VNC Calendar
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Board meets 3rd Tuesday            

Aug 20, 2015
It's Your Venice -- Get Involved!
Message from the President
Water Wise

I've lived in Southern California for all my life, and I've seen a lot of severe droughts. But, by far, this is the worst. There is less water in our lakes, and snow seems to be almost non-existent on the mountains. The severity of this drought is no secret, and these days everyone is working hard to figure out new and creative ways to save water. 

Between the City's Save the Drop campaign, surcharges on water usage and voluntary decreases in use by businesses and residents alike, the LA Times recently reported a 27% drop in water usage. This is obviously great news, but, in the worst drought in recent memory, it just isn't enough. Now, more than ever, we all need to be as creative as possible in finding new ways to save water.

Recently, while at dinner with a friend, I was given a great idea. The conversation started with a question; what happens to the unfinished water in people's drinking glasses once they leave a restaurant?  It gets poured down the drain. Obviously, this water can't be re-served to other customers, but what if we could find a different way to use that water? 

For starters, it would be easy to reclaim this water. Servers could simply dump the unused water into a bucket or other vessel in the restaurant. From there, restaurants could use this water for various needs. Most restaurants have some amount of greenery and/or landscaping. This water could easily be used to water that vegetation. Similarly, toilet bowl holding tanks can be adjusted to hold a lot less water by default. At regular intervals, restaurant staff could use the reclaimed water to fill those holding tanks. Additionally, daily cleaning of restaurant floors and patios, etc., could be done using this water.

Of course, reusing water is not a new idea. For almost thirty years California has been using reclaimed or "grey" water to irrigate public lands, including schools. Such water generally comes from sinks and showers. After basic treatment, while not potable, it is absolutely safe for these uses. Surely unfinished potable water could be similarly used.

Finally, this could also be an opportunity for a new industry to spring up locally, and even nationally. Properly structured, a servicer could collect all such water from restaurants, for a reasonable fee to those restaurants, and resell that water at a discount to other businesses, or homeowners looking for a less expensive way to buy water for their industrial and residential uses.

It may sound unconventional, but even now, when restaurants are only serving water on demand, there are countless numbers of semi, to almost full glasses of water that go wasted when a customer does not drink them. Let's use that water to our advantage.
Your Neighborhood Council Board Takes Action

At Tuesday night's monthly meeting, the Board voted to address the city's housing crisis by recommending that safe and habitable bootleg units be legalized on condition that they be rented to low income tenants at low or very low affordable levels, with relevant support documentation and monitoring.  

The Board also concurred with the Land Use and Planning Committee's recommendation to approve a Milwood Avenue property demolition and new construction.  

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Mon., Aug. 24:  Airport Commission Workshop

FAA's Draft EA for the SoCal Metroplex project

 

1. Presentation of the City's proposed response to the draft Environmental Assessment for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) proposed procedures for the Southern California Metroplex project.


 

2. Airport Commissioner Joe Schmitz will address the Commission with his analysis of the FAA's SoCal Metroplex Project.

3. The Draft EA is available online:



Date:  Monday, August 24, 2015
Time:  7:30 pm
Place:  anta Monica    City Council Chamber
           1685 Main Street
    Santa Monica, CA 90401
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8/24:  Input Deadline - Help Prioritize Small Street Repairs!
Two or three times a year, Venice gets a visit from a Bureau of Street Repairs truck and crew to make small repairs to our streets and sidewalks. 

The next visit is scheduled for 9/21/2015.

The small asphalt repair program completes all the repairs it can in a single day with one truck load of asphalt and a crew of 2. If one large job (such as repairing an alley or street with several deep holes) is the highest priority, that is all they will be able to accomplish. The program is not designed for major jobs such as repaving a street of rebuilding a sidewalk. Think patches and repairs!

Please make your recommendations - and be sure to back them up with REAL priorities; use URGENT / High / Medium. Safety concerns should take precedence over wear and tear!

Please provide the following information with your suggestion:
  • Address of the repair
  • The type of repair (pothole / erosion / bump-uneven resurface / sidewalk / other
  • Description / Notes
  • Priority
DEADLINE: Please get your suggestions to VicePresident@VeniceNC.org no later than 8/24 so the list assembled and returned! BSS will conduct an inspection to make sure the repairs suggested fall within the capabilities of the truck and crew and will advise us if if items on the list cannot be completed.

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Tue, Aug. 25:  Short-Term Rental Hearing 

From CD11 Land Use and Planning Director Tricia Keane:

On June 2, Councilmember Bonin and Council President Herb Wesson introduced a motion proposing legislation to regulate the short-term rental industry, which would allow for someone to share their home while prohibiting rogue hotels and halting a frightening loss of rental housing caused by the abuse of short-term rentals.  You can see a copy of that motion here.

The loss of affordable housing is critical, and we recognize that the City must act now to protect neighborhoods from the negative impacts of short-term rentals.  We don't want to take away someone's ability to make ends meet by renting out an extra room or guest house, but we also cannot tolerate how a growing number of speculators are eliminating rental housing and threatening the character of our neighborhoods.

The motion will be considered by the Planning & Land Use Management (PLUM) Committee of the City Council on Tuesday, August 25, 2015.  PLUM meets at 2:30 pm on Tuesdays, 3rd Floor of City Hall.  The agenda for the meeting, along with information about the room location, will be available the Friday for the meeting.  When the agenda is available, you will be able to access it by clicking this  link and clicking on the entry for PLUM.

We encourage you to stay engaged on the issue.  We value everyone's input and want to make sure all stakeholders have an opportunity to weigh in.  If you cannot make the meeting in person, you can listen to it from wherever you are.  You can find information on audio streaming  here.
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Sat., Aug. 29:  Back to School Health and Wellness Fair
FREE mobile health fair in Venice!

We'll have dentists, an optometrist, and nurses to check your teeth, eyes, ears, glucose, hearing, blood pressure, cholesterol, BMI, etc...

Simultaneously, we will be giving out backpacks with school supplies to students returning to school and will have a host of fun games for the kids.

Please spread the word, attend the event, and help get as many people access to these free services as possible.

Open to everyone 5 years and older!
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Councilmember Bonin's Petition to FAA re:  SMO
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has extended the public comment period for its Draft Environmental Assessment (EA) of the Southern California Metroplex project to September 8, 2015, to allow for a full 90 days of comment.

If you are concerned about the harmful impact Santa Monica Airport has on your neighborhood, your time to act is now.

Councilmember Bonin has posted a petition to the Federal Aviation Administration:


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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.


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Call for Artists - Power of Art

For centuries, artists have been pushed to the side, disrespected and taken advantage of for their talent. This is especially true in Los Angeles. But enough is enough. It is time to bring opportunity to artists and bring them out of the shadows. 

Power of Art is unveiling LA's soul in the streets. We have successfully fought to secure mural access to over 4,000 signal boxes in Los Angeles.

                                               For more information, click here...
First Fridays:  Electronic Recyling 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, 7:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m., 500 N. Venice Blvd. Venice, CA 90291.

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Sign Up for Emergency Alerts

Los Angeles County has implemented an emergency mass notification system that will be used to contact County residents and businesses via recorded phone messages, text messages or e-mail messages in case of emergency.  The system, called Alert LA County, will be used by the County's Emergency Operations Center to notify residents and businesses of emergencies or critical situations. 

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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.  
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Your Venice Neighborhood Council Wants You!
The Neighborhood Council system is growing.  We are too.  Learn 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 .