As I sit here looking out my window, I ask myself what happened to the beautiful balmy weather of sunny Southern California, which was one of the main reasons I moved here from New Hampshire many years ago.

I know that everything needs water to grow, but I think this cruel joke should end now.

In addition to being trapped indoors by the torrential rains, we are now in election mode once again.

During the next two months, the candidates running for Los Angeles mayor and Los Angeles City Council seats are everywhere.

The many debates give us a wonderful opportunity to ask questions regarding the candidates’ positions on the issues that are important to our local neighborhoods prior to the City of Los Angeles primary election Tuesday, March 8th.

Hopefully, you will all find the time in your busy schedules to attend at least one of the debates so that you will be better prepared on election day.

UCLA EVENT — On Tuesday, February 8th, UCLA Local Government and Community Relations will host a forum for candidates in the Los Angeles City Council District 11 race.

A reception will begin at 6:30 p.m., with the candidates forum between 7 and 8:30 p.m. at the Boys & Girls Club of Venice, 2232 Lincoln Blvd., Venice.

The event will be co-sponsored by the Venice Chamber of Commerce and the Venice Forum.

All three of the District 11 City Council candidates are expected to participate — Flora Gil Krisiloff, Angela Reddock, and Bill Rosendahl.

We are sorry to lose Los Angeles Councilwoman Cindy Miscikowski to term limits, but by attending these candidates forums, we can encourage whoever wins the election to follow in her footsteps and continue to serve our community well.

POLICE BONDS DEFEATED — As we all know, Measure A —the countywide half-cent sales tax increase for public safety, emergency response, and crime prevention — did not receive a sufficient number of “yes” votes in the last general election, Tuesday, November 2nd.

On Wednesday, November 16th, the Los Angeles City Council approved a motion ordering staff to move forward with preparing options for a Los Angeles city ballot measure that would provide funding to hire more police officers and for other public safety purposes.

The mayor’s office asked the Department of Neighborhood Empowerment (DONE) to arrange meetings throughout the city during the first two weeks of January to allow police and fire department personnel the opportunity to discuss how such a measure would benefit our communities and ensure accountability for the funds.

If this measure is to be placed on the city general election ballot, Tuesday, May 17th, the Los Angeles City Council has to act by Wednesday, January 26th.

A meeting will be held at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, January 13th, in the Covenant Presbyterian Church, 6323 W. 80th St., Westchester, concerning this issue.

For more information, check out www.lacityneighborhoods.com

PV-JOBS EVENT — PV-JOBS — a nonprofit corporation formed in 1998 to provide at-risk individuals with job opportunities in the construction industry — will host its Sixth Annual Awards Luncheon Thursday, February 3rd, at the Millennium Biltmore Hotel in downtown Los Angeles.

The luncheon will recognize individuals who have overcome “at-risk factors,” including homelessness, poverty, drugs, and gangs, to begin successful careers in construction.

Also honored will be the organizations that have helped to provide the employment necessary to achieve economic self-sufficiency and self-esteem.

Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca will be keynote speaker and will join other prominent members of the Los Angeles community honoring these truly remarkable individuals.

Tickets are $65 and can be purchased at (310) 448-4684.

BOARDWALK LAW — Several months ago, The Los Angeles City Council approved amendments to an existing ordinance that will now require that all vendors and/or performers who want to use public space on the west side of the Ocean Front Walk boardwalk at Venice Beach have a permit.

A lifetime permit can be purchased for $25 at the Venice Beach Recreation Center office, 1800 Ocean Front Walk, on Monday, January 31st, according to Victor Jauregui, recreation senior director.

Each month, beginning February 1st, a lottery will be held to determine who will be assigned each month to each spot involved in the boardwalk program.

The second of two meetings to answer all questions regarding the process is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Thursday, January 20th, at the Westminster Senior Center, 1234 Pacific Ave., Venice.

Information, (310) 837-8115.

VENICE CENTENNIAL —2005 is the Centennial Year of Venice. The Venice Centennial started the year off with a bang, participating in the Penguin Swim Club at Venice Beach on New Year’s Day.

On Wednesday, January 5th, the Centennial was honored by Jerry Fialka in his annual showing of Venice films at 7 Dudley Cinema/Sponto Gallery.

The program included a rare screening of “Venice, California: Feeding the Sparrows by Feeding the Horses” (1978), a film by Moritz Bormann, presented by Arnold Springer. A discussion followed, with Springer, a featured interviewee in the film.

During the event, the Centennial’s limited edition print series, created by Earl Newman, was introduced.

Newman, Venice’s foremost silk screen poster artist of the ’60s, in partnership with the Venice Centennial, has produced individually silk-screened, signed, and numbered serigraphs of archival quality to honor Venice’s 100 years.

The first print, entitled “Rainbow Gondolier,” honors the diversity of Venice and is Newman’s variation on the Centennial Pennant.

The second, “Column and Bridge,” celebrates the landscape, architecture, and history of Venice.

Copies of the limited edition prints may be purchased for a suggested donation of $40 or more by contacting the Venice Centennial at (310) 822-0024 or at the Centennial merchandise headquarters, 610A Venice Blvd.

VENICE ARTS — Venice Arts will host the next Venice Chamber mixer at the Venice Arts Gallery, 1809 Lincoln Blvd. from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, January 26th.

The underwater photography exhibit of Marta Evry and Larry Naylor will still be on display.

Evry’s underwater photographs have been taken all over the Pacific Rim, including New Zealand, Fiji, and Hawaii.

Also included are local Southern California dive sites such as the Channel Islands and the oil rig platforms off Huntington Beach.

Naylor’s photographs were mostly taken while diving with wild dolphins in the Bahamas.

Information on the Venice Chamber at www.venicechamber.net

ART LA — artLA has been created as a public event to bring together a mix of national and international galleries, artists, collectors and curators for a visual discussion of the current art scene.

More than 50 galleries, including several local galleries such as Cartelle Gallery and Michael Maloney Fine Art, will present innovative works by established artists and cutting-edge newcomers.

Site-specific installations will feature robotic, video, and digital art. New art and new media in the avant-garde tradition will offer the next generation of artists to the public.

The New Los Angeles Art Fair for Contemporary and New Art

[continued on next page] [continued from previous page] exhibition will be held at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium, 1855 Main St., Santa Monica from Thursday to Sunday, January 27th to 30th.

An opening night reception from 6 to 9 p.m. is planned for Thursday, January 27th, to benefit MOCA (Museum of Contemporary Art). Hours Friday and Saturday are from noon to 7 p.m.

At 10 a.m. Sunday, January 30th, a panel, “Art Criticism Today,” will be hosted by Caryn Coleman on how accessibility and technology are influencing art writing participating museums. The public showing will then be held from noon to 6 p.m. Tickets can be purchased at the door or www.artla.net

FREE TREES — I know that none of us are thinking about shading our homes from the blazing sun right now, but the City of Los Angeles Department of Water and Power is sponsoring Trees for a Green LA, a program that benefits the environment. Five-gallon trees to shade your home will be given away.

To receive a tree, residents must participate in a workshop to learn about proper tree selection and care.

Such a workshop will be held from 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday, January 13th, at the Venice Library, 501 S. Venice Blvd.

For reservations, e-mail DWP at treeprogram@ladwp.com or call (800) 473-3562 (GREEN LA).

Mary Richert can be reached at mrichert@ucla.edu

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