Kim’s Market / 320 Sunset Updates

September 1, 2014

By Roxanne Brown – Member, Concerned Neighbors of 320 Sunset
THE LAND USE and PLANNING COMMITTEE (LUPC) MEETING AUGUST 5th
Kim’s Market (600 Mildred): LUPC denied owners’ (Searle’s) proposed restaurant with liquor license at this location.
320 Sunset: Leaseholder, Fran Camaj, who also owns Gjelina’s at 1427 Abbott Kinney, was not in attendance. Camaj’s architect, Steven Vitalich, was there, but said Camaj had asked him not to speak at this meeting. LUPC was reviewing the proposed restaurant with liquor license (on and off-site sales) and late-night hours at this location.
At this August 5th meeting, Mark Kleiman, 320’s case manager, noted that when Camaj applied for a bakery permit at 320 Sunset, he stated that a bakery would be a less intense use of the space than the prior use – an office of six architects. Kleiman discovered that six months prior to that statement, Camaj had already signed a lease saying 320 Sunset would be a bakery and café –a much more intensive use of the space.
Kleiman also referred to an April 2011 Zoning Administration hearing report, noting that Gjelina’s had violated many conditions: music and noise being heard outside the restaurant, seating in excess of code, converting and using office space for dining without permits, and much more. The report was 157 pages long.
Neighbors complain to this day about amplified music and added noise from patrons talking loudly while walking to their cars parked in front of residents’ homes. In Gjelina’s seven years of doing business these concerns have not been rectified.
Knowing this, how does the city enable Camaj to open two more establishments – one at 1305 Abbott Kinney and one at 320 Sunset? Councilman Bonin: Are you out there? Where are you?
VENICE NEIGHBORHOOD COUNCIL MEETING AUGUST 19, 2014
320 SUNSET: Mark Kleiman, LUPC case manager, announced to residents gathered and the VNC that he had learned 320’s architect, Steven Vitalich, allegedly had lied at the LUPC meeting on August 5th. Vitalich had been asked three times if 320 Sunset had a Certificate of Occupancy (CoO) and three times Vitalich had said, “No.” It turns out that 320 Sunset had been given a CoO for a BAKERY AND RETAIL ONLY with NO SEATING eight days prior to LUPC’s August 5th meeting. The VNC voted to deny the restaurant with alcohol as proposed at 320 Sunset.
It’s so refreshing to have the newly elected VNC LUPC Chair, Robin Rudisill, working with transparency, integrity and honesty. VNC appointed some wonderful people with these same qualities to LUPC. Venetians’ votes in recent elections led to these changes. Your vote counts. Your vote makes a difference.
ALCOHOL AND BEVERAGE CONTROL (ABC): 320’s ABC case manager, Marella Herrera, has informed Concerned Neighbors of 320 Sunset (CNS) that she will call the applicant to “see if they still want to continue this process based on all the protest we received.” It appears our many letters of protest are making an impact.
320 SUNSET and KIM’S MARKET RECAP: Restaurants with liquor licenses (and proposed outdoor patios) in such congested residential locations are often recipes for disaster. Here’s why:
LOUD NOISE LEVELS JUST FEET AWAY FROM RESIDENTS’ HOMES:
Kim’s Market is just 3 feet away from a resident’s home.
320 Sunset is only 12 feet 6 inches from residents’ homes.
Adding alcohol significantly increases volume and bad behavior.
ACCIDENTS WAITING TO HAPPEN IN ALREADY DENSE/CONGESTED AREAS:
KIM’S MARKET is at the INTERSECTION of Venice, narrow Ocean, and Mildred, with Venice Library and Venice Farmers’ Market across the road.
320 SUNSET – EIGHT ROADS COME TOGETHER AND SURROUND THIS LOCATION – Narrow Sunset, bounded by busy Hampton and busy 4th Street, and 3rd Street dead ends almost right into 320 Sunset. Just west of 3rd Street is Gold’s Gym’s back parking lot’s one entry/exit – virtually across from 320 Sunset’s parking lot’s one entry/exit. Just west of that is the narrow alley connecting Vernon and Sunset. Behind 320 Sunset is the narrow 12-13 foot alley linking 4th and Vernon and Sunset.
At both locations, we have tourists (who don’t know where they are going) and residents walking, biking, skateboarding, motorcycling, scooting, and people driving SUVs, Vespas, and vehicles of all sizes and shapes.
Add alcohol, restaurants’ patrons and employees, plus restaurants’ delivery trucks, vendors’ vehicles, maintenance trucks and equipment to this mix? Do I hear a collision?
What happens to coastal and emergency vehicles’ access?
I wonder who at city hall or in city council told Camaj (320 Sunset) and Searle (Kim’s Market) that restaurants with liquor licenses were possible at these locations – that their proposals would likely go through?
Where is city leadership? As Venetians’ representative in city hall, Councilman Bonin should investigate this. And perhaps some city employees need to be reminded of the fact that they work for the tax- paying citizens of Venice.
GOOD NEWS: The absurdity of these two projects and others is bringing the community together. Concerned Neighbors of 320 Sunset (CNS), Stop 600 Mildred, and other community organizations are now working together. United our numbers grow and our voices get louder.
GET INVOLVED: Attend LUPC and VNC meetings. Check their meeting times and agenda at Venicenc.org.
Write to Councilman Bonin: Council Member Bonin, City Hall Office, 200 N. Spring St. #475,Los Angeles, CA 90012 or email him at councilmember.bonin@lacity.org
Email CNS at concernedneighborvenice@gmail.com
320 Sunset

Above: 320 Sunset: too narrow for delivery trucks


Poetry

September 1, 2014

love hate venice – By Della Franco
Ferguson, Missouri, 2014 – By Mary Getlein
Post Racial Ferguson – By Ronald McKinley
The Great Cop Out! or, The Saint Louie Blues… – By Moishe da Kooken Cocker
Roger Houston
Waiting on the Muse – By Tom Beatty
A Love Affair – By Laura Shepard Townsend
About a Love – By Virág Vida
—————————————
love hate venice
 
I love venice
with its colors everywhere
a mural in an alley, a painting on a wall
a portrait covering a garage door.
 
I hate venice
with its taggings and names sprawled
covering and tainting art
with egotistical territorial war.
 
I love venice
the walk across the sand
where dancers and drummers
at sunset make a universal band.
 
I hate venice
trash forgotten covers the land
plastic, bottles and other junk
left by people who don’t give a damn.
 
I love venice
and the people who really try
struggling to keep the boardwalk alive
fighting to preserve its authentic vibe.
 
I hate venice
and the crazy people who are loud
the ones who perpetuate crime
I cannot stand finding shit on the ground.
 
I love venice
I have neighbbours who say hi
I hate venice
there are scary strangers who make my kid cry.
 
I love venice
it is my home.
I hate venice
it does not feel like home.
 
– della franco
———————————————-
Ferguson, Missouri, 2014

take the good with the bad
the sick and the well
the kind moments and the mean moments
the quick and the dead
the babies and the stumbling old fools
the animals and the plants
the stars and the dirt
the dirt travels all around the world
before settling in your lungs
giving you pleasure along with disease
how can you help but be confused
which side are you on?
do you know your history?
what or who ruled your ancestors?
the rules or rule we lived under?
the kings and queens who crushed our rebellion?
the poor are rising up again
they want a piece of the pie
not just the crumbs society has left
to scatter over their poor broken bones
the country is turning toward repression
one more time they want to beat the people down
they are killing the youth, our future
they are there with guns cocked, ready to go
where are you on this?
do you even care?
people have to rise up and let them know
we are not going to do this again
Nina Simone called us the united snakes of America
are you happy with this description?
do you think it’s a label that fits?
stand up and let our voices be heard
we need to stand up to speak the truth.

– Mary Getlein
——————————————
Post Racial Ferguson
By Ronald K. Mc Kinley

The hate is still there politically opaque
Seeded by emotional crisis and radical change
The dance of the Americas
The muse of Pigmentation
Entitlement to the world and his quintessence
The cacophony of his molecular music autonomous
He can be destroyed but not defeated
Targeted by systems or six well placed rounds
——————————————–
The Great Cop Out!
or, The Saint Louie Blues…

Police brutality
Inhuman cruelty
Sick, societal insanity.
Didn’t the bad guys wear black?
Talk back  
And they give ya a smack!
“To Protect and Serve” on their cars
All they want to do is throw ya behind bars!
More oppression to the minorities and the poor
Complain and they kick down your door!
For hungry and homeless
Life is a mess
Jailing you is BIG business
Prisoners feed the money craziness –
Judges, police, vendors, lawyers, jailers
Bloodsucking money makers.
The system is sick
Minorities and hippies the pigs pick
It’s their job to be a bigot.
Illegal, unconstitutional searches
Any excuse to get you in their evil clutches!
Innocent?! Tell it to da judge, cops say
They know anyway you’re gonna pay.
Politicians make up more and more laws
Grind you up in the Devil’s jaws.
Pigs are paid to beat ya up and shoot ya dead
On our streets the blood runs red.
The mentally ill
They kill
While the real crooks
Are corporate and bank snooks!
Blacks and Latinos fill the jails
Showing the system fails.
Powerful unions perpetuate the sin
Lock you up in the bin.
Police are all ex G.I.s
Soldiers shoot ya between the eyes
And anyone dies.
Mentally wounded soldiers back from Iraq and Afghanistan
Rounding us all up is der Master Plan!
A militarized police complex
For our nation is a vex.
Pigs commit murder everyday
The poor and minorities they slay.
It’s their job to keep us down
And gentrify our town.
I LOVE AMERIKA!
Obey, Obey, Obey
I have nuthin more ta say!!!
Dear police, PLEASE don’t shoot me today!!!
OY VAY!!!

– Moishe da Kooken Cocker    Aug.2014
——————————————
00:00 Monday, August 25th, 2014, Adullam
….. As it has just turned midnight. Take the calm. And mix in three parts
silence. Let the room Be bathed in iridescence. Let the dark Combine with the
ethereal. Then mark The moment with the muffled drone of fan. The microscopic
penstrokes of a man. The sweet surrender of the college-ruled. Invites
discourse. Quite soon the lines are filled. Another midnight sonnet. Palindrome.
Another quiet season. Subtle zone. Where mystery abounds. Create a spark. And
bring all to a simmer. Angels lurk. The corridors of my lost, ancient tomb. Then
let it cool. And gel. Let it become ….. Roger Houston, post-beat romantic
——————————————–
Waiting on the Muse
By Tom Beatty

I tried to find her,

sat there through
hollow days and dying nites.

In front of a keyboard
or,
a yellow pad
or,
a bench or bar.

But
she was so elusive,
a lost, once imagined
ghost.

Not to be caught
and
our of reach,
like a peaceful life.

So many nites alone,
honest abandonment
and
direct dismissal.

Unasked and unannounced,
she drifted back in.

So now should I ask her where she has been?

Where?
All
those ling nites
and empty days
and
blank moments
and
listless afternoons
filled with callous eternity.

I dare not
as I am
so afraid
she
will
leave
again.
——————————
A Love Affair

Our Sky lights haloed by

The dusk of Moon Light

And stars witness and whisper of our love affair

Oh yes, this mingling and tango has gone on

For many many years

We have traveled, you and I

A history of aeons

Imprinted upon one anothers’ souls

Archives of lost lands

Of beckoning shores

An inexact knowledge of eternities

Only an intuition

Candles flicker this night

As we speak of our betrothal

To art

And to our muses

And to one another

So simple,

And yet our joining

Is such mystery

Such a sleight of hand

As the tapestry wove us together

And continues to weave

Intrinsic threads

Yours and mine,

Bonded

Ushered forth

Patterns birthed

Oh, my breath is lost

At the thought of our merging.

– Laura Shepard Townsend
———————————-
About a Love
By Virág Vida

Life bursts in me like lightening,
Morning lights dig bright golden rays
Deep into my hair
I live
in an eternal time difference.
 
You burst in me like lightening
Five thousand miles,
Five thousand Volt in
your eyes
I will never be in your arms.


Letters

September 1, 2014

Dear Beachhead, 

I don’t get it.  I never did.  
I don’t obsess about RV’s, or caravans, or motor coaches or moho’s or whatever you want to call them.  However, some people do.  I still don’t get it.  Appears to me this obsessing is done mostly by people who have a lot of free time on their hands, concern themselves about what other people do, how they live, what they look like and do they look like an ad in a house good-looking mag… or a commercial…some kind of a beauty contest.
 This has been going on for a really unconscionable period of time when, at the same time, much more important things are going on, like the possible beginning of WWIII or a 2nd Civil War. 
 Why then are moho’s still being manufactured?  Why haven’t they been taken off the market? Seems that you can buy them but you can’t use them in too many places… unless they are new, or corporately owned. This does not seem right to me or even “capitalistic”…for that matter. 
 Reminds me too much of WWII, the Gypsies, the Jewish People, the disabled and what happened to them…

Sincerely,
Betty Rexie
Venice, CA
———————————-
Dear Beachhead,

Thank you for all your fine reporting.

Sincerely,
Earl Newman


It Struck!

August 1, 2014

By Greta Cobar

A rare lightning storm hit Venice on Sunday, July 27, killing one person and injuring 13 others. Nicholas Patrick Fagnano (November 23, 1993 – July 27, 2014) was getting ready to start attending USC, his dream school, in two weeks.

“He worked hard these past two years and was so excited to start at USC,” his father, Jay Fagnano, told the Beachhead. He didn’t get into USC right out of high school, and attended Santa Barbara City College for two years. “He just went downtown to finalize where he was gonna live and from there just came to the beach, two weeks before college, with his high school friends. They really liked going to the beach, and this was their go-to spot,” his father told the Beachhead.

“Nick was on the volleyball courts, and before heading home he told his friends: ‘let me just get in the water and rinse the sand off me’ – he just went in for one minute. After it happened there was such pandemonium – his friends couldn’t find him,” his father said.

“They found him fifty feet out, about thirty minutes later. Two lifeguards found him and did everything they could. Then they took him to the Marina hospital. It was lightning that killed him,” his father went on to say.

I met his parents, Mary and Jay Fagnano, on the Venice pier at a small family memorial held for Nick. Locals, friends and family members brought written words, pictures and flowers to the entrance to the pier, in what has become a make-shift memorial for Nick. He is survived by his parents, grandparents, uncles, aunts, and cousins. Nick has no siblings. A scholarship fund for an undergraduate transfer student to USC has been established in Nick’s name.

Vern L. Williams can be found fishing at the end of the Venice pier on most days, and July 27 was no different. He was sitting right next to the light pole at the very end of the pier as “clouds came over us and stopped in the middle of the circle,” he told the Beachhead. “It started roaming, and then Boom! Everybody ducked down and then they all left the pier. I said I’m not going nowhere – I’ve been on this pier thirty to forty years of my life, fishing. I was the only one left on the pier,” Williams told the Beachhead.

“The lightning hit the pole, I saw it when it hit, I saw light circle the pole – good thing I didn’t touch the pole. I would’ve been dead. I saw the light ricochet off the pole. It was really scary. I started shivering and then it started raining,” Williams said.


Will Venice Become a City of Strangers?

August 1, 2014

By Bruce Meade

Looked for a place to live in Venice lately? Then you know rents are astronomical for even the smallest spaces. Big demand, small supply.

A supply that is dwindling even further as landlords convert long-term rental units to short-term (under 30 days), which happens to be illegal in a residential zone. But since when does the law matter when Big Money is involved?

Advocates of affordable housing decry the loss of units, which squeezes the rental market even tighter.

Advocates of the “sharing economy” decry the loss of a chance to make a buck, or save a buck, as the case may be.

Here are some of the players in the short-term rental game:

Online Brokers such as AirBnB, etc.: they take their percentage from each side of the transaction and look the other way when things go south. Just another multi-million dollar industry. Tenants, be aware: if you sub-rent your place online your landlord can evict you. Most lease agreements have provisions against sub-renting, sub-leasing and against having guests over for more than a week or two. If you are a landlord, be even more aware: it is a zoning code violation to run a hotel in a residential area. Building and Safety is currently zoning in on these code violations with fines.

The Los Angeles Short Term Rental Alliance (LA-STRA) is a recently formed group of landlords alarmed by the fact that some cities, like New York and New Orleans, have already banned short-term rentals. They want to make sure Venice remains a gravy bowl of profit. They want less stringent rules and oversight on short-term rentals. If they have their way, affordable housing in Venice will be harder to find than a pay phone.

Keep Neighborhoods First is a grass-roots Venice organization set up to educate and inform the public about the onslaught of short-term rentals in Venice. Go to their website, keepneighborhoodsfirst.com, to learn more about getting involved in this looming economic issue. The Venice Neighborhood Council is currently thinking about addressing the issue: get involved by attending meetings and taking a stand.

And a final thought: just because something is profitable does not make it right. Without affordable housing, Venice can say good-bye to whatever diversity is left here. Short-term rentals, left unchecked, may turn Venice into a city of strangers.


I’m Not Pledging That!

August 1, 2014

By Deborah Lashever

Now at our VNC meetings we begin with the Pledge of Allegiance. Interesting. It has been a while since I have had to think about standing for it. Or not. After some reflection, I find I still feel the same as I did in the sixties. This is not a poem. It is a pledge. That means in order to repeat it – with hand over heart no less – I should believe it on a very deep level. A pledge is my word. And I take that seriously. This tends to offend some people.

What do the words really mean? Have you thought about it? Are they true and applicable in our country today? Do most people believe we are one nation under God? What does the Republic actually mean? Does it still stand for something? What? Are we really indivisible? Is there truly Justice and Liberty for all? Just who and what am I pledging allegiance to really? The military industrial complex? Corporate personhood? Who are these people running the country? They do not resemble anyone who is doing the Will of the People that I can savvy and isn’t that, after all, what the Republic stands for?

Don’t mean to offend…..but…..hmmm….I should say these words that do not apply to any reality….why? I should pledge myself to untruth because….? I should drink the Kool Aid? Or at least publicly pretend to so not to offend some distant, hardly looked at sense of generalized red white and blue clad patriotism? Nope. Sorry.

Yes, I will stand while people pledge their allegiance, even though I know most have never thought about the meaning of the words. I will face the American flag out of some sort of weird respect for people who still like to lap up that artificially colored, artificially flavored beverage. But the words I do speak – loudly and with conviction – are, “with liberty and justice for all.” I do this just in case someone is actually listening. I speak this fine phrase with the full force of my conviction. For it is this phrase that for me epitomizes what this nation has indeed stood for and what made us great once upon a time and what – if anything – will save us. I speak these words to draw attention to the fact that it is not happening at all – and that it should.

It is inauthentic for me to do anything else. This country is not what we say we stand for. Again, sorry if I offend anyone but if I do not stand for truth I do not stand for anything. I pledge my allegiance to that.


Letters

August 1, 2014

Nick Antonicello
Randy Saludes
Alan Rodman
———————————-

Dear Beachhead,

Mary Getlein’s July piece (Bonin Walks From Meeting) is insightful and indicative of how Mr. Bonin approaches the Venice neighborhood and governance in general.

The freshman council member doesn’t allow for any serious exchange with residents and the “Venice Life” meeting held on June 18 was another example of that flawed policy.

When first elected to the council Mr. Bonin was a speaker at a monthly meeting of the Venice Neighborhood Council (VNC) and took no questions.

When a Venice Town Hall was held in response to the senseless auto death of an Italian tourist on her honeymoon, Bonin lectured residents on his vision of Venice, and promptly left again after his prepared remarks and no interaction with the hundreds in attendance.

It seems to be the policy of the 11th District council member that unless the environment is controlled, an honest discussion or the ability to ask questions is non-existent.

In dealings with his staff, emails are rarely if ever returned – especially if you disagree with their public policy positions or inaction as witnessed for over a year as it applies to the current condition of the Venice bike path and knolls that separate it from the pedestrian walk.

Building consensus and reaching out to residents in a diversified community such as Venice takes thoughtful leadership from the head, and not the back of the line.

Sincerely,
Nick Antonicello
———————————————————

Music Police
 
I play drums for Phylte Risk (http://VeniceLion.com). I am primarily a Jazz drummer. I play at a low volume that accompanies acoustic pianos and other Jazz and quiet amplified music groups. I enjoy drumming for Al Robinson, who leads the group, and is a great guitar player, who plays through a small battery operated amp.
 
Our group alternates performances with other acts in front of On the Waterfront restaurant on Ocean Front Walk just north of Rose. The police came by as a loud guitar player was performing, and they shut him down. I told the officers that we had encouraged him, we encourage all performers who come out to play, and do not appreciate the police who come by and say all kinds of contradictory things, and that amplified sound is ok as long as it’s kept to a reasonable level.
 
So our group began to play at our lower level. The policeman came up to our guitar player who leads the group and was able to have a normal conversation with him as we played, and told him to turn it down. So we did. The police officer and the guitar player were able to converse and I could even hear what they were talking about sitting at the drums while we were playing. The officers told us to play even lower and when we did they then told us to shut down. We did comply. I was angry. They have no right to shut us down, we know the legal decibel level and know the police were being unreasonable. The crowd and the patrons where chanting over and over “let them play”.

So this is when at some distance away from where we were set up I went up to the officers and asked for their contact information, because I wanted to make a complaint against them. They told me they would not give me this information unless I gave them my driver’s license. Well I told them I didn’t want to give them my license and they again repeated the same story that they wouldn’t give me their info unless I gave them my license. So like an idiot I gave them my license. I thought they were telling the truth. I waited and waited and thought they were writing down the information I had asked for and waited and waited and they gave me a ticket.
 
A ticket for 115.02 LAMC: Amplified Sound: Engaging in the installation, use, or operation of any loudspeaker or sound amplifying equipment in a fixed or movable position;……..

Amplified sound is legal on the boardwalk no matter what the police say.

I’ve lived on the OFW since 1992 and there are many horror stories from many musicians who have been abused, lied to and threatened by the police. Venice has been a circus, loud, noisy since its beginning. Anyone who says they came to Venice for peace and quiet is a bold face liar.

Randy Saludes
—————————–

Dear Beachhead,

The wonderful DVD, “The Cook,” (Milestone film & video, 2003) starring Roscoe Arbuckle and Harold Lloyd, deserves the attention of Venice. It is a real gem!

The disc includes countless, amazing historic scenes shot right here in old Venice, and Ocean Park!

The first film on the disc, The Cook, long believed lost, was restored when additional missing footage was found in Norway. With  incredible sight gags, juggling food, and wild slapstick comedy, this picture includes amazing footage of a chase on the old Crystal Pier, or perhaps early Ocean Park Pier, with its rickety rollercoaster, in Santa Monica, just south of Pico Blvd. In the background appears what is now the Casa del Mar Hotel, and the whole beachfront to the south, with many rides and buildings under construction. Some of this footage may be misidentified on the disc’s liner notes as the Pike, yet may be recognized as old Santa Monica in 1917.

Surprisingly, this movie includes what may have been the 20th century’s first filmed wardrobe malfunction: high up on the rollercoaster overlooking the Pacific, a frightened cashier, played by Alice Lake, turns to face her pursuer (Al St. John as The Toughest Guy,) when her see-through bodice slips slightly, and she reveals a bit more than just her acting talents.

(See if you notice The Toughest Guy leering – while actually the actor seems to be clinging for his life to a flimsy guardrail!)

The entire beachfront scene from Santa Monica Pier to Ocean Park Pier, Lick Pier, and Venice Pier (“Admission: 10¢”) are the backdrop for at least two of the hilarious early films on this disc. Shot in 1917, as well as in 1920, using a single stationary camera, (just months before the pier being destroyed by fires), these pictures present our whole early beachfront scene, ready to be explored as if through a time machine.

The later, very funny film, “Number Please,” starring Harold Lloyd, gets comedic (and some racially stereotypic) play from the newfangled telephone, but the action soon brings us to the pleasure piers.

Everything there sure looks like a lot of fun, demonstrating how many fascinating and curious attractions the beachfront had going in 1920. In fact, these pleasure piers play their own big role in this picture, since all that festivity emphasizes the irony of Lloyd’s forlorn look, as a lover who has lost again, now lonely in the crowd.

The Merry-Go-Round has a great part in this movie too, as Keaton runs in frantic circles to rescue his girl’s small dog, one who is also an incredible scene-stealer (and purse-stealer,) while we watch the dog’s point of view from a camera placed on the turning carousel.

It may well be noticed that attitudes toward the treatment of animals in film have changed over the last century, though Keaton and this poor hardworking dog will likely still make us laugh out loud.

At the close of the film, a vignette focuses on his sad gaze, then widens out to show Buster Keaton gloomily chugging off on the little Kinney-Marquez Railroad that took happy vacationers on Venice beachside pleasure tours.

Explore more, and tell what you discover!

Yours for all time,
Alan Rodman
I can be reached at (310) 927-2959, if needed.


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