Archive for the ‘Free Speech at the Beach’ Category

The Benefit Network, a Venice-based nonprofit, recently released a deeply stirring, soul-inspired song entitled: “But For The Grace of God” performed and produced by 5-time Grammy Award winner ~ Gospel legend Edwin Hawkins ~ with world renowned Gospel Diva Tramaine Hawkins and the Edwin Hawkins Singers…to raise funds and awareness for homeless people… More



Stay in touch with the Spirit of Venice —


Advance screening and fundraising party is open to the public on Thursday, Oct. 18 at 7:30pm in Venice for the launch of a new documentary on the untold story of the nation’s largest and longest lasting commune, known simply as “The Farm.” …

AMERICAN COMMUNE tells the story of two MTV producers who turned the lens on their once-controversial upbringing at The Farm, which drew international headlines, federal investigations and thousands of followers from around the world in the 1970s and 1980s during the height of the commune movement.

Decaying and nearly defunct by the turn of the millennium, it has recently been recognized for its early influence on organic farming, natural birth, vegetarianism and solar power.


Stay in touch with the Spirit of Venice —


7pm, Saturday Sept. 22

Church in Ocean Park

2nd and Hill Street

Music by Suzy Williams and friends


At this point in the presidential campaign, it appears that Mitt Romney is self-destructing and Barack Obama has a lock on California, with or without your vote. What’s a conscientious Venetian to do?

Part of the answer may be found in Karl Abrams article in the September Beachhead about another presidential candidate named Roseanne Barr.
While both the Democratic and Republican candidates are more or less beholden to Wall Street, Barr is her own person. As a former comedian, she is perhaps the most entertaining candidate to run in a long time. She is also the only candidate to schedule a visit to our neck of the woods (pavement).

Check her out this weekend. She will be appearing at the Church in Ocean Park, which is long-known for its progressive attitudes. The evening will kick off with a rousing musical set by the Songbird of Venice, Suzy Williams, and her new all-star band, the Peace and Freedom Blues and Marching Band. This may be one of the few places you can see a top-rated comedian and Venice’s favorite singer for free. The evening is sponsored by the Venice Peace and Freedom Party. P&F is one of six political parties on the California ballot, and the only one to have been founded in Venice (back in 1967). The music starts at 7pm, so don’t be late!

Jim Smith
Here’s more about Roseanne Barr:

Media celebrity, and third-party candidate for President, Roseanne Barr will speak at the Church in Ocean Park, 2nd and Hill Street, Santa Monica beginning at 7pm, Saturday, Sept. 22.

Barr will speak about her candidacy, why we should vote for her – and about the issues of the day – including Medical Marijuana/War on Drugs, foreign wars and interventions, the economy and jobs, and the attacks on our civil and human rights. There will be a question and answer session after her remarks.

She beat out four other candidates at last month’s Peace and Freedom Party Convention to become the Party’s presidential candidate. Roseanne’s choice for Vice President, Cindy Sheehan, was also nominated and elected. The Peace and Freedom Party is the largest left party in the country.

Barr says that she is the only comedian in the race, and that “most of the other candidates are just clowns.” No other candidate is as quotable as Roseanne Barr, who easily tosses off pithy, yet profound, one-liners that get to the heart of today’s problems.

Roseanne Barr achieved fame for playing the eponymous role in her long-running TV show. “Roseanne,” became the top-rate TV show in America. It was the continuing story about a working-class family, the Conners, and their difficult, but humorous lives.

Besides being a self-described, “Domestic Goddess,” Barr has been a comedienne, actress, writer, television producer and director. She is the mother of five children, and currently lives in Hawaii.

Barr has been outspoken about her political opponents, “The Democrats and Republicans have proven that they are servants — bought and paid for by the 1% — who are not doing what’s in the best interest of the American people.” At the same time, Barr points to financiers who have, “…stolen our money, our future and the American Dream…continue to enslave us with a broken monetary system.”

Roseanne is urging supporters to register with the Peace and Freedom Party. Says Roseanne,  “I want the American people to have the opportunity to vote for a party which is not owned by bankers! Register and Vote Peace and Freedom.”

Music will be provided by Suzy Williams, “the songbird of Venice,” and friends. There is no charge for the event.


Stay in touch with the Spirit of Venice —


Human Relations… Regarding Past and Current  Venice- Oakwood Meetings

From Rick Selan

September 13,

Hi Patty,

Thank you for your replying tonight to the past, present and future plans of HRC regarding the serious problems occurring  in Venice-Oakwood against the People of Color, Seniors, and the “Less than Affluent”.

1. Human Relations Commission did not have a permit for the Cassidy Lange’s group meeting on August 15, 2012 because it was not a meeting sponsored by HRC.

2. HRC does not know if a permit existed nor know if an assessment fee was paid. This was a Cassidy Lange group meeting who apparently also invited besides HRC; Pacific Division Police, CD11, VNC and Park Officials.

3. For the community meeting that was suddenly canceled September 12, 2012 three hours before the meeting, HRC dropped out of the Cassidy Lange Group  Meeting because Parks and Recs made the decision they would not attend.

4. To the best knowledge of HRC, there were no minutes nor agenda nor notes regarding the August 15, 2012 meeting to which HRC was invited.

5. You informed me that you would personally attempt to obtain early next week a copy of the Parks and Recs memo/ bulletin transferring Oakwood Park out of the hands of Westside Superintendent Sophia Pina Cortez and into the hands of Interim San Fernando Valley Superintendent Charles Singer. Mr. Singer states he gave the document to Mary Alvarez in the office of Parks and Recs Commission Office of President Barry Sanders.

6. A reply was received from Mary Alvarez that she no longer works for Parks and Recs.

7. LaTonya Jones has replaced Mary Alvarez.

8. There is no knowledge if a permit nor assessments fees were obtained by the Cassidy Lange Group meeting on September 12,2012 cancelled because Valley Parks and Recs would not attend.

9. HRC plans to hold a small group meeting with invited participants in mid October to plan for a series of meetings for the entire Venice -Oakwood Community put on by HRC rather than by the Cassidy Lange group, nor time for the next Cassidy Lange Group Meeting and their invited guests.

11. We discussed the frustration of the Community because no one will share what happened at the August 15, 2012 Cassidy Lange Group meeting with invited guests from police, CD11, VNC, HRC and Parks and Recs.

12. No one knows if this meeting might have caused intervention by the Violent Unit Task Force who brutally beat Ronald Weekley Jr. a few nights after the meeting because he was riding his skateboard
on the wrong side of the street.

Peace. Rick Selan


Stay in touch with the Spirit of Venice —


From: “sheldon cruz
Date: Wed, Sep 12, 2012 3:48 pm
Subject: Meeting Cancelled

Hi All,
the meeting has been cancelled for September 12, 2012 at 6:30 p.m. at Oakwood Recreation Center.
The City HRC is in the process of re-tooling efforts in Venice to assure that all voices have equal access to civic-process.
I will be following-up with everyone on next-steps.
Sheldon Cruz, Policy Analyst
City of Los Angeles, Human Relations Commission
Community Development Department
200 North Spring Street
City Hall, Room 2111
Los Angeles, CA 9
Tel: 213-978-1679

Community  Meeting To Be held Wed. September 12, 2012 at 6:30 pm at Oakwood Park

Information about Wednesday Night Meeting! Please post on any social media and please everyone attend. Let’s remember to respect all of the community and let’s have a wonderful meeting of the minds. This is ‘Venice 90291’ and we love it!

Laddie Williams


From: Rick Selan, Educational Advocate/ Venice Resident

In a response from Organizer Cassidy Lange, the Community Meeting focusing on police brutality in Venice and the police brutality against

Ronald Weekley Jr.; as well as a review why People of Color, Seniors and “less than affluent” were excluded from the last “Neighbor Watch

Meeting” on August 16, 2012 will be held at Oakwood Park at 6:30 p.m. on Wed. September 12, 2012.

Sadly, there can be no collaboration before the meeting as Ms. Lange continues to be out town until Wednesday night.

As there appears to be no agenda, please ask Ms. Cassidy to also address why “15 adults  with  20 dogs”  were observed last week to be on

the Oakwood Park field off leash defecating and urinating where children of color and others hold football and soccer practice and hold games.

If this meeting is not Public, like the last meeting, please ask Ms. Lange to provide the permit and a copy of the $75 dollar receipt for Park usage for the meeting on August 16, 2012 and September 12, 2012.

This advocate thanks Cassidy Lange for providing this time of meeting in writing.

Peace. Rick Selan


Stay in touch with the Spirit of Venice —


Venice Stakeholders Association

VNC to Consider VSA Motion Calling for Enforcement of City Laws Prohibiting Blocking Public Rights-of-Way and Using Public Property for Storage of Personal Possessions

(Venice, CA/7-12-12)  On Tuesday, July 17, the Venice Neighborhood Council will consider a motion prepared by the Venice Stakeholders Association (VSA), which calls for enforcement of City ordinances which ban occupying or blocking public property.

The Motion was approved by the VNC’s Public Safety Committee on a 3/2 vote and now goes before the full VNC at the meeting, scheduled for 7:30 p.m.

“Our goal is twofold,” said Mark Ryavec, president of the VSA. “First, we want to send a clear message to the City and the Los Angeles Police Department that Venice residents expect all applicable ordinances that ban occupying public property, storing possessions on public property and blocking public rights-of-way to be consistently enforced. Second, we would ask that the LAPD, in the course of enforcing these ordinances, to offer referrals to those who may need services and housing.”

The motion approved by the VNC committee enumerates numerous city ordinances that prohibit occupying or obstructing public rights-of-way. It also describes the two narrow circumstances in which the courts have temporarily limited enforcement of the relevant ordinances, one of which does not even apply to Venice.

Ryavec said that LAPD appears to be refraining from fully enforcing certain ordinances because of the possibility of litigation against the City. “We applaud the work the LAPD and the City Attorney’s Office have done under the constraints they face,” Ryavec said, “but we think they can and should do more under existing law.”

Ryavec noted, for example, that under a beach curfew presently in effect, no one is allowed on the beach, the grassy areas of the Venice Beach Recreation Area or the Boardwalk from 12 to 5 AM, and yet there are literally tons of personal possessions stored overnight in these areas, in violation of separate ordinances that prohibit obstructing public rights-of-way and storing private property on public rights-of-way.

“It looks like Skid Row along some stretches of the Boardwalk, especially around Rose and Ozone Avenues,” Ryavec said. “Allowing this area to be used for storage is a violation of City law.”

The Venice Neighborhood Council meets at the Westminster Elementary School.


Whereas, the Los Angeles Municipal Code (“LAMC”) contains the following provisions governing public rights-of-way and City parks:

· LAMC § 62.61(b), which states that “No person shall … obstruct any public street or right-of-way for any reason without first applying for, in writing, and obtaining a permit from the Board of Public Works,” and which thereby prohibits any obstruction of a sidewalk or parkway or any portion thereof, regardless the nature or scope of the encroachment without a permit;

· LAMC § 41.18(a), which states that “No person shall stand in or upon any street, sidewalk or other public way open for pedestrian travel or otherwise occupy any portion thereof in such a manner as to annoy or molest any pedestrian thereon or so as to obstruct or unreasonably interfere with the free passage of pedestrians,” and which thereby prohibits occupation of any portion of a sidewalk or parkway in a manner that annoys any pedestrian or obstructs the free passage of pedestrians;

· LAMC § 41.18(d), which states that “No person shall sit, lie or sleep in or upon any street, sidewalk or other public way,” and which remains fully in effect 24 hours a day despite the City’s settlement in Jones v. City of Los Angeles, which settlement in any event pertains only to the enforcement by the City of the ordinance between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m.

· LAMC § 56.11, which states that “No person shall leave or permit to remain any merchandise, baggage or any article of personal property upon any parkway or sidewalk,” and which remains fully in effect notwithstanding the preliminary injunction in Lavan v. City of Los Angeles, which injunction in any event pertains only to “Skid Row” in downtown Los Angeles.

· LAMC § 63.44(D), which states that “Within the limits of any park other than beaches, no person shall . . . Camp or lodge, except in locations designated for such purposes,” and which thereby prohibits any camping on Ocean Front Walk or any other portion of the Venice Beach Recreation Area;

And whereas, the Venice Neighborhood Council considers public rights-of-way and City parks – including sidewalks, parkways, streets, parking lots and public parks – to be for the shared use of residents and visitors in accordance with the municipal code sections enumerated above, and believes that these areas should not be obstructed or occupied except when specifically authorized under an applicable City ordinance;

And whereas, the Venice Neighborhood Council wishes that the Los Angeles Police Department, in enforcing these laws, provide referral to any person in need of services and/or housing who may violate these laws;

Now, Therefore, Be It Resolved, that the Venice Neighborhood Council calls upon the Los Angeles Police Department to consistently enforce the above laws, while offering referrals to those who may need services and housing.