April 2008 – Letters

• The RV Controversy – Brett Pikey
• Mary Getlein – Kitty Bratton
• Operation Oakwood – 1 – Lydia Poncé
• Operation Oakwood – 2 – Nancy Kolocotronis
• Operation Oakwood – 3 – Ingrid Boon
• Operation Oakwood – 4 – C. Grant
• Rest Rooms on Ocean Front Walk – Gina Michel
• RV Parking – Michael Millman
The RV Controversy

I am concerned about all of the negative comments that seem to appear in the local press on a regular basis in regards to the motor home community in Venice. Many of them are upright citizens who can no longer afford to live in the city they call home.

Venice used to a cool place to live. It was the last bastion for artists to live and work in southern California. It seems that over the past few years all that has happened is that the wealthy have come into Venice, bought up all the real estate, thus pushing all of the true Venetians out and in effect turning Venice into another Santa Monica. The newly relocated do nothing but complain about the real people of Venice who can no longer afford the astronomical rents that even studio apartments rent for.

It seems the yuppies that now inhabit Venice love having the artists and street vendors here because that is what draws millions of dollars to Venice annually. They just don’t want them living here. It seems as if they would prefer them be bused in from downtown Los Angeles each morning and then sent back at night.

Many of the motor homes are fully compliant with the law, insured and registered. Implementing laws that discriminate against someone’s vehicle and lifestyle is simply not constitutional or legal. Per the law: a motor home is a fully self-contained vehicle with a toilet, shower, cooking facilities, etc. Why is that any different from an apartment?

Having said that, the police knocked on my door this morning to tell me I had to move and that I was not allowed to sleep overnight in a motor home. I promptly informed them that my vehicle is completely legal and that I have the legal right to park for 72 hours just like anyone else. I was told that if they had to come back again I would be cited for a misdemeanor. What for? I did an enormous amount of research regarding this choice before I made it and this simply is not constitutional or legal.

As for the belief the streets of Venice are lined with motor homes is completely false. There are probably 50 at the very most. It seems though that the streets can have all the SUV’s and other expensive vehicles and that is not a problem. What happened to the VW bus and the woody?

As for parking problems, home owners or apartment renters knew beforehand if their property had a garage or whether they would have to street park. A family of 4 could all have a car each therefore taking up 4 parking spaces. Who is taking up more space?

I know that some RV dwellers are not responsible and cause a nuisance, just like any other group in society; I therefore fully sympathize with home owners who have to put up with this crass behavior. This is when law officers should step in and cite these individuals for any laws broken. However, to blanket all motor home occupants as though they are all the scum of the earth is ignorant, offensive and quite frankly an abomination of civil rights.

I really hope that Bill Rosendahl can implement a plan like that of Santa Barbara rather than getting laws passed where they just get tickets they can’t afford to pay and have their homes towed and impounded. Bullying law abiding citizens is not acceptable.

Venice isn’t just for the rich and if they cannot co-exist with the true Venetians, then maybe they should move to Santa Monica, Beverly Hills, Brentwood, Manhattan Beach or Malibu. It is the rich that want to work in their corporate jobs all week, then come the weekend, dress in a tie-dye shirt and flip flops and pretend they are all cool and down with the scene, while at the same time drinking a 6 dollar cup of coffee and displaying contempt towards the very people that keep this community true to its identity in the eyes of the rest of the world.

Enough of this snobbery in Venice and lets all try to live together and respect each other. Remember, when you move to a community, it is up to you to adapt to it, not the other way around. 

Brett Pikey


Mary Getlein

Dear Beachhead,

I just want to applaud the letter/rant from Mary Getlein in the March issue [of the Beachhead]. I am in agreement with her and feel her pain, as they say…Perhaps because I have known her for 32 years. 

We met in Venice. became good friends, left to live in Berkeley for awhile along with other locals. She made it back to Venice, I did not. I’m glad she has your paper to write to and express herself freely. Of course I envy any one who lives there , as I feel I still belong there too.

Mary’s Best Friend,

Kitty Bratton


Operation Oakwood – 1

Dear Beachhead,

Why do we not hear about the arrests of the white collar criminals driving through Venice in the early morning hours searching to make a purchase of their drug of choice? Why do we not have record setting arrests of the people who own the planes and ships that bring drugs into this country? Let alone Los Angeles? 

The recent Operation Oakwood hurt the community. There is such a disconnect to the community! In this situation, ‘to serve’ would have been to knock on the door and ‘to protect’ would have meant protecting the children and elderly living at the various places in question. To serve and protect everyone…

Have we have reached the point of no return? The entire Venice community need to realize how people are being treated. We need to specifically get back to our hearts’ challenge of finding a way to treat others with respect and to empower everyone with a sense of their civil liberties and rights, as human beings. If we do not then we are perpetuating apathy and hate. To me, that is the biggest crime of all. 

We all come with a story and we all have life challenges. Some people’s lives are not neatly packaged like others that includes a pretty ribbon or bow. That does not mean that we set a blind eye or a deaf ear to anyone’s sorrow and pain. That means that we need to step up and help by listening to their heart. None of the authorities – not one regulation or law that was executed during Operation Oakwood was recognized as law breaking of its own accord. Isn’t what happened child abuse, child neglect and child endangerment? 

Let’s call it what it really is, hyper-gentrification. The government agencies are failing the communities at an all time high. Like it or not, we are all responsible for each other. There are some Venice residents that will deny their neighbors – those people will continue to live in fear and hate.

Beachhead, there have been homicides on the Ocean Front Walk and not one TV station has covered these crimes. I know murder is not good for the real estate market and Venice homes continue to sell for over $1,000,000. Why is that? Could it possibly be because the people killed have been homeless?

Venice’s problems and blame can not be simply cast on the disenfranchised or poor or on the families who fortunately purchased their homes 4 or 5 generations ago where someone’s retired grand parents live. The problems and blame are on those who fail their neighbors and community.

We need to put our representatives in check; they are continuously failing at representing us. There are Council Members in other districts busy dumping people from their area – dumping people here in Venice by the bus loads. Not one person is disposable including our veterans and elderly! 

So who are we Venice community? People who listen with our hearts and rise to assist? Or are we a cog in the wheel that perpetuates apathy and hate?

Lydia Poncé


Operation Oakwood – 2

Dear Beachhead,

I happened to pick up a copy of the Beachhead last night and read your account of the LAPD raid in Oakwood. An internet search for more information about the raid did not lead me to an online version of your article. Instead, a google search produced nothing but references and repostings of the LAPD-loving LA Times article and similarly slanted reports. The perspectives you presented in your article were unrepresented in my cursory search. Unfortunately, the raid may be remembered by most as a successful LAPD incursion into a gang-ridden area, not as a scummy, intrusive, and offensive attempt to speed gentrification through intimidation and by playing to the public’s willingness to condone any law enforcement measure that makes mention of the word “gang.”

You seem to have been the only publication to paint the raid as anything by a successful and worthwhile LAPD mission, and that unfairly places on you a burden to spread your story as widely as possible. I’ve visited your website, and I know you have an online presence, but I wish that presence were more immediately visible. I don’t know much about the technology involved, but I’m wondering if you’ve considered working with the Venice Neighborhood Council or the Venice Forum, both of which have visible online manifestations, to have your articles reprinted on their pages. 

Thank you. Nancy Kolocotronis

(From the Collective: Any non-profit paper or website is free to use articles, with attribution, in the Beachhead. For profit media, please contact us first.)


Operation Oakwood – 3

Dear Beachhead,

“LAPD, Feds kick down doors,terrorize seniors in early morning “Iraq-style”para-military operation 

Feb.19. The 300-plus invasion force said they were looking for gang members but found mostly elderly women, children and babies in the homes after kicking down the front doors.” 

Pretty inflammatory sub-head, for your headline. As far as I’m concerned, “A new broom sweeps clean”, but then, everyone has a “right” to know when the LAPD is conducting a raid, correct? WRONG!!! That’s why they call it a “raid”! Granted, whenever these type of “raids” occur, no matter where you live in the world, there are always innocent people who are hurt. Not like the “innocent” that continue to get shot in drive-by’s and those who are miss-identified by the “gang bangers.” It is interesting how the police are always such “monsters”, but then you bitch about them for not being around when YOU need them. 

Let’s be honest and admit that many of you know some of the “grand mothers” and “mothers” who accept “cash” from their children or grandchildren who deal in drugs. They turn a blind eye because it behooves them. If you live in Venice, you have seen what some of these crack heads and metha-drones, who walk around in this neighborhood, look like. Still, there are those who continue to pretend it is O.K. to sell this “garbage”. But then, some parents have never recovered from their own addictions, let alone make decisions with the brain cells they have left! To me it is analogues to some of the men and women of Islam who want their children to be suicide bombers. Worshiping death and not life. 

In all the years I have lived in Venice it continues to vex me as to how many people continue to be “victims”. It is always someone else’s fault or responsibility. The government will take care of it, but stay out of business! 

There are many wonderful people who live in this “multi-cultural” environment and over-all this is a pretty great community. But why is it necessary for someone to make the statement “The gentrification that started back in the 1980’s still continues to perpetuate ethnic cleansing”, as stated under “Two anonymous Comments from the Community?”. This person is either brain dead or just plain stupid. It didn’t really start to change around here until the mid nineties. There were still kids being shot in the street by their peers, in 1999. I hate to say it, but I can’t recall a “white kid” being shot by another “white kid” in the street. The person who made this statement probably prefers to live a hovel with trash all around them. Personally, I am sick and tired of individuals who “reside” in the alley behind my house, smoking crack, defecating any where they please and leaving trash everywhere they go and all the brainless little gang bangers who paint their unreadable monikers all over the Venice. All of sudden everyone is innocent – their hypocrisy is sickening. They all know their rights and none of them, their responsibilities!

Consider me sick of hypocrisy and the “victocrats” of Venice!

Ingrid Boon


Operation Oakwood – 4

Dear Beachhead,

Your OPERATION OAKWOOD article quite bothered me in your March issue of the newspaper. I find your seemingly liberal and feministic newspaper harder and harder to read each month. The only real reason I guess I pick the newspaper up is for torture. I like torturing myself into finding all the ways you can justify your idealistic thought process. 

I assume you live in the Oakwood area: north of California, east of Abbot Kinney, south of Rose and west of Lincoln. I guess it is safe to say that you never hear of any criminal mischief taking place within those boundaries. You never see drug addicts come in from La Brea and Venice to the Oakwood area looking to by meth, rock cocaine, heroin and marijuana. I guess you can say that you have never heard the gunshots that ring out between rival gangs in the area and gang members shooting at police officers. I guess you personally know the lady who’s niece had a “gun pointed at her head” because she is “African American” and know that her son is not on parole or selling drugs. How about the same citizen that tries to play at the park but can’t because it is overrun with gang members, transients and drug addicts passed out on the grass.

Well I am a resident. I do see the crack heads riding their bikes into my neighborhood to look for drugs. But before that I see them break into my neighbors car, take her GPS and then give it to the drug dealers for a 20. How about those rival gangs coming into Venice looking for their next victim, whether gang affiliated or not. How about those terrorists that live with their poor auntie or grandmother that has been grandfathered into the Venice neighborhood and hasn’t paid rent for 50 years. This shit happens here in Venice. 

Here you blame it on the police. We whine and cry when the police do do anything because they are so over worked, overrun and understaffed. We cry and complain when the police do things like issue citations to transients for possessing a shopping cart that is not theirs and in fact stole. It’s all the LAPD’s fault and you let these residents believe that by encouraging them to go into the police department and fill out a criminal complaint on an officer because he/she is doing their best job to keep this community drug, gun and gangbanger free. The officer points their gun at people because these people have guns. 

Tell the whole story. Your newspaper is so one sided that I torture myself trying understand the world these story tellers live in. 

You have to use violence to fight violence. That is the biggest, hardest thing for people to grasp. You are not going to solve the problems created by these savages unless you grasp them by the throat. There is no reasoning, pleading or begging. There is no ignoring the problem, hoping it will go away. Go out and get at it. 

Damned if you do, damned if you don’t. Personally, I love what the LAPD and the FEDS did. Maybe this is just the first of many to come. And if you think they are going to stop because of one little meaningless, one-sided newspaper–come again.

C. Grant

(From the Collective: Normally we would not print a letter that calls fellow human beings – and neighbors – “savages.” But the rant against this newspaper just made our day. We are happy to be associated with the hard-working and community-minded residents of Oakwood who this letter writer should get to know.)


31-Story Building
Dear Beachhead:
As debate continues on the proposed 31 story condo tower on Lincoln, one extremely important fact seems to have been overlooked. The Marina Pointe Drive and neighboring areas have been hit by more than a dozen power outages and dramatic fluctuations (brown outs) over the past two months. LADWP has admitted off the record that they do not fully understand the reason why but speculate that the volume of new construction in the area (especially the Del Rey Arts district) has overburdened the power grid for this neighborhood with little likelihood this can be easily remedied short term.

If there is ANY truth to this concern, then the 31 story condo tower should not only be opposed by all area residents (these outages are damaging appliances and electronics in many homes and businesses) but also denied by the local review board for practicality reasons alone. If LADWP cannot consistently supply power to this area now (its not winter or summer) how could it possibly handle another oversized condo building? We haven’t even seen what the newly occupied Del Rey Arts district influx of residents will do to the local power grid come summer. Be prepared for more outages.

Sincerely, J. Elias


Rest Rooms on Ocean Front Walk

Dear Beachhead,

The artists, performers, business owners and general public would like bring to your attention the existence of a public health hazard currently existing adjacent to the large Rose Avenue public lot at Venice Beach. If you would please read the enclosed petition, this should give you the information you ned to consider a course of action.

I obtained 300 signatures in support of this petition,and could have gotten many, many more. However, I felt it was more important to bring this matter to your attention as quickly as possible, since the spring and summer season is rapidly approaching. As you know, the advent of good weather brings thousands of people to Venice Beach on a daily basis.

There seems to be a great deal of confusion concerning all the public rest room facilities along the Boardwalk. In the case of the Rose Avenue facilities, they have been locked for over a year now. Other facilities are partially open at what seem to be inconsistent intervals. Thee have been rumors about plumbing problems, money problems, and contractor problems. I don’t know what the truth is, and it seems nobody else does either.

Please take action on this matter as soon as possible and provide acknowledgment of this letter and enclosed petition.

Respectfully, Gina Michel


RV Parking

Dear Beachhead,

I believe that the beach parking lots should be dedicated to campers and RVs. They should either be allowed to park free or, perhaps, pay an incredibly low or nominal amount each day.

I agree that it is inappropriate and wrong for campers and RVs to simply drive to a street in Venice and park their vehicle as a permanent “fixture” adjacent to someone’s home or apartment. This is wrong.

I wish to compliment your newspaper for addressing this very important issue. Throughout Venice, there appear to be hundreds of campers and RVs illegally parked. From time to time, these streets are going to apply to the Council office for a permit for restrictive overnight parking. This seems ridiculous.

Michael Millman

Categories: Letters