Metabolic Studio Twain Tours Historic Bridge Excursions

December 13, 2010 § 1 Comment

View from the North Broadway Bridge's central belvedere - during the December 3rd Twain Tour - photo by Miguel Luna

Last Friday and the Friday before I had a great time showing off a dozen of  my favorite historic bridges in and around Downtown Los Angeles. The events were the Metabolic Studio Twain Tour L.A. Creek Freak Historic Bridges Excursions. « Read the rest of this entry »

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 – 8 September 2010

September 8, 2010 § 1 Comment

RECENT CREEK FREAK NEWS:

>Elmer Avenue is a star! It’s a project that richly deserves this week’s coverage from KPCC and the L.A. Times. (Creek Freek knew Elmer way back before he made it big. Proof.)

Garvanza Springs Image c.1880 - from Huntington Library via Myriad Unnamed Streams in Water, CA. Click for link

>L.A. Creek Freak’s Jessica Hall and Jane Tsong have contributed to a very informative and beautiful online media book Water, CA: Creative Visualizations for a New Millenium. Fellow travelers Cleo Woelfle-Erskine, Isabelle Duvivier and Claude Willey are also among the 20+ featured contributors.  Jessica Hall’s Daylighting Consciousness and Streams is an excellent new version of an early Creek Freak article. Jane Tsong’s Myriad Unnamed Streams piece (about creeks in North East L.A.) appears on her website in even greater detail. 

>Recommended reading: State Senate: Industry Bagmen – Mark Gold’s autopsy on the death of the AB1998 – a statewide ban on single-use plastic bags. (LACF linked to this earlier, but it got kinda buried under a long article.)

UPCOMING EVENTS:

>Jenny Price’s L.A. River tours continue Sunday September 12th, Sunday September 26th, and Sunday October 3rd. Information and reservations here. Maybe also brush up on the tour’s new unwelcome features here.

>On Wednesday September 22nd 2010, Zócalo presents a panel discussion on the future of the Los Angeles River. Mike Woo moderates the following panelists: Marc Salette of Chee Salette Architecture, Jim Stafford of Perkins+Will, Mia Lehrer of Mia Lehrer + Associates, and Michael Maltzan of Michael Maltzan Architecture. Make a reservation early, because these Zocalo talks fill up.

Police Harrass River Tours in Downtown L.A.

September 2, 2010 § 7 Comments

LAPD escorts River tour leader Jenny Price at the 6th Street Bridge tunnel in downtown Los Angeles. Photo by Richard Sherer

“And the cops have busted us. This is one bad ass tour of the LA River!!!”
Tweeted by BJustin 2:44pm August 21st 2010 

Creek Freak has frequently recommended Jenny Price and her wonderful Los Angeles River tours. Sign up for her upcoming tours on this Saturday September 4th 2010, as well as Sunday September 12th, Sunday September 26th, and Sunday October 3rd. The Huffington Post recently ran an excellent review of Price’s tour, with photos and a short interview (and Thirteen Ways of Seeing Nature in Los Angeles is actually required reading for all creek freaks!)   

Price has led river tours for more than 10 years. Since last month, they have a new and unwelcome feature: the Los Angeles Police Department. 

« Read the rest of this entry »

News and Events – 16 July 2010

July 16, 2010 § 4 Comments

RECENT NEWS

> Hector Tobar has an excellent piece in today’s L.A. Times, mostly about how Heather Wylie spurred on George Wolfe to lead the 2008 L.A. River expedition. It’s entitled A gamble on the river pays off and here’s a short excerpt, featuring yours truly:

Without Wylie and that law-defying boat trip, it might not have happened.

As proof that the river is indeed navigable, the EPA cited in its official report the July 2008 Los Angeles River expedition organized by Wylie, George Wolfe and others.

“The federal government is saying this is a real river,” said Joe Linton, a writer and activist who was also on the expedition. “I say that every day. But it’s good to be backed up by officialdom. It gives the river a certain legitimacy.”

The Los Angeles River has always been a real river. The city was founded on its banks and today — in spite of its concrete walls — it’s still the natural object at the center of L.A.’s existence.

Read the full article here. Also read more L.A. Creek Freak background on the 2008 kayak expedition and Heather Wylie. Updated: Credit too to LAist, which is the site that ran Wylie photos that got her in trouble with her higher-ups at the Army Corps of Engineers.

> The Next American City covers river revival as performance art, focusing on the leading roles played by Lewis MacAdams, poet and founder of Friends of the Los Angeles River. Also read a selection from MacAdam’s recent poetry book here.

Rending of future wetlands restortation at the Piggyback Yards. Image from piggybackyard.org

> For more coverage of the Piggyback Yards proposals, in addition to Creek Freek’s post earlier today, check out Piya Sinha-Roy’s article and lots of material and images at the “PBy” site!

UPCOMING EVENTS

> Act quick to get in on this Sunday’s Hidden L.A. River tour. Details at our post earlier this week.

News and Events – 13 July 2010

July 13, 2010 § 2 Comments

LAist photo of George Wolfe navigating the L.A. River. For more navigability stuff, watch the Rock the Boat movie and read lots of coverage - links and details below.

UPCOMING EVENTS

> From 3pm to 5pm this Thursday July 15th 2010 join the Village Gardeners and TreePeople to trim and mulch native vegetation on the L.A. River in Sherman Oaks. Event details here.

> Watch the film about the 2008 Kayak expedition that proved that the L.A. River is navigable today! Rock the Boat screens this Friday July 16th 2010 at the Audbon Center at Debs Park. That’s at 4700 Griffin Avenue in Highland Park, easy walk from the Southwest Museum Metro Gold Line Station. Birding walk at 6:45pm. At 8pm two films screen.  First: Paddle to the Sea – a short film based on the classic children’s book. Second: Rock the Boat. Admission is free – though donations for Rock the Boat will be accepted. More event information at Audubon and Facebook.

> From 8am to 3pm this Sunday July 17th, Jenny Price leads a Hidden L.A. car caravan tour of the Los Angeles River. Features tacos and cream puffs. More information and registration here.

> **UPDATED – POSTPONED SEE COMMENT BELOW The city of Los Angeles LID (Low Impact Development) ordinance will be heard at the 9am Tuesday July 20th 2010 meeting of the city council’s Energy and Environment Committee, which takes place room 1010 on the 10th floor at Los Angeles City Hall. Background on LID here and here. Committee agenda will be here, once posted (should be up Friday this week.) Follow the LID city council motion 09-1554 here, including RSS feed. 

RECENT NEWS

> Another excellent L.A. River documentary is now available online. Watch The River Under the City of Angels by Fred Kaplan (27 minutes, 2010.) It’s very personal and poignant, with lots of great footage from all up and down the Los Angeles River, plus interview footage with Lewis MacAdams, Ed Reyes, Carol Armstrong, Scott Wilson, Jenny Price and others. Well worth watching!

> There’s a lot of coverage of last week’s big Los Angeles River navigability announcement. The L.A. Times‘ Louis Sahagun has the best coverage. Yes, better than L.A. Creek Freak… though I think we got the news online slightly earlier and we also covered the actual source documents, and the planned park on Compton Creek. After creek freak’s really quick video of EPA’s Lisa Jackson’s announcement, County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas’s folks posted much better quality edited video here.
Some worthwhile coverage:  KPCC radio has excellent audio. Other good reads at Chance of Rain, High Country News, Ballona Blog, Curbed L.A., LAist, River NetworkModern Hiker, and even Mayor Villaraigosa himself pens a piece at Huffington Post. For the sort of  “Navigable? Are you kidding?” response, check ProfessorBainbridge and Legal Planet.

> The Pasadena City Council met last night to consider building soccer fields at Hahamongna nature park. We’re hoping to report more on this as we get more news (or to link to a full account), but the council voted 4-3 to proceed with fields at the site. Read Creek Freak background on the issue here and visit Save Hahamongna to get news and get involved. 

> Dredging Today “dedicated to dredging” reports that Dutra Dredging has been awarded a $1.3M contract for dredging the Los Angeles River estuary. Your federal stimulus funds at work.

> The White House and GOOD magazine like Environmental Charter High School in Lawndale. L.A. Creek Freak was there in April 2010!

News and Events – 12 March 2010

March 12, 2010 § 1 Comment

NEWS FLOW:

Car being pulled from the L.A. River - photo from Long Beach Fire Department website

>Yesterday morning, near the L.A. River’s mouth near downtown Long Beach,  a driver crashed her car through the guardrail on the 710 Freeway and plunged into the L.A. River, where it’s actually about 20-feet deep. Long Beach firefighters rescued her; read more at their website. Television coverage here.

CURRENT EVENTS:

>World Water Day Los Angeles extravaganza is this Sunday March 14th from 9:30am to 3:30pm at the L.A. County Natural History Museum. Read about it on L.A. Creek Freak and even Facebook.

>Jenny Price lead’s Friends of the L.A. River’s river tour, this Sunday March 14th, from 9:30am to 4:30pm.

Next Thursday - check out what Jessica's students have been up to!

>Creek Freak Jessica Hall’s Landscape Architecture students show their designs for how L.A. River restoration can interface with community and rail – on Thursday March 18, 2010 from 3pm-7pm at the River Center in Cypress Park.

UPDATED- Added: >Los Angeles State Historic Park hosts a Go Wild for Wildflowers – interpretive walk showcasing the park’s abundant… you guessed it… wildflowers! It’s free and at 2pm on Saturday March 20th, 2010. Tour the wildflowers virtually, too, via the park’s very own blog.

>Los Angeles County Bicycle Master Plan public meetings continue on March 24th and 25th. Give them input – online or in person – regarding what waterway bike path improvements you’d like to see. Creek Freak explains the county plan here.

> The Theodore Payne Foundation – fine purveyors of California Native landscaping – has a bunch going on:

  • The California Wildflower Hotline  Now through May 31 2010 – Find out about the most spectacular wildflower sites throughout Southern and Central California – updated every Thursday evening with new information. Use link or call  (818)768-3533. Roaming charges may apply.
  • Spring discount plant sale & Open House Saturday, Saturday March 27, 2010, 8:30am-4:30pm at TPF’s Nursery in Sun Valley.
  • Annual Native Plant Garden Tour takes place Saturday and Sunday, April 10 and 11, 2010, from 10am to 4pm – including a free lecture event:  In California, the Natives Are Friendly with Isabelle Greene on Saturday, April 10, 2010, at 6:30pm at Barnsdall Gallery Theatre in Hollywood.

>The L.A. River boating expedition documentary Rock the Boat will screen at Los Angeles Eco-Village on Saturday May 8th 2010. Basic info here, more details coming soon.

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.

Recent News, Upcoming Events 2008 September 8

September 8, 2008 § Leave a comment

Recent News and Upcoming Events in the World of Los Angeles Water – 2008 September 8th. One in an occasional series of blogs where the links expire more quickly than usual:

Good news for fish: on August 27th, the Pasadena Star-News reported the celebration of the completion of the Arroyo Seco stream revitalization project, including the introduction of 300 Arroyo Chub – a threatened native fish species.

Bad news for fish: on August 29th, the Long Beach Press Telegram reported the deaths of approximately 1000 fish (mainly carp) in the lower Los Angeles River. A September 4th follow-up story suggested a possible link between the dead fish and an August 23rd fire at the Norman, Fox & Co. chemical plant in Vernon.

Other morbid Long Beach news: August 31st, the Contra Costa Times reported that Long Beach firefighters pulled a the body of dead man out of the river near Ocean Boulevard. No connection suggested to any upstream fires.

First Street Bridge photo by Ed Fuentes blogdowntown.com

First Street Bridge photo by Ed Fuentes blogdowntown.com

Troubled Bridges Over Waters: on September 2nd, blogdowntown reported on the dismantling of a portion of the 1929 First Street Bridge in order to make way for widening for lots and lots of cars and the tracks for the Metro Gold Line eastside extension. Though they are planning to keep most of the pieces for later re-assembly, this creek freak and self-proclaimed bridge geek feels that the bridge (which originally had streetcars running down the middle of it) was already plenty wide to begin with. Click here for the Historic American Engineering Record’s beautiful drawings recording many of the great local Merrill Butler bridges. Merrill Butler was the Los Angeles City bridge engineer from 1923 through 1961.

Upcoming Events:

On Sunday September 14th from 9am to 1pm, Jenny Price will be leading Friends of the Los Angeles River excellent day-long tour of the Los Angeles River. Jenny is a friend and a great writer on urban environmental issues; I highly recommend her essay “Thirteen Ways of Seeing Nature in L.A.”

The documentary movie FLOW opens this Friday September 12th at the Laemmle Sunset 5. Fabulous panel discussions ensue. Go to the prior blog entry to find more information.

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