Report on the July Venice Neighborhood Council Meeting

By C.V. Beck

I attended the monthly meeting of the Grassroots Board of Officers, July 17, at Westminster School.
As usual, the agenda was, in my humble opinion, about twice as long as it needed to be and allowed for the minimum of public comment divided into two parts, widely separated in time.

There were about 20 members of the public present and about 21 officers of the Board, Mark Grant from Councilperson Rosendahl's office, and a policeman from the Pacific Division. There were a few small bottles of water available. Some of the more heated items on the agenda were the proposed “Eruv” for the boardwalk, an accomodation for the more orthodox people within the Jewish community.

When I looked at this online at the GRVNC website, I was only able to get a few fragments of this proposal to appear. I don't know if this would be a technical problem on my computer or from the GRVNC. It would not be the first time that something is supposed to be online and is not or only partially present.

An “Eruv” is a kind of line of demarcation within which activities can occur on a religious day for Jewish people. Some persons were opposed to this because of the possibility of bird injury. Sylviane Dungan, a board member, was objecting to the supporting poles which would hold up the monofilament as unsightly visual clutter although I was not convinced of this. I personally was not opposed to it.

The other hot topics were: a letter from Food Not Bombs which had as an attachment our Bill of Rights. Peggy Lee Kennedy spoke about the Boardwalk matter as being constitutionally very important. Linda Lucks, from the Boardwalk Committee, seemed more concerned with the rights of the merchants on the east side of the Boardwalk.

In the matter of the Ray Hotel, Marta Evry spoke in opposition, stating that this variance in the height restrictions would set a very negative precedent for Venice. Arnold Springer also spoke on this matter as bad precedent.

Emily Winters spoke of the need for public restroom facilities in Venice, saying that we really need to address this positively. There was some discussion of the Santa Barbara procedures for “helping” people who have to live in motorhomes. DeDe Audet felt that we should implement this here in Venice. I left the meeting at 10 p.m. and they were not yet through the agenda.

Posted: Wed - August 1, 2007 at 11:00 AM