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Venice Update

News of Venice, CA and Marina del Rey CA

Original Venice Gondola Getting Patched and Ready for Paint

The original Venice Canals gondola is getting its bottom side patched ready for black paint. Black was the original color. Stewart Oscars is doing the renovation to this one and only gondola owned by the Venice Historical Society. It is in Windward Circle in the corner of the post office property. This is a joint effort of the Venice Historical Society and the Venice Stakeholders Association.

Encampment Update — 10 December

Penmar Park west of golf course is definitely the worst of the encampments if for no other reason than the trash accumulated.  Encampments were observed Thursday in the rain.

This is all trash.

Homeless are living with in this.  Homeowners are next to this.  This is a sanitation nightmare that should be taken care of immediately.

Venice Blvd, north and south, were clear and clean from Abbot Kinney to Pacific.  Lake, Staples (beautiful), Harding were clean and cleared.  Harrison had one person. Carter had one person and then that person was gone. Not allowing solicitation at the highway intersections has deterred many a camper. The Canal encampments are still there. Hampton had several tents but for the most part were ADA compliant.

Ocean Ave between North and South Venice Blvd had one encampment and one encampment that had abandoned the site, leaving his garbage.

Ocean Front Walk from Rose to Navy at the wall with the mosaics was filled with campers. Some on both sides of wall and all were trying to stay dry.

Encampments were found throughout the walk streets between Ocean Front Walk and the Speedway.

Ocean Front Walk, the area between Ocean Front Walk and Speedway, 3rd Ave are not covered by the Encampment Update.

Wednesday and Thursday it Rained in Venice — It Does Rain in California

Venice is living proof that it rains in California. Wednesday and Thursday it rained and occasionally very hard during the those days. The water gets washed to the ocean, or in the case below, to the Grand Canal.

The Oxford Retention Basin water backed up into the Oxford Triangle. This happens when the Oxford Basin is filled and there is a high tide. Relief is water backing up into the Oxford Triangle and Oxford Ave north of Washington Blvd.

Oxford, north of Washington, had the City out early Thursday morning draining the water for dispersion onto Mildred. Oxford Triangle was not as fortunate. The street was roped off and water was to the door steps

(Photo courtesy of Mike Benvo.)

City Council Homeless Committee Approves MTA for Bridge Home; Goes Before City Council 11 Dec; CCC, 12 Dec



City Council Homeless committee members supported the MTA lot on Sunset between Pacific and Main for Bridge Housing last Wednesday along with places in Wilmington, San Pedro, Watts, and South Los Angeles. A full vote of the City Council members will be Tuesday, 11 December.

Homeless Committee member Councilman Mike Bonin agreed to exempt the MTA lot from a full California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). If approved by the City Council for a shelter, 11 December, the proposal will go before the California Coastal Commission (CCC), 12 December in Newport Beach, 100 Civic Center, Newport Beach, 92660

Executive Director John Ainsworth of CCC has provided exemption of the MTA lot for CEQA necessity because it is temporary. Four votes of the commissions will nullify the CEQA waiver.

Mark Ryavec, president of the Venice Stakeholders, does not agree that CEQA should be waived for the project based on noise and parking. The VSA plan is to present their case for a full CEQA report before the CCC and sue, if necessary, to obtain a CEQA report.

The following are comments Mark Ryavec has made regarding the decision not to have a CEQA.

Comments: I am writing to ask for an ex parte meeting to personally discuss the burden that the Bridge Housing project in Venice will pose for coastal resources, visitors and residents living nearby and request a full environmental review under a Coastal Development Permit application.

This project, the equivalent of a hotel for 154 people with dozens of support staff, including social workers, housing locators, teachers, security personnel, and kitchen and custodial staff, has only nine (9) parking spaces. Already there is no place for residents and visitors to park in this neighborhood, and this project will add an incredible parking demand. The city cannot exclude any applicants because they own a vehicle, so the project will inevitably bring even more vehicles (including campers and RVs) to an area that historically has little parking.

This project will also generate unacceptable noise for residents living as little at 50 feet away, at all hours of the day and night, with no mitigation, from outdoor dining areas, an outdoor kennel (with barking dogs) and the exterior HVAC equipment to heat and cool a huge 30 foot tall building that will house 100 people, along with HVAC equipment for other manufactured housing that will house another 54 people, not mention heating and cooling of many offices. The project also raises serious concerns about coastal pollution.

Encampments in Venice already leach human waste to the storm drain outfall at Rose Avenue, which has been documented by independent test results to contain high levels of e. coli bacteria. Each time new services have been added for the homeless in Venice, the population has grown, as has the resulting coastal pollution, from 400 people four years ago to approximately 1,000 today.

Instead of reducing the population it is likely that the Bridge Housing project will attract even more homeless to Venice. When they cannot be accommodated at the new facility they will camp out nearby, as they do now, for example, at the St. Joseph service center on Lincoln Boulevard. The city of Los Angeles has made no plans to mitigate parking demand, noise or the likely increase in coastal pollution.

Mark Ryavec, president, Venice Stakeholders Association, Founding Director, Board Secretary (1989 to 1999) and State Legislative Director (1999) at American Oceans Campaign, and Member, Board of Governors, Oceana (2005 to 2015)

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Venice Sign Lighted by Andy Summers of The Police

This year Andy Summers of The Police lighted the Venice Sign. Once again Windward west to Pacific was blocked off for a Ferris Wheel, many novelty tables, and a band playing continuously from 6 pm to sign lighting.

Encampment Update — 3 December

Wow!  Venice is getting cleaned up.  Communities are taking back their neighborhoods with the help of Sanitation Bureau and the LAPD..  People are shopping without being solicited or being verbally attacked.  They are using the sidewalks to go here and there.

The median between the 90 Freeway is clear but there is a stack of litter.  Lake is still clear and clean.  Carter was clear and partially cleaned.  Those people have moved east of Lincoln Blvd on Washington.  Harding is over; they have planters in place.

Harrison had one or two inhabitants.  Canal between North and South Venice Blvd status is the same.  This is a canal contamination situation.  Hampton Drive needs more help.  Police were there this week but some encampment people linger without ADA compliance.

Venice Blvd,  Staples-Lincoln Hardware, and Penmar Park were the worst … but!

Venice Blvd — north and south sides from Abbot Kinney to Pacific are clear and cleaned.  There was one man sleeping in North Venice by Farmer’s Market between the trees Sunday morning.  Ocean between North and South Venice Blvd has an encampment that has been growing but North and South Venice Blvd is cleared and clean.

Other than Venice Blvd, the great news is Staples – Lincoln Hardware.  Update had a special story on the web for this transformation last Tuesday.  What a difference.  Sanitation came,  cleaned the sidewalks, and street on both sides.  Members of the community immediately put planters in place following the cleaning.  Dirt and rocks were installed and then the plants.  People came back to inhabit but police were called and the group moved on.

Penmar Park, west end, is a disaster, a health hazard.  The trash and the encampment are both growing.  It is totally unsanitary.  One homeless person said he was putting trash in trash bins.  He was; one could tell.  Even one of the alleys leading to the encampment is filled with weeds, furniture and trash.  Dirtiest alley around.



Garbage in the foreground and part of the site in the back.

Another part of the encampment.

Venetians Like First Police Town Hall Initiated by Chief Moore

The room was not as filled as it was for the MTA Town Hall but Captain James Roberts of LAPD Pacific Division said that was good … “not as many people are angry.”    The auditorium was lined with policemen. The panel was seated in front, one side featured most of the Senior Lead Officers with traffic enforcement officers and the other side had police with a table for email addresses and suggestions.  Photo was taken near the end of program when many had left.

… and they listened.

The first Venice Police Town Hall was held Thursday evening with approximately 30 officers involved with the Venice operations. The officer and person responsible for the Town Hall was Chief of Police Michel Moore.

Venetians were pleasantly surprised and impressed. One of the main gripes Venetians have is that no one listens to them. They claim they have legitimate gripes, they do their homework, they are properly prepared, and yet, the powers that be act autonomously.

The evening seemed to evolve into one of wanting to help each other — community and police working together to make the Venice-peculiar situations solvable.

Moore  has a track record with Venetians. Moore at the October Venice Town Hall said he would clean the beach — enforce the curfew, Within two days citations were given out to violators of the curfew. Beach went from 81 tents to 0 in October.

He asked Venetians at the Venice Town Hall if they would like a Police Town Hall. There was a  stunning silence for a short time. Venetians are not used to being treated as viable citizens.  A little over a month later and there is a Police town Hall.

The Town Hall started out with the Chief  introducing Brian Morrison as the new Captain, replacing Captain James Roberts, and talking about the organization, the policing policy.

It then shifted to Captain James Setzer talking about crime in areas A11 and A13, headed by SLO Jennifer Muther and Kristan Delatori, the Ocean Front Walk area and the Oakwood areas, respectively. Setzer explained that crime was down. One person shouted out that crimes were not reported. It was explained that this person would have a turn. It was reported there were no murders to report and one person said a person was murdered in front of her store. It appeared that there was a large percentage of crime committed by the homeless against the homeless. One officer said “homeless seem to prey on homeless.”

Then the Town Hall was opened to questions. Many questions were dialogues instead of questions but for the questions, the police took notes, addressed individual concerns, or talked with individuals afterward, and in some cases, promised to investigate their concerns. Many times the applicable officer would answer the questions.

Mark Ryavec was very complimentary regarding outgoing Captain James Roberts.

The Chief gave out an email address for all Venetians and promised that emails would be answered and comments properly addressed. There was a sense of both community and police working together to clean up their community. The email is VeniceCommunity@LAPD.online. The following are some of the questions, some of the comments.

Paul Bascal, film maker and activist, explained that departments need to work together to accomplish accomplish certain tasks.

Bascal got his answer from two officers — Captain  Roberts and Officer Michael Soliman, head of the Venice Substation at the beach, and that is the way the evening worked … Questions with answers or comments, or follow-up promises. This answer explained the complexity the police are confronted with when dealing with different departments at the beach.

One person asked why not give Venice more police. Chief Moore said he had just given Venice 10 additional police but had to take them from another area. The Chief stated that there were 600 fewer police than there were before (writer did not catch year). He said an allocation accounting study was going to be completed within six months and perhaps that would allow for more. Chief said the study was initiated by Councilman Mike Bonin.

Another complained about the scooters on the sidewalks. One person complained about the needles that children and dogs could access. An officer said they were working on that and explained that they caught a drug dealer in one group.

Chief of Police Michel Moore discussing government intervention with Ted Hayes, who feels this is the way to go.

One asked about crimes under $700 or 900. An officer explained that citizens had passed Law V40 that allowed judges to move felonies to misdemeanors. He said it used to be that people facing a felony and on drugs had a choice of  mandatory recovery programs or jail in most cases. Now most felonies have been reduced to  misdemeanors and jail is a day or so, if anything.

One person wanted to discuss “No Trespassing” sign 4124. Assistant City Attorney Claudia Martin explained that if you have a closed, locked backyard, the police will not enter unless you give approval. Approval is given if you are absent by displaying 4142. “Sign shops are familiar with this trespassing approval,” Martin said.  Without a gated yard, there is no access problem.

A man claimed that he saw people breaking into cars and painting cars and fences. He called 911 and 911 operator told him to call the non-emergency number. One officer who used to work in 911 department explained that they get 5 to 700,000 calls per day and most are crimes in progress and life threatening ones.  This was wrong and it was unfortunate.

One said he had witnessed dog owners getting cited for a dog on the beach, people given tickets for not having a license on their car and more, yet the homeless get away with so many violations. He just didn’t understand.

One person made the statement that the way the police are handling things enables the homeless and this becomes an invitation for other homeless to come to Venice. People said “Venice has reached a limit.”

One man, who had been in Venice for little over a year and use to live in Texas where apparently one can carry a gun, asked how he could feel safe walking on the beach when the homeless carry weapons. The officer who addressed the question explained that he should and all should try to “avoid confrontations … rely on the police.”

Jim Murez, activist who runs the Friday Farmer’s Market, said the chemicals used to clean the sidewalks after an encampment removal, have killed the trees.

Everyone was concerned about the bicycle chop shops homeless set up in plane site. Officers said register your bikes. “When we find a bike, we check the registration,” one officer said. Register the bike. We are also confiscating some of the bikes in encampments.

Captain Roberts said they are going to put GPS on some bikes and follow them to catch bike stealers.

“Our plan is to listen and take action,” said Captain Roberts.

Many Venetians, who were critical, now see an opportunity to sit down and explain their dilemmas with hope that someone is listening with an ear for change. This was accomplished at the Town Hall.


Santa LAPD Sleigh Ride Schedule in Out!

Jolly Santa Claus is on his way!  Listen for sirens, music, flashing police lights. Santa will arrive on a sleigh to your neighborhood. Let neighborhood know so they can participate, or at least, not be alarmed

Santa will stop for 15 to 30 minutes at each stop. He will be available for photos with the kiddies. Bring your own camera. Some stops may be delayed 15 to 30 minutes.

If it is raining, Santa will not come.

Monday, 3 December — Westchester and Playa del Re

Tuesday, 4 December — Westchester

Wednesday, 5 December — Area, Car 14A27

2:00 PM – 3724 Cardiff Ave (Niko’s Pre-School)
3:00 PM – 3535 Overland Ave (Golden Manor Independent Living Home)
5:00 PM – N/W Corner of Vinton Ave, behind the Fire Station #43
(Evening of Community Neighborhood Watch)
5:45 PM – Clover Elementary School
(Westside Village Neighborhood Watch)
6:45 PM – 3500 Greenfield Ave

Monday, 10 December — Area of Car 14A49

3:00 PM – Short Ave Elementary School
4:00 PM – Braddock Elementary School
5:00 PM – Mar Vista Gardens Boys and Girls Club
6:00 PM – Slauson Park / Mar Vista Family Center
7:00 PM – Mesmer/Beatrice Garden (Northwest corner)
8:00 PM – North Park between Marcasel Ave and East Blvd

Tuesday, 11 December — Area of Car 14A46

4:00 PM – 12814 Maxella Ave (Short Elementary)
5:30 PM – Playa Vista (Concert Park)
7:30 PM – Oxford Triangle (Thatcher Ave at Howard St)
8:00 PM – Kenyon Ave and Louise Ave

Wednesday, December 12  — Area of Car 14A25

3:30 PM – Penmar Park (Lake west of Walgrove)
4:15 PM – 2103 Walnut Ave
5:00 PM – St. Andrew’s Church (National Blvd and Federal Avenue)
5:45 PM – 3236 Purdue Ave
6:30 PM – 3270 Granville (Between Indianapolis and Rose)
7:15 PM – 11900 Victoria Avenue (Mid-Block)
8:00 PM – 3412 Keeshan Dr

New LocalCrimeNews Reports Arrests by Areas, Venice Included

By Rick Swinger

This web site reports all arrests in California.  One can single out a city such as Venice.  Shown below are just three of 24 arrests during November in Venice area.

Encampment — Staples – Lincoln Hardware — Friday, Today

Friday, 23 November

Tuesday, 27 November

“What a difference,” was the reaction coming from all who saw what had happened. The Staples, south side, and the Lincoln Hardware, north side, sidewalks were transformed within a couple hours Tuesday morning.

Bureau of Sanitation workers arrived in the morning to clean the area that had grown from the fence at Lincoln Hardware to include the first parking place in the street. No place for wheelchairs at all for ADA compliance. The Staples side was not much better.

As soon as Sanitation and the LAPD asked the people to move out, the street was cleaned and about 25 homeowners worked diligently to put the planters in place, put the rocks in, and the soil. The lady who organized the homeowners did not want her name mentioned.

Owner of Lincoln Hardware, a family owned business in the area for 38 years, paid $7500 for the 17 planters. He didn’t want his name mentioned either. Mark Ryavec, president  of the Venice Stakeholders Association (VSA), donated $250 from his fund to purchase plants.

The photos taken last Friday do not show how bad the place was Tuesday. Monday night the Lincoln Hardware sidewalk had probably grown 50 percent from what it was. They had moved into the area by the curb normally used for parking.

Two girls who were from Texas and had settled in the alley as a result of the cleaning, were speaking objectionable language at those passing by and said “They took everything we owned … we’ll be back within a week.”

Police returned and told the girls they could not camp in the alley. The two boys pictured were told they had to leave that they could not block the sidewalk.

Neighbors turned out again to plant succulents in the planters.

This is truly a case of a neighborhood working together with the City–Sanitation and the LAPD to take back their neighborhood. The Staples – Lincoln Hardware site had turned into the worst encampment in Venice after Venice Blvd got cleaned up last week.