Category Archives: Venice Beach

Stay Safe for Super Bowl Weekend


Authorities in Los Angeles and Orange counties today
reminded Southlanders that law enforcement officers will be on the lookout for people driving drunk on Super Bowl Sunday.

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Traffic Services Detail
will deploy additional officers on special DUI saturation patrols to stop and arrest drivers showing signs of alcohol or drug impairment during and following the game.

“Drunk driving is completely preventable,” said Los Angeles County
sheriff’s Capt. Scott Johnson. “All it takes is a little planning. We want fans to remember that it’s a choice, drink or drive, but never do both and please remember, if your decision is to drink, drink responsibly under any circumstance and designate a sober driver.”

In Orange County, the sheriff’s department’s will deploy roving DUI
saturation patrols throughout the weekend. “This is a ‘zero tolerance’ crackdown, so drive sober or get pulled over,” said Orange County sheriff’s  Deputy Manuel Cruz.

From 7 p.m. today through 3 a.m. Saturday, DUI saturation patrols will be deployed in Laguna Woods, Laguna Niguel, Laguna Hills and Aliso Viejo.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s ‘Fans Don’t Let Fans Drive Drunk’ campaign encourages people to make plans ahead of time that will prevent them from getting behind the wheel of a vehicle after drinking.

The California Office of Traffic Safety ‘Designated Driver VIP’ mobile app is now available for free download on iOS and Android devices.

Launched last year, the app offers various features, including allowing designated drivers to “Map a Spot” with their current location to find DDVIP partnering establishments in their area, or a “List of Spots” to search all participating bars and restaurants throughout the state.

People using the app will be offered free incentives at each bar “to
celebrate their life-saving role,” officials said. Also through the app, for those who want to drink but also make it a point to plan ahead, users can easily order a sober ride from Uber, Lyft, or Curb, all from one screen.

Operations such as these are funded through grants from the California Office of Traffic Safety through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Woohoo! High Surf Advisory

Photo Courtesy: Steve Christensen Photo


Surf’s up!

A high surf advisory is in effect until Saturday morning. A long period west-northwest swell which originated across the central Pacific Ocean is expected to bring high surf to portions of southwestern California.

A beach hazards statement remains in effect through Friday evening. Dangerous rip currents and waves are expected due to elevated surf. Waves 4 to 6-feet with local sets to 8-feet on west  facing beaches are expected.

Remember if caught in a rip current swim parallel to shore until you are free of the powerful current. Caution should be used when in or near the water. Always swim near a lifeguard and and never swim alone.

Kuehl Calls Out Coastal Commission


Unhappy with recent decisions by the California Coastal Commission to limit public access at Broad Beach and sign off on a five- house compound proposed by U2 guitarist David ‘The Edge’ Evans, Supervisor Sheila Kuehl has added her voice to those accusing some commissioners of “drifting” from a commitment to uphold their mandate.

The Coastal Commission is considering dismissing Executive Director Charles Lester and has scheduled a public hearing on the matter for Feb. 10 in Morro Bay.

Calling Lester a “strong environmental steward,” Kuehl questioned the motives of the commissioners. “This move is widely seen by those concerned with protecting California’s coastline as part of a larger attempt on the part of some members of the commission to weaken enforcement of the Coastal Act,”  Kuehl said in a motion for the Board of Supervisors. Saying the commission had increasingly allowed development out of conformance with its mandate, Kuehl urged her colleagues to send a letter to Gov. Jerry Brown, state legislative leaders and each Coastal Commissioner asking them to retain Lester and to “recommit themselves to protecting California’s coastline and beaches for the public.”

The Coastal Commission is governed by 12 voting and three non-voting members, each appointed by either the governor, the speaker of the Assembly or the Senate Rules Committee.

Commissioner Chair Steve Kinsey, in comments to the The Point Reyes Light, said the move followed a performance review in December and was not motivated by development issues.

“There is understandable fear that this is being driven by developers wanting to undermine the Coastal Act, but the reality is more complicated,” Kinsey told the coastal community newspaper.

Several commissioners have complained about Lester’s leadership, citing projects that have been unnecessarily delayed and poor management, Capitol Weekly reported. A spokeswoman for the Coastal Commission said that as of today, roughly 14,000 pieces of correspondence had been received on the matter and two of them called for Lester’s dismissal.

– from CNS

Venice High School Celebrates Top Seniors – VIDEO


Venice High Jackets of Excellence 1
Top students are recognized at the 31st Annual Academic Jackets of Excellence Awards and Luncheon

Venice High School celebrated their top seniors at a luncheon last Friday presenting each of the students with a special Jacket of Excellence at the 31st Annual Academic Jackets of Excellence Awards and Luncheon.

“Today is an exciting day for us, we’re here to honor our seniors who have outstanding academic accomplishments,” said Venice High School Principal Dr Oryla Wiedoeft.

Senior Class President and Jacket of Excellence recipient Simon Greiner said the 35 students were being honored for their “high GPA’s and class involvement throughout the school.”

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Venice High School celebrates top seniors

Sponsored by the Venice Chamber of Commerce and Rotary, the luncheon first took place in 1965. Over the years 1,200 jackets have been awarded to graduating seniors who have achieved high levels of excellence.

Venice Chamber of Commerce Executive Director  Donna Lasman says the Chamber proud to be able to support schools in the Venice community through work done by Joelle Dumas and the Education Committee.

“The Jacket of Excellence awards at Venice High School recognizes students who excel academically, and who are active in sports, clubs and the community. These students are on their way to becoming college graduates and future leaders. We are honored to be a part of this amazing event,” says Lasman.

Yo! Venice congratulates this year’s honorees…

Joshua Alaie

Hagar Hassan Ali

Mariam Aly

Daniel Anderson

Tanapat Apornprapha

Wendy Arce

Sara Smith Babakhyi 

Jeny Bannon

Catherine Barrie

Ashley Briones

Maina Cioni

John Covarrubias

Corynn Craig

Alexander de la Cruz

Ugyen Dorji

Simon Greiner

Iris Jacobs

Laura Johnson

Mellia Kanani 

Emily Kang

Emily Lui 

Benjamin Melechin

Merlyn Miano

Jocelyn Morales

Lauren Moy

Karina Orozco

Ine Richards

Miranda Robinson

Andrew j. Selvo

Anika Troeger

Graciela Trujillo

Blake Wakasa

Yesenia Vargas

Jennifer Vazquez

William Yi

VSA Shaping the Future of Venice Trees


Fallen Tree Venice Amber Feld
A fallen tree branch blocks a street in Venice Picture Courtesy: Amber Feld Twitter

Gales force winds have toppled trees across Los Angeles over the past couple of days and now there is a calm after the storm the Venice Stakeholders Association have got to work trimming 21 Italian Stone Pines around the Venice Post Office.

Yesterday a professional crew, from Campos Greenview Tree Service began thinning and trimming the trees that had been at risk of failure, blown by strong El Niño driven storms.

VSA Tree Trimming 1
Overgrown canopies put the trees at risk of toppling during blustery El Niño driven winds

“These pines are in dire need of care,” says Darin Morris, a Grand Boulevard resident and landscape architect,  “all the canopies are quite dense and severely top heavy, which puts them at extreme risk of blowing over in El Niño storms.”

The trees had originally been planted by a group of Venice residents.

Mark Ryavec, the president of the VSA, says, “Jim Murez, Ed Barger and I led about 200 volunteers to plant these trees about 20 years ago.  I remember that we named all the trees and that the one I helped plant is named after my great-aunt Lucy.  I feel a personal sense of stewardship.”

The project is being funded by donations paid to the VSA. Ryavec, Morris, and Erin Sullivan  raised $4,400 of the $5,000 needed to pay for the licensed landscaping firm to perform the trimming.

VSA Tree Trimming 3
Campos Greenview Tree Service have been thinning and trimming the trees paid for by the VSA

“Many have asked why the Post Office or the City is not paying for the trimming. We’ve checked with both and neither have the funds for the trimming now, while there is urgency so we don’t lose any of these trees in the coming storms,” says Ryavec.

Sullivan, Morris and Ryavec initially proposed to the Postal Service and the City to widen all the tree wells to better accommodate the tree roots and  install decomposed granite in the wider tree wells to allow more water to reach the roots. They also proposed cracked sidewalk sections be replaced.

The Venice Neighborhood Council’s Neighborhood Committee had reviewed and approved the VSA application for the $5,000  to fund the project, but  ultimately the money was not made available.

VSA Tree Trimming 2
The thinned out canopies will make the tress less of a hazard for the community

Morris felt the VNC had elected to fund projects based on favoritism.

“It was sad, as they missed the long-term value of the trees as a community asset.  If they receive proper care these trees have the potential to outlive all of us,” he says.

“Italian Stone Pines need proper pruning to grow to the majestic beauties that they can become, which will create a grand, inspiring streetscape,” says Morris.

Donors to the trimming project include Erin Sullivan, Russ Cletta, Darin Morris, Janne and Jack Kindberg, David Hertz, Scott Spector and Ralph Ziman.

“We want to keep improving Venice,” says Ryavec.