• Great Job - Bill Fleeman
• Santa Monica Pier Savior - Panos Douvos
• What the ARF is Going On? - Lydia Poncé
• Parking Problems - DeDe Audet

Great Job

Dear Beachhead,
Received the Beachhead with the morning mail. The Collective did your usual great job, a labor of love I know.
Soon as I can I’m sending a donation. Whatever I can send it’ll be too small. The Beachhead does a big job.
Your article about how to survive the crash, by the way, excellent, and a scary reminder of things to come.
Peace in solidarity,

Bill Fleeman


Santa Monica Pier Savior

Dear Beachhead,

A wrong needs to be righted. A live-wire senior member of the Israel Levin Center on the Venice Boardwalk, Diana Cherman, is the savior of the Santa Monica Pier, for which she has received no credit.
In 1973 the Santa Monica City Council campaigned to tear down the pier. Diana jumped to the rescue, bolstered by her background in political science at U.C.L.A. She started to petition for a redress of grievances.

The current director of the pier restoration committee (Ben-Franz Knight) recently stated that there was a save-the-pier campaign in the 70’s. It ousted the City Council, saved the pier and grew into the Santa Monica for Renters Rights movement. No mention of Diana. She was not spotlighted for her exceptional civic deed. No remarks on her spearheading the establishment of the peoples of Santa Monica.
She started the gathering of stacks and stacks of signatures only to be hobbled by the council, which challenged the legality of the petitions because of incorrect forms. She was forced to repeat the whole process in requisite legal form and thus onto the Save-the-Pier ballot.

Meanwhile Diana placed newspaper adds opposing the Terrible - Three GRRs - Councilmen Garille, Reidy and Rinck, which secured the overwhelming vote against them. They were booted out of office and the pier was saved!

Subsequently the Santa Monica Businessmen’s group offered Diana their full financial backing for a run at city council office. She was appearing on T.V. channels 2-4-7 and her prospects were good. To run however, she was required to move from West L.A. to Santa Monica, and given the lack of support from her husband, this marked the end of her political career. They later divorced.

People feel there is no Santa Monica without the pier, it’s the soul of Santa Monica. Having had to suffer watching the Venice and Washington street piers being left to deteriorate, Diana said at the time, “They’re not going to knock down my pier.”

The citizens of the Westside are surely the unheralded possessors of many other strong tales to tell, if only given a tap on the shoulder.

Right now a city commendation presented to Diana at the Santa Monica Pier would seem at minimum to be a long delayed singular honor due to her... BRAVA Diana CHERMAN QUE VIVA.

Panos Douvos


What the ARF is Going On?

Dear Beachhead,

Monday, September 24 – Two “dog off leash” tickets were given to two offenders at Oakwood Park. Finally. After 3 weeks of distribution of flyers and warnings given by Manuel Elorriaga, a police officer with the Department of General Services.

Ask anyone how long it took to get this issue taken seriously. Seniors, children, families and other Venice residents have made several requests in several meetings to get someone to do something about people running their dogs without leashes- since Ruth Gallanter days – since Cindy Miscikowski – it’s been too long!

This fine morning I heard one of two gentleman exclaiming, “I have been coming here for years!!!” The second man shouted,”I have to go to court for this?” They both signed their tickets and left.

Ok, so the ‘Dogs & Leashes’ signs have been posted for a couple of years and additional signs were placed throughout Oakwood Park over 10 months ago. The sign clearly states that your dog must be on a leash. A separate ticket will be given for those who choose not to pick up after their dogs. So be a Venice hit; pick up your dog’s shit.

A thought for the residents who think this is unfair: just because you paid beaucoup dollars for your house does not mean you get to change everything around you and instantly you are above the law. You cannot control your dog when he/she is 10 paces away from you.

So you say your dog won’t bite or does not bite? Why take the risk? Why do you have your dog’s leash around your neck or hanging off your pant loop, but not on the dog? There are plenty of children in their neighborhood that fear dogs. Dog walkers please show some concern and respect especially in the early morning hours when plenty of Venice children are walking to school or to the bus stop. God forbid something happens and after a court case – you could lose everything just because you did not want to abide by the law.

FYI- the Dog Park is located at Main and Westminster. I have a dog and I choose not to take her there because it is not well taken care of. Have they ever changed the cedar chips? That is the place to run your dog freely!!!! Oakwood is not a dog park. Arf!

Lydia Poncé


Parking Problems

Dear Beachhead,

Venice is between a rock and a hard place. I am convinced that officialdom knows that it is Free Venice that draws hundreds of thousands of visitors to our area. But with the parking getting tighter and tighter every day, the Venetians are feeling less and less free.

There is excellent information at www.sccwrp.org/pubs/annrpt/97/ar16.htm on the net. Please do me a favor and check out the tables at the end. It shows that California beaches draw 51.9% of all beach use in the U.S. and that the beaches bring billions of dollars of revenue to this region. It also shows some bacteria counts of which Heal the Bay has plenty. But where was the California Coastal Commission (CCC) when Venice valiantly tried to get Prop O money for planning clean drainage systems?

Now, because its staff have been telling us that it is our job to dig up the evidence on pollution, I am going to call the attention of the CCC when I go down there on the 11th to pay more attention to cleaning up the ocean per the microbiological samplings and less attention to micromanaging local parking. What they are doing is to create a mess. I have made a crude map of the area which shows how Free Venice is surrounded by areas with restricted parking, all sanctioned by CCC. Of particular interest is Marina del Rey, which has no public parking on any street, no night parking of any kind, and no free public parking of any kind, except during trading hours at local stores. If this isn’t preferential application of law, then what is it?
George Mihlsten had it right when he used the term “diffuse authority” in connection with land use problems. Are all of our boards, commissions, and committees so obscuring the true facts and making so many rules, regulations, and policies that they are crossing over each other’s boundaries with no concern for the interactions?

DeDe Audet

Posted: Mon - October 1, 2007 at 08:27 PM