Thank You, Venice! – Greta Cobar
Dear BH – Marty Liboff
T-Shirt Fraud on OFW – Rachel Bloomfield
Attention LAPD: We Need You to Defend Us – Shane Williams
Bonin Unable to Solve Venice-Centric Issues – Nick Antonicello
Thank You, Venice!
The time has come for me to step away from the Beachhead and give others the opportunity to rise to the occasion.
I have been part of the Collective continuously for the past six years. For the past three years my duties escalated to include doing layout, keeping track of sustainers and ads, and facilitating meetings. While at the same time I continued to write, do distribution and attend meetings. Oh, and I also held a full-time job.
It’s been a bumpy ride through which I grew from both positive and negative experiences. I am proud of each and every edition of the Beachhead that we put out monthly, for the past six years – we never missed a month! That accomplishment involves getting enough content to fill the paper, which ranged from 12 to 16 pages; raising enough money to pay the printer; and distributing all 8,000 copies.
As you all know, the Beachhead is never perfect and always late. With all its faults, I am especially proud of the past three years of Beachheads because I managed to put it together, and I know I did my best. It wasn’t that things didn’t come up (or they weren’t already going on), but I made the Beachhead my priority.
For now I feel that I had put in my time and effort into this beautiful, historical Venice community endeavor that is valued and unique. I gave the current Collective two month notice of my departure, and now that the time has come, I continue to look forward to many, many more Beachheads to come.
Thank you, Venice, for allowing me to be part of this great adventure.
I’m an everyday regular on the Ocean Front Walk. One day a couple years ago a very sweet gal rode up on a cool bike and asked me if I read the Beachhead? I had an old “Free Venice” button on and we talked about Venice and the newspaper and she invited me to submit something. Her name was Greta and in the last two years she inspired me and other friends to submit poems, art and articles. I know many people on the OFW and the ONLY member of the Beachhead staff that anyone knows is Greta. Even those who don’t know her name know her as that Beachhead gal on the wild bikes! A few Venice old timers like me remember Jim Smith, but he moved up north. The day to day work and compiling it was left up to dear Greta. She slaved and ran around for interviews and came and picked up and edited articles for those submitting work. She was a one woman dynamo for the Beachhead! All for no pay and little recognition! The founders of this paper, John & Anna Haag would be totally proud of her contributions! I have since met a couple other Beachhead members but I rarely see any of them on the OFW and nobody knows them in connection with this paper. The one and ONLY is Greta the Great!
The REAL everyday Venice people are sad that she is leaving because of petty criticism from other Beachhead members. Attacks on the paper’s content are one thing, but this paper will suffer greatly because of needless personal attacks. I worked on the Beachhead 35 years ago and I also quit when a couple new members began editing my work. Greta convinced me to try again and it has been a lot of work but was fun with Greta putting up with my many rewrites. Let us hope Greta will reconsider leaving and the Beachhead staff will stay out of other member’s personal business. I hope everyone will cry out, “Greta, we love you, please don’t go!”
– Marty & Pharoah
T-Shirt Fraud on OFW
A total of eight T-shirt shops owned by the same person have opened on OFW recently. They sell the same generic merchandise, which is offensive, especially to women.
Owned by Liran Azoulay, an Israeli immigrant, these businesses were able to multiply so quickly because of the higher-than-average rent payments he offered to the owners: upwards of $10,000/month. Vendors of stores that own the lease of their shops were approached and offered upwards of $100,000 to sell the remainder of their leases.
When contemplating how someone can afford such high rent payments and enormous buying-out sums, the word on OFW is that some type of money laundering is behind the operation.
This business scheme had the ripple effect of raising all OFW shops’ rent payments. The remaining old-time vendors are considering selling out while worrying whether they’ll be able to make it through the summer.
Several tourists reported buying a shirt for $20 to have their credit card charged several hundred dollars. Because this is a civil case, as opposed to a criminal one, the LAPD won’t help them. And the tourists don’t have the time or the know-how to go through the Department of Consumer and Business Affairs to sue the unscrupulous business owner. Several warnings against these custom T-shirt businesses have been published online, on sites such as Trip Advisor and YouTube.
What the LAPD is required to do is not allow these eight stores to play music with offensive, X-rated lyrics. They tend to do this loudly and obnoxiously, with no fear. Also, they stay open long after all other stores on OFW have closed: as late as 11pm. It was reported that some of the workers live in the stores, which is of course illegal.
We call on the LAPD to address and investigate this high-level crime that is infesting all OFW businesses and customers, local and foreigners alike. And we call on you, locals, to boycott these eight businesses.
Above: One of eight generic and fraudulent T-shirt shops on OFW –
this one where Sea Horse, ran by Barbara Duffy for 15 years, used to be
Attention LAPD: We Need You to Defend Us
The person pictured to the left, selling CDs on OFW, is extremely aggressive towards the people around him. He does not respect your personal space and conducts in-your-face panhandling. His behavior makes all of us who walk down OFW uncomfortable and ultimately annoyed. It also gives a bad image of Venice to the tourists. Why are LAPD officers so busy all day long harassing people for minor, insignificant infractions while this guy comes into Venice every morning to conduct the most aggressive panhandling on OFW, undisturbed? Some people get a ticket just for being a few inches out of the boxes marked on OFW, yet this guy travels the entire OFW, from Navy to Venice, all day long, unabated. It is time that the LAPD did something that we would all appreciate.
– Shane Williams
Bonin Unable to Solve Venice-Centric Issues
In response to Krista Schwimmer’s assessment of the job Councilman Mike Bonin is doing (Mike Bonin, “Technically” Doing His Job), this longtime government bureaucrat and political insider is simply long on rhetoric and short in results.
A perennial “guide on the side” instead of a “sage on the stage”, Bonin’s leadership style or lack of one is evident for all to see!
Bonin is clearly bright and articulate, which makes his tenure as an elected official so puzzling and disappointing to so many Venetians!
As a resident insider who served as a staffer to a member of the United States House of Representatives as well as his predecessor on the Los Angeles City Council, Bonin seems lost in translating rhetoric into substantial public policy, especially in the area of crime and homelessness here in Venice.
What you would consider his most reliable supporters within the progressive movement in the area of affordable housing, they too have become inpatient and almost hostile to his lack of action, solutions or support of the homeless.
His inability to engage the community in a serious fashion is disturbing as he spends more time trying to create controlled environments versus simply listening and learning from those who elected him to solve complicated and challenging issues that are truly Venice centric in scope and detail.
It was painful to watch him let the latest Town Hall meeting deteriorate into a shouting match of angry residents searching for answers as well as the truth.
Why didn’t he moderate the event?
It was clearly his idea to stage this event, but political miscalculations on his part saw this three-hour slugfest revel in the politically absurd.
As the only elected official in the room, it was his responsibility to grab the bull by the horns and let everyone know one thing, he was in charge and that the buck stopped with him.
That he would take responsibility and he would listen.
That did not occur.
Instead, eroding public confidence will likely continue because of the utter failure of that evening to resolve anything at all.
I don’t know Bonin, but his approach to governing and reaching out to those who do not agree is not working.
Surrounding yourself with an echo chamber doesn’t get the job done and never will.