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Venice Update

News of Venice, CA and Marina del Rey CA

Mayor Closes Bars, Dine-in Restaurants, Entertainment Venues, Gyms and Fitness

Coronavirus Isolation Causes Panic Buying at Costco, Lincoln and Washington

Line at Costco parking lot Saturday, 14 March, 7:30 am. Store opens at 9 am.  This is the west end of parking lot.

One lady in front of this writer at Costco Starbucks, Lincoln and Washington, said store was crazy Friday. She was a vendor and they knocked down her booth. She said one lady claimed that she had been in line since 3 am. Lady behind this writer in line for coffee said she heard one person say that they had spent the night in line. It rained all night!

Yesterday at Trader Joes, this writer was a little earlier than usual, and asked if this was panic buying since many of the shelves were bare and there were more people. The cashier said “yes.” When giving me change, he thanked me for not being a panic buyer.

This writer doesn’t panic. Have invited all friends to bring a book over, snuggle, and sit by the fire. It is quiet time.

On the door is a sign that says “Bring your own toilet paper and paper towel donations would be appreciated.”

So much for isolation.

Orson Bean Celebration of Life, Scheduled for Saturday, 14 March Has Been Postponed

Alley Bean and family have just come out with a release that the Orson Bean Celebration of Life, scheduled for Saturday, 14 March has been postponed for a later date.

Announcement by the family:

Dear Friends,

I know that we just emailed you that we were preceding to celebrate Orson in a smaller group with a livestream to you all, but on further thought and after a family meeting just now, we have decided, as a family, to postpone the memorial.

We do this with respect and love for so, so many people who would not have been able to be there, and who we know loved Orson as we do. And also with respect for the health officials asking us all, basically, not to gather at this time.

As soon as we can, we will pick another date, when the world is a happier place. And we’ll cheer and yell and celebrate together the life of Orson Bean!

Please pass the word on to anyone you think may need to receive this message.

Again, with a full heart,

Alley and the entire Bean family

SEC Zone Started Monday As Originally Planned

Allison Wilhite, deputy for the Venice Bridge Home, says the Special Enforcement and Cleaning Zone (SECZ) started Monday, 9 March.  Just an hour or so ago Venice Update reported Update didn’t know when the SEC Zone would start because Update was not answered when it queried.

This is a new project.  Everyone is working to make the home for the 154 people feel like a home where they are safe, fed, and free to get off addiction, free to get a job, free to start their life all over.  That opened for people to start moving  in the 25tth of February — two weeks from last Monday.  It should be filled this week.

Monday, 9 March, the SECZ started as planned.

Since then it has been a mad house to get the other things working that have been planned for the SECZ.  It appears to be an hour-by-hour  story as the services unfold.

Update just reported a story of the 3rd Ave as one of the worst streets.  Apparently, a Care Team has been on the street Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and coming up this Friday to pick up needles, trash, hazardous waste.  Friday a team will be there to enforce LAMC 56,11, which should take most of the debris.

The police cannot enforce the tents down rule because of the rain.  But, Update, has been assured that there is a car with two police men assigned to the SEC zone.

Once again the following explains the enhanced services provided to the area.  It does take time for all services to start and get moving.



If Venice had a “Street of Shame,” it would be 3rd Ave this week

Oh, my goodness. Third Ave in Venice breaks all the rules — the sidewalk ADA rule to allow 36 inches for wheelchairs, the bulky item (LAMC 56.11) of fitting into a 60-gallon trash can, and over the curb taking parking to name only what this writer sees.

The unwritten law of putting trash in front of and at the side of single-family residences on 3rd and Rose is just rude and contemptible.

There is a sign that says there will be a “Major Cleanup” Friday, the 13th. All of this should go. Signs are usually posted for cleanup on Fridays. They have never specified a “major” cleanup. But a “major” one is necessary.

Perhaps, this will signal the start of the SEC zone, which 3rd Ave is definitely in.  Update will be taking photos Friday to make sure this is all removed and cleaned.

Do not know when the SECZ will become effective

Venice Update has both called and emailed Allison Wilhite, Venice deputy for the Bridge Home, to see when the enforcement of the SEC zone will start. It was announced earlier that it was suppose to start 9 March. No such answer.

SEQZ refers to a Special Enforcement and Cleaning Zone that is from 4th St to Speedway and Westminster to Navy both sides of the street.

Note: That tents down would not be enforced while there is a rain forecast.

Wilhite made the statement 4 March “There are requests from the community that we delay it longer, even upwards of 90 days, but we are hopeful these two weeks will let our outreach teams and on site service providers do their work to open the site successfully.”

Venice Update knows of no one making such requests. To the contrary, people are asking without response why this has not been initiated as promised.

Two Bridge Home Residents Thank Venice Residents for Their Beds at Night

“We should put “Thank You” signs up for all you people,” said Howie as he raised his arms wide to show the sign size in sincere gratitude for his bed No. 17 at the new Venice Bridge Home. “You’re the ones who made it possible<” he said as he looked at me and everyone on the street.

By that time Buda was part of the conversation too and he added and pointed to people in the street “and you and you and you all made it possible. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.”

Well, if anyone wonders if these two are grateful , or if you don’t get the point after reading this story, please contact the Venice Update.

Saturday afternoon I decided to get out of my car and walk around the newly opened Bridge Housing project at Sunset between Main and Pacific. In fact, the project is not fully occupied yet but should be full soon. Several negative things have been reported. I had driven by at all times of the day and night and never saw anyone walking on the sidewalk. So I parked, put my six-pounder on a leash, and walked around the premises. Thought I would take a sneak peak thru the fence. Just as I got to, apparently, the entrance/exit gate, out came Howie. We almost bumped into each other.

We started an instant conversation and it was as if we had been friends for years and he wanted to tell me about his new digs. He was so happy. He was on his way to play guitar at the the Waterfront Cafe on Ocean Front Walk. He said “You know I really like to be clean.” He obviously had just taken a shower. “I can’t stand to be dirty and being on the street, I was always dirty,” he said as he looked at his arm. “I got scabs sometimes.” Venice has sand fleas and they bite.

Howie said he had lived at Market for seven years. He was originally from Boston and came to Venice via Las Vegas.  He plays guitar at the Waterfront Cafe and use to help push the piano out for the man who plays the piano at the Sidewalk Cafe during the day. He said he had worked in construction and would be happy to do odd jobs.

Buda was about to go in the gate but Howie introduced me to him and so Buda joined the conversation. Buda, who said his bed was No. 26 or 28, was born and raised in Venice. Went to all the Venice schools and ended up living on Canal Street in car ports. He had a pit bull named Penelope. When Penelope started to get friendly with my six-pound, hairy tid-bit for Penelope, I turned around. Hooter (the six-pounder) was telling Penelope she had gone far enough with the nose. Both Howie and Buda assured me noting would happen. Howie said she use to “growl at me when she passed but we have all settled in and feel so good about everything that even the dogs feel that way too. What a nice way to say one feels secure or what a unique way to measure security, measure peace.  “Now Penelope doesn’t growl at me or anyone.”

Howie said he was in his 60’s. He told me the exact number but I forgot. He said the staff was going to help him get social security. Eligible people on the street do not apply because of transportation, lack of papers, knowledge of how to do it. Both said they were told they would probably have Section 8 housing within three months and they were thrilled about that prospect. I don’t remember if I asked Buda how long he had been on the street but I have the feeling it was longer than Howie. Buda was in his 50’s.

I asked Howie if he drank or did drugs. He said he has an occasional beer and likes to smoke weed. It calms him down he said as he lit a cigarette or a marijuana cigarette.

Both Howie and Buda said the Home won’t allow drugs or alcohol on the premises so they both said they would not. They were too happy with their new digs to jeopardize that situation. One person had already been removed, probably the one who smashed car windows.  These two also said they loved the staff. I don’t know whether Buda used drugs or alcohol. I forgot to ask. It didn’t look like he did. Buda said he understood that Venice people were upset about the Bridge Home. He said “You guys worked hard to live here.”

About that time Antoine was going in the gate. They introduced me to him and Antonine said he was really happy to be chosen to be in the Bridge Home. I think Howie and Buda said he had lived in Venice all his life too. People introduce themselves and give their bed number… that is their address.  Not everyone in Venice has an address.  Howie said he lived on Market or at Market.  Buda said he lived in car ports at Canal Street.

All three showed a grateful face that cloaked another life.

Just as I was about to film Howie and Buda, a man tried to take a bike away from a gal who was riding it about 50 feet away. Buda, who saw it first, started yelling at the guy and going that way. The man left the scene. The gal got off the pavement, and retrieved her bike.

Then Buda said he had better go in. I don’t want them to think I had anything to do with it. I said well you didn’t. I was here and would tell them you stopped it. But he didn’t want to jeopardize his position with his new found home. Life is fragile sometimes.

Oh, my goodness. Mayor Eric Garcetti, Councilman Mike Bonin, you could not have provided two poster boys for the Bridge Home greater than these two.

“No Trespassing” Signs Need to be Posted on Sunset Easement as Well as Thornton

Last week it was announced that the Bridge Home project would be installing “No Trespassing” signs on the Thornton easement from Main to Pacific. They need to be installed on the Sunset easement too. This lady was moving her “stuff” to the easement on Sunset.

East Venice Tree and Bird Walk, 8 March

Tree and bird walk for East Venice residents will be held Sunday, 8 March, 9 am. Meet at Penmar and Palms.

MTA Bridge Home Neighbors Encounter Uncomfortable Situations and Question Police and Fire Appearances; Area Enforcement Starts Monday, 9 March

They are moving people into the “Bridge Home” at Sunset and Main and have been since 25 February; neighbors are uncomfortable.

People living near by are having some problems with the Bridge Home residents and are vocal about it and want to know if there is some added protection for them. Also they would like to know what is happening when they see police cars and firetrucks arrive at site.

Enforcement of the SEC zone rules and walking police force will not start until Monday, 9 March.

Allison Wilhite, Venice Deputy for the site, has made a statement addressing the decision to delay the enforcement.

I’ve heard this question about timing from a few people, so let me speak to it for everyone’s benefit. The decision to wait until March 9 was made after having conversations with the Unified Homeless Response Center (aka UHRC, the Mayor’s Office team that coordinates the enhanced services), LAHSA, LAPD Pacific Division, and other Council District Offices that have opened an A Bridge Home. Each have different perspectives on the best timing, and all for good reasons.

The experience in other Council Districts has been that starting the SECZ the same day as intake can cause a lot of movement and frustration among unhoused people and make it harder for our outreach teams to bring people to site for their intake appointment. We know residents have waited a long time for these enhanced services to start, and we want to honor that as soon as possible, while also ensuring we can effectively and efficiently open the site to our unhoused neighbors. There are requests from the community that we delay it longer, even upwards of 90 days, but we are hopeful these two weeks will let our outreach teams and on site service providers do their work to open the site successfully.

Here are some of the situations people in the neighborhood have encountered since the home opened.

One person was on a walk with her dog, which she takes every night at the same time.

I was just on a nightly walk with my dog which I do at the same hour every night. There were three male youths coming from Bridge Housing walking towards me and they asked if they could get a cigarette off me. I said no, and as they passed me they started telling me things they wished they could do to me and that I was a bitch for not talking to them, and to keep my head down and keep pretending to talk to my dog. Something similar happened last night as well.

Correct me if I am wrong, but there is nothing in Bridge Housing that stipulated that the 154 residents are not able to walk around the neighborhood at night. This is a single female’s worst nightmare. This is two days in a row where someone has tried to talk to me and I have been called a bitch for not responding to their advances or requests. This is harassment in the eye of the law. You cannot deny that this is a dangerous time to be a female in Venice Beach, living within close proximity to Bridge Housing.

There must be more that you can do to ensure the safety of residents. Is there a way to educated our 18-24 year old youth homeless residents that it is not acceptable to harass female neighbors, or any neighbors of both sexes? Is it possilbe to set up a small community police station at Bridge Housing where Police can work 24 hours on site while Bridge Housing is in its 3 year period?

One woman said she no longer feels safe walking her dogs at night.

I second that. Since it has opened, I have stopped walking my dogs at night and I live across the street. It’s not right that now I don’t feel comfortable leaving my house at night to walk my dogs. I don’t feel safe.

One man would like to know what happened in his neighborhood at the site early Wednesday morning. Perhaps, incidents reports could be posted on the fence when they become available for neighbors to read

Can you please shed some light on the type of assault that occurred this morning at the bh site?. I was greeted this morning with a fire truck, a police patrol, and an assault with injury report at 100 sunset ave. Pics attached.
A photo of a police car was also provided.

Another saw 5 LAPD officers at the site at night to break up a what appeared to be a fight? I happened to be walking home at the time. This is absolutely ridiculous.

Can you please explain to neighbors why at least 5 LAPD officers were called to the site to break up what seems to be a violent fight?

This happened at 3:15 pm, apparently Wednesday.

From Citizens broadcast.

Guy jumping on cars threatened to kill me. It’s a saga.

He was a resident of SPY at bridge housing. The director of housing told me they had problems with him last night and were trying to figure out what to do with him.

So, today he broke the windshields on several cars on S. Main, threatened to kill me, and earlier had chased Sam’s wife with sexual innuendoes.

This is very f…….. up! Both he and his buddy were arrested for vandalism. It seems that since he didn’t have a weapon that his threat to me doesn’t have much in the way
of criminality. Sam is out there fighting just to get his wife’s part of it included in the police report.

LAPD was good but the whole episode was a tangled mess because of so many crimes by the same two guys. They’re piecing it all together.

By the way I’m mad as hell about what we are being put through here. This was at 3:15 in the afternoon!!!!

Woman bitten by dog as well as her dog was bitten.

Today I was walking my 14-year-old, 20-pound dog Franklin by the shelter because I live across the street and that is where we normally walk. There were a few people hanging out which is fine with me, but then he was attacked by one of their (very big) dogs that had a leash…but nobody holding it. Luckily Franklin is okay-I pulled the dog off him myself, but we were both bitten by the dog.

I really, really want to support the shelter and be a good neighbor and human being but man it is really hard when something like this happens.