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Laura Shepard Townsend

DROUGHT STRATEGY: The Concrete Jungle?

By Laura Shepard Townsend While it is essential that we must all do our best to instigate drought strategies here in Southern California, it seems the answers, especially here in Venice, are bordering on a simplistic formula: the systematic destruction of plantings. Unfortunately this seems to be simultaneous with the destruction of so many of...

SMO: A PARK…..or BIZ AS USUAL?

By Laura Silagi and Laura Shepard Townsend After a flurry of litigation, in 1984, an agreement between the City of Santa Monica and the FAA was reached, which stated that Santa Monica had to operate the Santa Monica Airport (SMO) until 2015, at which time, Santa Monica would be permitted to cease airport operations. The...

History, Shmistory

By Laura Shepard Townsend They say “if you don’t learn from history…then you’re just stupid!” The changes currently assaulting the community of Venice, heralded as ‘progress’, call to mind 1926, a year of rabid dismantlement of everything Abbot Kinney, our enlightened doge-founder, wove into the fabric of Venice, a community he created to foster art,...

Activism, Art and Love in Venice

By Laura Shepard Townsend Let’s face it, Venice seems to have more than its share of artist/activists. And we are darn fortunate – Venice’s lure for such individuals not only infuses the community with a multiformity of artworks, but also endows the city with a hell of a lot of heart as people endeavor to...

Abbot Kinney to be Christmas Host

By Laura Shepard Townsend If you can spare a moment to contemplate Abbot Kinney’s Venice when he hosted the annual and most splendid Christmas Parties at the Venice Dance Pavilion….The local papers described it this way: “Nowhere else in this country could be witnessed such a sight as was presented in the Venice Dance Pavilion....

Assault of a Neighborhood

By Laura Shepard Townsend I saw they took the roof off Elinore Crawford’s house today. Oh, it’s only a house, I tell myself, but I know how much love Elinore poured into that house for many years. I am no practitioner of organized religion, but I do believe that houses possess spiritual essences of their...