Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Gay Bashing by a Transient on Third Street/Drain the Swamp

In a Gay bashing incident last Saturday evening, a group of transients confronted John Frane and his partner on Third Street near Rose, called them "girls" and then one of the transients punched John in the face and knocked him to the pavement.  His partner is able to diffuse the situation and they escape without further harm.  A police report is filed; the assaulter has not been found.

The Venice victim tally since August 2013: 

  • Deranged transient Nathan Campbell, living in his car in Venice, mows down 17 pedestrians on Boardwalk with his car and kills young Italian woman in a rage over being ripped off in a drug deal gone bad.
  • Transient brutally assaults resident Robert DiMassa on walk street because DiMassa's service dog urinated on the sidewalk near where the camper was sleeping.
  • Five home invasions between April 8 and November 29, 2014 - four by wasted, mentally ill transients - in a six block area centered on Windward and Riviera.
  • Clabe Hartley's fingertip bitten off by transient Jonathan Lemons on Washington Blvd.
  • Homeless Jose Gonzalez dies April 19th after suffering a blow from transient Thomas Glover on Abbot Kinney at California. 
  • The death of transient Brendon Glenn on May 5th in altercation with LAPD on Windward. 
  • Transient Jason Davis shot on July 14th by LAPD at Groundworks Cafe on Rose after approaching police with a knife.  He later died of his wounds.
  • At Third and Rose in July, homeless Sam Cosentino is stabbed multiple times by another transient, requiring hospitalization of Cosentino.
  • Two transients shot on the Boardwalk at Dudley on August 30th, apparently in altercation over camping spaces.  One dies at the scene and one is transported to the hospital and later released.
  • Transient Mark Scanlan hurls chair at restaurateur Clabe Hartley, striking him in the back of the head.  The injury results in a severe concussion and requires five staples in Hartley's scalp.
  • A knife-wielding transient invades apartment at 28th and Speedway on October 12, 2015; resident flees to a neighbor's apartment and calls police.  Police apprehend a possible suspect though he is later released.
  • On Saturday, October 17th, resident John Frane is punched in the face and knocked to the pavement by a transient on Third Street near Rose after he and his partner are called "girls" by a group of anti-gay transients

Message to Mike Bonin and Eric Garcetti

Drain the swamp:  stop the camping along Venice Beach, the walk streets, Mildred, Venice Boulevard, Grand Avenue and on Third Street, stop the storage of tons of transients' stuff on Venice Beach and local sidewalks, bring back the City's ordinance banning "sitting, lying, sleeping" on sidewalks and establish 300 foot buffer from residences for camping or unattended property.

Or more people - residents, visitors and transients - will be harmed in Venice by the lawless conditions the City continues to allow to exist here.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

The Olympics Are Coming to.....Santa Monica?

Mayor Eric Garcetti announced L.A. as the nation’s official bidder for the 2024 Olympics in Santa Monica Sept. 1.
Mr. Mayor, this is Venice Beach and the Boardwalk.  The white buildings 
in the background are in Santa Monica. 

Mayor Garcetti Mistakes Santa Monica 

for Venice Beach

Given the obvious choice of L.A.’s own Venice Beach, with its ocean views, blue sky and palm trees, as the venue to hold the press conference to announce Los Angeles as the official U.S. bid city for the 2024 Olympics, it was odd to see Mayor Eric Garcetti standing at a podium in Santa Monica instead on Sept. 1.

Don’t get me wrong, I love Santa Monica. I was born there and have fond memories of growing up in the sleepy town that Santa Monica once was.

But doesn’t the Mayor know that Santa Monica is a separate municipality? It is not like Santa Monica is going to host a lot of events or absorb any of the cost overruns on the Olympics, which the rest of L.A., including Venice, will face if the 2024 Olympics go the way of almost every other Olympics in history.

Part of the purpose of garnering the Olympics is to boost Los Angeles’ notoriety and garner all those tourist dollars. So, what’s with putting the spotlight on our toney neighbor next door?

One poster on Yo! Venice suggested that the Mayor is scared of Venice.  Well, I understand that it would not do for him or one of the many athletes or journalists at the press conference to get a finger bitten off but I’m sure that the LAPD could have provided sufficient security just this once.

Maybe the Mayor is just not very familiar with all that Venice has to offer.  Two years ago, during the mayoral campaign, a group of Venetians attempted to remedy this. We held two well-attended fundraisers for Garcetti that raised about $30,000. We used the events as an opportunity to tell Garcetti about our on-going nightmare with the transient population and the use of Venice Beach as a campgrounds that attracts deranged and drug-addicted campers from all over the nation. He seemed to get it and gave us his personal phone number, telling us we could call him anytime. Oddly, after the election that number was disconnected and his campaign liaison moved on to other pursuits. Now no one in his office replies to telephone calls or emails. This must just be an oversight, of course.

So, let me use this column as an opportunity to acquaint His Honor with Venice’s many Olympic attributes.

First, he should consider that Venice has been pioneering new sports for Olympics consideration.

While Spain has the running of the bulls in Pamplona, we have the running of the cars on the Boardwalk. Imagine, visitors can stroll Ocean Front Walk, carefully listening for the rev of the engine of a car driven by a drugged-out guy angry at a drug deal gone bad.  Their challenge is to jump out of the way before they’re run over. No medals here, they just get to keep living. Trust me; the course is still open; I could have driven a car onto the Boardwalk at Rose Ave. last week.
Image result for woman chased onto roof in venice
Then there’s competitive roof climbing.  The object of this sport is for the roof climber to find and disable the half naked resident before she can call for help or escape. (The climbing venue pictured is at Windward and Riviera Avenues.)

On Washington Blvd. we have the novel and ever popular homeless-on-restaurateur finger-biting and chair-tossing competitions (Clabe Hartley was just clobbered again, by a chair hurled by a deranged man. Clabe had the temerity to ask him not to keep dumping all the trash cans lining the street).

On Rose Ave. there is the annual police versus knife-wielding psycho challenge. So far, the LAPD is beating all comers.

We also have the unusual sport of curtain wrestling. Never heard of it? The objective is to frighten a young woman and her children out of their skin while you bleed all over their apartment and finish by convincingly wrestling a shower curtain to the floor of their blood covered bathroom before the police can arrive.

Then, to help all those athletes increase their performance and treat their pain, there is the mile long drug emporium from one end of Venice Beach to the other.

Now, who would want to stroll the dull streets of Paris with all these entertaining options available on the streets of Venice?

And Rome, well, I’m sure the Italians will look past the revulsion I saw in their faces when they heard that their countrywoman Alice Gruppioni had been run over on a pedestrian walkway at Venice Beach and they’ll just give up their Olympic bid.

Maybe, if Garcetti can arrange to hold all the Olympic events in Santa Monica, he can convince the world that none of the visitors and athletes arriving in 2024 will get hurt. But he seems to have given up on protecting the rest of us.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Protection from the Homeless

From this morning's "Letters to the Editor:"

The phrase “criminalization of the poor” is simply a mask for the removal of all laws that protect residents from the noxious behavior of transients.
The Times spouts this misleading characterization of modest controls that once protected residents. In the process, it turns a deaf ear to residents who find it unbearable to live with the harassment, loud nighttime noise, trespassing, thefts and defecation, urination and inebriation that spring from homeless encampments, which are often right next to our homes.
There is no evidence to support the federal homelessness task force's contention that breaking up encampments makes it harder to get homeless people into permanent housing. The voiding of vagrancy laws and tolerance of encampments actually make the homeless more “service resistant,” as they become habituated to their outdoor lifestyles and the drugs that are often a part of it.
Mark Ryavec

Monday, September 7, 2015

Giuliani: De Blasio’s progressivism created city’s homeless crisis


A  city with homeless on its streets is a city that has no love of its people.
The so-called “progressive” view, that people have a right to live on the sidewalk, is not only legally devoid of any merit but is inhumane, indecent and dangerous. As is the case in many other policies — redistribution of wealth, social engineering, weak national defense — it’s a contradiction to describe this stance as progressive. It should properly be regarded as retrogressive.
People living on the street, urinating and defecating there, marked the Dark Ages of Western civilization. In a humane, decent and civilized city, the problems of the homeless are dealt with through intervention rather than denial.
My analysis of social policy always begins with how I would treat my child, sister, brother or friend if they fell on hard times. Suppose I found someone I loved living on the streets. What would I do? Let him remain there because he wants to and claims some fictitious legal right to do so? Or would I find out what was wrong and intervene, even if a bit of tough love was necessary?
When family members aren’t around or can’t handle the problem, it falls to the government. Under my hypothetical situation, I would find out why he is on the streets. Is he without funds to pay rent? Is he drinking too much or taking drugs or suffering from mental illness? In any one of those situations, I would suggest and then, if necessary, exert pressure on him to get appropriate help.
If it’s simply a lack of housing, I would find him a place to live and as soon as possible find him a job so he could regain the self-respect to care for himself and his family.
If he is an alcoholic or drug addict or suffers from mental illness, then I would bring him to appropriate programs — many of which have great success in dealing with these afflictions using therapy and medications.
Modal Trigger
Under no circumstances would I leave him an option that does not and should not exist in a loving city — a right to live on the streets.
This approach is not hypothetical. As mayor, I utilized it and was able to successfully remove the vast majority of homeless from the streets, providing humane and effective solutions for many of their problems. This should be at the core of a city’s program for the homeless.
The plan we followed was simple and effective. We didn’t need a task force to devise it, and it should be utilized now by New York City before we become a homeless haven like we used to be.
The police should approach every person attempting to sleep on the sidewalk and tell them they are not allowed to use the streets as a bedroom and toilet. If he only needs a place to stay, that can be provided. If he needs a job, the city should help him find one as my New York City Job Agency did, or if private work can’t be found, he can be required to work for the city for the legal limit of 20 hours a week.
 - Rudy Giuliani
This will instill or maintain a work ethic — easily lost if you get something for nothing. It will also teach and reinforce that you must contribute to earn money.
If the problems are more severe, then referrals can be made to alcohol and drug rehabilitation programs and for mental evaluation to determine if therapy and medication can be helpful.
This will not work with everyone. In my experience, it worked more often than not, but not always at first. It’s always best if the police officer is accompanied by a social worker — as often was the case — to explain to a homeless person that coming in for an evaluation is better than walking all night because, if the person refuses to come, he will be followed and not allowed to sleep outside anywhere else.
Under my program, most came in for evaluation and some just left the city.
Modal Trigger
Photo: David McGlynn
When I was mayor, we did all we could to remove the homeless from the streets not only for safety and sanitary reasons, but out of love and compassion for each of the homeless as persons, as children of God.
Modal Trigger
Photo: David McGlynn
The situation only deteriorates for people allowed to live on the streets. It often leads to drinking and drugs. As for the mentally ill — about 40 percent of homeless have been, according to some studies, described as paranoid schizophrenics — as they become more isolated, their illness becomes much worse, too often leading to violence committed by them or on them.
If a person wants homeless people living on their doorstep or if a church wants to allow people to sleep on its steps, then they should be invited in to give them adequate protection and sustenance.
In fact, anytime you see homeless people in the doorway of a church bedding down for the night, ask yourself why the church hasn’t invited them in.
Difficult, seemingly implacable human problems need even more determined interventions rather than repetitions of retrogressive, old-fashioned applications of left-wing guilt.
We had a strategy that worked. Why was it abandoned?
Rudy Giuliani was mayor of New York City from 1994 to 2001.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

NBC Coverage of VSA Proposals to Address Dangerous Conditions along Venice Beach


Another Assault on Cow's End Owner Clabe Hartley


Clabe Hartley, a Venice restaurateur who had part of his finger bitten off in an assault by a transient earlier this spring, was again assaulted by another crazed transient at his restaurant on the morning of Wednesday, August 26th The assault with a chair left Mr. Hartley with a severe concussion and five staples in his head.

Hartley said that he had seen the 250 lb. homeless man in the vicinity of his restaurant, The Cow’s End, on Washington Boulevard for several months, frequently talking excitedly to himself, saying “I need to kill someone today” or “I am going to kill her.”

He also would go down Washington Boulevard and dump the contents of all the trash cans into the gutter.

Mr. Hartley relates that last Wednesday, as the transient was again dumping the trash can in front of his restaurant, Hartley approached him and politely asked him if he was looking for something.  The fellow turned on Hartley and said, “You are killing people and I have to kill you.”  Hartley asked the transient how he was killing people and the big fellow replied that the food Hartley was serving was giving people cancer and came right up to Hartley and said he was going to kill him.  Hartley pulled out his pepper spray and sprayed the man, which had no effect on him.  The transient said, “That’s all you’ve got,” and came after Hartley.  At that point Hartley kicked him and ran into the front of the restaurant.  It appeared that the transient was walking away.

As Hartley turned to talk to this wife on the other side of the counter, the man picked up a wooden chair from the patio in the front of the cafe and hurled it at Hartley, hitting him in the head, and then the man rushed at Hartley.  At that point Hartley, staggered by the blow to the head, turned to face the man and watched as police officers, who had witnessed the entire incident from their passing car, tackled and arrested the transient.

Hartley reports that the man is now being held in the mental ward of County Jail on three counts of assault with a deadly weapon.

Another person was injured in the forehead by the leg of the chair, which broke off when it hit Hartley and flew into the patron’s face.  He was treated on the scene by paramedics and released.

Hartley is being treated by a specialist due to his propensity to pass out unexpectedly and is spending much of his time resting.