Nine police officers in five squad cars showed up April 17 to restore public order on Westminster Avenue, between Speedway and Ocean Front Walk. The culprits this time turned out to be upstanding business owners from the block. The crime: no permit for playing music or otherwise having a good time.
There was one complaint that brought the gendarmes running, or driving. It was from Frank Lutz, the manager of the apartment building at 14 Westminster, known to some as the Dungeon and to others as the Morrison. Lutz told the Beachhead that the music was so loud that he couldn’t hear his television. He added that he is opposed to having an event on the street every month as planned, due to the number of apartments in the area.
However, Diane Adams and Jefferson Davis, who are the managers of The Waldorf Apartments at 5 Westminster, which overlooks the street support the events, which are intended to build community in this section of Venice. They gave each of their tenants a $10 gift certificate to be used for purchases from the merchants during the event.
The music, by The Whalens, with lead guitarist, Eric Soullivin, had just begun when it was stopped by LAPD Sergeant Teresa Skinner and her cohorts.
The organizers of the event had planned to follow the music with films, including one about the closing of the Lafayette Cafe, which used to be on the corner of OFW and Westminster. No music, no films, no event was allowed without official permits, said the cops.
Several of the organizers, including Jason Auer, manager of Groundwork Coffee, and James and Nina Merced, owners of the Fruit Gallery, are determined to continue the events every month. The next one would take place on the third Friday, which is May 15. See The Wonderful World of Westminster on page 6 of the August, 2008 Beachhead, <http://tinyurl.com/cavdpg> for more about this little community.