Harry Perry serenades on Venice Beach over Independence Day weekend. Credit: Kris Dahlin

Eye on the prize, who can beat Mike Bonin?
There is an old saying in politics, and that is, “You can’t beat somebody with nobody.”
And with current incumbent LA Councilman Mike Bonin (CD-11), you have the quintessential political insider and darling of the downtown status quo.

A two-term incumbent who has fallen upon hard political times with his radical ideas that right is somehow wrong and wrong has now become right as he has decimated our neighborhoods with a growing homeless epidemic in the thousands and rising crime the result of these wrong-headed policies as our public spaces have been taken hostage by criminals and transients as 50% of all crime here in Venice is now homeless-related!

There isn’t a place in LA with more homeless than Venice with the exception of Skid Row downtown and Mike Bonin seems perfectly content with that reality.

But despite the fact Bonin is a wounded incumbent of sorts with a tough race ahead of him as well as a second recall attempt complicating his future, Bonin remains a smart and savvy political operative that is Harvard educated and will do all that is necessary to retain this seat he inherited from the late Bill Rosendahl nearly a decade ago.

Bonin’s first two races were sleepy “no-contest” drubbings (2013, 17) as he was challenged by underfunded and unknown aspirants.

It was the late Rosendahl who cleared the field and anointed this downtown inside bureaucrat.

And while I clearly don’t like Mike, the residents of District 11 demand a viable and compelling alternative, someone who can actually defeat Bonin. For the angst and opposition to Bonin is large and deep. He is an arrogant Machiavellian who lacks the ability to listen or the temperament to govern. In too long, out of touch and time to go!

So after the disastrous road diets and this explosion of homelessness now spreading to the rest of the district, the past support Bonin enjoyed in places like Brentwood and the Palisades seems to be crumbling and bursting at the political seams.
So the need for “new leadership” and calls for change are obvious, but who has the community support, resume and record of results that can defeat a partisan, professional politician the likes of Mr. Bonin?

Enter Venice resident and attorney Traci Park. I took the time to visit her web address (tracipark.com) and while most political websites are flowery presentations long on rhetoric and short on specifics, this site really said nothing at all. And while I don’t know Park, she is a political novice with no real community advocacy or service and is she really the ticket to take out Bonin? The answer is no.

For the fact Bonin isn’t mentioned once in her website is downright strange and disturbing. Equally strange is that she never even mentions the current recall efforts or does she support that attempt to shorten and end his tenure of office!

More so was the fact no plans or proposals worth repeating here regarding rampant homelessness and rising crime is also absent from her non-agenda. Will Park clean up the boardwalk and the encampments here in Venice? Yes or no?

Will she work with LA County Sheriff Alex Villanueva and set a deadline to remove the encampments from the boardwalk so that business can be reimagined, restored and revived at OFW? Yes or no?
Bluntly speaking, what is her plan for a safe, clean and vibrant Venice Beach? Having lived here for 30 years, I have never heard of her until her name recently surfaced as a potential candidate. Has she ever been to a meeting of the Venice Neighborhood Council? Has she served on a committee? What is her actual record of community, volunteer service?

For if the solution for beating and replacing a career politician like Bonin is with an unknown litigant like Park, that logic seems too easy, and probably out of the realm of probability. For here comes the new boss, same as the old one?

She describes herself as an environmental activist – and it would have helped if any reference to that actual activism was made available for voters to judge for themselves! And while it’s nice to know she loves our beloved Lakers and Dodgers, if that is the prerequisite for public office, everyone in the 11th CD would qualify for what would be an extremely crowded race.


What was even more interesting was the address of her campaign noted on the site. A Sacramento-based political operation versus a local address, here in Venice – or an address somewhere in the district would suffice! For there are more than enough lawyers in politics and government, nothing new or different here!

And Bonin didn’t lose a cent of his gargantuan public salary during COVID-19 totaling to the tune of $300,000, more than any council member in the United States and more than any of the 50 state governors, as well as the entire U.S. Senate and House of Representatives!

For what does Bonin or Park, for that matter, have in common with average residents and voters? Two ambitious millionaires, one who has failed in his public service, and the other who has no public service worth mentioning?

In the case of Bonin, it’s failed public policy gone astray and run amok.

In the case of Traci Park, “Where’s the beef”?

Nick Antonicello

Climate change: It’s not the heat, it’s the stupidity

Wake up, America! Get real about what’s happening!

Let’s educate our youth to recognize the difference between fertilizer and shoe polish, because if we don’t, we won’t need shoe polish anymore because we’ll be buried up to our kneecaps in fertilizer.

We all know something about lying yet a third of us can’t recognize the Big Lie.

I’ve always loved Santa Monica because education was largely successful here, even though the incidence of vaccine denial is distressingly large of late.

What can we do about it? I suggest we each try to find new contacts and make some new friends — and then gently wise them up. Listen patiently and politely to the misguided, try to identify the signposts that have led them astray (Tell me, where do you get your news?) and help expose them to new information.

My dentist friend tells me that you don’t have to floss all your teeth — just the ones you want to keep. The same principle goes to educating the ignorant and mislead. It’s only necessary if you want the planet and our society to be the kind of place where you want to live.

Tim Tunks
Santa Monica