15 minutes for Creek Freaks and the waterways we love

November 15, 2021 § Leave a comment

We are having a moment in the spotlight! Alta Online journal recently published a great story, Soaked Through, about LA’s waterways and some of the people who love them. I encourage you to give it a read! Writer Denise Hamilton covered a lot of ground about LA, its streams, relationship to groundwater and then some – and her work updated me on some happenings that I may rant about here sometime. (As longtime readers know, I promise such things but the time to deliver is hard to find.)

That said, Alta invited fellow CF Jane Tsong and I to participate in an online panel which will be this WEDNESDAY at 12:30 PST!

You can register for the event HERE. Join us!

While I’m talking about great recent articles, another beautiful one by writer Judith Lewis Mernit, who periodically visits river and creek topics, can be found at the Red Canary Collective. It is a fine read, a clear a clarion call for a different way of thinking about our waterways. Send it to all your elected officials!

L.A. Aqueduct Centennial: Events of the Day

November 5, 2013 § 3 Comments

A crowd of 30,000 arrived by car, wagon, and buggy for dedication ceremonies at the Sylmar Cascades on November 5, 1913. The San Fernando Valley Chamber of Commerce distributed bottles of Owens River water to the celebrants. The Southern Pacific charged $1 for a round trip ticket from Los Angeles to the site of the San Fernando Reservoir near Newhall. (Los Angeles Public Library Image Archive)

A crowd of 30,000 arrived by car, wagon, and buggy for dedication ceremonies at the Sylmar Cascades on November 5, 1913. The San Fernando Valley Chamber of Commerce distributed bottles of Owens River water to the celebrants. The Southern Pacific charged $1 for a round trip ticket from Los Angeles to the site of the San Fernando Reservoir near Newhall. (Los Angeles Public Library Image Archive)

As many local creek freaks know, today marks 100 years since William Mulholland presided over the dedication ceremony for the opening of the Los Angeles Aqueduct at the Sylmar Cascades where he famously proclaimed “There it is Mr. Mayor. Take it.” The City of Los Angeles and local organizations have planned a number of events to mark the occasion. A handful of them are listed below. Also below is a list of informative and/or beautiful sites dedicated to the history and significance of our relationship with the Owens Valley. As always, feel free to add anything in the comments. Thanks and enjoy!

LINKS:

There It Is – Take It! (a fantastic audio tour of the Owens Valley)

There It Is. Take It. (BOOM)

The Owens Valley Timeline (BOOM)

L.A. Aqueduct Centennial Page (LADWP)

The L.A. Aqueduct at 100 (KPCC)

A Self-Guided Tour of the L.A. Aqueduct (KCET)

The Construction of the L.A. Aqueduct (some great old photos)

The Lake Project (David Maisel)

CENTENNIAL EVENTS:

Today, 12:00pm: Commemorative Reenactment at the L.A. Aqueduct Cascades

The reenactment event at the Cascades is open to the media and invited guests only due to space limitations. A public celebration will be held at LADWP headquarters downtown, where a live simulcast of the Cascades event will be shown on monitors located around the perimeter of the building.  Attendees can view the lobby exhibit dedicated to Water and Power history, centered on the L.A. Aqueduct, and enjoy refreshments and celebratory Centennial cake. The reenactment can also be seen live on Channel 35 or online at LAaqueduct100.com.

Today, 5:30pm: Opening of Just Add Water

The Natural History Museum presents large-scale watercolor works by Los Angeles artist Rob Reynolds, inspired by the L.A. Aqueduct that brought water to a thirsty region.

Today & Tomorrow, 9:30am – 5:00pm: Free Days at the Natural History Museum

Free admission on both days. Every visitor will receive a bottle of water commemorating the opening of the L.A. Aqueduct and have the chance to be a part of the next 100 years by signing a register destined for a new time museum time capsule.

Tomorrow through December 6th, Aqueduct Futures Project

Created in collaboration with 130 Cal Poly Pomona students who designed landscape strategies to enhance the resilience and adaptability of Los Angeles’ aging water infrastructure. Aqueduct Futures Project establishes a road map to resolve the conflict between the City and the Owens Valley. On display at the Bridge Gallery located at Los Angeles City Hall, 200 N. Spring Street, Downtown L.A. Closing reception to be held on December 3rd from 9:00am to 11:00am.

Tomorrow, 5:30pm: Time Capsule Creation at the Natural History Museum

To be held on the steps of the NHM 1913 Building. Celebrate the 100th anniversary of the L.A. Aqueduct and NHM, with remarks by civic leaders, a ceremonial lighting of the Expositon Park Fountain, and a display of materials that will be placed in a time capsule that will be opened in 2113.

Upcoming Events: Fall 2013

September 16, 2013 § 2 Comments

A digital rendering of proposed ecological measures at the L.A. River and Los Angeles State Historic Park (from the L.A. River Ecostystem Restoration Feasibility Study)

A digital rendering of proposed ecological enhancement measures at the L.A. River and Los Angeles State Historic Park (from the L.A. River Ecosystem Restoration Feasibility Study)

There are a number of upcoming river-related events, a few of which are listed below:

WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 18: Groundbreaking of the L.A. Riverfront Park Project, Phase II (Sepulveda Blvd. to Kester Ave.)

Councilmember Tom LaBonge, the L.A. Bureau of Engineering and the L.A. Dept. of Recreation & Parks kick off construction of a new greenway on the south side of the L.A. River. The ceremony will be held at 9:00am this Wednesday morning (9/18) on the site of the future community park at the intersection of Morrison Street and Noble Avenue. Questions may be directed to Tommy Newman at tommy.newman@lacity.org or (213) 485-3337

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 21: Made in L.A. Ride

Enjoy a ride from 10:30am to 2:30pm, sponsored by Metro, along the L.A. River and learn about places that manufacture and create goodies in L.A.! C.I.C.L.E., with the LA River Regatta Club, will lead a community bicycle ride, “Made in LA” along the LA River. This expedition, open to all cyclists, will pedal through and around Cypress Park & Elysian Valley and expose riders to places that make products right in Los Angeles. Event details HERE.

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 22: A Car-Free Sunday on the L.A. River

The residents of Studio City and Sherman Oaks have banded together to take back the streets for World Car Free Day on September 22nd! Join in for a day of fun (car-free activities) along the LA River. More info HERE.

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 28: Arroyo Seco Via

Hosted by the Arroyo Seco Foundation, Arroyo Seco Via will span the Arroyo Seco from Hahamongna Watershed Park in Pasadena to Los Angeles State Historic Park (The Cornfield) near downtown Los Angeles. It will consist of a bike ride between these two parks, where there will be fun and educational presentations and activities. Among the events planned for the day will be a 20th Anniversary Celebration of Hahamongna Watershed Park in Pasadena, a rally to support Alternative 20 (the most expansive plan for River restoration in the Army Corps’ recent study) and the L.A. River Rally to be held at 12:00pm at Los Angeles State Historic Park. For more information, visit the Arroyo Seco Via web page.

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 28: Frogtown/Elysian Valley Art Walk

The 8th annual installment of this River-adjacent event will showcase the artists, artisans, and architects of Elysian Valley, otherwise known as Frogtown. From 4:00pm to 10:00pm. More info HERE.

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 10: State of the L.A. River Conference

In addition to a discussion of the current and future condition of the Los Angeles River, the symposium will provide an opportunity for student researchers to present the results of their research at an interactive poster session. Artistic and historical representations of the river will also be exhibited. 8:00am to 5:00pm at Deaton Auditorium, 100 W 1st St. Los Angeles, California 90012. More info HERE.

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 17: Informative Public Meeting on the L.A. River Ecosystem Restoration Feasibility Study

Join the Army Corps of Engineers for a public meeting to learn more about the Los Angeles River Ecosystem Restoration Feasibility Study. This is an opportunity for you to make comments on the public record. The event will be held from 5:30pm to 7:30pm in the atrium of the Los Angeles River Center and Gardens, 570 West Avenue 26, Los Angeles, CA 90065. For questions, please call USACE Public Affairs, 213-452-3925.

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 20: Let’s Talk River

The L.A. River Revitalization Corporation’s annual garden party will be held from 4:00pm to 7:00pm at the L.A. River Center, 570 W Ave 26, Los Angeles, CA 90065. For more information, visit the event site HERE or contact Miranda Rodriguez at 323-221-7800.

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 20: Found L.A. Festival of Neighborhoods

LA Commons will host the third annual Found L.A.: Festival of Neighborhoods. This year’s theme, “The River of Your Imagination” invites Angelinos to explore the range of ways they interact with the L.A. River. Participants will be able to visit a traditional Japanese garden, witness the L.A. River as it was 100 years ago, hear stories of the Great Wall of Los Angeles, explore the amazing natural life of the Ballona Wetlands and discover Southern California’s largest equestrian center. For more information, contact Jamie Poster at jamie@lacommons.org or go to the LA Commons website.

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 2: Run the L.A. River

This 10K race is the inaugural edition of an annual run/walk event planned through 2020, where each year the course will be lengthened (while still hosting a 10K) to a 20-mile run that will coincide with the completion of the Greenway 2020 vision created by the L.A. River Revitalization Corporation. For more information and to register, see the event website HERE.

Feel free to add any other upcoming local watershed events in the comment section!

Rain Garden Talk this Friday at LA Eco-Village

September 12, 2012 § Leave a comment

Creating Rain Gardens Cleo Woelfle-Erskine and Apryl Uncapher

This Friday, September 14, 2012 at 7:30 pm author/activist Cleo Woelfle-Erskine gives a public talk on his new book Creating Rain Gardens. The talk takes place at L.A. Eco-Village, 117 Bimini Place, LA 90004.  There’s a requested admission of $5 to $10, but no one turned away for lack of funds. Reservations recommended,  contact eco-village:  crsp [at] igc.org or 213/738-1254.

Upcoming Events: Kayaking and Art

July 12, 2012 § Leave a comment

Hey Creek Freaks – apologies I, Joe, haven’t been posting much lately. Most of my energy has been  going into my bike stuff. I will write more here at Creek Freak… soon… but for now, I’d like to plug a few upcoming events:

Legally-permitted L.A. River Kayak tours resume very soon

> Official permitted L.A. River Kayak tours will resume this Summer! The program will be expanded. Apparently the full announcement, with tickets for sale will happen any day now. Check the Paddle the L.A. River Facebook page.  KCET announcement here. L.A. Creek Freak’s story about last year’s kayaking here.

Two of my L.A. River drawings in the art show – reception this Sunday

> I am having an art show: City and Country: Art by Rick Cummings and Joe Linton. It’s at the Barbara Mendes Gallery at 2701 South Robertson Blvd in West L.A. (easy walk/bike from the Culver City end of the new Metro Expo Line.) The show actually opened today – Thursday July 12th, but the opening party reception takes place this Sunday, July 15th, 2012, from 3pm to 7pm. I have a few L.A. River drawings in the show. You can buy copies of the book I wrote and illustrated Down By The Los Angeles River for sale, and I can autograph for you at the reception on Sunday.

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 »

ALOUD Water Panel Sketch and Thanks

June 7, 2012 § 2 Comments

Sketch of L.A. Central Library’s ALOUD panel on Western Waters: Kathleen Dean Moore, Craig Childs, and William Deverell (click to enlarge – apologies where my sketch doesn’t necessarily get a spot-on likeness.)

I had a good time at last night’s ALOUD program The Elemental West: Reflections on Moving Water featuring Kathleen Dean Moore, Craig Childs and William Deverell. I previewed the event in detail here. The speakers were excellent; I could feel their visceral connections to landscape and waters. There was a compelling balance between the discomfort/fear that climate change is wreaking awful changes on earth’s lands and waters, and the comfort/love of being in and connecting with those places. The three had visited the Los Angeles River earlier in the day and expressed a mix of hope and sadness about its present state and its envisioned futures.  « Read the rest of this entry »

Western Waters Focus at ALOUD Event Next Wednesday

May 31, 2012 § Leave a comment

ALOUD’s Reflections on Western Water event is next Wednesday June 6 2012

For many years, the Downtown Los Angeles Central Library hosted and continues to host an excellent speakers series called ALOUD.  I’ve enjoyed all kinds of great talks there – from Sherman Alexie to Alison Bechdel to Art Spiegelman. L.A. Creek Freak covered an earlier ALOUD event highlighting the legacies of Wallace Stegner.

Today LACF previews next week’s ALOUD program The Elemental West: Reflections on Moving Water featuring Kathleen Dean Moore and Craig Childs in conversation with William Deverell. The event takes place Wednesday June 6th 2012 at 7pm. It’s a free event, but rsvp is recommended and easy to do on-line here« Read the rest of this entry »

Cyclist Creek Freaks: Steward Malibu Creek June 23 2012

May 31, 2012 § Leave a comment

Volunteer crews at an earlier Mountains Restoration Trust Malibu Creek event

If you bike and you want to help out Malibu Creek, then here’s an event for you. On Saturday June 23rd from 9am-12noon, the Mountains Restoration Trust and Heal the Bay are hosting a work day to remove invasive plants at Malibu Creek State Park. Malibu Creek is one of the last remaining steelhead trout streams in Southern California.  « 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 »

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