Category Archives: Venice Beach News


Cops arrest man near Venice Skate Park for stealing “bait bicycle”

A 51-year-old man was arrested in Venice on Saturday, Aug. 16 after being caught stealing a “bait bicycle” under the surveillance of the Santa Monica Police Department.

Officers of the Santa Monica Police Department who were assigned to the downtown area of Santa Monica were monitoring the movements of a “bait bicycle” at 3 pm on this day.

The bicycle had been electronically tagged in a fashion that allowed the officers to receive pings from its transponder that pinpointed its position every 10 seconds.

The “bait bicycle” had originally been placed in the 1500 block of Alley Number One in Santa Monica when it was taken.

The officers noticed that it was, at the above time, traveling southbound in the 1700 block of Ocean Front Walk – this information was then relayed to other officers who were on beach patrol at that time.

These beach patrol officers were then able to locate the bicycle that was at that time being ridden by the described suspect through the Venice Skate Park.

The officers detained the suspect Mark Duane Guill, 51, and then arrested him  (whose place of residence was not know to us at the time this report was compiled). Guill was charged with possession of stolen property. Bail was set at $20,000.

The 4th annual Venice Art Crawl will take place on Aug. 21. Courtesy Photo: Venice Paparazzi

Celebrate the Venice Art Crawl’s fourth-year anniversary

The Venice Art Crawl’s fourth birthday is tomorrow evening, Thurs., Aug. 21, from 6 pm to 11 pm. The Venice Art Crawl’s goal every year is to inspire, promote, and share artistic collaboration within the local community through art events and other mixers. It is truly an organization “by and for the people.”

Art is part of what characterizes Venice as a dynamic and vibrant location. The Venice Art Crawl amplifies the level of creativity that has historically and presently makes the community the artistic hub that it is.

The upcoming event will feature curated art exhibits, silent auction, Venice Paparazzi photo booth, a bar, DJs, food, and birthday cake by Whole Foods Market Venice.

L.A. City Councilman Mike Bonin will be in attendance. Presentations and the birthday cake/sing-a-long will start at 9 pm.

The main entrance of the Venice Art Crawl will be located at Full Circle Venice, at 305 Rose Ave.

RSVP at or on Facebook – TheVeniceArtCrawl.

Venice Beach boardwalk.

Venice Neighborhood Council to meet tonight at Westminster Elementary

The Venice Neighborhood Council will hold its monthly board meeting tonight, Aug. 19 at 7 pm.

It will be held at Westminster Elementary School auditorium at 1010 Abbot Kinney Blvd., Venice, 90291.

Parking is available in the school staff parking lot. Enter the parking lot off of Westminster Avenue about one block west of Abbot Kinney Boulevard.

The VNC board meeting is always held on the third Tuesday of each month.

Click here to view the agenda.



Venice Promoter Announces Boxing Championship Opponent

A boxing promoter based here in Venice announced on Aug. 18 a fighter has been named as a mandatory challenger in a world title bout scheduled to take place at some point before Dec. 31, 2014.

Ola “Kryptonite” Afolabi was named by the International Boxing Federation (IBF) as the mandatory challenger to cruiserweight world champion Yoan Pablo Hernandez in the title fight scheduled for later this year.

As a date has not yet been finalized, the location of this world title bout is currently unknown.

The announcement of Afolabi as Hernandez’s mandatory opponent was made by K2 Promotions, which is based in Venice and headed by Tom Loeffler.

Afolabi, a London native who now resides in Los Angeles, sports a record of 23 wins (10 by knockout) against three losses and four draws.

“I’m thrilled to be challenging for the IBF world title. Tom and K2 have done a great job promoting me and putting me in this position and I will take the title from Hernandez,” Afolabi said in a released statement.

Winning a split decision over Firat Arslan on Aug. 16 in Erfurt, Germany, Hernandez has a record of 29-1-0 with 14 knockouts. Arslan’s victory last weekend was his fourth defense of his title.

“We’re excited that Ola is now the mandatory challenger for the IBF Cruiserweight Championship. Ola has proven to be one of the best cruiserweights in the world and we strongly believe that he will bring home the IBF world title in this fight,” Loeffler stated.

The 34-year-old Afolabi, who is managed by Loeffler and K2 Promotions, has fought in 173 rounds of boxing and most recently defeated Anthony Caputo Smith on July 26 at Madison Square Garden in New York. His last defeat was June 8, 2013, against Marco Huck in Berlin, Germany.

A southpaw, Fernandez, 29, reportedly retained his IBF cruiserweight belt after two of three judged scored their respective cards in his favor last weekend in Erfurt, Germany. A Cuban-German, Fernandez has fought all 30 of his fights in Germany. His sole defeat came at the hands of fellow southpaw Wayne Braithwaite in March 2008; Fernandez has since won 15 straight matches, including the interim WBA cruiserweight title in March 2011 and the IBC cruiserweight belt in October 2011.

In addition to promoting Afolabi, Venice-based K2 Promotions has also promoted unified heavyweight world champion Wladimir Klitschko, among other boxers. The company states it has promoted the most heavyweight championship bouts in the world during the past decade.


State Senate Shelves Bill Protecting Beach Bonfires

Venice beachgoers who head a few miles south to Dockweiler State Beach to participate in the Southern California pastime of lighting bonfires a few feet away from the shore suffered a little bit of bad news late last week. A State Senate committee in Sacramento voted on Aug. 15 to shelve a bill proposing to protect as many as 700 bonfire rings at California’s beaches, including dozens in Los Angeles and Orange counties.

Despite gaining bipartisan support earlier this year, Assembly Bill 1102 failed to gain enough support in the State Senate to come to a full – and favorable – vote before the end of the current legislative session.

Accordingly, the legislative charge to allow beach bonfires to continue will be put on hold until at least the next legislative session.

Assemblyman Travis Allen (R-Huntington Beach) introduced AB 1102 in Sacramento. His district is home to several bonfire rings just off of Pacific Coast Highway at Bolsa Chica State Beach.

However, beach bonfires became an issue – and ultimately a political battle – when the Newport Beach City Council voted last year to remove at least half of the bonfire rings at beaches within its boundaries due to health concerns raised by residents who claim their respective homes were directly impacted by the fire’s smoke.

The Southern California Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) and Sierra Club both opposed AB 1102.

The SCAQMD reportedly wanted to act upon the Newport City Council decision and prevent bonfire rings from existing within 700 feet away from homes.

It is unclear whether any of the bonfire rings at Dockweiler is within 700 feet of any homes. The southern portion of the beach is beneath the flight path of planes taking off from LAX and no homes are anywhere near that lower half of Dockweiler. There are homes abutting the northern half of the beach.

Those reportedly in favor of AB 1102 – and preserving bonfire rings at local beaches – included the California Coastal Commission, the Surfrider Foundation, the League of United Latin American Citizens, the NAACP, and Coastwalk California, among other groups and individuals.