A Slice of Life: Looking north from the Santa Monica Pier, sunset on Labor Day Sunday with coloration from California wildfires blazing throughout the region.

Photo by Kris Dahlin


Re: Letters, Sept. 3, 2020, ‘A Word from the Venice Chamber of Commerce to Venice and Los Angeles Government Officials’

It was interesting to see that Letter to the Editor from the Venice Chamber of Commerce in the 9/3 issue. I have lived in Venice for 28 years. The writer claims that Venice is degraded by the homeless out here. That may be true, but where was the Chamber in our fight against the grotesque gentrification that has physically destroyed Venice, or getting limitations on new home size, or stopping 8 a.m. construction noise in residential areas, or struggling against the the loss of small businesses due to the lack of commercial rent control? These are the things that really degraded and destroyed our community. The Chamber was nowhere to be found. Maybe they are just fighting for the hipsters and yuppies and tasteless rich.

Jack L. Schwartz, Attorney at law


Re: Councilmember Bonin’s Obstruction of The Venice Place Project

(Editor’s Note: The next City Council Planning and Land Use Management Committee (PLUM) hearing for The Venice Place Project has been scheduled for Thursday, Sept. 10, at 2 p.m.

For meeting and agenda information visit: lacity.org/government/follow-meetings/council-committee-meetings)

Holy cow, I just turned 80! And 46 years in Venice. I daresay I brought the movie business here at 73 Market Street Studio in 1974, shortly after producing “The Sting.” In 1988, my restaurant, 72 Market Street, brought almost 20 years of fine dining to Venice.

OK: so much for pulling rank, self-aggrandizement, and bragging.

Here’s why I’m writing: WTF is wrong with The Venice Place Project that eight years of planning, permitting, placating, and complying with every known rule and regulation has failed to achieve? Everything about it is classy, considered, vetted, and approved by every group with the authority to do so.

And yet Councilmember Bonin is unilaterally standing in its way with a rarely used, and highly controversial 245 Action.

I have to say that the architectural integrity of this project is exemplary. And the void of Venice hotel rooms is too obvious to reiterate here.

So what’s the problem? It can’t be legal; it can’t be aesthetic; it can’t be practical. But…

Tell me it can’t be personal, that someone is able to circumvent what thus far has been the demonstrated will of the people; people of Venice who have taken their time to help shape, and then consistently voiced their support for this project; elected and selected people who have made the rules and whose job it is to interpret those rules.

How is the process supposed to work if not like this? How are involved community members supposed to believe that their participation makes a difference if unilateral action can be taken at the last minute with a project that has been supported, vetted and approved as this one has? How are we supposed to believe that our Councilmember represents our communal interests?

I fervently hope that Mr. Bonin will consider reconsidering. Certainly, we should be able to create a few dozen more hotel rooms for our millions of annual visitors. Tasteful and truly useful projects like this don’t come along often.

Mr. Bonin should step up and acknowledge that the project has done what it’s supposed to do. It’s gone through the appropriate scrutiny, it’s built plenty of support, and Venice needs it.

Please. Let’s not wait until I’m 90.


Tony Bill, Barnstorm Films