• Park Plan Perils People’s Picnics – David Busch
  • Big Wheel Confirmation – Max Carlish
  • Protests Spirit of Venice Awards – Lisa Green



Park Plan Perils People’s Picnics

Dear Beachhead,

Increasingly, neighborhood forces that are hiding behind new high walls, fences, and fancy remodels –want to call the police now every time they see someone of color, or less than rich, having a picnic or playing dominoes on the benches area in Oakwood Park.

Some of these forces include people who come out and flaunt their disdain and the privilege of their wealthy clique, by running scores of their dogs off-leash in this park daily, knowing that it is illegal.

LAPD officers, now seemingly in cahoots with them, are blatantly ignoring this illegality. This, while they rush to cruise by and intimidate and interrogate any people of color in the park.

This is not something happening in  Bull Conner’s Selma; this is happening daily in Venice right now at our Oakwood Park. And, let’s be straight up and see it for what it is –racism.

On Tuesday November 1 the Oakwood Park Advisory Board is meeting at 6:30 pm in the main building with a “plan” to “add new exercise stations” to the Park and which will, according to them, not “move”, but instead, only “relocate” these picnic benches.  Benches that apparently (unlike some in the community) know no distinctions –and welcome all.

Write a letter or email to Jon Kirk Mukri <jonkirk.mukri@lacity.org> Los Angeles Parks and Recreation now –and tell them that you oppose any attempts whatsoever to move, relocate or impinge upon the community picnic area in Oakwood Park. If you would like to help us preserve the community at Oakwood Park’s picnic tables –and keep them open to all –please contact us at www.spiritofvenice.net.

David Busch


Big Wheel Confirmation


Dear Beachhead,

Great City Attractions Global Ltd (GCAG) is pleased to confirm that a proposal to operate one of our 53 metre Giant Observation Wheels at Venice Beach is being discussed with the local authorities and that they are consulting some local community groups.

Great City Attractions are delighted with the response that the wheel proposal has received to date from all stakeholders and believe that the wheel would become a valued addition to the Venice Beach tourism and residents.

GCAG are the global market leaders in the installation of these graceful machines and have previously operated in some of the world’s leading locations including Belfast, Brisbane, Brussels, Copenhagen, Glasgow, London, Manchester, Paris, Perth, Plymouth, Sheffield, Windsor and York.

GCAG are looking forward to working with the Venice community to explore the potential of this exciting new high quality visitor attraction.

For more information please refer to our local contact:

Michael McDowell

LA INC., The Los Angeles Convention and Visitors Bureau

Office: 213.236.2328


Max Carlish
Planning Manager
Great City Attractions Global Ltd
Sutton Coldfield B74 2LZ
United Kingdom


Protests Spirit of Venice Awards


Dear Beachhead,

If I was the Spirit of Venice would I grant an award to a blog site that condones violence and masks the vitriol as free expression? Hell no. I got wind that a protest of Yo! Venice! blog was possible so I decided to check out the ceremony. As an activist and artist I understand the importance of understanding our Constitution.  The First Amendment is always a point of discussion on Venice Boardwalk where I work and play almost everyday of the week.  For those not familiar the text is as follows:

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

As the Spirit of Venice Award ceremony kicked off a handful of protesters appeared carrying signs,  “Yo! Venice! is a menace”, and “Hate is not the Spirit of Venice. “ I volunteered to hold the later message because I do not condone violence in any form. While parts of the Yo! Venice! website is informative the sections about the homeless are filled with toxic thoughts and loads of hate-filled commentary made by a small group of posters.  All blogs in my opinion should follow internet code of ethics including being honest and fair, minimize harm and be accountable. Ethical bloggers should treat sources and subjects as human beings deserving of respect.   Yo! Venice! fails to moderate content except under threat of a lawsuit.  Free Expression isn’t about violence.

The administrator of Yo! Venice! sent a child to receive the award. The child was announced as the future of Venice. I watched the surreal moment then laughed out loud at the thought of Brett asking me what the protest was about from the crowd. Since 1984, the Abbot Kinney Festival Association has recognized exemplary residents and stakeholders nominated by the community for their contributions to the spirit, creativity and uniqueness of Venice (per the website).  Let’s hope all of the 2012 award recipients will be contributors to the spirit of creative expression and have a working legal knowledge of the First Amendment along with a compassionate and graceful manner respectful of the diversity that has resided in Venice since it’s creation.

Cheers to David King, Garden Master of Venice High School Learning Garden and The Venice Art Crawl (accepted by co-founders Daniel Samakow, Edizen Stowell, and Mark Rojas).

Lisa Green


Categories: Letters