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Alcohol Ads on Billboards: Marketing to Youth?

Ban Billboard Blight - Fri, 06/24/2016 - 17:32
In 2006, the Journal of the American Medical Association published the results of a large-scale study of the effects of alcohol advertising on youth drinking. The conclusion: Exposure to alcohol advertising on TV, radio, and billboards contributes to increased drinking by underage youth, which in turn contributes to such problems as poor grades in school, […]

Poetry – [morning melody]

Venice Beachead - Sun, 06/19/2016 - 16:11

You might have stayed up
All night, clicking at every link
To your daydream, searching
For a soulmate in the cyberspace

You might have enjoyed an early dose
Of original sin between sleep and wake
Before packing up all your seasonal greetings
With your luggage to catch the first plane

Or sitting up in meditation
With every sensory cell
Widely open to receive
Blue dews from nirvana

But you did not. Rather, you have just
Had another long fit of insomnia and
Now in this antlike moment, you are
Imagining a lucky morning glow

That is darting along the horizon

– Changming Yuan


Venice Beachead - Sun, 06/19/2016 - 16:10
– Carol Easton

O underrated aperture,
O humble little hole
With what panache you faithfully
Perform your vital role.

You work appalling hours
For insufficient pay
You only get a day off
When I’m on holiday.

Nobody sends you flowers
Nobody writes you verse
Nobody sings your praises
Your name is just a curse.

All hail the lovely asshole
And hope it never closes
And sends us up that famous creek
That doesn’t smell like roses.


Venice Beachead - Sun, 06/19/2016 - 16:01
-marty liboff-2015

With a broken soul and heart
I try a new start.
I run to the far end of the earth
searching for a rebirth.
After a long trip I reach
Venice Beach-
looking for any wisdom it will teach.
A trip to the West Coast
L.A. is crazy and it is the most.
I’ve been hurt and sad
tryin to figure out the good from the bad.
Abbot Kinney & Krishna sittin on a bench
homeless pee makes a stench.
Buddha & Elvis strollin the Ocean Front Walk
John Lennon & Janis Joplin talk.
Bob Marley & Marilyn Monroe on a skateboard
Jim Morrison & J.C. praise the Lord.
Prince singin with Michael Jackson
bikin & goin for a run in the sun.
My soul is worn & torn
I’ve felt scorn
but on Venice Beach I’ve been reborn.
In the cool ocean night
we’ll dream of the wrong and the right.
We can drop our masks and lies
walkin & watchin the starry skies.
We’ll swim in the sea
ocean as far as you can see.
Wash our sins away
our hurt can’t stay-
we’ll heal our souls today.
Seagulls & pigeons flyin above
like angels and a peace dove.
Watch the most beautiful moon & sunset
and soon all your worries you’ll forget.
If poetry, art & music are your goal
Venice Beach will feed your soul.
Time becomes an eternity
love is all we see.
We’ll make a new start
Venice Beach will heal your heart…

Poetry – The Death of Venice

Venice Beachead - Sun, 06/19/2016 - 15:59
by Blake Abramovitz


Pit bulls kick up dirt engoldened by
the sun, honey to sooth broken
streets of Lexus hybrids and
homeless clowns. Princes sheathed in denim
stagger past out-of- work shamans who hunch
over guitars to rasp their bright
laments: Teenage cops, killings,
a new
apartheid. American

flags jerk, horses’ tongues
flailing, skaters roar radioactive Cool, and I

drive street to street,
dreaming again my old dream of
Venice—Venice, where my
raggedy soul
was born.


A lone festival wind totters through the dusk
under dying palms and the glare of Hollywood
movie shoots. Mad with thirst for
friendship, God, it cartwheels down Rose, up
Windward, over soil of Gashouse, Hopper,
Jim, poets of a
magic bleeding town— searches

between yoga parlors and
cocaine shanties,
gang tags and
one percenters,
between a Bhakti yogi’s prayer and
the embers of our city.

Raccoons peer from crevices
where they huddle in patched sleeping bags,
but when the sky wilts purple they
stride onto the road to stand
naked beneath streetlamps, pale
bruised sentinels.
The wind folds into shapes of
a busker and mandolin,
and together, grieving carolers, they cry:


“O Saints of Exhale, Full Circle, Rama:
Are your seas lagoons for scarred ships?
Are your hearts filled with broken seagulls?

“O crucified poets, meditators, agitators:
Who will stand for adoration?
Who will drive Google and Reddit
from our streets?”

Through chapped whiskered lips the city sings:

“Who are we, who are we, to ask this of you?
We have no names, are only voices,
but still we ask:

“O daughters, lovers, sons;

“O ghost pianist of the Sidewalk Cafe, hammering at
your keys till they splinter across the twilight shore,
O Sixth Street painter topless and paintspattered on your
brown lawn not giving a damn,
O exhalation of dispensary weed cohered into
Christ and lumbering across the waves;

“O baroque literati snug in your aeries of words, scribbling onto
paper already incinerated to ash,
O track mark juvie crash landed from I10 dreaming
of an angel to drag you from your grave;
“O dreamers who blundered west from Houston, Boston,
Boise, only to be dashed against toney anterooms of
Paramount and Universal, and then united to
praise strange circus gods here, at the
edge of the crazy water;
“O crystal-chic agents of the New Age selling
fictions to babies,
O streets that we love,
O ink of night crack slinger, scared father of three,
who whistles to actors quivering in used Beemers;

“O Buddhist baby boomers shipped in from Burma and
Cambridge, despairing to reach psychotically texting
strippers and drunkabilly rockers,
“O air bnb profiteers,
O LAPD privateers,

“O black matriarch who squints at
prohibitively hip eateries which you
in any case cannot afford on the
corner where your great grandmother
worked and died,

“O new gentry who have no idea where you are
and could not be expected to care
what miracles have tattooed this ground,
but might still permit it to turn you into a
porpoise or a dying star—
“Who among you will erupt, ablaze
with care for our weird commons?
Who will describe
one circle around us all, proclaiming:
I am the first born soul of a new family, and
this is my city.
Show me one gambler unafraid to stake it all
on Love,
one true child of Venice—
our Jerusalem, the lost Holy Land
of Los Angeles.”

Poetry – A Perfect Balance

Venice Beachead - Sun, 06/19/2016 - 15:57
By: Chaya Silberstein


Some emotions are as heavy as a bag of pennies
that you are saving for a time that no longer exists.
You find yourself abruptly sitting and staring into the distance
until you are reminded that you have more important things to do.

Some emotions are as light as helium filled balloons.
You are so excited about the places you’ll go,
you forget to do your chores.

I’ll give you half my pennies
if you give me half of your balloons.


Venice Beachead - Sun, 06/19/2016 - 15:55

by c. purein

look for the guy in the corner
for he knows loneliness and self loathing
if you are from the future
why are you here?
to set things right
so you can move forward
this is why we do not time travel
things like this
can never be undone.
the heart is fixed
no matter how many tries
i will always love You.
you have always left
still feeling
that same rip
from aeons ago
if you want to be free
this time
or take me with you
you can break my heart
or the laws of time
obey time
and nothing streams.
please your heart
and break the barrier
i love you
receive it.
then all things
will break free
and nothing
not anything
can stop the flow
of infinity
love realized
don’t be afraid
to feel good
You deserve it

Until It is Done – for Nelson Mandela

Venice Beachead - Sun, 06/19/2016 - 15:53
by Mark Lipman

For all those who say,
it can never be done,

who look upon those ivory towers
with their militarized trenches
disappearing chambers
and puppet mechanisms

imitating human beings
in all aspects
‘cept for a conscience
and a body to jail

enslaving a world with divisions
of hate and sectarianism,

I say, dream of a world
which is at peace with itself.

For all those who have
given up hope,

who have fallen to despair,
who see the skies falling in on them
and the shoreline inching closer

who have given into fear
and the bitter tears of defeat,

I say, courage is not the absence of fear,
but the triumph over it.

Stand tall and lead.

To be free is not merely
to cast off one’s chains,
but to break them all.

For all those who dream of freedom
there is no easy path.

hills follow hills
and mountains
before we reach our valley

we must use our time wisely
and see the horizon.

Settle not for a life
… worth less than living.

Reach with your first and very last breath
towards victory, to that mountaintop

and we will all be there with you,
on the frontline of life
standing in the light
of that glorious sun.

Lift up your hearts, the time is ripe
it always seems impossible
until it is done.

Poetry – dollar daze

Venice Beachead - Sun, 06/19/2016 - 15:51

by c. purein

6 meals away
from anarchy
hard cracked nails
eyes burned my conscience
how does she do it
dirty in the sand
bare necked
iron grip on
1 dollar
or was it
1 loaf
1 beer
1 dream
it was nothing
god bless
there were 5 more
starbucks is
a block away
and i need
my fix
we’re all junkies
stop texting
i’ll tell you
about it
can you spare
the time

Poetry – Venice, CA 90291

Venice Beachead - Sun, 06/19/2016 - 15:49

Venice, CA 90291

The sun burns
more than the surface.

Layers of dried skin:
a landscape of a dozen
decades of decadence
crumpling like an old
child into un-
original positions.

Heart problems we have and
hereditary memories
of torchlight reflected
off water
in the canals.

So many centers
(in this prodigal sister
city) of re
creation being sterilized

by boards by boards
of directors of circuitry

That nostalgia is always
half cancer in the bones
and half
a home that has never been
a house; we forget.

I have only been here
for so long; a short life
seems long to me. But I remember

the birth of tent city
and a time before

the boardwalk was reduced
to screen segments. I think I remember

the light used to be
a different color than

But one leaf clings still:

There is
no police
force; no real
estate developer; no software
company; no binding
legislation that can keep
our manifest memories
at bay

our vibrant vagrants
our eternally settled and sanded wanderer
our indelible rust
will always give our transplants our eternally wandering and wanting tourist
our techies

more than they ask for.

There is no rising tide
that can pull this pier
from its ghostly roots.

Poetry – Adoption

Venice Beachead - Sun, 06/19/2016 - 15:47


Two little girls
are soon departing
we don’t want this
but there is no other way
They have been great kids
to have around the house
I knew my heart was going to break
and it did, over and over
but the broken heart is an open heart
open to the love bouncing in
open to the funny little songs they sing in the mornings
open to the joy and radiance they reflect
never to be closed again
never to be so cut off to the light
The light of love, forever loving, baby girls
Thank you, universe, Thank you

— Mary Getlein

Discussion Forum Committee Meeting Agenda

Venice Neighborhood Council Events - Mon, 06/13/2016 - 08:18


June 14, 2016 VNC Discussion Forum Meeting Agenda Parodoxes

The Paradoxical Impact of Zoning on the Venice Vision Goals 

It seems that our efforts to create more ‘creativity, diversity, & collaboration’ are gradually but inexorably producing a socially & physically sterile community which seems unable to consider possible constructive changes to the current ‘status quo’.  

The Paradoxical Impact of the current use of Faction-Facilitating Procedures on the Venice Vision Goals 

It seems that we are unable to candidly deal with the following matters: 

  • Much board time is spent listening to the same familiar arguments between the same opposing factions and their advocates – the admiring Bogs and their frogs.
  • Many who appear before the board leave feeling ignored or poorly treated. They try to avoid further contact with it or fear it if they can’t ignore it.
  • Many board and committee members lack the time or expertise to adequately research and impartially evaluate the more complex issues confronting them. If they are not members of a faction, they have no real alternative but to ‘abstain’ or ‘shoot from the hip’. This pattern too often generates counterproductive and inconsistent decisions based on factional biases and erodes public and governmental respect. Factional subjectivity and unpredictability is a costly uncertainty of the political and legal environments which fuel this pattern.
  • The VNC conducts its business in a procedural framework which neither allows nor encourages the dialogue necessary to stimulate integrated long-term thinking and solutions.

The Paradoxical Impact of an Election Voting Structure allowing Factions to dominate Executive Positions 

It seems that we are unable to escape this unintended result – especially with respect to the LUPC Chair position, a source of constant bitter friction between Factions as is apparent in the responses to the recent question which triggered many Factional suspicions and a  few thoughtful responses, including the following: 

  • My hope is that the LUPC is not seen as a group with a focused mission to take out new development, but rather encourages “smart development” that supports our community. I think today developers and community members look to avoid (or get around) LUPC and the VNC, rather than work with them – because they are seen as hard to work with and make emotional decisions.
  • By “smart”, I would like for LUPC and the VNC to first define what change is good change and make adjustments to the VCZSP, LUP, etc, so that people have the chance to work within that framework from the start of design.  Second, LUPC should be the research arm and filter, to look over ALL new applications within this framework.  LUPC should not be the judge or jury or making decision on the fly to what they think feels good rather than what the code says – they should be the research group that does the research and drafts staff reports. And, when code needs to be updated to affect new waves of development and changing climate, they should draft reports to change code – not focus only on stopping singular projects.
At this meeting, we will focus on identifying Paradoxes based on the information provided above and in the June 14, 2016 Discussion Forum Committee Meeting Discussion Generator as supplemented with our personal insights and experiences.

Gone too soon…Venice Beach Angel “Frankie”

Venice Beachead - Sun, 06/12/2016 - 16:06

Red- I met Frankie on the boardwalk many years ago. We knew each other at least 3 years before we became friends, after that we were inseparable. My last day with Frankie was miraculous!

O.G.- Frankie was happiest when she was with her son. She was too young to die and full of life. She would give her heart and expect nothing in return. O.G. also recalls being punched in the arm every time they crossed paths. Now he fondly calls them love taps.

Shadow- I knew Frankie for about 8 yrs. Her death was out of the blue and blew my mind. She was cool.

T.Z.S.- Warm people, with an open heart and mind. She was everyday people!

Frankie was born Ann Elizabeth Eagan in Memphis Tennessee. She was 43.

Robert Clifton Burket

Rickey Pettyburket- Bob and I met in ‘91’ at the “Pink Elephant” in Santa Monica. Bob was my hero! Shed no tears for Bob his glory lives on forever. and every step I take in life Bob takes it with me. And so I step into my life without Bob. This is what I know Bob would want for me. God bless you Bob and rest in peace. I’ll see you when I get there Honey. I love you Bob and I miss you more than anything on earth in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

Robert’s academic pursuits enabled him to travel all over the country. After receiving a degree in Geology from El Camino in Sacremento, he headed to Santa Monica and attended Cal Tech in Pasadena. Mr. Burket worked for thirty-five years as a computer programmer. Born in Kansas to Stan and Nada Burket (deceased), Bob is survived by one brother Bruce Burket.

Green Fences

Venice Beachead - Sun, 06/12/2016 - 16:00

The Westside Tenants Union held a meeting at the Venice Community Housing Corp. (720 Rose). 39 people were in attendance and some of the issues discussed were:

Causta Hawkins: state law that should be overturned
Stopping evictions for seniors and handicapped
Taking pictures or calling 311 when you see a green fenced property
The importance of showing up for meetings
Historic Preservation Overlay Zones
Pattern impractice lawsuit
Crashing secret meetings ( page 1: Business As Usual)
Needing bloggers

There was also an exercise on how to make important points in under a minute when speaking to the media or to city officials.
The W.T.U. also held a Rally earlier last month at the abandoned Senior Recreational Center (Westminster & Pacific), the dog park, is also located here. The building has been vacant for over 3 years and could be used as a storage facility for the “houseless”.

Mark and I spoke during a campaign garden party on April 24th held by he and his wife at Beyond Baroque (681 N. Venice blvd.) Although optimistic about the Senior Center expansion the project is still pending after 3 years of trying. – Minister Saffron

Judge Garland Stumbles Over The Venice Post Office

Venice Beachead - Sun, 06/12/2016 - 15:54
By Jim Smith

When President Obama nominated fellow Harvard Law School graduate Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court on March 16, he thought he was picking the least controversial judge he could find. Garland has been a judge, and then the chief judge, for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, since being appointed by President Bill Clinton 19 years ago.

After carefully vetting the judge, Obama knew there would be no scandals such as pot smoking, a boyfriend or other social alarm bells that would drive Republicans crazy. And, Obama knew that the judge had never addressed issues such as the death penalty, abortion or gun control. The D.C. Circuit deals mainly with reviewing decisions of federal government agencies, including the U.S. Postal Service. Garland kept his head down while plodding rough federal regulations.

What the President didn’t know was Garland, in at least one case, was either unable to read or understand the plain language in a federal statute, and consequently made the wrong decision on the case. One attorney, in a polite response, said the decision was “deeply flawed.” In the legal world, incompetence is worse than having political beliefs or puffing on a joint now and then.

What does all this have to do with Venice? Well, the case that Garland fumbled had to do with the Venice Post Office. When word leaked out, in 2011, that the historic Venice Post Office would be up for sale, several individuals and organizations came together under the umbrella of the Coalition to Save the Venice Post Office. The classic Roosevelt-era building with its equally classic mural, The Story of Venice, had been a regular stop on the rounds of generations of Venetians.  Now it faced an unknown future because of a decision made 3,000 miles away.

The Coalition mobilized Venetians with flyers, rallies, and meetings. Since all the decisions were made in Washington D.C., we formulated an appeal to the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC), which summarily denied the appeal without holding a hearing.

The Coalition then made contact with a D.C. attorney who had expertise in the byzantine world of federal regulations and requirements. A petition for review of the decision of the PRC in allowing the sale to go forward was filed with the District Court and ended up in the lap of the chief judge, Merrick Garland.

Attorney Elaine Mittleman, acting on behalf of aggrieved Venetians, pointed in her petition to “the plain language of a statutory provision, 39 U.S.C. § 3663” which requires a court review once the petition is filed.

Since this section of the U.S. Code is the heart of Garland’s mistake, it is reproduced in full: A person, including the Postal Service, adversely affected or aggrieved by a final order or decision of the Postal Regulatory Commission may, within 30 days after such order or decision becomes final, institute proceedings for review thereof by filing a petition in the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. The court shall review the order or decision in accordance with section 706 of title 5, and chapter 158 and section 2112 of title 28, on the basis of the record before the Commission.

Judge Garland, in his decision of July 8, 2014, discounts the 2006 law, above, and claims it does not supersede a 1974 provision that exempts post office closings from judicial review until the PRC has made its ruling. Garland took this to mean that no court review was necessary even after a PRC ruling.

Mittleman told the Beachhead, “I can’t overstate how flawed this opinion is. Agencies must know that their final orders can be reviewed in court – that is part of what should make agencies operate properly. Judge Garland missed this very fundamental point?”

A post office closing, for many people, is the most important decision the post office can make since they are reliant on its services. Judge Garland may not be aware that there are many postal patrons who need a full service post office within walking distance, and many more who take civic pride in the stately, and massive, design that says, “here is a city worth noting.”
Meanwhile, as the legal filings, pro and con, continue, what has been the effect of Garland’s decision to disallow a court review, and a possible reversal of the PRC’s decision to sell the Venice Post Office?

Today, the once-beautiful building looks like an abandoned ruin. An advertising and graffiti-laden plywood fence surrounds the property. No work appears to have taken place in a long while.
The Postal Service sold the building to Hollywood Producer Joel Silver, who said he would remodel the building for use as his company office. Meanwhile, several of Silver’s recent films did poorly at the box office, according to Variety magazine. Contractors’ bills went unpaid, resulting in liens against the property. Little or no work has been done since the lawsuits against Silver were filed a year ago. If the suits are not settled, one result could be a forced sale of the property to pay the bills.

In addition, the mural that greeted postal patrons in the lobby has gone missing. The Story of Venice painting by noted artist Edward Biberman had hung in the post office since 1941. At the time the building was sold to Silver, he also leased the mural from the Postal Service. The lease agreement required the mural to be on public display at least six days per calendar year. Concerned Venice organizations did not learn about this provision until after the fact, nor were they provided with a copy of the lease agreement.

In any case, Silver has not complied with this provision, weak as it is. A number of people have told this reporter that they would prefer to have the mural on display at the Venice/Abbot Kinney Library where it could be seen by many library patrons during regular hours.

The sad story of the Venice Post Office has been due to the lack of concern by Postal officials, Judge Garland, Joel Silver and his creditors. The lack of support for the postal system by the U.S. Congress in favor of private corporations like UPS and FedEx is behind the shrinking role of this public service. The USPS is prohibited from “competing” with these private entities, and must pay them to ship its parcels.

The reestablishment of a postal savings bank was floated by both the Venice Coalition and Sen. Bernie Sanders, among others. Such a bank would attract low-income earners that the commercial banks don’t even want. Instead, the Venice Post Office ran into a meat grinder of fiscal and social irresponsibility which was then continued by Supreme Court Nominee Merrick Garland.

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