Category: News in brief

News in brief

Venice Skate Park hosts Harlem Globetrotters They’ve played on the deck of an aircraft carrier, at the Vatican and in a Spanish bullfighting ring. Now the Harlem Globetrotters can add inside the bowl of the Venice Skate Park to their list. The Globetrotters trounced the Washington Generals in front of an audience of 300 kids from Westminster Avenue Elementary School on Feb. 12, a free event sponsored by the city Department of Recreation and Parks. — Joe Piasecki Shooting kills one, wounds another at Mar Vista Gardens A 50-year-old man died and a second man was wounded late Saturday...

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LAPD truck strikes, kills pedestrian in Playa del Rey A Los Angeles police officer driving a bomb squad utility truck struck and killed a pedestrian early Monday morning near the intersection of Culver and Jefferson boulevards in Playa del Rey, an area surrounded by the Ballona Wetlands. The victim has been identified as Dean Joseph Bucheit, 64. He is believed to be homeless and was pronounced dead at the scene after the officer, a 20-year veteran of the force, attempted CPR. Investigators believe Bucheit was walking along the shoulder area of Culver Boulevard when he was struck by the officer’s vehicle at about 12:15 a.m., LAPD officer Norma Eisenman said. The darkly lit area was under dense fog at the time. The officer was reportedly driving home from duty at the time of the crash, which Eisenman said remains under investigation. Bucheit’s is not the first traffic-related death on Culver between Lincoln Boulevard and the commercial center of Playa del Rey. Marina del Rey resident Brigitte Burndine was struck and killed by a hit-and-run driver near Culver and Nicholson Street in December 2010. The city later temporarily deployed a speed feedback sign, a device that warns drivers who are exceeding posted speed limits, at the intersection of Culver and Vista del Mar. Neighborhood Council of Westchester-Playa Vice President Mark Redick, who lives in Playa del Rey, suffered a concussion...

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Game seeks ideas for improving Venice An interactive online game is asking locals to pitch their ideas for making Venice a better place. The payoff: members of Venice Beach Young Professionals, a philanthropic arm of the Venice Chamber of Commerce, will spearhead efforts to accomplish the winning ideas. The Venice Innovation Game, accepting entries through Tuesday, allows participants to comment on, help refine and vote for the ideas they like best. Popular ideas so far include a business-funded resource network to help the homeless get off the street, a cooperative maker space for artists, and a guide to navigating government red tape. The collaborative game runs on a platform developed by Santa Monica-based tech startup Northern Rift. “Ideas don’t start off perfect. Everybody has hunches about how to make the world a better place, but we don’t share them. That’s a waste of creativity,” said Northern Rift founder Robert DePinto. “Even incremental changes can improve a community.” The top five innovators and top five collaborators will receive prizes donated by chamber members and valued at thousands of dollars. “We wanted a way to inspire and encourage open discussion around challenges we face in Venice,” Venice Beach Young Professionals President Aileen Martinez said. “These ideas will provide VBYP with an inventory of innovation.” To play the game, visit veniceinnovation.com. — Joe Piasecki   Workshop tackles cost of saving the Civic...

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Annenberg suspends Ballona involvement Controversial plans to build a 46,000-square-foot environ-mental education center in the Ballona Wetlands Ecological Reserve have apparently been shelved, with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife announcing late Tuesday that the Annenberg Foundation has removed itself from the wetlands restoration process. The Annenberg Foundation was prepared to spend some $50 million on the state-of-the-art center, which for the past two years was assailed by some local environmental groups opposed to any construction in the wetlands and the center’s inclusion of a domestic animal care component. “After considerable thought and reflection, the Annenberg Foundation’s leadership has made a decision to suspend its continuing involvement in the restoration planning for the Ballona Wetlands Ecological Reserve. The Foundation informed us of this decision after a comprehensive evaluation of all the community-development projects it is involved in that resulted in a reprioritization of resources and focus,” reads the statement by state Fish and Wildlife spokeswoman Jordan Traverso. The Annenberg Foundation, which had proposed building the center east of Lincoln Boulevard near the Culver – Marina Little League baseball fields, did not return calls. The Santa Monica Bay Restoration Commission and the Coastal Conservancy remain involved in restoration plans. “The other partners will continue to move the restoration project forward,” Traverso’s statement reads. Crash kills wrong-way cyclist A 39-year-old bicyclist who was killed after colliding with a car at...

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Penmar Park killer faces life without parole A gang member who gunned down two teenagers at Penmar Park in Venice was convicted of two counts of first-degree murder on Nov. 13. Michael Anthony Mariscal, now 22, faces up to two sentences of life in prison without the possibility of parole at a Los Angeles Superior Court hearing set for January. A member of the Culver City Boyz gang according to prosecutors, Mariscal killed Salvador Diaz, 18, and Alan Mateo, 19, on June 22, 2011, in the park and shot a fleeing Venice High School sophomore in the leg. Mariscal was also convicted of three counts of attempted murder, street terrorism and possession of a firearm by a felon. Los Angeles County Deputy District Attorney Eugene Hanrahan of the office’s Hardcore Gang Unit said gang notoriety motived the murder case. “That’s what I argued before the jury,” he said. Although it was a capital murder case with special circumstances, prosecutors chose not to seek the death penalty, Hanrahan said. Bonin joins Garcetti in Asia Los Angeles City Councilman Mike Bonin is one of four elected city officials who are accompanying Mayor Eric Garcetti on a trade mission to Asia this week. Garcetti, council members, various business leaders and officials with Los Angeles World Airports (which oversees LAX), the Port of Los Angeles and the Los Angeles Tourism and Convention Board...

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