May 2008 – Letters

• Community-Busting Tactics – DeDe Audet
• Venice Days – Peter Young
• Asbestos at 5 Rose Avenue – Diamond Li
• Vandalism on Pacific Avenue – Cristina Rojas CdA
• Doggies Doo, Owners Don’t – Rebecca Moore Frey
• The RV Controversy – 1 – Michael Millman
• My Cat Cause – Kitty Bratton
• The RV Controversy – 2 – Lilly
Community-Busting Tactics

Dear Beachhead,

The SB 1818 Implementing Ordinance is an issue that brings together voters from all economic levels. It also re-invigorates community busting tactics from developers. I am pleased to see that District 11 Councilmember Bill Rosendahl, along with Hahn, LaBonge, and Zine voted against this ordinance.

By passing the measure, our other elected officials are telling us that density must increase and that increasing the height of buildings and cutting back on parking is the way to do it.

Over the history of Los Angeles it has been shown that inland areas suffer from loss of air quality. That’s why we have the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD). It does not make sense to fund SCAQMD and then increase the density of the area that sucks up all the oxygen coming in on the prevailing winds from the ocean.

Thank you for calling attention to another half-baked idea that’s made its way into law.

DeDe Audet


Venice Days

Dear Beachhead,

Your coverage of the recent LAPD raids on Oakwood homes and the community protests that followed took me back a few decades to 1970. 

Then, too, the LAPD descended on Oakwood. Its Metro Squad sent dozens of cars to terrorize the neighborhood, tires screeching, sirens blaring, bearing officers waving their guns about. Those found walking on the streets were rounded up willy-nilly and many of them were hauled off to jail, nearly all on ill-founded charges. Raids on dozens of homes terrified grandmothers and mothers and the little children in their care. Then, too, there were community protest meetings, where the police clumsily sought to defend the indefensible. You can still read all about it in back issues of the Beachhead.

That was almost 40 years ago, but, as they say, plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose. 

As a neighborhood legal services lawyer, I was an advocate for the community at those long-ago protest meetings and apparently not too popular with the police. Soon after, officers from the Venice station told one of the legal services secretaries, as she left work one evening, “We’re going to get that prick Peter Young.” The only African-American in our office, she found this exchange with the police sufficiently threatening that she asked for and got a transfer from our office.

Well, I’m still around despite various harassments from law enforcement over the years. More important, so are the good people of Oakwood. I have a feeling they’ll still be around in another 40 years, no matter what. 

And we all know who the pricks are. They’re still proving it, harassing the poor and the innocent, frightening the defenseless and still trying to convince us that what amounts to yet another effort to rid Oakwood of poor people and people of color is a necessary part of the war on drugs. 

Peter Young


Asbestos at 5 Rose Avenue

Dear Editor,

Please investigate the continuing saga at 5 Rose Avenue. The new owners are beginning removal of asbestos acoustic ceiling in all room and corridors June 12. Oceanview LLC, the new owner, is moving the tenants to other apartments on other floors during this 22-day process. Formaldehyde was used years ago as a sealant with the asbestos. Many of us here at 5 Rose have chronic asthma and don’t want to die because of the release of these toxic chemicals. After speaking with asbestos and toxic material experts, we have learned that the 22 days in the same building is extremely harmful and could cause us death. Oceanview does not want to pay to relocate us out of the building, and has not received an approval from the Department of Health. It takes at least 3 weeks after removal of asbestos to “settle” the air and there are no guarantees that the spores have been compressed, contained and removed.

Please respond and help us anyway you can. We are desperate to stay alive and safe. 

–Diamond Li


Vandalism on Pacific Avenue

Dear Beachhead,

As I parked my car a few minutes before midnight on Pacific Avenue, between Venice and Washington Blvds. last night, I saw three white youths, two male, one female, ambling along, one man really really weaving… and then this one steps into a doorway.

I can no longer see him from my car. After a few minutes, he quietly ambles out, weaving as much as before, only now he carries a white object the size of a soccer ball.

After they are down the sidewalk a ways, I get out of my car, and go to the doorway where I saw him. The light fixture is there no more, instead a series of wires are hanging out.

I call 911. I called them again about 15 minutes later. They did come about 45 minutes later.

My point to them had been that if they came soon, they would have caught these three with the evidence.

About one month ago, someone had their license plates stolen here.

About two weeks ago, I had my rear window wipers yanked off.

All the time, we find bags of food/trash, bottles, etc. just dropped on the sidewalk in front of our homes…or actually into the flowers of our gardens.

We live in a beautiful community. The occasional tourists come here, from wherever, they may come because of the beauty, the fun, the history, and personal reasons.

But, whatever their reasons, from wherever they come, whatever their age, my question to them, and particularly to the three who stole the door lamp last night is: why can you not just enjoy this wonderful place and leave it as beautiful as you found it?

Cristina Rojas CdA


Doggies Doo, Owners Don’t

Dear Beachhead,

I am an avid pedestrian. I love walking around neighborhoods, alleys and the beachward streets that run throughout Venice and local Pacific California communities.

However, I have a pet peeve. More often than I’d like to share, I have been idyllically looking at a lovely little hummingbird exploring flowers, or studying the tropical vegetation of this region, or admiring the architecture of a cute little bungalow, when I look down just in time (or sometimes NOT!) to keep my heel from stepping right into a fresh pile of rank dog-doo. How disgusting,and unhygienic, not to mention ILLEGAL to leave behind! (And this is not to suggest arresting some little Pomeranian poochie or big Great Dane – it’s not the canine’s fault! It’s their nature to go outside. It’s the OWNER who is disregarding the safety and cleanliness of the streets and the welfare of their neighborhood).

I have noticed that certain blocks of Venice are particularly suspect: Windward Avenue on both sides, from Rialto down to the Post Office (poor Dr. John!) has several poops along it, everytime I park and walk it, which is often enough to have noticed this unsavory trend.

People, people! Does humanity have to be REMINDED to do the right thing now? Where did common decency go? And what about knowing and obeying laws that actually make sense?

And futhermore, many people, especially kids and surfers, walk BAREFOOT in these areas. Shouldn’t the streets be clean enough to not have to worry about filth between the toes, diseases of the feet, stepping on glass or sidestepping on rotting trash?!

Let’s have some class and care for the wellbeing of our neighborhoods,without anyone having to pass a law to make us do it. How about being HUMANE beings, not just human beings.

Sincerely, Rebecca Moore Frey


The RV Controversy – 1

Dear Beachhead,

In your April 2008 issue, I read with interest Mr. Bret Pikey’s lengthy discussion concerning his alleged “lawful right” to park his RV on any street in Venice with immunity?

Mr. Pikey suggests that he had engaged in an “enormous amount of research” regarding his choice (purchase and selection of RV) before he made it and, to that extent, when he was contacted by a LAPD officer about sleeping overnight in the motor home, he challenged the legal and constitutional right to make that warning.

It would appear that our good friend, Mr. Pikey, did not do a complete, comprehensive or thorough legal research prior to acquiring his RV. For example, LAMC Ordinance #85.02, which provides that it is “unlawful for any person to use a vehicle parked or standing on a City street as a “living quarter” either overnight…day by day…or otherwise…” Simply stated, long before Mr. Pikey purchased his RV, he should have been aware that, although it is lawful to park a motor vehicle up to 72 hours before it is considered abandoned, nonetheless, if you sleep in the motor vehicle overnight, you are indeed violating a City Law, and you will be subject to the possibility of prosecution for a Misdemeanor and, in turn, of possibly having your vehicle towed and impounded.

LAMC Ordinance #80.73.2 permits the City to impound or remove a vehicle if it remains unattended or parked for more than 72 hours.

It would appear that most habitual RV residents have strategically found spots throughout Venice where they park their vehicle for several days and, then, near the “deadline”, move it to another location.

Mr. Pikey suggests that there is no significant difference between a studio or an apartment and his RV, which is totally self-contained with a toilet, a shower and cooking facility. However, an apartment owner must comply with zoning, building and safety laws, is subject to inspection by the Health Department and, of course must maintain the premises in a habitable condition. Likewise, the owner must pay property taxes. There is no such requirement attending the ownership and use of a RV.

Again, there is no absolute lawful or constitutional right for any person occupying or using a RV as a permanent or semi-permanent residence to simply identify a location on a Venice street and, thereafter, declare that this is their new domicile.

As the Beachhead has pointed out over the last several months, the response to an invasion by Campers and RV’s has been the application by many residents to obtain a special “Overnight Parking District” permit. Sooner, rather than later, you will see on every street signs posted which prohibit parking from 2am to 6am. Yes, residents will be able to purchase for $15 per year a “special permit” allowing them to park their vehicles near their home.

I agree that there are far too many “yuppies” invading Venice: however, the answer is not to engage in an unlawful inhabiting and parking of our Campers or RVs on public street. Yes, I reiterate that the streets throughout Venice are dedicated to the public at large. It is designed to allow access to our area and, from time to time, permit parking areas for our residents.

Mr. Pikey and I do agree that Councilperson Bill Rosendahl should aggressively secure safe and proper locations for the campers and RVs either at the unused land at Playa Vista, Lincoln Place, beach parking lots, the Veteran’s Administration or unused land at LAX. I agree that living together means that we ought to respect each other’s lawful rights and engaging in illegal trespass or the habitual violation of our laws is certainly not neighborly.

Michael Millman


My Cat Cause

Dear Beachhead,

I just have to get this off my somewhat flat chest! Why is there so much abuse and neglect of animals in our world!? I am focused on cats. There are no “stray” cats – no smart cat would “stray”from food and love – There are abandoned, unwanted cats everywhere, just like homeless people. There seems to be an urban myth – “somebody will find the cat you dumped and give it a great new home” well a freaked out, starving lost cat, isn’t going to approach humans for help,rather, they hide. They are far more likely to be taunted, chased, trapped than street adopted.

My point? STOP DUMPING CATS! Feed the cats who need help. Take tame ones home with you, show them some love, we are all being tested, do we have the capacity to care for others besides ourselves? Cats can show unconditional love for us and it should go both ways. Volunteer to help rescue groups, make others aware of the problem. If I hear once more, “stop feeding them and they will leave,” I’ll get sick! Nobody likes to miss a meal! Have a heart.

Kitty Bratton

P.S. If anyone wants to contribute to my cat feeding cause, it would be very much appreciated. I feed 20 cats.


The RV Controversy – 2

Dear Beachhead,

There is a New Hunting Season in Venice California and the Duck is called RV.

RVs are under attack by Overnight Parking Districts (OPDs), a new Oversized Vehicle Permit parking law, and the Venice Neighborhood Council, Homeless Parking Program. The RVs belong to Mobile Venice Residents (MRVs) that have families, who are seniors, disabled, veterans, and people just trying to survive. Some of the RVers were born and raised in Venice. Others have been in Venice for many years. Many of the Rvers work in Venice, their kids go to school in Venice, and they are unable to replace the affordable housing they lost here in Venice (such as those living in Lincoln Place Apartments). These people are members of this community. 

Law enforcement and vigilante homeowners harass the Mobile Residents of Venice. Many have been already driven out Venice or have lost their vehicles form being towed after they get tons of tickets they are unable to pay. 

Now, because of these ordinances coming into effect, the Mobile Residents of Venice, members of our community – will be completely swept away to who knows where. And who cares? They are just viewed as “Deadbeats” and criminals who do not deserve to keep their pets or children, who do not deserve a car to go to work in, and who should be put in RV concentration camps somewhere far away from the selfish housed people of Venice who want this to be a closed (anti)community. 

The rest of us in Venice need to do something to stop this, because when duck season is over for RVs, you may be next. Also, these permits cost money, have restrictions, and are very inconvenient for everyone. Please call or email the Venice City Council Deputy, Arturo Pena at (213) 473-7016 Arturo.Pina@lacity.org and our City Council person, Bill Rosendahl at (213)-473-7011 Councilman.Rosendahl@lacity.org


Categories: Letters