‘The Turmoil of Temptation’
Re: “They Elect to Disagree,” News, June 30

The divisive rhetoric of the Venice Neighborhood Council election arose entirely from the troublemaking soul of a still-anonymous perpetrator, whose malicious wares were distributed widely in flyers and postal mail throughout Venice. One screed falsely defamed the entire Venice Neighborhood Council leadership — without naming individuals, which would have exposed its author to potential prosecution.

There was nothing subtle about the well-funded brutality that mocked the democratic process and the stated intent of the neighborhood council system.

If anything, this election was about the struggle between those who rely on the law and those who abuse and exceed its limits for years on end by buying influence and, now, an entire election.

The status quo won this time.

As an active public servant in our intimate community — for merely a dozen years, but with lessons learned from mentors whose positive work made the VNC one of our city’s best organized and most active neighborhood councils — and as a voter who did not see his vote counted in this election, I have a challenge for all VNC board members.

I challenge them to condemn the sleazy gambit that gifted them with today’s window of hyperlocal influence and to pursue a clear and transparent path toward serving Venetians where we live and welcoming visitors to the Venice we love — not for commerce, but for community.

It has been said that we come here not to change Venice but to change ourselves. Real change is producing equality amid the turmoil of temptation.

Jed Pauker, Venice

Time for a Collective Effort
Re: “They Elect to Disagree,” News, June 30

Now that the Venice Neighborhood Council elections are over, this new board has the opportunity to listen, learn and govern.

Instead of rehashing the results and the political fanfare of the past, now is the time to put
forth a community blueprint of what’s best for Venice — a set of reachable goals and objectives that the entire board can agree to work for over these next 24 months.

A collective effort to achieve specific goals over the next two years is what Venetians really care about!

Larger issues like homelessness and gentrification should be reserved for our elected leaders on the city council. While stating an opinion matters, can the Venice Neighborhood Council detail and concretely work on more quality-of-life issues — such as parking, street paving and making Venice cleaner and safer — that will result in a more community-minded neighborhood?

There is a deep well of local talent that now sits on that board. I’m hopeful we can get beyond the petty differences and work on issues that will unify Venice into an even better place to call home.

Nick Antonicello, Venice

Attacker Also Targeted Latinos

Re: “#StandWithOrlando,” News, June 23

Let’s not be fooled by presidential candidate Donald Trump’s attempt to blame the current leadership for the Orlando massacre.

After all, this was not just a gay nightclub, but one which was hosting a Latin theme the night the assailant chose to vent his deranged rage. The killer’s visits before the killings must’ve clued him into this particular event.

Who among all the presidential hopefuls has derided American Hispanic culture more than Trump? So when he blurts out, “This is only the beginning” — prodding further his self-created message of fear and loathing — it becomes bone-chillingly possible in his campaign’s atmosphere of hate, homophobia and Latinophobia.

Dean James Loomos, Venice