Who is and what is “Venice Action“?
Earlier today “Venice Action” posted a big nasty-gram on their website questioning the integrity of this website. I stay pretty neutral on issues on this site, and have always posted “Venice Action” information here with as much and equal respect as anything I post, including posts from the Venice Stakeholders Association. Look through the archives of this site, it is a point which can not be argued.
Lets start with this: “Venice Action”, the one thing that is not going to happen is my allowing you to question the integrity of this site. You can fling accusations against your “opponents”, but if you come after Yo! Venice! with your factually incorrect barbs, I am going to respond. The wonderful thing about blogs is that information takes place “in the open” and also has date and time stamps which make proving the drivel you have posted is exactly that.
From your website, posted today (August 28th, 2010) as can be seen by clicking here:
DUMPING IS REPREHENSIBLE
The recent incident of dumping sewage from an RV is reprehensible. Immediately upon learning of the incident, Venice Action called the Mayor’s office and Council District 11 office and received a quick and thorough response. The Bureau of Sanitation scheduled cleanup, enforcement activity and investigation of proper and permitted disposal facilities for RV’s.
The incident underscores the need for implementation of the Streets-to-Homes program, a comprehensive approach to vehicular homelessness, as well as for more urgent action on providing proper waste disposal.
It is commendable that a Venice resident reported the incident that led to the perpetrator’s alleged arrest. However, it is baffling that rather than calling appropriate City services to clean up the waste, the bloggers that originally reported the incident seem to have withheld the information from responsible officials and instead furthered a campaign to characterize all RV dwellers as criminals. One is left to wonder if the bloggers purposely sent readers on a wild goose chase by directing them to call the fire department. Their conspicuous omission of any mention of the CD 11 office as well as their vague instruction to “feel free to call the Mayor” may have been an attempt to purposely delay clean up and to cause embarrassment to city officials who have supported the Streets-to-Homes program.
Venice Action will continue to work with the Mayor’s office, Councilman Rosendahl, the LAPD, the Venice Neighborhood Council and our community partners to expedite real solutions to the problems associated with homeless people sleeping in vehicles on Venice Streets.
The very first mention of the issue of illegal RV toxic waste dumping was at 11:23 pm on August 18, 2010 when “Boston Dawna” posted in the forums that she saw illegal waste dumping and asked the community for assistance in catching them as such: “The licence of the camper is 4EQM810. If you see this camper please call the police and contact me. I will make a citizens arrest.” ALSO in this first post is the statement that “Boston Dawna” has already, BEFORE ever posting anything on the internet, contacted authorities: “I pick up the phone and call the cops.”
At 1:30 am on August 19, 2010, in the very next response to this thread, “Boston Dawna” posted: “OK, I just got back from identifying the bastards who dumped their in our streets. The husband was the look out walking around checking for people and traffic. He then got back in the camper. His girlfriend or wife jumped out the passenger door, pulled the plug and jumped back in and he drove away while it was still dumping sewage. The cops found them parked illegally on 3rd and Sunset, behind Gold’s Gym.”
For you to insinuate that the proper authorities had not been contacted at this point (“withheld the information from responsible officials”) is possibly an actionable statement if “Boston Dawna” decides to go after you in a court of law.
So at this point, the first and second posts about this matter on the internet have the information that the police were called before any “internet posting” was even done, and the posts contain the information that the LAPD has arrested these people and are fully aware of the situation. That right there, “Venice Action”, totally negates anything that you have tried to pass off as fact or innuendo. Let’s move on.
At this point, city representatives (LAPD) are aware of the situation. There is commentary on the forums that deal with the fact that the illegally dumped RV Toxic waste is still there. Arturo Pena has told me in the past that the Council office reads Yo! Venice! 3-4 times a day.
At 8:18:11 on August the 20th, “Boston Dawna” sends out an email to the list below. This list INCLUDES Councilman Bill Rosendahl and other City Council Members. The email contains the exact information as provided in her first two comments in the forums at Yo! Venice! The email includes, and I quote “Boston Dawna”‘s email: “He then runs on the west side of the camper and opens his septic tank and I hear it all being emptied onto the street.”
-Begin Email Quote-
Date: 8/20/2010 8:18:11 PM
To: ARGONAUT; ARGONAUT 1; NBC Los Angeles; McDade Mary Beth; city attorney; city council labonge; city council alarcon; city council cardenas; city council garcetti; city council hahn; city council huizar; city council parks; city council perry; city council reyes; city council smith; city council wesson; city council zine; daily news; [email protected]; Marla Fain fox 11; CBS2/KCAL9 Web Team; [email protected]; bill rosendahl; LATIMES; Theresa Skinner; latimes.com L.A. Times Updates
-End Email Quote-
“Venice Action”, you write “conspicuous omission of any mention of the CD 11 office”. See the email list above? As of Date: 8/20/2010 8:18:11 PM CD 11 WAS notified. Get it? Got it? Good.
Three days after “Boston Dawna” sent this email to all of the people you are saying should have been contacted, Yo! Venice! posted a story which was published on Aug 23, 2010 at 16:06. The post was titled “Venice Beach Public Health Alert” and can be seen by clicking here. The proper authorities had ALL been notified of this sewage dumping for DAYS before Yo! Venice! broke this story. Those are FACTS, “Venice Action”.
“Venice Action” writes: “One is left to wonder if the bloggers purposely sent readers on a wild goose chase by directing them to call the fire department.”
The “Venice Beach Public Health Alert” includes this exact wording with link:
The number to contact for cleanup is the LA County FD Haz Mat (Health Hazardous Materials) department listed here. This link is the correct link to call, as posted by Brian Humphrey : Firefighter/Specialist, Public Service Officer/Los Angeles Fire Department. There was a slight change in wording on the original post due to Mr Humphrey clarifying departmental names, which was corrected on August 25, 2010 at 12:02 pm as such (and I am quoting myself):
Original post changed from:
The number to contact for cleanup is the LAFD Haz Mat (Health Hazardous Materials) department
The number to contact for cleanup is the LA County FD Haz Mat (Health Hazardous Materials) department
The link provided was always to the LA County FD:
So while “Venice Action” writes “”One is left to wonder if the bloggers purposely sent readers on a wild goose chase by directing them to call the fire department.” the link is confirmed by Brian Humphrey of the LAFD as being the correct one. For you to insinuate that there was a direct attempt to circumvent public safety about this is possibly actionable by Yo! Venice! in a court of law. To question the “Yo! Venice! duty to public safety is pretty darn low of “Venice Action”, especially in a story telling the public of the issue and the correct number to call to report such issues.
Next, “Venice Action” writes “Their conspicuous omission of any mention of the CD 11 office as well as their vague instruction to “feel free to call the Mayor” may have been an attempt to purposely delay clean up and to cause embarrassment to city officials who have supported the Streets-to-Homes program.”
As seen above, CD 11 had been contacted three days before this story on Yo! Venice! Who is the one person that “Boston Dawna” left off of that email? Mayor of Los Angeles, Antonio Villaraigosa. That is why the Mayor’s name was listed on the post.
Once again “Venice Action”, you have insinuated that Yo! Venice! was acting out of disregard for public safety while doing a story specifically about public safety. You write “may have been an attempt to purposely delay clean up and to cause embarrassment to city officials”. Once again, that is most likely an actionable accusation against this website as “Venice Action” as a collective infers that Yo! Venice! acted outside of public duty to warn the public of a health threat.
So that is your big ass statement questioning the motives and actions of Yo! Venice! I have already made copies, don’t bother taking your drivel down.
Next, lets get to asking about who “Venice Action” is. I have asked Yo! Venice! forum poster Chris (who identified himself as a Venice Action member) to enlighten people as to who this group is and what their aims are, but he did not do so. The only three people that I know are part of Venice Action are Karen Wolfe, Chris from the forums here at Yo! Venice! and Venice Neighborhood Council President Linda Lucks. Karen I know for fact as she sends out official emails from the site, Chris of his own admission, and Lucks from previous emails and also from the fact that her FaceBook profile as of August 28th at 8:59 p.m. when I took this “screen grab” says so.
Karen, if “Venice Action” wants to play pretend that they can get things done, why is it that two days after the Illegal RV dumping incident was posted on Yo! Venice! you were still trying to get things cleaned up, and with a shovel of all things? Your ineptitude for furthering the suggestion from David Ewing that a Toxic waste spill may “need a shovel” is mind boggling. Toxic waste cleanup requires a lot more than a shovel.
Date: Tue, Aug 24, 2010 at 12:37 PM
Subject: Venice Clean-Up – Pacific Avenue & Fleet
To: [email protected]
Hi, Aaron. Thank you for calling me back so quickly. As I said, there has been a report of illegal dumping of RV sewage in Venice. The location is Pacific Avenue & Fleet in the Marina Peninsula about 4 blocks south of Washington Blvd on the west side of the street.
David Ewing went to see if it had been cleaned up today (several days after the initial report) and it had not. Thank you for contacting Sanitation about it. David said it is liquid waste but may need a shovel.
Here is the post on the blog.
Best, Karen Wolfe
-end of email-
It is likely a bad thing for the residents of Venice that this is being looked at purely as “bad publicity” for the city rather than what it is: a public health hazard. Peep this one, yo (it is the response to Karen Wolfe’s last email):
From: Aaron Gross
To: Enrique Zaldivar
Cc: [email protected]
; Jennifer Badger
Sent: Tue Aug 24 17:06:15 2010
Subject: Fwd: Venice Clean-Up – Pacific Avenue & Fleet
I hope all is well with you. Could you please take a look at the attached e-mail from one of our Venice constituents and see if this is something Sanitation might be able to help out on ASAP?
I am working on the mobile homeless issues in Venice with CD11 and with the local residents and this sort of visual/issue will not help find a productive solution to a growing community (and City) problem. It does not sound like a pretty job, but would be very much appreciate if you could help us our and/or direct me if there is a more appropriate person/department I should be asking.
Thank you very much.
Talk to you soon,
-end of email-
So “Venice Action”, your attacking this site to discredit the information contained here seems like it only serves to squash “this sort of visual/issue” for your “homeless issues”.
Linda Lucks: you advise the social service industry and it is reported online that you make some serious profit from these non-profits.
Since these emails on a public safety issue reveal that it is a huge concern over how it looks, lets examine the “Safe Parking Program”. The “Safe Parking Program” will likely set up a program with no end that only stands to enable RV dwellers. Should city monies really be spent to provide RV dwellers a home? What is the time frame of this program? Do you really think that the neighbors that get one of these parking lots next to their homes which will devalue their property in a huge way aren’t going to sue the hell out of the city? Did you add another 1/2 million to the line item budget of this program for that?
Since “Venice Action” has decided to attack and question the integrity of Yo! Venice!, I now ask that the members of “Venice Action” officially identify themselves. Once this happens, I also ask that Linda Lucks, as a member of “Venice Action” and also the President of the Venice Neighborhood Council that is instrumental on shaping this “Overnight Parking” campaign fully disclose to the residents of Venice her financial records so that the residents of Venice can be aware of any conflict of interest that she may have in her role as VNC President.
I will be asking Councilman Rosendahl’s office for full disclosure of any documents that exist between “Venice Action” and its individual members with any city employees, including the Mayor.
As a wrap up, and this is not directed at any one party:
Homelessness in the United States is a tragedy, but to enable the homeless with city monies to keep them close to brick and mortar homeless service businesses in Venice is corrupt. Social service non-profits pay their directors and advisers.
Who is making what off of this deal to the point that they will attempt to undermine the credit of Yo! Venice!, the value of the properties of Venice residents, the safety of Venice residents, the safety of Venice business owners and their employees, the value of Venice business owners properties and businesses, and all of the millions of tourists who visit Venice Beach each year?