• View from the Venice Boardwalk -Venice Beach Boardwalk Coalition Administrative Board (VBBC)
  • Ocean Front Walk Lottery – Shirley Jackson
  • Major Hoax: Don’t Get Fooled Again! – Cindy Sheehan
  • Electric Trolley – Robin Doyno


View from the Venice Boardwalk

Oh, what a lootery for you and me!!!
Get your permit ($25) and
Your license (a mere $10 fee)

Okay, here’s at least part of the lottery scene at the Recreation and Parks office every Tuesday morning at Venice Beach.

First –  there are certain spaces that, no matter who is called for what, always seem to have been assigned to the same individual – even when that individual was not called!  Divine intervention?  Magic?  Mysterious forces?  You decide.

Second – Amazingly, some individuals have several names, all of which are entered into the lottery by said individual. Two names belonging to a single person had the misfortune to be called within one block of pulled permits in the lottery, revealing the duplication.  Sorry, only one allotted space per person per lottery. Where are Recreation and Parks Dept. checks and balances (or checks, at least)?

Well, given that even corporations, aliases, a wife (using both married and maiden names), the kids (any age) and the extended family can enter the lottery, perhaps the people in the office should be cut some slack.  You might wonder how many multiple names exist for a single individual that God hasn’t yet intervened to blow the permit holder’s cover.  At least six, according to some sources.

Third – Invariably, there are the complaints from the crowd of permit holders, while the lottery is underway, that go as follows:

A.   a particular individual has not been called for at least two weeks – sometimes even as much as nine weeks – preventing him or her from working.

B.   a permit holder is known by complainant to be a homeless person who never sets up in the allotted space, but sells the space to buy beer.

C.   a permit holder whose name is called in the lottery, but who does not set up and instead, gives/sells the space to someone else.

Fourth:  There are the ten “NO VENDING” BLACK SPACES – purportedly unassigned, first come, first served.  Vendors regularly claim those black spaces by coming very early in the morning to the beach, often establishing a PERMANENT claim on the space.  In which case – and more often than not – getting called in the lottery is a perk.

Additionally, vendors who regularly claim and occupy those black spaces are known to give a space they have won in the lottery to a friend, or let it lie vacant, while they vend from the BLACK SPACE.  Alternatively, it appears that they let someone they know, who is in need of a space, use “their” BLACK SPACE, with the understanding that it reverts back to them when they need it at the end of their lottery period.

-Venice Beach Boardwalk Coalition Administrative Board (VBBC)


Ocean Front Walk Lottery

Dear Beachhead,

I read Della Franco’s letter to the Beachhead (July, 2010) regarding the problems with your Lottery at Venice Beach with more than a little sense of disbelief.

First off, in all my years involved with Lotteries I never heard of someone being able to sell their place in the Lottery, much less someone wanting to buy it.

I’m also confused at allowing multiple family members to participate. That simply goes against all logic.

And from what I gather, the Lottery was established just for local Venice artists and craftspeople, but now outsiders have muscled in where neither do they belong, nor judging from the tone of Ms. Franco’s missive, are appreciated.

I believe I have a solution to Ms. Franco’s conundrum.

The seashore along our New England coast is absolutely

littered with the most beautiful smooth rounded stones of all sizes, but, from the pictures I have seen on the web of Venice Beach, you suffer from a terrible dearth of nice, palm-sized and larger stones, so necessary to conducting a satisfying Lottery.

Perhaps you could get those “Recs and Parks” fellows to procure a truckload, or if that’s not possible, move your Lottery to a site where suitable projectiles are more abundant.

I do hope this helps you resolve your problem.

Regards, Shirley Jackson, Bennington, Vt.


Major Hoax

Don’t Get Fooled Again!

Dear Beachhead,

The U.S. once again declare a false end to the war in Iraq on August 31 in a fake ceremony in Baghdad..

First of all, this was never a war. This always has been an illegal invasion and occupation of a sovereign country and it was obviously for the monetary benefit of a few, and millions of people, including my family, have suffered because of it.

  • The first MAJOR HOAX was that Saddam Hussein’s Iraq had WMD and a connection to al Qaeda and if the US didn’t invade immediately Iraq would send mushroom clouds, or drones with bio-weapons to the US East Coast–
  • the second MAJOR HOAX was that we ended the war on May 1, 2003 when then US president, George Bush, declared an “end to combat operations;”
  • the third MAJOR HOAX is that the US ended a horrible dictatorship, only to be replaced with a puppet US regime that almost makes execution a national sport.

Now, with a country in ruins and the US leaving many major construction projects unfinished-we are again perpetrating a MAJOR HOAX, not just on the people of Iraq, but the people of the US.

With 50,000 troops (the 3rd Armored Cavalry is deploying from Ft. Hood, Texas to Iraq as we speak), 18,000 mercenary killers and 82,000 support contractors (staffing an Imperial Embassy the size of 80 football fields), the illegal and immoral US occupation of Iraq is far from over.

As Ret. Lt. General James Dubik said recently: “It is in our (US) interest to have an Iraq that is friendly to the US.” What he means is an Iraq that is friendly to US war profiteers.

I want to say this in the most simple and direct way that I can: “If you believe that the war in Iraq is over, and not merely carnage rebranded, then you are deluding yourself and I hope you wake up to the fact that for generations human beings have been used as pawns for the political elite-and, don’t forget, that this is an election year.”

I urge all of you to put on your critical-thinking caps and reject this propaganda and reaffirm your commitment to peace above political party.

-Cindy Sheehan


Electric Trolley

Dear Beachhead,

Jim Smith’s “Getting Around Venice” article in the August issue (#346) makes such very good sense.

The community of Venice would greatly benefit from an electric trolley (shuttle).

The often-congested Abbot Kinney Blvd. corridor would be a likely good starting point in making an impact in reducing the overabundance of automobiles.  A covered trolley with tiered fares for natives and tourists would be so very practical and chic at the same time. The electric trolley could be a boon to the merchants and aid the community member trying to get from point “A” to point “B” without spending too much time in traffic.

I have had some good fortune in writing grants and developing ideas (many years ago) and would be most pleased to hear from community members that would like to kick this idea around.

Peace,  Robin Doyno

Categories: Letters