November 25, 2015
I t's Your Venice -- Get Involved!
President's Message:  The Holidays
The Holidays have a way of getting us all to take stock; not only in the past year, but for times to come.

It seems to me that overall the last year has been pretty good to Venice. First of all, people are more involved in our community than ever. We all know folks we agree with, and those with whom we don't, but at the end of the day, that's not really what's important. What's important is a dialogue, and that no doubt is happening more than ever.

Volunteerism seems to be up as well. Every time the Venice Neighborhood Council puts on an event, we seem to have an abundance of neighbors who want to participate, and be part of planning a productive event. I know this has been the same for many other organizations in Venice as well.

It also feels like the economy is finally starting to turn around. Many businesses are hiring, people are starting to travel again, and overall, most people I hear from tell me that they feel hopeful about the future.

These are all good signs, but by no means is this progress and optimism reaching everyone. Too many members of the Venice Family still seem to be struggling to tread water or to get ahead. Too many still feel that government or the community are not listening to them and that they are feeling less and less a part of their neighborhood and larger community. I hope in this Holiday season, and beyond, that we can all focus on trying to bring everyone into the fold.

Some of these issues are no doubt socio economic based, or stem from issues that go back many generations, and cannot be easily repaired. But, what can help is even more dialogue and even more volunteerism.

The easiest examples of our needs are our homeless population and those living in poverty. With the Holidays coming, now is the best time of the year to focus on how each of us can make someone else's life better. Whether it's bringing someone a hot meal, donating food or money to a local charity such as the LA Food Bank, The Westside Food Bank, the LA Regional Food Bank, or volunteering to work at St Joseph's, OPCC, SPY, PATH, The Teen Project, Meals on Wheels or any house of worship in town that helps the needy, particularly during this time of year, even the smallest gesture can make a big difference.

In particular, the Holidays can also be a tough time for kids in need. Many of us took for granted getting toys for the Holidays, but it obviously isn't always the case. The Venice Neighborhood Council, and, in particular, Mariana Aguilar and the Oakwood Recreation Center have run a wonderful Holiday Toy Drive for the past several years. I really hope, that if you are able, you can donate a new, unwrapped toy, to this wonderful annual event.

Finally, the Holidays are often very difficult for those struggling with mental illness and or drug and alcohol dependence. Sadly, suicide related to these issues is often highest around the Holidays. As someone who has had to personally witness the devastating effects of these struggles, especially during the Holidays, I hope there are those among us that can find some time to volunteer to help our neighbors in need, whether it's just being a supportive shoulder, or offering time to the many support centers in Los Angeles.

In short, let's all try to focus on what the Holidays mean; not gifts in the traditional sense, but gifts in the larger sense. Let's listen to each other, volunteer for each other, and make this a special time of the year for everyone, not just those who can afford it.

Happy Holidays my friends.
Tonight:  23rd Annual Pacific Division CPAB Dinner

Tomorrow:  Westside Thanksgiving Dinner and Celebration
Join us on the VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System campus for our 34th annual Thanksgiving. We have three decades of tradition serving the community with a wonderful free sit-down Thanksgiving dinner. We also provide haircuts, blankets, clothing, hygiene kits and a children's carnival.

The Celebration is open to everyone. No reservations are necessary. We bring together an inter-faith collection of groups and individuals in a wonderful celebration of Thanksgiving.  We welcome everyone - students, singles, low-income families, seniors and those who are homeless - to join us as our guests.



Heal Healthy at Home - Meals on Wheels West

More. . ..         
Thu., Dec. 3:  Santa at Oakwood Recreation Center?

Around 3:00 pm?
           
Wed., Dec. 9:  El Nino Town Hall Meeting
The City's Emergency Management Department (EMD) is pleased to host a series of Town Hall Meetings regarding the predicted El NIno severe weather conditions.  Representatives from LAFD, LAPD, LA City Public Works, Bureau of Sanitation and the Los Angeles County Department of Public Works will make formal presentations at these meetings.  Representatives from other key City departments will also be on hand to answer questions from the public.  

One Town Hall Meeting will be held in each of the City's four Disaster Management Bureaus. A flyer showing meeting dates and locations is attached.  Disaster Management Bureaus have the same boundaries as LAPD's and LAFD's Bureaus. A map showing council district boundaries and Disaster Management Bureau boundaries is also attached.  

WESTSIDE Meeting:  
Date :   Wed., Dec. 9
Time :  6:30pm - 8:30pm 
PlaceWestchester Recreation Center
              9100 Lincoln Blvd
              Los Angeles, CA 90045 
                             More. . .                             
El Nino:  Be Prepared!
Coastal Venice has been spared - so far - from flooding due to confluence of the Gulf of Alaska's northwest swell and a southwest swell causing high surf on our beaches.  
Be prepared!  Sand and sandbags are available at the following locations:
Fire Station 63 - Venice: Sandbags and sand
1930 Shell Avenue
Fire Station 5 - Westchester / Playa del Rey: Sandbags and sand
8900 S. Emerson Avenue
Fire Station 67 - Playa Vista / Playa del Rey: Sandbags only; 5451 Playa Vista Drive
Fire Station 62 - Mar Vista: Sandbags only; 11970 Venice Blvd.
   More. . .             
Sat., Dec. 19: The Great Venice Toy Drive and Holiday Festival!
Public Safety Committee Helps Residents Stay Safe
The Public Safety Committee of the VNC has created pressure-sensitive "window clings" for residents to display on the inside of glass doors and windows. The clings are designed to warn away thieves and trespassers looking for homes to burglarize and to serve as a reminder to residents to remember to lock their doors and windows when they leave home. The clings are free to any Venice resident at our VNC Farmer's Market table or any official Neighborhood Watch Block Captains may request them by emailing publicsafety@venicenc.org.


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L.A. Department of Building and Safety has an App for That
The Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety offers LADBS Go. An iPhone® and Android™ application that enables you to easily:
  • Request Inspections
  • Review Permits and Inspections
  • Report Violations
  • Find nearby Service Centers
  • Get the latest Wait Times for all our Service Center counters.     


 

More. . .                 
Venice Canals Footbridge Repairs Approved and in Progress
This work was originally requested 9 years ago! Everyone involved in working to make it happen thanks City Council Member Bonin and his team for their efforts in expediting the engineering and rounding up the funding.

                For more information and schedule detail, click here. . .              
Be a Hero to Our Homeless Heroes
"Homes for Heroes" is a program to engage our landlord community to rent to our veterans. The resource we are using to house our veterans is called the Veterans Assistance for Supportive Housing or VASH.VASH provide homeless veterans with a long-term rental subsidy and supportive services so that the veteran retains and succeeds in housing. The City has over 1,000 VASH vouchers to house homeless veterans in 2015.

For information on how you can be a Hero for Heroes, please contact Ms. Tina Estedabadi of the United Way's Homes for Heroes campaign at homesforheroes@unitedwayla.org or 213 808-6608.


First Fridays:  Electronic Recycling at Farmers Market
Free of charge, and taking place every first Friday, the Electronic Recycling Solutions Truck will be onsite at the Venice Farmers' Market, 7:00am - 11:00am , 500 N. Venice Blvd. Venice, CA 90291.



Receive Bi-Weekly City Planning Early Notification Reports
One way to avoid the surprise of sudden construction next door is to learn about it in advance.
You can make your voice known to the City and to building permit applicants before it's too late to appeal!

Sign up to receive the City Planning Department's bi-weekly email, which lists new applications filed for construction in Venice.  
More. . .              

Your Venice Neighborhood Council Wants You!
The Neighborhood Council system is growing.  VNC is, too.  Learn more about us  here .

In addition to seeking new Board members and Committee Chairs, we are always looking for good people to serve on VNC committees.  

Now is the perfect time to get involved!  

For more information, contact  Mike Newhouse  or  Marc Saltzberg .              
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Venice Neighborhood Council
PO Box 550
Venice, CA 90294
310-421-8627
info@venicenc.org