• I’ve Never Done This Before – Donna Lacey
• You Guys Rock – Pat Hartman
• Congratulations on your 40th Birthday!!!!!! – Emily Winters
• Vigilantes Don’t Like Vintage Cars – Nancy Raffaelli Richards


I’ve Never Done This Before

Dear Beachhead,

This is the first paper to which I have become a sustainer. Your newspaper is the first that I have thought of as a worthy cause. You have done a fine job of representing the past, present and future of our community, and my heart and wallet want to sustain your mission. Keep up the good work!

Donna Lacey



You Guys Rock

Dear Beachhead,

What a great institution, and here’s to another 40 years!

The 15th Anniversary of the Beachhead was greeted with mixed emotions by staff members, and many of their outpourings can be found at http://www.VirtualVenice.info. As far as I can tell, these vintage Beachhead articles aren’t anywhere else online. “25 Years Ago in the Beachhead” is a recurring feature, with the articles changed every month. After its turn on the monthly page, each article is archived.

Unless you own a complete set of Beachhead back issues, this history hasn’t been available until now. These aren’t just images of the old pages. Each article has been hand-transcribed from the original print editions, so the terms are searchable.

Www.VirtualVenice.info looks to the Free Venice Beachhead as a mentor. Like the paper, VirtualVenice is into relevance, attitude, non-mainstream-ness, art, community, and all that good stuff. Without the Beachhead as an example, VirtualVenice would never have happened. Much love to all. 

Pat Hartman, Webslave, VirtualVenice – www.virtualvenice.info


Congratulations on your 40th Birthday!!!!!!

Keep up the good work of keeping Venice well informed!


I did mostly graphics and typesetting for the Beachhead in the late 70s, early 80s. We met every Saturday morning for the first 3 Saturday’s of the month, the 3rd Saturday being paste up day. We received and discussed the articles submitted from the community for the first two sessions, selected what to print, type set all articles on typewriters, and on the third session, cut and pasted each page, which took all day. Many times we were rewarded with a gourmet dinner cooked by Arnold Springer after all our hard work was done and the paper put to bed. Our camaraderie on this paper created lifelong friendships still existing today that I treasure deeply. I worked full time with children at home, so this was my way of contributing to our Venice community. We put out a wonderful paper, full of interesting comments and ideas from and by the community about what was going on with all the rapid onslaught of development, sometimes up to 28 pages!

Memorable incidents were such things as we were sued by a small paper in Texas. We received community papers from other areas, and we had used a generic graphic from one of these papers. What a shock! Fortunately, our local lawyer Steve Clare called them and smoothed out the surly and vituperative accusations with a lot of smooth talking legalize vernacular that basically said we were a tiny newspaper with no money. By the time Steve was done, they were ready to make us a donation!

Another incident was that a small business selling books from Toronto Canada had run $5 monthly ads, and had not paid for them. It just so happened that one member of our collective, Chuck Bloomquist, traveled a lot for his job, and just happened to go to Toronto for a conference. Using the address on the ad, he went over to this business and demanded immediate payment. Despite the initial shock of Chuck being on his doorstep, no money was retrieved.

We had many, many wonderful times together because of the wonderful people who were there. The Free Venice Astronomy Club was formed by our master astronomer, Chuck Bloomquist and this group lasted for over 20 years. We made spring and fall camping trips to Joshua Tree National Monument for night viewing of the skies, fireside songs and lies, daytime hikes and gourmet camp-out cooking. 

We made the Free Flowing Venice Wine in Arnold Springer’s basement, the only basement anywhere in Venice.

The Beachhead still represents the Venice we all know, care about, and love.

Emily Winters


Vigilantes Don’t Like Vintage Cars

Dear Beachhead,

A friend found the attached note on her car Saturday morning. Hers was the only vehicle with a notice on Linden between the alleys Marco Court and Amoroso Court, and there was no “first warning” left on her car.

Having attended the Venice Town Council meeting on Friday evening, I wondered if the proposal for OPD influenced this (racist) scare tactic?

Nancy Raffaelli Richards

Categories: Letters