Judge says to Cyber Bullies: You Can't Hide Behind Anonymity
October 21, 2010--The web world just got a lot more interesting. Cyber bullies who post nasty and frequently untrue remarks but don't have the balls to back their words up with their name may have to reveal who they are. AP News reports that on Tuesday a Manhattan judge ruled that Google must provide the identity and contact information for the individual(s) who posted "denigrating comments"
about a business consultant.---Tibby Rothman
Proving Alexis Smith's adage "Staples, where the elite meet"--artists Doug Edge and Ned Evans.
Friday Night, July 09, 2010
Villaraigosa Rejects Venice Parking Settlement
by Tibby Rothman
June 21, 2010. Venice--
Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa has added his name to the California Coastal Commission's in rejecting an agreement that would pave the way for permit parking in Venice.
His actions add a new player to the highly contentious permit parking battle. A debate that has seen charged rhetoric from those at its edges but calm discussion and disagreement amongst the preponderance of ordinary Venetians both for and against. While some Venetians see permit parking as a tactic to end the practice of mobile homes plaguing the area, others have protested it as an unwelcome layer of expense and bureaucracy.
*On June 17, Villaraigosa declined to sign a city council motion endorsing a legal settlement between the city, the California Coastal Commission, and a group of parking permit advocates called the Venice Stakeholders Association. That negotiation would have allowed permit parking in the area after a six month trial period in which the city sought to end the camper problem through an over-height parking ordinance.*
Villaraigosa's measured letter to the council stated that homelessness was a city-wide problem that needed to be addressed on a city-wide level. He also sought to differentiate between those on the streets because they had been hit hard by economic conditions, and those who simply sought it as a lifestyle.
*Because the Mayor did not veto the motion and the Coastal Commission had rejected the same plan a week earlier, Villaraigosa's actions were symbolic.*
The development pits the Mayor's office against City Attorney Carmen Trutanich who had sided with the conservative Pacific Legal Foundation on the issue. The foundation is part of a law suit which supports permit parking in the area. The foundation is a strange bedfellow for supposedly liberal Venice. Amongst its other issues, the foundation is supporting legal efforts to repeal the recently passed federal health care reform bill.
Here's the text of the Mayor's letter to the City Council stating his position:
June 17, 2010
Honorable Members of the Los Angeles City Council
clo City Clerk
City Hall, Room 395
Re: CF 10-0843. Venice Stakeholders Association v. California Coastal Commission;
City of Los Angeles v. California Coastal Commission; Settlement Agreement
Today I return without signature Council File 10-0843, which approves a settlement
agreement that would allow for the initiation of overnight parking districts (OPDs) in the
community of Venice in West Los Angeles.
I am taking this step in light of the June 10, 2010 decision of the California Coastal
Commission to reject the City's latest application for the establishment of Overnight
Parking Districts in the Venice coastal zone. This decision has the practical effect of
voiding the settlement agreement and making the City Council's action moot.
Though technically a parking issue, the underlying issue is the growing number of
residents that dwell in vehicles on our City streets. As a City, I believe we have the
ability to differentiate between the needs of those legitimately suffering from economic
dislocation who are in need of safe places to park and help in obtaining services and
housing, and those who are taking unfair advantage of both the system and the
historically welcoming tradition of the Venice community by creating nuisances and
sometimes committing crimes. We can combine compassion and pragmatism with
appropriate measured law enforcement to avoid the further victimization of both the
housed and the un-housed populations of Venice.
Homelessness and economic dislocation are issues in every part of Los Angeles, not to
mention the region, state and nation. I applaud Councilman Rosendahl for his efforts on
issues of homelessness and support his proposal to create safe-haven public parking
areas for people who are willing to accept homeless-related services. Programs in
Eugene, OR and Santa Barbara, CA have been very successful at bridging this gap.
Such a program could provide a number of locations that are dispersed throughout the
region, where services could be provided and allow for people to impose overnight
parking restrictions without taking away some of the last housing options that some
In this case, and all over our City, it's time we embraced the challenge and began
working toward real solutions, not those that push problems from one block to another,
from one neighborhood to another. We can do better, and we must do better.
Therefore, I am returning this file without signature and hope that we can work together
to find an appropriate solution for this important and growing problem.
British Petroleum Oil Spill
We are All BP
We are all BP.
I've been slamming them here [on my FaceBook page] but the last couple of days I have to think--would they be there if we weren't buying oil, plastics? Me, Miss "If-you-can't-stop-the-spill-don't-start-to-drill", I've got an oil leak in my car that's just been too inconvenient to fix even though Jason Stroh pointed out to me that it's not cool. You know, 'it's small, how much could it hurt the bay?'
Venice, super-left wing Venice, goes off whenever AK businesses haven't allocated enough parking spots for visitors to drive here. We'll fight for parking but not mass transit.(And I know a lot of us prefer bikes to cars... I'm not saying we're not making a difference.)
The quote unquote super-liberal entertainment industry--how come, Alissa Walker, Lisa Adams, and I never see producers and directors cruising with us on the MTA.
BP is at fault for sure. And George Bush cut back safety regulations demanded by other countries.
But in the end BP wouldn't be out there, if we were not a culture addicted to oil and and
its by products. I haven't fact checked this list but here are a few I just found on the net: Ink, Crayons Bubble gum, Dishwashing liquids, Deodorant, Eyeglasses CDs and DVDs.
I look around, I see the promise of comfort that Americans in particular seem to have been guaranteed by corporations and I don't believe that we have the fortitude to cease our dependence here nor stop global warming.
We can rage at BP but the next spill is ours
to stop by organizing oil-dependence reduction across the country, reducing its consumption from the smallest items to the largest.
Cause in the end, BP is out there drilling what we're buying.
reprinted from our FaceBook page at a friend's request. Have solutions? e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
Memorial Day Breaking News
Brawl Errupts on Boardwalk
May 31, 2010. Venice, CA
The day before Memorial Day Venice was so overrun the locals were hiding. Venice Boulevard heading west was bumper to bumper at 3 p.m. Abbot Kinney, same-same on account of a tourist who was blocking traffic waiting for a valet at Hal's--sorry babe, they don't work the lunch crowd.
Now, the LA Times
reports a large brawl that broke out Sunday at the Boardwalk. As if that's a shocker.
Down on the sand several hours before a long time local was recounting how dangerous Los Angeles' #2 tourist destination is (after Disneyland.) After dark the place is always truly truly hairy, not simply ordinary vagrants--no beatniks--but mostly angry men who seem on the hing of violence. Anyone familiar with the scene in the winter has witnessed a fair amount of fights breakout in broad daylight. At night, year-round, it's not safe for residents. Where are the police then?
Here's the Times story
on the brawl.
Dennis Hopper, Art Soldier, Venetian 1936-2010
Bill Turner's (the gallerist and Venetian) great interview with him says it all. You can read it
Bad Blood at the Beach
Jury Rules Against Longtime Venice Local in LAPD Suit
May 22, 2010
--Evidently, it's legal for a police officer to sucker punch then pepper spray ***a surfer in trunks.
That's the upshot of a Federal Court Jury's decision that ruled the Los Angeles Police Department did not use excessive force when it arrested long time Venice local Greg Falk. Falk was placed into custody for surfing in unauthorized area. (Be careful where you paddle, bro.) He went onto sue the LAPD over the actions of its officers during the course of his arrest, alleging excessive force and civil rights violations. Law enforcement countered that the punch, was simply a "distraction strike". (See if that terminology flies next time you get hauled away for sparking a bar fight.)
Speaking of which, City Attorney Carmen Trutanich--who likes to convey himself as a brawler--released a press release after the jury's ruling boasting of how the ruling against Falk had saved taxpayers $750,000 (the damages Falk sought.) Not mentioned, however, was the cost to ordinary Los Angelenos civil rights. Sure--call us biased for pointing that out.
According to Falk, immediately prior to punching him one of the two officer yelled "resisting arrest." But such a charge was never leveled against the surfer. Falk's suit was originally reported by VenicePaper December 1, 2006.
Falk's suit maintained that he he remained "verbally polite." At one point the surfer says he asked officers "Why are you doing this."
If you want to see another, image of Falk, drive by Oakwood Park and check out the silhouettes of local kids playing, which decorate the chain link fence and project images of hope for area children.
**this story has been updated. While witnesses said that Falk was handcuffed at the time officers peppersprayed him, in court an enhanced video was used to show that the he was not.
Neighborhood Council Election Results
Lucks & Rios by 2:1 Margins
April 12, 2010. Venice
--In a neighborhood council election that became a defacto
plebiscite on overnight parking districts for the area, Linda Lucks and Carolyn Rios--who opposed bringing such bureaucratic red tape to the lives of Venetians--won at 2:1 margins.
Running for president, Lucks garnered 684 votes as opposed to her opponent Jim Hubbard's 333. Rios beat Marc Ryavec for the vice-president post by a ratio of 618 to 378.
Rios, a teacher at Venice's Phoenix High School for over 20 years was perceived by many--including this paper--as a long shot against the politically savvy and city-hall connected Ryavec.
*In addition to the backing of a Venice blog site, he and Hubbard had the ear and access to several lengthy e-mail lists. Two last minute endorsers recommended that Venetians split the slates and vote Lucks/Ryavec, arguing that this would force competing stake holders to deal with each other. The endorsements failed to consider Rios' resume or the fact that Venetians have been embroiled in bitter internal disputes for decades, not simply since the injection of the camper/homeless/permit parking issue.*
Ryavec is amongst a group of Venetians suing the California Coastal Commission in an attempt to gain overnight parking for Venice. While some have seen the restrictions as a viable tactic to reduce the use of streets by homeless living in campers, others, including Lucks and Rios, have argued for more measured and far reaching solutions. *Some Venice residents have been tormented by lines of campers parked outside their homes. Those living in dense apartment buildings near the beach, built without any parking whatsoever, have stated that permits will create an untenable situation for them. In the middle lie many Venetians who are simply against the intrusiveness and complexity of permit parking in their lives.*
Representative of them was a relative new-comer to Venice who is a published figure in the design world, is not anti-development and who voted on Sunday. Though the individual could easily pay for parking permits--and in fact had garage parking--they did not want to see such restrictions in their neighborhood. In addition, in a free-floating conversation with VenicePaper the day of the election, they rapidly reviewed several instances of homelessness in their neighborhood, evaluating each individually rather than a singular one-size fits all problem.
Reached by phone after the release of the election results late Monday night, Rios--who had to get up early the next morning to teach school--told VenicePaper, "It was really heartening to talk to total strangers. People want to solve our problems without attacking each other."
Yet, while many middle-path Venetians voted in the Sunday, April 11 election, and conversed with Rios as she walked precincts, it was the far end of the spectrum that made the most noise in the run up to the election. At times, bloggers posting personal attacks against Lucks were so ugly that they would do a tea-party-member proud.
*new text added after story was initially posted.
Our Back Pages
No Way to Treat A Lady: The Venice Saga of Myrna Loy
Editor's note: Back in the ancient days of print, 2003, we ran this great column about the status of Venice High School's Myrna Loy stature by Melanie Berry. In honor of the recent re-installation of the statue, we're posting it.
text and images by SM Berry
Pay up or you will never see Venice High's Myrna Loy statue again.
Sound like a ransom note? In so many words, it is. The story of how it came to be is one movies are made of: a beautiful girl facing an ultimate demise and in need of rescue, the artist who loved her and the city that could save her. But like all stories, it began years ago. It started at her school…
Venice Union Polytechnic High opened in 1911, taking over the old Lagoon Bathhouse. But Venice was a burgeoning city and groundbreaking for construction of larger quarters took place in 1914. At the new campus, noted sculptor Harry F. Winebrenner headed up the art department. He had a dream of making Venice a national center of art and began sowing the seeds for his "garden of art Eden" with the students under his tutelage. Winebrenner’s goals with his students were to develop their aesthetic feeling for the beauty of art and to teach them skills which could earn them a living: illustration for publications, printing for interior design and sculpture for public buildings and landscaping. Statues created in class were set in the campus landscape and Venice Union Polytechnic High became prized as the most beautiful campus in Los Angeles.
In the early 1920’s, the school’s most famous statues were erected as part of a fountain in front of the school. The three life-size concrete statues were modeled from school students. The central standing female figure perched as a Venus-on-a-Half shell, was the soon-to-be-Hollywood-star, 16-year-old Myrna Loy. Loy would become one of the few movie stars to make the transition from silent films to talkies. She was named the Queen of Hollywood, with Clark Gable as the King.
To Meter Or Not to Meter
What Would Miki Do?
Of late, the nature of automobile parking has initiated bitter and divisive debate in fair Venice. In the last twelve months or so, it's been whether to institute parking permits, the year before--metering in the alley between Abbot Kinney Blvd.
This gem on the subject, a story as told by the late great Miki Dora, might shed a little light as to what he'd do regarding the latter. Many thanks to writers C.R. Stecyk III and Drew Kampion for including it in the book: The Authorized Story of Miki Dora. Elegantly published, if we may say, by T. Adler Books, Santa Barbara.
"Gard Chapin [Dora's stepfather] was a relentless individualist with whom no holds were barred and all the moves were unconventional. Once, in the middle of the night, he came into my bedroom and woke me up.
'Hey kid, you've to come with me to see something.' Then he dragged me down to Hollywood Boulevard. 'Look around… what do you see that's wrong here?'
Then he opened the trunk on his car and took out a sledgehammer and walked me over to the curb. 'Miki, these bastards want to control everything. Now they want to make us pay money to park on the street.'
Chapin then smashed the head off every brand new parking meter that the city had just installed. It was the first day they had been put out, and he creamed every one of them for several blocks. His anger and the point of it were something that you could never forget seeing. When he was finished he suddenly became very calm, and he climbed up the sign pole on the corner.
'Here’s a souvenir.'
He handed me the street sign from Hollywood and Vine. I kept it for years until it was lost when they auctioned off all my stuff in Gisborne, New Zealand."--Miklos Sandor Dora
Given the ease of appropriation in the internet age, we checked with Mr. Stecyk prior to posting the above.
Electric Lodge Production Plays w. Health Care
MOLIERE PLAY EARNS A RUN IN VENICE
Thursday, October 8, 2009
--The Doctor Despite Himself
is a one-act farcical attack on the medical profession. Doctors were Moliere’s favorite target. In his time, the 1700s, medication was more fatal to patients than their illness. Today, with modern medicine, things are not that different. Prescriptions drugs are one of the leading cause of death in America.
This new staging by director Gulu Monteiro will feature 5 actors playing 11 roles and incorporating a theatrical style inspired by the Buffoons.
In the Middle Ages Buffoons were sometimes the only ones bold enough to make critical comments about the condition of the kingdom, because anything they said was by definition "a jest" and by making people laugh they could speak frankly about controversial issues.
Without sets, the staging will be centered on the actor’s work and following the Buffoons’ tradition, the actors will have Moliere’s plot as a base with freedom to improvise and create scenes and seek a conspiracy with the audience. Outstanding costume designer Swinda Reichelt will dress these jesters in daring futuristico-medieval costumes in colorful geometrical shapes.
Like the Buffoons, the troupe appreciates the value in making people think about serious issues through jest, but is mostly concerned with giving the audience the miraculous medicine that everybody needs: Laughter!
Come have a great time and you can bring the entire family!
1416 Electric Ave
Venice, CA 90291
Oct 2nd through Nov. 8th.
Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm
Sundays at 2pm and 7pm.
Tickets price: $20.00 ($15 for students, seniors and children)
for all performance and are available by calling (310) 823 0710
Clara Bellar, Raquel Brussolo, Charles Fathy, Steven Houska, Brad Schmidt
Skate Park Opens
October 6, 2009. Venice.
At the skate park opening on Saturday, October 3, Skater Jesse Martinez humbly encapsulated its importance to the skate community. The LA Weekly
had us cover it and you can read that piece at http://blogs.laweekly.com/ladaily/city-news/dogtown-skate-park-jesse-marti/#more
In the meantime, congratulations, Venice. You can stand on a skate park nestled in the sand, watch surfers take off at the Breakwater with your right eye, and skaters take off in a bowl through your left. As beautiful thing to behold as the depth of the quiet commitment of many for decades to get the thing built. Ger I Lewis, Heidi Lemmon, Jesse, Melanie Berry, Jeff Ho (who showed up at City Councilman Bill Rosendahl's first post-election meeting to lobby the councilman on it) and countless others who stepped up, kept it pure, we thank you.
End Of Summer Bash
Street Fest--It's On!
September 25, 2009, Venice
--Yes friends, it's on: the 2009 Abbot Kinney Festival. This Sunday, September 27, from 10 AM - 6PM. On AK between Venice Blvd and Main Street. Bike, walk--we'll see you there!