January 19, 2020 #1 Local News, Forum, Information and Event Source for Venice Beach, California.

A Growing Homelessness Crisis Confronts Venice: A Look Back on 2019

If there was one topic that dominated the Venice news cycle in 2019, it was no doubt homelessness. From a bridge housing center nearing completion to a stark rise in the number of individuals experiencing homelessness, here is a look back on some of the top stories in Venice from 2019.

Homeless Person’s Barge in Venice Canals Sparks Debate

By Keldine Hull

February 4, 2019
It’s been over a week since a video of Rebecca Dannenbaum and her makeshift barge floating in a Venice canal first made news, sparking a debate over whether or not Dannenbaum was breaking any laws or endangering the environment.

The unique circumstances of the incident raised the question of who was responsible for the final decision regarding the barge. Full article here.

Boardwalk One Step Closer to Chain Ban

By Sam Catanzaro

April 17, 2019
Los Angeles City Council may restrict the development of chain stores along the Venice Beach Boardwalk on Ocean Front Walk.

A motion passed April 17, instructs the Los Angeles Department of City Planning, in conjunction with the City Attorney, to carry out a feasibility study outlining the zoning and other land use planning tools to encourage independent retail development on Ocean Front Walk in Venice. Full article here.

Venice Photographer Cole Younger Passes Away

By Keldine Hull

May 31, 2019
Popular and beloved Venice based photographer Cole Younger has passed away, leaving behind a breadth of work defined by the city he loved. Younger’s career as a photographer began with an iPhone 4 and evolved into a visually stunning art form that gained the respect of his peers. News of his passing came as a shock to his nearly 290,000 Instagram followers who quickly took to social media to express their deep sympathy. Full article here.

Homelessness Increases in Venice, Los Angeles

By Sam Catanzaro

June 5, 2019
The Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA) has released the results of the 2019 Greater Los Angeles Homeless Count, which showed 36,300 people experiencing homelessness, a 16 percent rise from last year. In Council District 11, which includes Venice, homelessness increased by 12 percent overall and even more so among certain groups, including transition age youth and transgender individuals. Full article here.

Four Abbot Kinney Restaurants Earn Michelin Recommendations

By Kerry Slater

June 18, 2019
The inaugural Michelin Guide California is officially out, blessing California residents with the first ever statewide ranking from the prestigious guide and while no Venice Beach restaurants earned a star, several garnered prestigious Michelin recommendations, all on Abbot Kinney Boulevard.

Starting from the north, the first Abbot Kinney restaurant to receive recognition from the guide, published by the French tire company Michelin, is Plant Food + Wine. Full article here

Water Fountain Installed at 3rd Avenue Homeless Encampment Draws Scrutiny

By Keldine Hull

July 22, 2019
21 new water fountains have been installed throughout the City of Los Angeles near homeless encampments to provide clean drinking water during the hottest months of the year. According to a twitter post by Mayor Eric Garcetti, “20+ temporary water fountains are being installed all over the city to help people stay cool and hydrated in the summer heat. 6 of these fountains will remain permanently in place in Skid Row to ensure that homeless Angelenos have regular access to clean drinking water.” Full article here

City Council Renews Overnight Vehicle Dwelling Ban

By Sam Catanzaro

It is again illegal to sleep in a car on the streets of Los Angeles.

On Tuesday, July 30, LA City Council reinstated Section 85.02 of LA Municipal Code which prohibits individuals from using a vehicle for dwelling between the hours of 9 p.m. and 6 a.m. on residential streets and any time within 500 feet of a park or a licensed school, pre-school or daycare facility. Full article here.

Sleeping Ban Near Schools, Parks, Venice Boardwalk?

By Sam Catanzaro

August 30, 2019
A policy proposed by a Los Angeles City Councilmember that would prohibit sleeping within 500 feet of schools – among other locations including the Venice Beach Boardwalk – tests a federal court’s power over local governments’ attempt to tackle a homelessness crisis, while also raising moral questions. Full article here

Needles, Medical Supplies Close Part of Venice Beach

By Sam Catanzaro

November 10, 2019
Authorities closed off a part of Venice Beach after a large amount of medical supplies, including needles, were discovered Sunday morning.

According to the Los Angeles County Fire Department, Lifeguard Division at around 11:30 a.m. lifeguards visualized a large amount of medical supplies along the shoreline south of the Venice Beach Pier and cordoned off the area. Full article here.

Supreme Court Ruling Protects Right of Homeless to Sleep in Public

By Sam Catanzaro

December 16, 2019
The Supreme Court has declined to hear an appeal in a case surrounding a Boise, Idaho law that would have made it illegal to sleep in public places, a setback for many West Coast cities grappling with a growing homelessness crisis.

The decision, issued by the court without comment Monday, leaves in place earlier rulings by the 9th Circuit appeals court, in the case Martin v. Boise, that homeless persons cannot be punished for sleeping outside on public property in the absence of adequate alternatives. The ruling is binding in the 9th Circuit, covering nine states including California, a state home to 1/4 of the nation’s homeless population. Full article here.

Venice Homeless Shelter, Median Housing Project Given Legal Green Lights

By Sam Catanzaro

This month two court rulings have cleared the way for a pair of housing projects in Venice to proceed after local activist groups challenged the legality of a state law exempting environmental review for housing developments. Full article here.

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