Mon - May 1, 2006

John Haag - Carol Fondiller

By Carol Fondiller

If I believed in ghosts or revenants or communicating with the dead, I would summon up John’s spirit with candles, vodka, fine red wine, potato chips and some ultra spicy weed. Maybe I’ll do that anyway leaving out the candles for safety’s sake.

Posted at 09:35 PM     Read More  

May Day, as it should be

May Day - the holiday that sprang from events in Chicago in 1886 - came roaring back to its native land this month as millions took off work and marched in cities around the country. What began as a commemoration of the struggle for the 8-hour day in Chicago has been adopted by nearly every country in the world, except the U.S.

Posted at 08:37 PM     Read More  

In Brief...

GRVNC is no more as new bylaws get the nod from stakeholders

The local neighborhood council is not longer “Grass Roots,” as many Venetians called it.

The old Council was overturned on an exceedingly small vote: 217 in favor to 139 opposed.
With the passage of new bylaws, May 1, the official name has been changed to “Venice Neighborhood Council” (VNC).

Posted at 07:39 PM     Read More  

Lincoln Place Tent City Update

By C.V. Beck

We still "hang-in" at Tent City (corner of Frederick and California, Wednesdays and Saturdays, weather permitting)...on tenterhooks, in fact. We have been waiting for a fabulous, positive conclusion to the mediations, originally scheduled to conclude this past Friday. However, the mediations are not yet completed and will be going forward some more in May.

Posted at 06:41 PM     Read More  

Thanks to those who participated in this memorial issue for John Haag

Dear Friends,

Thanks to everyone who participated in this memorial issue for John Haag. Your rememberances have reminded all of us how much John meant to so many people, and to Venice.

Please watch the Beachhead and for information on a memorial gathering.

-the Beachhead Collective

Posted at 05:43 PM     Read More  

The Bishop - Chuck Bloomquist

I first encountered John Haag at the Venice West Cafe in 1960 when I lived on Sunset Avenue. I liked the place and the literature in the window. However, I did not come to know John at that time. That only happened later, after reading his articles in the Beachhead, which were to my mind reasonable and lacking in the common vitriolic hyperbole of the day.

Posted at 04:44 PM     Read More  

Sorry to hear about John – Mary Morgan, Dr. Spock's widow

I was sorry to hear about John Haag.

Ben was surrounded by people in his campaign who supported him, and John was one. He could never have made it without him.

Posted at 03:49 PM     Read More  

John Haag, The Quiet Revolutionary -Lance Diskan

When I think of comparisons for John Haag’s personal nature, Che Guevara comes to mind. I’m reminded of Che because of John’s sensitive personality, his artistic - even poetic - approach to life and politics, and his relentless devotion to the welfare of others. Also because John’s work took place ‘in the belly of the beast.’ And finally because his influence has affected so many organizers in the endless struggle for what he so succinctly termed “self-determination.”

Posted at 02:51 PM     Read More  

If not for John... - Arnold Springer

For anyone planning to write a community history of contemporary Venice (1945-2005), a political overview would need to be prepared. Any political sketch of this period could not be written with addressing the role of John Haag. If not for John, elements of Prairie Fire, several corp of resident property owners in North Venice (both 'right' and 'left'), and Werner Shaarf and Associates, the political history of Venice would not have developed the way that it did.

Posted at 01:53 PM     Read More  

Classical Jazz for John -Bill Fleeman

The news when I read it made me feel so sad. In my mind I see John as I first saw him in 1959, slender clean shaven revolutionary standing in the candle light shadows of the Venice West Cafe, Anna at his side, reading A history Lesson to a full house.

Posted at 12:55 PM     Read More  

The Torture Memo

By Judith Martin Straw

I’ve stopped using the word “torture”, as I’ve come to the realization that it does not really apply to the things I’ve been using it to describe. Well, sitting in that traffic on the 405 in the pouring rain, it was just…no, it wasn’t really. It was kind of frustrating, that it took so long to get from one place to another, but I’m in a comfortable car with a soothing voice on the radio keeping me company. It wasn’t that bad. Not torture.

Posted at 11:57 AM     Read More  

Oakwood Rally Against Threats Brings Out Media, Rosendahl

A letter from a resident near Oakwood Park that made slurs against Black neighbors and threatened to take the law into his own hands if the police didn’t act against alleged drug dealing caused an uproar in the surrounding community.

Posted at 10:59 AM     Read More  

Petition Against Condos

Dawn Sassoon, Trisa Malisoff and Heather Szerlag collected 300 signatures from their neighbors on Palm Blvd. against yet another condo project by Frank Murphy.

Posted at 09:59 AM     Read More  

The World Oil Crisis and Mass Transportation

By John Bachar

If a frog is placed in a pot of water that is slowly brought to a boil in such a way that the imperceptible heat change is not noticed by the frog, then it will not jump out of the pot. If a frog is dropped into a pot of boiling water, it will immediately jump out. In which state are we traffic-choked, urbanite frogs?

Posted at 09:02 AM     Read More  

John Haag and the Peace and Freedom Party - Casey Peters

In 1971, when I was 18 years old, I participated in an anti-war rally when the annual Army Ball was held at the Beverly Hilton. Someone handed me a flyer promoting a national gathering to form an alternative political party. A couple of weeks later I just showed up unannounced at the Peace and Freedom Party headquarters in Venice when a caravan was preparing to depart for Albuquerque.

Posted at 08:03 AM     Read More  


• Centurion's Complaint - John Haag
• Mission to the East - John Haag
• Eyes of Power - John Davis
• Three Haiku - Hal Bogotch
• Picking Our Bones Before We Are Dead - C.V. Beck
• They surround me - Carol Fondiller
• humanity - Hillary Kaye

Posted at 07:07 AM     Read More  

Freedom’s Warrior – the life of John Haag, Venetian - Jim Smith

John and Anna Haag had two biological children, Duanna and Thomas Paine Haag. But in a sense, all Venetians are their children. Our continuing identity with this little seaside community comes from their words and deeds. We Venetians - and if you don't like being called a Venetian, then you probably aren't one of their children - are inspired to defend our community, often against seemingly hopeless odds, by their example. They are our role models, not the cigar-smoking developer and tobacco magnate, Abbot Kinney.

Posted at 07:06 AM     Read More  

time to fight the good fight!!! - Aron Pieman Kay

i was shocked to hear that john haag has departed this realm of existence on march 29......
john among many has been an inspiration to myself and others that we the people don't need to achieve results for communities in a pigheaded bureaucratic way.....i recall the start of the peace and freedom party back in the 60's while lbj was raining bombs in vietnam in the "name of democracy"

Posted at 05:09 AM     Read More  

John Haag, that elegant iconoclast -Jhos Singer (nee Johanna Johnson)

I’m sitting in my calm Berkeley home office, mourning quietly for John Haig. I’ll let those of you who knew the man better write the eulogies and tributes.

I knew John mostly as that elegant iconoclast with the throaty laugh and tight pony tail whose politics impressed my hard-to-impress mother, Mary Lou Johnson.

Posted at 04:10 AM     Read More  


By Jim Smith

The Venice Chapter of the Peace and Freedom Party has been in the vanguard of the movement against the Master Plan and the Canal Assessment Plan. The following interview was conducted with Community Organizer John Haag at party headquarters in Venice. Haag, in addition to being a longtime Venice resident, was his Party’s candidate for Lt. Governor in the last election. His efforts have been largely responsible for building the Venice Chapter into a major force in the state party organization.

Posted at 03:12 AM     Read More