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Venice Update

News of Venice, CA and Marina del Rey CA

VNC Election Candidate/Slate Forum

The Venice Neighborhood Council (VNC) election is happening now!  It is a vote-by-mail only this year.You must register to get ballot by 1 June, 5 pm, and you must vote by 8 June, 5 pm.


This writer emailed his registration and verification to the city 3 May.  It is 20 May and a ballot has not been received.  This writer  called and was told that it “just needs to be mailed out.”   This writer asked if that was a big deal and was told that there are other council elections that they are handling.   It has been so frustrating that this writer has told several people he would volunteer to run the VNC election next time for free.   Venice overflows with talent.

Because it is a vote-by-mail election many of the candidates have grouped together and put out literature.  Many individuals have just written something.  The Update will print all election literature, individual or collective.

So far the groups or individuals represented include: Common Sense Venice,  Venice Canals, Soledad Ursua,  Mark Ryavec, Fight Back Venice, CJ Cole, 1 Venice, Benjamin Decker for President, and Yolanda Gonzalez.  Send in your slate or your individual info about running and it will be added.

Common Sense Group

Melissa Diner for Secretary; Michael Jensen for Chair of LUPC; Daffodil Tyminski for Vice President; Vicki Halliday for Communications; Sima Kostovetsky for Community Outreach; Andrea Boccaletti for Treasurer; Jim Murez for President.

Hello Venetians —

This is the team at Common Sense Venice checking in to make sure you know about the upcoming Venice Neighborhood Council Election.

Did you know that registration for the election is currently underway for people that live, work, or own property in Venice? This year, you have to register to receive your mail in ballot, even if you are already registered to vote in our general elections.
We are a group of experienced, longtime stakeholders who want to hold our city government accountable for its failed policies, clean up our streets, and support our homegrown businesses struggling to recover from the pandemic.
Thank you for your support and registering to vote for Common Sense.
The Common Sense Candidates for Venice Neighborhood Council
Register to Vote by June 1st!


From Venice Canals

The 2021 Venice Neighborhood Council elections voting process has begun.

After thoughtful consideration, the Venice Canals Informative has the following suggestions for candidates with the most common interest of preserving the safety and well being of our community.

The ballot application period closes on June 1st. Your ballot must be postmarked by Tuesday, June 8th. Since there is processing time needed and your ballot is mailed back to you, please send your application ASAP.


Click below for the ballot application.


Note: This Information is for using email by phone to get your ballot.

You can still use email if you don’t have a phone or send it by regular mail.

  1. Fill out your application.
  2. Take a picture of the application with a phone.
  3. Take a picture of your driver’s license with the phone showing residency (or show utility bill or property tax bill).
  4. Forward the pictures of the application and the license to the election clerk email with the subject line : VNC BALLOT APPLICATION.
  5. Clerk’s email address:  Clerk.ElectionsNC@LAcity. org


Soledad Ursua for VNC At-Large Community Officer

Voting is all done by mail, so please apply for a VNC ballot today!! You can read more about the process here.
As you all know the VNC elections are upon us! I am running for an At Large Community Officer position (you can only vote for 1) and I am hoping to get your voting pledge. Most of you know that I am not a Democrat nor a Republican, I am Libertarian. I have very different views than most people, and for that reason I am running on my own, independent of a slate.
I am awful at campaigning but here goes—-
I have been an active member of this group since its inception. I live in North Venice, right by Bridge Housing. Last May there was an open seat on the VNC Board and as a frustrated homeowner, I ran and was elected to represent the community. Although I have only served on the board for less than a year, I understand the issues, which I have effectively expressed to the media. I take every interview opportunity that I am offered, even if I am concerned over how I will be portrayed. I believe that getting our voice heard is the most important thing that a VNC board member can do.
In November I pushed to reinstate the dormant Public Health and Safety Committee, and was named the Chair. I am incredibly thankful for this opportunity and have worked very hard to chair this committee as professionally as possible, and bring up issues that matter to stakeholders. In just 6 short months of meetings we have tackled some important issues-
-Moderating enforcement discussions between LAPD, LAFD, LA SAN, Parks and Rec.
-Creating a fire safety buffer resolution which has now been adopted by the Wilmington and El Sereno NC’s.
-Running a joint PHSC meeting with the Mar Vista Community Council (a historic first!)
-Hosting LA Controller Ron Galperin to present directly to Venice Stakeholders
-Taking on storm drain issues and environmental beach hazards
If you like what I have done in the past year, I hope you will give me the opportunity to come back and represent you again. I have learned so much and I am just starting to hit my stride.
WHAT IS MOST IMPORTANT TO ME– is not to simply be elected, but to be elected alongside a group of amazing Community Officers. The fact that we can only vote for 1 At Large Community Officer makes electing good people incredibly difficult. For that reason, I am spending time to help bring on new people who I believe will best represent all of us.
CJ Cole and Nico Ruderman are both long time VU members who have represented this group. Mark Standring is the husband of Gila Standring, also an active VU member! Let’s make sure to get our own elected!! (sorry if I missed someone on here)
Please let me know if I can count on your pledge to vote for me. I am trying to get enough pledges to put me in the clear to be re-elected, and then I will work to make sure enough votes are spread out among all these great people as well!
Additionally, there are many new faces to the community that are not part of our Venice United group, and people that we will want to represent us! I am co-hosting an event tonight with 
Chie Lunn to hear directly from stakeholders. Please feel free to join us, and yes… laptop streaming of the VNC Executive Forum is available.
Thank you, and I hope I can continue to represent you!!
Soledad Ursua

Mark Ryavec Recommends

Brian Averill

Vice President
(No recommendation)

Melissa Diner

Andrea Boccaletti

Land Use and Planning Chair
Alix Gucovsky

Vicki Halliday

Community Outreach Officer
Sima Kostovetsky

At-Large Community Officers (vote for only one)
To assure that as many of our pro-resident/pro-public safety candidates are elected as possible to the VNC Board, please vote for the candidate below who is from your geographic area of Venice.  This will spread out our votes and help get more of our candidates elected.

CJ Cole or Alley Mills Bean

Nico Ruderman

Abbot Kinney/Windward Circle-Adjacent
Stan Ansar Muhammad

Silver Triangle/Presidents Row
Elizabeth Clay

Penmar/East Venice
Chie Lunn

Boardwalk/Walk Streets
Mike Folkert

North Main Street/Pacific/North of Rose
Soledad Ursa

Milwood/Eastern Walk Streets
Carlos Zubieta

Fight Back Venice

While there are many threats facing Venice, our view is that the greatest, most urgent threat is the unchecked expansion of the permanent homeless infrastructure in Venice, because once it goes in, it cannot realistically be removed even if Bonin (as we hope) is unseated in Fall 2022.

That permanent infrastructure includes not only Mike’s Monster on the Venice Canals, but also Mike’s Even Bigger Monster coming soon to the 3-acre MTA Lot a block off the beach on Main Street.

After interviewing candidates and researching the VNC voting records, we believe the following candidates will fight hardest to stop Mike’s Monsters (and other such infrastructure projects in Venice) and unseat Bonin in the November 2022 elections.

President:  Jim Murez
Vice-President:  Daffodil Tminski
Secretary: Melissa Diner
Treasurer:  Robin Rudisill
Land Use and Planning Chair: Alix Gucovsky
Communications: Vicki Halliday
Community Outreach Officer:  Sima Kostovetsky
At-Large Community Officer (vote for only one)
South of Venice Boulevard:      CJ Cole or Alley Mills Bean    
North of Venice Boulevard:      Soledad Ursua   

CJ Cole for At-Large Community Officer

Hi Neighbor …

The Venice Neighborhood Council election is currently underway; and I hope you have applied for your vote-by-mail ballot. If not, you can find all the information here.

I am running for a second term as an At-Large Community Officer and am hoping for your support … you can vote for ONLY ONE of the 53 candidates for this position on the ballot. The 13 highest vote-getters will be elected. (Just so you don’t get lost …see below for a picture ofthe ballot for the A-Large Community Officers and where to find my name.)

To learn more about my qualifications and my “platform,” please visit my website … CJforVNC.com.

Hoping I can continue to represent you !!!

Thanks so much … CJ Cole

 CJ Cole for VNC

310 773 6945 … CJforVNC.com


1 Venice Slate


We are eight longtime Venetians running together for the Venice Neighborhood Council. We love this community and we are deeply concerned by its current slate. Violent crime has skyrocketed. Over 2,000 people are sleeping on our streets. Our pleas for help to city officials have been largely ignored. It’s clearly time for a new era of leadership and neighborhood unity. we all have strong, proven track records in this community and we are 100% committed to healing this neighborhood actively addressing the current crisis and holding our LA city officials accountable.

Due to the pandemic, this year’s election is entirely vote-by-mail. You must request a ballot from the city clerk before June 1 at 5 pm with proof that you live or work in Venice. Learn more about us and request a ballot at: 1venice.com.

Benjamin Decker for President

3rd Gets Rat-proof Trash Cans

Activists Rick Swinger got his rat-free trash cans for 3rd Ave in Venice.  Swinger has championed the cans publicly since he asked for them at the original town hall years ago.  They have been in the works somewhere since then.

At one time, the Venice Update offered to pay for them, and then Rick said he would split the cost.  That got filed along with the original request.  Everyone knows that rat-free trash cans keep the rats hungry.  Hungry rats leave the area.  Google now has rat traps on their property because of a health department inspection requested by Swinger for 3rd Ave.  He has also asked all vendors and service agencies to stop dumping food on 3rd but that request has hit deaf ears.

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

You add the title, the caption!

Photo taken by Celeste Chada after the storm that happened Sunday, 27 December thru Monday, 28 December 2020. Photo shows the homeless gear at the beach at the end of Rose Avenue.

San Clemente Does Simple Homeless Shelter with Tents and Passes Litmus Test of Ninth Circuit

What are other cities doing to provide shelter for the homeless? Here is a synopsis of what San Clemente has done … and it has passed the litmus test of going to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Rather than building a homeless shelter or purchasing pallet shelters and installing them at a location near parks, schools, residences, restaurants, or other businesses, San Clemente provided a small parcel of City property in an industrial area.

They then enacted an ordinance, and issued an emergency declaration, This required all camping to occur at that site. They asked for reasonable requirements, such as registration and check-in protocols, prohibitions on weapons, drugs, alcohol, dangerous tools, fires, or loud music, quiet time enforced from 10pm to 7am. San Clemente later required proof of residency as well.  City provided basic tents and portable toilets but no electrical hookups.

People experiencing homelessness and their advocacy groups sued San Clemente. The judge determined that San Clemente’s conduct complied with the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Martin v. City of Boise decision, and dismissed the lawsuit with prejudice.  Last month, the plaintiffs in that case abandoned their appeal to the Ninth Circuit, thus acknowledging that their legal challenge to San Clemente’s solution lacked merit.

The following links contain the San Clemente Ordinance and the Emergency Declaration.



Bonin Invokes Section 245 of City Charter to Venice Place Project

Councilman Mike Bonin invokes Section 245 of the LA City Charter over Venice Place which will give him authority over the West LA Area Planning Commission.

This project has been in the works for eight years and just recently received planning approval, having previously gone thru the Venice Neighborhood Council.

The motion was folded into a group of motions voted on by the City Council, 25 August.

Members of the Venice Neighborhood Council were not alerted to the motion, violating the Empower LA Early Warning System.

Bonin inserts jurisdiction over boutique hotel project in Venice: Here’s what that means

Stats for Venice and Other City Bridge Homes with Costs

CJ Cole, member of Venice Neighborhood Council and the homeless committee, asked Nisa Kove, Venice Field Deputy, for a breakdown of the Venice Bridge Home on Sunset. This is the first time detailed information has been provided for the Venice Bridge Home designated for 100 adults, 54 youth.

Venice Update, which covered the opening of El Pueblo the first such site in 2018, has had trouble getting detailed information regarding the sites. Apparently, the City is starting to release statistical results for many of the bridge homes that have come on line recently.

CJ Cole also supplied a link to a new online newsletter called “LAist” which shows the stats for various bridge homes and their costs. It is he first time result figures and costs have been published to this extent for the bridge homes.

LAist article.

Bonin Changes Mind and LAPD to Enforce 63.44 at Venice Beach

By Gale Holland
In an abrupt turnaround, Los Angeles police will resume enforcing a ban on homeless people pitching tents and lean-tos on the beach and grass areas around the Venice boardwalkIn an abrupt turnaround, Los Angeles police will resume enforcing a ban on homeless people pitching tents and lean-tos on the beach and grass areas around the Venice boardwalk.

On Wednesday, LAPD Chief Michael Moore emailed Venice homeowner and activist Mark Ryavec that he and Westside City Councilman Mike Bonin had decided police would not enforce an anti-camping law in Venice in light of concerns from health officials that displacing homeless people could spread the novel coronavirus.

But the next day, Moore said in a follow up email to Ryavec that Bonin had decided to leave the decision to the LAPD. Department officials chose to reverse course, saying officers will begin cracking down on camps on the sand immediately and those on grass areas after the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority has had a chance to find spots in shelters for people.

Ryavec, who heads Venice Stakeholders Assn., said the homeless people violated safety guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control by moving in over the last few weeks as the virus continued to spread.

Mark Ryavec, president of the Venice Stakeholders Association.

https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2020-08-21/lapd-resumes-clearing-tents-from-venice-beach (Normally, the story would not be repeated but because it is so important and such a short story, it is repeated with the link.)


Stop the Monster!!!

Homeless Encampment Endangers Oxford Triangle Homeowners and Apartment Dwellers Sunday Morning

(Video and photos are by anonymou.)

Homeless encampment fire endangers lives of downwind 188-unit apartment dwellers (32 feet from blaze) plus community in gated Oxford Triangle community (40 feet) Sunday about 1 am.

Had fire been allowed to spread up the street it would have endangered 317 apartment dwellers and Oxford Triangle single-family homes.

Supposedly, the hands of the police are tied because homeless encampment is on the right of way of public land to be developed for senior, low-cost, and psh housing but presently held by the City.

“How much craziness do people have to endure,” one homeowner asked who wanted to remain anonymous. “This is beyond reason. Homeowners have offered to pay for and install the fence that would cover the right of way to protect the homeowners and apartment dwellers. Fence would exclude the homeless encampment which grows each day.

“We are not mentioning the drug dealing that kids and adults both walking to Admiralty park and living adjacent to witness each day. One man has recorded the license plates of two Mercedes cars bringing in bicycles that are then reassembled for the drug runners. Info has been sent to police.

“We want this element out of our neighborhood. This is wrong. Peoples lives and livelihoods are dangling in front of the homeless. The City should send in a crew immediately and remove this element.”