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Venice Update

News of Venice, CA and Marina del Rey CA

Councilman Bonin Dedicates POW/MIA Memorial Wall in Venice

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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.

 

 

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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/

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

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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.

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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

Mike
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.

Regards,

Silver Lake’s Rowena Ave “road diet” possible disaster

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(Photo courtesy of The Eastsider.)  This is Rowena Ave that had a disastrous “road diet” of almost a mile.

Rowena Avenue in Silver Lake reduced their four lane to a two-lane route to accommodate bike lanes. They called it a “road diet.” It apparently has been a disaster for two years according to residents.  This was Councilman Tom LaBonge area and idea.

“But the reduction of lanes for cars and trucks has only made congestion worse, and conditions have not improved,  according to some residents.  Last week, Public Works Commissioner Matt Szabo called the Rowena road diet ‘a bit of a disaster,’ was reported by The Eastsider.

Read the complete article mentioned by Marilyn Roland.

“The “Great Streets” is something that Mayor Eric Garcetti initiated and one wonders if councilmen have been “suggested” to volunteered areas,” wrote one reader.

MDR Goes Artsy! No, It’s Called ARTsea

Marina del Rey goes artsy! No, it is called ARTsea. Marina del Rey is starting a “pop-up arts district!” It will be an all-day affair 10 June, and in addition to the pop art, there will be a makers’ market, sand sculpting, food trucks, beer/wine garden, and music and dancing at 4101 Admiralty Way, Mother’s Beach at the picnic shelters.

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“Great Streets” Turns into “Great Escape” with Horns Blasting

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Traffic at Centinela was backed up to Wade.

Implementation this week of the Venice Boulevard “Great Streets” program in Mar Vista from Inglewood to Beethoven turned into the “Great Escape.”   Traffic backed up and cars were peeling off as fast as they could from the Venice boulevard seeking an alternative. Horns were on fire and it wasn’t applause.

It is part of Mayor Eric Garcetti’s “Great Streets” Initiative that has been implemented in other neighborhoods.

This “Great Streets” in Mar Vista was a dream of Councilman Mike Bonin and his constituents. It is Bonin’s hometown. It is billed as making changes that would be safer for people and supporting local businesses. It consists of four new pedestrian crossings, protected bike lanes, and improvements at existing signalized intersections. The desired outcome was/is to give Venice Boulevard from Inglewood to Beethoven “the small town downtown” effect.

Note:  Darryl DuFay’s notes on mobiity plan and info about SR187 helped with the story.

Venice is Major Thoroughfare
Venice is a major thoroughfare from downtown Los Angeles to the Venice Beach. It is the commuters boulevard of choice. It is classified in the City of LA Mobility plan 2035 as a Boulevard II. Boulevard II means the roadway width has to be 80 feet and consists of 4 to 6 lanes with a targeted operating speed of 35 miles per hour.

It is also State Route 187, which runs 5.4 miles from Lincoln to Cadillac Ave at the ramp to westbound I-10. The state agreed to relinquish control and management of the Great Streets portion of Venice Boulevard to the City of Los Angeles last year, according to David Graham-Caso, communications director for Councilman Mike Bonin.

Two Types of Protected Bike Lanes
Mar Vista has produced two types of protected bike lanes which are better illustrated with a photo than words but … One is with the cars parked in the vacated lane and bikes riding between parked cars and the curb, The other is bikes ride between cars parked at the curb and large white lines indicating a barrier. There are a lot of bollards involved also.

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Bikers ride next to curb protected by parked cars in vacated lane.
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Bikers ride between white painted barrier and cars parked at curb.

This writer’s email caught fire with the Venice Boulevard happenings. It was checked out at 4 pm on Venice Boulevard, westbound. Traffic was backed up from Centinela to Wade. Saw one skateboarder.  People were trying to find alternatives because they found that horns were not moving traffic forward.

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Some used the bike lane.

Tuesday morning at 7:30 traffic was moving but not fast. While standing in a bike lane to take a photo, one biker passed and yelled “Isn’t it awesome” and then later “stay out of the lane you’ll get hit.” My camera followed him down the road to where he entered the sidewalk. He was entering a store.   Another bike passed.

Drivers Will Figure it Out
But drivers will soon figure it all out and make the necessary adjustments as they always do. Other areas may suffer dramatically.  One person on Nextdoor mentioned that the side streets should have been designated for bikes and that would have solved all the problems. But how about the commercial establishments and shopping? Sue Beckman checked with the fire department and they said they had to use Washington. They said no one had checked with them. One reader suggested a letter campaign and boycott of Mar Vista stores. All of these comments are listed anonymously because they have not been approved for publication or they do not want their names published. Darryl DuFay mentioned that parallel parking on a two-lane, major thorough fare will, not only be nerve racking for parker, but reduce the lanes temporarily to one.

Fire Department Reroutes
The statement that Sue Beckman got from the firemen at the Mar Vista fire department is alarming. Mar Vista fire department is east of the Great Streets. Am sure “Great Streets” was approved by the Fire Department personnel downtown but the admission by the men who do the job, stating that they are rerouting to Palms and Washington even if it is not as direct a route, is telling.  They stated to Sue that they were never consulted.  We have few fires but we do need paramedics.  If you have ever waited for a paramedic for a loved one, each minute is a lifetime.

People are Chatting About This Change
One wrote on Nextdoor “I know some posts have been started about the stupid idea put into place by our crooked elected officials. Let’s start fighting this. Let’s share alternate routes to take through residential neighborhoods in mar vista. Let’s boycott the businesses there. Perhaps that will get the city listening. And write letters and phone the various offices. Hope that some other members will write and post. Let’s start the pressure. Oh and worth noting the city will invest 27.2 million this year as opposed to the 3 million it spent last year.”

One answered and said “Great idea! Make some residential streets “bike only” instead. That would be a win for bikers and Waze protection for residents!” Great idea for neighborhoods too.

One emailed several insights and then decided one should list Bonin’s street as a cut through.

“Chairman of City Council’s Transportation committee (Mike Bonin) effects planned gridlock on Venice Blvd. between the 405 and Venice Beach by removing a traffic lane in Mar Vista.

“Hope no one needs an emergency vehicle this summer. Certainly Mar Vista could have been beautified without removing a traffic lane.

“Tunnel Vision. Someone on Next Door suggested boycotting Mar Vista merchants. I think the traffic situation there is going to produce the same effect.

“By the way, stopped by the Mar Vista fire station today. The firemen said they were not consulted about the plan at all.

“They added they could not get through on Venice Blvd yesterday when they had a call. They will have to use Palms and Washington in the future even if it is a less direct route.

“But it is mind boggling that Bonin and Garcetti chose this location for Great Streets. Could not be more inappropriate because it is a major east-west surface traffic artery. That they think that purposely slowing down traffic to make a cozy pedestrian friendly shopping area in this location could possibly serve the greater good is beyond belief and sadly proves why Trumpettes don’t trust government.

“Additionally, though not specifically in the coastal zone, it impedes coastal access to the rest of the City of L.A.

“Would love if someone with wider than Venice, media connections would do an expose of Gridlock Bonin and Go Along Garcetti. Luckily we have Venice Update, but would be shocked if we ever saw anything critical in the L.A. Times.”

Another summarized some of the comments “We are in a period of stupidity. Have you seen what they have done to Venice Blvd. Reduced lanes, reduced traffic flow, and confusing street markings. A safety problem waiting to explode. All to give cyclists a place to ride and text.”

Don’t Dump Poop Bags in Oxford Basin

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Properly dispose of your dog’s poop — bag it and put it in the trash cans provided. Call (800) 675-HELP (4357) if you see anyone illegally dumping in Oxford Basin.

DeDe Audet Says Goodbye to Her Beloved VNC

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These are a few of the people who worked with her on the board.  Left to right are Jed Pauker, DeDe, Darryl DuFay, and Barbara Gibson.

DeDe Audet said goodbye to her friends and members of the Venice Neighborhood Council at the regular VNC meet Wednesday (17 May).

DeDe is a former president of the Venice Neighborhood Council (VNC) and was a member of Venice’s original governing body called the Venice Town Council that later evolved into the Venice Neighborhood Council.   The VNC was about to be decertified when DeDe took office.  She brought it out of the “decertification drama” and put it on the road to what it is today.  After serving office she covered the Department of Water and Power for the VNC and only recently gave it up.    She never missed a VNC meeting when she was in town.

She always gathered a group of friends after each meet to have a drink. She had to have her whiskey.She is noted for carrying a “medicinal” flask.  Many of the people who served with her attended the meeting. She is moving into an assisted living facility in Chatsworth this month and will be near her son, Brian, who lives in Sylmar.


Linda Lucks, former VNC president, talks about DeDe and later reads letter from former VNC President Mike Newhouse.


Ivan Spiegel, parliamentarian, introduced DeDe Audet.

Santa Monica’s Homeless Increases 26 Percent; Demographic Survey Paints Broader Picture

Note:  Darryl DuFay supplied the link and the initial figures  to make this story happen.

Santa Monica presented its homeless count figures and homeless data to the City Council last Tuesday (9 May). Los Angeles City and Venice are both awaiting their figures.

The Los Angeles Housing Services Authority (LAHSA) had volunteers who did the homeless count on the night of 25 January, and then, LAHSA had others who did a “data survey” of those who were homeless, and the latter was accomplished over a period of three days.  The data gathered over the three-day period is so much more explanative of those homeless who live in shelters or the streets.

Here are some of the facts gleaned from the Santa Monica  count.

  • The 2017 point-in-time homeless count total is up 26% from 728 individuals in 2016 to 921.
  • The street count is up 39% from 416 in 2016 to 581.
  • Individuals sleeping in vehicles/encampments is up 26% from 73 in 2016 to 92.
  • Shelter and institution population is up 9% from 312 in 2016 to 340.

Demographic survey shed further light on who is coming into Santa Monica and from where:

  • New to Santa Monica – 29% report being in Santa Monica for less than 1 month.
  • Originate outside the City – 46% come to Santa Monica from other parts of Los Angeles County; 32% come from out of state.

“The Santa Monica ‘Out of State’ 32% figure should give us concern and reinforce our contention that there is a movement from out of state, from other areas in Los Angeles County 46% and the rest of the state 15%,” wrote Darryl DuFay. “We need this kind of homeless information for Venice.”

“I am suspect of the 46 percent figure for Los Angeles County,” said Reta Moser. “I suspect they were in Los Angeles County a short time before having come from outside the state. I say this based on those I have talked with in Venice. People will go where the weather and benefits are. Back in the 60’s people were bussed here from southern states because welfare benefits were greater. It doesn’t seem to matter to the heads of City and County. Los Angeles is taking the responsibility for housing and helping all, indiscriminately. But as Santa Monica has found, it does exhaust the system.”

Santa Monica has taken, as has Los Angeles,  the  strategic approach of assisting the homeless that are the most vulnerable first: those suffering from chronic homelessness, acute medical needs, or disabilities. According to the report, the growing regional demands has pushed Santa Monica’s homeless service system beyond capacity, leaving the most vulnerable unsheltered and without adequate care.

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Santa Monica Homeless Count History — Both street and shelter count.

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Santa Monica “Street” Homeless compared to  SPA5 which includes Bel Air, Beverly Hills, Culver City, Pacific Palisades,  Malibu,  Marina Del Rey, Santa Monica, Venice,  Westchester, and Westwood.

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This is where they stay in Santa Monica.

Tellling Overall Statistics

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This lists all the demographic data collected this year for the homeless in Santa Monica.  A sample (188 in 2017) of those homeless are surveyed.