Category Archives: Venice Beach Events

These posts are about what’s happening in Venice Beach California!

Venice Neighbors Vie for Top Seats


by Melanie Camp

The 2016 Venice Neighborhood Council (VNC) Election will see a record number of candidates scramble to take a limited number of seats this year. Seventy one people have stepped into the ring to battle it out for a handful of spots.

All up there are 21 positions on the VNC Board, comprising seven Executive Board members and 14 Community Officers. Board Members serve a two-year term.

Current VNC President Mike Newhouse says that he predicts the record number of candidates will draw a record voter turnout on Election Day, June 5. Newhouse says that the support the VNC gets from the Venice Beach community gives the Council strength in numbers. “The City [of L.A.] takes the VNC seriously because we consistently field the most candidates, and turn out the most voters, citywide,” Newhouse said. “We also have higher meeting turnout than any other neighborhood council in the city.”

EmpowerLA, the Department of Neighborhood Empowerment with City of Los Angeles runs the neighborhood council elections, and explained that Neighborhood Councils by definition, are City-certified local groups made up of people who live, work, own property, or have some other connection to the neighborhood. Neighborhood Council Board Members are elected or selected to their positions by the neighborhoods themselves.

The VNC plays an integral part in helping the Venice community bring to light important issues and to have a strong voice at the City level.

Newhouse says that the input the neighborhood council has is “a big benefit because we only have 15 city council members, and they have massive constituencies compared to other major city, city councils. Neighborhood councils help council members keep their pulse on what is important to their districts.”

The VNC has weighed in on many issues with direct impact seen in outcomes at a City level. Newhouse says that the biggest issue where VNC sees its influence felt, is homelessness and dealing with the homeless crisis in Los Angeles.

“Participating in the Venice Neighborhood Council gives you the opportunity to shape the future of Venice,” added Los Angeles City Coun- cilmember Mike Bonin. “By running and serving, you will have an opportunity to work on projects to beautify your neighborhood, tackle homelessness and other pressing issues, and weigh in on develop- ment projects to make sure that Venice looks and grows the way you think is most appropriate. You also meet tons of neighbors, and I assure you that you will never, ever be bored.”

EmpowerLA says Neighborhood Council Board Members, both elected and appointed, are required to do three things in order to vote on issues that come before the council: take Ethics Training, take Funding Training, and sign a Code-of-Conduct Certificate.

Melissa Diner currently serves as a Community Officer on the VNC Board and says the job of a VNC board member is to “serve as customer service representatives to our community fielding complains, concerns, and ideas to the right people both within the VNC and at the various city and county agencies depending on the issues.”

Diner says a board position should be about serving the Venice Community and not be an ego- driven decision. “Most importantly our job as board members is to talk to as many community mem- bers as we can, whether they attend the VNC meeting or not, and come up with ideas that we as community members want to see come to fruition in our community that truly represent the majority of Venetians.

EmpowerLA enables Neighborhood Council elections to be open to everyone who lives, works, or owns real property in the neighborhood, and also to those who declare a stake in the neighborhood as a community interest stakeholder. Jump on the EmpowerLA website to make sure you qualify to vote.

Election Day is Sunday, June 5, 2016 from 10am-6pm at the Oakwood Recreation Center, 767 California Avenue Venice.

Stay up to date with all news regarding the upcoming VNC elections with Yo! Venice.

Sex on the Beach at the Venice Grunion Run VIDEO

by Melanie Camp

On Saturday night April 23, Venice Beach was teaming with people, and fish. It was the 20th anniversary of the Venice Oceanarium’s Grunion Run Party and at 11pm hundreds of people packed the shoreline waiting, watching, excited to see what the tide would bring in.

Kids shrieked as wave by wave grunion surfed into the shore to perform their unique mating ritual. Once on the shore a female fish would dig a nest in the wet sand with her tail, twisting her body until she was buried down to her gills with only her head sticking up. As she deposited her eggs in the nest, male fish would squiggle around her in the wet sand and fertilize the eggs.

A local “museum without walls,” each year the Oceanarium collects some of the fertilized eggs to hatch as part of their research. They later release the baby fish into the bay.

Venice Oceanarium Director Tim Rudnick describes it as “a big orgyVenice Oceanarium Director Tim Rudnick for the fish.” The organization’s Grunion Run Party did not disappoint the hundreds that turned up to watch the bizarre mating ritual of the Grunion fish.

Spawning only takes 30 seconds but some fish remained stranded on the beach for several minutes as they waited a ride out on the next wave. This was where many local kids stepped in, scooping up fish and helping them back into the ocean.

Polly, Helen, Kyle, and Arkar Have Fun at The Venice Beach  Grunion Run
Polly, Helen, Kyle, and Arkar having fun at the Venice Beach Grunion Run

“It feels like you’re Superman,” said Arkar, a Venice local who had headed to the beach for his first Grunion Run. He and his friends had helped free about 40 grunion that had been tangled in a clump of seaweed near the Breakwater.

With Venice Beach closed, just after midnight, LAPD swung by to clear the beach. telling revelers to head to bed and leave the fish to their business.

Tim Rudnick is the director of the Venice Oceanarium, “Witnessing this event is life-changing. You’ll never feel the same about L.A. and you will never forget it. These memories are especially vivid for kids,” Rudnick said.

Venice Cinco de Mayo Parade & Festival Today


Be a part of History!

The Venice Cinco de Mayo Parade & Festival is back in the neighborhood for the first time in 30 years.  Kicking off with the parade at 10:00am today, Saturday, April 30th.
Everyone is invited to join in celebrating and preserving Chicano culture on the Westside. The parade starts at 10am at ROSS, 1400 Lincoln Blvd., in Venice and  ends at Penmar Park, 1341 Lake Street in Venice.
The Festival will take place shortly after from 11am and continue until 6pm.
At noon Councilmember Mike Bonin will speak followed by a  blessing from FATHER TONY. There will be  AZTEC DANCERS AND a KETZALIZTLI BLESSING, a CHICANO POETRY reading, DJs, and live music.
The celebration will run throughout the day find out more on the event Facebook page.
Vinco Cinco de Mayo Parade 2016

Girls Get Ready Springtime Ladies Jam Hits Venice


by Jennifer Eden

Venice is known as a mecca for skateboarders all over the world and has long been regarded as the home of modern day Skateboarding. Hosting some of the largest skate boarding events in the industry, Venice is also home to many legends and pro skateboarders.

Girl Skateboard Venice Beach 1
Ladies take over on Saturday in Venice Beach

The Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks is celebrating gender equality this year, with the first ever Venice Beach Springtime Ladies Skate Jam taking place Saturday, April 30 from noon until 4:00pm.

The event will celebrate women in skateboarding.

The contest itself will consist of individual runs in the snake run and mini bowl. In addition there will be a “Pup Cup” which is an event for very beginners. It will be on flat ground and there is a good chance there will be some ties for first place.

Pros and Legends will be there to sign autographs in the VIP tent and they will also be doing demos in the big bowl. Meeting pros and legends promised to be fun for everyone, not just the skaters!

Sponsor booths will be set up on the walkway into the park creating a festival atmosphere where visitors can browse and shop.

Venice Springtime Ladies AM Jam 2016

Get Down in the Venice Dirt for a Great Cause


The Community Healing Gardens are calling out to volunteers, young and old, to help with their Coffee and Dirt Planting Party this Saturday, April 30 in Venice from 9:00am – 1:00pm.

Community Healing Gardens Planting Party
Join the Planting Party fun

The party will meet at 805 Brooks Ave. Volunteers will  clean and plant new vegetables in the Community Healing Garden boxes on 4th and 5th Streets in Venice.

Bring your sneakers, hat, sunscreen, and a water bottle. Coffee, water, and snacks will be provided.

Community Healing Gardens is a non-profit organization that launched in Venice, CA on June 13, 2015.  The group creates urban gardens to provide sustainable, nutritious food to diverse and underserved communities.

Community Healing Gardens Planting Party Photo Laura Doss
The Venice community getting behind a great cause Photo by: Laura Doss

The organization says they,  “believe every corner with a patch of soil or some empty space has the potential to feed communities with nutrition, connection, and love.

Food grown in the gardens is be shared amongst the neighborhood and provided to feed children and others in need.