L.A. River Clean-Up and Day of Service Tomorrow

April 29, 2011 § 2 Comments

L.A. River Day of Service - click for full flier image - art by Leo Limon

It’s covered on plenty of sites elsewhere, but Creek Freaks should definitely plan to come to tomorrow’s Friends of the Los Angeles River La Gran Limpieza – the annual Great Los Angeles River Clean-up. Clean 9am to 12noon Saturday April 30th 2011 at over a dozen sites from Long Beach to Tujunga. This year the multi-site event is combined with city of Los Angeles Mayor Villaraigosa’s Day of Service. The riverly day concludes with a 12n-2pm celebration at Rio de Los Angeles State Park – including a free concert by Ozomatli! « 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.

News and Events – 12 September 2010

September 12, 2010 § Leave a comment

Coastal CleanUp Day is coming Saturday September 25th to a creek near you. Click image or scroll down for links and information.

RECENT NEWS:

> The Huffington Post has the latest photos from another Los Angeles River boating expedition, spearheaded by Anthea Raymond. Looking forward to the day when kayaking the mighty Los Angeles isn’t the news that it is today.

Not Enough To Waste booklet - now online!

> Green L.A. Coalition’s Water Team’s Not Enough to Waste booklet is now available on-line at their excellent water resources website notenoughtowaste.org. Read the booklet here. Creek Freak’s earlier review here.

UPCOMING EVENTS

> Los Angeles’ latest class of Coro Fellows will be presenting on The Logic of the Los Angeles River on Monday September 13th, 2010 – tomorrow. It’s free, and takes place from 6pm to 7pm at the Atrium Room at the Los Angeles River Center, 570 W. Avenue 26, LA 90065. Readers may also be interested in the Coro-hosted Surfacing the Solutions: A Critical Discussion of California’s Water Crisis coming up on Thursday October 14th. Here’s the Save the Date announcement.

>Jenny Price’s L.A. River tours continue Sunday September 26th, and Sunday October 3rd. Information and reservations here. Latest unexpected river tour fauna sighting update here.

>On Wednesday September 22nd 2010, Zócalo presents a panel discussion on the future of the Los Angeles River, featuring Mike Woo, Marc Salette, Jim Stafford, Mia Lehrer, and Michael Maltzan.

> On Saturday September 25th 2010, the California Coastal Commission and Heal the Bay spearhead the largest volunteer clean-up in the known universe: Coastal Clean-Up Day. Many many sites to choose from on local rivers, creeks (and, oh yeah, beaches!), including the Los Angeles River, Arroyo Seco, Dominguez Channel and more.

News and Events – 22 August 2010

August 21, 2010 § Leave a comment

RECENT NEWS 

> 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

UPCOMING EVENTS 

> 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.

Great L.A. River Clean-Up this Saturday May 8th

May 4, 2010 § 1 Comment

Clean-Up Volunteers - photo from FoLAR website

From 9am to 12noon this Saturday May 8th 2010 is Friends of the Los Angeles River’s annual Great Los Angeles River Clean-Up. The event takes place at various sites from Long Beach to Tujunga. This is a great event for going down to the most wonderful sites along the river, hanging out with other creek freaks, and helping make our rivers a little cleaner and healthier. For details, see FoLAR’s website.

Note: the screening of Rock the Boat scheduled for May 8th has been rescheduled to Friday May 21st. More info on that soon.

News and Events plus Contest! – 30 September 2009

September 30, 2009 § 5 Comments

NEWS!

>Los Angeles Times’ invaluable Louis Sahagun on the recent bulldozing of Compton Creek. Sad story, with a great picture of Heal the Bay’s James Alamillo wading in the soft-bottom creek.

>L.A. Team Effort shows off the city’s new SUSMP handbook. SUSMP stands for Standard Urban Stormwater Mitigation Plan. The new handbook looks great and the content includes a lot of great watershed management practices. 

EVENTS:

>Come hear L.A. Creek Freak Jessica Hall speaking at Farmlab at noon on Friday October 9th. Free, including free lunch!

>The city of Los Angeles is hosting series of four public meetings on its wonderful proposed Low Impact Development (or “LID”) ordinance. Complete meeting information is posted in the comments section of Creek Freak’s recent LID post. Meetings are October 1st, 6th, 8th and 14th – all 10am to noon. First meeting is this Thursday at Bureau of Sanitation’s Media Center Offices at Taylor Yard.

>The city of Compton hosts a Compton Creek Clean-Up on Saturday October 17th from 7am to 12:30pm at Raymond Street Park.

>The city of Los Angeles has released the full new draft Bicycle Plan, which includes waterways designated for new bike paths. Creek Freak’s earlier post about the plan is here. The full bike plan documents are available on the city’s Bike Plan website. The city will be hosting four public meetings on October 22nd, 24th, 26th, and 28th.

> On Sunday, October 26th Jenny Price leads Friends of the L.A. River’s South L.A. River Tacos & Paletas Carpool Tour.

CONTEST!

Name the location where the photograph was taken below, and win a copy of Dorothy Green’s book Managing Water: Avoiding Crisis in California. Enter your answer in the comments section. If you’re the first commenter with the right answer, Creek Freak will mail you the book. (PS. I expect that it looks kinda difficult, kinda anonymous… but it’s actually a pretty unique spot. If nobody guesses it, I promise that I will give hints.)

Where is this?? Enter your answer in the comments below.

Where in the watershed is this?? Enter your answer in the comments below.

New and Events – 14 September 2009

September 14, 2009 § 1 Comment

Lots going on that many L.A. Creek Freaks will be interested in.

RECENT NEWS:

>There’s a big buzz on many graf-art websites about the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ use of federal stimulus funds to paint out the famous/infamous huge SABER graf-art mural on the west bank walls of the L.A. River downtown. I am not the biggest proponent of graffiti at the L.A. River (I think that some of it is great… but some of it I find kinda frustrating) but this whiting-out project seems pretty pointless to me. There are many greener projects that could have moved forward with those federal monies… which were supposed to create green jobs, no?

>TreePeople has a good-looking new website, including a new blog by their founder Andy Lipkis!

> The Water Wired blog is a great very readable resource for coverage of very fascinating water issues happening all over. Put it in your RSS Reader today! You might want to check out their recent coverage of Mexico City’s water issues from centuries of overpumping and on the New York Time’s coverage of nationwide neglect in enforcement of the federal Clean Water Act. The actual New York Times article by Charles Duhigg Clean Water Laws Are Neglected, at a Cost in Suffering is here. Duhigg was interviewed on Demoncracy Now earlier today.

>Mark Gold penned an editorial California’s water reform legislation is all wet that ran in the September 8th 2009 L.A. Times. Gold’s Spouting Off blog is also a great read.

Inglewood Gate - click for article and larger image (Photo: Bill Campbell)

Inglewood Gate - click for article and larger image (Photo: Bill Campbell)

>Bill Campbell at Metblogs shows off Ballona  Creek’s beautiful new Brett Goldstone gate at the bike path entry point at Inglewood Avenue. Bike over and check it out!

>The “eecue” site has posted even more great photos of the downtown Los Angeles L.A. River bridges.

>The L.A. City stormwater program’s blog “L.A. Team Effort” details the city’s plans to use $30M in Proposition O funding to upgrade city Santa Monica Bay stormdrain dry weather diversions. During dry months the city sends the trickle of urban runoff from many stormdrains into its sewage treatment plans. This prevents contaminated runoff from getting into rivers and oceans during the summer – when recreational usage is highest. 

>The Malibu Times reports that officials are investigating an unexplained recent fish die-off at Malibu Creek (via the On Water blog.) 

UPCOMING EVENTS – lots to choose from this Saturday!:

>The Ballona Institute is looking for volunteers at a Ballona Wetlands clean-up and restoration event this Saturday September 19th from 9am to 12noon. For information, send an email to massa30 [at] gmail [dot] com.

>The free Frogtown Art Walk takes place this Saturday September 19th from 4pm to 10pm.

>Lots of great creek, river and beach sites to choose from on Coastal Clean-Up Day this Saturday September 19th from 9am to 12noon at more than 70 locations in Southern California!

>Food and Water Watch hosts a talk by Bolivian water activist Marcela Olivera – Saturday September 19th at 4pm. Details here in our earlier post.

News and Events – 12 August 2009

August 12, 2009 § 2 Comments

Some recent coverage of items that might be of interest to our fellow creek freaks – scroll down for events:

>The Los Angeles Times Greenspace Blog entry Trapping the Rain highlights the Natural Resources Defense Council’s new report A Clear Blue Future: How Greening California Cities Can Address Water Resources and Climate Challenges in the 21st Century. The report  is about Low Impact Development “LID” and how we can build smarter to save water and energy.

>Los Angeles westside property owners can trap your own rain if you apply for the city’s new rainwater harvesting program. If you’re looking to set up your own rain harvesting system (like Homegrown Evolution details here) check out creek freak’s favorite water harvesting expert Brad Lancaster‘s recommendations for selecting the least toxic hose

 >Homegrown Evolution reports on the recent approval of California’s smart new greywater law, designed to make it easier to reuse your greywater. Greywater is “used” water from your washing machine, sinks or showers. Mr. Homegrown will  be teaching a greywater workshop this Sunday – see below. Soak in creek freak’s washing machine greywater system here.

>The San Gabriel Valley Tribune covers the new master planning underway for the Whittier Narrows Recreation Area – 1200 acres where the San Gabriel River and the Rio Hondo squeeze together behind the Whittier Narrows Dam. Also, the Pasadena Star News reports that the Altadena Foothills Conservancy is doing the early planning work to create a new trail system along the Eaton Canyon Wash, which could connect from the foothills above Pasadena all the way down to the Whittier Narrows.

Bixby Marshland - photo from LACSD

Bixby Marshland - photo from LACSD

>The Los Angeles County Sanitation District website profiles the Bixby Marshland – a 17-acre remnant wetlands located near the intersection of Figueroa and Sepulveda in the city of Carson. They’re looking for volunteers to help steward the site.

>The City Project is about to unveil new proposals for Griffith Park on the East Bank of the Los Angeles River – a future Los Angeles River park on the Los Angeles City Recreation and Parks 28-acre Central Service Yard, located at the end  of Chevy Chase Drive in North Atwater. The city is already planning to restore a small remnant creek in one corner of the site.

>Federal stimulus money is helping make the Los Angeles River healthier (though creek freak would like to see it do a whole lot more!) Funds are being used to provide trash capture devices that prevent trash from getting into the river (via Spouting Off.) They’ll be installed in about a dozen downstream cities from Vernon to Montebello to Long Beach. There’s also some federal funding planned for reworking the “Shoemaker Bridge” where the 710 Freeway crosses the Los Angeles River near downtown Long Beach. The project includes doubling the size of Cesar Chavez Park. Let’s hope that it doesn’t hasten the expansion of the rest of the 710 Freeway – a huge threat to restoration on the lower river

>An odd little video featuring a homeless man fishing by throwing rocks into the Los Angeles River (thanks Jeff Chapman.) See creek freak’s earlier post on fish in the L.A. River

>And, for bridge geeks, Blogdowntown reports on the city of Los Angeles’ Cultural Heritage Commission instructions for the city’s bridge engineers to consider more preservation options as they plan to demolish (*sob*) and replace the monumental 1932 6th Street Bridge over the Los Angeles River. The proposal is to widen and straighten the bridge into freeway proportions. Creek freak feels a wave of despair just writing about this wrong-headed project and its “let’s destroy our heritage while bringing way more cars into dense urban areas” mentality. Here’s a grim rendering of the proposed “3-dual tower cable supported viaduct.”

Proposed 6th Street Bridge Replacement - click for link to larger version - from Blogdowntown via Flickr

Proposed 6th Street Bridge Replacement - click for link to larger version - from Blogdowntown via Flickr

Upcoming events to explore and get involved with local creek freaks:

>The excellent documentary movie Tapped shows today and tomorrow at the Arclight theaters in Hollywood. Showtimes hereCreek Freak’s review here.

>This Sunday August 16th at 11am, Homegrown Evolution offers a greywater workshop called “D.I.Y. Greywater: Hack Your Washing Machine

>Friends of the Los Angeles River is hosting a few upcoming Los Angeles River clean-ups. On Saturday August 22nd they’ll be at the Sepulveda Basin, and Saturday August 29th at Taylor Yard. There will also be river sites at this year’s Coastal Clean-Up Day coming up on September 19th.

News and Events – 12 June 2009

June 12, 2009 § 2 Comments

Rachel Garcia as the Great Blue Heron in Touch the Water, costume design by Soojin Lee - Photo copywright John Luker

Rachel Garcia as the Great Blue Heron in Cornerstone Theater's L.A. River Play Touch the Water, costume design by Soojin Lee - Photo copywright John Luker

UPCOMING EVENTS:

Shishir Kurup and Joe Linton in Touch the Water - Photo copywright John Luker

Shishir Kurup and Joe Linton in Touch the Water - Photo copywright John Luker (enter your humorous caption in comments!)

> “Touch ze water, man”  Cornerstone Theater‘s Touch the Water is showing NOW, and continues Wednesday through Sunday through June 21st ( this weekend and next weekend only!)  Come and see your creek freak blogger Joe Linton’s dramatic debut and what the LA Weekly describes as including a “stunning moment of spine-tingling magic that is the raison d’etre of site-specific theater.”   Most performances include pre-play river walks, lead by local creek freaks including Jenny Price, Robert Garcia, Miguel Luna and others.  Make reservations online at the Cornerstone website.  Here are a few suggestions for theater-goers:

(For my handful of loyal readers:  I promise to blog more once this production is over!)

> The Pacific American Volunteer Association and Anahuak Youth Sports Organization host a Los Angeles River clean-up this Saturday June 13th via Green L.A. Girl.

> Author and Urban Ranger Jenny Price, after leading her pre-play walk this Friday, will lead Friends of the Los Angeles River’s tour of the Lower Los Angeles River on Sunday June 14th.

SOME RECENT NEWS:

> Per the Long Beach Press-Telegram, L.A. County Supervisors have voted to proceed with a Compton Creek Master Plan.

The Glendale News Press reports that Disney is being sued for alledgedly polluting the river-adjacent Polliwog Parcel.  Polliwog is a remnant piece of Griffith Park stranded north of the Los Angeles River when the river was straightened.  The site has been discussed as part of a future Los Angeles River greenway (though today most of the site is separated from the river by the 134 Freeway.)

Relief from the Concrete lets us know that the draft Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for the San Gabriel River Discovery Center has been released and is now open for comments.

According to Science Dude, the San Gabriel River’s sea turtles appear to have established a year-round colony.

LAist talks bull on Army Corps restoration of Bull Creek in the Sepulveda Basin, and talks trash about L.A.’s storm drain covers.

W Roscoe (with my friend Federico) explores the Ballona Creek underground.

Some new video coverage of local waterways:

Some creeky new blogs:

Lastly, probably off topic, but about water at least:  see this WaterWired post on a water-computer used to predict changes in the economy.  It’s both elegant and Rube-Goldberg – follow the link on the blog to watch the video.

Rio Limpio Tule River Clean-Up

May 26, 2009 § 1 Comment

Rio Limpio: Tule River Clean-Up bumper sticker design (ink on paper, 3"x9")

Well… it’s a bit far afield for L.A. Creek Freaks, but I thought I’d let you all know about Rio Limpio – a Tule River Clean-Up, mostly because I designed the above bumper sticker for it (and because I’ve been too busy at Touch the Water to spend enough time blogging here.)   My brother and his wife and family are involved in the Tule River clean-up. The creek freak streak runs in my family, no? They live in the town of Springville, California “The Gateway to the Tule River Redwoods” which is near Sequoia National Forest where my brother works.  Springville is located along both sides of the nicely natural Tule River, which is a favored hangout site during  hot Central Valley summers.  The river flows from the National Forest, through Springville, and into Lake Success (formed by a US Army Corps of Engineers dam) then through Porterville and into the now-dry Tule Lake.

Rio Limpio (Spanish for “Clean River”) is a series of three clean-ups, hosted by the non-profit Wild Places, the first of which takes place this Saturday May 30th.

(Cross-posted in slightly different forms at L.A. Creek Freak [river blog] and Handmade Ransom Notes [art blog])

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