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Venice Update

News of Venice, CA and Marina del Rey CA

Venice Garden & Home Tour Captivates Again

a Venice Garden Tour 1

Penthouse with View
a Venice Garden Tour 2

To Craftsman of Yesterday
a Venice Garden Tour 3
Is that a turret?

Production Crews Suddenly Take All Parking

a production crew
Driver or crew chief shown was asked to find another parking spot to park 10 to 20 vehicles for hours, days, weeks.

Production crews have suddenly bloated neighborhoods with vehicles. Cars are parked. Drivers are then loaded and whisked away by a van driver. Then all disappear for hours, a day, a week returning late at night (midnight) and waking all to the sounds of engines running, yelling to one another, slamming car doors.

Production crews have been meeting in areas where there is no street cleaning, parking their cars, jumping in vans and disappearing for days, a week.

Upon returning, the noise is described as “like a street party.”

It’s a Library; What’s Cookin’?

a cooking 1

a cooking 2
In this case, it was mandarin oranges. A group of about 10 people gathered to learn how to can citrus, and in this case, mandarin oranges. Its called the “Preserves Workshop” and is held once a month, first Friday at 11 am.

Next canning class will be in July or August, because the library will be closed for repairs from 12 May to 16 June. Different foods require different processes.

Susan Nickels captivated her group seeking to learn how to can. Susan is a chief master food preserver from the University of California Cooperative Extension, LA county and comes once a month to the Venice library to teach food canning. Different foods require different processes. Susan is also a certified organic gardener.

When asked why her card said “2FarmGirls,” Susan said “It’s in honor of my mother, Pearl, who was/is the other farm girl. We were both brought up on farms.”

Murez Uncovers the Labyrinth

Murez 2

a Murez
After. And the finished product at 6th and San Juan … with a labyrinth walker. (Photo courtesy of Robin Murez.)

May 1 was Labyrinth Day. This labyrinth had its Grand Opening World Labyrinth Day, May 1, 2010, which just happened to coincide with the Venice Garden & Home Tour that year.

According to Robin Murez, “labyrinths are serene spiritual paths. Walking from outside in and back out again provides a moving medication to release oneself of thoughts and come back out refreshed.”

The labyrinth got fenced when ownership changed, and as a result, weeds took over. Last week owner Josh Perttula and project manager Omid Shokoufandeh, along with planning consultant Brian Silveira agreed that the area should be open until developed.

“Big thanks to each of them,” said Robin “They’ve been great to work with. They completely embrace Venice.” Thus Robin put on her work clothes and transformed the corner.

Back in 2010 Robin had a purpose beyond just making a labyrinth. She wanted to make a statement in an area that was blighted.

“To transform the worst drug dealer corner in the Oakwood neighborhood of Venice into a beautiful, interesting, safe & serene neighborhood park, I invited neighbors to join in creating an in-ground labyrinth, a spiritual path,” Robin wrote on her web site, Venicepublicart.com. “We also painted the Bethel Tabernacle Church, landscaped, installed irrigation and sculpted the Mosaic Ball.” At the time the church owned the lot the labyrinth was on.

Robin has left her touching marks throughout Venice. Here a corner, there a corner is a Murez statement. All unobtrusive, yet lasting in thought, when discovered. The “little library,” the “take a peak,” the “wheel of fortune,” and recently the “Charlie Chaplin zoestrope.” What delightful moments she creates and then drops them off here and there to titillate one. Murez has that uncanny ability to transport one instantly from what he is doing, thinking to the imaginative “Land of Gosh” where thought is suddenly changed.

The lot is to be developed but Brian said it will probably take 12 to 18 months for construction to start. So until then, there is a labyrinth at 6th and San Juan.

Where are they when you need them?

parking enforcement
Is it any wonder one cannot get parking enforcement when they need them? First block of the beach on Washington were two parking enforcement cars parked side by side on one side of the street with another across the street. They were holding class for new enforcers.

Boardwalk Gets The Glitz

a Henna Fashion at Boardwalk

Ocean Front Walk is sporting a new sparkling glitz that is dazzling the crowd. It is a Henna tattoo of some kind. Photo does not do it justice.

LUPC Packs ’em In

Once again LUPC draws crowd. Although not large enough to require the gymnasium, LUPC is packing them in. Talk on the street is about changing rents, no affordable housing, gentrification, mass, scale and character, no parking, small lot subdivisions etc. This committee is where the development starts.

Land Use and Planning Committee met Wednesday to discuss 750 California, single lot subdivision, 320 Sunset, which is seeking approval for conditional use permit, beverage; and 1212 Electric, a single family home and a two-unit condominium seeking a reduced front yard setback.

The project on California was approved. Public comment was made on 320 Sunset and it was discussed that outreach is scheduled for 26 April (See 320 Sunset Outreach 26 April story.). The presentation and public comment was made on 1212 Electric and motion was about to be made when time ran out. LUPC meets first and third Wednesday of each month. Next meet will be 7 May.

Mobile Art?–Looks Like “Chic Bate”

a Chic Bate

California State University, Long Beach, student is doing a “mobile art” project.  The four girls passing by were invited to pick up a brush and paint whatever they wanted to paint on him.  Student has a latex-type suit that prevents him from talking.  His arms and legs can move somewhat.  Two of his classmates accompanied him … to assist him, to observe, to take photos, to laugh.

VNC Hears Firestone-Walker and 1414 Main

d audience at VNC
Venice Neighborhood Council (VNC) covered many things Tuesday including hearing the Firestone-Walker brewery project but the crowd came predominately to hear the multi-use 1414 Main Street project. The surprise for the evening was the mention by Councilman Mike Bonin that he would like to put an ice rink at the beach.

Councilman Mike Bonin stopped by and discussed many things such as SB1818 being a state requirement originating to increase affordable housing but has resulted in a decrease of affordable housing. Town hall Saturday covers SB1818.

He said two sets of bike corrals had been placed on Abbot Kinney, a crosswalk was installed at Rose and one at Boccacio and Abbot Kinney, stencils were installed on OFW prohibiting bikes , poetry walls were restored and bathrooms cleaned. He mentioned that PLUM had turned down 522 Venice Blvd thereby ratifying what stakeholders wanted.

Bonin liked the idea of an ice rink at the beach. He said that if we accentuate the good, the bad will be squeezed out. He said rink would be operational between Thanksgiving and Easter. Revenue would stay with the Recreation and Parks and be used to clean the area and the restrooms.

Firestone-Walker Brew Pup breezed thru without opposition. The board count was almost unanimous.

Architect Jason Teague and Brian Silveira of the 1414 Main Street project gave a 15-minute power point presentation. The opposition was given 15 minutes for a presentation. Richard Garvey and another man gave the presentation. The whole program was well managed and informative from both sides and from the individual speakers. Both sides had the same color display cards. That was confusing.

The 1414 Main Street project which had not been passed by the Land Use and Planning Committee was almost unanimously voted down by the board.

Last Rookery to Be Destroyed

Photo by Lina Shanklin.

Photo by Lina Shanklin.

Photo by Lina Shanklin.

Photo by Lina Shanklin.

Photo by Lina Shanklin.

Photo by Lina Shanklin.

Photo by Lina Shanklin.

Photo by Lina Shanklin.

By Marcia Hanscom, Speaking for Nature

There will be a rally 26 March at 5:30 pm at Burton Chase Park to defend the latest assault on the Great Blue Heron rookery. This meet will be prior to the County’s Design Control Board meet at 6:30 pm.

You might recall that many people gathered together to stop the destruction of this rookery a number of years ago. Unfortunately, the chain sawing of the nests at the Villa Venetia site led to more and more cutting and finally, the Great Blue Herons are now ONLY nesting at ONE site – their rookery slashed by more than 2/3 when all of the trees on Fiji Way were either “pruned,” “trimmed,” or completely cut down.

Now, the remaining site is at Mariners Village, which has a plan put forth by a lessee that the County is negotiating with, to kill ALL of the trees and plants there. If you’ve ever been there, it is a GREEN OASIS – a sanctuary for greenery and for many different birds – songbirds on migration, hummingbirds – and most important, the LAST PLACE where the Great Blue Herons are nesting in the Ballona Valley.

There is a hearing on March 26th at 6:30 pm – the County’s Design Control Board will meet.

There are other BIG changes in that parcel planned – including removing a 90+ boat marina used for sailors, kayakers and other small boat navigators for another SHOPPING CENTER! agh!!!

We will have a rally for the Herons – and for sanity – for the quality of life for all – at 5:30 pm that day – prior to the meeting – at Burton Chace Park at the western end of Mindanao Way.

We ARE keeping an eye out for the Egret rookery too. They ought to be nesting soon and we need to keep watch near Yvonne B. Burke Park (Admiralty Park).