PROTECTING & PRESERVING FREE SPEECH & PUBLIC SPACE

REPORTS

November 1, 2010

Late, Breaking Developments on the Boardwalk

Those who participated in public comment before City Council when that august body was considering the 2008 proposed ordinance LAMC 42.15 – and later amendments to same – must recall the solemn claims by Deputy City Attorney Mark Brown, CD11 Councilman Bill Rosendahl, his legal counsel Norman Kulla and various other city officials that the ordinance had been given Federal District Court Judge Dean Pregerson’s seal of approval before the first jot of ink was put to paper. This argument was used in every instance to justify the ordinance and its consequences.

Indeed, several of those slated to make public comments before City Council in opposition to the proposed ordinance had participated in the open discussions held in Judge Pregerson’s courtroom. These discussions were meant to illuminate the concerns from those already engaged in activity on the west side of Ocean Front Walk and provide background information which would hopefully be helpful to the attorneys – who included among their number the above mentioned Mark Brown and Norman Kulla, as well as ex-ACLU, National Lawyers Guild, constitutional attorney Carol Sobel, and others – when they and the Judge retired to chambers to consider the implications of what they had heard and engaged in crafting a new, more satisfactory law to replace the then existing one.

Imagine the surprise, then, of at least some of those individuals to learn that Federal District Judge Dean Pregerson has granted temporary injunctions against the permit/lottery system and the restriction of amplified sound to certain areas of the Boardwalk, as instituted in the current LAMC42.15, on the grounds that they are unconstitutional and violate the First Amendment.

Judge Pregerson denied the request to lift the restriction on amplified music after sunset and other restrictions included in the challenge. Another item concerns only the nature of an exchange between one of the litigants and city council and need not concern us here.

To some, however, who had alternate sources of information, the decision was not so surprising, The Judge had reportedly, on occasion, expressed his displeasure with the outcome of the enactment and implementation of the 2008 version of LAMC 42.15. While he did not specify the source of his displeasure, it was known that in an earlier lawsuit based on the 2006 ordinance, Judge Pregerson had determined that the activity under consideration had in fact been commercial and therefore was not protected by the First Amendment, as had been claimed by litigants. One could therefore surmise that this constituted at least part of his concern. His dismissal of claims regarding vending in the current decision would indicate his commitment to his position.

Indeed, rampant commercial vending on the Boardwalk has become the single most unifying aspect of the majority of the opposition to LAMC 42.15. Longtime residents are opposed to it and want it gone. Likewise, legitimate free speech advocates, artists and performers who continually struggle to maintain a presence on the Boardwalk or who have been driven from it by the influx of families, businesses, flea marketers, and others out there simply to “make a buck”. are distressed to see the mass produced junk from China, Korea, Thailand, Indonesia, Mexico, etc. being resold in what has traditionally been the Free Expression Zone. And needless to say, merchants on the east side of the Boardwalk have a strong case for opposition to the commercialization of the Boardwalk that has followed in the wake of LAMC 42.15, which directly endangers their legitimate commercial activity.

The commercialization has had the effect of reducing the tourist trade, that was once counted the second highest in Southern California, from a flood to a trickle. Those who do visit are generally disappointed at what they see. It is not what they expected from viewing the L.A. City’s promotional materials online and elsewhere.

The permit/lottery system as presently constructed, encouraged corruption on a massive scale. One could say, with considerable justification, that the permit/lottery system currently in place, with its syndicates, swapping, selling, dealing, trading and clique formation as well as other illegal attempts to elude the rules and regulations, is to the Boardwalk what Prohibition was to the nation.

The injunctions have provided a window of opportunity for the varied opposition groups to come together and work in unison for an ordinance that will protect the traditional character of the Boardwalk, and remove the commercial vending in a constitutional and compelling way. In addition, it has become clear that several artists who have been participating in the permit/lottery system out of a sense of necessity are also dissatisfied with the current state of affairs. Let us then join forces and work together towards this goal.

Therese Dietlin for VBBC

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August 31, 2010

View from Venice Boardwalk

Oh, what a lootery for you and me!!!

Get your permit ($25) and

Your license (a mere $10 fee)

– AND JUST SHOW UP!!!

Okay, here’s the monthly report on the great happenings at Venice Beach.

One of yours truly has been monitoring the enforcement of the lottery and a few things of note have turned up.

Here’s at least part of the lottery scene at the Recreation and Parks office every Tuesday morning at Venice Beach.

First –  there are certain spaces that, no matter who is called for what, always seem to have been assigned to the same individual – even when that individual was not called!  Divine intervention?  Magic?  Mysterious forces?  You decide.

Second – Amazingly, some individuals have several names, all of which are entered into the lottery by said individual. Two names belonging to a single person had the misfortune to be called within one block of pulled permits in the lottery, revealing the duplication.  Sorry, only one allotted space per person per lottery.  Where is Recreation and Parks checks and balances (or checks, at least)?

Well, given that even corporations, aliases, a wife (using both married and maiden names), the kids (any age) and the extended family can enter the lottery, perhaps the people in the office should be cut some slack.  You might wonder how many multiple names exist for a single individual that God hasn’t yet intervened to blow the permit holder’s cover.  At least six, according to some sources.

Third – Invariably, there are the complaints from the crowd of permit holders, while the lottery is underway, that go as follows:

A.   a particular individual has not been called for at least two weeks – sometimes even as much as nine weeks – preventing him or her from working.

B.   a permit holder is known by complainant to be a homeless person who never sets up in the allotted space, but sells the space to buy beer.

C.   a permit holder whose name is called in the lottery, but who does not set up, instead, gives/sells the space to someone else.

Fourth:  There are the ten “NO VENDING” BLACK SPACES – purportedly unassigned, first come, first served.  Vendors regularly claim those black spaces by coming very early in the morning to the beach, often establishing a PERMANENT claim on the space.  In which case – and more often than not – getting called in the lottery is a perk.

Additionally, vendors who regularly claim and occupy those black spaces are known to give a space they have won in the lottery to a friend, or let it lie vacant, while they vend from the BLACK SPACE.  Alternatively, it appears that they let someone they know, who is in need of a space, use “their” BLACK SPACE, with the understanding that it reverts back to them when they need it at the end of their lottery period.

Venice Beach Boardwalk Coalition Administrative Board (VBBC)

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July 11, 2010

Incident Report  7-11-2010 by Therese Dietlin

On this Sunday, when my dog and I took our early morning walk up the Boardwalk, I took a chair with me, since I had noticed on the previous Sunday that one of the black spaces, P-76, was vacant when I went by.  This Sunday, I was even earlier and it was empty, with no sign of anyone around.  So, I put my chair behind it to mark the spot, walked the dog back to the car where I left her, loaded my stuff on the dolly and walked back to where I had left the chair.

When I approached, I found that my chair had been moved to P-77; several people were milling around on the grass and the sidewalk.  I said, “Who moved that chair?  I was marking that spot while I got my stuff.  You can’t do that!”  No one admitted touching the chair.  I pulled my dolly into the space.  At that point a man showed up and said that he was saving that space for himself.  I told him I had found it vacant and was planning to set up there.  He said he had been sleeping there since Friday night and the space was his.  I replied that I had found it empty and, while I was sorry he had felt the need to sleep out there overnight, I was going to use the space myself.

Then he wanted to know what time I had walked down the Boardwalk.  I refused to tell him. He insisted he had been there first.  I had seen no signs of him earlier and said so.  I then said, “These spaces were meant for First Amendment people.  No vending.”

The man seemed to think that rather hilarious; he started laughing and said, “No vending!  Everybody comes to Venice to make money.”  Then he started making jokes with his friend about my ridiculous claims about no vending and kept repeating, “No vending!  Everybody comes to make money.”  He added at one point, “If you not here to make money, why you here, taking up a space?” He asked his companion,  was I there for the exercise?  No vending!  Everybody comes to Venice to make money!  Even the homeless panhandle and he made allusions to some of the things I myself have seen homeless people do in an attempt to get some money.  Wearing a sign saying, Kick Me for a dollar; that sort of thing.  Well, yes they do.  But they don’t set up in a black space to do it.

He also said to his companion,  “Why don’t she stay down there were she usually is?  Why she gotta come down here and cause trouble?”

I wanted to call the police, but had no phone or phone number.  The man offered his cell phone and challenged me to call them.

At that point, I felt I had to stay there to make sure my display materials and space were not molested.  So when a Recreation and Parks pick-up truck came by, I flagged the driver down and asked him if he could send the police down as I was feeling threatened by these two men.  He told me the police wouldn’t do anything; that Recreation and Parks takes care of space allocation and I needed to go to their office.  He was only maintenance and couldn’t help me either.  Since the Windward office is closed on Sunday and I did not feel I could leave my stuff untended, going somewhere to report what was happening was not a viable option.  The man gave his name as Fernando and drove off.

I went back and sat in my chair, waiting for 9:00 AM.  The two men stood on the east side of the Boardwalk, muttering to themselves and each other and occasionally directing a remark at me.  At one point, they went into a rant about That White Woman, That Evil White Woman, That Arrogant White Woman.  They repeated their little scene about how everybody comes to Venice to make money.  Then the person who originally told me that spot was his came over and said, “If you set up here, I am going to have my man set up on top of you.”

While this was going on, a couple came by and the man asked me how one got a space on the Boardwalk.  I explained the permit lottery, the First Amendment issues and told him and his wife what was going on.  I told them I felt unsafe and as they were going towards Windward, would they be willing to send the police over if they saw them.  The vending man hovering over me made fun of my concerns about my safety, at which point someone working with him approached the space with a dolly  loaded 6-7 feet high with stuff under a tarp.  He pulled the dolly into the space, knocking over my chair and dislodging some stuff.  The man and wife became concerned when they witnessed this and said something to these men.  Then they left.  They returned later in the day to be sure I was okay.  The wife told me her husband was so upset by the would-be vendors’ behavior that he did indeed send the police down to check on me when he saw the squad car at Windward.

A short while later, an LAPD car came north on the Boardwalk.  I waved it down as it approached.  I told the driver what was going on and how I was feeling unsafe.  He said he couldn’t do anything; I would need to take it up with the Beach Detail which came on at 10:00AM.  He gave his name as Solis and drove on.  I picked my chair up and sat back in it.  When I heard someone say, “Three more minutes,”  I started unpacking my dolly.

At that point, I wouldn’t have cared if the police came by and gave me a hard time for setting up before 9:00AM.  I would have welcomed their presence, period. I planned to fill them in on what was transpiring.  The would-be vendor threatened to set up on top of me again.  I ignored him and continued to set up.  Two acquaintances came by and agreed to sit with me until other members of my group (we routinely set up together for safety and other reasons) came.

Anti-circumcision Dave Bradt came around 11:00AM and joined me.  One of the acquaintances went down to Rose Avenue to look for Urantia people Norman and Stella Ingram.  They did not appear and I later learned that they did not come because Stella was unwell.  Dave and I spent the day in that space.  The would-be vendors eventually removed their cart of stuff from the space.  I do not know where they went.   Originally, they relocated to P-71, but when Dave went to get a picture of them and their stuff for identification purposes, an older man was selling sage there.

In mid afternoon, Officer Quesada drove by in an LAPD car with a male partner.  She appeared pleased to see that I had gotten one of those black spaces,  and I told her what had happened.  I said I would never put myself through that again.  She told me I could not save a space, just had to show up at 9:00AM.  She thought that was why the man was angry; but it was and remains clear to me that he was angry because he could not sell stuff in that space as he had been counting on.

Officer Quesada gave me another directive, the contents of which I do not recall, but I remember my reaction being:  You LAPD personnel really do get contradictory and conflicting orders!  She and her partner agreed.  Then she told me the black spaces were difficult and “they” were arranging a meeting to decide what to do with them.  I had been told earlier about the pending unscheduled meeting by Victor Jauregui of Recreation and Parks.  He said that Sgt. Reina was trying to set something up with LAPD, Recreation and Parks, the Councilman’s office and the City Attorney’s office.  When I asked if concerned citizens could be present, he replied that such presence would be “premature.”

For the duration of the day, I listened to Subramanian selling his incense and icons and assorted goods in P-75 and a black couple (whose names I do not know) selling incense, oils and chachkes in P-77.  Neither table had a donation sign out and both were giving prices when asked how much something cost.  Neither of them made any reference to donations.

So much for the P-Zone and donations only.  The only people who take donations only or nothing at all are the only people who are being given grief for exercising their constitutional first amendment right.

Towards the end of the day, I was walking down the Boardwalk with my “Free Speech is a right, not a lottery prize” sign, when visitors stopped me on two separate occasions.  Both expressed their disgust at what they saw on the Boardwalk.  It was not what they had been led to expect.

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July 4, 2010

Incident Report 7-4-2010 by Therese Dietlin

After being told, by Recreation and Parks (through Jingles – Robert Newman), that people like him and me were supposed to set up in the Pagoda areas, I set up in the Dudley Pagoda.  Originally, I was set up in my usual space just south of what the city (through Recreation and Parks) has euphemistically called “I-63.”  However, the individual in “I-63” took great issue with my being there, claiming it would “ruin his business,” it wasn’t even a space, and if I persisted, he would call the police as I had called them on him a week earlier.  Since I have never called the police about anybody being anywhere on the Boardwalk, I had no idea what he was talking about.  When I realized he was the person LAPD Officer Quesada had moved from an illegal occupation a couple weeks earlier in the First Amendment peoples’ favor, I began to understand.  I explained that I had never called anyone about anyone and that I would be very willing to move to the north side of the Pagoda if he could help me.  This he did, through his assistant, who carried one side of my already set up table.

Shortly after, Officer Quesada and Officer Briggs came through in their SUV.  I was off to one side speaking with someone when I saw the SUV slow and then stop.  I went over as Officer Quesada exited the vehicle and exclaimed, “You cannot be here!  You must move.”  I explained that Jingles had been informed by Recreation and Parks that he ought to be in the Pagoda and so I set up there.  Officer Quesada said, “You cannot be in the Pagoda.  I could write you a ticket.  This is the Fourth of July, a no-tolerance time.”  Then she said, “Set up behind Ibrahim.”  I told her Ibrahim was not there and that many of us were concerned about his failure to show up.  Finally, she said, “Set up over there, on the grass.  You can do that.”  So I moved my table over to the grassy area where people walk from the Rose Ave Parking lot to the Boardwalk.  (See photo.)

Shortly after this exchange, Norman and Stella, the Urantia people, arrived.  I explained what had happened.  City designated “I-64” was vacant, so I suggested they set up their table behind that space.  They did this. As the noon hour approached and no one came to claim the space, they moved into it entirely.  Later I joined them.

Officer Quesada said in response to my statement that we were supposed to be in the Pagoda areas that we could only do that if we weren’t taking donations.  Since donations cover the cost of my copying and elements of my display (but absolutely nothing else), I moved.  I did consider for a moment removing the donation jar for the day.  After all, getting my message out is why I am there, even though I need financial assistance to keep it going.  She then said I could roll up and down the Boardwalk and be okay. Finally, she said something about a table.  At that point, I was in complete overwhelm and missed the particulars about the table.  She and Officer Briggs continued south on the Boardwalk.

After I had moved my display to the grass, I saw an LAPD vehicle approach up the Boardwalk from the south. Thinking it was Officer Quesada and wanting to clarify the matter of the table, I approached the vehicle as it neared.  The driver was not Officer Quesada, but Officer Ramirez.  I told her of my earlier exchange with Officer Quesada and asked her if what I thought I had heard meant I could have a table in the Pagoda if I wasn’t taking money.  She and the officer with her (male) said people like me were supposed to be in the black spaces and we could only hand out free pamphlets, etc. from our organizations, NO DONATIONS.  I told her that I made copies of material I had and that donations kept me going.  She repeated, NO DONATIONS.  The Officer with her confirmed her statement.

They left, Norman, Stella and I spent the rest of the day in city-designated I-64.   Towards evening, Officers Quesada and Briggs came by in their SUV and asked me to get Anti-circumcision Dave out of the Pagoda and into the space as well.  This we did.

In a phone call with Sgt. Laura Curtin in the prior week, Sgt. Curtin had informed me that I COULD take donations in the black spaces.  No vending.  Since I don’t vend, that’s not a problem.  In the telephone exchange, we also talked about the Boardwalk in general and expressed a mutual desire to meet face to face.  Sgt. Curtin told me she would be on the Boardwalk on Sunday; I described my table and in the later afternoon, she came by and said hello.  She told me that her officers had informed her of their finding me a space.  Since they hadn’t found the space we were set up in, I was at first confused.  I later realized they were referring to the grassy area between the wall and the tree at the walkway to and from the Rose Ave parking lot.

——————————————

June 23, 2010

Incident Report 7-20-2010 by Therese Dietlin

On Sunday, June 20, 2010, Dave Bradt (Mr. Anti-circumcision), Norman and Stella (Urantia), and I (general political commentary)  were set up in the Sunset Pagoda area, as we had been led to believe by second hand reports from LAPD officers on the Pacific detail that we had every legal right to do.  Our displays were compact and did not impede any traffic into, out of , or through the Pagoda area.

Early in that afternoon, LAPD officer Quesada approached Dave Bradt as I watched from the other side of the pagoda area.  After a few minutes of observed discussion between Officer Quesada and Dave, I joined the exchange, explaining that I was part of the group who had opted to do this.

One of our justifications for being in the Pagoda was that the eight (8) black spaces purportedly set aside for first amendment people like us ((LAMC42.15 section B (5)) were all occupied by aggressive commercial vendors of various inclinations and that we had been informed we could set up in the Pagodas.  Officer Quesada, while being very sympathetic to our plight, told us that we had been misinformed.  We could NOT set up in the Pagodas.  If we were allowed to be there, soon many others would be vying for the spaces.

She told us we needed to go to the Rec and Parks Office on Windward Circle and ask them to make those black spaces available to us as LAPD had nothing to do with space allocation and usage.  I told her I was willing to move but would not do so until my partners returned from a rest room break;  the woman is 91 years old and I was not about to abandon her without telling her what was going on.

Shortly after, Officer Quesada returned to our little group in the Pagoda and told us she had found us a space but we needed to move there right away.  Dave and I gathered what we could of our displays and took them to the space Officer Quesada had cleared of an illegal vendor for us.

After moving all our stuff, Dave and I walked the Boardwalk to the Rec and Parks office to request that the people there remove the illegal vendors in the black spaces, with Dave taking pictures of the black spaces on the way. We hoped to document the evidence of unacceptable commercial vending in those spaces.  At space P-28 we encountered threats and hostility.  We later learned that one of the individuals involved threatened to “kill” us.

When we got to the the Rec and Parks office, it was closed and a message on the door gave the hours (for permit purchase) as Mon-Sat 12noon to 4pm.

We returned to our new space and reorganized our prematurely disrupted displays.

My usual routine is to walk the Boardwalk after I have dismantled and stored my display.  I look for plastic that may contaminate the ocean and kill our fish and fowl.  I also pick up discarded evidence of city-sanctioned commercial vending on the Boardwalk.  I now have two grocery bags full of “evidence,” should any civic minded soul care to look at it.  Last Sunday, I did not do this routine check. I did not feel safe after the verbal threats that I learned were directed at me.

We are concerned that:

  1. Commercial vendors are being allowed to occupy those black spaces, which have purportedly been set aside for First Amendment Free Speech Activists such as Dave, Norman, Stella and myself.
  2. That the people occupying those spaces feel free to threaten us with bodily harm when we gather evidence to support our claim.
  3. That Rec and Parks has let these commercial vendors occupy those eight spaces and sell with impunity for over two years, while we have been afraid to take them due to threats to our persons.
  4. We request that these spaces be identified in situ as available “for Free Speech Activity only; NO VENDING.”

We ask that this unacceptable and unconstitutional situation be remedied at once.

We further ask that steps be taken to insure our safety from assault or other harm while, before and after occupying those spaces.

In addition, we ask that those spaces be relocated further north on the Boardwalk where they will be less vulnerable to possible assaults to legitimate occupants by aggressive commercial elements masquerading as religious or other organization.

Thank you.

Therese Dietlin for VBBC

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December 20, 2009

The following is a report made by Therese Dietlin of VBBC to Los Angeles City Council in response to the hearing on December 15, 2009 in which the council considered the recommendation by the Dept. of Rec. and Parks to extend the P-Zone lottery on Venice boardwalk from the summer months to all year round. This would remove the last vestiges of the first-come-first-served system that has traditionally be used in the Free Speech Zone on the boardwalk. Considered by activists as a violation of First Amendment rights as the lottery system constitutes a ‘prior restraint’ on freedom of expression.

Report on Los Angeles City Council Hearing of Agenda Item 8 on 12-15-09 by Therese Dietlin

Robert Haskins reported that the lottery is needed year around in the P-Zone because of the number of applicants which exceed the number of spaces.

This is surprising for two reasons:

1 After Labor Day weekend, the P-Zone lottery applicants were sharply reduced. In the weekend lottery, there were generally only 2-3 cards left in the bin after all the spaces had been allotted. Unlike the tens of cards left prior to that time. Further, at least half of the cards in the P-Zone lottery, post Labor Day, were registered I-Zone vendos. Had they been refused their (illegal) opportunity to participate in the P-Zone lottery, there would have been many more spaces than applicants.

2 For the weekday lottery, spaces were allotted to all 50-60 applicants present and the remaining 40-50 spaces were left vacant. presumably on a first come first served basis. This was two months before the lottery was suspended in the P-Zone.

3 In informal talks with the Department of Recreation and Parks people, they made it clear that the problem on the Boardwalk was not the lottery, per se, but Deputy City Attorney, Mark Brown, who interfered with their implementation of the rules, confusing both interpretation and intent. In light of this, the fact that Robert Haskins would testify in his behalf at the city council meeting is troubling, to say the least.

Sgt. Reina testified that the lottery extension was needed because there had been assaults on the Boardwalk the previous spring, when the lottery had been suspended. He cited specifically March and April. He also testified that LAPD answered approximately 540 calls with regard to noise in a 20 month period. He did not, to my recollection, identify this 20 month period. He further stated that approximately half of them were for noise between 9pm and 9am. They involved musical instruments. He also stated that people needed to be kept from setting up in undesignated spaces because their presence hampered possible police activity. Let us address these issues:

1. Many regulars on the Boardwalk (pre-lottery) are aware of the assault issue. More to the point is to consider the type of person the lottery has attracted, who would engage in such violent activity as assault. The parties in mind were all lottery participants who would otherwise never have considered setting up in the Free Speech Zone (FSZ). These are exactly the type of “vendors” free expressionists are concerned about, and would like to see removed, permanently, from the FSZ. This is a non issue beyond that point.

2. If approximately half of the estimated 540 calls were for noise between 9pm and 9am, they are not relevant to the regular FSZ performers. That leaves approximately 270 calls to account for. Several of these can be attributed to the Dudley Court people complaining about Ibrahim and his performers, since the police show up regularly around 4:30 pm when the group is closing down. Ibrahim’s group is protected by a federal court order and only perform on weekends and holidays from 12 noon to 4:30 pm. All other times, any noise must be attributed to another source. There have been several, and they have all been silenced shortly after setting up. So, there are probably about 225 other calls to address. These the police must provide more information on in order for them to be addressed responsibly. As others have noted, Venice Beach Boardwalk is a public venue and noise is to be expected. People moving into the area need to know this. In addition, the issue of local pockets of noise leading to complaints seems to be a consequence of the lottery, suggesting if anything it is contributing to the problem, not addressing it. We are willing to work with everyone on this, but need more input and more willingness from the other contending parties. I would add further that. before the lottery and assigned spaces and micro-management, mimes would come routinely to the FSZ, set up in their one or two squares and do their spontaneous mime act – no noise, no disruption, but delight to the observers. They have been driven away by the current system.

3. The beach access issue is troubling. Huge swaths of the FSZ have already been designated as reserved for emergency access. They have removed, from public use, several feet of the FSZ that had been used by free expressionists, pre-permit/lottery. In those days, there did not appear to be a severe limitation on LAPD ability to move quickly and expeditiously from Boardwalk to beach and vice versa. In fact, in all the time that the emergency access routes have been designated, there is no reliable record of their having been needed. The police regularly move between beach and Boardwalk with no regard for those specific areas, calling into question their imminent need at all.

4. Last, Sgt. Reina’s testimony was surprising in that informal discussions with same have revealed a very real sensitivity to, and respect for, the Boardwalk as it was originally meant to be and, occasionally and in specific areas, still is. Further, as with Recreation and Parks, informal discussions with undisclosed sources have clearly indicated that at least some of LAPD Pacific Division regard Deputy City Attorney, Mark Brown, as the source of the current problems on the Boardwalk.

5. I would further add that other informal discussions with LAPD officers from the Pacific Division have led me to believe that the officers have an acute and sensitive awareness to commercial vending on the Boardwalk, and do not need the parameters spelled out to them. The current LAMC 42.15 and Mark Brown have precluded their enforcement of no commercial vending. Hence, once again, Mark Brown is the source of many of the difficulties currently in play in the FSZ on the west side of Ocean Front Walk.

I thank you for the opportunity to express these additional concerns to you. If the Venice Beach Boardwalk Coalition (VBBC) can be of any assistance in remedying the very distressing situation on the Boardwalk, please feel free to contact us. We are here to work with anyone who is willing to help restore the traditional free speech zone on the Boardwalk. It is our belief that the artists and performers will come back of their own accord when they are not being required to violate their first amendment right to free expression.

I would like this report included in comments on Agenda Item 8, 12/15/2009.

Contact: Therese Dietlin ~ email

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