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Venice Update

News of Venice, CA and Marina del Rey CA

VNC to Vote on Enforcement of ADA Motion

The Venice Neighborhood Council will meet Tuesday, 18 August, 7 pm in a zoom meeting.  Zoom link not available yet.  Go to VeniceNC.org to get link.  Council will consider a motion asking  City to allow police to enforce the federal law concerning leaving sufficient space for a wheelchair to move on the sidewalks of Venice.  The City has preempted enforcement of the Federal law.





Judge Carter Tries to Get Officials Moving on an Area So that Enforcement Can Begin

US District Judge David O. Carter has tried to get  those who sue the city on behalf of the homeless,  those business people who are suing the city,   the politicians who have had their say and opportunities to all get together and provide a plan by this Wednesday (20 May) to implement Friday just to house those living under the bypasses, near the freeways, etc. calling that area not healthy.  It came about when someone suggested using the Caltrans lot near 16th and Maple for homeless and then it was decided that was too close to the freeway to be healthy.  Wednesday there is to be a plan and implementation is to take place Friday.  See story.

Mayor Garcetti has claimed it is not a good idea because these people might go into the neighborhoods.  The CDC has said it might spread the flu to neighborhoods.   Why would they think these people do not go into the neighborhoods now?  One man from an anti-poverty group said he didn’t know how it could be enforced without the police.  Mark Ryavec said they go to the freeway underpasses because it provides some shelter.  LAHSA says they are concentrating on 65 and older.  Councilman Bonin wants to include Penmar Park.  The judge is trying to determine a group they can and should be helped so that enforcement can start.  If enforcement is not accomplished soon, Los Angeles could be caught in a larger fight for life caused by the utter lack of sanitation that is occurring.  Enforcement has to start somewhere.

The LA Times had a story that showed only about half the places leased are used and it looked like LA lagged behind other counties because of lack of preparing places and adequate staff.  See story.





New Voting System … Find a Place to Vote

The LA County Registrar has done away with voting on a single day in a neighborhood polling place with a paper ballot. Under the new system, you can vot over an 11-day period on touch screens at regional voting centers. While the system is supose to make voting faster, easier and more convenient, some people wil no doubt find it unfamiliar or confusing.

Go to this website to get details.

Fight Back Venice Loses Case; City Wins Their Case; The People Lose Their Protection of the Law

If you can’t win in court, pass a law and make it retroactive. That appears to be the way to beat Fight Back Venice.

Fight Back Venice sued over two ordinances that exempted LA from complying with CEQA stating that compliance was a state requirement. The State passed AB1197 that exempts “qualifying homeless” projects from CEQA. The judge in essence said AB1197 was retroactive, which is not constitutional.

The judge did leave it open for Fight Back Venice to elaborate on one of its arguments about the legality of AB1197 ahead of a January hearing.

Christian Wrede, a member of Venice Neighborhood Council and Fight Back Fence, according to LA Times, said “all Californians who value the rule of law should be alarmed by what transpired in connection with this fundamentally meritorious case.

“City officials knew full well that they were going to lose this lawsuit, so they got their friends in Sacramento to rewrite the law after the fact.

“It doesn’t get much shadier-o- or much stinkier– than that.”

LA Times article.

LAWA Answers City and LA Times About Using Northside Runway Land for Homeless

In a memo addressed to all the LA City Council members, Legislative Representative Glenda Silva Pantoja for the Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) said the land Jim Murez, Venice activist, spoke of for the LA Times article could not be used for homeless purposes as proposed because the land is prohibited by the FAA to be used for residential use. It is considered a noise buffer between LAX and the community.

The LA Times had an article about Jim Murez, Venice activist and member of the Venice Neighborhood Council, and his proposal to use the 340 acres next to the LAX north runway for homeless … a large bridge home so to speak. The Venice Update had an article of this nature in August 2016. The late Councilman Bill Rosendahl and Councilman Mike Bonin have both tried to use this land for the homeless.

Jim Murez in the Venice Update article did recognize that the LAX land in question was restricted but offered the land at Lincoln and Manchester Blvd, which is used as a park and the council office for the westside area.

The question arises: Are there other lands owned by the City that could provide a large area for temporarily housing the homeless and moving them into permanent housing. It would seem that this would be a City solution for sanitation and public livability and safety.   During the war, this country did not hesitate to move Japanese-Americans to areas away from the City.  Dr Kenneth Wright, who is again running for US congress, recommended using closed army bases, federal land. The resources used for individual encampments throughout the City seems to be financially not feasible and results are not forthcoming.   The endangerment to the public health and safety is an ever increasing concern.

The following is the memo addressed to all the City Council members and explains in detail why the City cannot use the land to provide for the homeless.

Councilman Bonin to Have Two Town Halls in November — Homelessness and Public Safety

These two town halls — 6 and 13 November — are sponsored by CD11 and will be held 6:30 pm in West LA at Daniel Webster Middle School auditorium, 11330 Graham Pl 90064, which is near the intersection of the 10 and 405 freeways.

500-Foot Homeless Restriction Would Remove Homeless from Beach and Portions of 3rd, 4th

This is the map for Venice as shown in the LA Times article.

LA Times mapped the areas that would be affected by the proposed 500-foot radius restricting homeless from schools and parks. The motion, modifying LAMC 41.18(d), has been proposed by the Chair of the Homeless and Poverty committee Councilman Mitch O’Farrell and Councilwoman Nury Martinez.

Next step is to present it to the City Council for a vote.   Both civil rights attorney Carol Sobel and Councilman Mike Bonin are against it.  It was passed unanimously in City’s Homeless and Poverty committee with two absences, one of whom was Bonin.

Mark Ryavec of Venice Stakeholders Association made the statement that the proposal did not address the residential areas.

According to the map, a large portion of Venice would be restricted.  The complete Venice Beach area would be off limits.  Looks like 3rd and 4th would be be off limits to a great extent.  The Ocean Front and 3rd Ave are two dense areas for the homeless.  The LA Times estimates that about 25 percent of the City’s sidewalks would be effected.

The design of the proposal is to work around the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals decision.  The court said they never indicated that people could not be restricted from certain areas.

LA Times article.

The electronic LA Times article has many more maps and statistics.


Supreme Court Grants Extension for City of Boise Homeless Case to be Heard

(14 July 2019) This month the U.S. Supreme Court granted Theodore B. Olson and Theane Evangelis on behalf of the City of Boise an extension to ask the justices to take up the case of Martin vs. City of Boise, according to Sunday LA Times article. The petition to the U.S. Supreme Court is due 29 August with a decision from the court as to whether to hear the appeal expected no sooner than October.

Most are familiar with the Jones Settlement which allowed homeless to sleep on the sidewalks until a certain number of units were built in both downtown Los Angels and other other areas. Earlier this year the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals heard Martin vs. City of Boise that stated one cannot criminalize homeless if there is no shelter for them. The ruling effected nine states, one of which was California.

The LA Times article gives the history of these decisions and explains what has happened as a result. Los Angeles is caught in the middle of keeping the homeless comfortable and out of court and the city clean and free of disease.

City Controller to Audit Measure HHH Money

(13 July 2019) Note: LA City Controller Ron Galperin plans to audit the Measure HHH money that is being used to build new permanent supportive housing. The Measure was designed to provide 1.2 billion dollars and provide 10,000 new residences for the permanent supportive housing homeless. Two and a half years later, none exist. By the end of this year there will be some. Galperin says the process is too slow and the price of $525k plus per unit is outrageous. He is going to audit the Measure HHH money.

Many in Venice have asked for this audit. Many in Venice have had alternative ideas to house people now but no one it appears in City government is willing or ready to accept alternative solutions.

By Darryl DuFay

On July 7, 2019 the Sunday morning ABC 7 Eyewitness Newsmakers program had LA City Controller Ron Galperin on the first 15 minutes of the show. The second half of the program was with County Assessor Jeffrey Prang.  The video and text of the show is below.  Just click on the screen to watch the video.

It was fascinating and refreshing to hear Ron’s realistic comments on the spending of homeless housing construction Measure HHH money.   How the “very slow process” of nothing built in two and a half years and a unit cost of $525,000 plus was “unacceptable” and his efforts to identify 14,000 properties that could be use for homeless housing.  He will also be releasing an audit of Measure HHH.

“I’m required to audit it and what we are finding is that it is a very slow process and, quite frankly, unacceptable,” he said. “It is now two and a half years since the voters really generously approved $1.2 billion in bond money to create up to 10,000 units, mostly permanent supportive units. To this day, we have not seen any units completed as part of that program. There are going to be a couple hundred hopefully done by the end of this year but they are at a cost of $525,000 plus. Unacceptable.”

Copy link to hear City Controller Ron Galperin.

Venice has its own trash and vermin

Dumping on Ocean Front Walk. (All photos are by Rick Swinger.)

By Venice Update Contributor

LA Preserve wrote a commentary regarding Steve Lopez’s article on the rats and dumping in Los Angeles.

Note:   After reviewing this article, Venice Update asks: Is it possible to sue the City regarding the health and safety risk imposed on Venetians?

You have seen photos of the garbage at Penmar, at 7th, at alley behind Thai restaurant. you have seen the garbage as you drive home. You have picked up feces near you if not in front of your house. So you do have some recognition of this situation.  It is unlike other cities in CD11 but similar to Skid Row.  Thought it was only fair to read one about the dumping in Venice.

The Venice Update has printed many stories and photos by Rick Swinger who has started a “No Dumping” campaign in Venice. The No Dumping encompasses both feces on the streets and dumping of produce and other food items.  He has a t-shirt making his point. (By the way, some Update readers have complained that the trash photos are too graphic.)


He requested rat proof trash cans for 3rd Ave where the trash is so bad that Bureau of Sanitation comes once a week.  He got instead what he calls rat feeders. City then provided plastic liners. He has been very vocal regarding the rat population on 3rd Ave and has sighted rat holes, dead rats, and has requested the County to investigate.

With all this going on, a group recently protested on 3rd Ave that instead of cleaning the place all the time, that bathrooms would do it.  One private individual did such.  He provided two and asked that clothing not be put down the hole.  The bathrooms were removed after three weeks.  There are bathrooms at the parking lot on Rose, a couple blocks from 3rd, and they have security at night.

Swinger has, at his own expense, run a test of the water at the beach where 3rd Ave dumps.  It is off the charts, yet signs have not been adequately posted to prevent kids from wading in the pool of water which is next to a playground.  Swinger is an environmentalist and lives near the infested area. He tries to make people aware.  He has established a facebook page (Stop Illegal Dumping in Venice Beach) that covers what he is saying.  He has talked with Dr. Drew about typhus epidemic and has corresponded with Elizabeth Greenwood, the deputy city attorney, who is suing the City for 5 million after contracting typhus.

How serious is all this?     Andy Bates, CEO of Union Mission lost a foot from MRSA contracted by walking on the filthy streets of Skid Row. Dr. Drew predicts an epidemic before Garcetti figures it out,

What causes this to happen in Venice?  It is the No.1 provider per capita of low income and supportive housing units on the west side of Los Angeles as defined by the borders of the West Los Angeles Area Planning Commission. Furthermore, the Venice Community Plan Area (CPA) is the 8th largest provider per capita of low income and supportive housing units out of all 37 CPA in the City of Los Angeles. Venice has the services so this is the destination for the the United States homeless. There couldn’t be a larger, more accommodating  target — housing and services.

These figures do not include the 472 units planned for Venice.  Is it no wonder Venetians chant “vexit” meaning Venice exit.  There is little chance that it can happen since it would take approval of the City Council and it is the CD11 Councilman Mike Bonin who chairs the dumping here.  Venice has 25 times what Pacific Palisades has and Beverly Hills and Beverly Crest have none.  Venice just cannot get relief from this.  When Venetians say “enough” the services in Venice and the rest of the City holler NIMBY.

Are  Venetians moving?  Yes, they are.  Someone said the other day that it may be called Mike Bonin’s Hole before we know it.  Perhaps, when even he thinks it’s bad, Venice will be allowed to exit the City.