City officials are preparing for a contentious summer among Venice boardwalk vendors and say the early spring has already shown that a slow economy and confusing rules add up to chaotic conditions along the famed oceanfront community.
Weekly lotteries for city-regulated performance and nonprofit-art-vendor spots along the walk have been contentious, with the number of performers requesting space up 80 in the last year and the number of would-be sellers doubling in that time, according to the Associated Press.
Legitimate artists have complained that otherwise profit-minded vendors have taken up their space on the boardwalk by claiming tenuous connections to art pieces -- cultural links, for example -- that is otherwise sold to make a buck. Police, citing complex city regulations on the matter, are loathe to wade into the legal definition of art.
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"It's very difficult for an officer to decipher what that means," Los Angels police Sgt. Marc Reina told the AP. "We're not going to enforce anything like that."