By Krista Schwimmer
Update on August 7th Boardwalk Beating
Last month, the Beachhead reported on the LAPD’s tazing and beating of Arrington Samuel Calhoun – a disabled, African-American, homeless man who had simply been sleeping under an umbrella, according to several witnesses. With the help of Nazareth Haysbert, an attorney at Khorrami Boucher, LLP, we now know that his name is actually Samuel Arrington Calhoun. Nazareth told the Beachhead that Samuel had indeed been arrested on August 7. He was then kept in Los Angeles County jail until September 17, when he was released. Just why Calhoun was arrested in the first place is still unknown. Nazareth, whose practice focuses on civil rights, class action ligation, and mass tort litigation, also expressed interest in continuing to help uncover what happened.
Although Nazareth was able to track down a sister in Columbia, South Carolina, as well as a local family who has befriended Samuel, none of these people have seen or heard from Samuel since his release. If anyone in the community has seen or heard from Samuel, please contact the Beachhead.
VNC: Rejections & Remorse
At the October meeting of the Venice Neighborhood Council (VNC), several building projects were rejected. The first, 600 Mildred, or “Kim’s Market”, was halted when the motion to deny the project passed, 12-1-2. Before casting his vote, Ira Koslow, Community Officer, said he thought that this project was a result of running out of space on both Rose Avenue and Abbot Kinney Boulevard. The proposed project would be an incursion into a residential area. “It’s unconscionable to destroy the neighborhood like that,” Ira concluded. Another proposed single family residence at 1620 Electric Avenue was also denied by a vote of 12-2-1. During public comments for this project, Grey and Debra Marshall, the couple living in the so-called gargantuan home next to the proposed 1620, spoke against the project. “My home should never have been built,” Debra stated. Two wrongs, however, don’t make a right. Marc Saltzberg, Vice President, agreed with Debra, saying the VNC should not have allowed two of the houses built on Electric to go through. The architect representing 1620 later that night called VNC “a court of subjectivity.”
That night, VNC also passed a motion related to short term rentals. The motion included sending a letter to the L.A. City Council Sharing Economy Work Group asking to be included in the Group’s preparation report, as well as a recommendation that this Group “carefully research and analyze the impact of non owner-occupied short-term rentals on the availability of long-term housing stock in Venice, the number of rent controlled units in Venice, and on the quality of life and socio-economic diversity in Venice’s residential neighborhoods (including commercial zones with rent-controlled properties).”
Before the night ended, VNC also voted 14-0-1 to request the early opening of West Side Winter Shelter at the West LA National Guard Armory. The date requested is on or before November 1, 2014 rather than December 1. The VNC also recommends extending the closing date past March 1, 2015.