Venice Pier Project Recognized by Chamber

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Left to right: Noel Johnston, Peter Ruiz, Sunny Bak, George Francisco. Photo: Venice Chamber of Commerce.

Venice Chamber of Commerce gives Peter Ruiz Venice Sign bulb.

By Sam Catanzaro

Earlier this month, Peter Ruiz, founder of the Venice Pier Project, was surprised in a de-lightful way by the Venice Chamber of Commerce.

On April 12, Ruiz was presented with a certificate of adoption for bulb #65 on the Venice Sign. In addition, Chamber President George Francisco gave Peter an actual bulb from the Venice Sign accompanied by a Certificate of Authenticity. Peter was joined by Sunny Bak, President of the Venice Art Crawl, and Noel Johnston who adopted the bulb in his honor, acknowledging his efforts in taking care of the Venice Pier on behalf of the community.

Ruiz founded the Venice Pier Project (VPP) in 2015 to act as guardian and watchdog for the Venice Fishing Pier. Its primary concerns include the integrity of the Pier itself and the continued maintenance of the Pier’s structure, the quality of surrounding waters and bottom conditions, and the prevention of commercial inroads and commercial interests of any kind on the Pier.

Taking care of the Pier is a form of therapy for Ruiz, telling Yo! Venice in a 2017 interview that it gives him a sense of purpose.

“I was deemed disabled, and I collect disability and it was my way of keeping busy, doing work. I’m not one to just sit around and collect a check. If I have the free time, I want to do something with it, being it clean the Pier or I volunteer with some other stuff along Ocean Front Walk. Graffiti cleaning and stuff,” Ruiz said.

The VPP looks to ensure that the Pier is alive and well for future generations and works with both public and private entities to guarantee the health and survival of this unique structure.

The Pier will soon be getting some care from the City of Los Angeles in an upcoming renovation, using $5 million in city funds. The project will commence September 2019 and the Pier will re-open the May of 2020.

For more information about VPP, visit: https://venicepierproject.com/

To learn more about the Chamber’s Adopt-a-bulb program, visit: http://venicechamber.net/venice-sign/venice-sign-adopt-a-bulb/