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Venice Update

News of Venice, CA and Marina del Rey CA

LA Funds “Vision Zero” Traffic Study

LOS ANGELES – In dramatic action that will vastly increase the amount of money the City of Los Angeles invests in Vision Zero – a program designed to end all traffic fatalities, including those involving bicycle riders and pedestrians, in LA in the next decade – the Los Angeles City Council today approved an allocation of more than $27 million for Vision Zero projects.

In an unanimous vote, the Council supported a motion authored by Councilmembers Mike Bonin and Paul Krekorian to allocate money the City of Los Angeles will receive from various sources — including the recently approved Measure M sales tax increase, as well as a gas tax increase passed by the State Legislature, to Vision Zero. The Bonin/Krekorian motion brings the city’s investment in Vision Zero for the coming fiscal year to a total of $27,242,062 – much more than the $3,000,000 allocated in the current year’s budget.

“Budgets are statements about our priorities, and I know of no higher priority than saving lives on our streets,” said Bonin. “Today’s exciting progress was made possible by the clarion call from Mayor Garcetti to make Vision Zero a strategic priority, as well as the hard work and collaboration of my colleagues Paul Krekorian, Nury Martinez, Marqueece Harris-Dawson and Jose Huizar. Today’s vote shows that the City of Los Angeles is going to step up to make our streets safer and our communities better places to live, work and enjoy.”

“Reducing pedestrian and traffic fatalities is something we urgently need to work toward,” said Krekorian, who serves as the Chair of the Council’s Budget and Finance Committee. “By funding Vision Zero projects for the coming year, we are taking a big and necessary step forward, one that Angelenos will appreciate because these resources will make our streets and neighborhoods safer.”

“I was proud to join Councilmember Bonin in advocating for important Vision Zero funding. Resurfacing streets is important, but if people are dying or being seriously injured on our streets, what good is a resurfaced street?” said Councilmember Nury Martinez. “Too many people are killed and injured on our streets, so funding Vision Zero is an absolute priority for me – we must stop talking about reducing traffic accidents and actually put resources behind this goal.”

“Today’s vote is not just about Vision Zero, we are creating a better Los Angeles. Right now, LA is the car capital of the world. As we fight to redefine our City, pedestrian safety will be more important than ever,” said Councilmember Marqueece Harris-Dawson. “However, parts of the City, like South LA and the North East Valley, have a serious problem: the basic infrastructure was never built and residents are paying with their lives. In parts of the City, the simple act of walking can become a life or death decision. Our kids can’t wait and our seniors can’t wait. We need to build for the future today.”

“After years of effort, we now have a Mobility Plan that will prioritize pedestrian, cyclist, and public transit use as much as automobiles with a big focus on safety,” said Councilmember José Huizar. “Direct funding to Vision Zero in this and future budgets is critical to saving lives and honoring the goals and aspirations of Vision Zero and our Mobility Plan. I thank the Mayor, Transportation Chair Bonin and all our City Council partners for their work on this effort.”

Every year, more than 200 people are killed while trying to move throughout Los Angeles. Nearly half the people killed on LA streets are those who were walking or bicycling, and an alarming number of them are children and older adults. In fact, traffic collisions are a leading cause of death for children in Los Angeles, and during this year’s budget hearings, Los Angeles Police Department Chief Charlie Beck revealed that more people have died in LA so far in 2017 after traffic collisions than have been killed by gun violence.

Vision Zero is LA’s commitment to eliminate all traffic deaths by 2025. As directed by Mayor Garcetti, this citywide effort brings together transportation engineers, police officers, advocates, and policymakers to work together towards creating safer streets, with a focus on protecting the most vulnerable road users, including children, older adults, and people walking and bicycling. Vision Zero focuses on engineering, enforcement and education, with equity and engagement driving all Vision Zero improvements. The money allocated in this year’s budget will be focused on engineering solutions to “lead by design” on the sections of roadway statistically proven to be the most dangerous in the city.

Since launching Vision Zero in 2015, the Los Angeles Department of Transportation has identified a network of streets, the High Injury Network (HIN), where strategic investments will have the biggest impact in reducing deaths and severe injuries. Despite making up only six percent of our city streets, nearly two-thirds of all deaths and severe injuries involving people walking occur on the HIN. The budget allocation approved by the City Council today will provide enough funding for “Phase 1” improvements to be made on priority corridors on the high injury network, allowing for lane striping, roadway painting, the installation of bollards and traffic signs, as well as signal timing.

Preserve LA Wins Again to Prevent Another Mega-Development

In the second rebuke in less than a week over illegal mega-developments signed off by the L.A. City Council and Mayor Garcetti, a Superior Court Judge ruled that L.A. political leaders illegally failed to require environmental review when they allowed Target Corp. to build far taller than allowed by zoning laws.

The Target store, which has sat unfinished at Sunset and Western, could have been open and operating if elected leaders had followed the rules and listened to the community, said attorney Robert P. Silverstein.

The April 26 ruling by Superior Court Judge Richard Fruin, Jr. — his second formal finding that L.A. leaders took illegal actions regarding the Target store — comes right on the heels of a similar victory against City Hall by the LA Conservancy.

On April 25, Superior Court Judge Amy Hogue indefinitely halted a controversial 178-foot multi-tower at the foot of Laurel Canyon, dubbed “8150 Sunset.” 8150 Sunset would severely jam traffic and destroy the character of the low-rise, heavily historic community situated on the West Hollywood/Hollywood border.

That victory, by attorney Susan Brandt-Hawley representing LA Conservancy, was based, as with the Target case, on City Hall’s failure to assess the environmental damage. In the 8150 Sunset controversy the city supported demolishing the historic 1960s Lytton Savings bank on the site.

In both the Target and the 8150 Sunset cases, L.A. elected leaders and city planners waged war against concerned Hollywood residents. That battle is unfolding from the Valley to the Eastside to South LA to the Westside, as the City Council and Mayor repeatedly override local zoning in an attempt to usher in massive and often controversial building projects.

In the Target ruling, Judge Fruin found that the Council’s approval of a hotly contested “zone change” to erect the massive Target would negatively impact traffic, noise, air pollution and the GHG (greenhouse gas) emissions the city is struggling to contain.

In the 8150 Sunset battle, city leaders insisted that the community’s desire to preserve the iconic bank wasn’t feasible given City Hall’s preference for a towering luxury structure.
In both cases, the judges found the city blatantly violated the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).

Silverstein, who represents the La Mirada Avenue Neighborhood Assn. of Hollywood in the Target case, said City leaders tried to change the zoning long after the fact, to justify their illegal approval of the Target store.

“By trying to retrofit the zoning to save Target’s illegal project, the City Council committed a new string of illegal acts,” Silverstein said.

Judge Fruin agreed.

Ironically, Target Corp. had envisioned a new Target store that would fit in comfortably with community zoning rules. But according to court documents, then-Councilman Eric Garcetti privately persuaded Target to erect a much bigger building that ignored the local zoning.

“No wonder citizens have so little faith in L.A. City Hall,” said Silverstein.

Environmental advocates, livable community proponents and activists seeking intelligent planning point to these humiliating courtroom losses as evidence that City Hall is not listening to its communities, nor is it abiding by the law.

Silverstein said that his client never opposed a legal Target store. “For years we have asked the City Council and Target to follow the law. It’s that basic. But they keep saying, ‘catch us if you can.’ That is not how elected officials should conduct the public’s business,“ Silverstein said.

Japanese American Memorial Monument Dedicated

By Darryl DuFay

Community members overflowed the northwest corner of Venice and Lincoln Blvd Thursday morning to celebrate the ten years of work that resulted in the dedication of the Japanese American Memorial Monument.

There were City Council, County Supervisors, Mayors, National Park Service, and Board of Public Works members or their representatives.   Speeches were given by members of the community and by city officials who helped with the monument as well as people who were in the interment camp who shared some  of their experiences.

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Phyllis Hayashibara at the podium.

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Recognition of the monument committee members.

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Surviving locals who were interned. Then and Now. Yosh Tomita passed away earlier in year.

Bonin Asks City to Oppose Possible Oil or Gas Drilling Off Western Coast

LOS ANGELES – Calling any new oil and gas drilling off the coast a “clear and ever-present danger to the health and safety of millions of residents, businesses and economies,” City Councilmember Mike Bonin today called on the City of Los Angeles to formally oppose and fight any efforts to allow new oil or gas drilling off the western coast of the United States.

This morning, President Donald J. Trump signed the “America First Offshore Energy Executive Order,” which opens the Pacific, Atlantic and Arctic Oceans up to oil and gas drilling. The last drilling lease sale for offshore drilling in California was in 1984, and the City of Los Angeles has a long history of successfully opposing any new drilling off the coast.

“President Trump’s Executive Order threatens our beaches, harbors and waterways, and we must stand up to protect our environment by fighting his destructive and dangerous action,” said Bonin. “After the Santa Barbara spill in 1969 and the Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010, I’m shocked the President hasn’t learned the simple lesson that drilling for oil and gas is dirty, dangerous and doomed to catastrophe. Los Angeles will do the right thing, and we’ll stand up and fight back against any new attempts to drill off our coast.”

In 1969, as much as 100,000 barrels of oil gushed into the Pacific Ocean after a blowout at a drilling platform in the Santa Barbara Channel. The spill had a significant impact on marine life in the Channel, killing an estimated 3,500 seabirds, as well as marine animals such as dolphins, elephant seals, and sea lions.

The aftermath of the Santa Barbara spill, which is credited with launching the modern environmental movement, continued for decades, with new legislation signed into law to restrict new drilling off the coast. In 1988, under the leadership of former Los Angeles City Councilmembers Marvin Braude and Zev Yaroslavsky, the Los Angeles City Council sponsored voter-approved Proposition O, which effectively ended new oil drilling off the Los Angeles coast.

More recently, President Barack Obama signed an executive order in December 2016 that banned any new oil and gas drilling off the coast of California under Section 12(a) of the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (OCSLA). President Trump’s Executive Order undoes many of the protections put in place by previous administrations, and will potentially allow new drilling to occur off the Western coast.

“Drilling for oil and gas offshore puts coastal communities at risk, and burning oil and gas anywhere puts the future of our planet at risk,” added Bonin. “Los Angeles and California are leading the way to a cleaner, more sustainable energy future. Offshore drilling is dangerous, irresponsible, and unnecessary, and we refuse to turn back.”

Bonin’s motion, which was considered by the City Council under a council rule allowing it to be heard on the same day it was introduced, was approved unanimously.

Sewer System–Dual Force–Construction to Start 24 April

The City sewer line construction–Venice Dual Force Main Project–will start 24 April and continue until the end of June. The completion for the complete system that goes under the channel and Ballona creek and connects in Playa del Rey for service to Hyperion Plant in El Segundo will take until the summer of 2020.

The present system, built in the fifties, will remain in use and be parallel to the new system. The old system was 48 inches wide and the new system will be 54 inches. It will be possible to use either or both systems when finished. The project will also replace backup generators at the Venice Plant.

The purpose for the new line is to increase sewage capacity, create pipeline redundancy, and allow for maintenance of the system.

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Venice Pumping System at Hurricane Street on the Peninsula.

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Construction will start at the pumping station, cross the Grand Canal, travel east to Marquesas Way, and then travel south along Via Marina before crossing the Marina and Ballona Creek channels to meet an existing Coastal Interceptor Sewer on Vista del Mar near Waterview Street.

Below are some answers to questions people might have.sewerinfo.

City Does “Que Card” for LAMC 85.02

LAMC 85,02, which is in effect only until July of next year, has gotten more attention than most new codes involved with the City. It has been confusing for both the recreational vehicle owner and the resident. Can you or can’t one park his RV; what is dwell? A map came out color coding the city and it should have helped but in many cases it did not. This is the City’s latest “que card” of what is and what is not allowed.

For other recent articles go to: https://veniceupdate.com/2017/04/14/motor-homes-are-moving-west-to-venice-since-lamc-85-02/ and https://veniceupdate.com/2017/04/08/85-02-needs-to-be-enforced/

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C3 Team at St. Joseph’s is Moving Homeless into Housing

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Solimar Ferguson of LAHSA (Los Angeles Housing Services Authority) and Tia Drayton, registered nurse with County Department of Public Health are shown returning to St. Joseph Center after visiting homeless on 3rd Ave. They are part of the C3 team assigned to Venice.

 

Venice’s C3 Team is starting to move homeless into housing.  After just five months in operations, they have some numbers.

C3 is a county, city, community team headquartered at St. Joseph Center to help the homeless in Venice, specifically the area from Dewey to Washington Blvd, Lincoln to Main. Their purpose is to engage, assist, and house. Head of the group is Stephen Butler, assistant vice president of programs at St. Joseph Center.

This writer met with Tia, Solimar, and Steve in December of last year. This writer wanted to observe the team in action on 3rd. Steve briefly explained the operation before departing.

Immediately, after leaving St. Joseph’s to Hampton Dr, we saw two women across the street. Tia and Solimar immediately crossed the street toward them.

Here were two well-dressed, diminutive women rolling up a tent that they had used for the night. This writer would loved to have been able to take a picture of these two because they were the “poster children” for “get rid of homelessness in Los Angels today, not tomorrow.” They expressed a seldom seen extreme of  homelessness and they did it with humility and dignity. They were not the stereotype homeless that are seen on the streets or beach of Venice. They looked like semi-professionals, and without the tent, one would never have guessed they were homeless.

This writer walked with the three on 3rd as they talked with the homeless and asked them how they were. Tia re-bandaged a cut on one arm. Tia was equipped with a first-aid kit, and when asked about it being part of the equipment, she said “Oh, yah,” like it was a given for what she did. They had to return, so that day, other than the bandage, it was a meet and “what can we do for you.”

Trust, for the homeless, takes time and engagement. There is an enormous amount of paper work involved after one gains trust to get to the place when one is handed a key to his own apartment.

Stephen said “the team has a lot of different responsibilities when it comes to best serving our unhoused neighbors, which includes coordinating medical and mental health care; re-connecting to past service providers; facilitating connection to income; procuring key documents for housing; navigating the coordinated entry system; and transportation to different types of bridge and permanent housing.

“They assist is the process of getting folks connected to resources like bridge housing, substance use services, medical assessment and treatment, as well as linkage to other resources that lead to health, harm reduction, and housing.”

This writer met Stephen at a Homeless Committee meeting the other night and Stephen was happy to report that the one lady, and he knew immediately that this writer knew who he was talking about, had her own apartment now. That day neither lady wanted to give any particulars. But apparently, one did and now has her own place.

When one hears news like that, one feels both immediate happiness and relief and the thought plays often in one’s head. Cannot imagine the joy the workers must feel when they place someone.

The walk was done in December and there were no figures at the time. They started 24 October. Now they have the follwing figures for the five months in operation, ending 31 March.

People Engaged: 269 (12-month Goal: 300)

People Assisted: 111 (12-month Goal: 150)

Interim Housing Placements: 41 (12-month Goal: n/a)

Assigned to Permanent Housing: 28 (12-month Goal: n/a)

Moved into Permanent Housing: 5 (12-month Goal: 75)

“We have 28 people ‘assigned to housing,’” wrote Stephen. “This means that the person has been connected to some type of voucher or rental assistance, and has a case worker helping him navigate the housing process. The 41 people in interim housing are no longer on the streets of Venice!”

Trump’s Budget Threatens Some LA Homeless Programs

Los Angeles, CA (March 31, 2017) -The Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA) Commission has unanimously approved a resolution in support of programs and resources to help people experiencing homelessness that are threatened in President Trump’s proposed budget.

The proposed budget would eliminate the Community Development Block Grant program as well as the HOME Investment Partnerships Program, which together provide over $140 million annually that in part serve the homeless in Los Angeles County.

“The proposed cuts to HUD and HHS would be catastrophic for the efforts to end homelessness in Los Angeles County,” said Wendy Greuel, chair of the LAHSA Commission. “The Commission will continue to advocate for funding for homeless programs on the federal level to ensure no one calls the streets their home.”

The proposed budget would reduce the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development by $6 billion and the Health and Human Services Department by $15 billion.

The resolution also references the importance of the Legal Services Corporation and the Interagency Council on Homelessness, which would be eliminated under President Trump’s proposed budget. The Commission supports full funding for these programs and others that provide critical services and housing to people experiencing homelessness.

The full text of the resolution can be found here.

The Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority is a joint powers authority of the City and County of Los Angeles, created in 1993 to address the problems of homelessness in Los Angeles County. LAHSA is the lead agency in the HUD-funded Los Angeles Continuum of Care, and coordinates and manages more than $132 million annually in federal, state, county and city funds for programs providing shelter, housing and services to homeless persons. For more information visit www.lahsa.org.

 

Where did the council seat votes come from In Venice?

Election Mar 3, 2017_edited-1

By Darryl DuFay

Note:  Darryl DuFay did this meticulous vote-by-precinct breakdown and map to give Venice voters an opportunity to see what precincts voted for which candidate and to show the total turnout.

The election for CD11 Council Seat was held 7 March. Running for the seat were incumbent Mike Bonin and Venice activists Robin Rudisill and Mark Ryavec.

If you do not know your precinct, go to LA Vote.  Type in your house number and street name (do not include Ave., St, or Blvd).  and submit. See your precinct number near bottom of  page and then  view your precinct boundaries by selecting “View Election Precinct Map and Adjacent area” next to the Precinct Number.  Note that precinct 9002394A, shown on the map as “M,” reaches beyond Venice into the Del Rey area.  Precinct “S “has similar characteristics.

PRECINCT    RUDISILL     RYAVEC        BONIN

A    9001938A            46                  48                  116

B     9005388A           28                  50                   83

C     9001542A           49                  33                   67

D     9003235A           34                  27                   82

E     9001546B           42                 22                   59

F     9002388B            33                  32                 56

G    9003201A            64                  60                  72

H     9001547A            44                  36                163

I      9002863A            54                  66                107

J      9002389A            76               108                 161

K     9005936A            47                  49                 151

L     9001874A            16                 107                   57

M    9002394A            26                  40                  71

N     9001884A            30                  31                  63

O    9000561A            41                   41                   116

P     9001549A            30                 38                   112

Q    9001554A            73                  70                   241

R    9003202A            43                  24                  163

S     9005634A            17                  25                    92

 

Totals                  793/ 21%     907 / 24%   2,032 / 55%

 

 

 

 

Venice Update Thanks Our CD11 Candidates for Answers to Venetians’ Questions

Venice Update thanks all three of CD11 candidates for their answers to the questions that a small group of Venetians posed for the candidates seeking the council seat.

A special thanks to the Venetians who wrote the questions.

This is democracy at its best.