On Friday, March 7, the Dispatch received
an “alert” from Armen Melkonians, master-
mind and creator of Residocracy.org, a
“community network of residents.” which
has been collecting signatures on referen-
dum petitions (required: 6,100 signatures
in 30 days) in order to put the immense
Hines project on the fall ballot.
Four Council members, all of whom took
campaign contributions from developers’
PACs, though they are allegedly resi-
dents’ representatives, approved a De-
velopment Agreement for the Hines pro-
ject a couple of weeks ago, though
hundreds of residents had opposed the
mega-project from the moment it was
introduced several years ago.The ref-
erendum petitions will permit resid-
ents to finally have their say.
Melkonians’ “alert,” which called for
the referendum petitions to be turned
in on Saturday, March 8, was a major
story, a significant moment in Santa
Monica history and a giant step for
Since the Dispatch received the alert,
it is reasonable to assume that Surf
Santa Monica, the Santa Monica Daily
Press, the Santa Monica Mirror and the
Santa Monica Patch also received it,
but, as of now, Sunday, March 9, it
has yet to appear in any of their on-
They had room for a couple of puff
pieces about Assemblyman Richard Bloom,
and the color photos of food they all
seem devoted to, but no room for a ma-
jor story about a profoundly signifi-
cant and unique moment.
Thomas Jefferson said , “The basis
of our government being the opinion
of the people, the very first object
should be to keep that right, and
were it left to me to decide whether
we should have a government without
newspapers or newspapers without a
government I should not hesitate a
moment to prefer the latter.”
Not if the papers preferred photos
of food and pandering to power to
notes: see below for more Jefferson-
ian beliefs.And BRAVO to the Santa
Monica Transparency Group for tracking
and reporting campaign contributions,
and Melkonians for devising a new means
for residents to represent themselves.
On Tuesday night, March 11, the Santa Monica
Malibu Unified School District’s orchestras
will present their annual spring concert.
Orchestra Directors Joni Swenson and Jason
Aiello will be conducting their students in
this very special musical event.
It’s 7 PM Tuesday at Barnum Hall, Santa Mon-
ica High School campus, 601 Pico Boulevard.
Parking is available in the Fourth Street
Parking Structure – a short walk from Bar-
Daylight Saving Time begins at 2 AM Sunday
morning, March 9. Set your clocks and watches
one hour ahead, and enjoy the extra hour of
sunlight — until November 2, when we’ll be
in the dark again.
Coincidentally, the L.A. Marathon begins
Sunday morning in downtown Los Angeles and
ends in Santa Monica on Ocean Avenue at Cal-
Many streets on and adjacent to the runners’
route will be closed for all or much of the
day. We could list all of them, but the full
list would only depress you and compound your confusion. Think of yourself as a stranger in
a strange land, and don’t make any appoint-
ments that can’t be broken.
When wrongs are pressed because it is believed
they will be borne, resistance becomes morality.
If A Nation Expects To Be Ignorant And Free, in
a state of civilization, it Expects What Never
Was And Never Will Be.
When the people fear their government, there is
tyranny; when the government fears the people,
there is liberty.
A COMMUNITY NETWORK OF RESIDENTS
It’s time to turn in your referendum peti-
tions.Every signature counts, but it will
only count if you turn it in on time.
Thank You, Santa Monica residents, for an
Residocracy.org is asking everyone to re-
turn their petitions by today, Saturday,
Please return your petition to one of two
1. 1608 Montana Avenue from 10:00 am to
6:00 pm. (Kate Bransfield’s office on the
south side of the street between 16th and
2. 2309 26th Street from 9:00 am to 6:00
pm (private residence between Pico and Pearl)
Thank you so much for all of your hard work
in getting your friends and neighbors to
sign the referendum petition so that we as
Residents can have a say in how our City is
Based on all of our efforts we expect to ex-
ceed our goal, but remember – Every signa-
ture counts, but it will only count when you
turn it in on time.
If, for any reason, you cannot return the
petition by March 8 at these two locations,
please call Tricia Crane at (310) 729-3515
to make alternate arrangements.
Armen Melkonians, Founder, Residocracy
Copyright © 2014 Residocracy, All rights
Our mailing address is: Residocracy, 1112
Montana Ave, #358, Santa Monica, CA 90403.
Add us to your address book
Email Marketing Powered by MailChimp
A 3.2 earthquake located a couple of miles
east of the Marina rattled Santa Monica briefly early Friday evening
The Veterans Mobile Museum will display a por-
tion of the “Wall That Heals” on the grounds
of the Veterans Hospital in West Los Angeles
for 24 hours — from 5 pm, Friday, March 7,
to 5 pm, March 8.
The event is open to the public and there is
no charge to attend. The display is located
north of Wilshire in the west parking lot at
11500 Nimitz Avenue.
The California Department of Veterans Affairs,
Veterans Home of California in West Los Ang-
eles, is hosting the exhibit of the Vietnam
Veterans Memorial Foundation’s mobile museum
and two panels of the “Wall That Heals,” a re-
plica of the Vietnam Memorial Wall in Washing-
The Foundation oversees the Vietnam Memorial
in Washington, D.C. and takes a full replica
of the “Wall That Heals” on tour around the
Santa Monica Coalition for a Livable City’s
detailed study of the recent City Poll of
residents confirms what we knew: Residents
reject greater heights and densities for
In September 2013, the City authorized
$32,000 to pay for a professional survey of
the opinions of 500 Santa Monica residents
about development of our Downtown. The re-
sults were just released and SMCLC has stu-
died them in detail.
Despite some biased and one-sided questions,
the poll shows what residents have repeated-
ly told staff, consultants, the Planning Com-
mission, and the City Council — that they
overwhelming reject taller heights and more
dense development; want any growth to be
within existing zoning for the downtown
(6-7 stories); reject “community benefits”
as a basis for justifying hotel/luxury con-
do projects of 20 stories or more, and want
the existing traffic and parking problems
in the Downtown remedied, not exacerbated by
SMCLC’s letter to the City Council analyzing
the poll results is at http://www.smclc.net/DowntownPollResults.pdf Please take a mom-
ent to read it and pass it on to your neigh-
bors and friends.
The Daily Press got it right in June 2013
after the City announced its intentions to
fund this survey. In an editorial titled
Aren’t They Listening at City Hall?” the
editor wrote that residents have stated re-
peatedly at public meetings that they want
less development in the City and then ended
with this comment about the City’s survey:
“To call for a survey seems to be a slap
face to all those residents who take time
away from their families and their careers
to participate in community and council meet-
ings to express their views. It’s as if
the council is saying that the opinions of
those who actually give a damn don’t matter,
while those who sit back and bury their heads
in the sand are somehow more informed and
educated and therefore should be given ample opportunities to express themselves. We
can’t go for that!”
Not surprisingly, the survey results confirm
that residents are not divided by age or race
or gender on this critical issue of the amount
of development for our Downtown; there is no
“silent majority” that supports tall build-
ings on the so-called “Opportunity Sites” for
any of the reasons offered in the survey, in-
cluding community benefits or architecturally distinctive buildings. http://smdp.com/arent-they-listening-at-city-hall/123886
Final Referendum Petition Signature Gathering
Push by Residents Citywide
This is the last, critical week to sign the
referendum petition launched by Residocracy.org.
It will enable the City Council to rescind the
behemoth Hines project or allow residents to
vote on it in November. If you haven’t had a
change to sign – you can head over to Coldwell
Banker’s office at 1608 Montana (staffed 9am to
6pm weekdays). Signature gatherers are still
out and about at post offices, pharmacies and
grocery stores so please look for them or check
with your friends and neighbors — hundreds of residents are supporting this effort.If you’re circulating a petition, you need to turn it in
by Monday, March 10th at the Coldwell Banker
office above and complete your declaration pro-
Thanks for all you are doing! We will update
you on these important events.
Ruskin Group Theatre will present the world
premiere of TALHOTBLOND by Katherine Bates,
, March 7,
An Emmy Award-winning journalist, Barbara
Schroeder, stumbles on a story unlike -
she has encountered before….
Playwright Kathrine Bates has crafted this
stunning account of lust, lies, fantasies,
sex and obsession, and an erotic relation-
ship on the Internet, which nevitably lead
to explosive consequences.
Based on a true story, and directed by Bev-
erly Olevin, it will run Fridays, Saturdays
at 8pm, and Sundays at 2pm through April 26.
Ruskin group Theatre is located at 3000
Airport Avenue, Santa Monica.
Bates said, “Chills went up my arm when I
first heard this ‘ripped from the headlines’
story. Barbara Schroeder approached me a-
bout turning her documentary, into what
could be a smashing theatre piece. It was
edgy, contemporary, and I became immediate-
ly passionate about creating the play.” –
Tickets are $25 ($20 for students, seniors,
and guild members) and can be purchased in
advance by calling (310) 397-3244. For
more information please visit www.ruskingrouptheatre.com. Free parking
is available at the theater.
RUSKIN GROUP THEATRE launched the world pre-
miere of Rex Pickett’s “Sideways The Play,”
picked up by La Jolla Playhouse and now
slated for Broadway, as well as last season’s “Paradise: A Bluegrass Musical Comedy.”
Ruskin’s Healing Through The Arts program
brings its actors into Mattel Children’s Hos-
pital UCLA to work with and entertain the
The CAFÉ PLAYS, created by RGT are produced
monthly by writers, actors, and directors
who are given a theme at 9 am. and must
write, produce, and perform a show by 7pm
the same day. When celebrating their 8th
anniversary, RGT supporters Ed Asner, Dylan
McDermott, Chris Mulkey, Olivia d’Abo, and
other industry celebrities joined to produce
the Best of Café Plays. Anthony Hopkins,
Anthony Franciosa, David Mamet and Ed O’Neill
are among the notable actors who have taught
at the Ruskin School master classes.
Follow the Ruskin Group Theatre on Twitter @RuskinGroupThtr, and like us on Facebook.com/RuskinGroupTheatre
¡Hugo Chávez presente!
July 28, 1954 – March 5, 2013
A Lesson in Participatory Democracy
Saturday, March 8,2014 – 7:00 PM,
Doors Open at 6:30 PM
At The Home of Rachel & Jay, 601 9th Street,
Santa Monica,One Block E. of Lincoln, One
Block N. of Montana, Southeast Corner. Easy
Before Film,: Meet at Izzy’s Deli,
15th and Wilshire, 5:00 PM. Free street park-
ing at Izzy’s Deli, rear lot, computer store
lot on 15th.
After Film: Discussion with end the embargo
on CUBA COFFEE.
Must RSVP to: RachelJay@earthlink.net or
310-780-7363 (First 20)
“Venezuela Rising” (66 min 2006)
Producer Catherine Murphy (Maestra)
How does “participatory democracy” work in
the streets of Caracas? Follow community
organizer Gladys Bolivar and her comrades in
the run up to the National Referendum on
President Hugo Chavez. Will it be “SI”-yes
recalled, or “NO”- remain in office?
The future of their country is at stake.
What constitutes a free and fair election?
Will the election ensure citizen partici-
pation? Are elections the ultimate meas-
ure of a thriving democracy?
Director Jennifer Wagler. Writer/Editor
Eva Goldberg. English and Spanish Subtitles
$5 Donation for The Defense Of The Cuban 5
In September 1998, five Cubans were arr-
ested in Miami by FBI agents. Gerardo Her-
nandez, Ramón Labañino, Fernando Gonzalez,
Antonio Guerrero and René Gonzalez were
accused of the crime of conspiracy to com-
Rene’ González Sehwerert and Fernando Gon-
zalez are back in Cuba after serving 13
and 15 years of an unjust sentence.
Gerardo Hernández:”We will always be the
The Committee for Racial Justice will host a
panel presentation and community discussion
on “How Media Shapes Racial Images” on Sunday
The panel discussion will focus on the effects
of racial images on the viewing audience and
how those images shape our perception of our-
selves and others.
The discussion will be moderated by Isidra
Person-Lynn, the Communication Specialist for
Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and
Science, whose career has been primarily in
radio, public relations, and news media.
Panelists will include Dr. Shani Byard, fou-
nder of Message Media Ed, a professional de-
velopment training company designed to coun-
ter media’s negative perception of black
youth; Tricia Cochee, a writer, blogger, and
cultural arts producer; and Peter Harris,
founder and artistic director of Inspiration
House, who has worked as a publisher, jour-
nalist, editor and broadcaster.
This very important and timely discussion
will be held Sunday,March 9, at the Thelma
Terry Center, 2200 Virginia Avenue, Santa
Monica. Potluck supper at 6 p.m. The prog-
ram will begin at 6:30.
For information call: 310-422-5431
Don’t forget to set your clocks back an hour
Saturday night or early Sunday a.m. as Day-
light Savings Time returns.
Clergy and Laity United for Economic Justice,
Los Angeles and local community leaders will
stand with DoubleTree Suites hotel workers at
an Ash Wednesday church service Wednesday, Mar.
5, at noon, on 1707 4th Street in Santa Monica.
Dozens of community members, clergy in litur-
gical garb, elected officials and area hotel
workers will gather in front of the Double-
Tree Suites Hotel in Santa Monica to offer a
special Ash Wednesday Prayer Service and Im-
position of Ashes for hotel workers and comm-
unity members. The service, which will be op-
en to any who choose to participate, has been
described as “a deeply moving and important
spiritual ritual marking the beginning of the
Christian liturgical season of Lent.”
The community prayer service is a response to
some workers’ recent allegations that they’ve
been denied appropriate rest breaks. On Febr-
uary 18, workers reported break violations to
hotel managers and filed complaints with the
California State Division of Labor Standards Enforcement. California law allows workers two 10-minute breaks and one 30-minute break in an eight-hour shift. According to the law, for
every day that a 10-minute break is missed,
the worker is entitled to one hour of back pay
from the employer.
“The Imposition of Ashes on Ash Wednesday is a
ritual emphasizing the duality of confession
and reconciliation and is honored by millions
of Christians around the world.
The Ashes are imposed in the sign of the cross
on believers’foreheads as visible reflections of
“The religious community will stand with Double-
Tree Suites workers as they seek change at the
hotel.Together we are entering a season of great change, and we pray for resolution and reconci-
liation,” said Rev. Janet McKeithen, Pastor of
the historic Church in Ocean Park.
After the approval of the “Hines Bergamot
Transit Village” (BTV) by the City Council
a few weeks ago, many residents are still
scratching their heads.
Hines did their job: maximize profits for
their investors. Four members of the Coun-
cil, however, failed to do theirs: create
a Development Agreement (DA) that insures
the project’s completion, compatibility
with the City’s fabric and its ability to
mitigate the traffic it will generate.
If built as designed, the new Hines Proj-
ect will have a net area of 765,905 sq.ft,
reach over 85’ in height and cover nearly
three football fields.
At the meeting where the final approval
was given, Council members seemed resigned
to the project as the only viable alte-
In fact, there are many other options, all
of them better than a project that will gen-
erate an additional 7,000 new car trips dai-
ly in our already congested city and strain
our precious water resources at a time of
The alternatives range from lower scale pro-
jects with less density to the adaptive
reuse of the existing Paper Mate structure.
An adaptive re-use project could be complet-
ed “in one go” and would bear the closest
resemblance to the dynamic “Village” atmos-
phere envisioned by the LUCE.
To describe the current BTV project as a “Vil-
lage” is a joke. If Hines were to complete
only the large office structure (33% of the
entire project), perhaps Bergamot Transit
“Travesty” would be a better name for the
Building that will not include ANY housing
and will generate the MOST traffic.
The fact that this building will also be the
most profitable could reduce Hine’s incentive
to complete the remainder of the project. Af-
ter they have their office building, the pro-
mised housing and Community Benefits might
In a worst-case scenario, the community would
be left looking at a large office building ad-
jacent to a vacant lot and/or abandoned Paper
Mate building for up to ten years… if no one
steps up to complete the project. Are there
any penalties or clauses that might prevent
this from happening? No.
In fact, Hines has already written into their
Agreement with the City that they are under
no obligation to build anything further and
will suffer no penalties it they decide not
to do so.
As it stands, Hines is getting everything up-
front while the residents will be left with
massive traffic and no assurances that they
will ever get additional housing or community benefits.
This is NOT a good deal for the residents of
Santa Monica… and they are understandably upset
by the City’s enthusiasm for a project that
will increase the tax base but could forever
change the City in the process.
What are the options for those who still op-
pose this ill-conceived project?
There is only one — pass a Referendum by sign-
ing a petition that would annul the current
Agreement or put it to a citywide vote. There
are 30 more developers with similar projects
in the wings waiting to see if the residents
will be successful with this Herculean task.
If we fail the, floodgates could open. If we
succeed, we will have regained our voice to
shape the City’s future.
We urge all residents to FIND ONE OF THE MANY
PETITIONS BEING CIRCULATED and SIGN IT! For
more information visit Residocracy.org.
SMa.r.t. (Santa Monica Architects for a Res-
Thane Roberts AIA, Architect
Ron Goldman FAIA, Architect
Mario Fonda-Bonardi AIA
Robert H. Taylor AIA
Daniel Jansenson, Architect
Armen Melkonians, Civil and Environmental
Phil Brock, Recreation & Parks Commission
BEST PICTURE: 12 Years a Slave
BEST ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE:
Matthew McConaughey, Dallas
BEST ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE:
Cate Blanchett, Blue Jasmine
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR:Jared
Leto,Dallas Buyers Club
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS:
Lupita Nyong’o, 12 Years a
BEST DIRECTOR: Alfonso Cuaron,
BEST COSTUME DESIGN: The Great
BEST MAKE-UP & HAIRSTYLING:
Dallas Buyers Club
BEST SHORT FILM (ANIMATED):
BEST ANIMATED FEATURE FILM:
BEST SHORT FILM (LIVE ACTION):
BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT SUBJECT:
The Lady in Number 6: Music
Saved My Life
BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE:
20 Feet from Stardom
BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM:
The Great Beauty (Italy)
BEST SOUND MIXING:
BEST SOUND EDITING:
BEST VISUAL EFFECTS:
BEST FILM EDITING:
BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN:
The Great Gatsby
BEST ORIGINAL SCORE:
BEST ORIGINAL SONG:
Let It Go – Frozen
BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY:
John Ridley, 12 Years
BEST ORIGINAL SCREEN-
PLAY: Spike Jonze,Her
March 1-15, 2014, Sponto Gallery, 9 Dudley
Ave, Venice, free admission Laughtears.com.
Opening reception: Sat, March 1, 6-10pm,
Poetry and Dance Party: Sat, March 8, poet-
ry ~ 6-7:30pm, dance ~ 7:30-10pm, with DJ
for the dance party is Reverend Dan – http://musicfornimrods.net/ )
Closing bash: Sat, March 15 ~ 6-10pm.
Over the last two decades, three group art
shows entitled, “It Came From Venice” were
held at Sponto Gallery. The fourth install-
ation will include additional events. A va-
riety of stellar Venice musicians will pro-
vide entertainment for both the opening and
Participants in the Poetry Reading on March
8 who read their original or non-original
poem(5 minute limit), will qualify for
entry in a raffle for a $50 prize. Recita-
tions of poetry works by known Venice West
Café and Venice poets are encouraged.
The mélange of local Venice artists, paint-
ers, photographers, musicians and poets will
summon and celebrate the Spontaneous and
Pronto spirit that has overtaken Dudley Ave-
nue. Now is the Time.
In the tradition of the Venice West Cafe
(the legendary Beat hang-out at 7 Dudley
Ave, aka Sponto Gallery from 1984-2008),
the Venice underground celebrates the lib-
eration of creativity. The 9 Dudley loca-
tion has been christened “Sponto Gallery”
for this two-week celebration.
Featuring artists: Sean Boyce, Jason Chri-
sman, Vincent Digaetano, Mark X Farina,
Gerry Fialka, Randi Hall, Dave Healey,
Hillary Kaye, Barbara Mastej, B. Meade,
Margaret Molloy, photographs, John Ransom,
Gineva Simmons, Ned Sloane, Dougo Smith,
and Andrea Wittenberg.
Live music by Black Shoe Polish, Venice
Street Legends, Eddy LaGrossa, Slavin’
David, Suzy WIlliams, Peter and Hailey
emian, Eric Ahlberg, Sam Clay, Merritt
Evan Raff, The NIcknamers and more.
The Venice community continues to celeb-
rate the generous spirit of legendary art-
ist/curator Mark “Sponto” Kornfeld, who
nurtured the creative and Love community
in Venice, California for 24 years at his
7 Dudley Avenue gallery. This same loca-
tion housed the infamous Venice West Cafe
from 1958 to 1966. It was one of the key
epicenters for the burgeoning free-spiri-
ted literature and art movement on the
West Coast. The Beats shared their explo-
ration themes such as spirituality, envi-
ronmental awareness and political activ-
Years later, Sponto felt the sacred ground
bubbling up from the Beat roots, and cre-
ated a space to continue in their tradition.
The Venice West Café was the hang-out for
many creative people including artist Wal-
lace Berman, photographer Charles Brittin,
underground film star Taylor Mead, jazz
shaman-comedian Lord Buckley, photographer-
filmmaker Leland Auslender, artist Earl
Newman, photographer Harry Drinkwater,
Robby Kreiger & John Densmore of The Doors,
musician Bob Romeo, songwriter Eden Ahbez
(writer of Nat King Cole’s hit Nature
Boy), prop designer-mad scientist Larry
Albright, artist Eric “Big Daddy” Nord,
sculptor Ron Boise, Ed Cassidy (drummer
forSpirit), jazz icon Art Pepper, Larry
Lipton (author of The Holy Barbarians),
comedian Mort Sahl, drummer Tambu, author
Clifford Irving, artist George Herms, au-
thor Charles Foster, politicians Al Mat-
thews & Jack Hampton, and social worker
This unique historical arena was a nurt-
uring, stomping ground for many poets,
including: Susan & Stuart Z. Perkoff,
Tony Scibella, Frank T. Rios, John Tho-
mas, Anna & John Haig, Aya, Saul White,
William Margolis, Clair Horner, Danny
Propper, Maurice Lacy, Jack Hirschman,
MC Ford,Larry Lake, Bob Alexander, and
Numerous groundbreaking poets and artists
drew their inspiration amongst the group,
including John Altoon, and Philomene Long.
It’s rumored that Jack Kerouac, Allen Gins-
berg, Lenny Bruce, Leonard Cohen may have
hung out there, too.