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Venice Update

News of Venice, CA and Marina del Rey CA

Ron Galperin Releases Marijuana Dispensary Locations in LA

Blue Dot — 191 Marijuana businesses that complied with Proposition D according to the Office of Finance in 2017.
Lavender Dot — 756 Marijuana businesses that held Business Tax Registration Certificates in 2016.
GreenDot — 563 Marijuana businesses against which the LA City Attorney’s Office filed criminal cases.

Note: This story would not have been possible without Stewart Oscars’ research and persistence. The rules and regulations have been taken from other stories.

City Controller Ron Galperin just released a map of medical marijuana dispensaries in the City of Los Angeles. The map shows the placement and status of the present medical marijuana dispensaries.

In January 2018 both preexisting medical marijuana and recreational use marijuana will be allowed to operate but they will have to obtain new local permits. Also home delivery will be allowed.

There is a proposed 10 percent tax on recreational use marijuana and a 5 percent tax on medical.

The new rules will put strict limits on a business’s operating hours and appearance, require intense security and detailed employee and sales records to name a few.

The City will have tools to enforce the regulations, such as authorizing fines, criminal penalties or loss of power and water service for businesses operating without a license or ignoring city rules.

Venice Blvd–“Let’s Give it a Try;” Playa del Rey — “Wait and See”

Oops!  First, and hopefully, only casualty.

Venice Blvd …  Ah, yes.  The one good thing about Venice Blvd and its shrinking is that it has replaced the homeless in conversation.

Venice Blvd, called the “Great Streets,” between Inglewood and Beethoven has lost a lane during the one-year pilot, feasibility period. Reasoning behind this lane loss is to produce a “small-town effect in a big town.”

Playa del Rey, west of Lincoln – Jefferson, Culver, Pershing, Vista del Mar — will lose a lane, if there are more than two lanes, and gain a bike path on both sides. Vista del Mar will not have a bike lane. This is part of the “calming” of traffic and is called “Safe Streets.” The City did have a lawsuit on Vista del Mar.

Culver Blvd at 6:30 Wednesday morning.

Both projects were vetted with residents and surveys were taken. All residents should have been made aware. One business owner in Mar Vista said only her business received notification. Both projects were explained to residents at various interactive community meetings.

“The Neighborhood Council of Westchester Playa and residents have been involved in the more than two-and-half year effort to make streets safer in Playa del Rey, and received a series of presentations about these projects before they were installed,” wrote David Graham-Caso, communications director for Councilman Mike Bonin. “Hundreds of members of the community have been engaged and involved by attending interactive community meetings and participating in online surveys.”

The residents of Venice are very upset about the slowing of the traffic on Venice Blvd. Venice Blvd, which  is State Route 187,  has been a main artery for Venetians for years. They did not participate in the Mar Vista vetting process and rightly so. The City was given permission from the State to do what has been done to that section between Inglewood and Beethoven.

There are petitions circulating for Venice and for Playa del Rey.  There is talk of recalling Councilman Mike Bonin.

The Venice Chamber of Commerce was queried as to what they thought of the “smaling” of Venice Blvd. George Francisco, president, responded with the following:

The business community in Venice is predominantly composed of small commercial enterprises whose vitality is inescapably tied to the over 10 1/2 million visitors we welcome each year. The Venice Chamber supports transit solutions that provide safe and efficient circulation for both visitors and residents alike, and we would hope all permanent options to improve mobility are soundly envisioned and implemented to ensure the welcome result of increased access with minimal disruption.

Venice Update decided to see how the businesses liked the “small-town” effect.

First sighted were two men working on the parking meters.  They said they were aligning the meters to match the cars.  When asked  how many parking spaces had been lost, they said they didn’t know, but with the wider berth on the corners, they had to lose some.  We just stood there as we watched a car using the bike lane and another approaching.  We also watched a biker using the lane and then stopping at the pedestrian red light.  We each bet that the biker wouldn’t stop.  He did stop but had started thru the light and then backed up.


“I hate it … just hate it,” said the first five shop operators. One said “education is more beneficial than prohibitive action. I asked for something to write that one down.

Then one shop keeper said there had been many meetings and surveys over a period of years.  She participated. She did mention that, as a resident, she did not receive any notification.  “It is too early to tell if it will make a difference for sales or if we like it,” she said.  “We all must wait and see.”

One thing that bothered her were the weeds in the median and took this writer outside to see them..  Just as we went outside a biker peddled by going the wrong way on the sidewalk.  We both jumped out of the way to accommodate the bike on the sidewalk.  “Isn’t that illegal,” she asked.  “It is so dangerous and it happens all the time.”  Hard to believe but even with the protected bike path, bikers continue to make pedestrians jump and endanger them as they persist in riding on the sidewalk.

Biker continues on after moving pedestrians out of his way.

“I can’t see the businesses across the street,” she said.  This writer had concentrated on the road improvements and had never been conscious of the median condition.  All along the Venice Blvd, the median is filled with weeds, trees that need trimming, and trees that need removing.  They are not native plants.  They are native weeds.  One would assume weeds will be removed, trees trimmed to give that “small town” effect an added “well-kept” look.

These are not native plants.  They are native weeds with debris.

A squirrel palm with unkept trees and more native weeds.

“Safe Streets” in Playa del Rey Starts

By David Graham-Caso, Communications Director for Councilman Mike Bonin

The community-initiated initiative to make streets safer in Playa del Rey took exciting steps forward this month, and improvements are being made to better protect people in the neighborhood from speeding cars.


In recent weeks, crews from the Los Angeles Department of Transportation have been implementing a series of projects that will help make streets in Playa del Rey safer by calming traffic.

On May 21, crews began working on Vista Del Mar, which has been the scene of a series of horrible collisions, with pedestrians being killed by speeding cars. The city is restriping the street from Culver Boulevard to Imperial Highway, moving all of the parking to the west side of the street, creating U-turn pockets, and narrowing the road to one lane in each direction. This will make the street safer, create more parking inventory, reduce speeding, and curb the use of Playa del Rey streets as a short-cut from the South Bay to points north.

Also, on June 3, the Bureau of Street Services will begin the long-awaited resurfacing of Pershing Drive from Westchester Parkway to Culver Boulevard. When the resurfacing is done, LADOT will restripe not just Pershing Drive, but also Culver Boulevard and Jefferson Boulevard to implement the community-initiated “Safe Streets for Playa del Rey Initiative.” Once the restriping is completed, all three streets will have one travel lane in each direction, as well as center turn lanes and bike lanes. The reconfiguration will help calm vehicle speeds through the neighborhood, with the goal of creating safer streets for people using all modes of travel: pedestrians, cyclists, and motorists.

The “Safe Streets for Playa del Rey Initiative” is the result of a community-driven process, and as we enter the next phase of the project, your feedback and continued engagement is crucial.  Please contact Mike’s Mobility Deputy Jessie Holzer at jessie.holzer@lacityorg or 310-575-8461  if you have questions, input, or if we can be of any assistance.

Green Festival, Saturday — Speakers, Vendors, Food






Green Festival will be Saturday from noon to 5 pm at the Oakwood Recreation Center, 767 California Ave.

The main purpose of the Green Venice Festival is to provide green living solutions to Venice residents to help them become more environmentally engaged, aware and proactive. Expo vendors will provide green solutions to help attendees green their home, lives, cars, kids, food, and more! 

Neighbors can expect an Expo section full of vendors providing information (no commerce is conducted on site, its purely informational), a huge Kid’s section sponsored by local animation house Hippo Works, a company that teaches kids about climate change and the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals through fun, interactive cartoons. Activities including: upcycled arts & crafts from the reDiscover Center, a kids’ fitness challenge in the park, a huge coloring wall provided by the LADWP, and other crafts and games. 

The speaking schedule is chock full of prominent names in the environmental space. We’ll hear from: 

  • Venice local David Hertz about his new SkySource water initiative
  • Finian Makepeace, founder of Kiss the Ground about the importance soil plays in our lives
  • Genesis Butler, a wonderfully passionate 10-year old advocate for veganism and animal rights 
  • Matt Petersen, the Head of Sustainability City of LA, to discuss LA’s sustainability plan
  • Steve Glenn of Living Homes, about sustainable architecture
  • Anna Cummins, founder of 5Gyres discussing our oceans & their health 

We’ll also have workshops on: gardening & composting led by Nicole Landers of Community Healing Gardens, plant-based nutrition made simple by vegan activist Alex Rea, and more.

EcoSafe Zero Waste will run the zero waste stations to make this event completely zero waste, the LADWP will power the event with their solar truck, and FREE trees will be given out by the LA Conservation Corps

Finally, solar-run DJ’s the Syncons will be spinning all day, while people enjoy local restaurants Poke Shack, Flower Child and others who will be giving out free food & lemonade, and there will be food for sale as well. 

Venice LGBT Month Sign Lighting Ceremony Goes from 7:30 pm to …

The Venice Sign that always reflects the event in Venice was lighted with the Rainbow colors to celebrate the start of the LGBT Gay Pride month for Los Angeles, Venice.

Left to right are Jessie Paege, Lori Petty, and Jordan Daww.

The three above were the ones who lighted the Venice sign with rainbow colors this year amid  a gala fest at Windward Ave with Councilman Mike Bonin as head of the ceremony. The block was cordoned off for the vendors and the festivities that  started at 7:30 and lasted until after the sign lighting at 9 pm.

Stacy and Erik Dragaset

The Dragsets talked about transgender children and how they should be nurtured to be who they are.  The Dragasets wrote the  book “ ‘Pink is a Girl Color’ … And Other Silly Things People Say,” after they found out their 9-year-old was transgender.  The book is written for kids 3 to 8. The purpose of the book is to help dispel gender stereotypes that exist and to encourage kids to be who they are and to seek out activities that they like, regardless.”

The activities for the LGBT month celebration continued throughout the night.  Saturday morning was Venice Pride cleaning of the beaches.

Kickoff ceremonies were held 1 June at the Venice Rainbow colored life guard station at Brooks with Venice LGBT President Grant Turck, County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl, and Councilman Mike Bonin. The Venice Beach from Breeze to Park Ave was dedicated as the Bill Rosendahl memorial Beach. Rosendahl was the first openly gay councilmember. Kuehl was the first openly gay person to be elected to the State Legislature.

Venice Gay Pride Month Kicks Off, Beach Dedicated to Former Councilman Bill Rosendahl

City Councilman Mike Bonin, Venice Gay Pride President Grant Turck, and County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl

Kickoff ceremony for the City of Los Angeles starting the National LGBT Pride Month was held at the rainbow colored life guard station at Breeze Ave Thursday, 1 June. The ceremony featured the dedication of Venice Beach from Park to Breeze Avenues as the Bill Rosendahl Memorial Beach in honor of the first openly gay person elected to the Los Angeles City Council.

Dedication was made by LA County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl, the first openly gay person elected to the California Legislature. Other speakers were Councilman Mike Bonin, who was Bill Rosendahl’s chief of staff, and Venice Pride Board President Grant Turck.

Venice Gay Pride Board President Grant Turck kicked off the Los Angeles Gay Pride Month at the Venice Beach next to the rainbow colored life guard station. He also talked of the closing of Roosterfish and announced that LA Chargers and LA Rams will be supporters of the Venice Gay Pride and the LA Gay Pride. This is the first time any professional team has ever supported the Gay Pride month.

County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl dedicates the Venice beach from Breeze to Park Ave as Bill Rosendahl Beach.

Councilman Mike Bonin talks about former councilman Bill Rosendahl. Mike Bonin was chief of staff to Bill Rosendahl when he was councilman.

Events for Gay Pride Month in Venice.



Councilman Bonin Dedicates POW/MIA Memorial Wall in Venice


Councilman Mike Bonin dedicated the POW/MIA Memorial Wall in Venice this Memorial Day morning.   Pacific Ave was closed from Brooks to Sunset as onlookers admired the wall and listened to the dedication words of Councilman Mike Bonin.

The wall was vandalized last year just before Memorial Day.  Financial donations spearheaded by the Venice Chamber of Commerce and the effort of many local artisans directed by Judy Baca of SPARC made restoration of the wall possible.

There are two you tube videos.  Councilman Bonin’s speech was less than three minutes but one must listen to both videos.




Stewart Oscars and his wife.  Stewart is the one who discovered the graffiti and alerted  the council office and the media.


Crews Working on POW/MIA Mural, Deadline Monday

Crews are working diligently on the POW/MIA Memorial Wall mural to get it restored by Memorial Day, 29 May, when it will have its official unveiling ceremony at 10:30 to 11:15 at 614 Pacific Ave. Councilman Mike Bonin will be the head speaker.

See previous story at https://veniceupdate.com/2017/05/23/restored-powmia-mural-unveiling-ceremony-will-be-memorial-day/



Gay Pride Month Kickoff Ceremony Will Dedicate Park Ave to Breeze Ave Beach as Bill Rosendahl Memorial Beach, 1 June


Kickoff ceremony for the City of Los Angeles to launch the start of the National LGBT Pride Month will be at Breeze Ave and Ocean Front Walk at 10 am Thursday, 1 June. The ceremony will feature the dedication of Venice Beach from Park Ave to Breeze Ave as the Bill Rosendahl Memorial Beach in honor of the first openly gay person elected to the Los Angeles City Council.

Dedication will be announced by LA County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl, the first openly gay person elected to the California Legislature. Other  speakers will be Councilman Mike Bonin and Venice Pride Board President Grant Turck.

After the dedication, the Venice Lifeguard Tower at Brooks will be unveiled.



It was noted on the circular that this goat attended the first time ever Venice Annual LGBT Pride Ceremony.

Bonin Writes to Mar Vista Neighbors

Dear Friends —

Are you wondering what the heck is happening with all the city crews recently on Venice Boulevard in Mar Vista? Our Great Street project is moving forward and finally delivering the “small town downtown” that neighbors have been clamoring for.

We just finished installing the four new signalized pedestrian crosswalks, and as you have likely noticed over the past few days, crews are now restriping the street, creating protected bike lanes and narrowing the roadway to calm speeds through the neighborhood. The goal is a safer street for people using all modes of travel: pedestrians, cyclists, and motorists.

Change is always difficult, and the impacts of work crews on our streets can be disruptive, so it’s no surprise that some people are concerned or alarmed about what is happening. It is important to note that the new lane configuration is a pilot program, using low-cost and temporary materials. We are going to gather data and public input, analyze whether impacts are positive or not, and adjust accordingly. We can keep what we love, improve what we can, and remove what we dislike.

The work is expected to be completed by the end of the month. During the next two weeks of construction, while some parts of the road are painted and some are not, and while new signage is installed, there is likely to be some confusion and frustration. Once the work is completed and motorists adjust to the new configuration, we will be able to evaluate impacts and make changes.

The Great Streets project has been in the works for three years. Since Mayor Garcetti and I launched the initiative in 2014, we have listened to people in Mar Vista about how they want to use and enjoy Venice Boulevard. We spent a year conducting remarkably extensive outreach, surveying neighbors online, at the Farmers Market, at local shops, churches, schools, and even at their front doors. The feedback was extensive and the message is clear: Mar Vistans want Venice Boulevard to be safer, calmer, and a central gathering spot for the neighborhood.

We listened, and we put our team to work to design a Venice Boulevard that can be the heart of the neighborhood, instead of a high-speed roadway that divides it. By enormous margins, neighbors said they wanted:

  • More mid-block pedestrian crossings, so it is easier to walk from one side of the street to the other;
  • Shorter, safer pedestrian crossings;
  • Opportunities for public gathering spaces such as parklets, sidewalk seating, and plazas;
  • Safer bikeways;
  • Improved amenities, like street furniture and trash bins;
  • Drought tolerant landscaping; and
  • Murals and community art.

Many of these improvements have already been installed and more are on the way.

This has been a community-driven process from the beginning and as we enter the next phase of the project, your continued engagement is crucial. Please contact my Mobility Deputy Jessie Holzer at jessie.holzer@lacity.org or 310-575-8461 if you have questions, input, or if we can be of any assistance.

Thank you for your partnership in the Mar Vista Great Streets Initiative. I am very excited to see Venice Boulevard become the vibrant neighborhood center that it has the potential to be for our community.