Grist’s L.A. River Series

August 1, 2012 § Leave a comment

The nearly unrecognizable Los Angeles River in the West San Fernando Valley

This week, Grist is publishing a very good 4-part series on the Los Angeles – written by Christian MilNeil. So far, they’ve posted parts one, two, and three. They have lots of worthwhile things to say, and they quote quite a few friends of the blog, including Melanie Winter and Jenny Price.

Check it out starting here.

This Morning’s L.A. River Art

July 25, 2012 § 1 Comment

So… no posts for a month, then two today… oh well. On my way bicycling back from this morning’s groundbreaking, I stopped to do a river sketch.

Los Angeles River – Elysian Valley – at 2 Freeway Bridge, by Joe Linton, ink on paper in Sketchbook No. 62, 25 June 2012, about 11″x14″

It’s in Elysian Valley, looking upstream toward the 2 Freeway Bridge. Note that I typically do a lot of vertical hatching, but when there’s water, the horizontal hatching is called for. More of my river drawings in my book, at my art show (up through August 15th 2012) and at my art blog.

I wasn’t the only person out doing L.A. River art today. « Read the rest of this entry »

Sunnynook River Park Groundbreaking

July 25, 2012 § 8 Comments

Sunnynook River Park groundbreaking: golden shovels lifting ceremonial soil. Visible from left to right City Engineer Gary Moore, Councilmember Garcetti, Councilmember Reyes, Councilmember LaBonge, Recreation & Parks Assistant General Manager Kevin Regan, FoLAR founder Lewis MacAdams, and State Assemblymember Mike Gatto

Before a crowd of about 90, the city of Los Angeles broke ground on Sunnynook River Park this morning. The new Atwater Village park will be located in the mostly vacant area on the southwest bank of the Los Angeles River, between Glendale Boulevard and Los Feliz Boulevard – immediately downstream of the Sunnynook footbridge. « Read the rest of this entry »

Upcoming Sediment Removal Meeting: Big Tujunga Dam

June 18, 2012 § 2 Comments

OK, thanks to Rick Grubb, I’m getting this with time for you to put it on your calendars!!

The County of LA is having a joint meeting with the USFS on sediment removal of Big Tujunga Dam.  Dirt’s all the rage here at LA Creek Freak, as you know.  Rick’s also communicated that he wants to see Arroyo Toad back in his region, one of many species that have been impacted by our flood control system.

Here’s the details:

Tuesday, July 24, 2012  6 to 8 p.m.
 
City of Los Angeles – City Council District 2
Sunland-Tujunga Field Office
7747 Foothill Blvd.
Tujunga, CA 91042 (map)
The United States Forest Service (USFS) and the County of Los Angeles Department of Public Works (DPW) will jointly present the Big Tujunga Reservoir Sediment Removal Project.  Information will be provided about the project, the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).  The public will have the opportunity to ask questions of the USFS and DPW and comment on the project.  Please plan to join us for this meeting.
For More Information:

A better functioning Arroyo Seco

June 18, 2012 § 3 Comments

Sometimes funny things come in small packages, like an innocent url to a report on the Arroyo Seco.  The Urban Land Institute perhaps misspoke when they wrote what makes a stream function better:

The panel concurs with much of the recent work focused

on the naturalization of the stream to enhance ecological

systems and provide unique public amenities. A portion

of the stream on the southwestern side of the stadium

may better function covered, allowing for more efficient

use of the surface for playfield and/or parking, albeit in

an impervious format.   (emphasis is mine)

No, it won’t help the stream function better, but it sure could provide for more parking.

 

The mayor of Pasadena, Bill Bogard, welcomes feedback on the White Paper – take a look!  It supports the idea of naturalizing the Arroyo (and hopefully by this we don’t mean a bypass diversion creek but the real deal).  The mayor’s email address is bbogaard@cityofpasadena.net.

 

Fracking in L.A.? (Workshops to be held on 6/12 and 6/13)

June 11, 2012 § 2 Comments

A Dimock, Pennsylvania resident lights their flowing tap on fire, a result of natural gas drilling and hydraulic fracturing in a nearby field. While such effects may not occur as a result of petroleum well fracking, the shock-value of this image underscores the potential for groundwater contamination in any circumstance. (SOURCE: http://www.gaslandthemovie.com)

It is likely that many folks living in Los Angeles County are either entirely unfamiliar with hydraulic fracturing (fracking for short) or are under the impression it occurs only in distant places such as the Appalachian Basin (Marcellus Shale). This resource extraction process utilizes the high-pressure injection of thousands (and in some cases, millions) of gallons of water, sand and a proprietary blend of up to 600 chemicals (potentially including known carcinogens such as lead, uranium, mercury, ethylene glycol, radium, methanol, hydrochloric acid and/or formaldehyde) into deep wells to open fissures that enable natural gas to flow more freely out of the well. While the practice is primarily associated with the natural gas industry, fracking is also a method used by the petroleum industry as a means of squeezing more production out of what were previously thought to be exhausted wells.

Diagram illustrating the process behind hydraulic fracturing and, yes, the blue strip in the middle of the image represents an aquifer. (SOURCE: http://www.gaslandthemovie.com)

For the vast majority of Angelenos, it might come as a surprise to find out that there are two local petroleum wells, VIC-1-330 (Baldwin Hills, Plains Exploration & Production Company) and DOM-1 (Dominguez Hills, Occidental Oil and Gas), that have been fracked as recently as January of this year (SOURCE: FracFocus) and according to a recent report by Christine Shearer of Truthout, fracking has occurred in the L.A. basin for some time: « Read the rest of this entry »

Progress on West Valley River Bridges and Bike Path

June 1, 2012 § 6 Comments

Steelhead trout medallion on the new Tampa Avenue Bridge over the L.A. River

I got a chance to bike in the West San Fernando Valley last week, and took a few photos of the Los Angeles River bike path project under construction. It’s a construction site right now, but a lot of the hardscape – new bridges and bridge undercrossings – appears more-or-less done.

The 2.2-mile bike path will extend from the Vanalden Avenue footbridge to Hartland Street (immediately upstream/west of Mason Avenue.) The first phase of the bike path (0.8 mile from Vanalden Avenue to Corbin Avenue) had been projected to be open around October 2012. I don’t know the timeline for subsequent phases, but it seems like the upstream construction is already underway, so the extension from Corbin to Winnetka shouldn’t take a whole lot longer.  « Read the rest of this entry »

Youth Research Symposium Explores the L.A. River

May 30, 2012 § Leave a comment

Youth Research Symposium L.A. River revitalization model of the river through downtown, including detailed replication of river graffiti. More photos below.

I had the pleasure of attending a Youth Research Symposium last Saturday May 26th 2012. The event took place at L.A. Trade Tech College, and was presented by the Asian Pacific American Legal Center‘s Leadership Development in Interethnic Relations. Through I got involved in this a little through bicycling issues, via the new non-profit effort Bikas, I was impressed that many of the student research projects focused on the future of the Los Angeles River. I am encouraged about the prospects for L.A.’s future when so many of L.A.’s youth leadership are focusing on projects I’ve been actively pushing for: making L.A. more bicycle-friendly and revitalizing the L.A. River!  « Read the rest of this entry »

A small role in a Big Parade

May 20, 2012 § Leave a comment

I had the pleasure of meeting up with the Big Parade today as they walked along the Los Angeles River. If you’re unfamiliar with this event, it’s a walk that meanders through Los Angeles stairways, neighborhoods, etc – see their website. Part of their two-day this weekend included a stretch of the Glendale Narrows, so my friend, who’s the walking-force behind the parade, Dan Koeppel invited me to talk with the group.

The Big Parade picking me up at Confluence Plaza

I gave a very brief intro after meeting up with the group at Confluence Plaza, then we walked over the soon-to-be-demolished-and-freewayified Riverside-Figueroa Bridge to their lunch stop at Steelhead Park. I spoke about the past, present and future of the L.A. River.  « Read the rest of this entry »

Sediment Management Strategic Plan Open for Public Comment Until May 30

May 15, 2012 § 6 Comments

20-Year Planning Quantities and Remaining Capacity at Sediment Placement Sites (Source: LADPW)

On the heels of a critical piece of writing by Emily Green on the state of sediment management in Los Angeles (published in the May 14th edition of High Country News), the L.A. County Department of Public Works has completed (as of April) its draft 20-year Sediment Management Strategic Plan for 2012-2032 and is currently soliciting public comments until Wednesday, May 30th. The enormous document (524 pages) is available for download at www.LASedimentManagement.com (the downloadable document entitled “Community Meeting Boards” is a conveniently concise summary of the larger plan). « Read the rest of this entry »

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