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Venice Update

News of Venice, CA and Marina del Rey CA

Tis The Season–Packages Stolen Everywhere

Just about every area in Venice reported packages being stolen from cars, from porches, etc. Mar Vista also reported packages stolen.

Councilman Speaks of Safe Havens, Not Sidewalks

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Park Avenue, off Ocean Front Walk, just past 6 am Saturday.

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Market Avenue, off Ocean Front Walk, just past 6 am Saturday.

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3rd Avenue at Rose, just past 6 am Saturday.

Bob Davis Takes Over as Venice Beach Super

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Bob Davis and Councilman Mike Bonin.

For the first time, Venice Beach has a City employee solely focused on providing an excellent and inviting experience for residents and visitors at the beach, Councilmember Mike Bonin announced today.

“Venice Beach is simultaneously a residential neighborhood, a thriving commercial district and world-renowned tourist destination,” said Bonin. “Managing a site this eclectic, important and unique requires focus and expert attention and I am very excited that Bob Davis will bring decades of experience to the new role of Venice Beach Superintendent.”

Bonin has been advocating for the City to hire a Superintendent at Venice Beach since he took office in 2013, and he was able to work with the Department of Recreation and Parks to identify the necessary funding in this year’s budget to hire the new superintendent.

Davis has been working with the City Department of Recreation and Parks since 1980, and has worked at facilities across Los Angeles, including many on the Westside. Davis will manage overall beach operations in his new role, including issuing permits for special events and filming and overseeing maintenance of bathrooms, trash cans, landscaping the boardwalk, pier, skate park and play areas. He will work closely with neighbors, community groups, local businesses and other agencies such as the Los Angeles Police Department, Los Angeles Fire Department, Bureau of Sanitation and Los Angeles County Beaches and Harbors to ensure Venice Beach offers fun and engaging experiences for visitors and neighbors.

“I am very much looking forward to my new assignment in working collaboratively with the various stakeholders, tourists and community members who visit, live in and who do business at Venice Beach throughout the year,” said Davis. “Working directly with Councilmember Bonin’s office, various governmental agencies, business organizations, property owners and community groups toward providing an inviting, clean and safe environment for all to enjoy will be one of my primary goals and objectives in my new role. As with any location where large groups of people gather, there will always be challenges to meet all of the needs of the group. In working together, we should be able to substantially meet and exceed those challenges in order to improve the globally popular destination Venice Beach.”

Davis officially started his new job on November 29.

EMD to Have Town Hall Meet 9 December

The City’s Emergency Management Department will have a Town Hall meet to specifically address El Nino and the severe weather conditions predicted. The meet will be held 9 December from 6:30 to 8:30 pm at the Westchester Recreation Center, 9100 Lincoln Blvd, LA 90045.

Representatives from Los Angeles Fire Department, Police Department, Public Works, Bureau of Sanitation, and County Department of Public Works will all be present to explain what each department will do in case of an emergency. They will also answer questions.

Court Rejects City and County Motions for Summary Judgement; Venice Beach Public Nuisance Case Heads to Trial

(Venice, CA/10/21/15) This morning Superior Court Judge Gregory Alarcon denied motions by the City and County of Los Angeles to dismiss the Venice Stakeholders Association lawsuit which alleges that the City and County have maintained a public nuisance on their park land, parking lots and the Boardwalk at Venice Beach.

In the decision the Court cited legal authority which included:

“Government liability under Government Code section 815 et seq. may be nuisances per se,… Such an action would not force the City to prosecute others for nuisance on private property, but rather require the City to take action as is necessary so that it no longer suffers a nuisance on its own property.”

Today’s Court decision was applauded by the Venice Stakeholders group:

“We are heartened by the Court’s support of our position that the City and County have a legal responsibility to abate the nuisance which they are allowing to exist in the Venice Beach Recreation Area (VBRA),” said Mark Ryavec, president of the Stakeholders. “Just like all other owners who are responsible for their property, the City and County need to be held responsible to residents for the harm we experience.”

Ryavec noted that an award of monetary damages could even be used to allow residents to hire private security to protect themselves and their families from assaults, break-ins, trespass and defecation and urination on their private property which result from people illegally living in or storing their possessions on public land.

Riviera Gets Wet

Monday Riviera between Grand and Windward sprung a leak and water was moving. Department of Water and Power “leak-search” team was on hand at 6 am. At 10 am street was dry.

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Mark Ryavec Lists the Victim Talley for Venice

Since August of 2014, Venice has had its number of shootings and other happenings of note. Mark Ryavec, president of Venice Stakeholders Association, has made the talley.

By Mark Ryavec
The Venice victim tally since August 2013:

    Deranged transient living in his car in Venice mows down 17 pedestrians on Boardwalk with his car and kills young Italian woman in a rage over being ripped off in a drug deal gone bad.

    Transient brutally assaults resident Robert DiMassa on walk street because DiMassa’s service dog urinated on the sidewalk near where the camper was sleeping.
    Five home invasions – four by wasted, mentally ill transients – in a six block area centered on Windward and Riviera.

    Clabe Hartley’s fingertip bitten off by transient on Washington Blvd.
    Homeless Jose Gonzalez dies April 19th after suffering a blow from transient Thomas Glover on Abbot Kinney at California.

    The death of transient Brendon Glenn on May 5th in altercation with LAPD on Windward.

    Transient Jason Davis shot on July 14th by LAPD at Groundworks Cafe on Rose after approaching police with a knife. He later died of his wounds.

    Chair hurled at restaurateur Clabe Hartley by crazed transient on August 26th. Hartley is severely concussed and requires five staples to his head.

    Two transients shot on the Boardwalk at Dudley on August 30th, apparently in altercation on the sidewalk outside the Cadillac Hotel. One dies at the scene and one is transported to the hospital.

LA Enforces New Laws; ACLU Sues Laguna; LA Pays 1.1 M

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These two “cuties” better known in Venice as skeletal bikes were reported to Debbie Dyner Harris, district director for Councilman Mike Bonin, 14 August. She supposedly submitted the proper paperwork. As of Sunday,23 August, and after the Friday cleanup, they were still there. These items should be considered bulky items and be removed without notification.

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Man sleeping in his car.

Attorney Mike Feuer was instrumental in getting new ordinances passed this year that he claimed were enforceable and would withstand civil liberty lawsuits.

The Ordinances 56.11 and 63.44 became laws effective 18 July. Mayor Garcetti said he wanted amendments to protect prescription medication and identification cards before implementation.

Whether these amendments have been put in writing or not, police could honor such, and according to LA Times article, the homeless in skid row were being “subjected” to the new laws.

Basically, both ordinances—one for City parks and one for City public areas, such as sidewalks and parkways, have the same changes—

    1) Defines bulky items and establishes that they may be removed and destroyed without prior notification.

    2) Warning notification for personal property removal is 24 hours instead of 72. After the notification time, property is removed and stored for 90 days. Notification is left at the site for owner to retrieve belongings.

    Bulky item means any item that is too large to fit in one of the City’s 60-gallon trash containers with the lid closed, including but not limited to a mattress, couch, chair or other furniture or appliance. This should include skeletal bikes adorning the streets of Venice. A tent is considered a bulky item, unless permitted in a park area and unless in a City public area only from 9 pm to 6 am.

Also the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is suing Laguna Beach on behalf of five disabled homeless people. It claims Laguna Beach is targeting the homeless and increasing enforcement.

According to City Manager, Laguna has a year-round shelter with air conditioning, laundry, showers, meals, storage and transportation to a bus depot downtown. The City recently added a case worker to help homeless find resources. Homeless claim shelter is loud and crowded.

LA has agreed to pay 1.1 million to attorneys challenging law banning homeless from sleeping in their vehicles.

Yet article in LA Times on 8 August suggested because of the number of units built met the criteria for homeless to get off the street, the ban might resume.

City Council Adopts Mobility Plan 2035

Note: This writer used the bike lane this week for the first time and loved it. Saw maybe five bikes on it between south part of Venice and Ocean Park. Wondered how many cars would have been allowed to move in the lane eliminated, if one was. Santa Monica congestion is relentless

In an historic City Council vote that will help reduce traffic by giving people transportation options other than their cars.

Councilmembers Mike Bonin and José Huizar led efforts to adopt a 20-year mobility plan Tuesday. The plan puts an emphasis on safety, while encouraging and supporting increased pedestrian, public transit and bicycle use in the City of Los Angeles.

As chairmen of the City’s Transportation and Planning & Land Use Management committees, Bonin and Huizar worked with the City’s Transportation and Planning departments to develop and advocate for the 193 page report, which creates a Citywide planning and transportation plan that connects neighborhoods and thoroughfares utilizing a Complete Streets approach to safety improvements.

Councilmembers Bonin and Huizar are widely considered the City’s two biggest proponents of the type of Complete Streets solutions Mobility Plan 2035 proposes.

“When it comes to transportation planning for the City of Los Angeles’ future, Mobility Plan 2035 represents a bold step forward that builds on the work we’ve been doing in recent years where we prioritize multimodal options beyond cars utilizing Complete Streets planning,” said Councilmember Huizar. “While the automobile remains a vital part of our transportation future, so too is our goal to make our roads safer, more efficient and accessible with increased public transportation, pedestrian and bike-focused options. Mobility Plan 2035 does just that.”

“This plan is about giving people safe and convenient transportation options so they aren’t forced to use their cars for every trip they take,” said Bonin. “The more options we give people beyond their cars, the less traffic we are going to have in our neighborhoods. Mobility 2035 is a forward thinking vision for our city that will make Los Angeles a better place to live and work and enjoy.”

The Plan is the first comprehensive update of Los Angeles’ transportation policies since the 1990s and in addition to providing a policy framework for how the city will build streets in the future, the plan will be used to procure grants to help pay for improvements. The Plan went through a thorough public review process, which included interactive workshops, engagement with Neighborhood Councils and online town halls. Each specific project and street enhancement will additionally have its own public participation and approval process.

According to the plan, nearly half (47%) of all trips taken in Los Angeles are less than three miles, but 84% of those trips are taken by car. The Mobility Plan 2035 proposes developing a network of bike lanes, transit lines and pedestrian-friendly streets to help encourage more people to choose to walk, bike or take public transit, taking cars off the road in LA neighborhoods.

“Mobility Plan 2035 aims to give people choices,” said Seleta Reynolds, General Manager of the Los Angeles Department of Transportation. “It delivers a 21st century playbook for street design, establishes safety as our highest priority, and sets in motion a thoughtful community-based process to build the healthiest, most efficient, and beautiful streets we can. At its core, this plan is about strengthening our neighborhoods and local businesses, and keeping us on track to be the most sustainable, resilient city we can be.”

“The City of Los Angeles is leading the way in providing safe and cutting edge transportation options for our citizens,” said Michael LoGrande, General Manager of the City Planning Department. “The adoption of the Mobility Plan today by the City Council is a monumental step forward for LA.”

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Neighbor Effects Drug Arrest

All Photos and Story by David Thomas

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Early this Saturday about 11:15 am, while taking a walk, I spotted two individuals loitering between bike path at Oxford Basin and Oxford Triangle wall. The wall is the border between the City and County.

I discretely watched both subjects prepare heroin and shoot it into their arms with syringes. Knowing the goings on of BFMV (burglary from motor vehicle) and residential burglaries in the Oxford Triangle, as well as the bona-fide link between drug users and crime, I called and directed LAPD officers to the subjects. By then they had made their way to the Del Taco on Lincoln Blvd near Washington Blvd.

LAPD detained and ultimately arrested the two for possession. The guy in the orange shirt tried to run and ultimately discarded tar heroin and syringes from his backpack while being pursued by the officer. The orange shirt guy also spit out a baggie of tar heroin from his mouth upon arrest, which was also recovered. I found out that the guy in the black shirt is on probation for robbery. Officers also found burglary tools (e.g., screwdrivers, etc.) in their backpacks.