Celebrating the Creative Community of Venice.

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Venice Papparazzi - Tue, 07/26/2016 - 14:33

VenicePaparazzi updated gallery 'Iphone upload'

02015 watermarks

Venice Papparazzi - Tue, 07/26/2016 - 11:12

VenicePaparazzi updated gallery '02015 watermarks'

2016 Jeffest

Venice Papparazzi - Mon, 07/25/2016 - 23:09

VenicePaparazzi updated gallery '2016 Jeffest'

Gerry and Erika

Venice Papparazzi - Sat, 07/16/2016 - 22:45

VenicePaparazzi updated gallery 'Gerry and Erika'


Venice Papparazzi - Sun, 07/10/2016 - 16:36

VenicePaparazzi updated gallery 'Watermarks'


Venice Beachead - Sat, 07/09/2016 - 09:55

Final Election Tally

There’s this misinformation spread by Kevin Pardue which appeared in Venice Update(below)
The biggest push was the 50% property rights negative campaigning around the MSC draft. The entire area was blanketed with those flyers repeatedly, as well as Frank Murphy’s direct mailing to the entire recode LA list (or whatever) — I am not sure that was legal of the city to release that. As well as the Chamber of commerce getting their members out to vote on same negative campaigning. So A lot of residents who normally would not know about the elections came out to vote FROM THAT FEAR CAMPAIGN. Fear is the best motivator.
The business and employee votes did not factor in to the huge voter increase much, EVEN THOUGH certain people on the new board gave out employee letters (prob to their friends) which would have seen them voted in. The Community Officer votes were swayed by those fake employee letters. Debra Bowen asked the city to keep the letters, and Holly Mosher was speaking with Ben Allen about having the letters kept, BUT THEY WERE NOT. So there was no proof of whether or not they were legit employees. AND MOST OF THEIR community officers got in that way!

Business Slate Flyer

By Kevin “Kip” Pardue
The Venice Neighborhood Council is the only way for Venice to communicate with city government in an official capacity. For years, that representation has maintained the myth that Venice doesn’t deserve the city’s attention. We constantly seem to get the short end of the stick – litter, potholes, garbage removal, graffiti, and of course, homelessness and enforcement. The reason that myth is being sold to the city is captured below.
That is a picture of a group of volunteers explaining to homeless people on 3rd Avenue their right to vote. THIS IS NOT ILLEGAL, by the way. This is simply the game that the homeless service providers are playing with Venice. For their votes they offer food and promise a future for this type of life in Venice.
Below is a quote from the 2016 Neighborhood Council Election Manual:
In Neighborhood Councils requiring documentation to verify voters, homeless voters will be exempt from providing such documentation if they affirm that they are homeless and that they meet the voter requirements for the seat(s) for which they are voting.
If you’ve ever wondered why the homeless are NOT being transferred to housing, just look closely at that picture.
If you’ve ever wondered why the city thinks Venice is made up of only homeless people and those willing to tolerate the filth, just look closely at that picture.
Maybe it is scenes like this that give Mike Bonin the idea that all of Venice is comfortable with the growing population of homeless and travelers.
The people in this picture WILL BE VOTING. If you are comfortable with these few dictating your voice to the city, by all means, do not vote. If you’d like things to change in Venice, YOU MUST VOTE.
If you actually want to help Venice residents – both homeless and otherwise, you need to vote. If you want to clean up the streets and actually improve the lives of those stuck on the streets, you need to vote.
Venice has a population of 40k plus people…but the average VNC election sees fewer than 2k. In the past, posts have been won and lost by two votes.
I cannot stress enough just how important this is. Do your own research. Find those that represent you best. But vote.
Email me at VeniceAlliance@gmail.com and I will send you a list of candidates that I support. More research on candidates can be found here: https://cityclerk.lacity.org/nccr/nccand/cand.html?nc=VENICE%20NC

From Frank Murphy
To the entire Venice community,
Everybody in Venice agrees that the important local issues are homelessness, affordability, safety, diversity, the environment, and quality of life. Why don’t things seem to be getting better?
Well, current leadership in the Venice Neighborhood Council has promoted three strategies in response to the above issues: ending the Venice Sign-Off (VSO), changing the allowed buildable area under the label of Mass, Scale, and Character (MSC), and slapping historic status restrictions on as many homes as possible (SurveyLA).
These three proposals are specifically designed to promote scarcity and to frustrate the growth of your home. Well intentioned as these strategies may be, the simple truth is that all three actually promote homelessness, exacerbate public safety, deteriorate the environment, and reduce overall quality of life for all of Venice.
You need to step in and be the adult in the room by voting at the VNC Elections.
Please consider the below candidates.
Community Officer:
Allan Jones, Vincent Cassilly, Brooks Kephart, Cayley Lambur, James Murez, John Reed, Joseph Murphy, Matt Shaw. Michelle Meepos, Robert Schwan, Robert Thibodeau, Stephen Livigni, Steven Vulin, Sunny Bak, Sylvia Aroth, Vanessa Schreiber, Vytas Juskys, Will Hawkins, Yolanda Gonzalez.

Rick Selan’s response to Joseph Murphy.

Subject: VNC SLATE To REPRESENT REALTORS & DEVELOPERS Submitted by Joseph D. Murphy The “Defang Factionalism Slate”.

VNC SLATE Representing Realtors & Developers & Special Interests
Submitted by Joseph D. Murphy The “Defang Factionalism Slate”.
To: Joseph D. Murphy, Writer of Rules and Elections By -Laws
cc: Frank Murphy, Major Venice Developer

Re: Realtors and Developers and Special Interests= “Defang Factionalism”

Dear Mr. Murphy,
You have been involved with Ira Koslow and Ivan Spiegel for years writing VNC Bylaws and election rules to assist your brother Frank in the process of gentrification and land development.
The three of you have enforced a “unilateral grievance process” where you and your allies refuse to process and investigate grievances , complaints and Public Record Requests.
You have been supported in this less than fair play by DONE General Manager Grayce Liu and DONE Administrator Stephen Box who are fighting to keep their positions. You, your allies and the developers truly believe you are above the law and can do anything you wan demonstrating “less than ethical behavior”.
You , Mr. Koslow ,and Mr. Spiegel wrote the election rules permitting each voter to only vote for one of the thirteen At-Large positions.
According to the Election Committee of Ivan Spiegel, Dante Cacace, and Elizabeth Wright, Ms. Wright has placed in writing that the reason you establishe the one only vote was to avoid slates.
As we see below, you do not follow the policy as you have sent out your slate all over Venice to benefit you, Mr. Koslow, Mr. Spiegel and the special interests , developers, architects who have attempted to take over Venice.
I am running for President to end these self interests that for years you have used to benefit you and your brother’s quality of life; not thinking about improving the quality of life you are denying to the majority of Venice.
The election policies written by you, Mr. Koslow, and Mr. Spiegel must be eliminated and a fair election policy utilizing new by laws needs to be implemented.
Sadly and painfully I must say that you are “not an honorable man”. This is not personal as I do not know you nor have we ever engaged in a conversation.
This is all about the developers, gentrifiers, architects and those with special interests that you and your allies will go to any length to protect and cover for.
Peace. Forward. Change. In unity for accountability and an end to special interests, Rick Selan-indepependent Candidate for VNC President. “Kids First”
VNC SLATE To REPRESENT REALTORS & DEVELOPERS Submitted by Joseph D. Murphy The “Defang Factionalism Slate”.
Subject: JDM’s Recommended ‘Defang Factionalism’ Slate of VNC Executive Officers
The better-organized factions are likely to be able to elect their preferred VNC Executive Officers.
My selection below reflects my effort to ‘defang factionalism’ with individuals who have the flexibility to accomplish this.
I therefore recommend that you consider casting your 7 VNC Executive Officer votes as follows:

Joe Murphy

Business Slate Flyer

Template Letter from Chamber of Commerce.

“Business Slate”

The letter Robert Singer gave to his employees, and then later retracted when told that it was not allowable for an employer to make specific reccomendations tied to monetary incentives and other perks. Yet it illustrates the perks and coercion that restaurant owners would like to use, and probably will if they can get away with it. The last line could be interpreted as a veiled threat, to the employees job, if they did not show their ob edience to the boss.

Frank Murphy scaring homeowners.

Frank Murphy Flyer

Pro Business Slate Flyer

Mike Bravo’s Progressive Slate Flyer





Serial Violators on VNC – The Newly Elected Board

Venice Beachead - Sat, 07/09/2016 - 08:57

Here are a few of the “serial violators” that sit on the new VNC Board.

1. Robert Thibodeau – he is probably the most prolific architect/developer in Venice and yet he doesn’t have one single Mello Act replacement affordable unit. How could this be, given that the state Mello Act law’s main purpose is to preserve and protect Affordable Housing in the Coastal Zone and thus demolition of affordable housing must be replaced by the developer? He has had more projects successfully appealed by the community for mass, scale & character issues, aka over development, than any other architect/developer in Venice. Thibodeau’s projects are believed to have originally coined the phrase “Big Ugly Boxes” – B.U.B.’s, which is based on maxing out a project’s square footage in order to maximize sales proceeds, no matter the impact on the surrounding neighborhood. Good neighbor? Neighborhood Council Board member?

2. John Reed – it is heard time and time again that parking deficiencies for Reed’s projects are never mitigated or go unchecked. He’s dominating Rose Ave development, even though His projects are generally not compatible or in keeping with the character of the existing Venice neighborhoods where they are located, as is required by State law. He’s known to be a Mello Act violator, with such stunts as representing a multi affordable unit building is an owner-occupied single-family dwelling Mello exemption, or by simply not mentioning certain Mello Act violations and hoping to skate by unnoticed. Many locals are very concerned that the projects he handles as coastal exemptions under the Coastal Act and as improvements for property tax assessor rules, are in fact demolition and new construction. Above all, he skillfully maneuvers to avoid CEQA, General Plan and certified Land Use Plan protections that Venice needs in order to remain a special coastal community. In his new role on the VNC Board, his job is to represent the community in making recommendations on land use projects in the neighborhoods……..is this some kind of a very bad joke?

3. Jim Murez – his residence and (alleged) party house at 800, 802, 804 Main Street has a three-lot tie and is 35 feet tall vs. the 30 foot height limit. Why? How? His project was initially denied at the West Los Angeles Area Planning Commission but then he appealed and the project and its numerous significant exceptions was approved by the L.A. City Council, in 2003. (The Coastal Act doesn’t allow a three lot consolidation in the North Venice Subarea.) Artist in residence? What kind of an artist is he?
During Jim’s previous multi-term involvement with the VNC as a member of its Land Use & Planning Committee, Murez personally processed all Venice land use projects using a self-operated and controlled land use project tracking system (Cityhood.org), in violation of City of L.A. regulations. This was determined by Carmen Hawkins, Deputy City Attorney, to be a significant conflict of interest, as she stated in a 2014 VNC Board meeting. Also in his prior VNC role, Murez refused and had to be forced to follow conflict of interest rules (more than once). When he was processing the LUPC projects, if a pending project never turned up on a LUPC Agenda you can bet that it was one of the ones Jim himself deemed de minimis and not in need of transparency.
Should one assume that this new member of the VNC Board, was elected to represent the community based on his desire to work for the betterment of quality of life in the Venice neighborhoods?

4. Matthew Royce – this guy is believed to manipulate projects to avoid Mello Act affordable unit requirements, and for at least one project he also allegedly has unpermited development (demo and construction). There are inconsistent facts in his City CDP Mello determination and confusion over his owner occupancy Mello Act exemptions……which begs the question: does Matthew Royce live in Venice? His listed address is a construction site. Matthew Royce sits as the newly elected LUPC Chair in the highly contested VNC election, and he plans to preside over, and represent the community in, the VNC’s review of all Venice Coastal Zone development projects, including many belonging to his fellow running mates, the new Board members.
Are our community’s land use project standards of review about to significantly change? And who will be the beneficiary of these representatives being the ones to influence development projects in Venice?
Knowing the great lengths these four and many others on their slate went to in order to win the election, it ought to be very obvious by now how valuable these city government community land use, volunteer roles are to them. Based on their past actions in land use matters, we have a very big hint as to why.

Chamber of Commerce Trumps Venice

Venice Beachead - Sat, 07/09/2016 - 08:54

The Pro-Business slate dominated the Venice Neighborhood Council (VNC) Elections. They ran a fear and anger based campaign, corellating the homeless and criminals, claiming that the VNC had been hijacked by “radical, anti-business leadership”, and claiming that restaurant and construction permits have been attacked, and public safety has been threatened. At least that was the explicit claims put out by Cheese and Olive’s Robert Singer before he retracted it. It serves to illustrate the war footing, tactics, and strategy of the unbridled businessman of Venice. We’ve been hearing this for decades. This is also the same conflict that takes place in localities worldwide. “Government becomes the shadow that business casts over society. “ – Noam Chomsky
Our pioneers of social justice, who carry the message of peace in their hearts every day, that’s the real Venice, and they manifested at most 700 votes. There needs to be a better get out the vote campaign if they are to continue on this VNC path. The activist goals can manifest in other ways without the VNC. Perhaps just let the COC run their puppet show in the VNC and pursue the issues of preservation and social justice without the antagonism of the business jerks, directly with Bonin’s Office and the Planning Department.

The Business slate got about 1300 votes. These are the Realtors, commercial property owners, and all the homeowners and employees they can scare up. That’s the commercial Venice that ganged up to win the VNC election. It is abundantly clear why the Chamber of Commerce and their running dogs want to cripple efforts of communities to rein in development plans that they don’t like, restrictions burden profitability. It is a big annoyance to the architectural and construction businesses. Restauranteurs need liquor permits in order to pay the exhorbitant rent they pay on Abbot Kinney Boulevard. Even the police say we have too many liquor licenses.
The current asking rent for 1335 AKB $15/ft2 = $28,125 a month for what was a old shoe repair shop in the 70’s. The Midnight Special Bookstore was next door, $125 a month. The building is the same. All that has changed is location location location.
Another theme of their campaign is to “Clean up Venice”. This is the same campaign they have always run, and is recognized code for getting rid of poor people. It is also a useful co-relation that poor and homeless people need to be cleaned up, and made to disappear. This carries some weight with the unsophisticated property owner, since cleaning up is a “no-brainer”.

Here, in a market which has show a 100% increase in property values in the last 5 years, and a 60% increase in rents, the pro-business schemers sent letter to just about every homeowner, telling them that they are under threat of losing 50% of their property value, unless the “radicals” are defeated. This kind of thing has been said about community activists ever since the business community began organizing against them.
Many of the Realtors, and many single family dwelling rental property owners, oppose the Mass Scale and Character Draft Plan developed by a subcommittee of the VNC. This plan would apply only to single family dwellings. It calls for a .45 floor space to lot size ratio for lots less than 7500 square feet. The intent is prevent the 3 story ugly box popular with absentee developers, and to require consideration of the neighborhood style, setbacks, parking. This upholds the quality of a neighborhood for it’s residents. The devil is in the details, the mandated numbers. These rules can make it difficult for rebuilders to expand. I have known a few families who have completely rebuilt to original floor size + one old board and were quite happy in their bungalow with a fruit tree in the back yard, or in their Superior Ave Mansions. They loved their neighborhood.

Home rentals are a commercial enterprise, a very different animal. The owner may want to build and rebuild to the most square feet they can. Tenants are a problem because they might resist 15% annual rent increases, better for the landlord to evict every couple of years or sooner. (Single Family homes have no rent control) Rental prices for newer homes in Venice is now about $5000 for 1000 square feet, up 57% in 4 years. There is a natural resistance however for anyone planning to live here, to spend over a million dollars for possibly old and moldy bungalow, and then facing the fix-up vs rebuild process including community vetting. In steps the developer with the bank, the most vampiric of which seem to regularly manifest non-compliant buildings,  Bad aesthetics, bad architecture.

ruly the Realtors and Commercial Property owners of Venice have done our community a great disservice over the past several years. Many of our favorite businesses have left due to escalating rents. The current monthly rental for a storefront on Abbot Kinney is $28,125 for 1800 square feet.
Tourist Boosterism is responsible for lack of parking frequent summer weekend gridlock, rampant litter, and it also attracts the homeless.
Some Beachfront Commercial Property owners want a Business Improvement District. Property Value is one of the great myths of our age, it serves mostly the central banks who reap interest on the loans. That’s the part of the economy that the banks are desperately trying to keep afloat. So much so that they made a free money supply whenever some part of their economy shows market problems. The council of quantitative easing. This how business trade associations operate.

“People of the same trade seldom meet together, even for merriment and diversion, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public, or in some contrivance to raise prices.” – Adam Smith- The Wealth of Nations, 1776.
Now, as I understand from my friends who can stand to go to their socials, the Chamber of Commerce are a lot of really nice people, and they are not like the usual anti-labor, minimum wage opposing, sick leave and family leave opposing assholes who run the national office.

Yet we stare into the dark heart of the Chamber Of Commerce, we find that they are not at all like the Better Business Bureau. The Chamber is just for the businessman, whereas the BBB includes consumers. The BBB has a code of ethics where the COC has none. Illustrating that perfectly is former Venice Chamber President and former Ocean Front Walk Committee member Carl Lambert who is under threat of indictment by City Attorney Mike Feuer, for illegally converted his rent-controlled properties into hotels. Mr. Lambert had his own advertisements on AIRBNB. We find he has resigned from his leadership in the Venice Chamber of Commerce.
Even the Donald says: “The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is totally controlled by the special interest groups, folks, just so you understand it,” Mr. Trump told a crowd in Bangor, Maine. “They’re a special interest that wants to have the deals that they want to have.” – The Wall Street Journal
But, of course, this is the same as it ever was. The commercial interests ruin the community by driving out the local entrepreneurs and artists, while waving the flag of Art, yes I am talking about the Venice Art Crawl, which, after being abandoned by long time local artists, seems to sail on helping throw the cachet of art over the thievery of the Chamber’s efforts.
– The Beachhead


http://yovenice.com/2016/05/14/opinion-piece-venice-mass-character-and-scale/ – Marc Ryavec

Mike Chamness, Photographs.

Venice Beachead - Sat, 07/09/2016 - 08:41

SUZY WILLIAMS – THE LIT SHOW – July 16, Saturday, 8pm

Venice Beachead - Wed, 07/06/2016 - 15:45

at Beyond Baroque 681 Venice Blvd, Venice,CA, 90291, http://www.beyondbaroque.org/
310-822-3006, admission – $20 no advance tickets, first come first serve, doors open at 7:30pm

Facebook = https://www.facebook.com/events/1114964101868463/
High res still – http://www.laughtears.com/hi-res-pics.html
In the eleventh annual celebration of song and literature – THE LIT SHOW, LA’s Diva Deluxe SUZY WILLIAMS performs songs with lyrics taken from classic literature. You’ve read the book, now hear the song!

Suzy partners with accomplished pianist and composer Brad Kay, and joined by their band of renowned LA musicians including Dan Weinstein and Don Allen.

This stellar celebration of music and literature feature new pieces based on words written by Oscar Wilde, Walt Whitman, Truman Capote, George Bernard Shaw, Langston Hughes, Isaac Asimov and Edmond Rostand, who wrote Cyrano de Bergerac.

THE LIT SHOW repertoire includes the likes of J.D. Salinger (see SUZY AND BRAD = https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QyMKVLBqse4 and Hafiz, Kurt Vonnegut, Edna St Vincent Millay, J.D. Salinger, Samuel Beckett, Raymond Chandler, Truman Capote, Vladimir Nabokov, Rudyard Kipling and more. Dorothy Parker wrote a song that Billie Holiday sang. Tennessee Williams wrote a song that Marlon Brando sang as a rambling troubadour in The Fugitive Kind. Lonely House was written by Kurt Weill and Langston Hughes. Jack Kerouac & Allen Ginsberg wrote Pull My Daisy with David Amram

SUZY WILLIAMS has played Carnegie Hall with Stormin’ Norman & Suzy, performed with Pilobolus Dance Company, and has worked with Van Dyke Parks, Buster Poindexter, Marc Shaiman, and film director Nicholas Ray. Bette Midler, Horace Silver, Roosevelt Sykes, Ann Magnuson, Eubie Blake, Odetta and Hadda Brooks have praised her passionate singing and vibrant energy. Suzy’s voice is vibrant and lusty…great gusto and bold emotion.” – Nat Hentoff, Cosmopolitan. “Williams’ energy must be seen to be believed…a natural performer.” – Robert Palmer, New York Times. Suzy’s bio can be found at http://laughtears.com/suzy_bio.html

BRAD KAY, composer, pianist and historian, has led bands in Los Angeles since 1965. He has collaborated with Danny Elfman’s Mystic Knights of the Oingo Boingo, Firesign Theater’s Phil Austin, jazz pioneer Gerald Wilson, writer Harlan Ellison, director Tim Burton, and Suzy & Her Solid Senders. Kay plays cornet and piano with Janet Klein & Her Parlor Boys. “No one I have ever met is more dedicated to music than the great pianist Brad Kay…he is ever searching for infinite harmonic variations, love and a soulful sense of humor in his music.” – George Winston. Brad’s bio can be found at http://www.janetklein.com/web/bios/brad.htm

More info:

Gerry Fialka

310 306 7330


Fmr Venice Chamber Prez Carl Lambert Sued By City Attorney For Illegal Evictions

Spirit Of Venice - Thu, 06/30/2016 - 12:28

When not manning Venice Neighborhood Council (VNC) election boxes, being a key player in the Venice Chamber of Commerce’s (VCC) controversial takeover of the VNC, or evicting rent stabilized tenants from their homes, former Venice Chamber President Carl Lambert may now add fighting criminal charges to his list of activities.

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