Category Archives: Random Venice Beach Stuff

The Bright Idea Keeping Venice Sign Shining


Venice Sign Adriano Sosa Visting Venice from NYC
Visiting Venice from NYC Adriano Sosa couldn’t resist a snap of the sign

A woman hurries to the center of the road at Pacific Boulevard and Windward Avenue. She points up at the Venice Sign with one hand, in the other she holds her smart phone ready for a selfie. Cars stop in all directions as pedestrians make their way across the intersection. The scrambled crosswalk provides the perfect photo opportunity.

Adriano Sosa, visiting Venice for the first time from New York, said getting a picture in front of the sign was a must.

Staying with friends in Venice on a trip down from San Francisco, Kazune couldn’t resist a shot either.

The original Venice Sign was removed sometime in the 1940s

The Venice Sign is an iconic part of the beachside community, first lit by Abbot Kinney on July 4th, 1905. The guess is that the original Venice sign came down sometime around 1947, when the Venice Pier at the end of Windward Ave. closed.

In 2004, after local resident Todd von Hoffmann helped secure a $10,000 beautification grant from the City of Los Angeles, the Venice Sign Restoration Project began and by 2007 the sign shone bright once again above Venice Beach.

Venice Sign visitors make the most of the scrambled crosswalk to snap a selfie
Venice Sign Visitors Make the Most of the Scrambled Crosswalk to Snap a Selfie

Visitors are welcome to get snap happy, however, the sign is a registered trademark of the Venice Chamber of Commerce and as such, anyone wanting to publish images of the sign for anything other than personal use must get permission through the Chamber’s website. Money raised this way helps keep the sign shining.

“Thanks to the trademark, the license fees provides our non-profit organization with the means to raise the funds to take care of the sign,” said Venice Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Donna Lasman.

Another way the Chamber helps pay to keep the sign lit is through its Adopt-a-Bulb program.

“Concerning the expenses, we do maintenance checks each time we change out the bulbs for an  event, generally about four times a year. The estimated cost for one maintenance check, which includes the lift, labor, and bulbs is about $800,” Lasman explained.

The Chamber also hopes to build up a reserve of funds for when the sign requires more significant repairs. “So far we have not had to do any major repairs. The sign is secure where it is anchored to the buildings and the cables are in great condition,” Lasman said.

All up, 87 bulbs comprise the Venice Sign. Anyone can adopt-a-bulb for $200 a year and applications can be filled out online. “We are grateful to the community for their contributions and also for their sup- port in helping us protect the trademark,” Lasman added.

The Venice Chamber of Commerce’s annual sign-lighting extravaganza has become a much-loved Venice Beach tradition with local celebrities like Robert Downey Jr. and Pink flipping the switch, changing the lights from it’s Thanksgiving orange and white to Red and Green for the holiday season.

The sign is green every year for St Patrick’s day, which Chamber Vice President and longtime Venice resident George Francisco says is his favorite hue. “I grew up South Side, Chicago, so I always love seeing it that color,” he said.

Francisco said there he thinks are many more opportunities for celebrating different community events by changing the bulbs, “I’d love to see it red on Valentine’s Day,” he suggested, adding that it would be fun to see more members of the community step up and “see us celebrate it in different ways.”

Venice Sign Kazune Visiting from San Francisco Snaps the Sign
The star of many tourist snaps

While not all of us are able to find the cash to light the entire sign in our favorite colors, adopting a single bulb might be a bright idea for present, or simply a way to claim your small part of Venice Beach. Kazune from San Francisco thinks it’s a pretty “cool” idea.

To adopt your bulb jump online

Venice Imports Hippies to Bring Back the Funk

April 1, 2016


Concerned that Venice has lost every conceivable pretense of hipness due to rising home costs and an over-abundance of computer animation executives, the city will soon move a collective farm founded in 1968 from Woodstock, New York to a site near Venice beach.

Excited not only by the prospect of Venice reclaiming its once unique feel but an expected surge in sales of tambourines and

People At Outdoor Festival
People At Outdoor Festival

cigarette papers, Venice officials are doing everything they can to make the hippies feel welcome.  “We’re rolling out the worn-out Persian rugs and setting up bean bag chairs like crazy!” enthused one official close to the project.  A grand opening ceremony will include music by David Crosby and a reenactment of a famous fight between two members of the collective over whose “old lady” a woman named Turquoise Star Angel really was.  In addition to a marathon Frisbee event, plans include (continued on pg 74)

Spring Forward for Daylight Savings Time Changes


Before going to bed tonight, turn your clocks ahead
by an hour. Daylight saving time begins at 2 a.m. Sunday.

The time change means California will shift into the same hour as Phoenix and Tucson, which do not switch to daylight saving time along with the rest of the Mountain Time Zone.

Hawaii also stays on its standard time, meaning the islands will be three hours earlier than Los Angeles for the next half year, instead of two hours.

As usual, firefighters urged people to use the time change as a reminder to check smoke alarms and replace the batteries if necessary. It is also a good time to reset timers on outdoor lights and lawn sprinkler systems.

Firefighters offered the following tips on handling and maintaining
smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors:
— Install smoke detectors on all floors of your home or apartment.
— If the devices are hardwired into your electrical system, be sure tohave a backup battery-operated smoke detector in case of a power outage.
— Mount alarms high on walls, at least four to 12 inches from the ceiling.
— Never paint over a smoke detector.
— Use a vacuum cleaner to remove lint or dust.
— Test the smoke detectors regularly. If the smoke detector “chirps” it is an indication of a low battery, which should be changed.

The Automobile Club of Southern California also warned drivers to be on the lookout for school children and other pedestrians, since it will be dark for an hour longer in the mornings.

– from CNS

More Cats for Venice Residents


Both the Los Angeles City Council and Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors made a move this week that could increase the limit on how many cats City of Los Angeles residents can own.

On tuesday a motion was approved, on a 12-0 vote, with the hope that this new regulation will encourage more cat adoptions and reduce city shelter kill rates.

Under the direction of the City Council, the City Attorney’s Office will draft an ordinance allowing households to keep up to five spayed or neutered cats. So long as they remain indoor cats.

Current regulation limits the number of cats to three and  does not limit whether the animals can be kept indoors or outdoors.

Cat owners in unincorporated areas of Los Angeles County will be required to spay or neuter their cats and have them microchipped.

The council will seek legal advice over the regulation’s environmental effects. Scarred, after animal activists succeeded in suing the city over laws to do with trapping and neutering feral cats, claiming environmental impact was not considered.