May 16, 2011 § Leave a Comment
Creekfreaks, I’ll be on the Westside at Temescal Canyon tomorrow night, at the MRCA’s Chautauqua series to talk about sustainability and Los Angeles. You won’t be surprised by the creeky focus. Come on out!
Tuesday, May 17, 2011
Temescal Canyon Park, Woodland Hall
May 15, 2011 § 10 Comments
Back in 2006, the city of Los Angeles proposed tearing down the 1929 North Spring Street Bridge over the Los Angeles River. The city planned to demolish the locally and nationally recognized historic bridge and construct a brand new bridge. The project included widening North Spring Street from about 43 feet to about 96 feet. More than double. Really. Spring would have gone from a large neighborhood-scale street to a freeway-scale street.
It was particularly irritating to me that city engineering folks would present this project as needed for bike safety and for river revitalization… though no cycling or river groups were pushing for it, and, in fact, many opposed it. Grrrrr. Cyclists sure don’t need fifty-feet’ worth of widening. Wider bridges and streets just mean faster-moving cars… making conditions less safe for biking and walking. And if you really wanted to spend ~$50million to make the river healthier and/or to make streets safer for bikes, there are a lot better and more effective ways to spend it. To me, it’s clearly about wider roads for more and more and more cars… in a dense central part of the city where high percentages of people walk, bike and take transit… hence it’s about jamming more non-local car traffic into Lincoln Heights and Chinatown.Due to a lot of pressure, mostly from historic preservation folks, that massively wrong-headed version of the project is now off the table. Whew.
March 22, 2011 § 3 Comments
After Sunday’s daylong rainstorms, the rains ended and the sky still looked plenty cloudy Monday-yesterday, I bundled up and was bicycling into downtown, when I came to this massive puddle across from LaFayette Park. The photo shows the south side of Wilshire Boulevard between Commonwealth Avenue and Hoover Street. I didn’t get a shot of it, but there was a least a couple of feet of water in the park itself. The southwest corner of the park, normally enjoyed by lots of skateboarders, was being enjoyed by a half-dozen ducks.
Creek Freaks will recall (from Jessica’s earlier article Commerce over creeks at Wilshire + Hoover and other mentions since) that this particular dip in Wilshire Boulevard, and this part of LaFayette Park, were historically Arroyo de la Brea – a creek tributary of Ballona Creek.
March 10, 2011 § 1 Comment
This afternoon, before an assembled crowd of about fifty, Los Angeles City Councilmember Dennis Zine presided over a groundbreaking ceremony for a new stretch of Los Angeles River greenway and bikeway. Construction has begun on the 2.2-mile segment of landscaped bike path, extending from the Vanalden Avenue footbridge to the end of Hartland Street, just upstream of the Mason Avenue Bridge.
March 9, 2011 § 1 Comment
Join Los Angeles City Councilmember Dennis Zine for the groundbreaking of the West Valley Los Angeles River Greenway. The ceremony takes place tomorrow – at 2:30pm on Thursday March 10th 2011 on the southern bank of the Los Angeles River just upstream of the Vanalden Avenue Pedestrian Bridge.
L.A. Creek Freek reported on this project earlier – backgrounding it in a 2008 article, then reporting on construction and funding last year. See those articles for details. Briefly, the multi-phase project includes 2 miles of bike path (from Vanalden Avenue to Corbin Avenue) and river-friendly landscaping and entry-point mini-parks. It’s being done in conjunction with bridge retrofit projects on Vanowen, Winnetka and Tampa.
Come on down and celebrate the groundbreaking tomorrow!
January 19, 2011 § Leave a Comment
> Watch this excellent video One Plastic Beach; it’s about Northern California artists Judith Selby Lang and Richard Lang who create beautiful art out of massive amounts of plastic that was ashore. They make an eloquent critique of plastic pollution in our oceans. Also check out the artists’ website and blog. Thanks filmmakers Eric Slatkin and Tess Thackara. (h/t Jackie Wei)
> Meredith McKenzie has been blogging up a storm over at ArroyoLover. Read her latest posts on:
- County-City Los Angeles River Cooperation Committee meets and plans to work together on the L.A. River / Aliso Creek Confluence park project, in Reseda.
- Wrap-up of news on Albion Dairy site, CRA NELA River Corridor Study Area, Cornfield-Arroyo Seco Specific Plan, February 10th 2011 city river meeting in Reseda, and April 30th 2011 mayoral day of service on the L.A. River.
> Public comments on Universal’s Draft Environmental Impact Report are due by February 4th 2011. I haven’t paid close enough attention to this item (guest blogger invitation!), but, my understanding is that the situation hasn’t changed much since this 2008 L.A. Times article covered studio opposition to the L.A. River bike path. There’s no website for public comments. If you want to get in touch with folks let us know via comments below.
> North East Trees blog reports on construction activity at their Garvanza Park rainwater harvesting project.
> Circle of Blue reports on a Michigan court decision that’s strengthening river protections – so rare!
January 7, 2011 § 6 Comments
Ever been on an Ancient Tree Hunt? Seen the decorative skirts placed around trees by Shinto worshipers? Tie a yellow ribbon “round the ole oak tree” or gone to a Shakespeare production in the center of an oak woodland? Ever play “Robin Hood” in an oak woodland? Any woodland? Ever play?
You know where I’m heading with this.
LA-area place names like Encino, Los Robles (both Spanish for oak), Sherman Oaks, Fair Oaks, etc hint to us of woodlands past. An oak reputed to be 400-years old on Caltech’s campus demonstrates that their presence was no fluke. Oak woodlands belonged to Southern California.
How many do you know of today?
Today the moratorium to level a century-old oak woodland in Arcadia ends. With security fencing lining the perimeter of the site, it is difficult to imagine that the County has arrived at a different outcome after their moratorium to re-think the approach.
And while I’m not sure what that means to them, it speaks volumes to me. Mitigation may replant oaks, but the interplay and evolution of organisms from microbes to mammals takes time to repair – and will occur uniquely in different locations. Supervisor Antonovich will be lucky if his great-great-grandchildren are able to find equivalency in the experience of this mitigation project as adults.
Given the quality of environmental values on display here, his great-great-grandchildren may very well be fortunate to know any kind of nature in Southern California at all.
But they will have many a dirt pile to look at. Those too will likely be fenced off.
Will the Supervisor’s ghost come down to them, saying, “sorry, but I had to do it so the trucks wouldn’t rumble past the people in their houses.”
Make me wrong, Supervisor. Make me eat my words. Please. I’d love that.
Today bloggers are uniting to express their opposition to this proposed conversion of an oak woodland to a silt pile. Here’s a link to other blogs participating (this list will be updated throughout the day). Many of them have also been covering the issue for a while, with excellent updates and open letters (linked at Creekfreak’s earlier post by Josh Link).
December 15, 2010 § Leave a Comment
Recent news that might be of interest to L.A.’s Creek Freaks: « Read the rest of this entry »
November 21, 2010 § Leave a Comment
> Ever wonder when State Parks would create that “world class park” at the Cornfields? The long-stalled planning process for the master plan at Los Angeles State Historic Park is getting underway again. Due to state budget issues, finalizing of the preliminary designs never happened, and the “interim public use” park at the site has been looking a bit less interim. Attend a community meeting about the future of the park on Thursday December 9th at 7pm at L.A. Conservation Corps, 1400 N. Spring Street, L.A. 90012.
> Ever wonder what the western United States might have looked like if state boundaries followed watersheds? (Well, not even we creek freaks actually wonder that, but I thought it sounded good.) Take a look at John Wesley Powell’s proposed map of watershed-based western states (via Big Think.) Thanks to Melanie Winter of The River Project for bringing this to our attention.
>Ever wonder about the future of that river-adjacent vacant area between the 4th and 6th Street bridges downtown? Blogdowntown, in an article entitled Nothing is Simple Down by the River, tells about competing plans for a jeans factory, expanded Metro rail operations, and a river park.
>Ever wanted to tell your L.A. River story? Join KCET Departures’ story share on Saturday December 4th.
> Ever wanted to get paid to write about the Los Angeles River? The city of Los Angeles’ recently formed River Revitalization Corporation might have a web writer/editor job for you – especially if you’re a “jack [or perhaps jill?] of all trades” good at “weblinking” and “photo cropping.” Respond to this part-time job posting at Craigslist:
A Los Angeles based non-profit corporation is looking for a part-time website supervisor who is a writer, editor, photo editor and more. We are launching in January a new website that is all about the Los Angeles River: a recreational guide, photo gallery, revitalization information, news, event guide, etc. The candidate should be self-motivated, able to work at home, set their own schedules and deadlines, a skilled web pro, a careful content checker and a totally responsible professional. A minimum of two years of writing and editing of professional consumer publications and two years of website creation/maintenance experience is required. The candidate should be proficient in maintaining websites, including using CMS tools, weblinking, photo cropping, resizing, and uploading. This jack of all trades will be doing the primary website supervision, updating, user content review, blog supervision, news linking and more. You will need three professional references and a salary history.
Passion and experience with outdoor recreation and/or the L.A. River is real plus.
•Compensation: Monthly salary to be negotiated once the time requirements are better understood.
•This is a part-time job.
Read the full ad and respond here. L.A. Creek Freak is looking forward to many more L.A. River websites! The more the merrier!
November 16, 2010 § 23 Comments
As of yesterday, the Los Angeles River Bike Path through Elysian Valley has new stripes! Creek Freak readers may well be tired of hearing about this project; we’ve covered the project’s history, groundbreaking, detours, new undercrossing at Fletcher Drive, new asphalt, delays, new lights, and even the preliminary marks that preceded the striping. The shared walk and bike path officially opens on Saturday December 4th at 12noon, location to be announced. « Read the rest of this entry »