We Must Stop the TPP/Fast Track and Patriotic Act Renewal

May 1, 2015

By Anthony Castillo

In the next few weeks the US Congress could hold votes on two issues that would, if passed, continue the undemocratic and unconstitutional course our country has been on since the 80s. One would further increase wealth inequality, the other continue the erosion of our civil liberties.
The first is the potential to Fast Track a vote on the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP). What is the TPP and why Fast Track a vote on it? The TPP is a massive “free trade” agreement being pushed by big corporations, which for the last six years has been negotiated in complete secrecy in closed-door meetings by US officials along with representatives from eleven other countries (Australia, Singapore, Peru, Japan, Chile, Vietnam, Malaysia, Mexico, Brunei, New Zealand, Canada). The TPP would expand the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and has been described as NAFTA on steroids by some of its critics. Radio and TV commentator Thom Hartman calls the TPP, SHAFTA, due to the negative consequences it would have on everyday working folks. Some of these are: an increase in the US trade deficit; acceleration of American jobs being sent off shore; further increasing income inequality; increased cost of pharmaceuticals; exposure of the US market to unsafe food and other products; it could ban “buy American” policies to create green jobs; demand a roll back to even the weakest attempts to reform Wall Street; place restrictions on a free and open internet; empower corporations to attack local or federal environmental or health safeguards; drive down wages.
And it gets worse. The TPP would increase the use of a process called Investor State Dispute Settlements (ISDS). Through these the TPP would elevate individual foreign companies to equal status with sovereign nations. ISDS allows foreign companies to bypass the legal system of a sovereign government and instead go to an international trade tribunal made up of as few as fifteen corporate lawyers to settle disputes between company and country.
Under the TPP a foreign company could sue a signatory country for “expected future profits” if they feel that the public interest policies of a country frustrate their profit expectations. In other words, we the taxpayers could end up paying our taxes directly to foreign corporations on nothing more than a company’s speculation on what it thinks its projected profit margin may be. Sound crazy? Well it is.
Why has the TPP been such a secret for almost six years of intense negotiations? The terrible track record of NAFTA, the unpopularity of the policies that the TPP would put into place, the negative impact it would have on wages, worker, food and product safety, the potential environmental devastation might be some of the reasons. In fact the only reason the public has been made aware of the TPP at all has been through anonymous leaked partial drafts as it is being hammered out in secret. Wikileaks has posted most of the TTP leaked documents on its web site. The bottom line is this: if the TPP had been talked about and made public from day one, the agreement would not stand a chance of passage, so secrecy is a must to even getting an agreement to bring before Congress.
President Obama and his administration are asking Congress for Fast Track authority to pass this dirty trade deal. By granting a Fast Tract vote on the TPP Congress would delegate away Congress’ constitutional trade authority. A Fast Track vote would all but eliminate any debate on the TPP. In addition, neither the House nor the Senate could amend the TPP in any way, shape or form.
And worst of all, Congress is being asked to do so without a single member of Congress being allowed to read the entire text of the TPP. Lori Wallach, director of Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch, said “Rather than putting Congress in the driver’s seat on trade, this bill is just the same old Fast Track that puts Congress in the trunk in handcuffs. I expect that Congress will say no to it.” Let’s hope she’s correct. NAFTA was rammed through Congress by President Bill Clinton and passed by just one vote. While Congress may not know what’s in the TPP, 500 official corporate “trade advisers” have special access to view TPP updates at will.
On the TPP President Obama finds himself at odds with his own party and in bed with corporate Republicans. Newly announced Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Sherrod Brown, Alan Grayson and other Democrats are leading the fight to defeat Fast Track and the TPP, or at the very least demanding to see the full text of the TPP before they are asked to vote on it. In fact while more Republicans support the President on this issue, at last count they can’t muster the votes to pass Fast Track. One reason for that may be a 2015 bipartisan NBC, Wall Street Journal poll showing that 75% of Americans think the TPP should be defeated or at the very least delayed.
Educate yourselves, spread the word and get involved to stop a Fast Track vote on the TPP, because if we do that we will be defeating the TPP itself. For more info go to Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch at http://www.citizen.org, check out a great video on the TPP at Congressman Alan Grayson’s http://www.tradetreachery.com, and there is also a funny and informative TPP video at http://www.represent.us. As Congressperson Grayson says, “Free trade is fake trade.”
While I will spend less time in this article on the USA Patriot Act, it is no less important that provisions of it be allowed to “sunset” on June 1, 2015. Passed in the wake of the attacks of September 11, 2001, the USA Patriot Act has been the law used to justify every roll back of our civil liberties under the guise of the so-called “war on terror.” Though the Patriot Act is fundamentally unconstitutional and ignores the Bill of Rights, it has been renewed again when it could have been allowed to “sunset” or expire and therefor cease to be law. All Congress would have to do to have Americans regain some of the rights we’ve allowed to be taken from us is to do nothing. That’s right, do nothing. On June 1st 2015 not the entire Patriot Act, but two of its most onerous provisions are set to expire, Section 215 and Section 206. Section 215 violates the 4th Amendment by doing away with the need for authorities to show “probable cause” to obtain records from an individual or entity. This is the part of the Patriot Act used to justify the National
Security Agency’s (NSA) mass surveillance and collection of the metadata from every US citizen. And until the revelations from former NSA contractor turned whistle blower, Edward Snowden, these spy programs were kept secret from the public. Section 206 allows for John Dow roving wire taps which do not require authorities to identify a specific target. This type of wire tap scoops up everyone, no matter how innocent, if they are somehow in the sphere of communications being tracked.
Even while one of the USA Patriot Act’s main authors, Republican Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner of Wisconsin, has become a vocal critic of how the legislation has been used, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell wants to not only renew these Patriot Act provisions, he also wants them to not sunset for seven years. Two years longer than before. The entire US Patriot Act should be done away with by allowing it to sunset or by abolishing it out right.
There is no justification for Americans to give up their fundamental Constitutionally guaranteed rights to fight a phony war on terror, when in reality, the war is being waged on “we the people” of the US. For there is zero evidence to show that the bulk collection of American’s telephone call records or e-mail has ever stopped a terrorist attack. Join with the ACLU, Center for Constitutional Rights, Electronic Frontier Foundation, Bill of Rights Defense Committee, National Coalition to Repeal the Patriot Act to name but a few, and work to regain our stolen civil liberties. The best thing we can all do to beat both the TPP and the renewal of parts of the Patriot Act is to call Congress both the House and Senate and tell them what we want. No Fast Track authority and no TPP. No renewal of any part of the Patriot Act. Call not only our California representatives, but call those in other states as well. The US Capital switchboard number is (202) 224-3121.
USA PATRIOT ACT TURNING

TPP earth

USA Patiot Act Obama


758 Sunset Ave. PLUM hearing

May 1, 2015

By Ivonne Guzman

On April 14, 758 Sunset Ave., a Small Lot Subdivision that was DENIED by the West Los Angeles Area Planning Commission (WLAAPC) was heard by Los Angeles, PLUM (Planning Land Use and Management) Committee. Councilperson Mike Bonin took jurisdiction over the project at the request of the applicant and Planning Department. The room was packed with standing room only, with many left outside the hearing doors. When the appellant representative arrived she was rushed to the podium, as the item had been moved up on the agenda. The appellant himself had a heart attack just one hour prior to the hearing due to the emotional distress caused by the case, and was rushed by ambulance to Santa Monica Hospital.
Testimony was heard by some of the public for and against the project. Halfway through the hearing quorum was lost, according to Chair Councilperson Jose Huizar. Councilpersons Mitchell Englander and Gilbert Cedillo would be attending the State of the City Address by Mayor Eric Garcetti, and therefore quorum was lost. It was announced by the Chair Jose Huizar that he would be making a recommendation to the full council and those who were not able to speak could attend the full City Council meeting the following day. Many in the audience had taken the day off on that day, and were not able to attend the following day.
There was NO due process for 758 Sunset once it got to the PLUM Committee. The full merits of the project that took 4.5 hours in WLAAPC were not discussed at ALL! Once Councilperson Mike Bonin took jurisdiction via the 245 Rule, the entirety of the WLAAPC decision was null and void and was to be heard in its entirety by PLUM. This in fact did not happen either in the PLUM Committee or the full City Council. The item passed unanimously at Council Chambers on April 15. The project can be further appealed to the City, CEQA and The California Coastal Commission.


Adding More Fake to the Fakery Update: Gjusta’s Gjelina 320 Sunset, Sauce at 259 Hampton, and Simmzy’s at 37 Washington

May 1, 2015

By Roxanne Brown, Member Neighborhoods’ Groups’ Coalition

GJELINA’S GJUSTA at 320 SUNSET – Owner Fran Camaj, Architect Stephen Vitalich: Still operating (since opening in October 2014) as a “fakery” with commercial kitchen equipment serving fish, beef and fowl, when they have a permit for bakery/bakery equipment/retail/take out/no seating or eating on premises.
Gjusta was cited in December, but hasn’t changed a thing. Gjusta had a hearing with City Attorney on March 26, 2015. Details were not disclosed to residents. Another hearing with City Attorney is scheduled for May 14.
On November 13, 2014, Gjusta’s change of use hearing from “bakery” to late night restaurant/bar with full alcohol license went before Maya Zaitzevsky at City Planning/Zoning. Still no decision from the City.
THE BAKERY WITHOUT A BAKER
According to LA Eater this March:
“…chef Nicole Rucker is no longer involved at Gjusta, … a huge loss …and a major shakeup to the Gjelina group as a whole. A blue-ribbon pie winner at the National Pie Championship and a pastry chef of the highest order.”
POSTCARD CAMPAIGN
Residents reported that the weekend of April 25, Fran Camaj, Gjelina’s/GTA’s/Gjusta’s owner, was talking to customers at Gjusta and handing out postcards for patrons to fill out supporting its “expansion.”
The hearing for “expansion” was already held November 13. Isn’t the decision made on evidence presented prior to and during the hearing on November 13?
CURRENT STATUS – PATIO and PARKING LOT WITH TABLES and CHAIRS – PEOPLE EATING AND SITTING
At Gjusta’s November 13th hearing, Building and Safety stated that Gjusta was to be a bakery only, serving baked goods only, take away only – no sitting or eating. No patio was approved or allowed.
Building and Safety also said the “parking lot” was designated as a “vacant lot” and was not supposed to have cars parked, nor people eating and sitting. Even the parking lot is a fakery.

SAUCE at 259 HAMPTON – Owner, Richard Gottlieb, Architect, Stephen Vitalich, Consultant, Laurette Healey, Lawyer, Ben Reznik (Fran Camaj – Restaurateur?)
In September 2014 the city approved 259’s proposed change of use from retail/take out to late night restaurant/bar with full alcohol license, providing no parking, as close as 15 feet to residents’ homes. It did not go through VNC or LUPC. This was appealed.
During the January 7 Appeal Hearing five LA Planning Commissioners voted unanimously to uphold the appeal and deny the project.
The developer requested a re-appeal due to a missing 12-page audio report from an unnamed expert and contradictory site plans.
During the April 1 re-appeal hearing Laurette Healey, consultant for the applicant, claimed that the restaurant/bar would be a less intense use than retail/take out; and that more alcohol licenses do not affect the crime rate.
Richard Gottlieb, owner, said that with this expansion, there would be less [car] trips than there are now.
Stephen Vitalich, architect, said they would provide valet parking in structures. He did not state where or how many cars that would hold.
Residents in favor of 259 were mostly restaurant workers and employees of Full Circle Church across the street from 259 Hampton at the corner of Rose. Full Circle is a “church” founded by an actor and has many members. Neighbors have complained to police about drinking on premises and late night partying at Full Circle.
Local residents say they saw Healey standing in front of Sauce at 259 allegedly telling residents if they liked Gjelina’s and Gjusta, that same group would be running 259 Hampton. Perhaps this explains why Fran Camaj has been at all of 259’s hearings.
Ben Reznik, 259’s lawyer, pretty much summed things up after Commissioners were presented with a new third site plan, saying: “What you have here is a completely changed project.”

GENERAL COMMENT WRAP UP
Sarah Blanch, a representative for the Institute of Public Safety said that research shows unequivocally, time and again, that there is absolutely a correlation between the number of bars, restaurants and stores selling alcohol and a whole range of community harms, including crime, drinking and driving, littering, loitering, excessive noise.
ABC’s current recommendation is 5 alcohol outlets in 259 Hampton’s tract. There are already 15. There is critical mass when it comes to what a community can bear. ABC is there to protect the livability of our communities and their recommendations should not be overlooked.
Santa Monica, with a similar high density of alcohol licenses to Venice, is ranked in the highest quartile in LA County’s alcohol related crashes.
COUNCIL OFFICE AND COMMISSIONER’S DECISION
Chris Robertson stated that Councilman Mike Bonin was opposed to the second floor and alcohol permit with 259’s track record of illegal operations (operating as a sit-down restaurant with permit for retail/take out only) for the past five years.
The Commissioners began a discussion. One main point was that this seemed like a completely different project (a totally different site plan was submitted) than what was initially approved and then appealed. Shouldn’t the process start all over and go through VNC and LUPC?
City Attorney, Kathy Phelan, said changing things at the last moment and putting conditions on 259 was OK. She encouraged the commissioners to approve 259 in its new form.
Commissioner Joe Halper wanted to uphold the appeal, Commission President Thomas Donovan said he could go either way – uphold or add conditions, Commissioner Esther Margulies wanted to approve with conditions. So all three agreed to approve with conditions. Despite Bonin’s office being anti-second floor, the commissioners allowed it.
CONDITIONS and ENFORCEMENT
Conditions will be made on hours, no alcohol permit at this time (they can reapply), valet parking in structures, and enclosing restaurant structure – no outdoor dining.
What’s the incentive to adhere to any of this when there seem to be no penalties and no enforcement? Who can trust what will be built?

SIMMZY’S PUB/RESTAURANT at 37 WASHINGTON
37 Washington Blvd. was approved by the City to transform from a retail store into a Simmzy’s Pub restaurant, offering 30 kinds of beer. Owner, Mike Simms, tore down the retail store. NO parking and NO change of use were required.
37 Washington is steps to the beach. NO coastal development permit was required. Remember the lightning strike? Ka-Pow!
Roxanne Brown - rendering of third site plan for 259 Hampton

 

Above: Rendering of third site plan for 259 Hampton

Below: Gjusta customers illegally eating in the parking lot illegal make-shift patioRoxanne Brown3 - Gjusta


When Will Mike Meet with Venice?

May 1, 2015

By Mark Lipman
 
On Monday, April 27, Councilman Mike Bonin held a special public meeting in Mar Vista at the Marina Del Rey Middle School to speak with the community on extending for 2 years (the legal State limit) the Interim Control Ordinance (ICO), passed by the City Council, affecting 15 neighborhoods in Los Angeles, including the Kentwood district of Westchester, Mar Vista and Venice east of Lincoln, in order to give the city the needed time to close the loopholes in the Base Mansionization Ordinance (BMO), that developers are using to flood neighborhoods across the city with unsightly and unwanted mega-mansions for the super-rich.
 To date, the ICO has been presented as a “contentious” and “controversial” issue – one that is splitting the community – as something that is pitting property owners and non-property owners against each other. On the surface this is what the moneyed interests want us to believe.
 In fact, the first encounter I had at this meeting was with a man named Keith, who was upset that the ICO would prevent him from making a modest addition to his home to support his growing family. Then we talked. 
 Together, we discovered that no one (except the real estate developers) wants these all-consuming mansions in our neighborhoods, and that it is unfair that real home-owners and long standing members of our community should be punished in order to put the big money developers in check … but this is what’s happening to divide our community and create the needed wedge so that business-as-usual can keep going unfettered.
 One woman asked, “Why, if we’ve had the BMO in place for ten years now, do we have this problem with mansions taking over the entire city?” This is a very important question that gets to the heart of the matter.
 The fact is that the reason we are in such a desperate state with massive over-development is because at every level, from committees, to departments, to the City Attorney, to the City Council, to the Mayor’s office, our city is bending over backwards to make every and all accommodations for the real estate developers, interpreting the laws to suit the big money, while turning a blind eye to any violation – such as demolitions without permits, or incomplete applications, while throwing our communities under the bus … just like what’s happening at 416-424 Grand Ave. here in Venice, where six long-standing families were pushed out of their affordable housing units to make way for yet another mansion.
 Another question raised at the meeting that echoes what we in the Venice Coastal Zone (which is being excluded from the ICO) have been saying is: “Why is it that only a handful of neighborhoods are being protected when this out-of-control mansionization is destroying all of our communities? Why is this not being done city-wide?”
 Councilman Bonin’s response was that these were the communities that have been speaking out the most and calling for the ICO. I guess we here in Venice (west of Lincoln) haven’t been raising our voices loud enough for the City Council to hear us?
 But perhaps that’s unfair … the stated reasons why the Venice Coastal Zone is not included in the ICO is because the BMO doesn’t extend west of Lincoln (but we did have a BMO here in the 80’s and there is nothing stopping the City Council from adding the Venice Coastal Zone into the BMO – all that really takes is for a motion to be put forth from our Councilman to make it happen).
 Still, to be fair, we are told that here, west of Lincoln, “we need another set of tools” and that we already have protections in place, like the Coastal Act, the Mello Act, the Venice Specific Plan. Unfortunately, none of those laws that are on the books are being properly enforced. Perhaps the “tool” that is needed is an ICO for the Venice Coastal Zone, so that the city can get its act together to enforce the laws that are already there to protect us.
 And still, there is another “tool” that can be used to protect us from the plague of demolitions that is cursing our Venice Coastal Community … it’s called a Historic Preservation Overlay Zone (HPOZ).  Right now, the plurality of homes and buildings that are slated for demolition are the historic buildings that Abbot Kinney built over a hundred years ago. What about preserving our culture and our history? 
 Additionally, with an HPOZ, there are preservation funds available to help fix up and make needed repairs to these older homes, which could be made available to our struggling home-owners.
 On top of it, these older homes and buildings are where a great number of our low-income tenants live, who right now are the targets of Ellis Act evictions where real estate developers look to cash in by building up these mansions that no one in our community wants. Perhaps, if we had an HPOZ in place that would prevent the demolitions, then the developers would have to think twice about gutting our neighborhoods.
 Again, all it would take is for our Councilman to put the motion forward. So why isn’t he? I believe that’s a legitimate question that deserves a response.
 I believe that our Venice Coastal Zone Community deserves a serious community meeting with our Councilman, where he sits down and listens, not only to our concerns, but also to our solutions, one in which he makes concrete commitments as to what he is going to do to help our community.
 Playing the fence only helps the big money developers. What we need, and expect from our elected officials, is action. 


SMPD Profiling of Venice Homeless

May 1, 2015

By Brian Connolly

I was lying down in Ozone Park (“behind Whole Foods”) minding my own business with a sleeping bag over me due to a chilly wind when a cop approached me. Though alone in the sunny palm tree-lined park and clearly not doing anything wrong, the officer demanded to see my ID. I was being profiled as being an HP – homeless person – by the Santa Monica Police Department. 
I was in the “no man’s land” on the border of progressive Venice Beach and elitist Santa Monica. Aware that I’m not required to produce an ID, but could have instead asked if I was being detained or arrested, I chose to give it to him. I’ve never been arrested. He made it immediately clear that he was running my ID for warrants. He then stated that the reason he had engaged me was that on a previous day their department had received a complaint from the homeowners across the street that other homeless individuals had been doing drugs and were a nuisance. 
What in the world did that have to do with me? Nothing, obviously. But this is the reality of police abuse since the financial crisis caused by the Wall Street bankers. The standard of probable cause has been all but thrown out. My right to enjoy Ozone Park like anyone else was being superseded by the departmental convenience of the SMPD. 
Their method of dealing with the call was not to do police work – to, for example, observe if anyone was actually breaking the law and then engage police powers – but, instead, to “clear the park.” The officer conducted a conversation with another SMPD official over his radio in an intimidation attempt – making it plain that HPs will be singled out and scapegoated into incurring forced background checks for the crime of “looking homeless” – profiled.
If your attitude towards hearing all this is “Good. To hell with these homeless %$#%&#s. I’m sick of seeing them too!” – you’re part of the problem.  If you’re a person of color (POC), Jewish, Muslim – even Irish or Italian – there is a sad history of abusive profiling in your own “cultural tree.” 
America is on a march towards the expanding of rights – not the rescinding of them. I saw an injustice that day – I’ve acted upon it – exposing it. That’s how America really works. Actions. Pushing back against intrinsic unfairness. The radio chattered. The officer shuffled his feet, looking (to his credit) a little uncomfortable. My ID had come back “no priors — ever.” Awkwardly, he made a comment about what time the park would close late that night as if that was at issue — as if his function in society suddenly was simply, in effect, to serve and protect. 
But this officer’s function in society that day in the “no man’s land” between America’s rich and poor — haves and have nots — was something very different. The reality of profiling different classes or groups of individuals is that it creates an immediate climate of some people having rights – and just as quickly a judgement that others are unworthy of the same right. The only true solution to these bias-based injustices is to treat all individuals irrespective of their race, gender-identity or perceived social-economic class, etc., as being part of a single class — American.


Poetry

May 1, 2015

No More Police Brutality – Enyaj Pitchford
Yes … I did it again … Sticks and Stones – Mark Lipman
A Rain Prayer for California – Majid Naficy
Breasts – Mary Getlein
Mama – Chaya Silberstein
Roger Houston
Unjustice – Jaclyn A. Zepnick
——————————————
No more Police Brutality
Together we demand a New Reality

Homelessness in Not A Crime
We are all Near Homeless where Real estate is Prime

All Life Matters
the Media’s in Shatters
The Truth will not be televised
The Victims are all Demonized

Police are puppets of the One Percent
They Protect and Serve them
And Eliminate Descent

America is a Democracy
We will not accept this Plutocracy

The Police are here to serve and protect
We pay their salaries with our taxes, Let them not forget
While the Rich go tax free
and prey on you and me

homeless but not nameless
a mother lost her son
we will not live in fear
of losing anyone

Another unarmed brother
slain in a pool of blood
We demand the assassin apprehended
To save our Neighborhood

When the police are the perpetrators of the crime
Their place is the jail or unemployment lines

– Enyaj Pitchford
————————————————–
Yes … I did it again  …
Sticks and Stones

by Mark Lipman

for Brendon Glenn (Dizzle),
killed by LAPD, 05 May 2015
 
(whisper): Sticks and stones
                may break my bones
                but the police
                are out to kill me.  (x3)
 
Sitting naked
in a cold, damp alley
nothing but stars
above me.
 
Here come the lights
all shiny and bright
sirens and badges
they haunt me.
 
Hands in the air
and down on the ground
they’re pulling their guns
and though I’m unarmed
and pose a threat
to nobody,
 
they come to shoot me down
just because of my poverty.
 
(whisper): Sticks and stones
                may break my bones
                but the police
                are out to kill me.  (x3)
 
If you’re black or brown
or homeless in this town
they throw you to the ground
the verdict is already guilty.
 
If you’re a suit and tie
you turn your back and lie
making money while we die
shutting your ears to our story.
 
We throw our hands in the air
saying “Don’t Shoot,” don’t you dare.
yet the politicians just don’t care
they only serve and protect the money.
 
So don’t act all surprised
when the people begin to rise
and call out all your lies
this is the voice of the many.
 
(whisper): Sticks and stones
                may break my bones
                but the police
                are out to kill me.  (x4)
———————————————
A Rain Prayer for California

By Majid Naficy

Mountains are depleting of
snow,
Lakes are dying of thirst
And our farms and meadows
Are burning from
drought.

Oh, Father Sky!
We Californians
Make a pact with you:
If you rain
for three months
We in return
Will not spray chemicals
On oranges and
strawberries
Or feed hormones
To calves and chickens;
We will reduce or
avoid
Consuming meat and milk,
And extract clean fuel
From the sun and
wind.
May Mother Earth
Shower us with affection.

Do not forget,
though,
That we Californians
Like to be outdoors.
So please keep the days
sunny
And rain only at night.
——————————–
Breasts

The mother in the park
said only Americans
are worried about
breastfeeding in public
all over the world this is accepted
the perfect food
for our babies
it’s because we are so sexualized
we view body parts as for
sex, only
and when we see them, we get excited
in a sexual way
instead of
accepting the fact
we are closer to primates than any animal
and we have the
primate urge
to hold on and never let go
we are soothed when we’re picked
up
we are disturbed when we’re put down
which is why women of other
cultures
hold their babies close to them
with the aid of a wrap
all day and
all night
in Africa women are viewed as good mothers
and their breasts hang
down to their waists
everyone accepts this as a beautiful thing
in this
country people would rush off
to the plastic surgeon
to “correct” this
“abnormal” condition
in Africa they are congratulated
for being good
mothers.

– Mary Getlein
——————————————
Mama
By Chaya Silberstein

Her love brought me into this world.
Her love for everything fresh, new and exalted.
A cousin recommended a class on musical theory
and she arrived late.
A shower after gym held her up
and like Venus out of the sea,
slipped into the classroom.

Lounging in back of the room,
my father whistled to himself
and passed her a note.
“No class tomorrow,” it said.
She always loved great literature.
There was nothing like a well penned sentence
to get her juices flowing.

He played the bugle
and she danced to the rhythm
of a hundred marching feet coming home.

He introduced her to a new world
where sunset is the most important time
every Friday evening
and candles illuminate places unseen.

He introduced her to a world where death is not the end
but only the beginning of a soul’s journey.
My mama was soothed by my father’s words
for her baby sister had been taken by the angels too soon.

He opened a window to a life unimagined
and she jumped through.
Their love brought me into this world
and their love carries me through.
—————————————-
22:55 Sunday, April 26th, 2015, Adullam ….. Estranged from Venice. Miss her
friendly face. Seems I’ve worn out my welcome. Not a trace. Of warmth and
hospitality these days. I visit her on Sundays. Miss her ways. Her slow
enticement. Wispy Frankincense. My efforts to maintain are in past tense. My
family is slowly dying off. Don’t recognize these strangers. It’s enough. To
make me plan escape. To scale the fence. To disappear forever. The suspense. Has
dissipated. Watching how it plays. Does not yield reassurance. There were days.
When magic was enough. This sacred space. Was gobbled up by yuppies. They
displace ….. Roger Houston, post-beat romantic, sadly
——————————————
Unjustice
Untrue
Unreal
Un-you.

Take back the time. 
Go back to the morning
And Unwind. 

It didn’t need to end–
It didn’t need to start.

Somewhere in the middle,
Is his heart. 

– Jaclyn A. Zepnick


POWER Press Release

May 1, 2015

Tami Pardee, realtor of the 1%, for the past ten years has been “Taking Away” from our Venice Community.  “Taking Away” our affordable housing.  “Taking Away” our culture and history.  “Taking Away” the very character of this unique community, while throwing away the very people of Venice, who make Venice a place worth living.  Tami Pardee, has been involved at every stage of the destruction of Venice, from the buying, to the demolition, to the out of scale development, to the selling of our community to the richest of the rich and that ain’t right
The people of Venice are fed up with the evictions that are gutting our community.  Tami Pardee says that she gives back to the community, but we know the only way she is able to sell properties for such a high price is by forcing existing tenants to leave their housing.  Forced evictions are part of the business plan to make more profit.
For every development project, there is a Prospectus made to show to the investors just how much profit can be made by evicting existing tenants from their affordable housing units.  The proof is there and we want to see it.
So we’re here today to present Tami Pardee with her Eviction Notice.  We want Tami Pardee to open up her books and let us see the Prospectus or Quit Venice.
Today, we are here representing tenants from multiple properties that Tami Pardee has helped to evict (416-424 Grand Blvd.), is in the process of evicting (2505 Oakwood Ave.), and has harassed into moving (35 Clubhouse Ave.).  This needs to stop.  Tami Pardee and the realtors like her need to be held accountable and this is the first step.


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