Tabor Bungalows Get Closer to Historic Status

Through a determined grassroots effort, one of the former homes of Venice’s most prominent African-American families is just a step away from official recognition of city historic status.

Jatuan Valentine, a descendant of Abbot Kinney contemporary Irving Tabor, has engaged in a nearly year-long crusade to get the 607 Westminster Ave. home where her grandparents lived designated as a city historical and cultural monument.

Valentine’s dream could come true when the Los Angeles City Council hears her case later this fall. On Sept. 26, the council’s planning and land use committee voted unanimously to support historic designation.

Los Angeles City Councilman Mike Bonin, who represents Venice, has indicated that he will vote in favor of historic designation.

Lloyd Taber was the chauffeur and later confidante of Venice founder Abbot Kinney. Kinney left Tabor one of his homes on Sixth Avenue upon his death in 1920. That home is now a Los Angeles Historical Monument.

The Oakwood bungalow cluster now in question was in the Tabor family for decades but is now owned by Lisa Henson, the daughter of Muppets creator Jim Henson.

LAPD Officer Charged with Firearm Assault

A police officer who was formerly stationed at the LAPD’s Westside-serving Pacific Division has been charged with assaulting three men in El Segundo while off duty and brandishing a pistol.

Officer Joseph William Rooney, 34, has been charged with four counts of assault with a firearm, said Greg Risling, a spokesman with the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office.

If convicted, Rooney could serve a maximum of 27 years in state prison.

Prosecutors recommended that bail be set at $250,000 but a judge ordered Rooney held without bail at the Foltz Criminal Justice Center in downtown Los Angeles.

According to prosecutors, Rooney approached three men who had left a bar and were standing outside a restaurant in the 100 block of Main Street in El Segundo on May 22, 2016. He allegedly pulled out a handgun and began pointing it at the victims before striking one of them in the face with the gun.

“The defendant and victims did not know each other. The altercation began with some type of argument on the sidewalk,” said Lt. Carlos Mendoza of the El Segundo Police Department. Mendoza said Rooney did not identify himself as a police officer during the altercation.

Molester of Autistic Mar Vista Teen Sentenced

A Culver City man who sexually assaulted an autistic Mar Vista teen girl more than two years ago was sentenced to 24 years in state prison on Sept. 19 at the Airport Courthouse in Westchester.

Samuel Duran, 36, pleaded no contest to three counts of forcible oral copulation with a victim over
14 years old last month. He has been ordered to register as a lifetime sexual offender, said Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office spokesman Greg Risling.

The teen, who was 15 at the time of the assault, was reported missing from her Mar Vista home by her family on March 24, 2015. She was later found at Duran’s Culver City home after she called police from there when Duran wasn’t present. Duran had sexually abused the girl over a three-week period and was arrested at his home on April 13, 2015.

New Armed Security for Burton Chace and Dockweiler

Los Angeles County officials are bringing in a new armed security team to patrol local parks after incidents of vandalism this summer at county-owned recreational facilities, including Burton Chace Park in Marina del Rey and Dockweiler State Beach in Playa del Rey.

An uptick in property defacement at White Point/Royal Palms Beach in San Pedro was a primary reason for the security detail, according to a county staff report.

“Vandalism at public parks is nothing new,” said Los Angeles County Department of Beaches and Harbors spokeswoman Carol Baker.

On Sept. 26 the Board of Supervisors approved a $511,227 contract with Hamilton Private to patrol Dockweiler Youth Center, Dockweiler RV Park, Burton Chace and White Point/Royal Palms.

Dockweiler RV Park and Burton Chace have restrooms that are open 24 hours to accommodate park campers and boat owners who live on their vessels, respectively, and are frequently a target for defacement.

Burton Chace has had private security patrols since 1990 and the Dockweiler facilities have had armed guards at their locations since they opened in 2009.

Like White Point/Royal Palms, both Burton Chace and Dockweiler have sometimes also been targets for vandalism, according to Baker.

Compiled by Gary Walker