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Board meets 3rd Tuesday            

Sep 3, 2015
It's Your Venice -- Get Involved!
Our Friend Challis

Two weeks ago, Venice lost a true treasure; Challis Macpherson.  While the term gets thrown around too often, Challis was truly "bigger than life." 
Of course, there were the hats, and the clothes; as colorful and creative as the woman herself.  But, what a lot of folks don't know is that Challis was an excellent seamstress, and actually designed and sewed her own clothes.  In fact, she even taught sewing classes at the Venice Boys and Girls Club.
But, more than that, Challis will be remembered, and sorely missed, for her contributions to Venice civic life.  Since the early 70s, Challis was heavily involved in her community.  Whether it was founding PVJOBS, which helps place at-risk youth and adults in career-track employment, or serving on the Venice Town Council, the Grassroots Roots Venice Neighborhood Council or the Venice Neighborhood Council (VNC), Challis was a tireless volunteer for the betterment of our community.
I first met Challis almost ten years ago, after I ran as a write-in candidate to serve on the VNC.  I knew that Challis had a reputation for being blunt, and our first meeting didn't disappoint.  Sitting in the crowd at a VNC meeting just after the election, Challis interrupted a debriefing about the election's results, and stood up and asked, "Who's the guy who got elected as a write in?"  I sort of raised my hand sheepishly.  Her response, "Well, I voted for you, so you better not screw it up!"  Obviously, everyone laughed, and at that moment, a friendship, and mentorship of sorts, was born.
At the time, Challis was the single most knowledgeable person in Venice I knew when it came to planning.  I would attend her LUPC meetings to learn everything I could about how LUPC and the VNC interacted with, and could influence, development in Venice.  Importantly, Challis helped teach me how identify a good project, versus a bad project.  Did the community need the project?  Was it tasteful?  Would it create jobs?  Did it have enough parking?  Was the applicant humble, and willing to listen to and at least consider the community's input?  Together, we created a system whereby individual neighborhoods were specifically alerted by the VNC as to projects that would affect their streets.  Challis was a big believer in getting the word out far and wide, and making sure that anyone who cared enough to express their opinion would at least have the opportunity to do so.
Challis also was a skilled ambassador for the VNC.  Challis would literally attend every Area Planning Commission meeting, even if a Venice project was not on the agenda.  Similarly, she was a constant presence downtown at Planning Department hearings, and never missed an opportunity to let the City know the VNC's position on matters.  Challis was so appreciated and respected by planning staff in Los Angeles that, by my first term as VNC President, I would routinely receive calls from Zoning Administrators seeking the VNC's position on the rare Venice project that didn't have a VNC recommendation in the file.  In short, the folks making the decisions wanted to know what Challis and her group had to say.
And, Challis was fun!  After any LUPC or VNC Board meeting, there was the nightcap at Jerry's, and DeDe Audet, Yolanda Gonzales and Ivan Spiegel were never far.  As for parties, my wife Ruthie throws great ones, and Challis and Wally were always there.  Challis could tell a great story, and she was always a blast to be around.
I know I speak for Venice when I say that our friend Challis will truly be missed.  She was a good and kind person, she gave selflessly of her time, and she will never be forgotten.   

- Mike Newhouse                       
Tomorrow:  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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Tue., Sep. 8:  Administrative Committee
The Administrative Committee conducts its business by reviewing and prioritizing agenda requests for Board action (motion or letter) or announcements submitted by Venice Stakeholders, governmental entities and other interested individuals and organizations. 

Date:  Tuesday, Sep. 8, 2015
Time:  7:00pm
Place: Canal Club, 2025 Pacific Avenue
          Venice, CA 90291
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Wed., Sep. 9:  Hyperion Reclamation Plant Rehab Briefing
This fall, Los Angeles Sanitation (LASAN) will rehabilitate the Hyperion Water Reclamation Plant Effluent Pump Plant five-mile outfall.

LASAN will host a community briefing on Wednesday, September 9, 2015 at 6:30 p.m. so that community members can learn more about the project.

Date:   Wednesday, Sep. 9, 2015
Time:   6:30 - 7:30pm
Place:   Hyperion Treatment Plant Environmental Learning Center Auditorium
           12000 Vista del Mar, Playa del Rey
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Sat., Sep. 12:  LADWP Customer Service Saturdays

LOS ANGELES- The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) will hold Customer Service Saturday this month at four of its Customer Service Centers on March 14, 2015, from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Event locations are the Van Nuys, Watts, West Los Angeles and Crenshaw Customer Service Centers.

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Wed., Sep. 16:  Community Police Advisory Board
Badge of Heart will make a short presentation and we will learn about a new domestic violence/male violence prevention program happening at Venice HS with Miguel Perez.

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Sat., Sep. 19:  Arts Committee Fair

CD11:  Short-Term Rental Regulations Advance
On August 26, the Council's Planning and Land Use Management Committee considered the motion Mike authored with Council President Herb Wesson 
to  regulate short-term rentals in Los Angeles by distinguishing "good" short-term rentals from "bad" short-term rentals.

The proposal would allow residents to share their own homes, while stopping commercial property owners from taking units of the rental market, operating rogue hotels in residential neighborhoods, and worsening our affordable housing crisis.
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CM Bonin's Opinion Letter re: Safe Havens for Homeless
In recent years, Los Angeles has seen more progress in combating homelessness than it ever has - yet the problem is still getting worse.

Since 2011, the region has housed more than 23,000 people - a record number even by national standards. Yet homelessness is on the rise. Encampments are proliferating in our neighborhoods throughout the city. There are villages of tents on sidewalks from Venice to Van Nuys, and shantytowns in neighborhoods from Skid Row to San Pedro.

How is this possible? And how can we fix it?
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"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 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...
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 .