Riverside-Figueroa Bridge Destruction: Insult to Pedestrians

April 27, 2012 § 17 Comments

Riverside Drive Bridge 1926-2011 - photo copyright Osceola Refetoff

If there was any doubt that the city of Los Angeles’ wrongheaded destruction of the Riverside-Figueroa Bridge is nothing but zombie engineers fulfilling a now obsolete paean to the automobile, this just in! Not only is the end-product (due 2015) a massive freeway-esque car-centric bridge… but, already this week, the construction zone itself is a dangerous gauntlet for pedestrians.

(No thought has been given to bikes, either, but thick-skinned intrepid bike commuters can pretty much go wherever cars can go… so we cyclists can still use the bridge roadway that’s set aside for cars.)  « Read the rest of this entry »


A message from Heal the Bay

April 26, 2012 § 1 Comment

We received – and are forwarding –  an announcement by our friends at the Heal the Bay.  The following piece is from Kirsten James, HTB’s Water Quality Director.

The federal Clean Water Act turns 40 this year. Water quality has come a long way since 1972 but we’ve still got a lot of work to do to ensure that our waters remain safe and healthy. Our nation’s rivers are no longer catching on fire (e.g. the Cuyahoga River, circa 1969) but the battle for our creaks and rivers in Los Angeles rages on.

One of the pillars of the CWA is the stormwater permitting program. Municipal stormwater permits regulate all urban runoff discharge from separate storm sewer systems, so-called MS4s. Because stormwater is the No. 1 source of coastal pollution in California, these permits are a big deal for ensuring public health for those who recreate in our local waters. It’s also a major part of my job – ensuring that water quality regulations are as protective as they can be. And now ocean lovers have a major fight on their hands in Los Angeles County.

In 2001, the Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board adopted a municipal stormwater permit for Los Angeles County. The Regional Board is now considering a new permit for the county, after years of delay. As the board begins making critical decisions regarding the new permit, Heal the Bay is concerned about lobbying interests looking to weaken existing protections.

Board hearings over the summer will determine the fate of our local water quality for the next decade or more. We are at a fork in the road in terms of local water quality, with many cities and dischargers fighting hard to relax hard-won regulations that prevent them from dumping pollution into our waterways.

Our Regional Board can do the right thing and place strong protections (including pollution limits or TMDLs and low impact development requirements) in the permit. Or, they can make decisions that could result in dirtier water, and a higher risk of getting sick anytime you swim or surf. Heal the Bay will do everything we can to ensure that they make the right choice. We hope you will join us in the fight!

If you care about protecting the ocean and public health, we need you to make your voice heard. We need beachgoers of all stripes to attend a Regional Board workshop on May 3 designed to gather community input about local water quality regulations.

To fight for clean rivers, beaches and oceans, join our campaign: Taking L.A. by Storm (download flyer).

Attend the May 3 Regional Board workshop, the first of the hearings this summer, and let them know you want to be able safely swim at our beaches or fish in our rivers. Please help protect what you love.

To join us, RSVP with your name, email and ZIP Code.

Podcast about lost and found creeks

April 19, 2012 § 1 Comment

I was surprised and delighted last week to be interviewed by the High Country News (my favorite newspaper) for a piece about lost waterways in the West – but even better is the pleasure of learning about a Tucson journalist’s own journey into Creekfreakery as he explores the Santa Cruz River.  Check out this podcast:

Lost and found waterways – High Country News, West of 100

Events, events….

April 3, 2012 § 2 Comments


Creek Freak occasionally posts events – although we can’t possibly catch everything that is happening in the watersheds.  Here’s two that came our way that might be of interest, although not directly creeky:


The Sierra Club’s Pasadena Group will be screening the documentary “Vanishing of the Bees” at 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday 4/4 (tomorrow) at the Eaton Canyon Nature Center. The film explores the mysterious disappearance of honeybees around the world, a phenomenon known as Colony Collapse Disorder. The agricultural, ecological, and economic implications are examined in this expertly researched and skillfully crafted documentary narrated by Ellen Page. For directions/information, visit the Eaton Canyon Nature Center website at http://www.ecnca.org.



Thanks to Nishith Dhandha who added this to our comments section!

9:30am, 3900 W. Chevy Chase Drive  Los Angeles, California 90039.

Creekfreak has been following this project for a while – here’s posts: 1 2 3 4



From Creek Freak and master native gardener Mike Letteriello:

Our Open House is Sunday, April 15, from one to four p.m.  Garden is in the Los Altos area of Long Beach near the corner of
San Vicente and Los Arcos in Long Beach 90815.  (We’re around the corner from the school office address at 2375 Fanwood Ave., Long Beach, CA 90815.)  Many blooms this year in spite of the drought and relentless rodent damage to our annual wildflower crop!  Admission if free.

(Jessica here:  a visit to this garden is inspirational! And fun!  Definitely worth checking out)

LA River and Rio Hondo, 1932

April 2, 2012 § 2 Comments

Click to enlarge. Image: Los Angeles County Department of Public Works

This photo is taken where the LA River abuts South Gate, Lynwood, and Downey.  It was a reference photo for the South Gate Riparian Habitat Restoration Project mentioned in an earlier post.

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