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Venice Update

News of Venice, CA and Marina del Rey CA

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.

Rose Ave Parking Lot to Get Overnight Portable Potties

13 June 2018.   Rose Ave parking lot will get  portable potties near the end of June  for homeless to  use during the night, according to Wednesday LA Times article  and verified by Taylor Bazley, Venice deputy.   Bazley said the time for use will probably be 7 pm to 7 am.

They will be removed each morning and put in place in the evening.  The Rose Ave beach cluster of bathrooms is open from approximately 6 am to 6 pm.  It is planned to have the portable potties eliminate any lax in time for toilet service at Rose Ave.

LavaMae’s portable combination toilet/shower will come each Tuesday and Thursday from 9 am to 1 pm.

The beach restroom cluster at Horizon Ave was officially opened  Monday for 24-hour service.  There will be an attendee and a security guard at all tunes during the extended hours.   Parks and Recreation voted approval 4 April and it was reported later in April they had been opened.  See Venice Update story.  The latter was not true according to Bazley.  He said perhaps the locks had been broken and people got in.

Bazley further stated that 25 people used the bathroom Monday.




Muscle Beach Gets Redo for Memorial Day


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.

Swinger Wants Beach Street Drains Fenced With Proper Signage

Rick Swinger, resident of north Venice, wants the storm drains that outlet onto the beach to be fenced and bare signs letting all know that the water is contaminated street runoff.    It is not ocean water.

Around July, the County fills in the holes with sand.  In the meantime, beach goers, particularly children, play in the calm water, not knowing it is contaminated water, not ocean water.

When the rains come, the runoff makes a hole in the beach, and it looks like a pond formed by the ocean. Rick says that he has seen kids swim in the water.

Before the next rains come, Rick wants plans started to have these areas along the Venice beach, such as the the ones shown at Rose and Thornton,  fenced off and proper signage applied to keep people out of the water. The one on Rose is next to a playground.  He complained to the County Health Department and they gave him a sign but it quickly disappeared.

“Also Hepatitis in found at the pool at the end of our beaches storm drains where the homeless are often seen using them as their toilet.Kids are known to play in them and it just takes a small cut to be infected,” according to Rick Swinger. “Kids immune systems are just developing so this is a major threat to their health and wellness.”

Santa Monica does this as shown in the video.

Street drainage outlet at Rose.

Street drainage outlet at Thornton.

Grunion Run on 26 May


3rd and Rose Is “The Place”

“Third and Rose in Venice is the best place to be if you are homeless” according to Google search, claimed one homeless person on 3rd and Rose.

This was statement a homeless couple from Miami gave to LAPD Chaplain Regina Weller of the Homeless Task Force. Regina asked the couple what motivated them to come to California. One said he had Googled “Where’s the best place for homeless people?” Google pointed them to 3rd and Rose in Venice.

This writer immediately checked Google with the same question and found one source that mentioned Venice but not on 3rd and Rose. http://uncyclopedia.wikia.com/wiki/HowTo:Be_Homeless_in_Ameria The same search also had where not to be homeless with the 10 worst places and LA was No.1. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/07/14/the-10-worst-places-to-be_n_231476.html  Google lists blogs and perhaps one of the blogs mentioned 3rd and Rose.

The article about this couple from Miami and their new, little cottage Chaplain Regina found them in Long Beach is in World Magazine https://world.wng.org/2017/03/homeless_on_the_streets_of_la

Graffiti Runs Rampant in Venice

Fence on Wavecrest. (Photo by anonymous.)

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.

It wasn’t just a show, it was “Tommyland” at Venice Beach; Guests were “California Dreaming”

Gigi Hadid and Tommy Hilfiger take final bows after their 2017 Spring Show at Venice Beach

Gigi Hadid and Tommy Hilfiger take final bows after their 2017 Spring Show at Venice Beach

By Jazmin C. Raymond, Editorial Stylist, Graduate Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising (FIDM)

Tommy Hilfiger, along with co-designer and model, Gigi Hadid, debuted his latest work pre-New York Fashion Week (NYFW) at Venice Beach last Wednesday night. Tommyland Spring Showing 2017 (SS17) was Hilfiger’s first time ever showing on the West coast and was one of the few major brands to take a production of this magnitude outside of NYFW

It wasn’t just a show, it was Tommyland! Guests were “California dreaming” at the beachfront carnival equipped with live music, #TommyNow stage, street performers, pop-up shops, skaters, food trucks, rides and tickets were made to look like backstage passes. All ending with a live performance from internationally know Grammy winning artist, Fergie at the after party. Major festival vibes were happening.

The theme of the collection had millennial viewers feeling a bit nostalgic when threads of all-American 90’s sportswear infused with stars and stripes strutted down the runway. Denim and patchwork were at an all time high along with classic prep, hand embroidery and a hint of western hippy.

The first look featured muse, Hadid showing off the iconic Hilfiger logo with a young, edgy appeal. Tupac’s “California Love,” serenaded the streets of Venice as the 55 looks hit the runway. The looks consisted of patchwork coordinates, effortless maxi dresses, biker boots, leather lace up shorts, skinny jeans, colorful windbreakers, multi-button mini skirts, varsity jackets, cropped bombers, preppy cardigans, oversized sweatshirts, textile wedges, boyfriend jeans, stripped shorts, track & field one pieces, denim trench coats and metallic leather biker jackets. Of course Hadid opened and closed the show.

The Tommy show paid homage to the American flag and remixed tradition to appeal to the social media generation in a cooler more trendy way. The see-now-buy-now aspect is an enjoyable perk for young & old customers to leave the show with some of the same apparel the models wore on the runway.

Vogue says, “Though the consumer-facing, see-now-buy-now format might have disrupted the fashion system, it has leveled the playing field for consumers who are invited to enjoy the experience”. Customers can watch the show live from the comfort of their homes or coffee shop and proceed to online ordering directly from the runway. This has forever revolutionized the fashion industry in countless ways especially when fashion has been deemed very exclusive in the past.

The show.

The grand finale.

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.