Letters

Letters

Dear Beachhead – Erica Snowlake

Dear Beachhead – Lisa Green

Dear Beachhead – Don Schraier

Dear Beachhead – Stephen Lindow

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Dear Beachhead,

WOW!

A LOVE SUPREME! for a fantastically great issue of the Beachhead this moon! Y’all r rocking it! There’s so many amazing artists in Venice and I, for one, always thrill to learn more about them.

And, as always, The Beachhead is to be proudly commended for its enduring support and respect for those finding themselves…on the outside looking IN. Peace, Compassion and a Creative Reality-for-the-people and-of-the-people is the Spirit that will transform our nation!

Even as I’ve gone AWOL (always west of Lincoln….as far west as Hawaii these days…..), the Beachhead continues to transport me to the Venice-by-the-Sea of our dearest dreams.

Gracias! Kiss Kiss!

Erica Snowlake

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Dear Beachhead,

An LAPD Officer recently informed the owner of Henry’s Market, Shlya, that some neighbors nearby are calling in complaints about the people outside her store. Those people are often homeless, by our culture’s definition, and many have lived here in Venice for years. Also Shyla, whose father opened the store many years ago, is in a legal squabble with the landlord. Shyla says she’s being pressured by the landlord to move out. Shyla and her partner Rene are not giving up without a battle.  I want to assist them, will you join me?

Henry’s isn’t only a small business struggling to stay afloat with “big corporate” CVS a couple of blocks away, but now is having to address complaints about accepting E.B.T . For those of you that do not know, EBT is sorta like the “debit card of the poor”. I have an E.B.T card myself. Yeah, I receive public assistance to feed myself. I am not alone (check here for stats http://www.dss.cahwnet.gov/foodstamps/PG844.htm.)

The program is called Calfresh. The DPSS website states that the CalFresh Program helps to improve the health and well-being of qualified households and individuals by providing them a means to meet their nutritional needs. CalFresh benefits can be used to purchase foods for human consumption, and seeds and plants to grow food for household use. Rene has told me more than once that these days the majority of the business comes from those that use E.B.T. That includes housed and non housed E.B.T. recipients.

What makes Henry’s Market an even more important part of my existence is that Shyla added a kitchen some time ago to adapt to the times. I, along with others that meet the qualifications of restaurant meals program, can purchase hot meals, cooked to order, and salads including vegan and vegetarian options. Who’s qualified, you ask? Those defined as homeless, the elderly, and the disabled.  I usually go for the oatmeal with honey & fruit for breakfast, and the black bean burger and fries for lunch.  I buy a coffee or tea everyday, too.

Using my E.B.T. card at Henry’s Market is my way to support a local Venice business, and to utilize the public assistance that is a life line to many of us. Also,  I like Shyla and Rene. They’re good people. I encourage others to share their story. Let’s get them some media coverage, or call them at the number above to inquire about how to assist them. I work everday doing what I love, being an artist in Venice. I’m not going anywhere and I hope Henry’s Market isn’t either. Spread the word!!!

Definition at wikipedia

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gentrification

Calfresh program

http://www.calfresh.ca.gov/PG846.htm

Restaurant meals program

http://www.ebtproject.ca.gov/clientinformation/calfreshrmp.shtml

Henrys Market close to Rose Ave and Ocean Front Walk

9 Dudley Ave Venice, CA 90291

(310) 392-4365

Lisa Green, Venice Artist

Love is the strongest power in the universe

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Dear Beachhead,

When I was a kid, there were trolleys running down the Boardwalk from Bingo parlor to Bingo parlor, there was a salt-water plunge on the Boardwalk, Pacific Ocean Park pier was a little past Rose. The biggest concession on the beach was umbrella rentals.

Today there are clothing franchises (all the T-shirts and sweatshirts are exactly the same) usually owned by Asians and most of the entertainers have moved to the mall in Santa Monica where tips are better, but there are still pot clinics every fifty feet, and homemade art and jewelry on the beach side.

The canals used to be filled with tar-paper shacks in need of repair and the water was so dirty the ducks wouldn’t even swim in it. Today there are million dollar homes and the water is clean.

Venice has been changing ever since there was a Venice and to lament the old giving way to the new is an exercise in futility at best, and plain stupid at its worst.

I’ve been a resident here for forty years now and have seen Venice in all its incarnations, from Dogtown to a nice skate park, and all the rest. This is called  progress and as far as I know, there is no way to stop change, and as far as I can see, why would anyone in their right mind want to.

The people I know in Venice are still liberal and try to fight for the right things: gay rights, immigrant equality, fair taxes on the rich, the environment, and the betterment of the planet. The right for all good things to have a chance to exist.

The spirit of Venice is not being eroded and is definitely not disappearing. Venice has always had a Phoenix-like nature and rises from the ashes to become whatever new thing it becomes, and so should it be.

Welcome the new, whatever it is, and the spirit will stay alive.

Don Schraier

Pacific Avenue

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Dear Beachhead,

I picked up the latest issue and enjoyed its articles. The one on the gun debate was strong in that I’d not read a mention of another Civil War impending over the issue. I also enjoyed the anti-gentrification article —very interesting. I’ve recently moved to CA from FL, and I was happy to read a little about this history.

Stephen Lindow

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Categories: Letters

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