were told about PATH and Update notified PATH.