Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Quality of Life issue for Venice Residents......

Venice votes to restrict overnight RV parking

Ricardo DeAratanha, Los Angeles Times
The overnight parking of vehicles like these, along 7th Street, has divided Venice residents.
via: Los Angeles Times

From the Los Angeles Times:

Venice votes to restrict overnight RV parking

The measure, which some residents have sought for more than a decade, needs Coastal Commission backing.
By Martha Groves

9:39 PM PST, February 23, 2009

A plan to restrict overnight parking won the strong support of Venice residents in a nonbinding election over the weekend. The plan still needs approval from the California Coastal Commission, which is expected to take it up in June.

Fed up with homeless people who live in cars and battered recreational vehicles parked along residential streets, many Venetians have for more than a decade urged the city of Los Angeles to create overnight parking districts that would limit parking in their neighborhoods.

On Saturday, more than 1,500 people -- a record turnout for a Venice Neighborhood Council election -- cast ballots on two competing nonbinding initiatives. The first, Initiative A, called on the neighborhood council to rescind its prior approval of overnight parking districts. That measure, backed by advocates seeking to protect the rights of those living in the RVs, failed 868 to 634.

The second, Initiative B, affirmed that Venice residents have the right to establish such districts. That measure passed 891 to 608.

The vote results were released Sunday on the neighborhood council's website.

The Los Angeles City Council has approved the parking restrictions, which had the strong support of local Councilman Bill Rosendahl, but the matter is far from over.

A few residents have appealed to the California Coastal Commission, which has jurisdiction over the areas of Venice closest to the beach. The commission indicated that it wants to take a closer look at overnight parking districts and their implications.

Because the commission is charged with maintaining the public's access to the coast, it wants to be sure there is enough early morning parking to accommodate fishermen, joggers, surfers and others.

"The first petitions for [parking districts] were signed in the community 12 years ago, and it's clear one can't wait to find a solution to where to put these RV dwellers," said Mark Ryavec, co-chairman of the neighborhood council's Homelessness and Vehicular Occupation Ad Hoc Committee.

That panel has been scouring the region for sites where groups of RVs can park.

"It's a difficult challenge," he added. "I'm encouraged by the vote and am cautiously optimistic that eventually the community will be able to improve their quality of life."


and Via The Venice WatchDawg:

What this all means is anybody's guess... Ask the Councilman.......

"All the devils that disturbed me
And the angels that defeated them somehow,
Come together in me now" - - Winslow Leach

Venice WatchDawg - - A big win for OPD

A bittersweet victory as the election was substandard and a number of
WatchDawg Readers emailed in that they were unable to vote because of
the lines and confusion - Pro choice forces won despite all of this
contentious BS as well as the anti-OPD people not telling the truth
about their goals, motives and agenda in their printed material. So,
what else is new.....

For those who want to know more, there is plenty more below. I want
to thank all who organized the positive effort, Georgann Abrams,
Stewart Oscars, Mark Ryavec, Pat Snyder, Marie Hammond and countless
others who spent hundreds of hours planning the promotion, but most of
all, I want to thank you WatchDawg readers who spent the time and took
the effort to make the City understand that Venice is NOT the
Beachhead Collective or the Venice Town Council who want to wind the
clock back to 1968. I personally am not comfortable with the OPDs,
BUT, I'll fight like hell for everyone's right to sign up for one. So
justice and democracy won - national socialism has to go back to dank
basements and gloomy coffee houses.

Meet the new Venice - Come on over and check out Oscars Wine
Establishment on the north side of Rose between Dimmick and Rennie,
yep, right across from the dead bakery lot with the motorhome wagon
train surround - Its just that kind of town.......


Rick Feibusch
Venice WatchDawg
From: Georgann Abrams

Date: Feb 22, 2009 7:33 PM
This email is going out to friends and family and fellow Venice neighbors.

There were over 1500 ballots cast yesterday. Put simply, it was to
vote yes or no on OPD (Overnight Parking Districts) in Venice. More
came to vote than ANY Venice Neighborhood Council election EVER.
Voting was to be 12:30 to 3:30. The line started forming at 12:00 -
and wrapped all the way around the Venice library and down to the end
of the parking lot on Venice Blvd - ALL DAY.

People were still voting after 4:30.

OPD YES = 891
OPD no = 634 (counting about 200 non-residents)

Stewart (Oscars) and I started this 3 years ago and never could have
imagined what it has taken. This vote only means we know the real
residents of Venice are of like mind. Nice.

Georgann Abraham

CONGRATULATIONS AND THANKS TO ALL.!! I just returned from a walk to
clean up a huge pile of you know what. I cannot wait for my house to
cease being someone's toilet.

Much gratitude to all of the Veteran OPD organizers, Stewart,
Georgann, Mark et al. Thanks to all of you in this community for
fighting to maintain human decency and the freedom to have the RIGHT


Nikoletta Skarlatos

There was a line around the building and none of them looked homeless.
I was so proud of my fellow venetians. Fingers crossed on this
particular issue.

Celeste Chada

Well, that was crap-ass disorganized debacle.

I casually walked over to the library a couple minutes after 12:30 to
find a line heading to the beach on the northside of the library.
I stepped in to line at 12:36 only to wait for the greeting 50 minutes
later. "Have you voted with us before." A friend asked "who is us."
And was promptly asked for all of his info. I, having voted in the
past, gave him my name and upon checking of the list was told not
according to our list. "Fill this out", way too much info being asked
for. I did not see my friend, he wasn't to happy about having to do
more than show his ID after waiting 50 some old minutes. I voted and

When I got home a neighbor called to tell me it took him an hour and a
half in line to vote. But what we were not being told is that we
could have pre-registered online and then just walked to the front of
the line and voted. Not sure if that was true but others identified
themselves as pre-registered and went straight in.


I read the procedure after the fact and question why it said you had
to register on-site.

I'm sure however the vote turns out someone or more will complain that
there wasn't sufficient time for everyone that wanted to vote. That,
I will never know. This was an attempt for a neighborhood ADVISORY
council to gather an opinion by putting on the councils agenda for the
stakeholders to vote on. There is nothing that makes this an official
vote. If either of the factions wanted a better impact; an online
petition, not a vote, would have more substance.

Dru Lewis

Three people called me yesterday by 1pm to say the line was going
around the library. We got there about 115p and stood in line for
maybe 10 minutes. Then Marie said she heard that if we had voted in an
NC election before, we needn't wait in line.

So I went to the front of the library to check, and asked Mark
Salzburg, OUTREACH CHAIR "if we've voted before . . ." and he
responded, "Yes, you can go right in, but don't tell anybody." We have
heard from quite a few people who stood in line, but couldn't wait,
etc. There needed to be a Pre-Reg and a New Voter line.

Carolyn Ward

Maria and I had only a few free minutes to vote in the early
afternoon. The lines were horrendous, and we simply didn't have time.
Bottom line, we were disenfranchised because nobody told us we could
go right in. This was wrong.

The inability to vote by absentee ballot was wrong.

Permitting ballots to be counted elsewhere the next day was wrong.

Aldis Browne

And Yes, The whole thing was a mess, and yes, people who waited for
hours didn't have to and yes they made up the rules as they went

But, it is quite obvious that The Beachhead Collective, the RV
dwellers and the people who serve them were not able to sway anyone's
opinion about the acceptability of living freely in front of our homes
- This just in from the Venice Paper:

Permit Parking Vote Count Fiasco
Venice Paper Online

February 22, 2009. Venice—Never mind that 1,506 Venetians turned out
to vote, yesterday's plebiscite on whether permit parking should come
to the area could be thrown out due to alleged improprieties in the
counting of ballots.

According to Laddie Williams a previous officer of the neighborhood
council who stayed to watch the votes being counted, rather than count
the ballots on-site immediately after the vote--as previously agreed
to--a neighborhood council official chose instead to send the ballots
home in the custody of a colleague and for the count to continue
today. Williams told VenicePaper that the ballot box had already been
unsealed at that point.

Read more.........



More comments:

Congratulations to all involved. The OPD opponents wasted a great deal
of everyones time, but it only serves to demonstrate the will of the
community on this matter. So much for their effort to overturn the law
concerning sleeping in vehicles on our streets...

It has long been clear that basic competence is too much to expect
from some of VNC's most regular volunteers. But to be fair, this is
more like student government. The City Charter set up NCs as play pen
for community activists...to keep us busy...advisory only...if an
elected official wants advice...or sometimes provide cover to do what
they see fit...

Steve Freedman
What happened to the registrar running NC elections, or the DONE staff
with NALEO? Confirming actions and actvities, or is it 3 monkeys,
hear no evil, see no evil, and say no evil?

I was present at the Library and I can say that the letter Mr. Selan
writes is correct and we in the community are outraged at the process
that was not followed and the process was altered because on One
individual stating he was tired and the voting would continue tomorrow
at the Public storage in Venice at 11:00am.

The entire event was wrong and the community was outraged at the way
this handled. Please take this grievance that was filed tonight and
act on it and do ask for the individuals who filmed to give you a copy
and you will see the less then fair practice of Mr. Spiegel and the
event that followed. Please investigate and let the neighborhood see
that our elected officials will act when it is called for.

Please don't excuse this grievance we need assistance in a fair and
organized process and this was not the case at all yesterday! The
entire process was wrong and the way it was carried out was wrong

Please as elected officials act now and act fast for this process and
the VNC needs help as Mr. Selan has been requesting for months and you
have done nothing just allowed this debacle to happen ignoring Mr.
Selan's numerous grievances over and over month to month. You all
know this because you receive the charge and you pass it to the locals
who has named numerous times and they dismiss each and everyone of
them with prejudice. Now you cannot ignore what happened yesterday
beca use this was done under a city charter that must be recognized
and this process was not followed and many irregularities were seen by
all who participated in the count.

We need DONE and the City of Los Angeles to come in and right a wrong
they have created by ignoring Mr. Selan, if you had of acted on one of
those grievances this may have been different but these individuals
are out of control and it is horrible for Venice.

What happened to the League of Women Voters who always ran the
election when the GRVNC had elections? The truth is no body really
cares because Mr. Selan has complained about Koslow and Spiegel for
years and no one has heard him. Now drunk with power these two have
exploded on the community and we are outraged!

The outcome doesn't matter because the rules that were agreed upon
were not followed this vote is null and void!

Let the grievance stand that Mr. Selan has filed and go forward and
DONE, Mayor, CD 11 act on it(Rosendahl) was present for awhile
yesterday at the Los Angeles Public Library in Venice. The whole
ordeal from the beginning was set up to fail and these so called VNC
members are not for the entire community no matter if homeless or RV's
or community.

Go to Venicepaper.net for one look or other local media not the
corporate because they report lies about Venice and the parking.

Laddie Williams

"Back in the Sixties, when we said that we wanted
to change society, we should have been a little
more specific." - - Christopher Lloyd
(From the comic kiddie film, Camp Nowhere - 1994)

Appointed VNC Grievance Chair and Appointed Election Chair Change
Election Rules The Reason "Election Chair States He is

From:Rick Selan, Venice Neighborhood Council Voting Member

Re: Request for Ethics Investigation into VNC Election and Request for
Investigation of VNC Grievance Chair Walking Off Taking Unfilled
Ballots Already Signed By Poll Watchers

VNC Appointed Parliamentarian, LAUSD Trickster and VNC Appointed
Election Chair Ivan Spiegel Has Under Age Student Carry Filled Out
Ballots To Awaiting Toyota Rather Than Touching Ballots Himself.

For over forty years, this advocate has voted in hundreds of elections
throughout this country, but has never seen anything quite like the
way the VNC OPD election ended today. The rules called for all votes
to be counted today February 21, 2009. This did not happen. Appointed
Election Chair Ivan Spiegel went off on VNC Emeritus President Dede

The election was held today from 12:30 P.M. to 3:30 P.M. at the
Venice library with numerous LAPD squad cars and police on the streets
and on the library grounds. This appeared quite intimidating to those
who wanted to vote. I received a call informing me to be careful as
there was a riot at the library. When I went to vote, there were
police everywhere but there were no problems. To this 30 year + Venice
resident, the police being out there appeared to be a tactic of VNC
and CD11 to create a fear that does not exist. This is pattern and
practice to continue "separate, but equal."

To better understand the dynamics of what took place after the police
left the election, one must understand the "less than clean" politics
in the VNC Grievance, Election and Rules Committee. Please understand
that the Grievance and Rules and Election Committee are made up of
Chair Ira Koslow, a LAUSD employee who denies all VNC Grievances
unilaterally as non-actionable based on prejudice. VNC Secretary Joe
Murphy, the former Chair also sits on the Committee with High School
Student Dexter O'Connell who has also served a s the grievance chair
following the same less than fair rules. According to Dexter
O'Connell, "Ivan Spiegel 'bamboozled' the grievance process by
applying great pressure on one individual to vote the Spiegel way to
keep the VNC grievance process unilateral so grievances are never
heard. That elected member then resigned as an elected member. Ivan
Spiegel has done similar "less than clean tricks" for the District
3-Mark Twain LAUSD Good Ol' Boys and Girls Club. His actions today
were not new nor unexpected for those who know the past.

With these facts in place, lets look at the election process around
5:30 P.M. after police were gone. According to those present, Ira
Koslow approached Ivan Spiegel to request that he take home all of the
ballots that were initialed by the poll workers but had not been voted
on. Mr. Spiegel gave Mr. Koslow permission to take these ballots home
with him. Why? What was Mr. Koslow to do with20these ballots?

At this point, I received a call to allow me to hear the yelling and
screaming inside the library as Mr. Spiegel decided he was tired and
rather than counting the votes tonight following the election rules,
he made the unilateral decision that the ballots, will be counted on

Mr. Spiegel attempted to throw Form er VNC President Dede Audet out of
the room as she attempted to explain the need to go to an all night
restaurant to count the ballots following election rules that votes be
counted today.

Strangely, Mr. Spiegel had opened the ballot box at 5:00 P/.M. aware
that the library closed at 6:00 P.M. When I arrived at the library the
yelling and screaming was still going on. There were those on scene
filming the "less than respectable scene" as Ivan Spiegel stated rules
cannot always be followed.

Rather than touching the ballots, Ivan Spiegel used the younger
brother of Rules Committee member Dexter O' Connell to carry the
ballots to an awaiting Toyota 5NIV092. I asked the driver her name.
She stated, "Right". Ivan makes the rules for VNC as the appointed

Mr. Spiegel, now totally out of control, told those in front of the
library that the ballots will be counted at 11:00 A.M. at Extra Space
Storage on 2/22/09.

Mr. Spiegel's performance today threatening former VNC President Dede
Audet with being removed from the library for her suggestions and
his use of a 15 or 16 year old teenager to carry out the ballots
rather than do it himself is no different than that of gang leaders
who allow those under age 18 to carry out the crimes as punishment is
far less severe for those under age. Even after making it clear to Mr.
Spiegel that he was using a child to do his dirty work, he had the
younger sibling continue to carry the ballots.

This was not a happy day for the Venice Neighborhood Council and the
fair voting process. Why does this continue? These are major reasons
why VNC is less than functional.

Peace. Change. Hope.

In unity for accountability,

Rick Selan

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