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Venice Update

News of Venice, CA and Marina del Rey CA

We Didn’t Start the Fire, Venice is Burning


Special thanks to Billy Joel, Performed by Mark Lennon of the band, Venice,
Produced by Nico Ruderman, Lyrics by Sean Obrien

Mike Bonin, Sheila Kuell, Gavin Newsome, what a fool
Autum Burke, Ted Lieu, Ben Allen have no clue
Garcetti, Eunuch in a trance, Scott Weiner in his pants
Third St., Boardwalk, Oakwood cant get a cop
Needles, feces, drug dealers, ocean breeze
Rubbish fires, Baseball bats chop shops, tons of rats
Encampments, Cherynoble, Carol Sobel thinks she’s noble
Rape, murder, suicide, no bail, it’s genocide
We didn’t’ start the Fire
Venice is burning, since Bonin’s been earning
We didn’t’ start the Fire, Venice is blighted, as we tried to fight it.
Blue tarps, Got Junk, Venice in a funk
Out of State, imports, no support, Supreme Court
Prostitution, vandalism, saturation, devastation
Sanitation, hesitation, Venice annihilation
Nero on the roof, Government has no proof
Pelosi, ice cream, I just want to scream
Harris, VP, abandoned us to live her dream
People squatting on the Beach, methamphetamine
We didn’t’ start the Fire
Penmar is burning, since Bonin’s been learning
We didn’t’ start the Fire, Venice is blighted, but we’ve tried to fight it.
RV’s, heaps of trash, they wonder why we clash
Rising crime, too much grime, brother can you spare a dime
Hair cuts, trim suits, bureaucratic lawsuits
Jones Act, Boise, failed leaders, crazy
Tax base shrinking, City Council winking
Zombies peeing, Residents fleeing
Puppet show, quid pro quo, no go, Skid Row
Rezone, methadone, Venice a containment zone
We didn’t’ start the Fire
Third Street is burning, since Bonin’s been churning
We didn’t’ start the Fire, Venice is blighted, but we’ve tried to fight it.
Dogtown upside down, violent shantytown
Dereliction, mental crisis, drug addiction, hepatitis
Heroin, weed, booze, storm drains full of ooze
Echo Park clean up, Venice remains a dump
Covid, Bonin’s dream, no Ben and Jerry’s Ice cream
Sirens daily, Where’s The Guy who plays the ukulele
We didn’t’ start the Fire
The Boardwalk is burning, since Bonin’s been earning
We didn’t’ start the Fire, Venice is blighted, As we’ve tried to fight it.
Homeless advocates, vagrants dropping pants
Sunset, Hampton, shelter box with a gun
Developers lobby, residents groggy
Venice a containment zone, I can’t leave my home
Tents around the school, beach and Rose cesspool
Venice strives, Lost Lives, but they all have knives
Too much alcohol, cant containment them all
Back again, bohemian, Monster on the Median
We didn’t’ start the Fire
Venice is burning, since Bonin’s been earning
We didn’t’ start the Fire, A new day will dawn,
Venice goes on and on and on and on and on and on an on and on and on and on

Coalition of Leaders: “Save Parker Center for Homeless Housing”

By Preserve LA

There is a group who want to build new and a group who want to rebuild present buildings for homeless housing. The new-build group is close to $500,000 per unit, and for example, the Aids Foundation claims they can rebuild for $100,000 per unit, charge less per unit, and build the same number within half the time.

A growing coalition of civic leaders Thursday will unveil a ballot initiative to save historic Parker Center, the former LAPD headquarters, from the wrecking ball, and renovate it as the Tom Bradley Center to house the homeless.

The plan is backed by Coalition to Preserve LA Executive Director Jill Stewart, AIDS Healthcare Foundation President Michael Weinstein, Holman Church UMC Senior Pastor Kelvin Sauls (a board director of AHF and a city commissioner on the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority), Poverty Matters Executive Director Susie Shannon, Catholic Workers Associate Director Kaleb Havens, and many other civic leaders.

Parker Center has stood empty five long years. The Los Angeles City Council says it would be “too expensive,” to save it due to exaggerated costs for earthquake and asbestos retrofits. In fact, renovating it to house 732 homeless people would cost significantly less than the city is spending to build new homeless housing — at a staggering $450,000 per homeless unit.

Amidst L.A.’s worst humanitarian crisis since the Great Depression, the city intends to demolish Parker Center to erect a $490 million luxury office skyscraper — for city workers.

Jill Stewart, of Coalition to Preserve LA, said “This is our Katrina, with homeless crowding under tarps from Home Depot and nowhere safe to go. City Hall must stop clinging to plans it laid years ago for a luxury skyscraper, at a time when politicians were pronouncing a plan to ‘end homelessness.’ A decade later we must rethink things and focus on the mission at hand.”

When Angelenos approved the $1.2 billion Prop. HHH in 2016, to house L.A.’s exploding homeless population, voters made clear: unused old buildings should be repurposed for the homeless. Yet little of this “adaptive reuse,” is underway.

The iconic Mid-Century Parker Center, across from City Hall East, could be renovated before the city opens its first HHH homeless units. The city will open its first units in late 2019 — three years after voters approved $1.2 billion.

A recent proposal made to city leaders to reuse Parker Center to house 732 homeless people, was ignored — as were previous entreaties. Now, leading voices in homelessness, religion, architecture, historic preservation, and civic betterment call on voters: Transform Parker Center from a place with a dark past, to the uplifting Tom Bradley Center, serving our underserved and forgotten.

As the brilliant author D.J. Waldie wrote in the Los Angeles Times three years ago, “Putting up a bland, generic office tower as a replacement would diminish the Civic Center’s renaissance, symbolized by Grand Park. Erasing the symbol that Parker Center has become would betray the memories of those who suffered because of the decisions made there.”

Yet city officials ignored the Los Angeles Conservancy, which found that city consultants had exaggerated the costs of renovation. Neither the damage from the Northridge quake or the asbestos used to insulate virtually all U.S. public buildings before the 1980s threatened LAPD staff who worked there for years and years.

Architect Margi Nothard, president of Glavovic Studio Inc., an award-winning firm in the fields of adaptive reuse and social housing, says of Parker Center:

“It’s an extraordinary opportunity for L.A.’s leaders to demonstrate to cities across the U.S., many struggling with similar challenges, how to reuse an existing structure for a critically important purpose – housing homeless residents. Its design is beautifully adaptable to housing.”

Saving this viable iconic building makes sense, not just historically and economically – but for our city’s own humanity.

Fighting for the Rights of LA Landlords

By Bill Hooey, head of Fair Housing Coalition
Here are four things that every landlord in the City of Los Angeles should be aware of.

Item #1 – A Secret Meeting
I received a phone call last week from someone who works for the City and he told me about a secret meeting that involved people who work for the city, the county and the state. At this time, it appears that the Los Angeles City Council is moving forward to legalize the thousands of illegal units across LA. As long as they don’t pose a health or safety issue to the renters, the City wants to legalize them.

There are some people in Los Angeles who converted a garage behind their home into an apartment. These people should remain vigilant because what some government officials want to do is … after the illegal unit is legalized; they want to declare the property a commercial location (no longer a private home). These same people have high hopes of one day doing a “split roll” so that commercial properties in LA County will lose their Prop 13 protection.

If that ever happens, people who have lived in their homes for decades could find their home’s real estate taxes doubling or tripling. 
We must remain keep our eyes open so those with this secret agenda are not able to stab homes owners in the back. As soon as I hear more on this, I will share it with those in my database.

Item #2 –Helping Homeless Veterans
The City of Los Angeles has, according what I’ve been told, the largest homeless population in the country. City government has been working hard to find apartments for the homeless vets and they’ve been able to find about a thousand vets a place to live. Word has gotten out and homeless vets from across the country are now moving to LA.
So, instead of getting smaller, the problem is getting bigger. Two weeks ago, a group of landlords met with the Mayor on this issue. They are willing to rent units to homeless vets but the truth is that some homeless vets do have emotional and drug problems. So in trying to do something noble, a landlord could end up with a huge problem.

These landlords told the Mayor that before they will rent to a homeless vet, they want an exemption from the RSO for that unit. That way, if the homeless vet doesn’t pay the rent, causes damage to the building, causes problems for other tenants, brings in his friends to move in with him or brings in any type of illegal activity (such as drug use), the landlord won’t have to go through a nightmare to evict this problem tenant.

I support this idea and I believe we should start going to City Council meetings expressing that we want to help homeless vets but we need an exemption from the RSO for the unit we rent out to a homeless vet. This could be one giant step that helps us in dealing with the RSO.

Item #3 – Videotaping The Police
About ten days ago, the California Assembly passed a ruling stating that it is perfectly legal for anyone to videotape Police Officers in a public place. (Update asks why would this even be a question?) You can’t cross that “Crime Scene Yellow Tape” but you can video the Police from any open public place.

So, when a housing inspector enters your building and many of them believe they have Police powers, you can videotape them while they are on your property. If they threaten you with stopping the inspection and leaving, we would like to know about it.

Item #4 – For Hotel and Motel owners
The US Supreme Court struck down a LA law three weeks ago. The City of Los Angeles had created a law that gave the LAPD the authority to enter any hotel or motel and look at the registry to see who was staying there or had stayed there recently. If the owner did not comply, he/she could be arrested. The United State Supreme Court ruled that was unconstitutional. The great thing about this ruling is that it shows that they City of Los Angeles doesn’t have any problem creating laws that violated the constitution. This could give us some extra power in our lawsuits against the City when we go to court in October.