Archive for the ‘Venice Boardwalk’ Category




I reported a couple of weeks ago that as late as two months ago, Mike Bonin aide Debbie Dyner Harris had refused to tell Becky Dennison of Venice Community Housing the names of the three members of the Board of Directors of the Venice Beach Property Owners Association. Dyner Harris even sent an email to shadowy BID consultant Tara Devine asking for permission to share the names, which Devine evidently didn’t give, because Dyner Harris didn’t give up the names. Well, I’ve been asking CD11 for the names as well, and after a long three weeks, for whatever reason, Debbie Dyner Harris emailed me this morning and told me that the Board of Directors presently consists of Steve Heumann, Carl Lambert, and Mark Sokol.

Steve Heumann was not a surprise, as his name appears as agent for service of process on the POA’s registration with the State.1 But the other two are of great interest indeed. I recently wrote about how Carl Lambert’s campaign contributions to Mike Bonin and Eric Garcetti probably violated City campaign finance laws, but that argument wouldn’t fly if he weren’t on the Board. Since he is, I’ll be reporting him to the City Ethics Commission in the next few days.

But Mark Sokol’s case is even more fascinating. Recall that the POA has been meeting with the City about the BID at least since September 2014. Well, take a look at all of Sokol’s contributions since then. They add up to $10,750. The output of the City’s database lists each contribution separately, but here are the totals:

Mark Sokol’s Campaign Contributions Since September 2014
Recipient Total contributions
Paul Krekorian $350
Mike Bonin $700
Felipe Fuentes $700
Marqueece Harris-Dawson $700
Jose Huizar $700
Nury Martinez $700
David E. Ryu $700
Curren Price $1,200
Gilbert Cedillo $1,400
Paul Koretz $1,400
Ron Galperin $2,200


It is shocking. I’m not going to reiterate the reasons that this is almost certainly illegal, but they’re worth reading. Later tonight I will publish a letter that I’ll be sending to the nine remaining Councilmembers2 who took Sokol’s money asking them to recuse themselves from the upcoming vote on the Venice Beach BID ordinance version 2.0.3 And all the money to Galperin?  Well, the Controller is meant to audit BIDs, and they have done in the past. They mostly refuse to these days,4 but how’s Sokol supposed to know that? Or maybe it’s something else nefarious.

In any case, I’ve noted before that the City Charter, at Section 470 gives the purpose of Municipal Campaign Finance laws:

The purpose of this section is to encourage a broader participation in the political process and to avoid corruption or the appearance of corruption in city decision making, and protect the integrity of the City’s procurement and contract processes by placing limits on the amount any person may contribute or otherwise cause to be available to candidates for election to the offices of Mayor, City Attorney, Controller and City Council and promote accountability to the public by requiring disclosure of campaign activities and imposing other campaign restrictions.

Carl Lambert’s contributions to Mike Bonin and Eric Garcetti were bad enough with respect to corruption or the appearance of corruption, but Mark Sokol’s more than $10,000 spent just since the BID formation process began is unconscionable. Stay tuned

and this…

2014 VBBID Emails Reveal, Among Other Things, That Bonin Staffer Debbie Dyner Harris Was On Venice Beach BID Steering Committee Since 2014 Despite Consistent Denials of City Involvement In Formation Process


Sign the petition & send a message to Councilman Mike Bonin “NO CAR LIFTS IN VENICE!”


FEB 17, 2015 Venice – In a series of resolutions and endorsements, the Venice Neighborhood Council (VNC) approved the addition of thirty (30) automated car lifts at the Windward Circle, Venice Beach.

At the surface parking lot located at 29-47 Windward Ave., the VNC approved the addition of 30 automated/hydraulic car lifts which will ONLY increase parking capacity from 38 to a MEASLY 68 spaces!

“The most important issue facing Venice is parking and, tonight, we helped alleviate the lack of parking right at the Windward Circle,” offered President Mike Newhouse. “This kind of NUTS (and bolts) problem-solving is at the heart of why we have grass roots representation here in Los Angeles with neighborhood councils.” (Thnx, Mike, we think it’s NUTS, too!)



donationsTHANK YOU! Your signatures, phone calls, attendance at meetings, letters and actions have been essential to our success this year in fighting the hyper-gentrification of Venice.

Although we have not yet managed to stem the tide of hyper-development in our precious Venice community, we have collectively made a dent in the armor of the developers and their City Planner cohorts by holding them accountable whenever and wherever possible.

We have also managed to “crack the code” to some degree and discover what the problems are and how to fix them, which is not going to be easy. Basically, there are too many loopholes in the planning process that allow developers to circumvent the law and bypass public scrutiny of their projects, until it’s too late.

The fight will continue in the coming year as activists gear up for more confrontations with developers and L.A. City Planning – armed with experience and knowledge gained over the past year. There’s a strong likelihood of legal action(s) being taken in 2015 that will challenge the systemic corruption inherent in the planning process that is affecting communities across the entire City of Los Angeles.

This is not the time to sit on our hands and bemoan our fate – we must continue to stand up, stand strong and give voice to our dissatisfaction with the assault on our community.

The Spirit Of Venice (SOV) has been on the front lines of this issue and, with your help, will continue to provide you with information, alerts and actions that can help to make a difference.

In the past, we have never asked for anything in return for our hard work but, as the year 2014 comes to a close we are asking you for your help – by making an end-of-year tax-deductible donation to the Spirit Of Venice –

If you appreciate what we are doing and want us to continue this battle for our community – please consider making a donation today to help us go forward in 2015 – click here to give:-

Thank you for caring and sharing! Blessings, SOV


Los Angeles Action to be Held in Venice Beach


Venice Boardwalk Safety Voting

Posted: November 29, 2013 in LAPD, Venice Boardwalk, VNC

November 29, 2013

The Venice Neighborhood Council will hold a special public board meeting 7pm Monday, Dec 2 at Westminster Elementary School at 1010 Abbot Kinney Blvd to vote on a number of motions that pertain to public safety on the Venice Boardwalk.  

This summer staff and representatives from The Mayor’s office, the City Attorney, Council District 11, Recreation & Parks, LAPD, LAFD, Bureau of Street Services, DOT, and Bureau of Engineering conducted a site visit at Venice Beach to determine ways to make the areas safer.  A formal Needs Assessment for Venice Beach Public Safety was submitted by the Department of Rec and Parks to LA City Council’s Arts, Parks, Health, Aging and River Committee for approval.  Councilmember Mike Bonin has asked that the Venice community and the Venice Neighborhood Council have a chance to take a position on the assessment before it is voted upon.

Since that time the VNC and its Ocean Front Walk Committee have hosted several public meetings and a town hall to discuss and weigh support for the assessment.

On Monday, November 25 the OFW Committee passed 12 motions that in large part reject many of the city’s recommendations within the assessment, including retractable bollards and security cameras. The committee added several motions, including one to support increased maintenance of the bike path, and one to support the voluntary winter storage program.  The Board will vote on the 12 OFW motions on Monday before issuing its recommendation to Councilmember Mike Bonin and the city.

November 19, 2013

Discussion by VNC Joint Committee of the Los Angeles city’s Ocean Front Walk (OFW) public safety needs assessment as presented at the OFW Public Safety Town Hall on 10/29/13.

PT 1:  A joint meeting of three (3) committees (Ocean Front Walk, Public Safety & Visitor Impact) was held on Thursday, November 7, 2013. Scheduled for 6:00 pm, committee members arrived late, delaying the start of the meeting for half an hour.  It was a long meeting, lasting almost 3 hours.  This video version has been edited and repetitious discussions have been removed, without losing the essential information of the meeting.

Item 1 –  AUTOMATED RETRACTABLE BOLLARDS (estimated cost by the city:  $1.2 million).

PT 2: Motions & votes made on: Item 1 – AUTOMATED RETRACTABLE BOLLARDS;  Item 2 – GATE & BOLLARD SYSTEM;  discussion on Item 3 – HARD STREET CLOSURES.

PT 3:  Motions on:  Item 3 – HARD STREET CLOSURES.

PT 4:  Motion and vote on: Item 3 – HARD STREET CLOSURES.  New motions introduced on REMOVAL OF TEMPORARY BOLLARDS & TYPES OF SIGNS AT OFW (on side streets).  Item 4 – SECURITY CAMERAS and P.A. SYSTEM ON OFW.  Motion was split into 1) SECURITY CAMERAS  2)  P.A. SYSTEM. Discussion, motion and vote on Item 5: LIGHTING UPGRADE ON OFW.

Worth watching to keep up to date on the latest Ocean Front Walk (aka Venice Boardwalk) issues.

Stay tuned…Peace, SOV

MAHA YOGA PARTY FLYER copy (1)New Life Society’s objective is to provide food, shelter, nurturing and employment for persons experiencing urban proverty. We particularly notice and seek to aid veterans, both men and women, who have given their energy to serve this country. Their contributions deserve unending support, for their courage and selflessness. We strive to find ways and means to give a helping hand in these troubled times. With your help, our success is guaranteed, and this world SHALL become a better place to live; one child, one man, and one woman at a time.

We feed the hungry almost everyday on the Venice Beach boardwalk. Meals consist of a generous portion of organic salad and fresh, baked bread with varying extras i.e. simmered herb potatoes, fruit, etc. depending upon season and availability. All food is by kind-hearted donation from Mar Vista Farmers’ Market and other local Farmers’ Markets.

We are desperately striving to rent or lease a building near Venice Beach, from which we would be able to feed and house the needy and provide the support they need to shift out of “survival mode” and into “society mode”. The religious institution from which we currently prepare the food from, is expanding in the very near future and we will be unable to continue working from there.

If we are able to secure a building, we would have greater leverage in having a grant(s) approved We would be able to continue providing meals and also offer counseling, meditation, support through non-denominational prayer groups, Reiki and other forms of energy healing, Laughter Yoga etc.

We are also striving to build and maintain a rural self- sustainable farming community. This community would provide all of the above, plus job skills such as farming, vegetarian cooking, candle making, flower garland making, bouquet and floral arranging etc. This job skills will give participants a sense of responsibility and accomplishment before they merge back into society.

If you are able to assist in these endeavors in any way possible, please contact us:

phone: (310) 398-1901 or email us.  Thank you.

New Life Society
11340 W. Olympic Blvd. Suite 330
Los Angeles, CA. 90064