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Venice Update

News of Venice, CA and Marina del Rey CA

Kim’s Now Tesuque Market


What was Kim’s Market, at corner of Mildred and Ocean, has become Tesuque Venice Market. Opening date has not been set.

It’s Easter!

Karen and Samuel Moses, who live on Dickson in the Oxford Triangle, celebrate every occasion. Both Christmas and Halloween are worth a trip.

Abbot Kinney Association, Call DOT; Do Not Pass Go

These photos were taken within just a couple of blocks on Abbot Kinney. It was obvious the gremlins had played with the painting of curb colors to the utter dismay of many a shopper looking for that place to put the wheels. Some of the colors were so deteriorated that one did not know whether it was a joke or a possibility.

It was so confusing to Update that a uniformed Parking Officer was summoned to make the determination. It was a possible red in front of a building with no intersection near. The Parking Officer said it was a definite “No Parking” and was for a possible fire engine. (Paramedic might fit but no way for the big red engine.) The yellow was for loading. Thought all loading and unloading was from the middle on Abbot Kinney. Most confusing.

The Abbot Kinney association should call DOT or email them for help at LADOT.WesternDistrict@lacity.org.

Check this red out. How many cars can be parked here? No intersection. Just a footnote but was going to use this photo with the header “I believe in Angels Too.”

Red and Yellow but why?

This one bleeds red. Around the intersection should not be 30 to 40 feet. Try 15, 16.

Why white? There is no restaurant or valet for anything.

Here are the curb color codes for Los Angeles.

Red: No stopping, standing, or parking.
Blue: Parking is permitted only for a disabled person or a driver of a disabled person.
Green: Park for a limited time.
White: Stop only long enough to pick up or drop off passengers or mail.
Yellow: Stop no longer than the time posted to load or unload passengers or freight.

The Cookie Stand Goes Pro in Venice

Wesley and Kyle Stuart stand behind the cookie counter ready to service any order for cookies. They sell nothing else. The Stoop is located at 239 Windward Ave., Venice.

This is the store front or hole in the wall, fence but ready for cookie take-out.

Momma always said “Never take cookies from the Cookie Man.”

Well, I am sure Momma would make an exception in this case. These two handsome transplants from Michigan bake cookies in their house and sell them out of their house … retail store (fence)… rectanglular hole in the wall … It’s The Stoop at 239 Windward Ave., Venice.

They sell four types of cookies — coconut cranberry, chocolate chip walnut, peanut butter, and oatmeal maple raisin. You can count on the recipes being hand-me-downs from the Midwest. Now, hours of operation are another story but there is a phone number once you get their card. When the surf ‘s up, the boys are not cooking or selling, they are surfing.

My suggestion was get a bell for when the flap has flopped and a “Gone Surfin” sign for when no one is home. They said with their license for “cottage food” permit they cannot have a sign outside but maybe “Gone Surfin” would not be work related (no pun intended).

They have been inspected and approved by the City. They have to bake the cookies in the house and have to sell them as they are doing outside. All is approved, sealed, and delivered for what they do. They are licensed and have a “Cottage Food” permit.

To some it might be called the hole in the wall, but to others getting the fresh baked cookies, it is wonderful. They are $3 each or two for $5. And yes, there is delivery if you call 310-985-0409.

Wesley is a personal trainer and came to California eight years ago and Kyle is a photographer and came five years ago. Led by the sunshine and the surf they left the Rust Belt but frequently go back.

There were brought up on a farm in Ludington, Michigan and that is where they get their organic wheat. Their family raises the wheat they use for the cookies. Guess that makes it a true family business. Kyle said organic farming is big back in their area.

They opened Valentine’s Day. Their next endeavor is jams and jellies from family recipes.

Bonin to Unveil Plan to End Venice Homelessness


Councilman Mike Bonin will unveil his strategy for ending homelessness in Venice at a special meeting next Tuesday (29 March), 7 to 9 pm at Westminster Elementary School, 1010 Abbot Kinney Blvd, Venice.

Note: Last year the homeless count in the city was up 12 percent from the previous count; Venice count was up 14 percent from the previous count. All figures were so dramatic that a special count was held again this year; normally the count is every two years. Mayor Eric Garcetti pledged 100 or 150 million to end homelessness and now is thinking of putting a bond on the ballot to cover this cost.

Press release from the council office is as follows:

Homelessness in Los Angeles is the most severe crisis facing our neighborhoods — and the problem is especially acute in Venice. Solving it is going to take commitment, perseverance, and action. I intend to unveil my Homelessness Strategy for Venice at a special meeting at 7 pm, March 29 at the Westminster Elementary School. I personally invite you to attend.

My colleagues and I on the City Council, in close partnership with Mayor Eric Garcetti and the County Board of Supervisors, have been working to change the way we combat this crisis, and last month, we adopted strategies to get people off the streets and into homes.

Those strategies are meaningless, however, without an implementation plan. On March 29, I will propose my implementation strategy and begin the process of seeking public input on it. I will outline both programs and projects to help give homeless people in Venice the respect and dignity they deserve — and help give residents, businesses and visitors the clean and safe Venice they deserve.

For any plan to succeed, it will need to be collaborative, and move forward with community engagement and support. I expect and welcome robust dialogue and I anticipate plenty of feedback. Please join me on March 29 at 7pm at Westminster Elementary School (1010 Abbot Kinney Blvd.) to hear my proposed implementation plan for Venice.

Please RSVP today and invite your neighbors.

Venetians Upset with BBB Reroutes to 7th and Ocean

By Naomi Nightingale

Note: Ms Nightingale was asked to write an article about the Big Blue Bus Wednesday night meeting because of her extensive experience with transit agencies. She has 25 years with three transit agencies. She was the Deputy Executive Officer of Human Resources for Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority, where she worked for 18 years.

At a community meeting on Wednesday, March 9, Councilman Mike Bonin and administrators for the Big Blue Bus (BBB) heard loud and clear from Venice residents opposing Big Blue Bus routes 18 and 1 now running on 4th to 7th Avenues and Ocean Avenue.

The Westminster School auditorium was packed with over 100 concerned residents the majority of whom were there to site the inconveniences of the change to the public, traffic congestion and safety hazards caused by the 40-foot long buses, ordinance violations of the large buses exceeding the 2000 ton limit of the streets, noise pollution, the interruption of lifestyles and the imposition of new traffic patterns in the residential core of the Venice communities, and more.

Given the barrage of objections based on the listed complaints the most egregious violation by the apparent collaboration of Santa Monica Big Blue Bus and Councilman Mike Bonin was the failure to conduct a public hearing regarding the changes of bus routes and the proposed introduction of these two new routes into the Venice community. When pressed for an answer to the question of how residents were notified in their outreach effort, Timothy McCormick, spokesperson for BBB said an on-line survey was sent to residents in some areas of Venice. The crowd quickly and loudly expressed their offense to the response: How would anyone know to go to a website to respond to a survey? Why were only certain households targeted for the on-line survey? McCormick did not explain why no other outreach methods were utilized to inform the community of the changes.

Councilman Bonin admitted that the outreach was not extensive enough but stated that the City had little influence on the bus routes. This is hardly believable since public transit is funded by a variety of public funds including the Proposition A half-cent sales tax approved in 1980 of which cities including Santa Monica receive a return of 25% of the sales tax and for Proposition C half-cent sales tax approved in 1990, cities receive 20% returned for transportation purposes. Measure R was approved in 2008 and authorized an additional one-half of 1% sales tax to fund traffic relief and rail expansion.

It’s true that much of the planning for the Expo line was done in years before Bonin became Councilman but he served as the Chief of Staff to former City Councilman Bill Rosendahl from 2005 to 2013 so it is not plausible to even think that he knew nothing of these changes. For certain it doesn’t appear that he was proactive in representing the views and concerns of the Venice community and an obvious failure to properly represent his constituency so that Venetians could have a say in the way public transit serves their community – at the very least public policy calls for a public hearing for taxpayers and community residents to express their support or lack of the same.

Ocean Avenue residents have formed a protest group to challenge Route 1 on Ocean Avenue and residents opposing Line 18 will meet next week to plan their continuing opposition and to determine what other options may be available.

LUPC is the One and On a Roll

At the Avalon Room, Cafe Gratitude. Left to right are: Ramsey Daham, Todd Darling, Chair Robin Rudisill, Kathleen Rawson, Maury Ruano, Mehrnoosh Mojallali, and Gabriel Ruspini.

At Beyond Baroque. Left to right are: Todd Darling, Mark Kleiman, Co-Chair Robert Aronson, Chair Robin Rudisill, Maury Ruano, and Gabriel Ruspini. It takes two photos to show them all.

Elections are coming and the most important committees for the Venice Neighborhood Council is the Land Use and Planning Committee or more locally referred to as LUPC (Lou-Peck).

The Chair position, held by Robin Rudisill for the last two years, will be on the ballot again. So far, three people have thrown their hats in the ring for this position. The individual members, who make up the LUP committee, will be selected by the Venice Neighborhood Council (VNC) members after the election.

Robin Rudisill, when she first took over, changed the Wednesday meet at the Oakwood Recreation Center from Wednesdays to Tuesdays and then later to Mondays — first and last of the month. Where she changed it was the fun part — it was the mystery involved with “where.” Sometimes one did not know until appearing at the appointed place only to find out it was to be somewhere else.

This article was written some time ago and waited to be published until a decent photo of all the members could be obtained. A good photo never happened and it is almost time for a new group to replace this group. So it is time to get to it.

LUPC is still on a roll …

Yes, LUPC it on a roll … literally they are mobile … one never knows where they will be next … it is a mystery that is solved sometimes just before the meet.

Frankly, if you aren’t intrigued by the cases that Land Use and Planning Committee (LUPC) has, you might consider the meeting places. One has to admit the surroundings, the meeting places, are always different and challenging.

Many times the meets were at Foursquare church on Rialto, before that 512 Rose, next to Café Gratitude in the Avalon Room. Before that it was at the Whaler, Washington at Ocean Front Walk, south side. Meet before that was at the Terrace Restaurant, Washington at Ocean Front Walk, north side. It has been in the theater at the old Venice jail, Beyond Baroque

Follow the Breadcrumbs
Sometimes one doesn’t know until hours before but there are always direction notes that breadcrumb one to the site.

All these places still beat the continuous bouncing of the basketballs and the yelling of the kids at Oakwood Recreation Center, not to mention the closing doors.

Theater at Beyond Baroque was okay but cold. Lighting was challenging for the board. The Terrace restaurant has its own sound and that was of the kitchen or yelling sports fans during events. Whaler had the sound of happy customers, and this time, the added treat of samples from the kitchen being munched and discussed. People were stacked in the Whaler main floor but that didn’t stop them from coming and going, commenting, and munching.

LUPC, frankly to say the least, is never a dull moment. One can count on at least two opinions—each opposing the other.

Chair Robin Rudisill conducts the meet with total attention to those addressing a project and to the details of it. Might be likened to a three-ringed circus in the background, when people in audience get talking. And then there is always a sharp, well-deserved “quiet” from Rudisill.

Most Important VNC Committee
But all kidding aside this is where people from the neighborhood look at projects aimed for building in Venice. This is the most important committee that the Venice Neighborhood Council has. It helps shape Venice, what it will look like tomorrow.

The LUPC committee consists of attorneys, architects, business people, builders. They are all volunteers who devote their time to help address and balance the quaintness and, yet sophistication, of Venice. They apply to and are individually selected by vote of Venice Neighborhood Council members to serve a two-year term. The selection occurs after the general election and a chair is elected.

Each Member Gets a Case
Each member is assigned a case and that person gathers all the facts pertaining to the project. This means interfacing with the City Planning department, collecting pertinent documents and sometimes documents that have been archived, talking with the architect/builder, setting up and/or just attending a neighborhood meet about the project. Everything pertaining to the project, the LUPC member should know. He presents the project to LUPC and VNC, and later, presents results to the City, This is a daunting task one has to admit.

LUPC Recommends
LUPC is not a final yes or no to a project. It is a recommendation of approval or disapproval and sometimes with conditions, qualifications that then go to the Venice Neighborhood Council (VNC). The VNC hears the case and can accept, not accept, or change the LUPC recommendation or portion thereof. The VNC then recommends approval or disapproval with its own criteria. After that it goes to the City with the recommendation from Venice Neighborhood Council, LUPC. The City agrees or doesn’t agree with the VNC.

Yes, the City does its own thing, but by the time the case gets to the City, the project is tempered by the members of LUPC and later honed by the members of the Venice Neighborhood Council.

These are talented, professionals who have a day job. Each of these members warrants a separate interview.

Robin Rudisill, Chair
Robert Aronson, Vice Chair
Mehrnoosh Mojallali
Kathleen Rawson
Ramsey Daham
Maury Ruano
Todd Darling
Mark Kleiman
Gabriel Ruspini

Cameras and Loudspeakers Installed at Venice Beach


By David Graham-Caso
Fulfilling a commitment he made shortly after taking office, Los Angeles City Councilmember Mike Bonin today announced that a new, high-tech and durable security camera and loudspeaker system has been installed at Venice Beach.

“An estimated 16 million people come to Venice Beach every year to see this quintessential part of Los Angeles,” said Bonin. “An area this important and busy demands top-notch security tools to keep people safe. These new cameras and loudspeakers will help prevent and solve crimes and protect people in the event of an emergency.”

Bonin has been working with the City Department of Recreation and Parks and Los Angeles Police Department to install security cameras at Venice Beach, and the installation of 21 new cameras and speaker system was completed earlier this year. The cameras, which have been installed throughout the public park, are monitored by trained LAPD officers and have already proven effective, assisting officers and detectives with the identification of suspects and helping in the successful prosecution of criminal activity.

“The addition of the cameras along Ocean Front Walk is a welcomed technological improvement and has already proven to be a valuable investigative tool,” said LAPD Pacific Division Captain Nicole Alberca. “This project is an example of our collaborative forward momentum in improving the quality of life and keeping Venice a safe place to live, work and visit.”

The cameras were recommended in the Venice Beach Needs Assessment, a report the City Council commissioned at Bonin’s request shortly after he was sworn-in in 2013. The report identified key security upgrades that would improve safety at the two-mile long public park, which also serves as a residential neighborhood and commercial district. The idea of security cameras in Venice was widely supported, and the Venice Neighborhood Council voted in favor of the camera installation in 2013.

The cameras were donated to the City by Samsung, and Bonin and his staff worked with the Department of Recreation and Parks, LAPD, the City’s Information Technology Agency, Time Warner Cable and Leverage Information Systems to secure the necessary permits and install the system throughout the Venice Beach area.

Several of the cameras have loudspeaker capabilities, which allow police officers to direct and manage crowds in the event of an emergency. In addition to helping prevent and prosecute criminal activity, the cameras are a useful tool in other common situations at Venice Beach, such as locating missing children when they are separated from their families.

Saga of Wind and the Venice Walk and Bike Paths

How clean it looks right after the rig leaves and then just around the corner.

This is what sand can do.

Narrow path at the jetty also gets buried under the sand when it is windy.

Wind reeks havoc on the Venice bike path, the walks along ocean front walk, and the Venice jetty walk. Wherever there is sand next to a walk or bike path, the wind can just bury it.

County Department of Beaches and Harbors is responsible for keeping the bike path from Malibu to Redondo Beach clear and clean. The department cleans it twice a week. The City Department of Parks and Recreation is responsible for the grass area, east of the path and next to the sand. The wind blows westerly and blows the sand against the grassy areas, which act as barriers. The sand accumulates on the grassy areas and at the border of the bike path.

“Candidate Recruitment” BBQ Signs Some; Deadline 6 April

Elizabeth Wright, Co-chair of the VNC election committee helps Juliette Vigneaux sign up for Chair, Land Use and Planning, and Colleen Saro for Community Officer.

Venice Neighborhood Council (VNC) “Candidate Recruitment” BBQ Saturday at Oakwood Recreation Center had some signups for the VNC 21 vacant offices but many offices still lack a candidate. For those who are still undeclared, the deadline is midnight, 6 April.

Next “Candidate Recruitment” event will be “Politics Ain’t for Sissies,” starring the Venice political power stars, the honorables Debra Bowen, Ruth Galanter, and Betsy Butler, and hosted by former Venice Neighborhood Council President Linda Lucks.

So Far those who have declared themselves candidates are:

President — Ira Koslow

Vice President — Yolanda Gonzalez
— Mark Lipman

Chair, Land Use and Planning — Vytas Juskys
— Thomas R. Sauer

Community Officer — Haseeb Rahman
— Joe Murphy
— Nate Golon
— Shep Stern

Election Events to come:

31 March — Candidate Recruitment event “Politics Ain’t for Sissies,” 7-9 pm at Westminster Elementary School, 1010 Abbot Kinney Blvd.
6 April — Candidate filing closes 11:59 pm
9 April — Deadline to submit candidate photos and statements for viewing on EmpowerLA.org
13 April — Candidate Orientation
18 April — Deadline to challenge Candidate certification
21 April — Deadline to withdraw candidacy
25 May — Tentative deadline to submit photos and statements for VNC Election Guide that will be hand distributed throughout the VNC area
2 June — Candidate Forum
8 June — Deadline for provisional voter supporting documentation
10June — Deadline to request recount or challenge