Bonin’s Bollards – By Nick Antonicello
Bird Totems of Venice – By Doug Fay
Thanks – By Barbara Langlois d’Estaintot
Dear Editor:
Your story on cameras and Oceanfront Walk should have been more appropriately titled “Bollards & Bonin.”
The so-called changes at OFW had nothing to do with community input or outreach, but rather a sense something was done in the face of the death of Alice Gruppioni, an international traveler murdered by the act of a maniac behind the wheel of a car while on her honeymoon!
For this political practice of bollards, cameras and alike will do nothing to change the unpleasantness that exists at OFW. It is an overreaction to a tragedy that in all probability could not have been prevented if bollards existed at every corner from Santa Monica to the Venice Pier.
For what we have at OFW is an unbridled mess of mismanagement with no one seemingly in charge. As mattresses burn into the midnight hour a sense of brokenness and no one being in charge remains on a day-to-day basis despite promises by Bonin to have someone responsible.
The physical condition of OFW continues to deteriorate at a rapid pace and those who have pointed out these obvious deficiencies continue to be ignored by the 11th Council District Office’s bureaucratic and distant way of dealing with problems that forever mount at the beach.
For how can anything change when you have this unbending elected official who does not listen to the concerns of the community?
While the grassy knolls that separate OFW and the bike continue to fall apart, the 11th Council District office wants to install an ice skating rink at a time of the year when the days are shorter and the propensity for crime at night more probable! Who would bring their kids to Venice at night to a temporary rink when a very successful private/public partnership on 4th Street east the 3rd Street Promenade is safe, secure and popular?
For other then the 11th Council District Office, who believes the construction of this ice rink makes sense?
This detached and distant governance that occupies Venice is disturbing and more importantly ineffective.
Embedded political insiders like Bonin doing as they please with little or no community input is the norm rather than the exception.
Is it any surprise that Oceanfront Walk remains in a state of deterioration and rotting from within because of the lack of political will and governmental leadership?
Bonin in his prior capacity as chief of staff to his council predecessor has had over a decade to figure it out.
How much more time are people willing to give him based on this record of consistent mediocrity?
Nick Antonicello

Nick, thanks for writing to us. Yes, the city of Los Angeles continues to ignore Venice and fails to pro- vide basic services while collecting the tax money that tourists and residents pour into Venice. Latest such gross example is the anti-mansionization bill passed by L.A. City Council November 4, offering some pro- tections to 14 L.A. neighborhoods. Surprise: VENICE WAS NOT INCLUDED! Bonin joined the unanimous vote in favor of the proposal, but did not advocate for the inclusion of Venice.

Venice constitutes one percent of the city of L.A., yet twenty percent of the development (mansioniza- tion) of L.A. is taking place in Venice. Plus, Venice has some of the most historic, worth-preserving archi- tecture in the city of L.A.

Instead of stepping up to save Venice, Bonin is wasting all of our time and money with useless bol- lards and Ocean Front Walk sweeps that have not pro- tected or helped anyone so far, and will continue to be just as useless and meaningless in the future.

Since L.A. City Council, including our represen- tative, refuse to offer Venice any type of representa- tion, our only option is to strengthen our efforts to- wards Venice Cityhood.
Only through local governance in our own city of Venice will we be able to preserve our architecture, community and ourselves.

Greta Cobar
Bird Totems of Venice
Dear Krista Schwimmer,
Thank you for sharing your love and knowledge of birds. Did you know that I am currently involved in litigation with the County of Los Angeles and California Coastal Commission to save our 10.7 acre Bird Conservation Area a.k.a. the Duck Pond on Washington Blvd? Yes, the birds need us.

One of my father’s greatest success stories was saving the Brown Pelican. Go to YouTube and type “Hero of the Coast Don May on Rim Fay” to watch two of my father’s good friends talk about a man from Venice. He was following the work of Professor of Nature Studies Roland C. Ross, who slept in the Ballona Wetlands and was instrumental in creating the Marina Del Rey Bird Sanctuary/Refuge that will become a public park and urban runoff detention basin in perpetuity if we don’t get organized.

For the birds and our children,
Doug Fay
Dear Beachhead,
Thank you for this amazing paper! You guys are awesome and I wanted to thank you for your work!

Barbara Langlois d’Estaintot

Categories: Letters