After millions invested in pier renovations, who will fix the lights?
By Nick Antonicello
How many government employees does it take to fix a light bulb?
It’s an old joke and criticism on the status of government mismanagement and inefficiency, but how in the prime summer months can we have ten of the fifteen lamp posts at the popular Venice fishing pier not work, and those at the end of the pier are not illuminated at all?
As hundreds strolled the Venice Pier Monday evening, dozens of fishermen used their own lighting devices such as flash-lights, helmet-lights and even cell phones to find their way to catching some fish off the iconic and landmark venue at the end of Washington Square.
It was only four years ago that the Venice Pier went through extensive structural and substructure repairs thanks to a $4.2 million dollar investment by city officials which ended in May of 2021.
The 1,300 foot-long structure that stretches across the Pacific first opened in 1964 and was previously closed for nearly decade in 1983 thanks to the El Nino storms that also effected the Santa Monica Pier also just due north.
What makes “The Pier” popular for locals is that no fishing license is required, making it a mecca of sorts for those who like to “reel-in.”
Venice is known historically for its commitment to such pier structures like the old Kinney Amusement Pier that once included a full-scale train ride and aquarium that burned down and was never replaced in 1920 after just a decade of operation.
The pier is a popular tourist attraction that is free to visitors and locals alike. It can be a casual stroll by tourists after a meal at the numerous restaurants on Washington and a place to take photographs at sunset to snap images over the ocean or just view the many local surfers as well.
During the height of the pandemic in the fall of 2021, a big screen was placed at the end of the pier by some of the area local merchants hosting a weekly movie night for Venetians with such family favorites like the Blues Brothers.
One wonders why after so much invested in structural renovation that so many of the lights are not working as of Monday, August 8th?
One would imagine city and county officials would realize the lights are out, but when it comes to government inaction, anything is possible.
We will update once the lights return!
Nick Antonicello is a longtime Venetian who serves as a member of the Oceanfront Committee of the Venice Neighborhood Council (www.venicenc.org). You can contact him by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org