VNC Calendar
Click for Calendar            
Board meets 3rd Tuesday            

May 21, 2015
It's Your Venice -- Get Involved!
President's Message

From Tragedy, Healing

In the days after Brendon Glenn was killed, in the heart of Veni ce, I was starkly reminded  of one of our community's biggest challenges. But, my perspective may surprise you.  What first came to mind was not how we police. It was not about racism or homelessness. It was not about mental illness, or the insidious nature of drug or alcohol abuse. Instead, I was reminded that, too often, we all can have the instinct to chastise, blame, and vilify, rather than, discuss, listen, and connect.

The most visible example of this was what happened at the Town Hall following Brendon's death. What was a right headed effort to bring Venice together - and to discuss what can and must be done to avoid such future tragedies - quickly deteriorated into anger and divisiveness.

To be sure, Brendon's friends and family were rightfully angry and heartbroken. And to be sure, many in the crowd who may not have known Brendon, but have for too long felt disrespected - or empathize and sympathize with others who have - felt a lifetime of indignities boil to the surface. Of course, on the other side of things, dozens of police officers, elected officials, and social service volunteers and professionals, uninvolved in Brendon's death and working to avoid such future tragedies, were made to feel responsible for deeply engrained and longstanding community wounds that they did not create.

To be clear, I do not point this out to assign blame for the tenor at the Town Hall, or since then. From my perspective, perception and emotion are reality ... for all of us. Everyone's voice, on all sides of this issue, should be heard, listened to and respected. For those who demand to see the surveillance tape of the shooting, they feel it is their right, and I understand their perspective.

For the police officers, investigators and elected officials who explained that they simply could not taint witness testimony by releasing the tape, their points, and the points of those who agree with them, are also understandable. And we should not forget the realities for Brendon or the officer involved in the shooting. At the end of the day, whatever the investigation concludes, a young man is dead, and the officer's life will never be the same. 

Time will tell what happened on May 5th. But, justice will only be served if we fight the urge to blame, fight the urge to preach and fight the urge to vilify. Instead, we must encourage a discussion on why Brendon died, and steps we can take together to ensure that this situation never happens again. We need to put our minds together to continue to strengthen relationships between our police officers and our citizens. We need to ask what new resources do the police and social service providers need to help get folks off the street and into shelters, transitional housing, and ultimately permanent supportive housing. We need to ask what we can continue to do to break down old stereotypes, and replace them with the realities of individual personal relationships. We need to ask how we can help those who are mentally ill, or suffering from addiction. We need to ask how we can create more jobs, so that those able to work have real opportunities. All of these dialogues already exist in Venice, but they cannot survive, and they cannot grow, if we choose to tear each other down.

I can only speak for myself, but I tend to see human nature, and the world, as inherently good.  
Let's not let Brendon's death compromise that nature. Instead, let's make his memory a legacy of constructive dialogue, and an opportunity to bring us all together to solve the challenges that divide us.
VNC Board Meeting News

VENICE - At Tuesday night's VNC Board of Officers meeting, your elected neighborhood representatives bid adieu to CD11's dedicated Field Deputy Cecilia Castillo, who has served our community with grace for the past four and a half years.  


The Board also voted to support Assemblymember Ridley-Thomas's Baldwin Hills Conservancy Act (AB 446), which extends in perpetuity the Conservancy's improvement and acquisition of park land in the area since 2000.  


Board Secretary Hugh Harrison and Community Officer George Francisco were approved as VNC's Budget Representatives to the City for Fiscal 2016.  


A number of land use projects, including expansion of the Whaler Restaurant and beach area remodels, were considered, along with a motion to recommend improvements in bicycling safety throughout the city.


The Board also approved a request to obtain direction from the City Attorney about legal issues surrounding the Venice Sign-Off (VSO) project approval procedure.  


More. . .                              

Sat., May 23:  Free Electronics Recycling at Westminster

Recycle your used gadgets, with proceeds going to Friends of Westminster Booster Club.  We accept computers, laptops, tablets, smartphones, televisions, monitors, printers and more!

Date:   Saturday, May 23, 2015
Time:   9:00am - 2:00pm
Place:  Westminster Elementary School
           1010 Abbot Kinney, Venice, 90291
Tue., May 26:  Venice High School Community Meeting

Join us for a Project Planning Meeting for Comprehensive Modernization of the Venice High School campus.  It is important that Venice High School stakeholders learn about this very substantial project and have the opportunity to attend the meeting.   

Date:   Tuesday, May 26, 2015
Time:   6:00pm
Place:  Venice High School Student Cafeteria
           13000 Venice Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90066
Santa Monica Gets Tough on Short-Term Rentals
SANTA MONICA (  [5/12/15] - The Santa Monica City Council has taken a stand against short-term rentals like those listed on Airbnb after residents complained it was exacerbating the housing shortage.
More. . .                                
Merchandise and Non-Food Street Vending Regulation
A City Council motion was introduced by Councilmember Huizar, asking various departments to look into the feasibility of regulating merchandise and non-food street vending in the City of Los Angeles. 
More. . .                                
Recreation and Parks Report re: Park Supervisor
During its consideration of the 2015-16 Proposed Budget for the Department of Recreation and Parks (RAP), the Committee asked RAP to report back on the following question: Budget Impact No. 74- Report back on a workload analysis for the Superintendent position for Venice Beach and identify an optimal staffing model.
More. . .                                
Call for Artists - Power of Art

Attention Artists! We would like you to be a part of the largest art project in the history of Los Angeles, Power of Art. We are physically turning LA into the largest art gallery in the world and we would be honored if you submitted your work for consideration.

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...
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. 

More. . .                     

ReCode LA Moving Forward
Stay up to date by visiting                More. . .                   

Register to Receive City Planning Bi-Weekly Early Notification Reports
Do you want to avoid a surprise when construction starts next door to you?  Do you want a chance to make your voice known to the City and to the applicants for City Planning permits before the deadline for appeal? 

Sign up to receive a bi-weekly email from the Department of City Planning, which lists all of the applications filed in Venice since the prior email. 
More. . .                   
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 .