Celebrating the Creative Community of Venice.
The Van Nuys Neighborhood Council is pleased to announce the involvement of Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer in the "Homelessness & Mental Illness" Summit this December. The Van Nuys Neighborhood Council is hosting this Special Council Meeting on Wednesday, December 17th, 2014 at 6:30 pm to address homelessness in the San Fernando Valley and throughout Los Angeles.
"It is a significant and exceptional opportunity to work alongside Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer and his office on this important issue. The City Attorney's office writes every municipal law, advises the City Council, Mayor and all city departments and commissions, including neighborhood councils. I look forward to addressing and proposing new ideas and approaches to this continuing matter facing our society, and to working with the City Attorney's office for months and years to come," said George Christopher Thomas, President of the Van Nuys Neighborhood Council.
Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer has long been one of California's leading lawyers and lawmakers. He has brought a collaborative, problem-solving focus to the City Attorney's office, emphasizing quality of life improvements in L.A.'s neighborhoods. Already Feuer is expanding the Neighborhood Prosecutor Program, leading efforts to prevent gun violence, developing innovative approaches to gang violence, domestic abuse and school safety, and aggressively pursuing environmental justice and other efforts to protect vulnerable Angelenos.
Feuer previously served as the Majority Policy Leader of the California Assembly and Chair of the Assembly's Judiciary Committee, writing many of California's most important public safety, children's health, transportation, consumer protection and environmental laws. Feuer jointly-authored the Homeowners' Bill of Rights and the Iran Contracting Act. He wrote the Crime Gun Identification Act and the Sargent Shriver Civil Counsel Act, as well as the nation's most comprehensive law to remove cancer-causing chemicals from consumer products, the law requiring insurance companies to insure children with pre-existing conditions, the law authorizing L.A. County's transformative transportation initiative, Measure R, and much more.
As a Los Angeles City Council member, Feuer chaired the Budget and Finance Committee, delivering on-time, balanced budgets, fighting successfully for anti-gang and after-school programs, jobs for disadvantaged youth and meals for indigent seniors. Feuer wrote some of America's toughest laws to curb gun violence, initiated L.A.'s 3-1-1 non-emergency services system and spearheaded ethics and business tax reforms.
A champion for senior citizens, Feuer served as Executive Director of Bet Tzedek Legal Services, one of the nation's leading public interest law firms. Under Mike's leadership, Bet Tzedek helped more than 50,000 indigent, primarily elderly or disabled clients on crucial cases involving nursing home abuse, consumer fraud, access to health care, housing, Holocaust restitution and more. The Los Angeles Daily Journal wrote that Feuer turned Bet Tzedek into a "national success story."
The recipient of dozens of awards for his achievements for seniors, children, environmental protection, gun violence prevention, access to justice, transportation improvements, civil rights, education reform and more, Feuer has taught at the UCLA School of Law and the UCLA School of Public Affairs. He practiced law at two prominent firms, Hufstedler, Miller, Carlson & Beardsley and Morrison & Foerster, and was a commentator on NPR member station KPCC. He began his career as a judicial clerk for California Supreme Court Justice Joseph Grodin.
Feuer is a Phi Beta Kappa, magna cum laude graduate of Harvard College and a cum laude graduate of Harvard Law School. He and his wife, Gail Ruderman Feuer, have been married for thirty years and have two children, Aaron and Danielle.
"It is a great honor and privilege to work alongside all of the high profile speakers we have scheduled for the summit this December. Each one brings an interesting and unique perspective to addressing homelessness in the San Fernando Valley. This is a major issue in Van Nuys, as well as throughout the Valley and Southern California. This summit is a perfect opportunity to come together with community leaders in our area, and really tackle this terrible problem head-on," said George Christopher Thomas, President of the Van Nuys Neighborhood Council.
A list of confirmed speakers include but are not limited to: Don LeStrange, Van Nuys LAPD Volunteer and Community Police Advisory Board (CPAB) Homeless Committee Chair. Representatives from the Office of Councilwoman Nury Martinez (CD6). Anthony Gonzales from the Village Family Center in North Hollywood. Ryan Bell from Community Outreach for PATH in Los Angeles. Representatives from the San Fernando Valley Rescue Mission. Representatives from the National Coalition For The Homeless. Representatives from the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority. Representatives from the Weingart Center Association. Representatives from the Homeless Health Care Los Angeles. Representatives from the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank. And representatives from the Los Angeles Coalition to End Hunger & Homelessness.
The Van Nuys Neighborhood Council meets at 6262 Van Nuys Boulevard and the Summit will take place in the Council Chambers starting at 6:30 pm. If your Neighborhood Council or organization would like to co-host this summit with the VNNC, please email Council President George Thomas at email@example.com. For more information please visit www.vnnc.org. The Van Nuys Neighborhood Council is the largest Neighborhood Council in the San Fernando Valley, and the second largest of all 95 Neighborhood Councils in Los Angeles. (http://www.vannuyscpab.org)
All media and the general public are invited to attend. Please email any questions or comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Arts Committee Agenda
Location: Hotel Erwin
1697 Pacific Ave, Venice CA 90291
Wednesday, December 10th, 2014 at 7:00 pm.
Introductions & Welcome (Co-Chairs: Eduardo Manilla)
Introduction of Committee Purpose and Mission
Introduce current Members, Greet New Members
Overall – latest with the VNC (general, arts related)
A. #VNCarts – Instagram Photo Contest
1. Select theme for January/February
2. Re-Launch Date January 2015/Deadline February 28th
B. Committee Project: Venice Neighborhood Music & Arts Fair
2. Potential Motion to VNC Board
C. The Power Of Art
2. Potential Motion to VNC Board
Arts-Related Volunteer Oportunities and Announcements.
A. The Venice Art Crawl
- Upcoming Event on Thursday December 18th
- Potential participation by VNC Arts Committee members.
B. The Great Venice Toy Drive
- Holiday Festival and Toy Drive at Oakwood Recreation Center on December 20th 2014
- Potential Participation by VNC Arts Committee members
Meeting Adjourned (8:30 PM)
By Erica Snowlake
The Beachhead is celebrating its 46th birthday this December, and a party for its 400th issue will take place at Beyond Baroque the first of February. I am fortunate to have written for the paper from 2006 – 2010, and consider that experience one of the highlights of my life. I’ve since become an ideological refugee, and organic gardener, in Canada (the Govt. squeezes the same, only Nature and Idle No More are gaining!).
Retaining ties to the Beachhead Collective, I recently spent 11 sun-blessed days in the Fair City, which passed bittersweetly, as the Spirit of Venice’s vibrancy and authenticity seemed to me, sorely set upon, by the same forces, throughout the years, that so many have actively engaged to resist : an unprecedented run-for-the-money. As I walked down Abbot Kinney, in shock at all the high-end clothing stores, a woman, accessorized-in-gold and sporting an immaculate tan, shot a victorious smile in my wake. On Rose Avenue, remnants of the dispossessed silently commiserated. Two sides of the same coin – ever-entangled – the haves and have-nots, existing in their prospective, peaking whammies of Rise and Fall; disproportional extremes, and sad follies of a system based on competition, greed, and cruelty. Where do you and I, and freedom, fit in?…. expressing ways out! swaying with the Venice Drum Orchestra, and the Drum Circle, watching sunsets on the beach, glorying in creative realities nobody can own. Does our comfort burn so brightly?!!!…that we are loathe to share?
Thank Heavens! the Beachhead’s still at the forefront, fighting the good fight, for social justice and equality (The Lady, as the Beat Poets affirmed, still exists!). In service of This Paper Is A Poem, former Beachhead collectivist Jim Smith and I are curating a project to record each issue in the online archives (www.freevenice.org). A totality of time-traveling fun! – scanning Beachheads of yore, page by page (some of the Seventies’ issues were 24 pages!), marveling at the scope of human endeavor and decades of organization, coalition and co-operation, evident in articles, letters, and listings of happenings and events, by the diverse groups and individuals who have dedicated themselves to unite their community / home (a particularly unique beacon of hope). This little paper (distribution 8,000 a month) is testament to the creativity and ingenuity of Venetians, to resist the mainstream, political and capitalist dogma, and racial and gender inequality, of our times, with humor, spirituality, and courage! The Muse remains sacred to the task! The Word burns!
From 1974, forty years ago, the headline “Should Venice Secede” demonstrated one of the hotter issues of the day. It was reported that, in a secession “investigation” at the Venice Pavilion, involving 100 people, “50 per cent were vehemently supportive of separating from greater Los Angeles, 40 per cent were inquisitive about the possibilities, about 10 per cent wanted to secede from California and/or the U.S., and the other 10 per cent were looking for the bathroom or didn’t know what secession meant.” The Seventies’ Beachheads featured “Dr. Zane’s Lobotomy Column” by Jim Zane (“A Monthly Column of Advice on All Subjects the Doctor Knows Absolutely Nothing About”), updates from the Peace and Freedom Party (founded in Venice by John Haag in 1967), Coastal Commission hearings, and the timely articles and comical rants of BH staff writer, Carol Fondiller, (“Invasion of the Afflu-Hip”,”Poop on Bike Path”, “Nude Beach : On Again Off Again”). Carol’s column Harpy Droppings was a staple of the paper for years. Antics of the people revolved around the canals, which were an undeveloped haven for hippies. The 5th Annual Venice Canal Festival, promised a “Saturnalia! of barges filled with drunken, stoned, and singing revelers, Hare Krishna food feasts, baroque music, and wares of all description.” Photos in the Beachhead express hedonistic, tribal pleasure; respite, perhaps, from impending evictions.
Portent of a sustained, loud cry against rampant development and burgeoning rents, the first VTC (Venice Town Council) meeting took place in November, 1974, at the Venice City Hall. A petition to Councilwoman Pat Russell stated that the residents of Venice “should not have to submit to their neighborhoods being remade according to the whims of the City of Los Angeles Engineers.” This also foreshadowed the beginning of a long and ferocious battle, spearheaded by the Beachhead, to replace Councilwoman Russell!
In August 1974, the paper paid tribute to poet Stuart Z. Perkoff, filling the entire back page with his poetry. The Venice Chapter of The Temple of Man offered daily, 24 hr. religious and civil services, including legalizing common-law marriages. Food Co-ops, Civic Unions, and Free Clinics made their debuts. Advertisements, bringing in much-needed revenue to cover printing costs, highlighted the Fox Theater, the Meat-less Mess-hall, the Comeback Inn, the Midnight Special Bookstore, and the Feminist Wicca (see Krista Schwimmer’s August 2014 interview with former owner Z. Budapest). My personal fave ad design, for the intrepid Sandalmaker, appears below.
Thirty years ago, January 1984, opened with the prophetic headline, “God is Dead and the World is Corrupt” by Alice Cramden. The Eighties’ issues often featured two pages of poetry, and resounded with articles about homelessness; “L.A. Shuns the Walking Wounded”, “The Homeless Economy”, while denouncing its cause; “The Resurgence of the Right”, “Venice Land-Rush Continues”. Cartoon grotesqueries of President Ronald Reagan and still-in-power-but-going-down-hard Russell provided comic relief (the saga of her political demise culminated in a red-inked Beachhead cover, March 1987.) The Ballona Wetlands were an important local environmental concern. There’s great interviews (I enjoyed one with Ken Kesey, who lived in Venice, 1960-61) and extensive coverage of news on the national and international level. Back pages of the Eighties issues featured a lifesize drawing of Thomas’ World Famous Chili Burger, at 108 Washington, where breakfasts cost 99 cents! The Fox Theater was still cranking counter-culture films (and where the Beachhead meetings took place).
Do past Beachheads tell the Boardwalk’s tale? Yes! it’s a hoot, and spans, well, nearly a century, if you consider it an extension of Abbot Kinney’s freakshow / circus carnival on Windward! I’d rightly call the Ocean Front Walk, Venice’s most holy expression, and one of the most interesting places on Planet Earth; an epic, living theater of rebellion, desire, jive, performance art and musical manifestation, of psychic power and invention, a people’s sanctuary-by-the-ever-changing-sea, a kaleidescope trip into the subconscious, that twists and writhes with beatific and horrific dreams and nightmares; ultimately, a place to be free. The forces that have been methodically and brutally targeting its demise, by harassing the very soul of its artists and defenders, are not worthy of the ink on this paper, though they have been duly noted and recorded. More thrilling is the legacy of all-who-have-laid-their-hearts-bare…..in bringing the phenomena to life and sustaining it.
It is known that places change, and sometimes, not-for-the-better. We must ride this oppression out. In the Nineties, things plain got too weird and paranoia set in, resulting in a Beachhead hiatus from 1993 onwards, until resurrection redeemed the paper in 2002. One gets the feeling, perceiving the continuity of the magic, gleaned in the Beachhead’s body of work since 1968, that Venice habitually pops open, like a psychedelic mushroom, to spread its irrepressible charm and message of communal, higher consciousness – Peace and Joy and Love. Don’t forget this. Delight in this fact / fate, and see if it doesn’t ring a bell. The Beachhead is a Moebius loop, a divine overview of history / herstory, that we have lived and created and continue to create together, reflecting an infinite crazy-eight of reality. Free Venice, symbol of a democratic republic, on land seeded by indigenous Gabrielino/Tongva visions, will find ways to endure. For now, as Jim Morrison sings in “The End”: “Ride the Snake!”……with its tale in its mouth!