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Venice Update

News of Venice, CA and Marina del Rey CA

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.

Lysol Disinfects Against Human Coronavirus

Lysol lists the human coronavirus as one of viruses it disinfects, protects  against.

What You Have to Do to Get the Trespasser Arrested

In order to get a trespasser arrested who has entered your property without your permission, one has to have the sign installed on all entrances to the property and have the form provided to the local police department. The form must be provided each year; otherwise, the police will just tell the trespasser to leave.

Talk to your local Senior Lead Officer. He should have additional information and the form.

Senior Lead Officer (SLO) Javier  Ramirez says that is “correct, but that is specially for trespassing. “Break-ins” also known as a burglary is a different type of crime (felony) and does not require signage/trespass letter.

“The letter has to be updated every year.”


What are the real facts regarding the VA Campus?

What are the real facts concerning the Federal Land in West Lost Angeles granted to the US Government in 1887 by Arcadia Bandini de Baker to house wounded veterans. At the time she dedicated the land there were approximately 700 to 800 acres and now it is listed as less than 400 acres.

Please note this federal land is not part of Brentwood or Council District 11. It is Federal Land granted to the US Government for a particular use.

There is a private school, a commercial Veterans Retirement home, a baseball field, an oil drilling operation and more that have nothing to do with wounded vets or just vets.

This paragraph added 26 February 2020.  There was a Ninth Circuit Court decision that said all commercial endeavors had to leave. Some did not leave. This writer does not understand the “misunderstanding” that allows these establishments to stay.

However, there is a veterans’ crematory that is for veterans, there is veterans’ cemetery, there is a veterans’ hospital, and there is an area for vets called “Safe Parking” at night. Right now there is one building housing 52 veterans that fits the qualifications of the deeded land.  There is a Bridge Home for 100 vets that Councilman Mike Bonin says will open in the spring.

Courtesy of Mike Bonin’s Newsletter.

TSA plans to renovate one building for 59 units at 900K per unit using some Measure HHH funds.

It has long been a political ploy for the politicians. One heard years ago about 2800 units going on the campus for vets. Never happened. . Then it was announced there would be 2000 units forthcoming. Never happened. There is an armory that dubs for a public shelter during the winter months.

Sonja Sharp has written an article for the LA Times supposedly explaining what happened. She blames the earthquake of the 70s.

Ryan Thompson, a concerned citizen from Brentwood, has distinguished himself as one of the authorities on the VA subject and where it stands. He has facts to back him up. Thompson didn’t like the article and wrote the editor of the LA Times. Following is the letter.

The article’s author, Sonja Sharp, spoke with several homeless disabled Veterans during the week of January 20, 2020 – presumably as research for what I’m debunking. Had Sonja considered those expert witnesses beyond bookends who’d never corroborate her unsubstantial story, the Times might have not misinformed us about a matter Veterans lives and our General Welfare urgently depend on. If Sonja also considered the facts, data and history I delivered to her on January 26, 2020, she could have substantiated those witnesses with investigative journalism. Since she didn’t, I’m evaluating your capacity for an ounce of truth before concluding the Times is staffed by bribery and job-security.

Based on my conversations with the homeless, disabled Veterans trying to help each other survive outside the gates of their Home and many inside who were and may again be out there, none will tell you a 39 year old earth- quake has anything to do with the illegal land users controlling WLA VA that push out Veterans and their service providers1. After all, that’s what homeless disabled Veterans substantiated in their 2011 Valentini v. Shinseki suit2 Sonja subtly mentions and what the Judge Decreed on August 29, 2013 upon Deciding for those Veterans3. It’s al- so what the VA Inspector General Found in its unresolved, September 28, 2018 Audit Report4, what the FBI discov- ered in 2018 upon arresting the former WLA VA lessee now in prison5,6 and what LA Times reporter Gale Holland used to keep the Times substantially updated on when it had more readers7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14.

If we suspend disbelief and never wonder what exactly is at that Soldiers Home1, the Sylmar Earthquake ain’t no- thin’ amid over $500,000,000 Congress appropriated between 2012-2019 for seismic, housing and utility upgrades at the Soldiers Home15, none of which happened. Now there’s a fact you haven’t heard; and why would The Times, until it regaining the integrity and diligence investigative journalism demands. Meanwhile the crooks stealing Veterans lives16,17 and their Home we pay to rehabilitate, house and heal them at; fabricate we need their paltry rents, lie to us that $1,200,000,000 in HHH built something, and purport most homeless, disabled Veterans prefer defecating on themselves while their tents are trashed; over receiving hard-earned benefits at their Soldiers Home… What’s next, a Nuremberg Law18?

In hindsight, I guess Sonja featuring two rent-a-vets nowhere on a West Los Angeles VA Principal Developer Agreement19 is better than suggesting Veterans just need a day of work per year; looking for homeless peers at the WLA VA20, instead of where they’re at – on our streets, jails, emergency rooms and morgues21.

Note the references Thompson uses are not provided.

Nisa Kove Selected as New Venice Field Deputy

VENICE, CA (February 16, 2020) – City Councilmember Mike Bonin today announced the hiring of Nisa Kove as Venice Field Deputy, a position that will allow Kove to work with her neighbors in Venice to get things done in the neighborhood she has called home for more than a decade.

“I am excited to work with Nisa and to have a Venice parent on staff, working with me and our team to make the community a great place to live, work and enjoy,” said Bonin. “Nisa has been active in civic life in Venice and will hit the ground running on day one to start delivering for neighbors in Venice.”

Kove has been a Venice resident since 2007 and has worked closely with many of the leaders and groups in Venice as an elected member of the Venice Neighborhood Council, and as chair of the council’s Public Safety Committee. Kove has a long and accomplished history in marketing, having worked for a number of major media and advertising companies, and she has also worked as an organizer for a group dedicated to the engagement and mobilization of school parents. Kove is passionate about education, and is an active volunteer in her neighborhood schools, working with local artists and environmental organizations to beautify campuses. Kove is a graduate of the University of Arizona.

“I am honored to be representing my community,” said Kove. “There is a lot of work to do, and I’m confident that together, we can lead Venice into a new decade of optimism, unity, and trust.”

Kove, who will resign her position on the Venice Neighborhood Council to take the job with Team Bonin, will start work on Tuesday, February 18. She will partner with Tristen Marler, who handles constituent casework in Venice, and Allison Wilhite, who is Bonin’s point person on the bridge housing set to open in Venice February 25.

For more information about Mike Bonin and his team, please visit www.11thdistrict.com.

Venice BID Statistics for January

Business Improvement District (BID) statistics are the following for January.

To request service within the BID area, call 310-396-VBID (8243). Clean team operates seven days a week from 7 am to 6 pm during the winter; Safe team works seven days a week from 6:30 am to 10:30 pm.

Venice’s 154-Bed “Bridge Home” Opens to Large Crowd

They came from almost every neighborhood in Venice to see the new 154-bed “Bridge Home” facility at Sunset and Main for Open House, Saturday afternoon.

All the organizations participating in the outreach and the running of the home had a table with flyers upon entrance. People were divided into groups with a leader to show the site and answer questions.

There were five trailers to house the 18- to 24-year olds with an outdoor dining area for three meals a day in between the five trailers. One trailer will be for the girls. The dining area is also for adults. Some of the trailers had a mural. A sixth trailer was for laundry, shower, toilet facilities just for the youth.

In between the youth group and the adult group was the administration trailer for the service people. Upon entrance off Main at Sunset there is a ramp leading to the checkin tower. The administration trailer is next to the entrance.

The tent area was a large open area for 100 adults. The adults were divided approximately 70 to 30 for men and women, respectively. Married people will be separated. Each person will be able to house his pet in the cubicle provided. Between the men’s and women’s areas was a room for security. There will be four security people available each night throughout the area.

There is a separate trailer for the adults for laundry, shower, toilet.

The sleeping cubicles for the youth and the adults were the same.

Next to the tented area was the dog run and behind the tent was an area to be made for storage. Lockers will be established.

Questions regarding checking weapons and how many nights absent without excuse before expulsion, were answered with “we will be playing it by ear.” Allison Wilhite, Venice deputy for the Bridge Home says there will be no alcohol or drugs allowed on the premises.

Entrance tower.

Shower, laundry, toilet facility.

Cublcle in trailers similar to cubicles in tented area.

Administration trailer for service people. It also has a kitchen area.

One side of the tented area. Cubicles all look the same — trailers and tented areas, male and female.

Pet area is next to the tent and next to Main Street.

Storage area is on the south side of the tent and has yet to have the lockers installed.