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Beachhead Archives 1983

Beachhead Archives 1984

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25 Years Ago This Month in the Free Venice Beachhead

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30 Years Ago in Call Someplace Paradise and/or Ghost Town

Venice in Books A-C

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Birth of Venice:
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John Hamilton

Destiny's Consent by
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Lions and Gondolas

Poem about Venice Beachhead

Rana Ayzeren

Tales of the Blue Meanie by Allan Cole

Another Chapter from Tales of the Blue Meanie by Allan Cole

"Brick" Garrigues

The Spectre

Venice Historical Society

1969 Police Riots

Jack the Liar

Free Venice Beachhead
Archives 1982

Webslave's note: Each month, back when I lived in Venice, someone from the Beachhead Collective would drop off a bundle of a hundred copies at my door, and I would distribute them house-to-house around Oakwood. My way of continuing to be a Beachhead volunteer is to resurrect and re-type selected articles from its past (pre-computer) issues, for which the Beachhead has graciously granted permission.

Washington Squares: "Radford's Erection"
by Carol Fondiller
October 1982 #154

How many of you remember the first largest erection on Washington Street? Raise your hands. How many of you even know what I'm talking about? Hmm. Well I guess not many of you know about the trailer park then, either. I wonder how many people were displaced for your carport or cathedral ceiling. Hey, no sweat - you didn't know, Just get your white wine spritzer and get comfy.

You know Washington Square, don't you? That big block building on Washington Street by Grand Canal? The one that blocks out those cute little multi-leveled jailhouse-type buildings that are High Rent apartment houses? Maybe they've turned them into condos. Anyway, there's this blocky big mass of a building that has onramps, and it says Washington Square in big red letters. It advertises restaurants and shops, parking etc. And there seems to be no way for you to get into the place from Washington St. Right. That one. And there is no way for you to get in from Washington St. you have to drive your car around and down into a subterranean parking lot, and then walk up to the first level.

About ten years ago, that used to be a community. It was a trailer park I don't mean the Super Duper tract home trailers of today. I mean those little teardrop jobs that were made for hard traveling and traveling light. Little trailers that would fit into one of today's RVs. Retired military personnel lived there. I don't mean officers and gentlemen, I mean 20-year men - sergeants, mess officers and their families. Old people living on Social Security lived there. Hard drinking mechanics, waiters, waitresses. Divorcees with their kids used to live there. You didn't need a car to get to work, and the kids played on Grand Canal and went to school at Nightingale Elementary, which was subsequently known as Anchorage, which closed down because the Marina and the Peninsula were sterile. The school has recently become the new home of the hitherto homeless Alternative school Area "D".

The trailer park was where one could stay until they got their bearings, or stay because there was a community life. If the parents were sick or busy or working or indulging in various habits, there were always other folks around to watch out for the kids, and they could always get hamburger at Hinanos. The rents were cheap at the trailer park, and the plumbing worked enough so that you could to to the bathroom any time, and even get a shower a couple of times a week. Trousdale Estates it wasn't, but it was a long way away from a farm workers' camp.

A sensitive young speculator and EST member J. Alan Radford bought the property.

He had a dream. After a bitter fight where a bulldozer was trashed, J. Alan succeeded in destroying a healthy, thriving Venice sun-community. He built his big shiny dream that extruded cement barriers on Washington St. He put a park for children right by the canal nest to a soon-to-be-opened supermarket. The children's park was, I think the only concession that was gotten by the community from the sensitive speculator. At one of the meetings with the community J. Allan Radford said as he looked towards the ocean his eyes filled with Ayn Rand dreams, "I get what you're saying, but water and poor people don't mix." J. Allan's dream building had levels lit by lamps that simulated flickering candles. Cement was mixed with pebbles here and there to create the illusion of "natural" unevenness. Elevators were installed that had huge blow-ups of Venice's old day. Oh No, No, No! Not pictures of the trailer park, but QUAINT Venice - ladies with parasols, men with high collars and boater hats, horseless carriages. The sort of pictures one sees in mass-produced ferny ambiance of some of the Main St. Quiche and Omelet restaurants.

You can see what I mean if you stop in First Federal Loans on Windward Avenue.

One of their big pictures is phony, however. It shows a present-day entrepreneur trying to look like Warren Beatty.

L. Allan Radford planned for scads of charming little shops that sold "gourmet" cheeses, "Gourmet" candies, imported dresses, designer optometrists, a J. Magnin's. The Safeway Market that used to be on the traffic circle in back of the Post Office closed down and moved to Washington Square, Not a great loss, said some of the residents, it was the only place in town where the meat was green and the veggies were brown! A Safeway employee told me that they moved from Venice to the Peninsula because of theft. After nearly a year of operation in its new Marina-oriented location it closed, one of the cashiers told me, because of theft and bad checks. The old new quaint one-of-a-kind specialty shops and fancy fast food takeout places opened. No matter that the Marina already had two shopping centers, one at Maxella and one on Bali Way, this was going to be fro the single swingers who were moving into the no-children-allowed jacuzzi apartment complexes. Washington Square was going to be a vertical Rodeo Drive where the anticipated influx of young upwardly mobile inwardly insecure chic seekers needed to have the good life defined for them in terms of mirrored glasses, espadrilles, fraudulent Bordeaux from France. They would have money to burn on anything Home Magazine or Cosmo defined as "in." The new inhabitants were all going to like those architects' renderings of people 8 heads long, open collars creased casual trousers deck shoes. And one could keep one's smooth bland figure by jogging even if one did it a bit too much with Wisconsin Brie.

The shops closed one by one, replaces by others, then none at all. J. Allan Radford, and the Marina weekly newspaper the Argonaut tried to erase the raffish Hamburger Square image. Old residents called Washington St. from Pacific to Speedway "Hamburger Square" because of the many hamburger places. They had to clean up the Square, clean out the bums campaign. One of the restaurants whose clientele consisted of motorcyclists and their girlfriends closed down and re-opened as a place that served escargots - it lasted 3 months and it closed again and it welcomed back its old and steady clientele.

J. Allan tried publicity stunts like a 500-pound cherry pie served on Washington's birthday. Washington Square, Washington's birthday - get it? The Jockey Club, a private disco-oriented club, no casual attire, tank tops or tee shirts allowed, opened.

J. Allan declared bankruptcy. Now I don't know about you, but when I say I'm broke, that means I can't find two pennies at the bottom of my purse, and I've already turned in all the coke bottles I can find. When people like J. Allan say they're broke, they mean that they're down to their last 75 thou. So, taking responsibility for his own actions in true EST touchy feely fashion, he packed up his few meager belongings in his bandanna, and trudged up the coast in search of other communities to exploit.

Have you been to Washington Square lately? Several companies have bought and sold Washington Square since J. Allan took off with his assets and left us with his cement excreta on Washington St.

I hadn't been in the place for several years. It's a very easy place not to go into if you're walking, and Washington St. is still a place for walking.

"I'll take you there," said Mary Lou. "It's quite an experience."

At late afternoon, the sun was still out.

After parking the car in the subterranean garage, we wended the convoluted way up several flights of stairs to one of the levels. The shops were empty. Vacant. For rent/lease signs sprouted whitely at window after window of vacant storefronts. J. Magnin's was gone. Vanished was Wild Women, a dress shop where the cheapest dress was $200.00.

We saw a figure in one storefront that was turned into an office. On closer inspection it turned out to be a stuffed figure of a cleaning woman. Cute. The houseplant boutique where the owner didn't know an African Violet from a diffenbachia was gone. The Puffy Pillow furniture shop was gone. The Hungry Tiger was still open. We stopped in Genji for some sushi. After we finished it was dark.

The little phony candle light lamps still flickered on automatically. The shrubbery was well tended. What was the children's park was fenced in and made into a private garden for the vacant looking office cubicles that were carved out of the failed Safeway.

The elevator still went up and down, its walls still covered with poster sized prints of the "quaint" era of Venice. How long will it be before my time becomes quaint to someone? It was still. It was as if Washington Square had been hit by a microbe that Reagan has given permission to start manufacturing again - no people. In a way maybe the Reagan bug did at least give the coup de grace. A piece of disco music whimpered thinly above us. I looked up. From the looks of the drunks holding onto the railings above me, the Jockey Club has relaxed its dress code somewhat. Tank tops, bare chests, halters and sandals were allowed.

"Thank you Mary Lou, that was a very edifying experience."

"I'm so glad you liked it," she said. "I guess karma will get you if you don't watch out."

"It would make a terrific mixed use low income family housing center," I said, "or an underground trailer park."

We spoke in low tones, so as not to alarm the ghosts, but to let them know we were still there.

January 1982 #145

North Beach Plan Revised: Is That All There Is?
by Arnold Springer

Several significant changes in the North Venice Specific Plan may be in the works. Reliable sources informed the Beachhead that these changes will be revealed at a public hearing in February, before the L. A. City Planning Commission. A promised community meeting in Venice could be held as early as late January.

The anticipated changes result from input received by "Murph" Miller who is the city planner heading the project, at both public meetings and more intimate encounters.

Ocean Front Walk

While the detailed revisions have yet to be finalized it is believed that a 35 foot height limit and a maximum lot consolidation of 5 or 150 feet will be proposed for land fronting Ocean Front Walk. Within this height the following uses will be mandated: 1) a minimum of 50% replacement parking on all vacant lots regardless of whether they had been used for parking in the past or not; 2) mandatory ground floor commercial uses and parking to sq. ft. ratios which closely approach current Coastal Commission guidelines. Depending on the amount and intensity of the commercial uses all parking will be either subterranean or semi-subterranean. The 35 foot height limit is computed on the following ratio: One floor semi-subterranean parking begins 5 feet below grade and extends 3 feet above. First floor commercial @ 12 feet, 2nd and 3rd floors, mixed residential and commercial @ 10 ft each, equals 35 feet.

An additional height bonus of 10 ft. will be awarded projects which allocate 60% of their total residential sq. footage to on site affordable housing. Such buildings could thus be 45 ft. high and they would not be required to provide replacement parking. Developers could choose to provide the affordable housing off site, within 3 miles of Venice. Under this option however, replacement parking again becomes mandatory on site but the developer would be permitted to build to 39 feet instead of 35 feet. If a developer decided to provide both affordable housing and replacement parking on site the maximum height of this building would be 49 feet.

Walk Streets

The 25 ft. height limit remains unchanged for the walk streets in the city plan but a 10 ft. height bonus is given in exchange for a voluntary single unit of affordable housing. No lot consolidations are permitted in an attempt to preserve the character and scale of the walk streets.

However on the two widest developed streets in the area, Navy and Rose (but no other developed streets in the area) lot consolidations of up to 100 feet will be permitted but only when mandatory affordable housing units (25% of units in the building) & mandatory replacement parking as per Ocean Front Walk regs, are provided on site. No commercial uses will be permitted. A ten foot height bonus or a project of 35 feet will be allowed for such projects.

The city continues to oppose mandatory replacement parking in the rest of the walk street area east of Speedway and west of Main St. Instead it proposes to increase the number of cars required per residential unit from 2 to 3. Thus in a typical duplex 6 rather then 4 parking spaces would be required, but sideyards could be used to provide these. The spaces not required by the owner of the property could be rented or leased to residents of the area. The thinking here is that the increased parking will in part mitigate the loss of presently existing residential parking on vacant lots in the area

Windward Circle

The historical preservation zone of Windward Ave. originally was planned to extend to Cabrillo Ave. This has now been amended and the zone will extend only to the traffic circle. In addition to the restoration of the arches along Windward and perhaps the creation of some sort of architectural ambiance mechanism, the plan calls for greater heights than in the rest of Venice. Criticism from within the Planning Dept. may result in the restoration of the mall concept.

Parking and Tram Service

The Coastal Commission rejected the city's specific plan for Playa del Rey at its December meeting. In so doing it served notice that it wanted to see the city propose creative alternatives to the auto in beach areas adjacent to the Santa Monica Bay. Specifically the Commission told city planning director Calvin Hamilton and his assistant Peter Broy that L.A.'s plan had not anticipated the impact of the proposed 30,000 person community planned by the Summa Corp. for the area south and east of Marina del Rey. Specifically the Commission appeared interested in the creation of a local tram system operating only within the Coastal zone from Santa Monica to Play del Rey. The trams would serve both residents and beach goers living outside of the area Visitors would park outside the area and be brought in by trams thus maximizing public access and minimizing the need for additional parking lots in the area. Creative financing could include a system of in lieu of fees on all new construction, something which so far Los Angeles has strongly rejected.

The Commission instructed its staff to meet with their city counterparts and together produce a proposal. The parking and beach access questions appear to be the final obstacle to plan approval by the Commission. It is believed that a basic understanding between the City and the Commission will be reached by summer and with that the approval of specific plans for Canals/Peninsula, North Venice, and Oakwood will be a matter dotting the i's and crossing the t's.


July 1982
Dividing Venice: Crime & Racism
by Jim Smith

The recent series of rape and robbery attacks have brought the realities of "life in the big city" home to many Venice residents. The fear of being the victim of a crime, of being raped or murdered has created much paranoia on my block.

The media has been quick to point out that this particular gang is Black, no doubt residents of Oakwood. A recent newspaper article said the police describe Oakwood as "the turf of a pack of violent young men who prey on the surrounding neighborhood."

This view of the Venice Black community should come as no surprise since the attitudes of the LAPD and their leader, Daryl Gates, concerning Black people have been well publicized lately.

The question is, how will tie "decent Joes" of Venice respond to the problem of rising crime in the community?

Well, one "decent Joe," a longtime Venice resident who should know better, is quoted in the L. A. Times as saying "I'm buying a gun, I don't think the bad guys should win."

If there is any question about who Joe thinks the bad guys are, it is resolved in this next quote: "When people get out of jail, they move to Oakwood. The worst people in the world live over there..."

Joe's view of the world, as described in the Times, is, I believe, not only out of touch with reality but is extremely dangerous to all of us.

Joe's statements create more division between Black and white in Venice, as if the railroad tracks that slice our community into Black and white sections weren't division enough.

Joe has a right to be angry. The crimes committed by this gang are horrid and cruel. But, before rushing out to follow Joe's example by buying a gun to defend ourselves against Black Venice residents, maybe we white Venice residents should stop to consider a few facts.

First of all, Joe's view of Oakwood as the place where the worst people in the world live is completely opposite to my experience and I'm also a longtime Venice resident.

Oakwood has been the most stable area of Venice for years. It is a place where families have lived for generations. It is to my knowledge unique, the only seaside Black community in Southern California.

Like Black people all over the country, Oakwood residents, because of institutionalized racism, live in permanent economic depression with extremely high unemployment rates and very limited promotional opportunities for those fortunate enough to be working.

Now, with the rest of the country sinking into a depression, the worst since the "great" depression of the 1930s, the situation is becoming desperate in minority communities like Oakwood.

Add to these economic difficulties, Reagan's disdain for welfare, poverty programs and federally funded jobs programs and you have a prescription for hopelessness, violence and drastic increase in crime.

Not long ago the LAPD organized a neighborhood meeting on my street to discuss the crime spree. The meeting happened, possibly coincidentally, the same day that 10,000 of us turned out to show the President what we thought of his policies.

The block meeting occurred on the only street in Venice that was the scene of an attack by this gang outside the Oakwood area. Why wasn't the meeting held in Oakwood which has been hard hit by this gang? Why did the police choose a white area where statements like Joe's would be aired?

Could it be that the police who have never been popular in the community are attempting to generate racism in order to build a base among white Venetians?

Local tactics like these also aid Reagan and his fat cat backers. If Black and white victims of Reaganomics can be made to fight each other, it is not likely they will join together in unemployed committees or anti-nuclear coalitions to turn this country around. Sentiments like those expressed by Joe play right into this divide and conquer strategy.

Joe's statements not only help fuel racism but they lay the basis for fascism in this country. Joe goes on to say, "there aren't enough police around here."

Is it possible, Joe, that there can never be enough police to prevent crime if there is no other way to make a living? Is it really possible, Joe, to control the police so that they only protect us from those people in Oakwood and don't start investigating our personal habits and political beliefs? Can we have more and more police without having a police state?

Yes, something has to be done about crime in Venice and America. But first we have to identify the criminals.

Who are the criminals that are throwing people out of work and denying welfare to the needy?

Who are the criminals that are supplying weapons and encouragement to dictators and right wing death squads around the world?

Who are the criminals that may destroy all our property and our lives by setting off a nuclear war?

Joe said a lot to the Times reporter. He said, "The working class people are easy prey." I agree with you on this, Joe. We working class people, particularly us white working class types are easy prey to our prejudices and to the constant media barrage trying to turn us against Black working class types or undocumented working class types.

The real criminals, the Reagans, the military, the multinational corporations, including the TV networks, L.A. Times, etc. are very devious and we are an easy prey. But we are not hopeless or helpless.

It is important for all of us to oppose these criminals like we did that night at Century City. It's just as important to do something positive about conditions right here in Venice.

Instead of getting guns to protect ourselves against each other, how about starting some dialog between Black, Latino and white residents in our community?

Maybe we can talk things over and find some solutions to our mutual problems. Maybe we can get a lot of our neighbors to demand that Venice are industry be good neighbors by hiring more of us in proportion to our unemployment rates by race.

Maybe we can figure out how to get rid of some of the extreme reactionaries who claim to represent us at the local, state and federal levels but who are contributing to our misery. Who knows, maybe some of us, even you, Joe, can get elected and begin doing something about our common problems.

If we in Venice, with our long and honored tradition and belief in freedom and human dignity can't get it together, who can?

 

 

 

July 1982
Oceanside Waterslide
L.A. Game Plans
by Arnold Springer

Strapped by declining revenues, the Recreation and Parks Department of Los Angeles is on the prowl for additional sources of moola. And like the opportunistic coyote, it is finding new money in the pockets of citizens who have already paid to use the public parks through their taxes. Coincidentaly the people who tend to use parks the most are those who can least afford to pay twice. Special user taxes like those pioneered by Recreation and Parks in L.A. fall heaviest on the poorer classes of the city.

Testing the Waters in Venice

Hard upon the successful imposition of a use tax on Griffith Park visitors, the Dept. has decided to test the waters in Venice. It has put out to bed, and has received 26 proposals to operate, its Venice Pavilion facility. According to Mr. Jessie Miller of concession management, Recreation and Parks, the Venice test is necessary because the dept. has been hit by declining budgets and is being forced to reduce operations and to lay off staff. In an effort to keep its facilities operating at the same level, to keep public use high, the department has turned to 'innovative fund raising.' So far the Griffith Park user tax has raised about $1 million for the hard pressed department and managers hope to repeat this success on a reduced level at the Pavilion facility.

Video Games and Waterslides

Recreation and Parks plans to re-open the hot dog stand and the roller skate and bicycle rental concession at the ocean end of the pavilion. Two newly proposed concession ideas are being considered by the financially strapped department. One is to install a significant number of video games (how many is not certain) in and near the pavilion. Such games are considered to be money makers and are being used to entice prospective bidders to up the antes on their concession bids. The video game idea is in fact a department pilot. If it is profitable it could be installed in other facilities operated by the dept.

No Opposition to be Heard

Video game arcades are not new to Venice. Several years ago when promoter Allen Saffron opened his video game 'tent' and earned the sobbriquet 'the tent man,' there was a huge outcry from concerned businesspeople and residents. The proposed facility, located only a few yards south of the pavilion, would bring a boisterous and perhaps criminal element into the area. An energetic but ultimately unsuccessful effort to defeat Saffron was begun, culminating in the 'Venice funeral' staged before the Coastal Commission when Frank Sirrocco emerged out of a coffin to confront startled and angry bureaycrats. A memorable moment.

Curiously, this new proposal for what may be eve a larger project has been met with a deafening silence and public apathy. According to Miller only about 30 people showed up at the pavilion several weeks ago to hear a presentation by him and there was only one person who spoke against the games.

essions) would require Coastal Permits and would probably have to provide additional parking. Miller disputes this as far ad the video games are concerned but agrees that more parking must be provided if and when a restaurant goes into the pavilion. Additionally the Commission is concerned about overuse of North Venice and underutilization of the Peninsula beaches by the public. Staff has suggested that Recreation and Parks might consider the idea of putting the theme water park and waterslide on the peninsula beach to ease congestion in North Venice and more evenly distributing public use on all of Venice's beaches. People interested in the project can In the wake of the Saffron episode the City Council passed an ordinance forbidding game arcadesin the Venice area but, accoding to Councilwoman Russell's field deputy Carol Shapiro, this ordinance has lapsed. Presently video arcades can be established in Venice without police commission approval as long as less than five machines are involved. Machines have been places in a roller skate rental shop on Windward and most recently in the empty building on Ocean Front and Westminster, across from the Lafayette Cafe.

Fun Park Concept Promoted

Another proposal received by the department which has receives serious consideration is one that would put up a portable water slide on the grassy site in front of Horizen and Ocean Front. The waterslide is shaped like a giant corkscrew, about 80 feet in diameter and 40-50 feet high. This concession too would be operated privately with the department receiving a percentage of the take.

A third proposal under consideration would be to turn the Pavilion into a chain type restaurant with seating.

So far the only opposition to the department's plans have been presented by Mrs. Russell and by the Coastal Commission. According to Carol Shapiro the Councilwoman is neutral on the video games. She is telling her constituents however that no games can be installed in or about the Pavilion until after the City issues a conditional use permit to the department. The issuance of a permit involves a public hearing. But department spokesman Miller insists that no such permit is required and backs up his position with a City Attorney's opinion. Miller claims that Recreation and Parkd can issue a 120 day permit for the video games and continue to renew it indefinitely without public hearing. He admits it would be politic to hold a hearing but that could take months, the summer season would be over, and the opporunity for increased revenues lost.


September 1982

John and Martha and Carla and
Tom and Jane and Carol

by Carol Fondiller

I was sitting on one of the few solid benches remaining on the Ocean Front Walk, watching the few remaining elderly being used as slaloms by one of our many illiterate roller skaters, and skimming of all things the Santa Monica Evening Outlook. The Outlook is the only paper one can read the first and last page simultaneously if you hold it up to the light.

A headline caught my eye. It went something like this:

"Sen John Schmitz's Mistress Accused of Child Abuse"

The article went on to state that yes, this was the very same Sen. Schmitz who was expelled from the Committee on the Status of Women. He was expelled from that committee after to referred to a group of pro-Choice women who were testifying before the committee, as women with "...hard, Jewish, questionably female faces."

The very same Schmitz who wanted to kill the poor by taking away welfare benefits from single women who had children, and who wanted the state of California to stop abortion funding to low-income women had been, so the speak, caught with his hand in the cookie jar.

Gloria Allred, a feminist attorney was testifying before the Committee. Schmitz called her a "slick butch lawyeress."

She handed him a chastity belt.

When asked by a channel 2 reporter if he intended to take it home to his wife, he snapped, "My wife doesn't need one."

How very right (if you'll excuse the expression) you are, Johnny, but you -?

It's always gratifying to me to watch a self-appointed guardian of my morals to get caught in his own trap.

I mean here's lame duck State Senator John Schmitz from Orange Cow, living in the affluent ex-urb of Corona Del Mar with his wife and seven legitimate children, one of whom was a godparent, unknowingly, to his father's latest child begotten of his paramour.

Mrs. S. lives in Tustin, a town way over on the other side of the tracks from Corona Del Mar.

She supports herself and Sen. Schmitz's two illegitimate children by working as a stock clerk at the El Toro Marine Base. She did precinct work for the local Republican Party to elect Sen. John Schmitz.

Sen. John Schmitz had also been drummed out of the super reactionary John Birch Society for his remarks about various races and organizations. The John Birch Society members might think that all Jews are commies, and vice versa, and all single women with kids on welfare got that way on purpose by copulation with the devil or luring honest men - well you know what the Bible and St. Augustine think about women - it's all our fault. The John Birch Society after a flaming youth of accusing everyone from Supreme Court Justice Warren to President Dwight Eisenhower of being communist dupes, has been settling into a respectable maturity, give or take a few lapses here and there of arming themselves with bazookas, mortars and other weapons slipped to them by some sympathetic Marines.

These Birchers want to be the Brahmins of the right. It's not what you think, it's how you say it.

They might agree with Sen. Schmitz, but they wouldn't come out and say it...that's so vulgar. Like burning a cross on the lawn.

After all, you have to get a few sympathetic Jews Blacks Chicanos and yes even sinful, single women to be the foot soldiers to get you elected and then - eliminate them.

Mrs. Sen. John Schmitz appears every Saturday at 5 p.m. on Channel 4 on a show called Free for All unless it's pre-empted by a ball game.

She has come out against busing, state and federal funds for child care, against rent control, for more money spent on the military and supporting money and arms sent to the government of El Salvador. So, don't feel sorry for Mrs. Schmitz.

When the story of Senator Schmitz's peccadilloes came out about his illegitimate children, Sen. Schmitz commented, "I should get the Right to Life father of the year award."

A daughter of Senator Schmitz's mistress by a previous marriage said that since the scandal had erupted, Senator Schmitz had discontinued his visits, and that the Senator had never contributed financially to the upkeep of this two illegitimate children. This has not been denied by Senator Schmitz.

No wonder the right is against "sin." They do it so badly

It's alleged that while Sen. Schmitz's mistress was in the hospital recovering from the birth of her and the Senator's second love child, the baby sitter, known only as Gloria, had abused the older child and has since disappeared. She was described by the Senator as being a "Jew or Puerto Rican from New York."

Now listen to that last quote - "A Jew or Puerto Rican from New York."

Not, she might have been Jewish of Puerto Rican with a New York accent, but a "Jew or Puerto Rican from New York." Implying to Sen. Schmitz, one of those sallow oily skinned foreigners, one of the Unter Mensch from that sin capitol of the world where the Democrat peace marcher prostitute commie homo nigger kike conspiracy meet in Times Square fornicating plotting sitting astride our fair Republic bent on sucking out its vital Indo-European protestant juices, draining it dry to enervate it by its vile practices and importing depraved foreign ideas like uncensored libraries, birth control advice, rape hot lines and - gasp! Equal opportunity no matter what one's race sex or sexual preference to the groin of the pure Beaver Cleaver small towns, and making our Rube Republic go broke by spending for fripperies like schools, housing, medical care, distracting it from shooting off its guns like a real man, and thus rendering it impotent against the attack of the GIANT COMMIE, and I don't want to go any further into equating anyone's sexual hang ups with their politics.

I mean, some one might do it to me - right? Sen Johnny, a lame duck when leaving the same legislature that dismissed him from the Committee on the Status of Women for making racist and sexist remarks, got thanked for his "Dedicated Service" by his fellow senators.

When the Senate sent a bill to Governor Brown that would authorize the Commission on the Status of Women to act as a lobbying group in Sacramento, Lame Duck Schmitz opposed this saying the Commission "...is a bunch of left wingers...They're women, but they don't speak for the women of California."

Implying of course that Sen. Schmitz knows what those women want.

John Schmitz's mistress had the charge of child abuse against her dropped. There goes my dream of going to the Orange Cow courthouse as the clear-eyed and objective reporter for the Free Venice Beachhead.

But fascism unfortunately is not exclusive to the reactionary right.

You remember Jane "Free Speech" Fonda? Seems she's suing some film historian for writing an unauthorized biography of her.

From what I understand the book is practically dull in the reverence it accords her.

She's also suing Doubleday for publishing it, and threatening to sue Doubleday and any publication for printing any advertisements of the book.

What with this and the new law that's passed that threatens anyone who names a CIA operative or other government undercover agent - even if that government agent acts as an agent provocateur - with jail, we won't be reading anything but soft drink advertisements. Thanks Jane.

This is the same Jane Fonda who pled with the now defunct Venice Town Council to speak out against the Los Angeles City Council's attempt to censure Fonda's speaking out against the war in Vietnam.

To paraphrase George Orwell's "Animal Farm," free speech is only for certain people or to paraphrase every dictator and pimp, "Trust me, I know what is good for you."

Speaking of the Honda Babies Jane and Tom, have I got an anecdote I've been dying to tell.

I preface this by saying that I have a fascist detector that's as unerring and accurate as a bat's radar.

When Tom Hayden was running for the Senate in '76 a benefit was held for him in Venice at the Comeback Inn. The patio was jammed with Jane and Tom fans. I among them. It was a hot sunny autumn afternoon, and because it was a benefit, the more beer you bought, the more you benefited Tom. And I was benefiting Tom. Jane got up playing candidate's wife. Gone the shaggy haircut and army fatigues. There were people there who had been battling since Sacco and Vanzetti and the Spanish Civil War.

Jane was hittin' us all up for more money. Left over hippies, old commies, college students, cannonfodder beatnicks, beachnicks, people who wanted to see the star of Barbarella and one of the Chicago 7.

Jane started off, "Now you can give us more money. You can donate $5 a week if you give up your dope for Tom." This was 1976, the interest rates were lower then.

There was a gasp from a square-jawed, grey-haired woman sitting next to me. She was one of the most dependable telephone tree people any organization could ever get.

Jane was stereotyping us, just as the Evening Outlook and television and other media had done for years.

Venice a bunch of dope-smoking hippy beat free-love commie anarchists.

I had drunk enough to become supersensitive. I chugalugged another beer. Then Tom came on telling us of Sheriff Hongisto and the other communities who had gotten it together and completely ignoring Venice. Which at that time was doing pretty well, considering that we had no paid volunteers, and in spite of the fact that Jane and Tome were just too busy with really important things to even think of Venice, except when they wanted foot soldiers and canvassers.

Questions came. Big abstract questions. My attention wandered.

A bearded man, bare to the waist, tattoos telling of love and tigers across his chest and wiry muscles stood up and asked: "What about the canal?"

Through my blur I heard talk of gun boats, tariffs and self-government.

The man fixed me with his one good eye: "What canal is he talking about?"

"Panama, I think," I slurred.

"Shit, man, I was askin' about Howland Canal!"

Now, it seems that the holier than thou incorruptible author of the Port Huron statement, the great man who knows what the MASSES want, has sided with the Israeli invasion of Lebanon to get all them liberal Jewish voters to vote for him in the 44th Assembly District.

Well I'm a Jew, and as my ancestors came from Europe, I'm sure that some of my relatives were killed in the Holocaust.

But I always felt that the survivors of that should learn something and that is not to act like their oppressors, the Nazis, which it seems to me the Israelis are doing.

I have little love for the P.L.O. who bomb school buses and athletes, but bombing schools, hospitals, old people, babies and civilians in the name of peace doesn't wash either. To decimate one of the great cities of the world, Lebanon keeping people in concentration camps, writing numbers on the arms of civilian non-combatants, denying water and food to civilians...
So you think the Jews are more moral, should act nobler than anyone else?" Yes! Yes! Yes!

If we keep talking about the Holocaust and antiSemitism and saying "Never again," we should also say never again to degrading and dehumanizing people.

But Tom's got to get them votes. It's for our own good you know. Just like Sen. Schmitz is doin it to us for our own good, "trust me."

So you can't vote for what's-his-name and Hayden is the lesser of two evils.

And what have the two candidates of the opportunist party and the adventurist party been debating? How much longer one has lived in Santa Monica. At last count Hayden's opponent has traced his California roots back to 1840.

Well, while they're being totally irrelevant and obfuscating all over the place, and if all the wasted money on radio ads makes you sick, vote for the Peace and Freedom Candidate, for Goddess sake!

Jack Hampton supports affordable housing, the nuclear freeze (when will Hayden wobble on that one?) and is against the Israeli invasion of Lebanon. Jack Hampton has been active in the Peace and Freedom Party since its inception. The Peace and Freedom Party started here in Venice. Vote for someone for a refreshing change. I mean Hampton ain't no glory hog who gets so caught up with winning he forgets why he's running.


Lennon's Birthday
Saturday October 9th
October 1982 #154

John Lennon's 42nd birthday will be commemorated with a series of events evoking peace, non-violence, active involvement and celebration. On this special day the Alliance for Survival will hold a "Birthday-Candlelight Peace Vigil" at Santa Monica Beach, just south of Ocean Park Blvd. People will gather at 5:00 pm to share the sunset, at 6:00 a program of poetry, music and speakers will begin. At 7:30 pm a "Walk for Life" will begin arriving at the Church in Ocean Park at about 8:00 pm (235 Hill St. SM) where there will be a benefit dance and peace celebration. Reggae and freedom music will be performed by UNITY, a group from Belize, Central America. Donation $5.00. "Give Peace a Chance" was one of John Lennon's political messages to the world and a fitting theme for this event.


 

Letters: Another Satisfied Customer
November 1982 #155

Dear Beachhead,

This is a letter that I don't really expect to be published, but I've been meaning to write it for a long time now; thirteen years in fact.

I first read your paper when I moved to Venice in 1969, at the tail end of the Hippie movement. There were still Canal Festivals and body painting and psychedelics, but for the most part the whole thing was really all over, or at least in the final death throes.

The Beachhead struck me as being very negative, but the ideas of revolution and change were still desperately hanging on, and I thought you were also still trying desperately to hang on to lost hopes by opposing all the establishment moves that threatened the naive but well-meaning ideas of the Hippie Revolution now winding down into the final stages of a lost struggle.

But in the thirteen years since, the Beachhead has continued to be negative about everything that doesn't fit the preconceived notion of some radical avant-garde idea of the way things are supposed to be.

The fact is though, that things have mellowed out and in fact changed considerably during this period, and just looking at things in retrospect should have told you that these ideas didn't work because they couldn't work, and your continued screaming rampage isn't going to change anything now anymore than it did then.

Where is it written that Venice belongs to the poor? People who have money have always had the right to live wherever they want to, and where they live, they are going to make changes necessary to enhance their lifestyle. It's THEIR money and THEIR lifestyle and THEIR comfort that will dictate how things will be. If the poor don't like that, then they have to make a lot of money and not be poor. Maybe that sucks, but that's how life is.

Aging Hippies and radical publications everywhere have recognized and adapted to these general truths and in general have changed their tone to a more positive approach to things, and a grudging awareness that things are the way they are and the only approach to anything is a positive one.

Your continued carping and bitching thirteen years after the fact is sad, at best, and stupid and sophomoric at worst. This is 1982, whether you approve of that fact or not. It's time for The Beachhead to grow up.

Don Schraier, Venice

(The Beachhead responds: Gosh, Don, just who is it that's forced you to suffer thru 13 years of reading a paper you dislike so much?)


Remembrance of Things Past
Arnold on Reds
November 1982 #155

November 1919 - Seventy-three years ago this month in Venice. World War I was over and the Bolsheviks had staged a successful revolution in Russia.

In the United States anti-communist hysteria was on the rise. There was lots of public radical activity by the left and there was a feeling that revolution might just be around the corner. Not everyone was elated. Naturally, people in Venice got into the act.

A young man named Otto Benninger, at one time a clown at the Race Thru the Clouds amusement had just returned from Siberia. He had been with the U.S. Expeditionary Forces who, with the French and English (they had intervened in European Russia) were trying to topple the Bolsheviks. Otto was in a San Francisco hospital and wrote home to his parents.

"Bolshevists, Chink bandits, vodka and Japs caused us doughboys in Siberia enough trouble to last a coons age," he wrote. "We went to Siberia to establish an eastern front but we never saw a front. We longed for a regular war and everybody was fighting mad all the time. The long haired Bolshevist was your friend in the morning, and shooting you that night. Next day he would be going about his farmwork. Starving, sick and dying peasants were everywhere. No government existed; it was all robbery and bush-whacking. Bolshevism as we saw it in Siberia mustn't come to America. Vodka, the native's firewater, is the country's greatest drawback. It makes the people devilish. No wonder Bolshevism thrives under vodka..."

In November the City of Los Angeles ordered all Socialists, Radicals, I.W.W.s and assorted troublemakers out of the city. No person of radical persuasion was to be permitted to speak in public. Bay area police chiefs feared that the radicals might head here, "locate in the bay district." Said Chief Loomis of Venice: "There are only a few sympathizers of the I.W.W. in Venice and I have them under surveillance. Should there be any attempt by the Reds to colonize in Venice I will know it the very moment the attempt is made."

Then on November 19: "Venice took the initiative to prevent an invasion of the Reds and other undesirables. Twenty-five patriotic and determined citizens assembled in the office of Chief Loomis and perfected an organization for home protection. It will operate in a manner similar to that of the American Protective League which did such effective work during the war.

"It will be a secret organization as to its membership and work. All complaints about suspicious people will be thoroughly investigated and appropriate action taken.

"The objective will be to prevent Reds or I.W.W.s from getting any foothold in Venice. A similar organization will be set up in Santa Monica. All suspicious people will be investigated and any attempt to hold open air meetings in any place in the city will be instantly checked and those involved immediately arrested.

"It is the intention of the directors to appoint captains for each precinct, who in turn will name lieutenants who in turn must be sanctioned by the directors. The efforts of the members, most of whom will not be known to one another, will be aimed at preventing any undesirables from gaining a foothold in the city. The American Legion will work closely with the new organization."

Then on Dec. 8 Professor N.N. Waslekar, an astrologer who practiced on Ocean Front Walk was quoted: "There is no reason for fearing that the world will come to an end on Dec. 17." However another astrologer-professor on the Walk, Albert F. Porta predicted that great floods and an earthquake would hit Los Angeles and the Bay District on that date. Wow!

 

© 2004 - 2012 Pat Hartman
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