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Venice Update

News of Venice, CA and Marina del Rey CA

3rd Gets Rat-proof Trash Cans

Activists Rick Swinger got his rat-free trash cans for 3rd Ave in Venice.  Swinger has championed the cans publicly since he asked for them at the original town hall years ago.  They have been in the works somewhere since then.

At one time, the Venice Update offered to pay for them, and then Rick said he would split the cost.  That got filed along with the original request.  Everyone knows that rat-free trash cans keep the rats hungry.  Hungry rats leave the area.  Google now has rat traps on their property because of a health department inspection requested by Swinger for 3rd Ave.  He has also asked all vendors and service agencies to stop dumping food on 3rd but that request has hit deaf ears.

Pier Jumper Saved from Surf at Venice Pier

By Peter Ruiz, head of Venice Pier Project

At 12:15 pm Tuesday an unidentified man jumped off the north side of the Venice Pier.

Under estimating the undertow and the wind, he struggled to swim away from the pilings. A set of 3- to 5-foot waves rolled in a few minutes later and slammed the man into not one but two pilings. A near by surfer assisted along with Los Angeles fire and rescue and county lifeguards. Five minutes later LAFD was on scene. The man refused to be treated and was informed that it’s a fine or even arrest for jumping off the Venice Pier. Dazed and bleeding from all the mussels tearing into his torso, the man limped away to the showers.

New LocalCrimeNews Reports Arrests by Areas, Venice Included

By Rick Swinger

This web site reports all arrests in California.  One can single out a city such as Venice.  Shown below are just three of 24 arrests during November in Venice area.

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. 


Venice BID Shows Clean, Safe Statistics for September


Clean Team data provided by Chrysalis. Safe Team data provided by Allied Universal. Activities are reported daily by Clean and Safe Team members who are employees of Chrysalis and Allied Universal, respectively. Chrysalis and Allied managers compile daily reports into a monthly summary. VB BID relies on their decades of BID expertise and reporting for the statistics we provide.

Includes noise complaints, misuse of bikes and scooters on public walkways, and public drinking/smoking/urination.

Building Trust Through Daily Outreach: As a nonprofit working for the good of our community, the VB BID cares about everyone in our district. This includes those who are experiencing homelessness. That’s why our Safe Team uses daily interactions as a way of getting to know our unhoused community members. By respectfully making contact and listening to individual stories, the team creates opportunities to help people connect with the services they may need.

Forging Community Partnerships: At the same time, our staff and service team members are engaged in building collaborative partnerships with mental health, housing, and other supportive services. Our goal is to be part of an effective network of solutions for people experiencing homelessness. As one example, our Safe Team account manager, Azucena Vela recently coordinated with multiple entities to help a vulnerable unhoused man reenter the shelter where he’d been living previously. She learned what he needed from a Safe Team member who had reached out to him during a routine community patrol.

Working for the District’s Welfare: VB BID services are on the streets of our district every day, looking out for our community’s well-being. If you see someone who needs assistance, or if you’d like to ask a question or raise a safety concern, please give us a call at 310-396-8243.

Your questions about Bridge Housing are here … Looks like all projects have been dumped in Venice; Mayor wants homeless to stay in their communities; Encampments will stay along with “Bridge”

Venetians still have questions regarding the proposed “Bridge Housing” for Venice. The Venice Update has received several questions. They are going to be printed here as they come in so look for this article to grow.  In addition, the Venice Update has listed a few observations for you to consider making comments about, if you can.

All dumped in Venice
But with all the answering, no one has addressed the question of why is everything dumped in Venice.
There are two major affordable/psh housing projects planned for Venice taking some of the prime, prime land, 500 to 1000 feet from the ocean. The sale of these properties would house many, many more homeless inland from here. These are two major projects and now the “Bridge Housing.” Name one other city within CD11 that has half the projected homeless projects … just half.

Mayor wants to keep homeless in their communities
Now we have the Mayor stating that he wants to keep the homeless in their communities. Oh, my goodness. He obviously has not visited Venice Beach or 3rd Ave. They are all transients from out of state. Everyone in Venice shouts this to the top of their lungs but politicians are just not listening. Listen to those who help find places for the homeless such as Regina Weller. Listen to the Captain of the LAPD James Roberts, or if he isn’t familiar enough yet, ask former Captain Nicole Alberka. They aren’t from here, Mayor.  They just aren’t.

You say you found 16,000 homeless places, yet homeless figures do not reflect that
You say you found 16,000 places for homeless, why aren’t the yearly figures down significantly.  If you found 16,000 places for homeless last year, why is the homeless figure still in the low 30K range? Homeless for City this year was down 5 percent to 31,516.

Encampments will stay according Mayor
In one article you said you were going to clean up the encampments. It was assumed that the encampments were leaving Venice. Venice has 975 homeless and the Bridge proposes to house 100, leaving 875 on the street. You are quoted in Argonaut as saying “No area will be cleared until there are beds that are available.”  Meaning the encampments will stay along with the Bridge Housing.

Will Bridge Housing eliminate encampments or encourage more?
According to article in LATimes, Garcetti said enforce 41.18 (thus eliminating Jones Settlement). Attorney Carol Sobel said “There is a snowball’s chance in hell that a court will let them enforce that.” “Neighbors worried about the proposed shelters argue the pact makes it impossible to stop people from camping out near the new facilities,” LA Times article says.

CityWatch Asks “A Bridge Home or a Bridge to Nowhere?”
Darryl DuFay just found this article dated 18 June summarizing the planned projects and the encounters they have had plus the way they have been presented to the communities. CityWatch article.

Questions from Venetians

Eileen Pollack Erickson

Dear Councilmember Bonin and Mayor Garcetti

I completely echo the thoughts in the letter from the Venice Stakeholder’s Association and many others at the Community Open House last Wednesday night.  I am willing to support bridge housing and permanent supportive housing when and if such housing (1) truly replaces existing encampments throughout Venice and prevents their reestablishment.  Without this guarantee, a facility such as what is proposed is more likely to attract more homeless to Venice, more encampments.  (2) The laws which protect the residents and environment need to be observed, by going through the Coastal Commission, appropriate agencies for zoning changes, and observing CEQA protocols; and  (3) the rest of CD-11 must accept it’s fair share of this responsibility.  Here is the link to that letter: http://files.constantcontact.com/c052d8bf201/ca53fcd7-762b-47b4-9363-c533e37abe72.pdf

Thank you in advance for your attention.

Chris Cerbo

Headlines for YouTube videos suggest that everyone in Venice has been polled and is supporting this project. “VENICE SAYS YES TO BRIDGE HOUSING.” Was there a vote I missed?

Venice Says Yes to Bridge Housing – Part One

Judy Esposito

In trying to understand everything about this, I have several huge concerns:
I read that this bridge housing will cost 20 Million, I don’t know how many “facilities” city officials may be speaking of, (since nothing is EVER made clear to us) but if they are to last for only 3 years (residents would only be permitted to stay there for 3 months) it seems to me that our tax dollars would be much better spent on more long term solutions, such as re-purposing existing buildings.

The fact that Bonin’s “survey” does not permit one to oppose this idea at all but asks what sort of plantings / art, we might want there….assuming we are all completely in agreement with HIS proposal, I find this very disturbing indeed. Hardly a democratic process ! Where is the option to oppose on his survey ?

The fact that rehab / mental help has not been mentioned as a priority or even as being offered is also very disturbing.

Housing homeless people here, that will be open 24/7 as I thought I understood, seems to me, would be a true magnet for attracting so many more homeless people to our Venice. Many homeless people are not from here at all.

Many have serious mental/addiction problems which need to be addressed first of all.

Garcetti’s bribing us with more clean up truly stinks. Garcetti should be making sure all neighborhoods are kept clean …. period.

I have found Bonin’s refusal to hear his constituents or to respect his constituents, completely irresponsible and dictatorial. His pretend meetings, where people are supposedly heard, are a complete joke, made to placate and de-energize us in our opposition. Bonin then proceeds to ignore any input at all, and carry on with his own MISSION not ours.

Asking for architects input, artists input, landscapers input on such a temporary project is a ridiculous waste of our money.

Practical and long term solutions in locations not near homes would be just common sense. Also, how long will it take to build this temporary fix?  and to then just be torn down?   These people need help right away and in my humble opinion, this is not a sensible solution.

Homeless Committee June Meet Tables All Motions for Later; Discusses Two


Standing room only for the Homeless Committee June meet.

By Angela McGregor

The most recent Venice Neighborhood Council (VNC) Homeless Committee Meeting drew a packed house of opinionated citizens to hear four motions set to change the streets of Venice.

The meeting opened with Chairman Will Hawkins delivering the Chairman’s Report, announcing that the committee’s Reunification Program had, as of last week, gotten 40 homeless persons off the streets of Venice.

Motion 1 — Assigned Places on Sidewalk
Motion #1 was a proposal to create a “safe camping” program in Venice, wherein individual blocks could choose to sponsor a specific reserved spot for individuals currently enrolled in the Coordinated Entry System (CES) program in need of a place to reside while awaiting services. The space would only be available from 6am to 9pm, and would require a vote of 2/3 of all of the residents on that block.

Public commentary on this motion was universally opposed to motion. Among the concerns: There is currently no enforcement of any laws when it comes to the homeless (several Venetians cited incidents wherein they had called police to no avail about encampments in their neighborhoods) and so the assumption that the curfew would be enforced was unrealistic; the motion would spread “Rose Avenue conditions” to all parts of Venice; any sort of sidewalk “housing” is unsanitary, unsafe and inhumane; liability for these “adopted” encampments (which could be substantial) would likely fall on the property owners on the block.

Both Venice Stakeholders Association (VSA) President Mark Ryavec and former Homeless Committee member Heidi Roberts opposed the measure on the grounds that Venice needs solutions that discourage street camping instead of codifying it. Will Hawkins spoke in favor of the motion by stating that the committee was looking for ways, in light of the current out-of-control conditions on the sidewalks, to regulate the situation and encourage enrollment into the CES. The motion was ultimately tabled for 30-60 days in order to retool it.

Motions 2 and 3 — Adopt a Tent and Residential Safe Parking 
Motions #2 and #3 — the creation of an “Adopt a Tent” program and a “Residential Safe Parking” program — were tabled to make time to discuss Motion #4, the Motion to Support Bridge Housing at the MTA Bus Yard, which, as presented in the agenda, contained several “TBD” clauses designed to incorporate suggestions made by those at the meeting.

Motion 4 — Proposed Use of Metro Lot
The facility as proposed would service 100 CES-enrolled individuals at a time — roughly half of those living on Venice’s streets who are currently enrolled, and only about 10 percent of the total population (per the latest LAHSA numbers).

According to Hawkins, these individuals would reside at the Yard for no more than 3-4 months at a time, until other services or housing could be found for them. Details of the plan — which will be discussed at a Community Meet with Mike Bonin on June 13th at 6pm at Westminster Elementary School — have yet to be fully revealed, and so several residents objected to the motion on the grounds that it was premature and did not give the residents enough time or information with which to weigh in.

Still others voiced concerns that the facility might actually attract more homeless to Venice in search of services. The proposed shelter is close to a couple of local schools, and residents suggested a “no encampment zone” around it, for perhaps as many as 10 blocks in all directions. While the City has stated that building the facility would allow for more sanitation dollars to go to Venice to clear out encampments, in light of the current conditions many speakers insisted on increased law enforcement as well.

One attendant who said he was representing dozens of residents living at 700 Main Street stated that his entire building is opposed to the idea, and convinced that it will wind up being a permanent structure (the announcement stated it would only be opened for about 3 years, until the development for the site is initiated).

VNC Board member Jim Murez (who was in the audience) pointed out that the use of the Yard for this purpose is a “violation of land use”, and as such Venice is within its rights to ask for a a sunset clause which would close the facility within a certain number of months if the desired result is not obtaind or conditions are not enforced, as well as another such clause to make sure the facility is closed within the stated 3-year period.

Both Heidi Roberts and Committee member Brian Ulf spoke in favor of the facility. Ms. Roberts — who has opposed other City-sponsored homeless projects in Venice in the past — said that this was the first one that made sense to her and has the potential to actually alleviate the situation. Nevertheless, in light of the lack of public trust in Mike Bonin, she felt that this will be a very “hard sell” for the City. Ulf stated that he feels strongly this facility and the increased outreach that will come with it have the potential to “actually break up encampments” by removing CES-willing occupants from the streets, and encouraging the service-resistant to enroll in CES.

The motion was tabled to the next meeting. Will Hawkins closed the meeting by pointing out that “Bridge Housing at the Bus Yard” is coming, and that the community must work to put together a series of “asks” to ensure that it is successful.

Pardue: Bonin is Making Venice Skid Row West

By Kip Pardue

The snowballing policies put forth by Bonin have started to reach critical mass. His entire tenure in office (and his previous years in CD11 staffing positions) has been directed at positioning Venice as Skid Row West. Now is the time to get involved and have your voice heard.

Just this past weekend, Bonin officially put for the the MTA lot at Sunset Ave and Main St near Gold’s Gym as an “ideal” place for a shelter in Venice. He even went so far as to claim that this site was “the most commonly suggested by neighbors.” I find that hard to believe. If you would like your voice to be heard feel free to take the survey in this link:


Please keep in mind that Garcetti recently offered increased funds to help clean encampments to those COUNCIL DISTRICTS that provided shelter. This could have been a perfect opportunity for Bonin to have chosen a parking lot NOT in Venice – say the one his WLA offices sit near, to help ease our burden. This action would have helped all of CD11 while also helping to identify those homeless who actually want services and help and those who are simply “traveling.” Another side effect of putting a shelter away from Venice would help us understand how homelessness “follows” services. By spreading out services the City could also spread out homelessness (while more permanent solutions are sorted).

Another Bonin supported measure is the so-called PSH ordinance. This ordinance allows for certain projects of mostly Permanent Supportive Housing units to be approved without current standards of environmental impact and community outreach. Two groups in Venice – Fight Back, Venice and the Oxford Triangle Association, have filed suits against the City in opposition to this ordinance. Here is some more information that I encourage you to read and a link to support FBV.

As many of you know, the new PSH Ordinance exempts homeless housing projects from height restrictions, density limits, setback minimums and parking requirements that apply to market rate developments … and creates an accelerated approval process that completely strips working families of the right to comment on and challenge homeless housing projects in their communities.

The City and developers cannot be trusted to do right by our communities (or the homeless) without vigilant public oversight. In fact, a new report from the Los Angeles Times ( http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-rising-hhh-costs-20180511-story.html ) shows that Prop HHH housing units will cost an average of nearly $500,000 each (without counting the value of public land) and that, at current rates of spending, the City will deliver fewer than 6,000 of the 10,000 supportive housing units promised to Prop HHH voters in 2016.

Last week, Fight Back, Venice! and the Oxford Triangle Association brought lawsuits to block the PSH Ordinance, protect our communities and force the City to take a smarter approach to the delivery of homeless housing. ( http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-lawsuit-homeless-lawsuit-20180511-story.html)

Please click here — https://www.fightbackvenice.org/support_for_psh_lawsuit/ — to send a “one click” email telling Mayor Garcetti, Councilman Bonin and City Attorney Mike Feuer that you support these lawsuits and demand a fair shake for Venice. And please forward this to anyone you can think of asking them to do the same. We can make a difference, but we need your help.

Can Venice Exit (VEXIT) the City of Los Angeles?

Left to right are moderator Hollie Stenson and panelists Mayor Fred Gaines of Calibasas; Joe Piasecki, managing editor of the Argonaut; and Marcus Ruiz Evans, President: Yes California Calexit.
Left to right are panelists Jim Murez, Venice Neighborhood Council board member and local historian; Isaac Simpson, journalist; and Paul Novack, executive officer Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO).

Can Venice Exit (VEXIT) the City of Los Angeles was the question being addressed by the six-member panel Thursday evening at the Animo High School.

Members of the panel were Paul Novack, executive officer Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO); Mayor Fred Gaines of Calabasas; Marcus Ruiz Evans, President: Yes California Calexit; Isaac Simpson, journalist;Joe Piasecki, managing editor of Argonaut; Jim Murez, Venice Neighborhood Council board member and local historian as shown above.

Moderator Hollie Stenson stated that “Venice is two percent of the Los Angeles tax base and yet has only .6 percent of the population. “So the questions are: Why wouldn’t Venice want to secede? Why would Los Angeles allow Venice to secede?

Novac of LAFTA spent time explaining each step involved in the various processes of exiting, but thru it all, it appeared that it could be a lost effort.  Other cities have tried, costing themselves a lot of money, and failed.

Mark Ryavec, not a member of the panel, provided his remedy of the long, drawn out, costly process of exiting with unhappy results. He proposed that the citizens get the LA City Council to propose state legislation that would allow a city that had been a city to exit the jurisdiction of the city involved. Venice was once its own city but became a part of Los Angeles. San Pedro is the only other City fitting that criteria.  Jim Murez brought up the point that LA would never release San Pedro because of the Port of Los Angeles.


So Ryavec changed his strategy Saturday.  See Ryavec proposes just de-annexing Venice.



Can Venice Secede?