By Greta Cobar
A lifeguard driving an L.A. County truck accidentally ran over a sunbather on September 15 at 4:25 pm near the intersection of Ocean Front Walk and Venice Blvd. Twenty-five year old Loraine Bermudez of Whittier suffered fractures and internal injuries, and was immediately transported to a hospital. Her injuries are not life-threatening.
The lifeguard stopped immediately after the accident, rendered help to Bermudez, and called for help. He had responded to a call about swimmers getting too close to the rocks just North of the Venice pier. Mass media initially reported that the accident happened while the lifeguard was driving towards the rocks, with his lights and sirens on. However, he struck her while he was driving away from the rocks, without lights or sirens.
The accident happened while Bermudez’s husband was in the ocean.
Just this past May a 49 year old woman was run over by a sanitation truck while sunbathing on the beach here in Venice.
The September 2013 Beachhead article titled “Increase Safety by Banning Police Cars on OFW” addressed the issue of danger from being run over by police and lifeguard vehicles (http://bit.ly/1rGP8EN). Both the recent and the May accidents are truly unfortunate. The fact is that there are way too many vehicles going way too fast on the sand and on OFW at almost all times. They all need to slow way down and reduce over-all traffic in general.
Is Mike Bonin, our City Councilperson, now planning on installing bollards all over the sand?
Following the August 3, 2013 death of Alice Gruppioni, who was run over by a mad man driving down OFW, Bonin ordered plastic bollards that fold to the ground when any car touches them to be installed all over OFW. In no time they became an eye-sore and a big tripping hazard. Bonin replaced them in April (http://bit.ly/1prLwmT) and they again became nothing but an eyesore and we ended up with even more tripping hazards. At Rose and OFW they were just replaced once again in September. How much did all of this cost?
At the October 29, 2013 Town Hall meeting the Venice community vehemently and overwhelmingly spoke against bollards and cameras on OFW (http://bit.ly/1vz5Kkp). Bonin requested the meeting and attended the first three quarters of it, but not with the goal of catering to the wishes of the community, like he’s supposed to. His motion before City Council to install cameras on OFW was introduced in August 2013, three months prior to the Town Hall (http://bit.ly/1rGP8EN).
Twenty new LAPD surveillance cameras are about to be installed on OFW and be monitored by officers at the Pacific Division’s Venice Beach Substation. Our City Councilperson is filling the post of our usual politician: using fear and safety pretenses to invade our privacy. Through increased government control Bonin is pretending to care about our safety while catering to Big Brother.
Public safety from government vehicles is not being addressed in spite of two women being run over in the past five months. But because a mad man drove on the sidewalk off Dudley St. in order to get around the permanent metal bollards that have been on Dudley and OFW for many years, we are going to be subjected to constant police surveillance in what truly has become a police state. Never mind that the cameras would not have prevented the mad man from doing what he did.
On August 1, during the First Friday madness on Abbot Kinney Blvd., a deep-fat fryer caught fire inside the Miami Nights food truck and ripped through the roof, rising four feet above the vehicle. The food truck was located at Abbot Kinney and Andalusia. Luck had it that it was only 7:12 pm, and the crowds had not arrived yet. Fire-fighting vehicles were able to reach the food truck and extinguish the flames before the propane tanks inside caught on fire. Had it been between 8 and 9 pm, the streets would have been grid-locked with vehicles, sidewalks would have been over-spilling with pedestrians, and food trucks would have been parked back-to-back up and down the street. Imagine the danger of that situation.
Bonin did not care to address that situation at all. However, fast forward four hours later, to 11 pm on August 1, and you could have found Bonin and his new husband on OFW because they got word of a mattress on fire. So Bonin proceeded to help actually lift the mattress off the ground and put it in a hauling truck while at the same time calling the situation on OFW “apocalyptical”.
Never mind that the fire rose only five inches above the mattress, created damage less than a foot in diameter, and was extinguished in a matter of a few short minutes. And never mind that only a homeless hater would set a mattress on fire – let’s blame the homeless! And let’s cater to the yuppies on Abbot Kinney and pretend that they didn’t almost set the city of Venice on fire.
During the January Venice Neighborhood Council meeting Bonin told the audience of his intent to remove personal belongings off OFW and enumerated his obstacles, such as legislature stating that the city can remove “abandoned materials”, but not “unattended materials”; that things have to be tagged before being removed; and that everything removed has to be stored by the city for 90 days before being discarded.
Fast forward to September 12, 2 am to 4 am on OFW, when an un-announced sweep took place that removed things without tagging anything. People sleeping on the side-streets off OFW wanted to go and grab their belongings before the things were taken away, but LAPD threatened them with arrest for violating the illegal curfew selectively enforced on OFW between midnight and 5 am.
A note was left stating that all items picked up were taken to the Temple St. warehouse.
Rachel Gomez, Ibrahim Butler’s partner, called the Temple St. warehouse to inquire about Ibrahim’s “Welcome to Venice” sign, one of the items confiscated September 12. The sign had been a fixture on OFW for two years, greeting visitors and providing photo-ops. It was recently featured in two movies, Ride and Undateable John.
“When I called the Temple St. warehouse, I was told that the item wasn’t there,” Gomez told the Beachhead.
It is our fault for allowing our elected officials to put us under surveillance 24 hours a day behind fabricated fear factors while the real dangers that our own government poses to us are shoved under some homeless person’s mattress.
I’m not even gonna go into advising you to contact Bonin or to elect somebody else. The fact is that the more disappointed we are with our elected officials and our government as a whole, the closer we are to a true People’s Revolution. So the less they appease us, the less time we’re gonna allow them to rule over us and destroy all of us in the process. Viva la Revolucion!
Who Pays for the Pigs?
Big Brother is here!
Cops see your underwear!
Pigs have eyes on the Ocean Front Walk
The ones of the Parks & Rec. even talk!
Cops have 20 new cameras to see your zits
Your gal doing the splits
And your wife’s tits!
Monitoring in real time
Looking for bikinis, butts and crime.
We’re all taped for them to see
If you fart, belch or pee!
Pick your nose and scratch your ass
Pull up your pants or fondle your lass.
They’ll see you talk to Joe Smoe or Bob the Bum
A movie star or some gutter scum.
Everywhere you go
They will know
If you smoke, do coke
Or take a pill for some ill.
Killers, thieves, rapists they’ll lock up in jail
Also homeless, nuts and hippies without fail –
And just try and get bail!
They’ll record vendors, tourists and stores
Musicians, artists, poets and whores.
They’ll see what you eat
Who you greet
Who has big feet
And dogs in heat!
Police watch all day
The poor and minorities will pay.
Peek a boo
I see you!
It’s true, pigs ain’t got a clue
What you do
But they’ll beat you black & blue!
Helicopters and drones fly by
Pigs spy, so say hi
Before you die! My, oh my!
Now nothing will escape Big Brother’s eye
So we can say to freedom and privacy – Bye, Bye!!!
– Moishe Pupik
Above: new, useless bollards just installed at Rose and OFW
Above: Bollards and broken bollards that are nothing but an eye-sore and tripping hazard
Above: Food truck on fire, Friday, August 1, Abbot Kinney Blvd.