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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 16, 2012 | By Ari Bloomekatz, Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa will unveil a $16-million bike-share program Sunday that aims to put thousands of bicycles at hundreds of rental kiosks across the city. Initial plans are to add 400 stations and 4,000 bicycles over the next 18 to 24 months in areas around downtown Los Angeles, Hollywood, Playa del Rey, Westwood and Venice Beach. The private investment from Bike Nation will not need any city money, according to the mayor's office and the company. Bike Nation has agreed to a minimum contract of 10 years.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 15, 2012 | By Catherine Saillant, Los Angeles Times
Venice Beach resident Karen Wolfe says she will file a police complaint against a community activist and blogger who published on his website her name, address and a photograph of her home as a place where the homeless would be welcome to camp overnight. Mark Ryavec, president of Venice Stakeholders Assn., listed not only Wolfe's name and home address but also those of 10 other activists, journalists and politicians who he said shouldn't mind having the homeless set up tents and sleeping bags outside their doors because they had expressed sympathy for them.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 12, 2012 | By Martha Groves, Los Angeles Times
A British company's proposal to build an observation wheel about as tall as a 20-story skyscraper at Venice Beach has some residents' heads spinning at the prospect of more crowds, trash and noise. With enthusiastic support from Los Angeles park and tourism officials, Great City Attractions is seeking permission to operate a 200-foot-tall mechanical ride just west of the Venice Beach boardwalk at Windward Avenue. The attraction would consist of 42 enclosed, air-conditioned "capsules," each capable of accommodating eight people.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 8, 2012 | By Martha Groves, Los Angeles Times
A crackdown on Venice Beach homeless encampments and renegade vendors is pitting longtime residents and merchants against homeless advocates and younger transients. The Los Angeles Police Department enforcement efforts, begun almost two months ago, were spurred by mounting complaints from waterfront residents and business owners who said aggressive, intoxicated transients and violent disputes over vendors' spaces had made the boardwalk an increasingly lawless, frightening place.
OPINION
February 5, 2012
For as long as the Venice boardwalk has been an archetypal mix of California quirkiness and balmy beach, it has been a challenge for police to patrol and for residents to coexist with. The scenic promenade that is populated by day with chain-saw jugglers and pamphleteers is occupied at night by a mix of longtime homeless, young transients and vendors or their surrogates saving choice selling spots for the next morning. Residents complain about noise, fights and the boardwalk being used as a bathroom.
BUSINESS
December 14, 2011 | By Richard Verrier, Los Angeles Times
The crew of "NCIS: Los Angeles" was in the middle of filming a scene on the Venice boardwalk when a man wearing only his underwear and a cape rode by on his bicycle shouting obscenities. On another occasion, a stranger wielding a plastic light saber showed up on the set and challenged one of the actors to a duel, temporarily halting production. "Those kind of things continually go on in Venice, but we love going down there because it's so colorful and captures the essence of what people think Southern California is — the beaches, the sunshine, the palms and the craziness," said Tony Salome, location manager for the crime drama starring Chris O'Donnell and LL Cool J. Venice Beach, a storied cinematic backdrop since the silent film era, continues to play a starring role in Hollywood.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 13, 2011 | By Martha Groves, Los Angeles Times
The Los Angeles City Council on Tuesday unanimously approved an ordinance to limit commercial selling on Venice Beach's famed Ocean Front Walk. The ordinance is the latest in a series of efforts to tame the popular but unruly attraction, which draws about 16 million visitors annually but has lately seen more than the usual number of transients and violent crimes. The city's earlier attempt to impose a lottery and permitting system for the western side of the boardwalk was blocked in October 2010 by a federal court on the grounds that it violated the 1st Amendment.
BUSINESS
December 11, 2011 | By David Sarno, Los Angeles Times
The gig: In addition to being a senior engineering director at Google Inc., 47-year-old Thomas Williams is the site director for the company's newly opened 500-person campus near Venice Beach, where it develops video advertising for YouTube, pieces of the Google+ social network and the Chrome Web browser. After sifting through a pool of hundreds of potential properties for Google's L.A. location, Williams and his team settled on Frank Gehry's Binoculars Building, and redecorated the interior with touches that mixed Google's whimsical design tastes with hallmarks of Los Angeles culture.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 8, 2011 | By Jasmine Elist, Special to the Los Angeles Times
When Santa comes to Southern California, more often than not he's on a boat. We don't have white Christmases, but what we do have can be even better: sandy beaches, comfortable temperatures and the backdrop of spirited holiday boat parades. On Saturday, the 49th annual Marina del Rey Holiday Boat Parade circling the channel will comprise sailboats, yachts and charters decked out in holiday lights and decorations, blasting music and sporting spirited sailors. The event will kick off with a fireworks show, promptly followed by the two-hour parade and concluding with judging in categories such as best sail, music and spirit.
BUSINESS
November 3, 2011 | By David Sarno, Los Angeles Times
Google Inc. is about to add some muscle to its Southern California operations. On Thursday afternoon the company is hosting an opening event for its new 100,000-square-foot campus, located just a few blocks from Venice Beach. Speakers at the event will include Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, who plans to hail the new Google campus a sign of the progress of the city's technology industry, which advocates have begun to call "Silicon Beach. " Google first opened an office in L.A. in 2003 when it acquired Santa Monica-based Applied Semantics, and at that time had only a dozen employees in the area.
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