July 2008 – Letters

Moon Over Venice

Dear Beachhead,

I just want to thank you for posting Silvia Kohan’s Moon Over Venice song on your website, http://www.freevenice.org. 

I saw/heard her perform this song years ago and it so inspired me. In fact, so much so that I wrote another song, also called Moon Over Venice, in homage to Silvia’s amazing song, inspired by her and my love for Venice. If you would like to hear it you can find it on http://www.myspace.com/wendyprofit. 

I don’t have the pipes Silvia has, but the heart is there. Thanks again, I’ve been hoping to come across her and her song again.

 Love, Wendy Profit


On The Homeless

Dear Beachhead, 

After having received a document concerning a recipe for mending a split in Venice, I wrote:

“Dear . . ., I appreciate your desire to correct what appear to be cracks in the Venice body politic. But what we have here is an issue of national importance. And dissension will bring it to light.

Let me give you a little background. There were no street people such as we have today up to 1950 or so. But in mid-twentieth century the advent of psychotropic drugs and abuses of the systems used to assist and restrain those in need of help brought into being a number of laws to correct the abuses and take advantage of the new medicines. California led the way with other states and the nation following. I lived through that period with personal friends involved on both sides of the issues. It has now come back to bite us. Large U.S. cities currently have growing assemblies of persons who cannot take care of themselves and who are dying on the streets in filth.

So your concern is well received but not conducive to the uprising of personal opinion required to get something done. To that end I have prepared a document which compares eighteenth century (London) street conditions and conditions now found in the streets of Venice. And it does not make our society look good. I want to raise the greatest possible concern and debate. With the elements now in place, it is possible for Venice to lead the way to better understanding and care.

DeDe Audet

A(nother) RV/Mobile home letter
Dear Beachhead,
Hello to one and all. I’ve been reading about the conflict and controversy regarding people’s right(s) to live in their campers, RV’s, mobile homes, vans and cars. As a lifelong resident of Venice (born and raised in the Oakwood District), I don’t feel that my opinion is any more valid or logical than someone who has only just arrived… still, I do feel that I have a right, and perhaps an obligation, to speak my piece. 
I now live on one of the small streets just near the intersection of Windward and Pacific avenues in a one-bedroom apartment for which I pay a decent amount as well as an additional fee for my parking space.
Why do I pay for a parking space? Because in my neighborhood, which was designed and built at a time when a great many residents didn’t have cars, there was not enough parking created for a society wherein each household has two cars on average. So what happens? I found that on the weekends and all week during the summer, I simply could not find anywhere to park my car unless I either waited until after dark or parked anywhere from a block to a quarter-mile from home. Either that or get up at 7:50 pm and hope and pray that someone’s left an empty spot that I can use until I had to leave for my damn job at 11 am. 
That’s right. I said a dirty, bad word… “JOB.” It turns out that I actually get up every day and go to work to pay for my apartment, my parking, my life and my lifestyle. As many of us know, it isn’t always easy (or even possible) to get a job that will afford one a home near the beach in the greatest city in California. I understand that. I also understand why one would want to be here whether they work or not (almost especially if not!). There’s a lot to see, plenty to do and a great life to be lead here in ‘Sunny Southern California’.
So although my true inclination is to just say “Get out” or “Get a job” or “Park in another city”… I just can’t. I’m just as sad, hurt, mad, disappointed and sick as anyone else that there’s a Subway, Quiznos and Coffee Bean within walking distance of my place. (I’m on the fence about Campos and Whole Foods, since they both seem vaguely hometown to me). 
However, I think I have a fair compromise to share. First – and foremost – I would very much like for us to all join hands and figure out a way to cut down on the city’s expenditure on the gallons and gallons of bright red paint that is used to keep us from parking at perfectly viable and sorely needed parking spaces on the street near our home(s). I’m all for paying for permits for additional cars and/or visitors, but I am strongly against the greed of arbitrarily painting three out of every ten available parking spots red on each street. 
Back to the point; you see, I’ve always loved campers and motor homes and sleeper trailers. I want to own one myself one day, so I get it. We could also use some areas (such as the far end of the Library Parking lot and the unused City Parking right at the beach and on Venice Blvd just east of Pacific) as temporary parking for the Mobile Living set. Perhaps we could even make a couple of permanent spots where people wouldn’t necessarily have to move their vehicles each morning for visitor and employee parking! 
And here’s the great part – – – Any and every law-biding and respectful vehicle that would care to use these newly available over-sized spots should be allowed to do so as needed. The only caveat: each and every vehicle parked in one of the spots would only need to pay a monthly fee equal to no less than 30 percent and no more than 125 percent of the median rent or average mortgage for the immediate area surrounding their parking spot. ‘Why’ you may ask, ‘would the fee(s) ever be more than those averages?’ – I can explain: for those of us that live in static dwellings (i.e. a house, apartment and/or condo) in the area, the fees we pay cover our usage of water, electricity, gas and so on. An RV or mobile home may acquire their own from elsewhere or create electricity with a generator (which would not be allowed to run within hearing distance of any neighbors during the evening hours). What we pay for (in taxes) are things like street cleaning, policing, trash removal, etc.
If the parking spot is on the street, the vehicle would of course also need to pay for a permit for each spot that they’re using. Extra-long vehicles should – of course – pay for two spaces as they are effectively denying that space to other residents’ cars or trucks to park. 
In addition, there would need to be very strong vigilance to be sure that health standards, littering and noise are kept to neighborly and respectable levels. 
Otherwise, I’m sure there’s more parking, space, freedom and less restriction a little further out for your lifestyle. I see a lot of space whenever I drive through Palmdale, Lancaster, Sun Valley, Fontana and the like. Basically – If you feel that you have a ‘right’ to live on my block, I can’t disagree. So you also have the inherent ‘right’ to earn your keep and pay your fair share for the same rights and privileges as your new ‘neighbors.’ No free rides.
How’s that for “fair”?
With Love from Above,
Jason S (Venice – Since 1967)

Categories: Letters

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