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Venice Update

News of Venice, CA and Marina del Rey CA

Pier Jumper Saved from Surf at Venice Pier

By Peter Ruiz, head of Venice Pier Project

At 12:15 pm Tuesday an unidentified man jumped off the north side of the Venice Pier.

Under estimating the undertow and the wind, he struggled to swim away from the pilings. A set of 3- to 5-foot waves rolled in a few minutes later and slammed the man into not one but two pilings. A near by surfer assisted along with Los Angeles fire and rescue and county lifeguards. Five minutes later LAFD was on scene. The man refused to be treated and was informed that it’s a fine or even arrest for jumping off the Venice Pier. Dazed and bleeding from all the mussels tearing into his torso, the man limped away to the showers.

VCH Proposes 40 Units Affordable/PSH on Lincoln Blvd

Venice Community Housing (VCH) will be hosting a meeting Wednesday, 8 May, 6 to 8 pm at St. Mark’s Community Center, 2475 Lincoln Blvd, to explain their proposal for 40 affordable/PSH units at 2469 -2471 Lincoln Blvd (Next to McDonald’s.)

The plan is to provide studio, one and two bedroom units and to incorporate the existing Safe Place for Youth building with lots of open space.

LUPC Approves Oxford Triangle 98-Unit Affordable/Homeless/PSH Project

The Thomas Safran 98-unit affordable/homeless/psh project scheduled for the Oxford Triangle sailed through the Land Use and Planning Committee with Chairman Matt Royce making the statement to the neighbors and the builder that LUPC wished all “communities and builders could work together as well as these have done.” The vote was 4 to 2.

There were three conditions of approval:

The building of the property is to be contingent on obtaining and installing road blockage at Thatcher prior to any work on the property, including demolition. The haul route for pavement and soil removal, the ingress and egress for the construction work, and the parking for the construction workers, all need to take place on the project-side of the road barrier and not in or through the neighborhood, and if the City does not approve the haul route on Princeton, the project can not go forward.

The developer shall work with Harbor Crossing to make the Harbor Crossing exit into an entrance/exit.

The developer shall maintain the street surface during demolition and construction, shall restore the street surface after the removal of the pavement and soil, and shall restore the street surface after completion of construction

The following entitlements from the contractor were approved:

Bonin Questions Effectivity of the Homeless Street Cleanings

Councilman Mike Bonin in the City Council Homeless and Poverty committee has made a motion to have Bureau of Sanitation, Los Angeles Police Department, and Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority and other agencies to report on the “efficiency of existing clean-up efforts,” detailing key objectives and providing metrics of success or failure. The following questions should be answered:

1. Are we improving public health?
2. Are we helping or hurting efforts to get people out of encampments and into housing and services?
3. What is the appropriate role of law enforcement in clean-ups?
4. What is the appropriate level of oversight and community engagement?

Encampment Update — 3 May 2019


It is so nice to see 7th Ave behind Whole Foods with its bollards. This homeless site was directly across from homes.

Reminiscing one remembers the encampments in the median of the 90 Freeway creating a fire hazard, the solicitors at the corners on Washington and Lincoln and the 90 Freeway. Remember the encampment at Lake, the encampment that surrounded Staples and ended up next to Lincoln Hardware before it left. Remember the encampment on Venice Way next to the Post Office annex. This is where the shooter came from that shot someone on Windward. Who could forget the Canal saga. Harrison and Harding had encampments. McDonald’s restaurant use to be surrounded by homeless. Most of these encampments have been handled by Citizens in the neighborhood who purchased planters and plants. Others have been handled by the LAPD.

7th Ave
Sidewalk on 7th Ave behind Whole Foods market is empty. (See photo above.)  The leasing company that leases to Whole Foods found out their property line goes to middle of sidewalk so they have put bollards in the middle of the sidewalk to show their property line.

The people who stayed on 7th were there for a short time. Charlie was there from Colorado and “won’t go back until the weather gets better.” Shogun left for Santa Cruz. Jake worked in construction and could work if he wanted, but he chose the beach lifestyle. Those were just a few this writer got to know. These three would never accept housing. The others changed each week. Noticed that Machado Ave next to 7th has an encampment.

Penmar Park
Penmar Park looks like it lost some tenters. Officers Perez and Lin were there and were asking people to put down their tents or fix them so that they were open on all sides.Perez said the HOPE team had been out many times. No one seemed to want housing or services. Perez said Sanitation was scheduled to return soon, just when he didn’t know. People have been lining the alley again with trash and pushing stuff in the middle of the lot.

Casey is one of the tenters and she was helping another tenter put down his tent because he wasn’t there. Casey said there were about six tents and eleven people living there. Most people were couples but her boyfriend is away for awhile. She has been there since Memorial Day and the 4th is her 30th Birthday. I talked to Casey about calling SHARE which has collaborative housing. She said she and her boyfriend use to have two dogs so people put them on the bottom of the list. Now they don’t have dogs. At SHARE they could share a bedroom when he comes back.  She will wait for her  boyfriend first.





Alley Behind Thai Restaurant
The property behind the Thai restaurant looks like it is gaining in tenters. One fellow said there were 14. There were only 10 before,

Ocean Ave Between North and South Venice Blvd
Ocean Ave between South and North Venice Blvd has not changed much since last week. They are still in violation of Penal Code 601 and the ADA accessibility. North Venice continues to grow and the car is still grounded there attracting vagrants.
Guess enforcement awaits SLO Jennifer Muther who comes back from vacation 12 May.



Fourth south of Sunset
Fourth looks like it is growing. It has been mostly people who stay off the sidewalk but this time it had a couple people who were violating that law.

Westminster Senior Center Park
Westminster park at the senior center had three encampments last week. This week it has one more.

Hampton Drive
Hampton Dr south of Rose only has the one area of encampments. Hampton north of Rose is still the poster child. It has encampments but they leave in morning, place gets cleaned, and the people return.

Third Gets Cleaned Again Today — Fifth in a Row

By Rick Swinger

Friday, May 3rd clean up on 3rd Ave. What a mess today with all the illegal dumping coming from Public Storage! What happened to their “No Dumping” signs?
We can see the benefits of those “Temporary No Parking” signs LADOT finally put up on 3rd. We have had five major cleanings in a row with the full force only these street cleaning trucks can provide when there are no cars parked on 3rd.

I told Watershed Enviromental Protection today of all those rodent nests next to the fence line of Google and the tents. They had a look for themselves today as we are still waiting to hear from the LA County Health Vector Management to get back to us.

Meanwhile, Steve is camped on the other side of Google on Hampton, south of Rose, was cooking up some fried chicken today. I feel sorry for him having to cook and eat on this filthy street next to Google on Hampton.

Signs were up days before the 3rd street cleaning, and of course, no medicine or valuables were taken by Sanitation and no signs of any of those protesters from VCHC and “Services Not Sweeps” were seen today.



Panel Discussion Covered County Role in Mental Health for Homeless

From left to right are: an unidentified man who works for Didi Hirsch, Jenna Rodson, who works for Didi Hirsch, Rebecca Watson, Inner City Law Center, Libby Boyce Department of Mental Health and Maria Funk, Department of Mental Health. Chelsea Cevemone was the moderator.

Shiela Kuehl’s office staff assembled a group of five in the mental health fields to talk to residents about the situation in Los Angeles and give  an overview of what each does.  The group met at Beyond Baroque Tuesday evening to a packed audience.

According to Maria Funk 27 to 31 percent of the homeless are mentally ill.  Monies from Measure H will be used by the county to provide help for the mentally ill.  Many of the members explained what they did and that they will be doing even more now that the system is up and running.

Libby Boyce explains the new outreach system established as a result of Measure H to get the homeless into services.

70-Foot, Mixed-Use Building on Lincoln to Use TOC Density

The 70-foot building planned for 1808 – 1816 Lincoln Blvd will be heard by the Land Use and Planing Committee (LUPC) of the Venice Neighborhood Council (VNC) 9 May, 6:45 pm, Oakwood Recreation Center, 767 California Ave.

The commercial property at 1808 to 1816 Lincoln Blvd falls within the jurisdiction of the Transit Oriented Community ordinance (TOC) that allows density bonuses based on proximity to major transit and provides affordable units. It does not fall within the jurisdiction of the California Coastal Commission or the Venice Specific Plan.

The proposed site is to be mixed use with retail on the ground floor, offices on the second floor, and housing on remaining floors.

“The project is benefiting from TOC which gives a bonus of an additional 30,800 square feet of buildable area that must be used for residential only, and by providing one affordable unit, they can build eight more at market rate,” wrote Paola Pinl, of the East of Venice Neighborhood Association (EVNA). Pinl is also an architect.

The project has upset the community east of Lincoln because the project is stated to be “by right,” which means they do not have to have hearings but just get Los Angeles Department of Planning’s approval. The EVNA is disputing that such a change on Lincoln Blvd should go forward without public input.

The developer is Wiseman and the architect is John Reed.


Talk Show Host O’Connor Comes to Mar Vista to Broadcast about the 405 Freeway Homeless

Larry O’Connor, radio talk show host on WMAL AM/FM in Washington, DC, talks with Venice activist Barbara Gibson after his broadcast locally on 790 KABC.

Larry O’Connor, radio talk show host on WMAL AM/FM in Washington, DC, broadcast from Mar Vista Tuesday on KABC at Exclusive Motors on Venice Blvd beside the 405 Freeway that has become infamous because of the homeless on one side and nothing on the other. O’Connor also covered the Road Diet.

This is where one side of the street, which is considered Los Angeles, is completely filled with homeless while directly across the street there are no homeless. The clear side of the street is in Culver City jurisdiction.  The contrast is startling and has become the story of Los Angeles and its enforcement policy.  Read story.

The underpass had a recent shooting that was filmed by NBC.  See Story.

While at the Exclusive Motors’ site,  O’Connor was told the story of a person who drove up to the homeless site, a homeless person met the car passenger at the curb and injected him with something in the neck.

O’Connor interviewed many of the locals and also had Dr. Drew on the air with him. Dr. Drew said Los Angeles had become a third world type city because of its lack of sanitation. He predicted that if this continues, an epidemic will occur.

Others interviewed were John Russo, co-founder and director of KeepLAMoving, who is against the road diets and Demetrios Mavrohichalis who closed several businesses including his coffee shop on Venice Blvd at the heart of the Road Diet.

One man’s stuff off North Venice Blvd at Venice Way

One homeless man is consolidating all his stuff in the middle of the island off North Venice Blvd where Venice Way splits. When asked if it was all his, he said yes. He was then asked where it all had been and he said “around.”

He said he is in the process of throwing some of his stuff away.