• Campaign Spending – Sandra Chen Lau
  • Unenvironmental Advertising – Pirco
  • Police Brutality – Name Withheld
  • Michael McGuire – Dennis Stankie

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Campaign Spending

Dear Beachhead,

I appreciate the article Jim Smith wrote in regards to the 53AD Assembly race.  Lots of money were raised and spent.

However, the article reported that James Lau, who came in second, ranked #2 in money spent. This is inaccurate. Nick Karno who came in third spent more money than James Lau.

Here’s the link:

http://www.electiontrack.com/district.html?oc=AD53

Thank you,

Sandra Chen Lau

The writer responds:

At the time of our deadline for the article in June, filings by “independent” committees supporting various candidates had not be completed.

In those late filings, Lau did inch ahead of his fellow Venetian, Karno. Lau’s “independent” support came from medical associations, Asian-American businesses and the Apartment Association, while Karno’s came from labor unions. This minor “tweak” does not invalidate my contention that politicians buy elections, even in Venice.

Jim Smith

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Unenvironmental Advertising

Dear Beachhead,

I couldn’t help but notice the hundreds – if not thousands – of small plastic American flags strewn all over Venice, by “Tony,” the other day along with a card wishing a Happy 4th of July from his family to ours.

Times are tough these days, and as a business owner, myself, I understand the need to market and advertise services. But I’m concerned with his choice. Two days after his campaign was launched, I already see many of these flags in the gutters and blown all over the sidewalks, certain to end up in the ocean. In addition to the plastic, the flag is attached to a real wooden handle/pole.

Surely he must be aware how much this community cares about the environment. I’ve talked to several neighbors who share my concern about these flags and we’re saddened to see so much imperishable waste, and the wasting of precious resources.

Perhaps he would consider organizing a “Beach Clean-up” event or similar positive campaign to help counterbalance the negative impact of these plastic flags. In any case, I hope that in the future he might consider more environmentally friendly ways to promote his services.

Kind regards, pirco

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Police Brutality

Dear Beachhead,

I was recently in the shopping center at Lincoln and Rose having a good old time, when I saw not one, but two acts of police brutality. The first was a man and a woman being handcuffed by two undercover police officers. I would have ignored it, but I was taken aback by the car that the two officers were driving: it looked like a sleeper’s van. With beat-up bumpers, scratches and a Mexican straw hat on the dashboard, I would have never second-guessed it to be an undercover cop car.

Just when I thought no one else was noticing, I saw a pedestrian taking a picture of the scene. But the policemen, looking more like out-of-shape trouble-makers than cops, started snapping pictures of the pedestrian. The pedestrian was then quickly approached by one of police, who put his face just a few inches away from the pedestrian’s face in an intimidating fashion and threatened to take them to jail if they continued to take pictures of him or his car. The pedestrian appeared to play it cool instead of becoming confrontational, but legally we all have a right to take pictures of anything that is happening in a public place. Far from it being grounds for arrest, it is actually the only thing that has been able to prove police brutality.

After the cops took off, I went back to talk to the people who had been handcuffed and get a scoop on the situation. As it turns out the gentleman, David Garcia, has been a local at Lincoln and Rose for 42 years playing guitar, washing windows or cars, helping people, and overall being “the last of the true troubadours.” He and his lady friend were just driving down the street when the undercover police car started following them and then asked them where the drugs are. Mr. Garcia told the policemen that he does not know where the drugs are and that he does not have any, but the policemen proceeded to search his vehicle while he was standing against his vehicle, with his lady friend, both handcuffed.

After not finding any drugs in the car, and because Mr. Garcia chose to be cooperative instead of hostile, the cops took off with the same bad attitude that they arrived with. However, Mr. Garcia was left feeling embarrassed, degraded and violated, wondering, “Why did they handcuff me?”

I can’t help but feel bad for the innocent pedestrians involved and wonder how similar situations can be prevented.

Sincerely,  A Concerned Venetian

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Michael McGuire

Dear Beachhead,

This week the Los Angeles City Council voted to embellish a $50,000 reward for information leading to the killers of Michael McGuire. I became interested in this story after reading about it in the Beachhead, the Venice beach paper. I ride my bicycle around this area, going to In & Out and Starbucks. It was with great sadness I understood this tragic event that claimed this young man’s life.

Last weekend I went to the service at the Venice pier, where his surfer buddies gathered. I have been by the memorial on Louella Street several times, including last night, and I have interviewed about a dozen people. So far I have not reached any conclusions. The information I have been able to gather from the streets is hardly evidence. For about three weeks I have been studying the writing on the internet. Again, hardly any evidence or anything NEW. As a result, I applaud the city of L.A. for putting up this reward.

In a city with countless unsolved cases, Michael McGuire’s killers do not have to get away with this tedious act. I saw 400 of his friends gather at the beach. One man on Louella Street said what is true: “The streets have ears.” Someone saw something or has heard something. Each detail of that evening needs to be examined and re-examined to create descriptions of the suspects, the vehicle and the weapon used.

I applaud the media for its limited coverage of these events. The real source of truth in solving this crime lies in the community. Those individuals with countless details need to talk and write until fear and doubt become nil and void. If we let fears and doubts about Michael McGuire’s death control this investigation, we will be siding with the killers. Our fears and doubts will be their biggest defense. Come forward and shine the light on the despicable creeps.

Dennis Stankie

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