Archive for March, 2012

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Stay in touch with the Spirit of Venice — spiritofvenice.net

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An interview on KPFK’s “Uprising” with Sonali Kolhatkar

Residents and activists in Venice beach say police are harassing community members and the homeless as a new wave of gentrification hits the city, best known for its eclectic beach-loving population. Last Wednesday dozens of homeless people lost their personal belongings when the Los Angeles Bureau of Sanitation, in cooperation with the LA Police Department, raided a homeless encampment at Third Street between Rose and Sunset Avenues in Venice Beach. Los Angeles City Councilman Bill Rosendahl said the city was conducting a “sanitation action” that was only meant to sweep up abandoned property.

The homeless disagree, and say their personal items, including prescription medications, wallets, and clothing, were indiscriminately collected and immediately dumped into garbage trucks. Adding to the outrage of the community is a feeling of betrayal, because police began directing the homeless to the Third Street encampment when the city began enforcing a no camping ordinance on the boardwalk, which displaced many homeless individuals. Venice residents from the Oakwood neighborhood and others also report an increase in community members being ticketed by police for small infractions, such as not having the fence around a home properly painted.

GUESTS: David Busch, an activist with the Spirit of Venice Coalition, Maria Fitzsimmons, and organizer with People Organized for Westside Renewal, or POWER, and Kendra Moore, a POWER leader and president of the Holiday Venice Tenant Action Committee Visit http://www.power-la.org for more information.

There will a direct action training in relation to the Venice area activism on April 14-15, 2012. For more information, visit http://www.99spring.com.

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Stay in touch with the Spirit of Venice — spiritofvenice.net

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Venice Homeless Retrieve Belongings Trashed by City

Please sign our petition at Change.org to send email messages to LAPD, Councilman Rosendahl, City Attorney, Mayor Villaraigosa and other officials

Homeless people dig through trash to retrieve their belongings taken by LAPD and City sanitation

A handful of homeless people rummaged through heaps of garbage Thursday [March 8, 2012] in search of their belongings hauled off the day before in Venice by city trash collectors.

The trash haul Wednesday [March 7, 2012] on 3rd Avenue between Rose and Sunset avenues was done by the Los Angeles City Bureau of Sanitation, which is part of the Department of Public Works, with the involvement of the Los Angeles Police Department, said Richard Lee, a spokesman for the Bureau of Sanitation.

Los Angeles City Councilman Bill Rosendahl said the sanitation cleanup occurred following “many, many complaints” from a broad cross-section of local people about public urination, defecation, blocked sideways and trash in the street.

“Sanitation took away as trash anything that was abandoned,” Rosendahl said Thursday. “It was a sanitation action of picking stuff up and, if people left stuff there, sanitation treated it as they would any abandoned stuff, as trash.”

Rosendahl said that he heard afterward that many homeless had their personal belongings collected and he arranged for two of the garbage trucks to be transferred to a Bureau of Sanitation yard in the 3300 block of Thatcher Avenue. The homeless searched Thursday for their belongings and Rosendahl said they also were invited back Friday from 10 a.m. to noon to reclaim their property.

Rosendahl also said that he would make it a policy going forward to give the homeless a courtesy notice before cleanups.

The incident is the latest in a series of developments impacting Venice’s homeless population, including a recent ban on overnight camping along the Venice Beach boardwalk, limitations on overnight parking for large vehicles and a program to transition vehicle dwellers into housing. More

On Tuesday February 28, 2012, 3rd Avenue between Sunset and Rose was closed off for almost seven hours (2:30 – 9:00 pm) while hordes of LAPD personnel scoured the area for a “drug suspect” who got away.  Coincidentally, 3rd Avenue happens to be the location where a large group of homeless people congregate at night to sleep on the sidewalk between the hours of 9:00 pm and 6:00 am.  The street closure and presence of dozens of police personnel was attributed to a “criminal investigation” following an alleged drug bust gone awry.

At the peak of this “investigation” there were 10-12 patrol cars, 1 large LAPD operations vehicle, several undercover LAPD cars, half a dozen detectives, a host of officials coming and going, a helicopter overhead, circling 3rd Avenue (and no further) for almost 4 hours; and Fox 11 news !!!

If that isn’t overkill we don’t know what is. Capt. Peters was overheard stating that the same treatment would apply if a civilian had been attacked – we think not.

Why LAPD over-reacted to this incident may never be known but word on the street is that two undercover officers tried to set up a drug deal on 3rd with the suspect, who got away, after being tasered twice and scuffling with the uniformed officers called to the scene.

Rumors were rife on the street that the suspect was shot and killed by officers or, shot himself. Fortunately, to the best of our knowledge, nobody was killed and the officers were not badly injured.

But, this question remains: is this a reasonable use of our tax dollars?

Almost immediately, an anonymous email was circulated on the internet linking the “suspect” with the homeless people who sleep on 3rd, accusing them of being “drug addicts and criminals”:

“Date: Wed, 29 Feb 2012 13:50:10 -0800
Subject: Venice Beach
From: newegg@mindspring.com
To: Charlie.Beck@lapd.lacity.org; 25811@lapd.lacity.org; mayor@lacity.org; larry.frank@lacity.org
CC: jon.peters@lapd.lapd.lacity.org; councilman.rosendahl@lacity.org; Arturo.Pino@lacity.org

To all those who may be concerned:
” This is what happens when drug addicts and criminals are given a free place to stay by the beach”.  It appears that our Councilman and folks in this city have given a higher priority to social services rather than to the safety of our community. What we have noticed is a lawlessness that seems to be allowed to continue at the expense of our safety here in Venice Beach. This is destroying our way of life here in Venice. The City Council’s political decisions unfortunately appear to be allowing this to continue.  Please reconsider this political problem.

Thank you”

This type of message only exacerbates the problem by falsely implicating homeless people as “drug addicts and criminals”.  The person who wrote this email obviously makes broad assumptions based on limited information.  Like the person who stood on the corner of Rose and 3rd during the “investigation” claiming that an officer had been stabbed – another assumption that proved to be untrue. People who spread inaccurate information to incite anger and hatred are like people who throw stones in glass houses – sure to crack.

DOES VENICE NEED THIS ?

Posted: March 1, 2012 in Uncategorized
Tags:
DOES VENICE BEACH NEED THIS PROPOSED ATTRACTION?

COME TO THE MEETING ON MON. MARCH 5

AT THE WESTMINSTER SENIOR CENTER

6:30pm-7:30pm
1234 Pacific Ave, Venice, CA. 90291

TO WEIGH IN ON THE DISCUSSION