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Rules & Elections Committee Meeting

Venice Neighborhood Council Events - Fri, 01/30/2015 - 14:53

Rules & Elections Committee Meeting


Oakwood Park Rec Center

767 California Avenue

Venice, CA 90291

Monday, February 2, 2015 – 7:00 PM

I find it impossible to paste the agenda in this space in any legible manner. Please click on

the links below.

I apologize,

Ira Koslow

Rec agenda150202

Exhibit A

 Exhibit B



Billboard Amnesty: Who’s Giving the City Council Legal Advice?

Ban Billboard Blight - Fri, 01/30/2015 - 14:01
At a Dec. 16 meeting of the L.A. City Council’s PLUM committee, Councilman Mitchell Englander proposed that some 1,000 billboards that either lack permits or have been altered in violation of their permits be legalized. This “amnesty” as Englander called it is necessary because any attempt to enforce the law against Clear Channel and other […]

Neighborhood Committee Meeting

Venice Neighborhood Council Events - Fri, 01/23/2015 - 09:05

The next meeting of the VNC Neighborhood Committee will be on January 8, 2015 starting at 7:30am. The Committee will meet this month at the Oakwood Rec Center, 767 California St., Venice, CA 90291 Venice, CA 90291

The agenda can be found at: www.venicenc.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/Agenda_Neighborhoods_150129.pdf

The Neighborhood Committee normally meets on the 4th Thursday of every month – that schedule  changed over the 2014-2015 Holiday season. This 01/29 meeting replaces the regularly scheduled January meeting

The tentative schedule for the next few months is below:

We return to regular 4th Thursday meeting dates on February 26th at 7:30AM

Poster of the Week

Center for the Study of Political Graphics - Wed, 01/21/2015 - 20:05
Pro Choice
Offset, 1989
United States

The new GOP-controlled Congress is trying to pass a national abortion bill so extreme that even some Republican congresswomen oppose it, out of concern that it will alienate young voters and women.

On Thursday, January 22, 2015—the 42nd anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion across the country—the House Republicans will vote on a bill to ban abortions after 20 weeks.  The bill will also narrow the definition of rape.
To read more:


Poster of the Week

Center for the Study of Political Graphics - Fri, 01/16/2015 - 20:01
Living the Dream
Earl Newman
Silkscreen, circa 1974
Summit, Oregon

"Sooner Or Later, All The People Of The World Will Have To Discover A Way To Live Together In Peace."  Living the Dream  Martin Luther King, Jr. 1929-1968

Green Venice Expo

Venice Neighborhood Council Events - Thu, 01/15/2015 - 00:23





Actor, Activist Ed Begley to keynote Green Venice Expo

Actor and Sustainable Green Activist Ed Begley, Jr. will serve as the keynote speaker at the first annual Green Venice Expo to be held Saturday, February 28th from 12 noon till 6pm at the Mark Twain Middle School located at 2224 Walgrove Avenue, Venice.

"Sustainable solutions, vendors, activists and technology will be the focus of this day long event dedicated to the preservation of our community and neighborhood," noted Mike Newhouse, President of the Venice Neighborhood Council (VNC).

WHOLE FOODS of Venice will serve as the event's primary sponsor.

"We're excited as a community based  resource for a sustainable world to take part in this important event. Green solutions and innovations are an important part of our investment in a more healthy and green world," noted Gabe Dupin, Marketing Team Leader for the Venice locale.

For more information, email outreach@venicenc.org.

Poster of the Week

Center for the Study of Political Graphics - Sat, 01/10/2015 - 11:56
Break one, thousand will rise
Lucille Clerc

Artists around the world have responded to the tragic murder this week of 12 people at the offices of Charlie Hebdo, a French satirical magazine, with powerful graphics expressing grief and renewed commitment to defend free speech.  Four of the magazine's well-known cartoonists, including its editor, were among those killed, as well as two police officers.

Charlie Hebdo is a publication that has always courted controversy with satirical attacks on political and religious leaders. It published cartoons of Muhammad in 2012, forcing France to temporarily close embassies and schools in more than 20 countries amid fears of reprisals. Its offices were also firebombed in November 2011 after publishing a caricature of Muhammad on its cover.

CSPG’s Poster of the Week features a powerful graphic by Lucille Clerc, a freelance graphic designer and illustrator living in London.  To see more graphics and more information, please visit the sites below.
Sources (including many graphics):










Venice Neighborhood Council Events - Thu, 01/08/2015 - 01:53

Through consultation with the Department of City Planning (DCP), the Department of Water and Power requests a master Conditional Use Permit (CUP) for DCP to permit certain types of solar installations operating under the Feed-in Tariff (FiT) program by way of an administrative clearance.


Attached is a document with a hearing notice for this matter on January 12; also included is a question and answer sheet. For more information on the master CUP case (CPC-2014-4595), contact Shana Bonstin at (213) 978-1217. For general questions about the FiT program, contact the DWP Solar Programs Development at (213) 367-2100. ​



Outreach Committee Meeting

Venice Neighborhood Council Events - Sun, 01/04/2015 - 02:01
VNC Outreach Committee Meeting Agenda

Meeting Date: Tuesday, January 6, 2015.
Meeting Time: 7pm
Meeting Location: Oakwood Recreation Center
Contact: Sylvia Aroth, 310.592.4191, for more information

1. 7:00PM – Call to Order & Roll Call

Syivia Aroth, Chair Max Sloan Nick Antonicello   Jessica Blumenthal   Mike Bravo   Dante Cacace   Rob Dew   Shoshana Mailer   Chris Overholser   Jed Pauker Mike Newhouse, ex-officio  

2. Approve Agenda
3. 7:05 – ANNOUNCEMENTS – Information about specific events important to Venice
4. 7:10 – PUBLIC COMMENT – non-agendized items related to the Outreach Committee only.
5. 7:17 – Old Business
a. Discuss Green Venice Expo
6. 8:30 – Adjourn


In compliance with Government Code section 54957.5, non-exempt writings that are distributed to a majority or all of the Board members in advance of a meeting may be viewed at Beyond Baroque, 681 Venice Blvd; Venice Public Library, 501 S. Venice Blvd; and at our website by clicking on the following link: www.venicenc.org, or at the scheduled meeting. As a covered entity under Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act, the City of Los Angeles does not discriminate on the basis of disability and, upon request, will provide reasonable accommodation to ensure equal access to its programs, services, and activities. Sign language interpreters, listening deviceor other auxiliary aids and/or services may be provided upon request, Please make your request at least 3 business days (72 hours) prior to the meeting you wish to attend by contacting us at www.venicenc.org.  In addition, if you would like a copy of any record related to an item on the agenda, please contact Sylvia Aroth.




Happy New Year Venice!

Venice Beachead - Thu, 01/01/2015 - 15:37

By Eric Ahlberg

Fellow Venetians you have passed the perihelion and have successfully entered the next years’ orbit. Massive forces are at work spinning you, flying you around our most holy Sun. Our daily presence is crafting our future from our inner fires. I think we have a lot of things to be happy about, unless you are really depressed, in which case there are also a whole lot of terribly depressing things going on. Is Venice dead? Don’t be silly. Venice is always dying and being reborn, just like everywhere else. Yet the present day artist refuses to die. We seek to restrain the market forces which would drive out the last poor person to further the ground rent extraction, the title privilege of ownership.
Let us bathe in the glorious lights of our ancestors and fill ourselves with the strong positive love we want to manifest, our golden vision, our vestments we wear inside our humility, while pirouetting naked atop a Shrine skateboard at Sunset on Ocean Front Walk. We also present as the superhero, saving the world from evil which will kill us all, while learning from the anti-hero that we can have our faults, but we will still save the world. We present absence, those days when you are not feeling up to it, those weeks, months, and years in entropy, chillin, hanging, no ambition, no future, blitzed, black-holed. We are the compromise between who we want to be and who we have become.
People with a lot of money seem to be vacuuming up a lot of Venice property at seriously inflating values. Jan 2012 $887K, Jan 2014, $1.3M, that’s a 46% increase over two years. This catches the attention of  the pure financial guys. It’s a good place to park your money. This is a no brainer investment for anyone using nearly free money from the Fed. 0% Mortgage Delinquency in Venice means the property sharks have already cleared out the weak property owners. Rent Nov 2013 $3730 Nov 2014 $4640. 24% in one year.  
Abbot Kinney Boulevard was called “LA’s Douchiest Neighborhood” in the LA Weekly. This year saw the departure of Carol Tantau from her wonderful store on Abbot Kinney. We are seeing a new wave of evictions from the lovely art studios on Sunset. There has been much concern about Airbnb rentals in all Venice neighborhoods. The City of Los Angeles’ Building & Safety Code Enforcement has been threatening to fine owners or other sub-lessors if they do not discontinue the use of their homes as “short-term rental” units.
Sometimes we weigh difficult ideas, like that Art is exploited by the Evil Rich, to look cool.  Specifically, Venice’s reputation as an “Artists’ Community” is used as marketing to inflate real estate and rents, driving out the artists. This is a trope of our civilization, and has it’s own literary genre. My Art Dealer friends sell to….the owners of Walmart, and other superrich. This is a hard conclusion for an Artist like yourself, but even more for the Cultural Anthropologist whose job it is to catalog these things. Sure commodification and mass reproduction have reduced the value of cultural messaging, but the need for Art is the most basic need for communication, you know what you like because it talks to you.
There are many worrisome things going on. We are drowning in messaging. We are being lied to all the time. Life takes visa, things go better with coke, torture works. I find it particularly disturbing that 59% are said to support torture to get intelligence. Look how terrible a nice word like intelligence has become.
Between the serial gunplay dramas and video games, many people are fantasy vigilantes. Blessed magic warrior or damned forsaken rogue, your killings are justified because you are fighting evil and eviler. Where are the engaging Peace and Communism games? Is this a terrible basic psychic need to destroy, a useful and entertaining release of aggression, or a commercial exploitation of the urge to violence? When can I roleplay as a Reichian-Tantric Sex Therapist in an Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game?
Your Internet is trying to turn into TV, with 5 intrusive commercials before content. It’s the slime coming out of your internet.
Your Government is taking it in the ass from the Corporate Oligarchy. All the cuts in taxes and cuts in social and infrastructure spending are degrading the commons of America, and the world. The two party oligarchy degrades programs that help people and programs that help build strong communities, and keeps feeding the Military Corporations. Because terrorism, my ass. While you were owning the flag online, these greedy asses have owned your government.
Your governments regularly send troops (cops/guards/army/swat) into neighborhoods to harrass poor people. Witness the Boardwalk Sweeps, and the Cops being used to harass Oakwood community members, to get them evicted.This is Broken Window policing.  If they see poor people living in poor conditions, the police harrass them until they move away. Phyllis calls them lying demons, to their face.
How can we possibly integrate this conspicuous destruction. The phoney historicism of the architecture and interior decor reflects the dishonesty of the people within. Like neighborhood council members who talk incessantly for their own pleasure, and they never listen. If you don’t like one thing, complain about its opposite as well. Of course there are certain types of building which aren’t designed to last. They must be rebuilt to accommodate changing patterns of consumption.
Will Venice always be traffic and parking hell? You can’t talk about traffic mediation, while the county is defoliating for density in the Marina. It has been suggested many a time that we just secede from this city or state. Then we could ban the cars, tear out the streets, and go extreme green. How long will it take until you are hollering “I’m not going to take it anymore!”?
Oh stately pleasure dome Venice you are a target for urban renewal. Global corporations are replacing nation states as holders of power. We now embrace the first stages of the automation of mind, language and emotions … the architecture of bio-financial power. Power, in fact, is no longer political or military. It is based more and more on the penetration of techno-linguistic automatisms into the sphere of language.  
What can we ask of the future year?  Everything. Our global heads are wired together, and we can witness almost anything, anywhere, anytime.  What should we ask of the evil “Don’t be evil.” Google? Should they provide free public shared self-driving cars and funding for preservationist art studios?
Some Venetians with the means are buying up lots to keep them basically as they are. We ask our anti-humanistic citizens to lay off the homeless. There are tens of thousands of homeless out on our streets every night in the greater LA area. Do something for them, don’t criminalize them.
We mostly live amazing beautiful sunshiny lives here. Share the love. Seas of change are upon us. We live the dream, seeking futures, for our repast.

Google Fiddles While Net Neutrality Burns

Venice Beachead - Thu, 01/01/2015 - 15:35

By Anthony Castillo

The battle to maintain a free and open internet is coming to a head. A decision on Net Neutrality will be made in the coming weeks by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on whether to keep things as they are now or to create a tiered, fast lane/slow lane internet. What is Net Neutrality and why should we all care?
We have a neutral internet at the moment. We are all able to look at any web site we choose, and based on the speed of our internet connection all content arrives at the same rate. But if Verizon, AT&T, Comcast and a few other mega communications corporations get their way that will all change. The corporate model that they prefer would create fast lanes for the big companies that could afford to pay for these fast lanes, and slow lanes for those who could not afford to do so. Example, say you want to go online to look at past issues of the Free Venice Beachhead and the LA Times. As it stands now you can do both with no difference between the two. But if Net Neutrality is rolled back, you would be able to access the LA Times because they could afford to pay Verizon, or AT&T for faster streaming. But the Beachhead, well we struggle just to produce the paper each month, so our stream might become agonizingly slow, and it gets worse. The users of the internet will have to pay more for what they want to see on the web as well. Say you watch sports, movies, internet TV shows, online seminars, or porn for that matter, on the web and you want it to stream the way you’re used to, well you’re going to have to pay for it to do so or else it will stream at dial up speed if you don’t. Think of cable TV and you will have an idea of what the internet would look like. Without a neutral internet, internet service providers (ISPs) will make profits on content coming and going. In other words Net Neutrality is the principal policy that prevents ISPs from giving special treatment to some websites at the expense of others.
President Obama finally spoke out in favor of Net Neutrality in no uncertain terms earlier in December when he urged the FCC to re-classify the internet under the 1934 Title II provision which would treat broadband companies as a “telecommunications service” instead of as an “information service” and as a common carrier like a public utility. A phone company can’t charge you different rates based on the content of your phone conversations. And the water and power company can’t charge you different rates based on what you’re using electricity or water for. The internet should be treated in a similar manner, regardless of what you do on the internet. Former cable company lobbyist and FCC chairman, Tom Wheeler wants to rollback Net Neutrality, but after President Obama’s statements has had to back-pedal just a bit from this position. The President should have never appointed such a cable company shill in the first place, but I digress. The FCC received 3.9 million comments during its public comment period. More than it has on any other topic. Over 90% were in favor of Net Neutrality. You would think this fight would be easy, but lobbyists and campaign contributions trump the public’s voice almost every time when it comes to decisions made in Washington DC.
The scales could be easily tipped in favor of Net Neutrality if the biggest internet company, Google, would speak up on behalf of a free and open internet as it did in 2010. But instead Google is sitting on the sidelines, more content to gentrify Venice than weigh in on Net Neutrality. Why is this so? There are several theories being talked about ranging from how Google itself wants to one day soon be a broadband provider of some note with the introduction of Google Fiber. Then there is the Republican faction within Google such as former Republican Congresswoman, Susan Molinari, who is the head of Google’s Washington DC public relations operations. Rank and file Google employees have urged the company to take a strong stand in favor of Net Neutrality in its campus meetings, but with no results. Then there is the 2010 fight where Google did stand up for Net Neutrality and came out looking less than stellar after it caved to Verizon on the important decision  to exempt wireless carriers from Net Neutrality rules. Allies in the fight saw this as a sellout, while taking a stand at all alienated Republicans on Capital Hill. Yet when it came to the 2012 fight over the unpopular anti-privacy legislation (SOPA/PIPA), Google bucked both political parties to help kill those pending bills. Then there is that “Google is now big enough to play both sides and still win” theory. Who needs ideals when your company is big enough to cut a check to whomever you need to? Of course the irony in this thinking is that without Net Neutrality companies like Google and its acquired You Tube would probably not have been able to emerge in the first place.
While all these theories make credible points there may well be a more insidious reason why Google is sitting this one out. In his new book “When Google Met Wikileaks” Julian Assange reveals a side of Google not widely discussed. In June of 2011 at the Ecuadorean embassy in London where Assange has been in asylum, Google chairman Eric Schmidt and three other Google heads paid the Wikileaks founder, Assange a visit. The pretext for the visit and interview of Assange by Schmidt and company was for a book that Schmidt and Google Ideas head Jared Cohen were researching. What Assange learned about Google was frightening. Assange learned that Google has a revolving door with the US State Department.
In fact Google Ideas acts as an in-house State Department actively meeting behind the scenes to broker deals with heads of state and expand its global influence. To paraphrase Assange, Google’s position being pushed from its most senior executive level to US officials is that the state or a state body should determine what should and should not be published. This is a philosophy that runs counter to the very idea of Net Neutrality. Google’s business model is to collect as much data as possible on as many people as possible to create predictable profiles to target advertising. And now with the advent of Google Glass, not only will it be collecting data but now it will be capturing all the images the user sees. With the NSA and FBI interfacing all of the data stored on all of its users, Google has became a proxy arm of the national security state. So why should Google care about a silly little idea like Net Neutrality when in its Orwellian nightmare cyber world they win no matter what? They should care because we care!
Call Google and tell them to get off their collective asses and join Netflix and others in the fight to save Net Neutrality. Visit the Electronic Frontier Foundation website eff.org or SumOfUs.org and get involved. Check out the interview with Julian Assange on RT’s Going Underground program Season 3. It’s on You Tube and you can Google it. Better yet, buy the book so you can really learn what Google is really all about. It goes much further than just changing the face of Venice.


Venice Beachead - Thu, 01/01/2015 - 15:33

Families and the Department of Children and Family Services

Dear Beachhead,

I am writing in response to “An Unnamed Writer on the Beachhead,” November 2014 issue, who wrote an article concerning the plight of a family with whom she is friends. She focuses her moral outrage on the Draconian methods used by Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) to “kidnap” these children from their mother. While my heart goes out to the children involved, I’d like to offer a larger, but perhaps less popular perspective on child welfare.
I’ve spent most of my adult life teaching teenagers under every circumstance imaginable, including as a volunteer writing teacher working with incarcerated minors in Los Angeles. I want to make it clear up front that I do not and have never worked for any government agency, including DCFS. However, many of my incarcerated students are in that system, some their entire lives. In case after case, their removal from biological parents or other so-called guardians was really for their own protection. “Unnamed Writer” mentions that her friend’s daughter, “a victim of domestic abuse”, left her baby in the care of a drunken, abusive boyfriend. This was her choice, knowing full well what he was capable of. When her son’s school wanted to speak with her about the fact the boy was cutting himself, she didn’t make the school interview. Then her children were removed from the home – as they should have been. Until she can demonstrate parental responsibility, like the choice of a kind and loving partner and showing some concern for her son’s emotional state, her children are at risk. Unless there’s a trusted relative or friend to take those children in, DCFS must step in.
While it may seem heavy-handed to whisk children away from their homes, DCFS does not do this merely to make money, as “Unnamed Writer” suggests. I agree that it isn’t a perfect system. Cases of severe abuse have gone unchecked, and children have been harmed, even killed. I’ve worked with a very small number of indifferent social workers, but by and large, they are professionals with big hearts and boundless patience. One social worker specializing in runaways works tirelessly to locate and provide safe haven for her kids. She worries about them when their own parents are too high, drunk, or otherwise unable to care for them. DCFS social workers are also horribly understaffed and over-worked; they are required to keep tabs on far too many abused and neglected children who, if they make it into their teen years, become increasingly at risk for substance abuse, sexual trafficking, rape, pregnancy, gang involvement, and mental illness. The “mass incarceration of little kids” which “Unnamed Writer” accuses DCFS of is just plain inflammatory. I have students in juvenile hall who, without this agency’s involvement, would have no money for clothes, food, educational testing, birthday celebrations, or a roof over their heads. If neighbors, pediatricians, teachers, and other adults who live around or with children don’t report suspected child abuse, how can anyone realistically just blame social workers for the occasional abuse and deaths of children? When people refuse to get involved in cases of suspected child endangerment or abuse, we are all diminished. We are all connected.
While a few hours a week allotted for monitored visits with young children is not nearly long enough, it’s better than no contact at all. Young mothers without the resources to look after their children, in abusive relationships, fighting addiction, or the allure of gang life all need our compassion and our support, but certainly not any more than their children. People complain about juvenile criminals, and indeed Los Angeles is home to tens of thousands of gang members. However, are those complaining willing to do anything to change the horrendous circumstances under which children are presumably educated, housed, and cared for? The city also has a shameful problem with sexually trafficked minors. These are girls in our fair city as young as 10 and 11 abducted from bus benches or en route to school, forcibly hooked on drugs, and put out onto the streets by their traffickers. Some may have already been removed from their homes, others should have been and weren’t for whatever reason. Some simply fell through the cracks of a society too distracted by social media, pop culture trivia, and its own woes to care.
It is just untrue that the individuals who work for DCFS have “no training in child development or how to talk to a child.” The basic requirement to become a social worker is a Bachelor’s degree in social work, sometimes a Master’s, some facility with a second language, certification, internships, and so on. The agency does not “steal” children. They are working against a tidal wave of social problems so overwhelming it’s a miracle that any one of them lasts more than a year in that profession.
I would urge “Unnamed Writer” to spend a day volunteering in a battered women’s shelter or in a shelter for homeless teens. Or go on-line to such sites as Saving Innocence, Girls & Gangs, InsideOut Writers, or Alliance for Children’s Rights and educate herself about the larger issues of child abuse. It’s never just one “evil” governmental organization’s fault, never just the Probation Department or even LAPD’s “fault” for why children are removed from their homes and separated from their parents. Entering with guns drawn into a home with just women and children is undoubtedly excessive. To be fair, police don’t always know what kind of danger they’re walking into. I understand “Unknown Writer’s” anger – but it is largely misdirected. DCFS doesn’t just “kidnap” children. That’s absurd. One student of mine – in and out of incarceration for unknown crimes– struggled to regain custody of her baby, and DCFS, as well as her own attorney and mother, did all they could for over a year to facilitate that, but at 16 she just wasn’t ready to be a mother. The foster mom was poised to adopt her son, a much better option, at least in this case.
“Unnamed Writer” is correct that states offer social agencies financial incentives for adopting children, when they need to do a much better job at family reunification. And yes, there are far more children of color in the foster care and juvenile justice system than there are white and Asian children. We are a racist society, and not even the youngest American child of color can escape that insidious poison.
There are no easy solutions, and unfortunately children get caught in the middle as adults continue to mud sling and shirk personal and collective responsibility. In an ideal world, both parents should raise their children. But more importantly, they should be with those adults who unconditionally love and care for them, regardless of biological ties, skin color, or sexual orientation.
Criminal behavior usually bears a direct correlation to how criminals were treated in their early years. How can we demand civilized behavior (which must include compassion for the Other), when we don’t model it ourselves? This is an awful lot to swallow if you’re on the firing end of a gun held by a juvenile offender. A proper sex education, access to birth control, decent neonatal care, and parenting classes go much farther to stem the abuse of children than raging against a struggling government agency. I know it probably feels better to react with moral outrage and strike out at the nearest and easiest target. Truly understanding the complexities involved in child welfare, juvenile justice, and family dynamics requires patience and a desire for the truth, regardless of whether it supports your assumptions or not. There isn’t just one truth here, including my own.
Who has the presence of mind to connect the dots between an unstable home life, absent, addicted, or violent parents/guardians, and the shuffling game of where next to place minors no one really wants? Imagine growing up with that hanging over your head. Imagine devoting your life to trying to help track and find a caring home for these children.
– Nika Cavat
Venice resident for 22 years
Research sites: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/fostercare/inside/roberts.html


Families and the Department of Children and Family Services: “Unnamed Writer” responds:
In defense of the victim, in this case and many cases:
  Do you think people consciously pick a guy that will beat them up, wreck their lives, destroy their property, terrorize their families? do you really believe that?
If so, you are blaming the victim.
  Those social workers have no hearts, they are cold, arrogant women who sup at the government’s trough. They lap up their money while judging and condemning the people they are supposed to help.
  You tell me to go volunteer somewhere and I will learn more about this problem. Excuse me, I have lived this experience. I was with a man who beat me, followed me around Venice so he could beat me some more. Stole my kid & disappeared with her. Why did this happen to me and not someone else? You would have to go back to my upbringing – I was terrorized by a rage-filled father who got drunk and verbally and physically abused me and everyone else of the family.
  This was a guy who was well-respected in the art world and no one really knew what was happening – “behind closed doors”. So I split. I finally got the idea to get the fuck out of Virginia and ended up here, in Venice, CA, 1971. I was twenty years old.
  So you’ve spent 22 years in Venice? I’m sorry – but there is no requirement for length of time of living in Venice for any special wisdom.
  You think you’ve got the answer to domestic violence? 40 years ago – there were no shelters for women and children. It was the 70’s & Venice was pretty wide open – everybody was doing drugs, having children, getting evicted, had problems with drugs and alcohol, etc., etc. -
  It was extremely difficult to get into a rehab. It was not how it is now – rehabs are a real money-maker now. Insurance companies pay for rehabs and you can stay there really long times, in some cases. They are saving lives. Back in the 1970’s, people quit using drugs because they died. People would drag people’s dead bodies out into the alley, so no one would get arrested. It was a grim, toxic, scary dangerous place – to live with a drunk , a junkie, or a speed-freak. The drugs came first – little girls were put out on the street by opportunistic bastards who would beat them if they came back with no money.
  Wow, it’s really great you know enough about me, the “unnamed writer” to offer me advice. I lived this lifestyle, and I came back from the dead. I went to A.A., C.A., & N.A. And I met one of the best friends of my life in N.A. I choose to remain anonymous because I am in the middle of this – and it’s not over yet, until she gets the kids back.
  I lost my daughter 40 years ago. My social worker told me it would take 5 to 8 years to get her back. I said, “OK, I’m putting her up for adoption.” The social worker told me I couldn’t do that. But I did. And that was that. I was not going to watch from the sidelines, as the social workers and the foster care system destroyed my daughter. She went to a really good household and I have never regretted it.
  You, in your casual cruelty, saying that some little children end up damaged, beat-up or killed – you say that with such casualness – how can you live with yourself and express such cruelty?
  I would really like to know.
  You, educated woman – has this ever happened to you? You don’t know what terror is until some drunk-out-of-his-mind bastard is beating you & no one helps. Back in the 70’s, if a man’s name was on the lease, you could not legally kick him out. You (the woman) would have to get up (in the middle of the night) gather you & your kids clothes together and sneak out of there.
  It’s a fucking nightmare and you: are you a mother? Because if you’re not, I don’t really want to hear from you. You have made all your judgments on the victim, and you base it on all the bull-shit that this society has drilled into your head . . .
  Women always say: “why didn’t you leave?” If you have nowhere to go to, where are you going to go? Do you want to be homeless with your kids? I did that. That’s how I lost her.
  My kid did great. She landed in a loving family who saw her and fell in love with her. I did not do so well – I continued on, for years living a dangerous and scary life. I was on the streets of Venice, from 1978 to 1984. In 1984 my brother Karl came out here and got an apartment with me. I stayed in that apartment for 26 years. I had the kindest woman in the world as my landlady, Mormie Jamerison.
  Did I miss my daughter? Yes, always. But I gave her the best gift I could ever give someone: a kind, loving home. I got to talk to her a couple times on the phone and she sends me Christmas cards every year. Most people never get to talk to or see their children again.
  It hurt so much I had to drown it with alcohol. I really didn’t care if I lived or died. Then I finally got clean and called my brother up and he said he would help me and he did. I started writing poetry in 2006. And I do oil pastels, which makes me really happy. It is never too late to start over. This whole case is just a bump in the road, and we will get over this.
– Unnamed Writer

Bins Are In at Gjusta

Venice Beachead - Thu, 01/01/2015 - 15:31

By Roxanne Brown
Architect/Representative: Stephen Vitalich
Former Land Use and Planning Committee (LUPC) Case Manager:  Jim Murez,
Current LUPC case manager Mark Kleiman
Owner: Fran Camaj, Owns Gjelina, GTA, Gjusta and 1301 & 1305 Abbot Kinney
Zoning Administrator (ZA): Maya Zaitzevsky – Currently awaiting decision
Architect: Stephen Vitalich
Former LUPC Case Manager: Jim Murez,
Current LUPC Case Manager: Kathleen Rawson
Owner: Alicia Searle
Zoning: No Hearing to date
Architect: Stephen Vitalich
LUPC Case Manager: None – case never went through LUPC or VNC
Owner: Richard J. Gottlieb, Dune Investments LLC
Zoning Administrator:  Linn Wyatt, Chief Zoning Administrator signed off on project
Zoning Appeal:  January 7th in West LA
THE PLOT – All three of these projects are proposing change of use to restaurants with late night hours serving liquor to patrons; most will be seated outdoors (where sound is not contained). These projects are as close as 3 feet from some residents’ homes and 12 feet six inches from some other residences. Sound travels farther and wider at night. Why? Google it.
LIQUOR LICENSES – Alcohol and Beverage Control (ABC) states: “ABC will not license a new retail location within 100 feet of a residence unless the applicant can establish that the operation of the proposed premises will not interfere with the quiet enjoyment of the property by residents. (Section 23789 and Rule 61.4)” https://www.abc.ca.gov/questions/licenses_faq.html see Q18. LAPD’s Captain Brian Johnson testified at Gjusta’s ZA hearing that ABC allows 5 liquor licenses in Gjusta’s tract area. That tract currently has 14.  Add Gjusta, and it’s 15.
BUILDING & SAFETY – Sauce at 259 Hampton does not have a permit for restaurant and tables and chairs outside. Yet, they have been operating as a sit-down restaurant for 4 years with no penalty. Gjusta has a permit for a bakery/bakery equipment/no seating/no eating– inside or in the parking lot.  Yet, prior to opening, Camaj built a full restaurant with commercial kitchen equipment, opened in October and began encouraging people to sit and eat.
At Gjusta’s ZA Hearing on November 13th, Building and Safety’s representative, Avi Sargsyan, confirmed the above. Knowing this, Camaj went back to 320 and didn’t change a thing. Camaj was cited by Building and Safety at the end of December with an order to comply within 30 days.  Since the citation, he hasn’t changed a thing.
Waiting for Camaj to comply is like “Waiting for Godot.” In seven years at Gjelina, he has flouted laws, codes, rules, and regulations with no penalty.
PROPERTY GANGSTERS- One resident testifying at 320’s Zoning hearing accused some owners of being “property gangsters.”  They do what they want to with their property, blatantly disregarding laws and facing no penalty.
MAXIMIZE PROFITS – Why are these projects going into residential neighborhoods? Could it be that the cost is less than going on Abbot Kinney, Rose, or Main – which have properties for lease?
At GTA and Gjelina, we see patrons sitting and eating on milk crates in an adjacent alley, on the sidewalk and in the street. Camaj told neighbors (at his owner outreach, VNC, and LUPC meetings) he would do the same at Gjusta.  It appears he will do this at 1301 Abbot Kinney as well, since the inside is limited in size, but there’s a very big rooftop parking lot.
Just think how much more money you make without paying for a permit, without building an enclosed space, no cost for tables and chairs – just a milk crate.  Charge $16 for a brisket sandwich, two sides at $10, add an $8 dessert, and a $4 small black coffee – lunch for two – on milk crates in a dusty parking lot – with tax and tip – $80 – $100.
Gjusta’s patrons are convinced this is “cool” while Camaj seems to be laughing all the way to the bank.
HEALTH DEPARTMENT- Gjusta’s first health department report came out. They found flies on meat and bread and asked workers to dispose of it, which they did. They found equipment not sterilized at recommended temperatures. This is public record. Anyone can obtain it.
YELP also records this with less detail.  Google Gjusta Yelp, go to the upper right corner and click on Health Report. You will find several notations– including “standard not met” for unadulterated food and vermin-proofing. Yet, Gjusta got an “A” with those observations and with patrons eating in a dirty, dusty parking lot.
CHEERS or JEERS Do you want to support this? If not, vote with your dollars – dine at restaurants that are responsible neighbors. Each dollar spent at Gjusta, Gjelina, GTA and Sauce seems to be funding a very bad neighbor policy.
People may say I don’t want to be involved in the politics – I like the food. Do you know that with every bite of food and every dollar spent at 320 Sunset and 259 Hampton (600 Mildred is on pause), it appears you are emboldening those who: Flout the law, put up a restaurant serving liquor with late night hours next door to residents’ and their children’s bedroom windows. Chase Venice artists out – all artists at 334 SUNSET have been evicted
Gjusta’s Owner Outreach Meeting: http://youtu.be/fpiUiG0BIsk
Gjusta’s ZA HEARING: – Zack Galifianakis has a cameo appearance
Part 1: http://youtu.be/8rY7c5Mk_v8  
Part 2:  http://youtu.be/K_FFSh02Zi4  
Part 3:  http://youtu.be/gwq6lviSiR0

West LA Planning Commission Appeal Hearing
Wednesday, January 7, 2015 at 4.30 p.m.
Henry Medina West LA Parking Enforcement Facility
2nd floor, Roll Call Room
11214 West Exposition Blvd
Los Angeles, CA, 90064
Applicant: Richard J Gottlieb, Dunes Development LLC
Representative: Stephen Vitalich
THE ENDING? – It seems Mayor Garcetti and Councilman Bonin support these “property gangsters” rather than tax paying, voting citizens in residential communities. Councilman Bonin is nowhere to be seen. Neighborhood associations have asked to meet with him and he refuses. Far from improving our communities, Mayor Garcetti and Councilman Bonin seem to be destroying Los Angeles neighborhoods one block at a time.

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