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Showing posts with label Featured Stories. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Featured Stories. Show all posts

This intimate feature documentary, UNZIPPED focuses on one of the country’s most iconic and increasingly income divided zip codes, Venice CA 90291. Once a mecca for artists, outsiders and a thriving Black community, Venice is now the frontline for America’s heated battles over gentrification, affordable housing, and homelessness.

With moving, personal profiles of families who struggle to remain in their rapidly gentrifying neighborhood, to bitterly contested community fights over a proposed homeless shelter, UNZIPPEDexplodes stereotypes and humanizes the lived experiences of people caught in the cross-fire of America’s growing housing divide. A topical local lens on this alarming humanitarian issue, UNZIPPEDis an urgent call to action for more equitable housing solutions for every community in America and around the globe.

The film is now avaliable on Amazon.


The American Shore & Beach Preservation Association raises the first-ever Blue Flag on the West Coast today at Westward Beach!

The Blue Flag is an international symbol of clean and well-maintained beaches; this is the first year that any beach in the U.S. has received a Blue Flag.

Malibu Councilmembers & City Manager were on hand as Westward Beach was 1 of 2 beaches in the US to get the Blue Flag Award for environmental education, info & management; safety & services; social responsibility & responsible tourism. were toild what happened). Also, another witness said a man who seemed like he was the apartment manager came out and spoke to the parents, telling them the owner wants them gone. Good riddance, they were stealing from all over the neighborhood. F'em.

For more info about the award Click Here:

Epic day to end the West Coast Board Riders Final event of the '22/'23 qualifying season at Zuma Beachon Saturday, May 13th.

Huntington Beach Board Riders took first place, with Malibu's Northern LA Board Riders placing second.                                                                

Epic day to end the West Coast Board Riders Final event of the '22/'23 qualifying season at Zuma Beach on Saturday.

The West Coast Board Riders 2022-2023 regular season concluded on May 13th, as the North Central Region event #2 “A New Earth Project @ Zuma” went down under cloudy skies and glassy 2-3 foot surf at Tower 12 at Zuma Beach.
Huntington Beach Board Riders took first place, with Malibu's Northern LA Board Riders placing second. 3rd and 4th places went South Bay Boardriders and Seal Beach Boardriders.

Huntington Beach Board Riders and Northern LA Board Riders are guaranteed a spot in the Wheat Cup Championship starting on Thursday May 25th at Lower Trestles, where they will be battle the top clubs from other regions in California, with the top 3 from that advancing to the US Board Riders National Championship on Saturday May 27th.

Photos from Brent Flaaten.

The first annual Venice Beach Pier Kite Festival.

Laboratory results from three local agencies are displayed on the map. The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (DPH) Environmental Health Recreational Waters Program, collects ocean water samples from the mainland, once a week throughout the year. DPH collects an additional five samples from Avalon on Santa Catalina Island beginning in April through October. The Los Angeles County Sanitation Districts (SD) collects ocean water samples at selected sites on the mainland, once each week throughout the year. The Beach Cities of Redondo Beach, Manhattan Beach and Hermosa Beach, Palos Verdes Estates and Rancho Palos Verdes (BC) jointly collect water samples within their cities, once a week throughout the year. DPH, SD, and BC also resample sites that have exceeded State Standards for bacteria in ocean water. The City of Los Angeles, Environmental Monitoring Division, LA Sanitation (HYP) collects water samples from various sites, one to five times per week, all year round. LA City also collects samples at some DPH sites as required by their State NPDES permit.

The public is notified when a site has exceeded State Standards for bacteria in ocean water on this website, by telephone hotline, and by signs posted at the impacted beaches.

Use the map below to obtain the current water quality status of your favorite beach location. Use your mouse wheel to zoom into a particular location. Click on the marker to identify the sampling location. This map is updated as conditions change.

Thousands of purple-colored creatures resembling jellyfish, called Velella velella or By-the-Wind Sailors, are being washed up on the beaches.

The By-the-Wind sailors are also known as colonial hydroids and are similar to Portuguese Man O'War, feeding on algae and zooplankton.

Velella velella are flat, oval-shaped hydroid polyps (cousins of the jellyfish) that live in the open ocean but are often seen washed up on beaches in the spring and early summer months when strong winds push them ashore.

They have a firm and upright triangular sail attached to their body which causes them to be caught up by the wind and blown across the surface of the water, giving them their name “By-the-Wind Sailors.” Don't worry about those little blue tentacles that hang from their body! These tentacles don't sting humans but will gather up plenty of zooplankton or fish eggs for them to eat.

According to Point ReyesNational Seashore, Velella Velellas pose little threat to humans, but if you do decide to pick one up, be careful when touching your face and eyes afterward because they can cause slight irritation to your skin.

"You may come across a fresh wash-up of Velella, tinging the stretch of shoreline blue, but if they've been there a while, they will look like crinkly and dry ovals of cellophane."

There's an old legend that during the huge El Nino winter of 1998-99, Santa Monica local Donnie Wilson picked off a ride from Topanga that connected all the way past Chart House -- a distance of more than 300 yards.

On January 5th, 2023, it happened again. This time it was Michael Torquato DeNicola riding a wave from Topanga past Chart House. .

Michael Torquato deNicola is a world traveling and award-winning surfer, artist, and filmmaker.

The business owner was in the building and heard a popping sound prior to the fire igniting. Cause of the fire is attributed to lithium-ion battery overheating. The pet dog of the business owner was sadly found deceased in the structure after fire extinguishment.

The Ocean Awareness mural "Against the Currents" at Santa Monica High School is finally complete. The work is a collaboration with LA-based artist Sandra Nguyen, the City of Santa Monica Office of Sustainability and the Environment.

Exploring the depths of the Pacific Ocean - featuring the elusive Pacific eel, mesmerizing jellyfish, and the towering giant sea kelp.

The Garibaldi fish is not only a stunning species native to the Pacific Ocean but also the California state marine fish. With its vibrant orange color, it can often be found in rocky intertidal areas and kelp forests along the Pacific coast.

The leopard shark, native to the Pacific coast, is a graceful and harmless species that plays an important role in the ocean ecosystem.

The bat ray, native to the Pacific Ocean, is a graceful and fascinating species.

The Hawksbill turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata) is a species of sea turtle that can be found in the Pacific Ocean.

Rowing towards a cleaner ocean.

LA-based artist Sandra Nguyen putting the final touches on a new mural along 4th Street.

Below is the wall before the mural was painted:

Several surfers out at the Venice Pier on huge closeouts and barrels, while the crowd on the pier watches, comments, and heckles..

All clips come from our Instagram Stories of this session.

News from The Friends and Ballona Wetlands Conservancy:

Last Monday, several City of Los Angeles departments and agencies came together for a long-awaited comprehensive cleanup to remove debris and hazardous materials on Jefferson Blvd at the Freshwater Marsh.

More than 19 tons of debris was removed, including 200 + lbs of toxic and hazardous materials and dozens of needles. LAHSA and St Joseph’s offered housing to every person dwelling in the encampment.

This effort was no small feat. The Friends and Ballona Wetlands Conservancy invested thousands of hours to find solutions to protect and repair the Freshwater Marsh.

Special thanks to Councilwoman Traci Park and her team. We look forward to the day when wildlife will not be endangered, and public access can return to the Ballona Freshwater Marsh. To read more about the comprehensive cleanup, see thier latest blog post: The Freshwater Marsh Comprehensive Cleanup - A Step In The Right Direction

The absolutely insane back story of Grind King Trucks. It's a story of success, failure, wealth, power, drug dealers, murder, and so much more.

The 29th Annual Venice surf-A-Thon was a great success!

We had over 60 athletes signed up, and we completed our event in perfect conditions but small waves!

After everything was all said and done, we had a surplus that we are donating to 2 charities, the first charity we have dontated to is Casa Del Pastor.

Casa Del Pastor is a home in Baja California, Mexico for women and their children who are abandoned and abused. Its goal is to minister to their spiritual needs while helping with their physical needs.

These was an online donation, but we decided to create this checks to commemorate this day!

The Venice Surf-A-Thon would not have been possible with out everyone's help. Our contest sponsor's are a huge part of making the Venice Surf-A-Thon possible, please check out our list of sponsors below. Follow their Instagrams, visit their shops, buy from them, use their services, recommend them to friends, or just thank them for helping out with the Venice Surf-A-Thon.

Anderson Surfboards


Baja Wey Mexican Blanket Surfboard Bags

Cow's End Cafe


Durable Goods 

Fat Sal’s - Venice Beach 

Hecho En Venice

Interiors Made Eezzy



Krillyz Backyard BBQ


Naybor Hoodiez

Rodeo Show

Sandborn Swim 

Santa Monica Pride Plumbing

Shacked Mag 

Sister Betsy's Surf Wax 

Six12 Media


Venice Brand

Venice Cannabiz

Venice Pier Project

Venice Street Wear

Venice Surf Shack

The Venice Whaler

Yoga Nest Venice

And a huge thanks again to Ger-I Lewis for trusting us with your contest!

For more info, visit the Casa Del Pastor website.

Integrity. The first of LA County Lifeguard Departments Core Values. Lifeguard Captain, Julio Rodriguez has exemplified integrity throughout his career. In this video he shares how he views integrity and why it remains so central to having a long successful career.

I was there, saw the whole thing.

A couple of things to dispel and set straight. First off myself and about 100 other people ran towards the plane as we saw it going down. So the idea no one went to help is false, we all went to help.

The landing attempt was excellent, but as soon as it touched down on the sand the front wheel dug into the sand and the plane flipped over and slammed into the ground, this all happened in about 3 seconds.

As everyone was running towards the plane the lifeguard truck blew past us and was first on the scene. The lifeguards extracted the unconscious man in about four minuets and then the other man. The unconscious man was placed in the back of a lifeguard truck and transported to the boardwalk where an ambulance was waiting. As he was being transported CPR was attempted and continued for a few minuets at the ambulance but there was no luck and he was pronounced dead at the scene.

I imagine this wasn’t reported instantly as the authorities had to inform the family of the victim. As this has now been publicly reported I am posting this now.

The other man was conscious but in total shock. That had him sitting In the back of another lifeguard truck. Once they did a preliminary check of him he was transported.

Myself and all the other bystanders that were close were pushed back by the police who arrived about 2 minuets after the lifeguards.

The whole thing was crazy (surreal seeing a plane come down in front of me), amazing (the pilot landing on a spot where there were no people on a fairly crowded beach) and very sad (a man lost his life). I imagine his general age had the most to do with it. The plane slammed down extremely hard.

Radio transmission from the pilot of the airplane to Santa Monica Airport tower right before the plane crash landed on the beach.

About 6 minutes in take-off clearance (they changed from requesting special flight rules to right turn shoreline).

12:53 frequency change approved but 32X elects to “keep ears on” as they’re just going to Malibu and back.

14 minutes in, 32X calls up wanting to return. Tower clears them for right traffic 21, asks if they need assistance, 32X responds: “Not at this time.”

Tower is routing traffic around the Cessna as it’s inbound at 900, abeam the Palisades (around 15 minutes).

15:45: “Emergency.”Tower: Can you make the field?

“I’m going to try.

”Tower solicits and the Cessna states: Two souls on board, the engine is running very very rough.

Tower clears him left base for 3, gets traffic TF out of the way.

Comms with the Cessna drop off after about 16:30.Comes back, 17:20.

Tower: “Can you make runway 3?”

32X: “I don’t think so, I think I may have to put it on the beach.”

Tower: “Roger, landing on the beach will be at your own risk.”32X: “I wish I had another choice.”

Tower: “Wind 230 at 4.”

Starts coordinating with Police 29.19:45 FD, EMT, PD already on scene where the Cessna stopped, 400' south of the pier.

From Santa Monica Close Up:

"A single-engine Cessna airplane crash landed at Santa Monica Beach on Thursday, December 22, 2022. Los Angeles Lifeguards and Santa Monica Firefighters extricated the two occupants and transported both to a local hospital. Their condition is unknown. The plane took off from Santa Monica Airport. "

Santa Monica Close Up is a photo blog by Santa Monica based Photojournalist/Press photographer Fabian Lewkowicz. Fabian is the former staff photographer for the Santa Monica Daily Observer Press, Santa Monica Mirror, Santa Monica and the Santa Monica Corsair.

Support Santa Monica Closeup/Fabian Lewkowicz with Venmo or PayPal to help earn money to make these videos: