A Venice resident who has been active in the effort to establish overnight parking districts (OPDs) in the community is advising residents to be on the lookout for threatening notices that have been wrongly attributed to him and a community stakeholders group.
Mark Ryavec, a member of the Venice Stakeholders Association, which has backed the plan to create overnight parking restrictions, says that fraudulent notices have been recently circulating in Venice neighborhoods that make specific threats to those who receive them. The flyers make warnings such as stop your dog from “barking incessantly” or the Los Angeles Department of Animal Care and Control will be called, and remove the crab grass on your ugly yard or you will be reported to Code Enforcement.
The notices, which have been distributed in the Oakwood and Milwood/Palms neighborhoods, were first discovered during a special election on the OPDs and more were found earlier this month. The latest notice, which was placed on cars in the Presidents Row neighborhood April 25th, was printed on the other side of a JetBlue receipt and said, “No junk car parking on our street; Move it or we tow it!”
“This is really a political dirty trick,” Ryavec said of the flyers. “It’s very childish and I don’t like this kind of community acrimony. No one should take them seriously.”
Ryavec notes that each of the notices incorrectly identify him as president of the Venice Stakeholders Association and says the threats are slanderous because they wrongly attribute the association.
Ryavec, who also serves on the neighborhood council ad hoc committee on homelessness and vehicular living, is calling attention to the notices to inform residents that the association does not condone the flyers and would not make such threats.
He says he does not know who is distributing the flyers, but suspects they are likely “the work of those opposed to the overnight parking districts.” Explaining his theory, Ryavec said the only recent work of the stakeholders association has been related to the campaign supporting OPDs.
In a special election earlier this year, Venice stakeholders were asked to vote on two initiatives — one supporting the right to establish overnight parking districts and the other opposing it. The initiative in favor of the districts won convincingly, reaffirming the neighborhood council’s support. The proposal is now scheduled to be heard by the California Coastal Commission in June.
Mark Lipman, author of the initiative against creating OPDs, said in an email response that he has no idea about the fraudulent flyers. He alleged that it appears Ryavec is “trying to drum up more press for his campaign against the poor” by telling of the flyers.
Ryavec said he would seek an attorney to file charges but he does not know where the fake notices are coming from.
Resident Nora Grizel said she contacted Ryavec after finding the notice warning her to stop the dog from barking incessantly and seeing the stakeholders association name. Grizel noted that she does not even have a dog but after Ryavec explained the situation, she said it was evident the notices were out to attack him.
“As soon as he told us it wasn’t him, I knew it was someone who was targeting him and signing his name,” she said.
Although he is frustrated at being wrongly attributed, Ryavec believes the efforts to discredit his association show that the work it has done in support of OPDs has been effective.