Posts Tagged ‘Stakeholders’

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

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There was standing room only at the VNC Neighborhood Committee meeting on Monday, January 24, 2012.  Boisterous proponents of the new curfew affecting Ocean Front Walk (Venice Boardwalk) showed extreme satisfaction with the city’s decision to restrict access to the boardwalk between the hours of 12 midnight and 5:00 am.

Some residents claiming to live close to the boardwalk cited fear of walking the boardwalk because of the youth who congregate there, camped out over night.  Other residents complained that the curfew was over-reaching and restrictive to their freedom to come and go when they choose.  Then again, others questioned why the curfew was needed, at all, as there are already laws on the books to deal with unlawful activity on the boardwalk.

CD 11 Deputy, Arturo Pina, gratuitously fielded questions from the room after explaining that the boardwalk has always been part of the park, and a curfew applies to all parks from midnight to 5:00 am.  LAPD officer Kreeft mis-spoke when she claimed that the “Jones Settlement” (allowing homeless individuals to sleep on the sidewalk) only applied to Skid Row, downtown.  While LAPD officer Thusing assured the crowd that the situation on the boardwalk at night is “dangerous” – begging the question:  so why haven’t the police been dealing with it?

According to officer Kreeft the police have had their “hands tied” through fear of lawsuits; and have, additionally, been lacking in sufficient personnel to cope with the problem.  To which one astute resident asked: so, how do they expect to cope with it now?

Residents who live off Speedway were concerned that the new curfew will drive the homeless campers east of the boardwalk and up onto their property.  They were also afraid that there would be more late night foot traffic on Speedway, comprised of drunks turning out of the bars, which would add to the mix, creating noise problems and safety issues.

Mention of the Coastal Commission and the California Coastal Act were noticeably absent from the meeting, an issue that has yet to be properly addressed by the city with regard to the curfew on the beaches, and now the boardwalk.  According to correspondence from the Coastal Commission on August 26, 2010 to the City of Los Angeles “the beach curfew…qualifies as development under the Coastal Act and therefore requires a coastal development permit.”  The letter also states that “The imposition of this beach curfew, as is it’s clearly stated intent, restricts public access to the sea.”

It is very possible and highly probable that a lawsuit will be the deciding factor in this dispute.  Meanwhile, our freedoms continue to be slowly but surely eradicated at the behest of the City of Los Angeles and a handful of fearful “stakeholders” in Venice who are determined to make Venice their proprietary domain.

Sign our petition here:

https://www.change.org/petitions/the-governor-of-ca-restore-24-hr-access-to-california-beaches

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

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No names mentioned but the inexorable “Energized Bunny” – Ms. T (currently surviving on food stamps and police handouts) – is first with the scoop on Ocean Front Walk “developments”.

The latest news from our tireless bunny is that the police and city attorney are ramping up to enforce not only the newly amended LAMC 42.15 that proposes to regulate vending on OFW, but also close OFW from midnight to 5:00 am, since it has recently been declared part of “The Park”.

According to Ms. T, the police have declared that “The Park”, consisting of OFW from Navy St. to Washington Blvd., will be closed between midnight and 5:00 am and anyone in “The Park” will be warned and then cited if they stay in the park beyond midnight. This also means that those homeless people who sleep on the edge of OFW; and those local residents who like to take a late night/early morning stroll down OFW, will no longer be able to do so.

The police have been in training, getting ready to enforce LAMC 42.15, which will begin around January 20, once the new signs are posted. This will also coincide with the enforcement of the midnight – 5:00 am curfew on OFW.

The inclusion of OFW as part of the park and the new park hours came as a surprise to most. Not least, members of Venice Neighborhood Council, which had made recommendations to the city in connection with the ordinance.  The VNC can’t do anything without Board action but they can take emergency action to address concerns by residents living close to OFW, who are complaining that this planned enforcement will limit where and when they can walk their dog, take a stroll in the midnight air, or simply step across OFW to reach the beach. Some complain that the homeless people, now sleeping beside OFW will be diverted onto Speedway, closer to residential areas, with the potential for creating “problems”.

So far, the Coastal Commission has not been discussed, and may have not been consulted, as they could present a possible roadblock to the plan. According to the California Coastal Act of 1976, the public should have 24 hour access to the beaches. As recently as November 2010, L.A. Times reported that the California Coastal Commission is challenging “beach curfews established by cities up and down the coast, saying they are illegal without state approval and that people have a right to be on the sand whenever they want.” http://articles.latimes.com/2010/nov/18/local/la-me-beach-curfew-20101117.

The L.A. Times article by Tony Barboza quotes Coastal Commission Executive Director Peter Douglas: “There are a lot of people who want to use the beach, which they have a constitutional right to do, in the middle of the night…You don’t preclude the public from that use without a good justification — a good reason — and we have to be able to look at that.”

Barboza goes on to say: “The new push is likely to renew debate over coastal access, with beach cities arguing that the curfews are needed to ward off late-night crime on the sand. Coastal Commission officials argue that crime has dropped significantly in the last decade while demand for time on the beach has increased.

City officials in Los Angeles said they had no intention of weakening a curfew that’s been on the books for decades. The city attorney’s office said that the curfew was meant to deter crime and that the state didn’t have the authority to challenge the statute.

Los Angeles’ curfew is well-known to people who have enjoyed an evening bonfire at Dockweiler State Beach by LAX or a moonlit walk in Venice only to have it cut short.

Enforcement of the curfew, however, may be inconsistent with the law.

Lifeguards told The Times that they started clearing the sand and surf at 10 p.m., two hours earlier than stipulated in the city’s 1988 ordinance.”

Residents and visitors alike will be impacted by this new development on OFW, and it may turn out that the Coastal Commission will have to step up and step in to protect public access to our coastal areas, yet again.

Please sign our petition:  https://www.change.org/petitions/the-governor-of-ca-restore-24-hour-access-to-california-beaches

New 6ft high fence replaces old 4ft high fence at north end of Oakwood Park close to the benches.
NOTE: entrance gate at corner is locked shut

First let me start by saying that due to the closure of the entrances of Oakwood Park on 7th and Broadway and Oakwood and Broadway I have not been able to get any stories about the benches because sadly enough the great gentlemen who sit and play dominoes and talk have not been utilizing the park at all (Thank you Lizka Mendoza Oakwood Park Director and LA City Parks and Recreation).

“The park bench area has been dead, I will repeat the park bench area has been dead!”  Oakwood park benches  that are suppose to be vibrant and alive with people utilizing it for fun, and accessible to all human beings has been systematically cut off from the men and women and children, who enjoy sitting and playing dominoes and having birthday parties completely.

I think it is disheartening to ride/walk  by at various times of the day and not see anyone sitting on the park benches  because the entrances where people are suppose to enter and exit have been ‘fenced off completely ‘ and everyone who sits and plays and used the benches are asking “Why?”  They have been given various excuses of why the entrances have been closed and quote “Moved” but the insensitivity of the Park Director Lizka Mendoza and LA City Parks and Recreation for there decision to do such and heinous act to the people of Venice. Quiet and serene is not what a park is to offer nor should anyone who has common sense want that, but when the LA City Parks and Recreation  decision/staff management team  make this such a personal attack on those who utilize the benches on a daily basis, there must be action and we all must speak out against the unjustness that is occurring as I write this email.

The timing that the fencing off of the park entrances took place was strategic and well thought out,  and the reason it was done was to once again hurt those who utilize it for recreational purposes.  I can say this you cannot shut down forward movement and you will not stop the process of saving the Oakwood benches  from those who want its demise to quickly come about. The fact that ‘human beings’ have been cut off from utilizing the benches on a daily basis has been stopped for over ten days is only a deterrent for a moment.

I am requesting that all of us write a letter to the Lizka Mendoza park director (lizka.mendoza@lacity.org) and LA Parks and Recreations RAP (RAP.Commissioners@lacity.org) board and Shoreline district supervisors (email-charles.singer@lacity.org and kevin.regan@lacity.org ) and let them know that we the people of Venice want what is fair for the people of Venice who utilize the park benches for recreational purposes. Open the entrances and exits as they were previously ASAP!  The park should be accessible to all people including handicapped and disabled.

I will get the stories of the park benches but this must be dealt with first and foremost.

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

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PLAN FOR OAKWOOD PARK BENCHES TO BE CROWDED BY FITNESS STATIONS WAS DENIED BY REC & PARKS AT OAKWOOD PAB MEETING ON  11-1-11  ~ YET A PLAN WAS ALREADY DRAWN UP (SEE LAST PHOTO BELOW)

For those of you who were not in attendance, questions about the transfer of Oakwood Park to the Valley Division of Recreation & Parks came up during our Saturday meeting. I promised to try to find some answers this week. At the time of this writing, it looks like Mark Israel who attended the November 1st meeting of the Oakwood Park PAB has the title of Recreation Supervisor Valley/Shoreline District – so perhaps the Valley & Shoreline districts were merged???

Mark Israel (white shirt) at Oakwood PAB Mtg - 11-1-11 Photo by Myla Reson

In this photo Israel is in white shirt-sleeves on the right. Charles Singer, Acting Superintendent of the West Region of the Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks is in light blue shirt-sleeves (& dark blue vest) standing next to Mark Israel.

Interesting that they observed the meeting, were not introduced – nor did they introduce themselves.

Also in the back of the room were four uniformed police officers:

Cops at Oakwood PAB Mtg. 11-1-11 Photo by Myla Reson

Laddie reported that when she asked why there were four uniformed LAPD at the PAB meeting, she was told that Lizka had requested protection because she was afraid that attendees might become violent.

I wonder what the cost was for Lizka’s “protection”, and how that “protection” is bugeted?

Laddie also believes that it was Valley/Shoreline District Recreation Supervisor Mark Israel who came up with the plans to place the exercise equipment in the picnic area.

Plan to put exercise equipment between benches at Oakwood Park

I suppose it could be argued that if they were to go with plan 1 it could be truthfully said that they were not planning to “move the benches”, but it’s really inexcusable that they did not share their proposal to crowd the benches, as you can see in this photo, at the 11/1/11 PAB meeting.

Newly released redistricting maps draw new boundaries for state Assembly, state Senate and U.S. House of Representatives.

The California Citizens Redistricting Commission on Friday released new maps altering the boundaries for state Assembly, state Senate and U.S. House of Representatives districts that will change the makeup of some Westside constituencies.

For example, newly-elected Congresswoman Janice Hahn (D-San Pedro), whose 36th Congressional District stretches from Venice to San Pedro, saw her jurisdiction cleaved apart.

Hahn said in a statement that 10 days ago she took the oath joining Congress to serve citizens of the 36th District.

“Today, that District was taken away from me and split into three very different districts,” she said.

More

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

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Citizens Redistricting Commission
Public Input Hearing
Thursday, June 16, 2011
City Hall, Mike Balkman Council Chambers
9770 Culver Boulevard, First Floor
Culver City, CA  90232
6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

Free, accessible parking is available on P-1 at City Hall.  Please enter the parking structure off of Duquesne Avenue, near the corner of Duquesne Avenue and Culver Boulevard.

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A plan to re-district Los Angeles based on the 2010 census will dramatically affect how our neighborhoods are represented and the services that will be offered.

The 14 member Independent California Citizens Redistricting Commission will hold a public input meeting in Culver City on June 16, 2011, from 6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. at the City Council Chambers.  The Commission was created by California voters to draw state Congressional, Assembly, Senate and Board of Equalization Districts.

Public participation in drawing these districts is critical to ensuring that communities have the strongest voice possible to express their preferences.  When voters with similar interests are drawn into a district together, their voices multiply giving them a greater opportunity to express their views, elect candidates of their choice and hold their leaders accountable. The Commission is taking testimony from local area residents before drawing its first round of draft maps which will be released in June.  Final district maps must be certified by the Commission and presented to the Secretary of State by August 15, 2011.

The maximum time for each speaker is 2 minutes. Speakers should provide copies for the 14 members of the Commission of documents they are submitting as testimony. Speaker numbers may be obtained one hour prior to the posted time of the hearing. The posted meeting time may not extend more than 2 hours beyond the original closing, subject to venue limitations and speaker demand. No speaker numbers will be given out after the end of the posted meeting time.  Due to high speaker demand, it is possible that not all people who have been given numbers will have the opportunity to speak.

The Commission encourages the public to use alternative methods to submit testimony by e-mail at votersfirstact@crc.ca.gov, fax at 916-651-5711 or by mail to the Citizens Redistricting Commission,  901 P Street, Suite 154-A, Sacramento, CA  95814.

Please visit the Commission’s website at http://wedrawthelines.ca.gov for complete information on the hearings and to access a guide to help you prepare your testimony.  The guide can be found on the home page under “Guide to Participation.”

All public input hearings are ADA accessible.  Any person who wishes to request auxiliary aids or services, including translation, to participate in the hearing of the Commission, in accordance with State or Federal law, should contact Janeece Sargis at 1-866-356-5217 not later than five (5) business days before the noticed hearing date.

Every ten years, California redraws the lines of our political landscape. These lines can strengthen or diminish your voice in Washington, Sacramento, or downtown – go here for more info: http://www.redrawca.org

It’s time to get involved in the process or we could lose out on our neighborhood services and our political representation.

Learn more about the Citizens Redistricting Commission and how you can participate in the process by clicking the link below:

http://wedrawthelines.ca.gov

VENICE HOMELESS POTHOLE PATROL

Posted: May 31, 2011 in Uncategorized
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VENICE HOMELESS POTHOLE PATROL REPORTS WHAT MAY BE BEST POTHOLE SPOTTING GROUP RESPONSE — IN EFFORT TO ASSIST MAYOR’S CITYWIDE CALL

Venice Homeless Activists’ Homeless/Housed Unity Pothole Patrol May be Largest Group Response to LA Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa’s Citywide Pothole Effort. Event Logs over 10 miles of Pothole Spotting in Show of Community Unity: Draws Local Media Attention to Homeless/Housed  Event Highlighting  Homeless Vets

A group Venice Beach homeless people, including homeless veterans, in a pre-Memorial Weekend effort announced today the  successful results of their one-day Thursday May 26, 2011 call to bring together the housed and homeless of the Venice Beach area for a ‘Community Unity Pothole Patrol’: an effort that organizers now believe may in fact turn out to be the largest and most successful of any single group response in Los Angeles –to Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa’s marking of May as pothole-fixing-month in Los Angeles.

“We, a group of  homeless, with our limited resources, and while facing increasing attempts here to kick us out of Venice, nevertheless gathered together  with a handful of what we now feel are some of the most special housed people in all of this Beach community –and after  logging over 70 potholes in one hour, and covering over 10 miles Venice of pothole spotting –may have pulled out for the City of Los Angeles it’s largest and most successful group effort,” said one of the homeless organizers, community activist David Busch.

Beginning the day’s events at 1:30 pm yesterday the group drew the media attention of  ABC 7’s local news cameras, Radio Station KFI, several local internet reports; and the Los Angele’s Times widely-read LA Now internet blog, the group of about a dozen –some  homeless people, currently living on the  street in Venice Beach  — and with the support of about an equal number of the  housed Venice community, gathered on the sidewalk in front of Venice Beach’s famous Frank Gerry-designed “Binoculars Building” at 340 Main Street –in answer the Mayor’s call this month for all Los Angelenos to support this city’s campaign of pothole-filling: by reporting the potholes in their neighborhoods to the Mayor’s office at L.A. City Hall by and to do it by Friday afternoon.

“The homeless in Venice have recently been vilified as ‘criminal transients.’ They saw the mayor’s call for volunteers as a chance to show they care about our community and showed that they are ready to make a positive difference,” said local homeowner David Ewing. “and I must say, it absolutely was a great day to be part of this. Instead of pointing fingers at each other, we pointing out potholes –to help fix our neighborhood; and we were especially inviting our area’s homeless vets in this  –to bring this community of Venice even more together –and in view of this weeks upcoming Memorial weekend.”

Disproportionally, 26% of America’s  homeless  men are veterans, while vets as a whole are  11% of our nation.

(www.endhomelessness.org)

After their afternoon of pothole-spotting for the Mayor, the event included a  3:30 pm press conference back on the sidewalk in front of 340 Main St; and concluded with a community/unity housed homeless hot dinner –at 4:00 pm in the Community Room of nearby Venice Community Housing: a supporting organization that works at seeking more supportive and affordable housing developments in increasingly upscale Venice Beach.

“It turned out to be a great day for the  Los Angeles news media to come out with our group of local homeless in Venice Beach –and to accompany and interview us as we walked down a sample of Venice’s neighborhood streets; as we spent an afternoon spotting as many potholes as we could for the Mayor’s current effort, and for these reporters to hear our individual stories of the ongoing struggle of homelessness in Los Angeles; and what it is like for homeless vet and non-vets at Venice Beach –facing recent LAPD sweeps to clear the community for summer tourists,” says one of the event’s organizers, Venice community activist, Barbara Peck.

While the final technical printouts and official results from were still  unavailable to the homeless group, as of late Friday afternoon May 27, when the group FAXed into the Mayor’s office their carefully tallied and marked printed spreadsheets –to document needed Venice street pothole maintenance –earlier inquires to Mayor Villiragosa’s office, including to Villriagosa staffer Larry Frank  had found, as of yet, no other larger officially announced group responses to the Mayor’s pothole campaign for the month of May.

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