Los Angeles Mayor James Hahn, Los Angeles Councilmember Cindy Miscikowski and the City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks will host a groundbreaking for the new playground at Oakwood Recreation Center, 767 California Ave., at 10 a.m. Thursday, February 10th.

Miscikowski’s Venice deputy Sandy Kievman says that this has been a long-awaited project that will move the existing playground off of California Avenue to a safer location on top of the existing tennis courts.

The playground will be handicap accessible and divided into two areas, one for tots and one for the older children.

The relocation of the tennis courts will be a separate project once the community input stage has been completed.

VENICE CENTENNIAL —Plans for this summer’s Venice Centennial seem to be progressing, with many exciting events in the making.

The Venice Centennial parade is being planned by Jill Prestup and Betsy Goldman.

This “old-style” parade will include Joe Wheatley, who is producing events at Muscle Beach this summer.

Wheatley is entering a float for the parade honoring Muscle Beach as a part of Venice history and has been recruiting Muscle Beach bodybuilders to pull the float down the streets of Venice.

I know that I will be looking forward to seeing that float.

Since the first of the year, the Centennial Development Committee has been contacting local and national businesses to discuss ways in which those businesses can participate effectively in the Venice Centennial.

Aided by a top-flight presentation designed by local Venice resident Noreen Morioka, the Venice Centennial has attracted a lot of attention.

For sponsorship opportunities, contact Mike McMillan at


CENTENNIAL PRINTS — The Venice Centennial prints designed by artist Earl Newman of Monterey Jazz Festival fame, are still available.

One of the two prints, “Rainbow Gondolier,” was recently featured on the cover of this year’s Festival Guide, issued by the City of Los Angeles Cultural Affairs Department.

The guide, which is literally the handbook to all festivals and events in Los Angeles, lists many of the events for this year’s Venice Centennial, as well as a two-page center spread on the centennial itself.

CENTENNIAL MURAL — As part of the Venice Centennial celebration, Paul Tanck has worked with local muralist Gary Palmer to design a welcoming mural to our community. The mural is planned to be at 933 Venice Blvd. on the east-facing wall of a building owned by Geoff Harding.

Overlooking Lincoln Boulevard, this high-profile location would be an appropriate welcome to the gateway of Venice. The goal is to raise $10,000 and have the mural completed by Sunday, May 1st.

For more information on all Venice Centennial activities or products, contact David Buchanan or Theo Von Hoffmann at 610A Venice Blvd., (310) 822-0024.

VENICE BEACH LOTTERY — The Venice Beach lottery by the City of Los Angeles Recreation and Parks Commission for vending spaces has been delayed until Saturday, February 26th.

This is being done to give the community additional time to give input on the program rules, which have been tabled until the commission’s meeting Wednesday, February 16th.

There are 154 spaces for anyone who has completed the application form, available from Recreation and Parks at its Venice Beach Windward Circle location.

The cost of the lifetime permit is $25 and it enables the applicant to be in the monthly lottery.

Enforcement of the ordinance will begin Tuesday, March 1st, if the lottery is held Saturday, February 26th.

VENICE CHAMBER MIXER — The Venice Chamber of Commerce mixer will be hosted by PNR Travel, 2534 Lincoln Blvd., from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, February 23rd.

This mixer will give participants the opportunity to have travel questions answered as well as enjoy networking with local business members.

Information, the chamber, (310) 822-5425 or


BOYS, GIRLS CLUB EVENT — Also at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, February 23rd, the Boys & Girls Club of Venice, will hold its 2005 Youth of the Year and Community Leaders Recognition Ceremony at the club, 2232 Lincoln Blvd., Venice.

The two honorees are Celeste Alleyne, director of community affairs for Nike GBU-West Team, and Sammy Hoi, Otis College of Arts & Design president.

Information, Armando Diaz or Monet Morris, (310) 390-4477 ext. 232 or 238, respectively.

PV-JOBS EVENT — The Playa Vista employment program, PV-JOBS, has postponed its luncheon, “Building on the Foundation of Hope” — originally scheduled to be last week — to Thursday, March 24th, at the Center at the Cathedral Plaza, 555 W. Temple St., in downtown Los Angeles.

A reception will begin at 11:30 a.m. Keynote speaker will be Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca.

The luncheon will honor individuals who have risen from the ashes of hopelessness and those who made it possible. Information, (310) 448-4684.

VENICE CLINIC BENEFITS — Pediatric programs at the Venice Family Clinic will benefit from this year’s Los Angeles Marathon Sunday, March 6th.

The pediatric programs at the Venice Family Clinic are comprehensive and include immunizations for children without access to healthcare.

Additionally — with the help of college Rotary (Rotaract) students from colleges throughout Los Angeles — the Rotary “R.A.C.E. to the Last Child” team is directing a portion of the funds it raises towards a student-lead tsunami relief effort.

The “R.A.C.E. to the Last Child” team and volunteers are working together to make a bigger difference and share the hope that Rotary and the Venice Family Clinic bring to so many lives every day.

The local Rotary District 5280 has been involved with the LA Marathon Official Charity Program since 2002.

Rotary “R.A.C.E. to the Last Child” wanted to expand its fundraising efforts this year to include not only polio eradication throughout the world as in past years, but also include tsunami relief.

Information, Donn Cottom, (310) 664-7928 or (310) 466-2683 or dcottom@ucla.edu

CLINIC THANKS DONORS — Each year, the Venice Family Clinic hosts a gala dinner to thank the clinic’s very generous major donors.

This year, honorees for the clinic’s Humanitarian Award will be the multiple-award-winning producer, director and writer John Wells and his wife Marilyn.

John Wells is currently at the head of three of television’s best dramatic series, “ER,” “Third Watch,” and my favorite, “The West Wing.”

Marilyn Wells, who holds a doctorate in psychology, is the board chair of Grace Center in Pasadena and Rape Treatment Center in Santa Monica and, with her husband, generously supports the Venice Family Clinic’s Children’s Holiday Movie and other pediatric programs.

Receiving the Irma Colen Leadership Award will be Dr. Carol Archie, associate clinical professor at the UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine, and immediate past chair of the Venice Family Clinic’s board of directors.

Archie has been a dedicated volunteer physician at the clinic since 1988, where she was instrumental in developing a prenatal care program for women with no other access to such care.

She continues to volunteer as well as serve on clinic committees as an advocate for the poor and uninsured.

Pfizer, Inc. will receive the first-ever Venice Family Clinic Community Service Award for its ten-year history of giving medications worth $5 million enabling the clinic to provide essential pharmaceuticals without cost to patients.

Accepting the award will be Robert Mallett, Sr., Pfizer, Inc. vice president of corporate affairs.

LAPD RENOVATIONS — the Los Angeles Police Department Pacific Community Police Station is nearing completion of major renovations to the station on Culver Boulevard in the Del Rey area.

As part of this project, the Pacific Community Police Station telephone numbers have been changed to the following:

n front desk, (310) 482-6334/6335/6336;

n administrative office, (310) 482-6310; and

n area and patrol captains; detective desk (310) 482-6346.

The community relations office telephone number remains the same, (310) 202-4524.

Mary Richert can be reached at mrichert@ucla.edu