News and Events – 25 January 2012

January 25, 2012 § Leave a comment


> Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar visited the L.A. River this month. Will plentiful federal funding for river revitalization soon follow?

> Will Campbell discovers a sweet new city of Burbank bike path along the Burbank Western Wash.

> Here’s a blog about recycled concrete rain gardens I’ve been working on with Koreatown Youth Community Center.

Sidewalk cyclist next to the new Avenue 19 bike lanes in Lincoln Heights

> The L.A. River Bike path bike lane bikeway takes a detour onto the streets of Lincoln Heights. I really really like bike lanes and I like the idea of getting them in first, then moving on to more expensive bike paths… but I fear the massive parking removal on this one here will trigger a backlash… potentially leading to future city reluctance to remove any parking anywhere ever. Even if  it’s not quite the L.A. River bikeway, it is a new precedent: the city of Los Angeles’ first completed asymmetric one-way bike lanes couplet… a treatment that I think works better on actual one-way streets. How about Cypress and Avenue 18 next?


> Elysian Valley neighbors have been experiencing some pollution issues due to Metrolink operations right across the river at Taylor Yard. Metrolink, So Cal Air Quality Management District, elected officials and the public will meet and discuss how to make the situation better. The meeting takes place TONIGHT – Wednesday January 25, 2012 at 6:30pm at the L.A. River Center, 570 W Avenue 26, L.A. 90065. More information here.

> Creek Freak’s Joe Linton will be speaking as part of the environmental media panel at the Council for Watershed Health forum on Tuesday January 31st 2012. More information at CWH website under events.

> CicLAvia returns Sunday April 15th 2012, starring the 4th Street Bridge over the L.A. River.


Family River Bike Tour – Saturday March 5th

February 24, 2011 § 1 Comment

Be GOOD - Support CicLAvia!

As part of the GOOD fundraiser for CicLAvia, Creek Freak author/artist, CicLAvia-ista yours truly Joe Linton will be leading a very fun very family-friendly bike ride and tour of the Los Angeles River. The ride departs at 2:30pm on Saturday March 5th 2011 – from Atwater Crossing – 3229 Casitas Avenue, Atwater Village 90039. We’ll return to the party by 4pm.

The ride is very short – about 1/3 of a mile each way, on very very quiet residential streets – and will visit one of the very nicest parts of the Los Angeles River – lots of ducks, other birds, tall trees, fish, and lush and pleasant place in (nearly) every respect. I’ll talk a little about the history of the river and plans for its future.  « Read the rest of this entry »

News and Events – 2 February 2011

February 2, 2011 § 2 Comments

Recent News:

> In today’s Los Angeles Times, Louis Sahagun has an excellent piece on the proposed massive Newhall Ranch development, and the differences between the federal Army Corps of Engineers and Environmental Protection Agency.  “Developers … would convert nearly 20 miles of tributaries and riverbank into storm drains and levees”

> The San Gabriel Valley Tribune reported on a recent evaluation of the San Gabriel River’s Santa Fe Dam (located in Irwindale – near the confluence of the 210 and 605 freeways.) The article states that the dam is “potentially dangerous” and asserts that “probability of failure is very high.”  Simultaneously, though further down in the article, the Tribune clarifies that the dam evaluation found “no major flaws” and that the dam’s “chances of failure are remote.” The story was soon followed by an editorial invoking catastrophic New Orleans’ Katrina damage. (Joe’s snipey comment: Methinks people who get paid to build dams are looking for work.)

> I stole some of Jessica Hall’s ideas for a quick guest blog at the city of Los Angeles Bureau of Sanitation’s Stormwater Blog.

Upcoming Events:

LACBC's River Ride takes place on Sunday June 5th

It’s not tooo sooon to mark your calendar for the big L.A. River events of the year:

Friends of the Los Angeles River’s annual Clean-Up will be on Saturday April 30th 2011.

Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition’s annual River Ride  will be on Sunday June 5th 2011.

> CicLAvia (not all that riverly, but includes a great river bridge) announced 2011 dates too: April 10th, July 10th and October 9th.

Suggestions for last-minute charitable donations

January 14, 2011 § 1 Comment

Recovering grey fox used to live at or near the Devil's Dip creek. He was poisoned with strychnine. Photo: Valley Wildlife Care

Creek Freak is mourning the razing of the Arcadia Oak Woodlands, and post-mortems will be rolling in over the next few days. But here’s another time sensitive issue where your contribution can make a big difference.

The tax year has ended, but you have til the end of the month to make tax deductible charitable contributions. We at LA Creek Freak (who are not a 501(c)3) hold a high regard for the many non-profit organizations active in our watersheds, all of whom would be worthy recipients of your donations. Check out our blogroll for links to them.

However, we thought this year to feature some very small non-profits that operate on the thinnest of shoestrings that would really benefit from your support.

Valley Wildlife Caredonate online – The heroes who recuperated a native grey fox poisoned out by the Devil’s Dip last year.

South Bay Wildlife Rehab – I (Jessica here) have had the privilege of driving owls, hawks, and other birds to the vet for this group and have seen up close how dedicated these volunteers are to mitigating the harm done to winged wildlife by urban sprawl.

Friends of the Santa Clara Riverdonate online – our region’s last wild river is beleagured by the same development thinking that destroyed the LA and San Gabriel Rivers. And as we in the basin know, it will cost more to restore it than to protect it. Give these folks a hand. Or donate to land acquisition efforts at the Nature Conservancy or California Coastal Conservancy.

CicLAviadonate online – Promoting a biking and walking culture in LA moves us towards sustainability; changes to make streetscapes more human-friendly inevitably also improve watershed function. (ok – it’s not quite a creek group – but Joe works there – and read Why I Creek Freak Like Bike to make the bike-creek connection. give $11 to CicLAvia’s Kickstarter campaign by January and get a cool spoke card!)

There are lots more prominent non-profits we creek freaks work with. They’re great and need  support – Heal the Bay, TreePeople, the Watershed Council, FoLAR, NE Trees, Green L.A. Coalition, Ballona Creek Renaissance, Arroyo Seco Foundation and many others – see the blogroll links on the right – but we wanted to draw attention to some of the smaller ones our readers may be less familiar with. Please include other suggested groups in the comments!

4th Street Bridge at CicLAvia

October 11, 2010 § 2 Comments

The 4th Street Bridge was ready for its close-up. Here are a couple of videos taken at Sunday’s CicLAvia open streets event; both feature the 4th Street Bridge – and I promise to get back to the rest of the fun L.A. Creek Freak topics this week.

« Read the rest of this entry »

News and Events – 22 August 2010

August 21, 2010 § Leave a comment


> The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) has a new video (above) 0n Stormwater Runoff 101, featuring shots of the Elmer Avenue project profiled here earlier. The shots of the trash boom on Ballona Creek are pretty scary! Overall it’s an excellent video, though I wish they didn’t call storm drains “sewers.” (Thanks to In the Watershed

>Last Wednesday, August 18th, 2010, KCRW 89.9fm radio’s Which Way L.A.? ran an episode entitled Navigating the Los Angeles River. The program features Los Angeles City Councilmember Ed Reyes and George Wolfe of river expedition fame. The radio program is available for online listening here. Also in Shipping News: LAist reports about a petition floated for boating access to the river: register your name on the online petition here

Click on image to go to Save Los Angeles River Open Space for larger images.

> See handsome new  renderings of the L.A. River Natural Park  at the Save L.A. River Open Space website. It’s a watershed park proposed for the site currently known as Studio City Golf and Tennis. See creek freak’s backgrounders on this struggle here and here

> The L.A. Times reported yesterday that endangered steelhead remain endangered. This is good news: steelhead, an anadromous fish once abundant in local rivers and creeks, will remain protected by the federal Endangered Species Act. Recommended reading: creek freak’s coverage of Fish in the L.A. River.

> Tiny new feature: we’ve added a Tweet button for posting our articles to Twitter. The button now appears at the bottom of each post.  Follow us at Twitter at @LACreekFreak


> Jenny Price’s Hidden L.A. Los Angeles River Tours are coming up August 29th, September 4th, September 12th, and September 26th. Keep up with them by liking them at their Facebook page. You may get to actually drive in the river!

> Coastal Cleanup Day – takes place Saturday September 25th 2010. The event includeslots of clean-ups on local creeks and rivers . 

CicLAvia route for walking and biking on car-free streets in October

> CicLAvia – pronounced “seek-law-vee-uh” – a car-free 7.5-mile open streets festival taking place on October 10th 2010 (that’s 10-10-10) – will include the historic Gothic-Revival 1931 4th Street Bridge. Read more about CicLAvia here and more about the 4th Street Bridge on their list of 10 historic buildings along the 10-10-10 route. Self-promotion confession – Creek Freak Joe Linton is way-involved in this not-especially river-related effort – and has been writing various top 10 lists at the CicLAvia site.

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