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Venice Update

News of Venice, CA and Marina del Rey CA

Awesome … Just Awesome! Venice Salutes Chief Moore, LAPD

Chief of Police Michel Moore said he would start policing the beach again when he was at the Venice Town Hall last Wednesday night.

Friday night between 5:15 and 5:30, nine to ten LAPD beach cruisers entered the Boardwalk from Windward with lights flashing and slowly and quietly parted the crowd as they proceeded to Navy St.

This was their way of stating “We are back!” Beach cruisers have not been allowed on the sand since last year when a man was run over but not injured. It just made Chief Beck and then Chief Moore extra cautious. As a consequence the beach has been the choice for the homeless.

At Navy all the cruisers entered the sand in tandem, drove south toward Windward, and then peeled off to warn people with belongings and tents on the sand that as of midnight tonight (19 October) they would be cited. Many started to move on. Any belongings left unattended would be removed.

The beach for legal reasons is a City park from the east side of the Boardwalk to the ocean, from Santa Monica border to the Marina del Rey jetty.

This is the official letter from Captain James Roberts, Commanding Officer, LAPD Pacific Patrol Division.

Venice Community & stakeholders,
 
The Chief of Police has voiced his support and direction for the Pacific Area Command to increase beach patrols, and redouble our efforts to enforce beach and boardwalk quality of life ordinances; effective immediately.  Chief Moore and the West bureau command staff have absolutely heard your concerns, and responded emphatically. 
 
If you are on the Boardwalk or beach this afternoon, you will see an increase in officers on the sand proactively educating the public, and conducting enforcement activity as appropriate.  And as always, the officers will simultaneously be offering outreach and support resources to those in need.  We invite all local service providers to connect with Pacific Area or come out to the beach, so officers have a direct referral source if someone asks for help during our outreach. This activity will continue around the clock,  until further. 

 

Muscle Beach Gets Redo for Memorial Day

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Nick Antonicello reports that the Muscle Beach equipment has been reupholstered. Last week Antonicello did an article showing the “decrepit” conditions at the site. The equipment he says is still old and needs to be replaced.

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

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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.

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Bikes were everywhere Sunday at CicLAVia — Venice to Culver City

Bikes a la mass with boom boxes blasting, some drivers with costumes, and those out just to enjoy the ride and the day.

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Riders on Windward at Pacific.

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One had a problem.

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Young entrepreneurs were out watering down the bikers.

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Mac, who has his own following could have cared less about the commotion.

Graffiti Runs Rampant in Venice

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Fence on Wavecrest. (Photo by anonymous.)

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Starry Night mural on Ocean Front Walk. (Photo by anonymous.)

Give them a graffiti park and they will destroy private property, murals, you name it. Perhaps, it is time to remove the graffiti park on Venice Beach. Last week it was the Vietnam POW memorial on Pacific.

Paddle Board Tournament Starts April

Fred Ealey, recreation coordinator, says this year’s Venice Beach Paddle Board Tournament will include mixed doubles. For more information, contact Ealey at 310-399-2775.

Spring Doubles April 1-2
Cinco De Mayo Doubles May 6-7
Summer Singles June 10-11
LA City Doubles July 15-16
US Open National Singles Aug 19-20
Venice Beach Mixed Doubles Sept 9-10

Wellers’ Homeless Story — No 20

                                Hazel and Mary – Broken Down on Rose Avenue

                                                   (Names changed for confidentiality)

Steven & Regina Weller, Directors, Homeless Task Force

Senior Crisis Chaplains Steven & Regina Weller, Directors, Homeless Task Force

 

 By Regina Weller

Note:  If you would like to donate to the Homeless Task Force, address checks to Homeless Task Force, and send to 1400 Riviera Ave., Venice 990291.

The two women dragged all they owned in several bags and entered the Nursing Home in Riverside last night.   The good news is that they would be roommates. “They were not fussing,” the driver informed me. “This is nice!” he added, quoting Mary’s words. The new environment was a 100 percent turnaround from where they’d been.

Two weeks prior, Venice residents Matt Shaw and Jamie Paige, who are also members of the Venice Neighborhood Council, had discovered the two fragile seniors living in their broken down car on Rose Avenue by 3rd Street, and called me for assistance.   The Homeless Task Force certainly has the availability and know-how to get people off the streets, but there are so many other factors and obstacles that become apparent after engagement. Nothing is ever simple.

Hazel and Mary had been friends for many years – Hazel was once an independent film producer, and her production assistant Mary had worked steadily by her side. Years passed and now in their seventies, they had hit the sidewalks of homelessness. Their social security benefits were not enough for both food and housing, so they opted to live in Hazel’s car and go from motel to motel until their funds ran out.   Along the way, they met up with two stray dogs and claimed them as their own.   The dogs had puppies and now there were four living creatures with them in the car, until the papa dog ventured off about a month earlier. I surmised that he was the lucky one.

For a time, the two friends had set up a tent on the Venice Beach sand, but the sand fleas, and the wind and rain of last November got the best of them and they opted again for the protection of their vehicle.   The transmission finally gave out and they were stranded on Rose Avenue by 3rd Street. For a few bucks, a homeless man would push their car from one side to the other during street cleaning days.

Hazel spent most of her time just sitting in the passenger seat of the car. She said it had become challenging for her to even walk a block with her walker, so Mary had to constantly monitor and serve her. My assistant Rachel and I met with the these ladies several times, and we always became uncomfortable to witness the dogs entwine their leashes around Mary’s legs while she attempted to walk all three at the same time. It was incredible to me that she hadn’t fallen down yet. Jamie, the Venice resident who had first engaged with the women, was of great help with offering to walk the dogs daily, and keeping them for hours at a time to give the seniors a break. These women wanted a place to live, but I was more concerned that the unhealthy conditions had already compromised their lives.

I bought them food and coffee, and eventually, I discovered something more and more unnerving about their situation. During their time in Venice, they had been robbed and swindled out of a small inheritance and their monthly benefits.  Also with all their aches and pains, they relied on the over-the-counter pain medication from CVS pharmacy, and had sometimes gone days on end without bathing.   It was evident they would remain a vulnerable target to the treacherous influx of criminal types at the 3rd and Rose homeless encampment.

I called for the LAPD Hope car to assist with the transport of the ladies to the Department of Public Social Services (DPSS) office to possibly acquire a motel voucher until a permanent housing opening for them on February 1st.   While enroute to DPSS, Hazel became very ill in the back seat and I requested the officers to pull over.   Officer Kwon called for an ambulance, which responded quickly, and transported Hazel to Marina Hospital where they later discovered a large blood clot in her leg that would require hospitalization for a week. The Hope car kept to the original plan and continued on to DPSS, but to no avail from that office for certain bureaucratic reasons.

With the “no motel voucher” outcome, we headed back to their broken down vehicle. Meanwhile, the Venice Neighborhood Council members moved into action and raised money for a two-week stay in a dog friendly motel.   It soon became apparent that Mary was also quietly enduring a large open wound and a staph infection, and now it was her turn to enter the emergency room of the hospital.   I’m guessing they might not have survived the winter given their current health dilemmas. Now their pets had to be situated elsewhere, so Jamie took on the arduous task of finding emergency foster care, and she and I kept vigilant for the next step in our plan of action.

When both women were finally back together in the motel room, it was imperative to set newfound goals, especially since they had been asked to leave most motels.   Certain practices of the homeless lifestyle do not meld well with the rules of the motel business. The squalor atmosphere they are accustomed to living in is sometimes brought in with them. We encouraged the seniors toward a safer and more stable environment better suited for their age and health status. The two friends agreed and were then transported by private ambulance carrier to their new residence.

Today, Hazel and Mary are tenants of the Fairmont Nursing Home in Riverside, California – still roommates, still side by side through thick and thin and the homeless camps in Venice, and to the end. With one night of uninterrupted sleep in a warm clean bed, and the nurture of the nurse attendants, Mary said, “I feel human again.”

Thank You

The Venice Update wants to thank all the contributors to the Update this year. Some have written stories.  Some contributors have suggested the possibility of a story; some have given a pertinent web address of a story that would affect Venetians.  I thank each and every one of you.

Update relies on this input.  A newspaper should reflect what is happening in its covered territory.  Without the eyes and ears of you, the reader, this would not be possible.

Update is always looking for people who want to cover events and write stories. This year Angela McGregor stepped up and has become an invaluable, reliable contributor.  She has been covering events and the neighborhood council.

Update continues to strive to get as much pertinent news as possible to the community.  It works hard to keep the news unbiased, factual.  Update presents the facts; you, the reader, formulate your own opinoion.

 

 

 

 

Orson Does “A Christmas Carol”

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Berms Are Up!

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Each year berms are constructed on the beach to protect from storm high tides. This one is at Venice Blvd.