July 24, 2021 #1 Local News, Forum, Information and Event Source for Venice Beach, California.

Editorial: The Venice Neighborhood Council Does not Follow Rules so why Should We?

By Sam Catanzaro, Yo! Venice Editor

To preface this article, I have been a surfer my entire life and think that people should be allowed to surf during the COVID-19 outbreak. That being said, Alix Gucovsky and Venice Neighborhood Council (VNC) President Ira Kaslow need to both resign and be held accountable after Gucovsky was spotted surfing amid closures.

On Monday, April 27, I reported that Gucovsky, VNC’s Land Use and Planning Committee Chair was spotted surfing on April 19 in the face of county and city prohibitions. The fact that Gucovsky was surfing “illegally” itself is not story-worthy. If she was not an elected official, we would have never considered covering the incident.

Photos obtained by Yo! Venice verifying the incident took place while beaches were closed.

The issue is, however, that Gucovsky is a representative of an organization that itself is telling Venetians to follow stay at home orders, sharing messaging from Mayor Eric Garcetti and Councilmember Mike Bonin. Last month the VNC suspended their March meeting “out of an abundance of caution” in response to COVID-19.

While we support the closure of beaches, Yo! Venice does not think the ocean should be closed to surfers. If joggers can jog and cyclists can cycle, why should surfers be barred from surfing? Gucovsky, however, needs to be held accountable not because of her actions but because of the message her actions send the public.

Yo! Venice Editor Sam Catanzaro surfing in Mexico. Photo: Ted Catanzaro.

Say what you want about any actual power the VNC has; they are essentially just an advisory body. Even if you contend they have zero power, the one bit of influence they do have is their image they present to those who elected them. Why should Gucovsky’s constituency follow stay at home orders when she herself is not?

Gucovsky is not the only person who needs to be held accountable; VNC President Ira Kaslow needs to be as well. Before we published the story, I reached out to both Gucovsky and Kaslow for comment. After 48 hours, no response. Finally, after being pressured, Kaslow issued the following statement. Gucovsky still has not responded.

“The Venice Neighborhood Council is encumbered by many rules, one of which is that it cannot take a stand on issues without a vote of the Board. Of course, the VNC supports the Governor and Mayor with the measures put in place to fight COVID-19 and keep community members safe and we hope that all individuals in the community do their best to adhere to these important guidelines. But we can’t take a position on any individual incident as a board. Let’s all do our best to follow the rules and have cordial discourse over our differences.”

Top: Yo! Venice’s email to Ira Kaslow on April 25. Middle: Kaslow’s response Monday evening. Bottom: Yo! Venice’s email to Alix Gucovsky April 25.

No apology to the public. No acknowledgment that Gucovsky’s actions were questionable. If the VNC is unwilling to take accountability, what reason do Venetians have to follow their stay at home messaging?

Gucovsky and Kaslow both need to resign. If they don’t, any legitimacy the VNC has disappears.

Related Posts

63-Year-Old Man Killed in Westchester Tent Fire

July 22, 2021

July 22, 2021

LAFD investigating Wednesday night incident  By Sam Catanzaro A 63-year-old man died in a tent following a fire in Westchester...

Opinion: Why Silence the Sheriff? Bonin Bashing of Villanueva Backfires at the Wrong Moment!

July 21, 2021

July 21, 2021

By Nick Antonicello Don’t like the message? Please don’t shoot the messenger! For that seems to be the case when...

Bonin’s Encampment to Home Moves 131 Homeless Into Housing: YO! Venice Show – July 19, 2021

July 19, 2021

July 19, 2021

Local news and culture in under 5 minutes. * Bonin’s Encampment to Home Moves 131 Homeless Into Housing * LAFD...

Unidentified Skeletal Remains Found in Ballona Wetlands Amid Search for Missing Person

July 19, 2021

July 19, 2021

Authorities make discovery amid search for Kolby Story this past Friday  By Sam Catanzarto Unidentified skeletal remains were found Friday...

Beach Closures Lifted After Sunday Discharge of 17 Million Gallons of Raw Sewage From Hyperion Plant

July 15, 2021

July 15, 2021

17 million gallons of raw sewage discharged from Hyperion Water Reclamation Plant Sunday Night By Sam Catanzaro Beach closures have...

Petition for Recall of Councilmember Bonin Approved for Circulation

July 13, 2021

July 13, 2021

Signature gathering phase now set to begin after Tuesday approval by City Clerk  By Sam Catanzaro The Los Angeles City...

Deadline Extended For Unhoused To Move Belongings Off Boardwalk: YO! Venice Show – July 12, 2021

July 12, 2021

July 12, 2021

Local news and culture in under 5 minutes. * Deadline Extended For Unhoused To Move Belongings Off Boardwalk * Pedestrian...

Hyperion Spill Discharges 17 Million Gallons of Raw Sewage Into Santa Monica Bay

July 12, 2021

July 12, 2021

Sunday night spillage occurs 1-mile offshore from Hyperion Water Reclamation Plant By Sam Catanzaro 17 million gallons of raw sewage...

IPO Cosmetics Launches The World’s First 4Step Facial Kit

July 10, 2021

July 10, 2021

It’s Perfect On Introduces a New, Convenient, Portable and Eco-Friendly Skincare Option By Staff Writer What if you could get...

Marina Drive-In Movie Summer Series Underway

July 9, 2021

July 9, 2021

Gather with your family and friends to watch movies by the sea in Marina del Rey. Marina Drive-In Movie Nights,...

Local Winemakers Are Suing LA County Over New Restrictions on Vineyards

July 8, 2021

July 8, 2021

Malibu Coast Vintners and Grape Growers Alliance, along with local winemaker John Gooden have filed a lawsuit against the LA...