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Venice Update

News of Venice, CA and Marina del Rey CA

VNC Meet to Discuss SB649

Venice Neighborhood Council (VNC) will discuss SB649 that regulates “small cell” phone towers that have been appearing on light posts through out Venice and beautifications projects proposed by public works to name a few at the next VNC meet 15 August, 7 pm at Westminster Elementary School, 1010 Abbot Kinney Blvd.  Go to Venicenc.org to request agenda.





“Road Diet” and “Weed” Restrictions Featured at VNC Meet

By Angela McGregor

The July Venice Neighborhood Council (VNC) board meeting was well-attended, mainly because of two controversial agenda items — cannabis restrictions, better know as “weed” restrictions and the Venice Blvd “Great Streets” initiative, also known at the “Road Diet.”

“Great Streets,” “Road Diet”
Agenda Item 9B, on the General Consent Calendar, called for Mike Bonin to hold a “Venice” Town Hall meeting on his “road diet” right away, in light of the fact that less than 450 people, none of them Venetians and many of them non-drivers, were surveyed prior to the implementation of the Venice Boulevard reconfiguration. This measure, submitted by Parking and Transportation Committee Chair Jim Murez, passed by acclamation.

A second road-diet related measure was put on the New Business Calendar, for much later in the evening. Called “Non-support of Transportation Projects”, it stated: “The VNC does not support any transportation project that negatively impacts traffic conditions in Venice”.

Murez recused himself from voting on the measure due to having forwarded an email he had received regarding the matter to his fellow Board members (a violation of the Brown Act). Prior to leaving the room, he spoke for a couple of minutes on the matter, stating that the engineering and configuration problems with it were “absolutely ludicrous”.

Public comment was entirely against the so-called “Great Streets” project. Longtime Venice activist Yolanda Gonzalez brought up the fact that in 2009, following a motion by the VNC, the City of Los Angeles posted signs all over Venice instructing residents to use Venice Blvd as their official tsunami evacuation route. Now, as other speakers pointed out, even paramedics and fire trucks are significantly delayed in the backup caused by the loss of the lanes.

Finally, Mike Bonin’s Field Deputy Taylor Bazley rose to speak on behalf of the “Great Streets” project, inviting all present to attend the upcoming LADOT Open House at Windward School 22 July between 1-3pm, at which data on the project’s first month will be presented. After that, he said that data would be presented after three months, and “six months…if it lasts that long”.

After public comment closed, Community Board member Ilana Marosi entered a new motion to replace the original, which called for immediate restoration of the 6-lane configuration on Venice Boulevard.This new motion failed to pass — 5-6-3. The original, less specific motion did pass, however — 8-3-1.

Cannabis Regulation
In June, the VNC Board put out a call for interested parties to participate in a task force to make recommendations to the VNC (and thereby, the City Planning Office) regarding the regulation of commercial cannabis in Venice. In just a few weeks, the committee came together and produced a 45-page document (seen here: http://www.venicenc.org/docs/34484217-6912.pdf).

Board and public discussion focused primarily on ensuring that these businesses were sufficiently distant from residences, and whether or not they should permit onsite consumption. The recommendations, which, in keeping with state law would outlaw marijuana sales on Ocean Front Walk, passed in its original form, 11-3-3.

Other matters:
Dax Kimbrough was elected to replace Lauri Burns as a Community Interest Stakeholder. Kimbrough is the owner of Arsenal Film & Creative Studio in Culver City and an Adjunct Instructor at USC’s Thornton School of Music. He is also a Board Member of the Venice Symphony Orchestra.

A motion made by Parking and Transportation calling for Smart Bikes (rather than Smart Docking stations) which would be compatible with those used in Santa Monica and Culver City and would not remove any public or off-street parking, passed.

Venice Goes Green at Oakwood Rec


The earth turned a little greener Saturday,  at least in Venice, as two to three hundred people, according to Nick Antonicello, shopped at the information tables, listened to lectures,  and ate a tidbit here and there. Crowds formed around the Tesla,  BMW, and Chevrolet electric cars.

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. 

VNC Green Festival 10 June

Venice Neighborhood Council Green Festival will be Saturday, 10 June from noon to 5 pm at the Oakwood Recreation Center, 767 California.

Sofia Borges to Speak at Homeless Committee Meet, 30 May

Sofia Borges, columnist, USC professor and architect, will speak at the next Homeless Committee meeting 30 May, 6:30 to 7:30 pm at the Venice Public Library, 501 Venice Blvd.

The committee has a motion regarding LA homeless shelters and RV safety that will be discussed.


DeDe Audet Says Goodbye to Her Beloved VNC

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.

VNC Approves Projects, Homeless Motions

Venice Neighborhood Council (VNC) last Tuesday recommended approval and disapproval of building projects for Venice as well as approved motions that will help homeless.

Approved projects were 45 Venice Blvd, 2318 Clement, 825 Palms, 741 Superba, 210 Linnie Canal, 80 Windward, 2318 Clement, and 742 – 746 Milwood. Rialto project at 407 – 409 was denied. Abbot Kinney at 1522 was removed from list of projects to be discussed.

A motion was provided by the homeless committee for a 6-month pilot program, in cooperations with LAPD and the Bureau of Sanitation, to provide 25 60-gallon bins on 3rd and Rose for the homeless to use for storage of personal items during the day. As of now, there is no such storage program other than the one at Venice Beach. Another motion provided by the homeless committee was to provide homeless persons with free pet services once a month.

A motion proposed by the neighborhood committee was to provide signs at parks and schools restricting oversize vehicles during certain hours. This would eliminate neighbors doing the petition on a block-by-block basis.

Make Venice Better, Join a Committee, Get Involved

A commenter made a derogatory remark at the Venice Neighborhood Council Board meeting last Tuesday regarding the “big bucks” the members of the board make.

That statement filled the room with a muted chuckle. The members of the board make nothing. They are members, leaders is a better word, of the community who put their time and ingenuity to practice to make Venice a better place. Most of the members have jobs and resumes that would make a commenter of “Big Bucks” plush.

Venice Neighborhood Council is the most active of the City’s ninety plus councils. Looking at the professions, education, and backgrounds of these board members, one realizes that this is a “unique” pool of talent devoted to Venice.

Below is a list of the committees available for participants who would like to contribute time and talent to help make Venice better. Of course, there is no “big bucks” to any of these jobs.


VNC to Hold Public Safety Townhall & Forum, 27 April

The Venice Neighborhood Committee will hold a Townhall and Formum Thursday, 27 April from 6:30 to 9 pm at the Animo Venice Charter High School, 820 Broadway, Venice. Present for the forum will be representatives from LAPD, City Attorney’s office, Bureau of Sanitation, LAPD investigators, Department of Transportation, Emergency Communications systems, Homeless Outreach and Proactive Engagement (HOPE) unit.