RIP: Carol Pomerantz (12/07/1933 – 6/10/2014

August 1, 2014

HANDS
(To Carol Pomerantz, A Child of Flowers)
When My husband and I visited Carol in the hospital before she passed, she took our hands between her own and caressing them, shared with us the secrets of her hands.

Hands see
Faces in flowers, dreams in sunshine
Every day

Hands shape
Strangers into friends
One touch at a time

Hands dance, unafraid
Lose the self
Then find an old child inside
Claim it new

Hands sing
Softly so everyone can hear
A song of peace

Hands rock babies
From darkness
Into morning, aglow with light

Hands fold into prayers
We can forgive ourselves
What we cannot undo

Hands light candles
So bright they flame
Into memory

Hands are for loving
Like children who play
And dance and sing
Be happy, this is our holiness
Our gift to the world

-mina
—————————————-

Carol Pomerantz

I still look for your sunshine smile
On the Venice Ocean Front…
Carole sang her carols
And drew lovely pictures
Of birds, fairies and angels
Now you are an angel with rainbow wings…
Carole, you were the light of Venice –
Always a smile and a happy word
Even when you were sick
Pushing your walker
To the Levine Center
You still had a laugh
A song and a hello to all the babies…
Your healing touch
To the young & old
Even to my pooch…
An old but young soul
Still wearing your hippie beads
And colorful hippie clothes
Like when you sang and danced
In the 60s and 70s…
Old flower child
Filled with love
And kindness for all…
Gentle soul –
Love pouring out from you
Like the sun warming up the Venice Walk
Even on a freezing winter day…
Another old burning flame extinguished
Like another blazing sunset
On Venice beach…
The beachfront is much colder
With your passing –
Please beam some of your love and warmth
Down on us from above…

– Marty Liboff

Carol copy

                                                 Above, L to R: Carol Pomerantz, Fay Conn and Pauline “Sunshine” Slome, on OFW


Poetry

August 1, 2014

Philomene Long – There Are Never Enough Ravens in a Poem
Philomene Long – Love, You Are Green and Dark
John Thomas – You Bring Me Apple Trees, Flowering Apple Trees
Roger Houston – Adullam
Hillary Kaye – Perhaps Now
Mary Getlein – To My Unknown Friend
Rus McCoy – God Took a Photograph
Bruce Meade – Surfing the Breakwater
—————————–

THERE ARE NEVER ENOUGH RAVENS IN A POEM
(For Pegarty)

The moon
If it could
Would be a
Raven
Many stars
Strive to be Ravens
Lightning is the slow
Raven
Most Ravens have been seduced
By the blind
The Mother of us all is
The uncarved Raven
I write, always
With a Raven’s quill
Between my fingers
There are never enough
Ravens in a poem
– Philomene Long
——————————-

LOVE, YOU ARE GREEN AND DARK

Love,
You are green and dark
The field I walked as a child
Slowly, slowly the snow
My favorite word was
Far, far
And the stars
How I had to close my eyes
Before they came too close
And the snow
You are
Green
Like snow
And far
Love, love
In our solitude
Even the sun will abandon us
Put off the naming of things
We’ll do it together
– Philomene Long
—————————-

YOU BRING ME APPLE TREES, FLOWERING APPLE TREES

you bring me apple trees, flowering apple trees
all the lost best poems of Sappho
new life at the core of the flame
happy deaths in a sea of milk
my pockets are a poet’s pockets
that is to say, nearly empty
please accept what I bring you tonight:
a cold quart of Coors
(one dollar twenty-two cents)
this limping, feeble poem
my whole heart
– John Thomas
—————————-

03:44 Wednesday, July 30th, 2014, Adullam ….. I have a Beachhead. Tacked up on
my wall. September of 0’Seven. I recall. My own dear mate had passed. End of
July. Then to learn of another casualty. A tough job. Being a poet. Wear and
tear. Sometimes to feel that there’s nobody there. Beneath the full moon.
Windward. August came. Learned of your passing. Dear Saint Philomene. Was
sleeping in my van. The beach was near. Recall the homeless ghosts. The
sidewalks share. Did you pay visitation? Come to see? With John and Stuart, come
to call on me? As I was parked on Windward? As the fall Was waiting in the
wings? And would you tell? ….. Roger Houston, post-beat romantic
———————————

Perhaps Now
By Hillary Kaye
 
My life dances around me
turning circles, performing feats
of Magic.
Star dust
some of us already star dust
covering the earth
with so much love denied
so much lost opportunity
perhaps it was only to know you
and you
perhaps to share
some burning inspiration
some light into the darkness
perhaps to kiss just this one shoulder
to move one being
to appreciate this formation of clouds
to know God as fire
to know peace as movement
to surrender
one last time to hope.
———————————–

To My Unknown Friend

I was walking across the 99 ¢ parking lot
in Mar Vista, when some guy shouts out:
“You’re the Best Poet in Venice!” and I
look up, & he’s looking right at me
Oh Thanks! I say,
totally bewildered and looking around for
other Venice poets he might be addressing
instead of me –
but no it was me –
I was so surprised and happy
I felt like saying
Thanks man, because I was thinking of
hanging it up –
you know, days pile up, hot and sweaty
and no poems come to mind
no inspiration or subject matter –
except two more of my friends have died
so . . .
it made the morning a special one
then he said: They feed my spirit –
your poems feed my spirit
and that was really cool –
’cause if I can feed your spirit
I figure my job is done.
so keep on telling poets they’re good –
’cause it keeps you wanting to write poems
that feed your spirit
Thanks, Israel! (his name)

– Mary Getlein
————————————-

God Took a Photograph

In August 1945, God took a photograph
And when He did, it made a flash
That lit the Asian sky
80,000 people posed when God took His photograph
They never had the time to smile
No time to say goodbye

How do you find words to define
When something so horribly divine has happened
That caused the world to change?
The Pacific war was raging on
80,000 people gone
At first, they were not missed, isn’t that strange?

But God wasn’t satisfied when the picture was developed
He decided to take another
And this time get it right
Again, He chose the “Rising Sun”, He took three days to focus
Another flash that scorched the earth
What is such a picture worth?

And when news had spread, the world stood still
America imposed its will
And, one by one, the soldiers did disarm
Was this in God’s master plan
And did it have to be Japan?
Must the cost of peace be paid with so much harm?

I wonder what God did with them, His pretty little photographs
Does He keep them in a scrapbook
Or are they framed above His throne?
Does He pull them from His wallet to show to all the angels
Or does He look at them and shed a tear
At night when He’s alone?

Words and music by Rus McCoy © 2001
From the musical “MANZANAR: Story of an American Family”
By Rus McCoy and Dan Taguchi
http://www.manzanarthemusical.com

Commemorating Hiroshima Day, August 6
——————————————-

Surfing the Breakwater

head high Furrow
of Ancient Comet Ice
Leaps Broken Bootlegged dreams
Neon mermaid takes off
Behind the Peak
Dolphins carve
the inside section

Learners Laughter
Symphonies the shore break
while outside
A half blind con man
is sucked into

NOW

By a hollow hissing arc
A blue altar
A blank canvas
A wave

– B. Meade

 


How Far We Have Come

August 1, 2014

By Mark Lipman
 
The recent events and conflict in Gaza have caused great stress and polarization around the world.  Although the best in the great majority of us has risen to the top in protests for peace across the globe; the worst in a few, blinded by the ideology of racism and hatred for “the other”, has held near exclusive sway in all the corporate-controlled, mainstream media, with a fundamentalist, reactionary demonization of all things Palestinian.

Let me say this with as much clarity as possible.  What we are facing today is not a question of choosing sides between Israel and Palestine, but rather a basic question of, and a crisis within, our own humanity; of who we are, of what we have become in our very souls.

When I hear religious leaders, politicians, news-actors and their puppet followers, degrading the human worth of an entire population, calling for more and more violence, justifying genocide and the killing of children, in order to suit their ideological and political ends, literally admitting to and embracing the word “fascism”, for the joy of bloodlust and surge of power they feel for being on the wielding side of the artillery shells, a deep rage and disgust boils in my heart.

Facing such cruelty, I willingly choose atheism over all of your vengeful, spiteful, hateful gods, all killing in the name of … in the shame of the poison that has filled too many souls, excusing atrocities and applauding murder as greatness.

Yes, I choose a side, not based upon religion, or nationality, but founded in truth and a common decency for all life.  I stand as much with the Palestinians and their struggle for justice, as I do with the refugee children sitting at the U.S. border, and with all those who stand up against the politics of apartheid, against the manipulating governments of fear, distrust and hate.

If you ask me why Israel and its supporters are on the wrong side, it is because they are the military occupiers.  The aggressor has no “right” to claim defense.

Listen to what is being said, listen to the words dripping off the oppressor’s tongue, mimicking the drool of blood that falls from the vulture’s beak, and ask yourself how far have we come from the Germany of the 1930’s, when the same evil was spoken, in the very same way, in the very same words, about another race, another culture?

What we see today has nothing to do with the teachings of any religious scripture and everything to do with racism and greed, with the concentration of wealth into the hands of a few elite, who consider themselves the gods, the master race, while the rest of us – all of us – whether Muslim, Jew or gentile, the mat on which to wipe their feet.  
 


ONE LOVE

August 1, 2014

 

The world is in a mess
Our survival is a guess.
Madmen & fanatics
Causing worldwide panics.
Christians, Muslims, Jews, Buddhists, Hindus
All kinds of coo coos.
Each say we are right
Believe us or we’ll fight.
Capitalism, socialism, communism
All sorts of schism.
Hard lined Republicans & Democrats
Closed minded little brats.
Beware demagogues taking away freedom
They think the people are dumb.
Political religions are just as wrong
So I sing love in my song.
So much hate, hate, hate
Let’s pray its not too late.
Its such a wonderful world we live in
Don’t ya remember killing is a sin.
One love, one heart, one humanity
Please stop this murdering insanity.
Stop war & open your heart
Kindness & compassion are a start.
Love & forgiveness are the way
Only love will save the day.

– Marty Liboff,  July 2014


Venice, Burning to be Restored

July 1, 2014

By Jim Smith

July is the month of revolutions. The American colonists did it on July 4. The French did it on Bastille Day, July 14. Many more nations celebrate their revolution, or liberation from an occupying power, in July. They include Algeria, Argentina, Belarus, Belgium, Mozambique, Peru, Venezuela and many more.

And so it is with Venice. We celebrate our founding as taking place on July 4, 1905, when Venice of America had its grand opening. For the next 20 years, inhabitants of Venice – Venetians – basked in independence as a free city of California. 

This is not the place for a recounting of the machinations that Los Angeles performed in order to annex Venice (they have been told in other Beachheads and in books). Ever since Venice lost its independence, Venetians have been struggling to regain it. 

This spring, while most eyes were focused on the Ukrainian crisis, the city of Venice, Italy, held a referendum for total independence from Italy. It passed with more than 89 percent in favor. The voting was organized by the people of Veneto (the Venice region) giving the powers in Italy an excuse for not recognizing the results. But at the very least, the issue of the rebirth of the Serene Republic of Venice, after more than 200 years, is back on the table. 

Should Venice, California do any less to regain its cityhood? Holding a referendum might be the first step to independence. A resounding vote in favor of Venice cityhood would show the legislators in Sacramento – who have the power to ease the process to cityhood – that there is broad-based support for an independent city. 

The failed vote in 2002 for San Fernando Valley cityhood is often brought up as somehow justifying a lack of activity in promoting Venice cityhood. Yet, what is not well known is that a majority of voters within what would have been the new city, cast votes in favor. It was only outlying areas of Los Angeles that voted no after a fear-mongering campaign by L.A.’s 1 percenters.

In order to head off the fear mongering, advocates of Venice cityhood should assure low-income tenants that rent-control will not go away, but will become stronger as absentee landlords lose power. New development schemes will be decided by people in Venice who have to live with them, not by city hall bureaucrats who never set foot in Venice. And unions, should be assured that their representation rights for city workers within Venice will be recognized. 

The city of Venice, along with Berkeley, can be the most progressive place to live in California, where people’s rights, regardless of their wealth or lack of it, are recognized and celebrated. 

Yet, there seems to be a peculiar lassitude among Venetians, even activists, in taking the needed steps to restore cityhood. Perhaps it’s the chem trails, or maybe the GMOs that are making people passive. In any case, if civil rights activists had been as passive, there would still be segregation in the South. And if the American colonists, who were among the world’s elite in the 1770s had not roused themselves to endure terrible hardship at Valley Forge and elsewhere, this would still be a British colony. And, yes, some of us would still be demanding independence.

For those who are still not convinced that they should put their shoulders to the wheel of Venice history, perhaps the words of Venice’s greatest poetess, Philomene Long, will convince:

Venice, city conceived in imagination for imagination
With body intact –the canals, the welcoming houses
The people came. It happened – the magic – unexplainable
Venice becoming the city imagined
A city like no other city on earth
Its community of Venetians giving her a soul
Bright. Transcendent. The soul of Venice
A gift, which cannot be bought nor stolen
This is the gift out right, freely given 
To those open to receive it; for those who listen
But Venice transcendent still needs a body
It can be, has been, wounded
It can die; live on only in history
So we here today, as with previous Venetians
Welcome all as neighbor, loving freely
At the same time preserve and protect our radiant city 
With magic and practicality 
And with the hope of a pale green egg
That resolve passed on from those that have gone before us
For them as for ourselves, and for those that will follow
Will stand here where we stand today 
And who will walk upon our footsteps into the next century
That the light of Venice not be extinguished 
Nor diminished, nor simply be maintained 
But that light burn, burn, burn into a boundless Luminosity! 

***

 


L.A. Living in Vehicle Law Found UnConstitutional

July 1, 2014

By Peggy Lee Kennedy

To me it’s a sweet, but sad victory. This recently overturned unconstitutional Los Angeles City law, LAMC 85.02, has been used over the years to harm many more people than the four plaintiffs in the Desertrain vs. City of Los Angeles appeal.
Harassment, arrests, tickets, vehicle tows, pets taken to the pound, stay-away orders, intimidating city attorney hearings, unnecessary court appointments, warrants for those who could not show up each time, inappropriate hate mongering by the city and homeless hate groups – these are some of the injustices connecting the victims of this unconstitutional law.

The hope is that this win results in more overall justice for all those affected.
Sometimes being a leader means taking the responsibility to make amends and create some form of reconciliation. Not just using our tax dollars to pay for the mistakes of the City. We have a systemically broken system in Los Angeles that criminalizes poverty and our elected leaders need the guts to honestly try to fix it. Our City Attorney took a first step. But people, it is much more than just this one unconstitutional law.  

Carol Sobel, the civil rights attorney who won this important case, believes that “Not only is this a victory for unhoused individuals, but it is also a very important step in the judicial recognition of the  need to address any legitimate issues the City seeks to remedy by some more humane means than criminalizing poverty.” And she is so right. There are plenty more humane means to addressing homelessness than ticketing, arresting, towing, and police harassment.

The story of this unconstitutional law is not new, but the lawsuit starts with Councilman Mike Bonin’s mentor and predecessor, Bill Rosendahl. He was champion for pushing through the OPD (Overnight Permit District) LA City law, specifically used to remove anyone living in a vehicle from a street – very often on streets with no residents, like by a park or a golf course.

It basically backfired. While we were fighting OPDs at the California Coastal Commission, because Venice is in the coastal zone and parking equals access, OPDs were going up all over LA and the vehicle housed people had less and less places to park. More people were becoming homeless and vehicle housed at the same time. Not such a smart move for Bill Rosendahl, considering the resistance. Mike Bonin, the current council person, was Bill’s chief of staff at that time.

Not one parking space in Venice was offered to the vehicle housed in order to offset this push. But plenty of big talk from Bill about a safe parking program along with the money spent on some ridiculous consultant to create one. Not to mention how Bill was going to amend LAMC 85.02 so people could have a place to park! The law is gone, where the hell are those safe parking spots? It was all a bunch of S.H.I.T. and the City keeps putting up more “No Oversized Vehicles from 2-6am” parking signs everywhere. But I digress.

Anyway, Bill Rosendahl and his criminalize-the-homeless posse lost their battle for OPDs at the Coastal Commission again in 2010. Then began a never seen before war waged on anyone in what even looked like a live-aboard vehicle in Venice. Don’t try to drive through, either. That is exactly what led to the Desertrain lawsuit. Very nasty stuff.  I encourage everyone to read the 9th Circuit decision on line at: http://1.usa.gov/1nnGEyz. It is an easy nineteen-page read that might open your eyes a wee bit.

We are waiting for it to turn around. The money spent on these crazy homeless “clean up” sweeps and defending the other laws used to target homeless people in Venice is more of the same costly insanity, now led by Mike Bonin. Saying you are against criminalizing homelessness is not enough. In fact it is Orwellian to say the words when outrageous city recourses are used for inhumane, non-solutions at the same time.

The City writes laws, often called Quality of Life Laws, and continues to enforce laws in a discriminatory way that affect homeless people disproportionately. Mike Bonin recently announced that his council district budget for prosecuting these types of laws had been increased. Not exactly the change we were hoping for.
 
The court determined that LAMC 85.02 was written and enforced in such a vague way that it encouraged arbitrary and discriminatory enforcement. Ninth Circuit Judge Harry Pregerson wrote in his conclusion, “For many homeless persons, their automobile may be their last major possession — the means by which they can look for work and seek social services. The City of Los Angeles has many options at its disposal to alleviate the plight and suffering of its homeless citizens. Selectively preventing the homeless and the poor from using their vehicles for activities many other citizens also conduct in their cars should not be one of those options.”
 
Calvin Moss, with the Venice Justice Committee, commented that “The Judges just nailed it on this one, a classic historical constitutional decision.” Our Justice Committee does not enjoy catching the City violating civil and human rights. People are being harmed. We are looking for real change and real solutions.

Art RV

RV

RV - Move or Die

Peace-Love-Venice-Beach-photograph-20081-445x600


Letter

July 1, 2014

320 SUNSET UPDATE – IT’S YOUR VENICE – HAVE YOUR SAY

By Roxanne Brown – member: Concerned Neighbors of 320 Sunset (CNS)

Rose Avenue continues to produce more and more upscale restaurants with liquor licenses and late-night hours. And now, it looks like Sunset could become the next Rose. Here’s a quick update on Rose and Sunset, and how to get your voice heard.

THE ROSE CAFÉ: Gift shop is closing to make room for a late-night wine bar.

FIESTA BRAVA at 5th and Rose: Proposed upscale restaurant serving alcohol with late-night hours

THE MARKET at 5th and Rose: See Fiesta Brava above – it will be part of this new development.

609 ROSE: Another upscale restaurant with alcohol and late hours is in the works here.

320 SUNSET: This is our current big fight. We learned in the April Beachhead that owner Fran Camaj, Gjelina’s owner (1427 Abbott Kinney), had proposed development of a bakery with accessory retail at 320 Sunset. And, we learned that he and former Land Use and Planning Committee (LUPC) 320 Sunset case manager, Jim Murez, had failed to mention the proposed off-site beer and wine sales.

Camaj appears to be doing a bait and switch. Now, instead of a bakery, he is proposing a restaurant with 30 employees, serving 20 inside and 65 on an outdoor patio, 12 – 20 feet from residential dwellings. Construction on the “bakery” isn’t complete – it hasn’t opened and Camaj wants to convert it to a restaurant? Was a bakery ever even on the radar?

LUPC April 16th: Many neighbors spoke out against this. One resident had taken pictures revealing that rather than a bakery; it appeared that a full-blown restaurant had been built.

April 26th: Camaj hosted a tour and outreach meeting, sharing with the 60 neighbors gathered that when he applied for 320 Sunset’s conversion to a bakery, it presented less than 10% increase in usage (this falls within the constraints of a maximum 10% increase in intensity per the Venice Specific Plan). Camaj told the community that the prior tenants at 320 Sunset were six architects. A restaurant with 115 people is nearly 20 times that usage – a 2,000% increase in usage.

How can this happen? It seems this kind of “case splitting” is a loophole in the system, which allows developers to apply for one thing and then slip through a very different thing – all allegedly legal – through the city.

Camaj said patrons would be allowed to eat in 320’s parking lot, seated on milk crates. 320 Sunset has a parking lot that could maybe hold 15 vehicles. But, if people are eating on crates there, is it still a parking lot? Where is the real parking? Where will deliveries be made?

With proposed opening hours from 6 a.m. to 1 a.m. (19 hours), noise and traffic will likely be 24/7.

Camaj repeatedly insists (LUPC and April 26th) that he has a seven-year track record as a good neighbor at Gjelina’s. But, the LA Times, Grub Street, Eater LA, the Beachhead and other media have reported on Gjelina’s seating over capacity city code violation and interfering with street parking regulations on Abbott Kinney. Media has also reported on neighbors continually complaining about loud music from the patio being heard in their residences, congestion and noise from pedestrians and vehicles, and lack of residential parking.

Camaj has a permit for a bakery at 320 Sunset. He proposes to obtain a variance for the zoning of 320 Sunset from light manufacturing (M1-1) to commercial. The 300 block of Sunset is currently home to a large, quiet artist community, as well as to senior citizens, families and young couples with children.

Traditionally, restaurants have been on commercial streets like Rose, Main, Abbott Kinney, and Lincoln, not in residential areas. If 320 Sunset gets a commercial variance, what’s next? Other buildings in M1-1 zoning and residential streets in Venice will become vulnerable to similar zoning variances.

No wonder many Venetians believe our community’s unique quality of life is under attack by developers and look-the-other-way political representatives. If there is going to be change, we want what is right for Venice. If you agree, now is the time to be heard.

HAVE YOUR SAY: The easiest way to be heard is to join a community organization. They inform you of what is going on via email or Facebook. You can get information regarding 320 Sunset from: CONCERNED NEIGHBORHOODS of 320 SUNSET (CNS) by emailing us at concernedneighborvenice@gmail.com. And/or go to Facebook – SPIRIT VENICE
More community organizations on Facebook: Venice Community Unity Coalition and Stakeholders of Venice.

Learn what The Venice Coalition to Preserve Unique Community Character (VCPUCC) is doing (see June Beachhead).

Land Use and Planning Committee (LUPC)- Venice Neighborhood Council (VNC): LUPC reviews proposed developments and gets residents input. VNC represents Venice’s voice to the city of Los Angeles. The Venicenc.org website posts their agenda. 320 Sunset may be on July’s agenda.

Go to that meeting and sign up to speak. LUPC meets at the Oakwood Community Center on the first and third Wednesday evenings every month at 6:45 – corner of 7th and California. VNC meets once a month on a Tuesday at Westminster Elementary School at 6:45 – corner Westminster and Abbott Kinney. Your presence makes a difference-no need to talk. There is power in numbers and unity.

TELL CITY HALL: All of these developments, liquor licenses, improprieties, code violations, zoning variances, change of use – way over 10%, case splitting, late hours, and inadequate parking are happening on City Council Member Bonin’s watch. He wants to hear from you. Write him at Council Member Bonin, City Hall Office, 200 N. Spring St. #475, Los Angeles, CA 90012 or email councilmember.bonin@lacity.org Keep a copy – give it to your organization.

Now, you know there is something simple and easy you can do. Join an organization that will represent your views, your voice. You can be heard. Every voice counts.


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