Category Archives: Venice Beach News

Venice sign lighting

One week until Venice Sign Holiday Lighting Party

The Venice Chamber of Commerce and local merchants are counting down to the third annual Venice Sign Holiday Lighting Party and Venice Crawl on Friday, Dec. 5, at the Venice Sign on Windward Avenue.

Festivities will begin at 6:15 p.m. with a pre-lighting ceremony beginning at 7:45 p.m. and the actual lighting at 8 p.m.

Venice Councilman Mike Bonin and a special celebrity guest will pull the switch and change the Venice sign colors from white to red and green. Previous events featured actors Robert Downey Jr. and Anjelica Huston who helped to light the sign.

The City of Los Angeles will close Windward Avenue east of Pacific Avenue and present a free concert of holiday music featuring a performance by the Venice Symphony Orchestra.

A limited number of tables are available to those who participate in the event as a sponsor, and tables will be available for purchase a la carte by businesses looking to introduce themselves, their service or products to the Venice community and for non-profits. Those interested can contact or call 310.822.5425.

The Venice Chamber is also collecting toys for the Muscle Beach and Great Venice Toy Drives. People who donate a new unwrapped toy will receive a wristband good for discounts during the Venice Crawl at participating businesses. Collection boxes will be at the Chamber and VNC tables.

Local Venice businesses participating include: Bank of Venice, Barlo, Brig (21 and over), Café Gratitude, Canal Club, Candle Café, Casa Linda, Danny’s, Feed Body and Soul, Hama Sushi, High Lounge at Hotel Erwin, James Beach, Larry’s Venice, Le Cellier, Locali Conscious Convenience, Primitivo Wine Bistro, Seed Kitchen, The Sidewalk Café, Venice Ale House.

The Venice Chamber is extremely grateful to all its sponsors for it is their contribution that makes this event possible: Airelle Skin, Alternative Lighting, Beach Mobile, Bob Central, Buchalter Nemer, Burn Fitness, Danny’s/Canal Club/James Beach, Farmers Insurance – Rod Pyle Agency, First Team Security, General Real Estate Management, Gold Coast Properties, Google, Hama Sushi, Hotel Erwin, Hyphae Design Lab, LA Car Guy, Larry’s, Menotti’s, Mylan Stepanovich, Peak 6, Rent Track, Samesun Backpackers, SM Brew Works, Sync It Up Audio, The Argonaut, The Sidewalk Café, Townhouse, Trim, UrbanSitter, Venice Beach Suites, Venice Free Ride, Venice Horizon Suites, Venice Paparazzi, Venice Suites, Venice Winter Wonderland, Whole Foods Market, Windward Farms, Zambezi.

The Venice Sign, a federally registered trademark of the Venice Chamber of Commerce and Venice’s most iconic symbol, attracts thousands of tourists to Venice.

The Venice Chamber is working on replacing the regular single color bulbs with color changing LED bulbs that will make it easier for the Chamber to change the colors of the bulbs for all future events.

These bulbs will allow the Chamber to change the sign’s colors throughout the year at no additional cost, such as red for Valentine’s Day, green for St. Patrick’s Day, and many others.

The Chamber plans to launch a fundraising drive for this technology. Those interested in donating can go to

The Venice Chamber of Commerce is an organization of business leaders who actively serve as advocates for the ever-growing Venice business community.

Through dynamic networking events and diverse committees, we support the interests of area businesses and contribute, to improving the vitality of the local economy; positioning Venice as the “creative soul” of Los Angeles. To learn more about the Venice Chamber, visit

Mark Twain Middle School

Teacher at Mark Twain Middle School in Venice accused of choking student

A teacher at Mark Twain Middle School in Venice is accused of choking a 14-year-old student in a history class last Friday, according to an exclusive report by KTLA News on Tuesday night.

According to the report, student Austin Green got into a confrontation with another student when his eighth-grade teacher, who has not been identified, allegedly placed his hands around Green’s neck and choked him in front of about 40 students.

“I looked over at the teacher and he takes off his glasses and he has a very angry face, he darts towards me, grabs me in a choke hold,” Green told KTLA’s Kimberly Cheng. “It felt like he was doing that with all of his strength, I was losing my breath, I could not breathe, I was mad and sad. I was embarrassed.”

Green’s parents said they took their son to hospital after the alleged attack left red marks on his neck.

Both the Los Angeles Police Department and Los Angeles Unified School District are investigating.

Click here to watch the full report on KTLA.

Venice High School

44 Venice High students receive Jacket of Excellence awards

During the Venice High School Community Luncheon on Nov. 21, an event supported by the Venice Chamber of Commerce and the Venice Alumni Association, 44 students received a Jacket of Excellence in recognition for their academic achievements.

This year, students received a special honor from Cecilia Castillo, Field Deputy representing the office of local Councilman Mike Bonin, who presented each student with a  Certificate of Commendation.

The Venice High School community is proud of those students who have achieved this distinction, as the eligibility for this award requires that they must retain a 3.75 GPA or higher since their freshman year.

Congratulations to all jacket recipients!

Venice High School

Top row: Kevin Nugent, George Hong, Alexander Ramsey, Ian Johnson, Harry Phillips, Enrique Munoz, Eric Lin, Chelsea Robinson, Mazden Mastromauro.

Second row: Erica Johnson, Nathan Lopez-Gates, Njeri Gachoka, Daniella Leiato, Pahola Chavez, Amber Holyfield, Kelli Hsu, Saul Jimenez, Jordan Cho, Josiah Destin.

Third row: David Silberman (Event Chair), Petra Rudisill, Maya Ramsey, Laura Hayashibara, Sara Gsell, Sheila Fallah, Nora Benavente, Eri Okita, Melissa Reynoso, Jay Ruelas.

Fourth row: Catherine Chevalier (Chamber President), Cecilia Castillo (Field Deputy for Councilman Mike Bonin), Ryan Sadeghi, Alexandra Romero, Jennifer Chew, Simran Ali, Jennie Furth-Jacobus, Jean Iwohara, Annalissa Husted, Emma Totsubo,Kira Wessels, Bud Jacobs (Venice Neighborhood Council), Joelle Dumas (Venice Chamber).

Front row: Dr. Elsa Mendoza (principal), Jennifer Thurber, Cole Ten, Lisa Sobajian, Alex Salazar, Thalia Telles, Angela Vo, Justin Yamaguchi, and Sayne Maza (Asst. Principal).

This year’s community sponsors are Audrey Salzburg (A Window Between Worlds), Lisa Schwab (Cantalini’s Salerno Beach), Joelle Dumas (Ecole Claire Fontaine), Don Novack (Hal’s Bar & Grill), Greg Horos/Melissa Rosen (Locali Conscious Convenience), Willie Hjorth (Mare Company Sails), Catherine Chevalier (Not Maurice), Terry Ballentine (RE/MAX Estate Properties), Denise Fast (RE/MAX Premier Properties), Stephen Marvin (Sterling Security Systems), Nancy Singular (The Agency), David and Tina Comden (The Argonaut), Andy Layman (Venice Beach Suites & Hotel), Jeffrey Solomon (Venice Beach Walking Tours), Carl Lambert (Venice Breeze Suites), Edizen Stowell (Venice Paparazzi), Venice High School Alumni Association, Terry Agnew (X-Treme Sportswear), Lucio Barbaro, Carolyn Berry, Jim Blackwood, Erin Cahill, Jan Davis, Sergio Diaz, Debbie Drier, Myra Einberg, Sharon Gebhart, Cecilia Glorious, Phyllis Hayashibara, Lucy Howard, Bud and Catherine Jacobs, Joe King, Kelly King, Donna Lasman, William Botch, William Plant, Maryann and Keith Rose, Amy Shimizu, Michael Stenger, Amy Sobajian, and Ella Zarky.

Moby Dick

Venice Oceanarium hosts annual “Moby Dick” readings this weekend on Venice Beach

The local community is invited to attend free “Moby Dick” readings on Venice Beach today, Nov. 22, and Sunday, Nov. 23, from 8 am to 10 pm each day.

Organizes will set up on the beach by the Breakwater Rocks – straight down from the end of Windward Ave.

“Come and read or come and listen,” organizers said. “Everybody welcome! Fun for all ages!”

“Moby Dick” readings are created and sponsored by the Venice Oceanarium with the generous support of co-sponsors and community partners: General Real Estate Management, Shout! Factory, Linda D. Levitz, Hotel Erwin, Venice Boardwalk Association,  Small World Books, Enterprise Fish Company , Whole Foods Market,  Danny’s Venice, The Beachhead, L.A. Weekly, and Venice Paparazzi.

The Venice Oceanarium, a museum-without-walls, holds weekly, free of charge, local ocean life exhibits on Venice Pier, late night Grunion Run Parties on Venice Beach, as well as educational nature walks along the seashore, local ocean life display and lectures at schools, community organizations, birthday parties, festivals, and special events such as the annual “Moby Dick” readings… and more.

For more information, visit

Turning Point Pilates

Venice Chamber networking mixer today at Turning Point Pilates

The Venice Chamber of Commerce is holding its monthly networking mixer today, Nov. 19 – one week earlier than usual due to Thanksgiving next week (it is usually held the fourth Wednesday of each month).

Today’s mixer will be held at Turning Point Pilates in Venice from 6 pm to 8 pm.

Robin Solo, teacher and founder of Turning Point Pilates, invites Chamber and prospective members to her studio to enjoy drinks and appetizers provided by Cairo Cowboy and take a moment to explore the equipment.

Solo founded the boutique Pilates studio in 2006 with a vision to bring classical Pilates to Venice’s colorful, laid back community in an open, supportive, welcoming space.

The studio teaches the Pilates Method as it was intended by its creator, Joseph Pilates.

Admission to today’s mixer is $5 for members, $10 for first time prospective members, and $20 for non-members.

Turning Point Pilates is located at 612 A Venice Blvd., Venice.

For more information, visit

For more information on the studio, visit