Celebrating the Creative Community of Venice.

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Venice Papparazzi - Fri, 07/25/2014 - 09:29


Spirit Of Venice - Thu, 07/24/2014 - 11:21

The next biggest secret is out – Venice Beach CA has 108 alcohol licenses in a 3 square mile area. This means we have 34 per square mile, whereas in Los Angeles the average is 4 per square mile! This is outrageous, and an abuse of our neighborhood. Still they just keep coming…!

Many of you already know about the 320 Sunset project which is applying for a full-line on-site alcohol and off-site beer and wine license, right next to a residential area with families and children. Not to mention the new upscale restaurant currently planned on Rose Ave, replacing the Venice Ranch Market and La Fiesta Brava.

Where will it end?

In tract #2733, where the ABC license application is in process for 320 Sunset Ave, there are 3,695 residents and 16 alcohol licenses, maybe more.

That means 1 license per 230 people. The ABC regulation is one per either 2000 or 2500, depending if it’s an on/off sale license.

BUT there are way too many ABC licenses already here!

Please help us bring a MORATORIUM on alcohol licenses in Venice to safeguard the future of our community and our children!



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Center for the Study of Political Graphics - Wed, 07/23/2014 - 20:48

Illegal? No Human Being is Illegal
Octavio Gomez
Central American Refugee Committees (CRECEN); Central American Refugee Centers (CARECEN); Central American Refugee National Network (CARNET)
Offset, circa 1989
Los Angeles, California

This week’s featured poster, created by Octavio Gomez in 1989, and issued by Central American Refugee Committees (CRECEN), Central American Refugee Centers (CARECEN), and the Central American Refugee National Network (CARNET), advocates the protection of Salvadoran refugees, demanding a change in policy that would end deportations and allow refugees to work legally in the United States. The poster also acknowledges the difficult realities immigrants face due to social and economic conditions in their countries of origin.
This poster is especially pertinent now, as the United States has seen an influx of nearly 52,000 unaccompanied children and underage youths cross the U.S. border since October- with over 75% making their journey from Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador. In July of this year, tensions rose in Murrieta, California, where anti-immigrant protestors blocked U.S. Homeland Security Department buses filled with immigrant children being transported to a processing facility in the area.
While demonstrations from both sides of the immigration issue have swept the nation in the past weeks, many ignore deeper roots of the issue, which include the dangerous social and economic conditions in these Central American countries. Honduras, for example, has the highest murder rate of any country, with a rate of 90 murders for every 100,000 inhabitants. According to the National Violence Observatory, more than half of those murdered in Central America are under the age of 30. In a region controlled by drug traffickers and criminal gangs, corruption, and instability - violence threatens the lives of Central American youth, who seek asylum in the U.S. as refugees.
The poster’s phrase “No Human Being is Illegal” is attributed to Elie Wiesel, a survivor of Auschwitz and Buchenwald, who explained, “You shall know that no one is illegal. It is a contradiction in itself. People can be beautiful or even more beautiful. They may be just or unjust. But illegal? How can someone be illegal?” This poster attempts to shed light on the Central American refugees by framing the situation neither as a political or partisan issue but as one concerning human rights.


Alcohol, Gambling, Fast Food, Guns: How Billboards Harm Disadvantaged Communities

Ban Billboard Blight - Thu, 07/17/2014 - 11:42
The Latino community of Boyle Heights just east of downtown Los Angeles has one of the highest poverty rates in the city. People in that community are also exposed to more billboard ads for alcohol and gambling than other, higher-income areas, according to a study by USC researchers. The results of the year-long study of […]

Poster of the Week

Center for the Study of Political Graphics - Wed, 07/16/2014 - 20:54
End The Occupation
American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee
Offset, 2002
Washington DC

The CSPG poster of the week shows a Palestinian child detained by Israeli forces. The poster was created in 2002 by American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC), but is being featured because of the recent kidnappings and killings of both Israeli and Palestinian individuals, many of which have been teenage children.

On June 12th, 2014, three Israeli teenagers were kidnapped and killed in the West Bank as they hitchhiked to their homes. This act was followed by a ‘retaliation’ kidnapping and killing of a Palestinian teenager. Hamas and the Israeli Defense Forces have now been in an open fire conflict that has left hundreds in Gaza killed and thousands injured.  The latest report released on July 15th from the UN Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) stated that 197 Palestinians have been killed and 1,390 have been wounded.  Most recent statistics have increased the number of those killed to 210, with the first Israeli civilian death since the initial June kidnapping occurring July 15th.  Of those that have been killed or wounded, alarming amounts have been women and children.  According to Gaza health ministry figures, of 1,140 wounded, 296 are children and 233 are women.

Along with the current events that are unfolding in the Israeli-Palestinian region, what this poster attempts to call attention to is the criminalization of Palestinian children. Children and underage youths make up 47% of Palestine’s population. According to a report issued by the Euro-Mid Observer for Human Rights, a nonprofit, nongovernmental organization dedicated to exposing human rights violations, some 2,500 Palestinian children and youth have been detained from January 2010 and June 2014, 400 of whom are between the ages of 12-15. For more information on detained Palestinian children, see this accompanying infographic:

Link to UN Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA):

Link to report:

Other sources:

Poster of the Week

Center for the Study of Political Graphics - Thu, 07/10/2014 - 05:29

Freedom From Choice
Robbie Conal
Offset, 1992
Los Angeles

Roe v Wade was the landmark 1974 7-to-2 U.S. Supreme Court decision which legalized abortion in the United States. Conservative legislators around the country immediately responded by pushing through laws and regulations that attempted to chip away Roe v Wade.  While these efforts have not succeeded in making abortion illegal, they have increasingly restricted women’s access to abortion.

CSPG’s Poster of the Week was made in response to the 1992 U.S. Supreme Court decision in Planned Parenthood v. Casey which, on a 5-to-4 vote, significantly weakened Roe v Wade and reversed its previous ruling that limited state restrictions on abortion. It is frighteningly relevant this week, when the Court, again on a 5-to-4 vote, in Burwell v Hobby Lobby, ruled that corporations controlled by religious families cannot be required to pay for contraception coverage for their female workers.

Poster Background
Planned Parenthood commissioned Robbie Conal to design this poster and they printed 25,000 copies which were then posted in 75 cities throughout the U.S.—but not in NY.  All went up the same week.  Planned Parenthood even paid for a billboard in Los Angeles which 3M took down after receiving a complaint, without notifying anyone. After being threatened with a lawsuit for breach of contract, 3M put it back up 15 hours after taking it down, and left it up for 3 months—the term of the contract.

The NY branch of Planned Parenthood didn’t participate in the postering as they were having their own issues with the city and didn’t want to add illegal postering to their problems.  New York was the only major city that didn’t participate.   

It is important to note that although Justice David Souter is included in the poster—second from the left—he dissented and did not vote with the majority.


Outdoor Tobacco Ads: Sign Blight & Health Hazard

Ban Billboard Blight - Tue, 07/08/2014 - 13:48
Fifteen years ago, L.A. City Councilman and now-City Attorney Mike Feuer led the charge for an ordinance banning signs advertising tobacco within 1,000 ft. of schools, parks and playgrounds, youth centers, churches, and residential buildings. The ink was hardly dry on that measure, though, when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in a Massachusetts case that […]

Amnesty for Hundreds of L.A. Billboards Without Permits?

Ban Billboard Blight - Wed, 07/02/2014 - 13:36
The Los Angeles city planning department is proposing that 744 billboards without permits on file be granted legal status because of the difficulty of determining when they were erected and whether or not they complied with regulations in effect at that time. The billboards, which are scattered throughout the city but most heavily concentrated in South and […]


Venice Papparazzi - Tue, 07/01/2014 - 22:30

VenicePaparazzi updated gallery 'Boxing'

Venice, Burning to be Restored

Venice Beachead - Tue, 07/01/2014 - 07:13

By Jim Smith

July is the month of revolutions. The American colonists did it on July 4. The French did it on Bastille Day, July 14. Many more nations celebrate their revolution, or liberation from an occupying power, in July. They include Algeria, Argentina, Belarus, Belgium, Mozambique, Peru, Venezuela and many more.

And so it is with Venice. We celebrate our founding as taking place on July 4, 1905, when Venice of America had its grand opening. For the next 20 years, inhabitants of Venice – Venetians – basked in independence as a free city of California. 

This is not the place for a recounting of the machinations that Los Angeles performed in order to annex Venice (they have been told in other Beachheads and in books). Ever since Venice lost its independence, Venetians have been struggling to regain it. 

This spring, while most eyes were focused on the Ukrainian crisis, the city of Venice, Italy, held a referendum for total independence from Italy. It passed with more than 89 percent in favor. The voting was organized by the people of Veneto (the Venice region) giving the powers in Italy an excuse for not recognizing the results. But at the very least, the issue of the rebirth of the Serene Republic of Venice, after more than 200 years, is back on the table. 

Should Venice, California do any less to regain its cityhood? Holding a referendum might be the first step to independence. A resounding vote in favor of Venice cityhood would show the legislators in Sacramento – who have the power to ease the process to cityhood – that there is broad-based support for an independent city. 

The failed vote in 2002 for San Fernando Valley cityhood is often brought up as somehow justifying a lack of activity in promoting Venice cityhood. Yet, what is not well known is that a majority of voters within what would have been the new city, cast votes in favor. It was only outlying areas of Los Angeles that voted no after a fear-mongering campaign by L.A.’s 1 percenters.

In order to head off the fear mongering, advocates of Venice cityhood should assure low-income tenants that rent-control will not go away, but will become stronger as absentee landlords lose power. New development schemes will be decided by people in Venice who have to live with them, not by city hall bureaucrats who never set foot in Venice. And unions, should be assured that their representation rights for city workers within Venice will be recognized. 

The city of Venice, along with Berkeley, can be the most progressive place to live in California, where people’s rights, regardless of their wealth or lack of it, are recognized and celebrated. 

Yet, there seems to be a peculiar lassitude among Venetians, even activists, in taking the needed steps to restore cityhood. Perhaps it’s the chem trails, or maybe the GMOs that are making people passive. In any case, if civil rights activists had been as passive, there would still be segregation in the South. And if the American colonists, who were among the world’s elite in the 1770s had not roused themselves to endure terrible hardship at Valley Forge and elsewhere, this would still be a British colony. And, yes, some of us would still be demanding independence.

For those who are still not convinced that they should put their shoulders to the wheel of Venice history, perhaps the words of Venice’s greatest poetess, Philomene Long, will convince:

Venice, city conceived in imagination for imagination
With body intact –the canals, the welcoming houses
The people came. It happened – the magic – unexplainable
Venice becoming the city imagined
A city like no other city on earth
Its community of Venetians giving her a soul
Bright. Transcendent. The soul of Venice
A gift, which cannot be bought nor stolen
This is the gift out right, freely given 
To those open to receive it; for those who listen
But Venice transcendent still needs a body
It can be, has been, wounded
It can die; live on only in history
So we here today, as with previous Venetians
Welcome all as neighbor, loving freely
At the same time preserve and protect our radiant city 
With magic and practicality 
And with the hope of a pale green egg
That resolve passed on from those that have gone before us
For them as for ourselves, and for those that will follow
Will stand here where we stand today 
And who will walk upon our footsteps into the next century
That the light of Venice not be extinguished 
Nor diminished, nor simply be maintained 
But that light burn, burn, burn into a boundless Luminosity! 



L.A. Living in Vehicle Law Found UnConstitutional

Venice Beachead - Tue, 07/01/2014 - 07:06

By Peggy Lee Kennedy

To me it’s a sweet, but sad victory. This recently overturned unconstitutional Los Angeles City law, LAMC 85.02, has been used over the years to harm many more people than the four plaintiffs in the Desertrain vs. City of Los Angeles appeal.
Harassment, arrests, tickets, vehicle tows, pets taken to the pound, stay-away orders, intimidating city attorney hearings, unnecessary court appointments, warrants for those who could not show up each time, inappropriate hate mongering by the city and homeless hate groups – these are some of the injustices connecting the victims of this unconstitutional law.

The hope is that this win results in more overall justice for all those affected.
Sometimes being a leader means taking the responsibility to make amends and create some form of reconciliation. Not just using our tax dollars to pay for the mistakes of the City. We have a systemically broken system in Los Angeles that criminalizes poverty and our elected leaders need the guts to honestly try to fix it. Our City Attorney took a first step. But people, it is much more than just this one unconstitutional law.  

Carol Sobel, the civil rights attorney who won this important case, believes that “Not only is this a victory for unhoused individuals, but it is also a very important step in the judicial recognition of the  need to address any legitimate issues the City seeks to remedy by some more humane means than criminalizing poverty.” And she is so right. There are plenty more humane means to addressing homelessness than ticketing, arresting, towing, and police harassment.

The story of this unconstitutional law is not new, but the lawsuit starts with Councilman Mike Bonin’s mentor and predecessor, Bill Rosendahl. He was champion for pushing through the OPD (Overnight Permit District) LA City law, specifically used to remove anyone living in a vehicle from a street – very often on streets with no residents, like by a park or a golf course.

It basically backfired. While we were fighting OPDs at the California Coastal Commission, because Venice is in the coastal zone and parking equals access, OPDs were going up all over LA and the vehicle housed people had less and less places to park. More people were becoming homeless and vehicle housed at the same time. Not such a smart move for Bill Rosendahl, considering the resistance. Mike Bonin, the current council person, was Bill’s chief of staff at that time.

Not one parking space in Venice was offered to the vehicle housed in order to offset this push. But plenty of big talk from Bill about a safe parking program along with the money spent on some ridiculous consultant to create one. Not to mention how Bill was going to amend LAMC 85.02 so people could have a place to park! The law is gone, where the hell are those safe parking spots? It was all a bunch of S.H.I.T. and the City keeps putting up more “No Oversized Vehicles from 2-6am” parking signs everywhere. But I digress.

Anyway, Bill Rosendahl and his criminalize-the-homeless posse lost their battle for OPDs at the Coastal Commission again in 2010. Then began a never seen before war waged on anyone in what even looked like a live-aboard vehicle in Venice. Don’t try to drive through, either. That is exactly what led to the Desertrain lawsuit. Very nasty stuff.  I encourage everyone to read the 9th Circuit decision on line at: http://1.usa.gov/1nnGEyz. It is an easy nineteen-page read that might open your eyes a wee bit.

We are waiting for it to turn around. The money spent on these crazy homeless “clean up” sweeps and defending the other laws used to target homeless people in Venice is more of the same costly insanity, now led by Mike Bonin. Saying you are against criminalizing homelessness is not enough. In fact it is Orwellian to say the words when outrageous city recourses are used for inhumane, non-solutions at the same time.

The City writes laws, often called Quality of Life Laws, and continues to enforce laws in a discriminatory way that affect homeless people disproportionately. Mike Bonin recently announced that his council district budget for prosecuting these types of laws had been increased. Not exactly the change we were hoping for.
The court determined that LAMC 85.02 was written and enforced in such a vague way that it encouraged arbitrary and discriminatory enforcement. Ninth Circuit Judge Harry Pregerson wrote in his conclusion, “For many homeless persons, their automobile may be their last major possession — the means by which they can look for work and seek social services. The City of Los Angeles has many options at its disposal to alleviate the plight and suffering of its homeless citizens. Selectively preventing the homeless and the poor from using their vehicles for activities many other citizens also conduct in their cars should not be one of those options.”
Calvin Moss, with the Venice Justice Committee, commented that “The Judges just nailed it on this one, a classic historical constitutional decision.” Our Justice Committee does not enjoy catching the City violating civil and human rights. People are being harmed. We are looking for real change and real solutions.

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