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Venice Update

News of Venice, CA and Marina del Rey CA

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.

Stuff Dropped off at 5th and Westminster

(Photo courtesy of Lealani Ranch Dawes.)

Someone or some-ones left a few things at the corner of 5th and Westminster.

Activist Upset Mar Vista Gets Rat-Proof Trash Cans, Not Venice

(Courtesy of Mike Bonin’s Newsletter.)

Councilman Mike Bonin’s announcement of putting new trash cans on Venice Blvd between Inglewood and Beethoven made Venice activist and resident Rick Swinger yell that “Venice needs them … Venice is the one that needs the rat-proof trash cans,” he said.

Swinger who has advocated for rat-proof trash cans for Venice couldn’t believe the Councilman’s announcement. Swinger even has gotten Mayor Eric Garcetti to agree that Venice needs rat-proof trash cans.

“We got new trash cans for 3rd but they were wire and acted like ‘rat feeders,'”he said. Then they lined them with plastic. Since that time the Clean team from the BID has been cleaning up 3rd and emptying the trash daily. One team member said they had not noticed rat infestation around the trash cans.

He has tried to get Public Storage on 3rd Ave to fumigate their building. He supplies the Venice Update with weekly photos of rat feces around trash cans on 3rd and the beach and rats bravely looking for food during the daylight.

“Perhaps, the deputy district attorney who contracted typhus will shine a light on the significance of this rat infestation that Venice has,” said Swinger.

(All photos courtesy of Rick Swinger.)

“People dump food in Venice for the homeless and leave it,” he said “It provides rats a feast and the food lingers for days.” So Swinger has also advocated for no dumping.

“We need the rat-proof trash cans in Venice.

The first two trash cans are rat-proof and on Venice Beach but there are few of these cans. The metal one is almost extinct because it is so broken.

The third is the most prevalent one at the beach and one can tell it is not rat proof.

This is the one used on 3rd Ave now with plastic inserts.

All you ever wanted to know about your trash collection


There appears to be much confusion as to when to put out the trash cans, when to put the cans away, how to place them, and not only when to return them, but where to return them.

First of all the streets and alleys are for vehicles. They are not places for trash cans to sit. It took a petition originally to allow a block to place their trash cans in the alley. Normal placement is the street. After the trash is picked up, cans are to be removed from the alleys and the streets and put in the yard.

According to the Bureau of Sanitation website, “Containers must be placed at the curb by 6 am on the day of collection and removed no later than 8 pm on the day of collection. On collection day, all containers should be placed with the handles facing the house with at least 3 feet separating the bins and any other object at the curb.” When the Update called Sanitation, they said cans on street from 6 am to 6 pm; do not have the LAMC code. 

Collection service will be postponed by one day following these holidays: New Year’s Day,  Fourth of July, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas. If your collection day falls on one of these holidays,  collection will occur the day after the holiday. If your collection day is any day (within the week) after this Holiday, your trash will be delayed by one day. (Ex: normal trash day is Friday, your trash will be picked up on Saturday).

Bulky Item Pickup
“Bulky items” are large household items, such as mattresses, couches, and other furniture, that are too big to fit in a normal trash container. Sanitation does not collect automotive parts, construction material, commercial waste or cardboard as Bulky Item collections.

Sanitation encourages all to recycle bulky items through charitable organizations and thrift stores. If not possible, the Sanitation will pick-up large or bulky household items, such as mattresses, couches, and other furniture from residents serviced by the City of Los Angeles. To arrange for the removal of these items from your curbside, please call 1-800-773-2489 (this is the number on your trash can) 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at least one day before your regular collection day. Bulky items are collected on the same day that your regular trash collection is made. Have an itemized list ready when calling in your request. 

Ryavec Says It is Group of Eight Who Have Organized; First Venice Group to Organize to Clean Up Their Area was 3rd Ave


Mark Ryavec says it is not just him who posted signs at the Venice Post Office. Last week there was a story in the Update showing Mark posting signs and implying that he was the only one posting signs.

Mark explained that a group of eight got together after one fellow’s house window was broken by brick thrown by a homeless person camping at the post office. The group raised money for the signs and the weekly street steam cleaning.This is the second group to organize to keep their area clean and sanitary.

First Community group to Organize
Rick Swinger of the 3rd Ave area raised money to clean up the alleys, the streets. He has been active in getting Public Storage to steam clean the Public Storage sidewalk. Showgun, a homeless resident on the west side of the street, says Public Storage cleans the sidewalk every week. Showgun says “It is the cleanest sidewalk in Los Angeles.”

Swinger’s efforts to keep 3rd area clean and sanitary resulted in making St. Joseph’s Center aware that they were responsible for cleaning their sidewalks and alleys, which took the burden off Swinger.

(Photo courtesy of Rick Swinger.)

(Photo courtesy of Rick Swinger.)

Swinger is now trying to get the County Health Department to require Public Storage to put in rat traps. He is also trying to stop the public feed and dumping that occurs by well meaning establishments. People dump food and what isn’t eaten, is trashed and draws the rats. Food is illegally dispersed every week using unsanitary conditions.

LA County Health Vector Deptartment Guidelines indicate that these actions puts the homeless and residents in harms way. See http://www.publichealth.lacounty.gov/…/Vecto…/norway_Rat.pdf

Bulky Item Pickup for Condos, Apartment Houses

A person calling himself Lee posted a comment last week saying the Venice Neighborhood Council should do a flyer regarding bulky item pickups for apartments, condos and townhouses. Here is the flyer.

Let’s get the bulky items off the streets, sidewalks, out of Venice.

large garbage

Careful trashing that trash—Amy is Watching!

Amy Alcon, Venice resident and activist, has agreed to allow Update to reprint another of her classic Venice encounters that participants never forget, believe it, and that shine as examples of what to do and what not to do.

Amy captures these moments or events in her “Advise Goddess Blog” and carries more in her recent book Good Manners for Nice People Who Sometimes Say F*ck.

I See Rude People: The Trash Is In The Mail
I was disgusted to see bags and boxes of trash dumped on my street by people who apparently thought they could do this without repercussion.

What was there to do but to mail some of it to the people who left their personal papers in the trash and tell them to come pick it the hell up?


Oops. It seemed the trash dumpers picked the wrong girl’s street.

I spotted a UPS mailing label with a woman’s name on it on the outside of one box. I went in, got gloves, went through the trash and found other items with names and a local address.

There was a UAL boarding pass for Eduardo Sitnoveter (coach, from Hawaii to Los Angeles) and a windowcoverings order for Jacqueline Sitnoveter, sent from a Michigan window coverings store to an address (of a $2.6 million house overlooking the ocean) in the Pacific Palisades.

Now, I have to say, I have no video or other evidence that Eduardo and Jacqueline themselves dumped the trash on my street. There could be, say, trash robbers in, say, the Pacific Palisades, hauling trash miles and miles away to my neighborhood in hopes of tarnishing an innocent couple’s reputation.
Well, you never know.

Sitnoveter is an unusual name.

I found and messaged both a woman with the name Jacqueline Levy Sitnoveter and a man, Eduardo Sitnoveter, on Facebook — both of whom are from Brazil. No reply.

Oh, and he seems to be a plastic surgeon — who studied with the renowned Ivo Pitangy.

Since I had the Pacific Palisades address Jacqueline used, I figured I’d mail a sample of the dumpings from my street — a varied sampling of the trash in the bags and boxes, plus Eduardo’s boarding pass and Jacqueline’s window covering order, plus the tracking for it that I pulled from UPS.

I mailed the box Wednesday, for $3.69, First Class, and worth every penny. The lady at the Post Office said it would be there on Thursday. I did wait a few days. I was hoping one of the dumpers would come pick the trash up, but it’s still there — which is why this blog item is now going up.

The point here is not just about those who thought nothing of turning my cute street into their personal dump but to show others that just because you think some bunch of strangers are ripe for the victimizing…well, think again.

The typed message I included in the box:

What kind of lowlife people excrete bags and boxes of their trash on the grass lining a cute street — as if it’s their personal trash dump?

Amazingly, there are identifying papers within this trash dumped on our cute street, with the names Eduardo Sitnoveter and Jacqueline Sitnoveter.

This is a nice neighborhood, filled with civilized people — people who expect other people to behave as civilized people and not like animals, dropping their turds where they may.

What hubris.

Send somebody to (my street name/location here) to pick this trash up.

And here’s a snapshot of the box I mailed:

trash1.jpg copy

Neighborhoods Want to “Self Clean”

One commenter mentioned that it is time for Venetians to clean up their own neighborhoods and to let people “know we are a community, not Disneyland, or a ghetto no one cares for.”

Absolutely! Start out one block at a time. Wipe out that graffiti and pick up the debris.

The Oxford Triangle, subject of article, has a person who takes care of the graffiti for the neighborhood. Neighbors donate to this fund. A few other neighborhoods do the same. If your neighborhood does not do such, start with a can of Graffiti Removal by Goof Off. This is excellent to take graffiti off smooth surfaces. Get some white paint for the porous surfaces. Contact Pacific Graffiti Solutions at: graffiti@wwwpgs.net for the big stuff. Do it one block at a time. That tells the gangs you are alert, you care, and their marks are not welcome.

A Triangle resident called all the trash bin deliverers (four or five) and told them to clean up their bins. They were told that they were providing gang advertisements and residents did not want that in the neighborhood. All the bins were replaced except for a couple. They are now kept clean by bin providers or by the neighborhood graffiti crew.

That is the first big step and the second would be to pick up the debris and toss it. Call the number on your garbage cans for large, special pickups.

Anyone have suggestions for this person for cleaning it up, one block at a time?

Trash Can Sad Saga

Southwest corner of Lincoln and Washington

Southwest corner of Lincoln and Washington

Northwest corner of Lincoln and Washington

Northwest corner of Lincoln and Washington

Sunday Morning. Picture Above was taken Saturday.

Sunday Morning. Picture Above was taken Saturday.



One of the items on residents’ “To Do” List for Councilman Mike Bonin was to add more trash cans.  Double whatever was there at the bus stops and add them on major streets that tourists travel.

According to the Venice Neighborhood Council news, the Sanitation Department’s program to put grey steel mesh and brown plastic trash receptacles in public areas in front of commercial properties has been cancelled.  Trash cans are being removed from some locations.  The brown trash can at Lincoln-Washington, southwest corner may go.

There is a program for bus stops with green benches.  These benches are provided by advertisers under contract to the City.  Trash receptacles can be requested.  Contact Cecilia Castillo at email:Cecilia.castillo@lacity.org.

And Morning After

Recreation and Parks crews were hustling early in the morning cleaning up the trash on the Venice Beach and Ocean Front Walk areas.  The multitude of cans lining OFW were filled and overflowing.  One vendor waiting to open on OFW as photos were being taken had one word to say, as we both looked at the debris, and that word was “tourists.”

trash1, internet

trash2, I

Trashvenice I&E