Saturday, April 18, 2015

Red Car Property: In Case You Needed Another Reminder To Get Your Brush Clearance Done

Photo: Diane Edwardson, April 13, 2015.  In the late afternoons, the light and topography of the Corralitas end of the Red Car Property makes for dramatic photos.  Yet the darkness back there is an extremely steep slope of dry weeds interspersed with native trees.  (Click on photo to enlarge.)

The Red Car Property Neighborhood is in the Very High Fire Hazard Severity Zone  (VHFHSZ).  See the LAFD's website for brush clearance requirements and details.  May 1 is when the fines can start adding up. 

And a reminder, clearing combustible vegetation does NOT mean removing all trees and shrubs from the lot.  Read the requirements carefully.  Trees provide shade, reduce cooling costs and clean the air.  Since native trees evolved to fit our weather extremes, they are not only drought tolerant, but also help hold hillsides together in the rainy season.  If you have protected native trees like California Black Walnut, Coast Live Oak or Western Sycamore,  see the Department of Urban Forestry for more information

Friday, April 17, 2015

LA River: Annual Clean Up, Saturday,
April 18, 2015

Photo: Diane Edwardson, 2010.  Although they're becoming more scarce, you'll still see shopping carts in the LA River.  (Click on photo to enlarge.)

Friends of LA River (FoLAR) presents
LA Gran Limpieza
9AM - Noon
6 Locations 
in the Glendale Narrows 
(our section of the river) 

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Corralitas Public Staircase: Sierra Club Verdugo Hills Did Brush Clearance Today!

Photo: Diane Edwardson, April 16, 2016. I ran into a group of volunteers from the Sierra Club's Verdugo Hills Group clearing brush from the Corralitas Public Staircase as a part of their Earth Day celebrations.  They planned a picnic in Red Car Canyon when they were done.  (Click on photos to enlarge.)

They've adopted our public staircase and would like to plant some drought tolerant natives in the neglected triangle of slope at Corralitas & Rosebud.  Realistically, without water, we agreed it would be best to wait for next rainy season unless a neighbor was willing to water regularly.

In the big picture, they'd really like to extend the handrails all the way up the Corralitas Public Staircase.  I pointed out there were far more serious problems than handrails with these stairs.  Several flights are in need of structural repair due to partial slope failure.  

The original public staircase was likely built in 1922 (or earlier), when the tract was first subdivided.  ("Hunter Terrace" was cut in 1922.)  Handrails were not a part of the original staircase according to the Smith Family, who called Corralitas home from 1938- 2005.  The lower two flights of stairs were realigned in 1960-62 by the State, when they cut into the hillside and moved Corralitas and Rosebud to build the 2 Freeway.  That's when the handrails were added to the rebuilt portion of the staircase.

I gave the volunteers the list of (supposedly) all of the public staircases the City, prioritized by need for repair that our (now) City Councilmember Mitch O'Farrell spearheaded in 2002, while a he was a deputy for (then) City Councilmember Eric Garcetti.  Corralitas is number 16, on the list of 220, in the most need of repair.  Corralitas has only gotten worse since 2002.
Photo: Diane Edwardson, April 16, 2015.  Corralitas Neighbors, how much of schmuck do you feel like for not clearing brush from this small patch of hillside below the public staircase, when a group of 6 to 8 seniors from the Sierra Club's Verdugo Hills Group  volunteered to clean it up?  

On behalf of my neighbors, I thanked them and asked them to give me advanced notice next time so we'd get some neighbors out there too.  In the meantime, consider a donation to the Sierra Club's Verdugo Hills Group.  

Silver Ridge Way: How Many Coyotes Do You See In This Photo?

Photo: Joan Stevenson, April 14, 2015. I can't tell you how often people say they've never seen a coyote in the neighborhood.  They do blend in well with our dry hillsides.  (Click on photos to enlarge.)

Got Chickens? Stevenson's neighbor does.   Tuesday morning, Stevenson awoke to the sounds of barking coyotes and panicked chickens.  If you've got chickens, be a good neighbor & let your neighbors know so they can make an informed decision about letting their cats and small dogs outside.  Fences are not a deterrent to coyotes.
Photo: Joan Stevenson, April 14, 2015 (enlarged from the upper photo).  There were at least 2 large male coyotes up on the neighbor's retaining wall, watching the chickens in the pen below.  A third coyote may be between the other 2.  

The backyard chicken craze must be easy pickings for Silver Lake  coyotes.

In the 25 years I've lived here, I'm always amazed at how well adapted coyotes are to the urban wilds of Silver Lake & Elysian Heights.  They hunt in packs, using parked cars for cover.  One coyote acts as a friendly decoy to lure a curious off leash dog toward them.  Meanwhile the other 2 coyote are lying in wait on either side of a parked car ready to ambush the unsuspecting dog.  Neighbors describe similar encounters on public staircases. 

Click here for Dept of Animal Services: Living with Wildlife information

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Red Car Property: On A Clear Day You Can See Griffith Observatory

Photo: Diane Edwardson, April 12, 2015.  Leaves have returned to the protected native California Black Walnut Trees and the weeds are dry.  (Click on photos to enlarge.)
Photo: Diane Edwardson, February 28, 2015.  What a difference 6 weeks makes.   

LAFD brush clearance inspections start May 1.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Red Car Canyon: Sewer Lines Dumped Last Week

Photo: Diane Edwardson, April 11, 2015.  Last week,  it appears that someone replaced about 35' of sewer lines and dumped the old ones, including some old clay sewer lines, and a large wood beam in Red Car Canyon on the Lake View Ave side.  (Click on photo to enlarge.)

Respect your neighbors.  The City does not pick up your trash back here - it's private property.  Don't dump it out your back gates.  Don't drive here and dump either.  Considering the property owner still hasn't picked up dumping in the canyon from last summer, this is only going to sit here too.

If you see someone dumping - take photos, be sure to get their license plate & call the non-emergency 1-877-ASK-LAPD & report it immediately.

Who benefits from illegal dumping?  Developers.  

Neighbors complain.  Developers fail to clean up their property so you will embrace development.  Don't fall for their pattern of neglect.  File a complaint on the Building & Safety website. The address for this site is 2433 Corralitas Drive.  As if you could find it by address.  It's best to include photos.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Red Car Property: Not A Park, It Just Looks Like One

Photo: Diane Edwardson, April 12, 2015.  Despite the dry grass, the trees are really green, particularly the protected native California Black Walnuts.  (Click on photo to enlarge)

Sunday, April 12, 2015

India Street: No Parking Sign Is No More

Photo: Diane Edwardson, April 11, 2015.  Yes we sent it to the Red Car property owner's rep yesterday.  (Click on photos to enlarge.)

NOTE: In 2007, Neighbors from Riverside Place & Corralitas Drive put up the Neighborhood Watch signs on the Red Car Property ("Children at Play" sign came from Corralitas) in response to an increase in drug-related petty crime in the neighborhood; partying and graffiti on the Red Car Property.
Photo: Diane Edwardson, April 7, 2015.  We gave the property owner's rep a head's up re the sign and the Mercedes station wagon that still had not moved. 
Photo: Diane Edwardson, April 4, 2015.  We also shot the rep an email/photo on April 4 re: the station wagon and the sign/gate.  

We first emailed both Rose Scharlin Co-op Preschool's community rep & the Red Car Property rep on April 3, after the Mercedes station wagon had not moved in several days, parked in the area where Rose Scharlin is allowed to park 4 cars during school hours.

The Mercedes station wagon was finally removed from the Red Car Property on April 9.  More than a week after it first appeared.

Red Car Property: Xmas Tree Is Not Coming Back From The Dead

Photo: Diane Edwardson, April 4, 2014.  Let's hope this isn't the same tree that's been hanging around the area just north of the Silver Lake Ave Public Staircase since June 2013 or even sometime in 2014.  (Click on photo to enlarge.)

It's a real fire hazard.  

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Corralitas Walk: It's A "Walk Street"

Photo: Diane Edwardson, April 4, 2015.  Corralitas Walk is the public sidewalk running parallel to the 2 Freeway between Corralitas Drive and Allesandro Way, adjacent to the southern end of the Red Car Property.  (Click on photo to enlarge.)

We got the sidewalk as mitigation for the 2 Freeway cutting off Corralitas Drive from secondary access to Allesandro Street. 

Friday, April 10, 2015

Red Car Property: If It Comes Out Of Your Dog's Butt, Pick It Up!

Photo: Diane Edwardson, April 7, 2015.  Seriously - more than one of you are not picking up after your dogs.  (Click on photo to enlarge.)

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Elysian Valley, Cypress Park: Metrolink Explains Their Health Risk Assessment TONIGHT

Photo: Diane Edwardson, January 12, 2012.  Metrolink has gotten better since 2012, but they haven't given us all the data we asked for, and then there's that issue of ongoing accountability.  (Click on photo to enlarge.)

Metrolink will present their Health Risk Assessment for their rail yard on San Fernando Road.   Attend the meeting & give them your opinion.  

Community Meeting
sponsored by
City Counilmembers Mitch O'Farrell (CD13) & Gil Cedillo (CD1) 
LAUSD Boardmember Bennett Kayser

Thursday, April 9, 2015
6 - 8 PM
Los Angeles, CA 90065

CD1: Jose Rodriguez or (323) 550-1538
CD13: Adam Bass (213) 207-3015

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Silver Lake Neighborhood Council UD&PAC: Squatter Problems In Bank Owned Houses, Rose Scharlin Nursery School Conditional Use Permit On Tonight's Agenda

Photo: Diane Edwardson, July 1, 2014.  A bank-owned and long problematic house on Adelbert Ave was cleared of squatters in early February.  The squatters  encroached on the Red Car Property with not only dumping, but also an outdoor living room and a whole lot of illicit activity.  (Click on photos to enlarge.)

Silver Lake Neighborhood Council's Urban Design & Preservation Advisory Committee (SLNC UD&PAC deals with land use issues) will address bank-owned homes (There were 3 houses with squatters in residence on the north end of the Red Car Property - all recently cleared of squatters.)  UD&PAC will also hear from Rose Scharlin Nursery School (more below).

SLNC UD&PAC Regular Committee Meeting 
Wednesday April 8, 2015
6:30 PM 
Citibank Community Room
Silver Lake 90039

Rose Scharlin Co-Op Nursery School's Conditional Use Permit (CUP) issued by the City, expired in 1987.  However they do have their license from the State of California to operate a school.   

The CUP is a permit to essentially use the land for a school in a residential neighborhood where it would not be permitted by the zoning.  This is one venue the public has bring up issues with the school.  Another venue is the City Planning hearing for the CUP.  A CUP can be conditioned for greater accountability if neighbors speak up.

Rose Scharlin is on tonight's agenda too.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Red Car Canyon Creek: Mudwatch, Rainfall Totals

Photo: S. Bartron, April 7, 2015.  After 1/4" of rain in 2 hours this afternoon, Red Car Canyon creek was flowing from the Silver Lake Ave Public Staircase toward India St.  The asphalt pedestrian path crosses the Red Car Property.  (Click on photo to enlarge.)

Bartron remarked, "Compacted soil not absorbing water very well, but nice to see the little river."

Rainfall totals as collected in the Corralitas Drive Rain gauge as of 8 PM:

April 7, 2015: 0.3" 
Season to Date: 10.2"

Viaduct Footings: Gulf Frittilary

Photo: Diane Edwardson, March 28, 2015.  Gulf Frittilaries are pretty common butterflies and can be seen all over the Red Car Property, but most often around and above the historic viaduct footings.  (Click on photos to enlarge.)

From above, they are a bright orange mid-sized butterfly with black-lined silver spots on their wings.  They are usually in constant motion, so it's not easy to get a clear shot of one.
Photo: Diane Edwardson, March 12, 2015.  From below, to a predator, they might be a mistaken for a dead leaf with light shining through it.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Red Car Property: Think Of It As A Traffic Calming Device*

Photo: Diane Edwardson, April, 4, 2015.  Since at least last Wednesday, an older model, cream-colored Mercedes station wagon has been parked on the Red Car Property at India Street.  (Click on photo to enlarge.)

Friday, we notified the Red Car Property owner's rep.   As of this morning, the car is still parked a good 20 feet out into the Red Car Property.  As of Sunday morning, the car still had not moved.  So much for the property owner restricting parking.

*UPDATE April 8, 2015.  A neighbor reports the station wagon is finally gone.

2 Freeway: How Do The Homeless Get Medical Attention?

Photo: Diane Edwardson, April 5, 2015, 1:37 PM.  LAPD, LAFD and CHP responded to a call on the 2 Freeway median just north of the Rosebud Ave Underpass.  (Click on photo to enlarge.)

Around 1:15 PM, several neighbors were texting me with info as a LAPD helicopter circled very low over my house.  I had to go up to a neighbor's balcony for a clear shot.  

The neighbor reported what appeared to be a woman walking around on the median of the 2 Freeway between the north & southbound lanes waving her arms trying to get a car to stop.  The neighbor confirmed the person in between the firemen is the person who was doing the waving.  

LAPD helicopter left when the first CHP officer arrived.  The officer had the person sit down on the slope, so I could not see what was going on.  Over the next 10 minutes a bevy of CHP, LAPD, and LAFD joined the first officer.  There seemed to be no vehicles involved so I am speculating it was one of the many homeless who live on the 2 Freeway.  If the person was not homeless, what was he/she doing wandering around on the 2 Freeway? 

All of the officers appeared to treat the patient with respect.   The patient was able to slowly walk to the gurney with the aid of paramedics.

Looking at the time on my photos, the first CHP officer was on scene by 1:23 PM; LAFD & paramedics arrived at 1:34 PM.

Neighbors adjacent the 2 Freeway between the 5 Freeway and the Terminus have reported seeing more homeless than usual since CalTrans began work on soundwalls on the northbound lanes between Oak Glen & Rosebud.  Additionally, 3 bank-owned houses on the north end of the Red Car Property were cleared of squatters in February, so the theory is those folks have scattered looking for new homes.  

The freeways are no place for anyone to live.

Red Car Property: Butterfly Bonanza Continues

Photo: Diane Edwardson, March 20, 2015.  Monarch Butterflies' epic migration is seriously endangered.  However, they are alive and well on the Red Car Property.  (Click on photos to enlarge.)
Photo: Diane Edwardson, March 30, 2015.  Cabbage Whites are among the butterfly species most often seen on the Red Car Property. 
Photo: Diane Edwardson, March 28, 2015.  Painted Ladies are not as plentiful as Cabbage Whites & Monarchs, but they too like the non-native wild radish flowers. 

Also plentiful right now: Funereal Duskywings, Gulf Frittilaries, Sulfurs, Western Tigers, Checkered Whites, Giant Swallowtails and Mourning Cloaks.
Enjoy them while you can before brush clearance takes the flowers the adult butterflies like to feed on. 

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Red Car Property: Not A Park, It Just Looks Like One

Photo: Diane Edwardson, March 30, 2015.  The sun is frying the north end of the Red Car Property faster than usual, since drought and disease killed more than a dozen large eucalyptus that provided shade.  (Click on photo to enlarge.)

However, the protected native  California Black Walnut Trees are doing quite well with the nearly 10" of rain we got this winter.  (They are the super green trees in this photo.)  

Friday, April 3, 2015

Red Car Canyon: Who Is Trying To Make Dumping Look Like A Homeless Camp?

Photo:Diane Edwardson, March 29, 2015.  Last week, someone moved the blue tarp full of weeds into the bushes to make it look like we have a homeless camp in Red Car Canyon.  How do we know?  We've been documented the hell out of this pile since it was dumped in the canyon last summer.  (Click on photos to enlarge & use the links in this post to earlier documentation.)

The pile of old lumber, concrete and brush bound up in a blue tarp was dumped in Red Car Canyon last August, documented here and reported to the property owner's rep and City Council office (CD13) then, and monthly since.
Photo: Diane Edwardson, March 29, 2015.  If you don't walk the property on a regular basis, you wouldn't recognize the tarp full of weeds that the developer didn't even bother to have picked up during brush clearance last year.  Rumors then circulate that there's a homeless problem on the property.  No, there's a pile a crap that the property owner refuses to pick up. 

Who benefits from these rumors?  Developers, who prey on the fear of homeowners.  "See, you need new development to keep the homeless out." How about, "You need to take responsibility for your property."  Your "broken windows" are only attracting graffiti, dumping and disrespect for the neighborhood. 
Photo: Jonathan Vandiveer, March 10, 2015.  The weeds had grown up over the piles, including the scrap wood that one Riverside Place neighbor has been hauling away one piece at a time as she walks her dog.  (Thanks for being a good neighbor!)  The same neighbor flipped the tarp full of weeds over to let the rainwater drain out. 

The second arrow in the above photo shows the pile of dry bamboo and brush dumped at the same time last summer.  It's still there and still dry.
Photo: Diane Edwardson, February 4, 2015.  This one was on the blog.  By then, weeds had grown through the broken glass tabletop dumped in November. 
Photo: Diane Edwardson, March 10, 2015.  The big pile of dry bamboo and weeds will be extra dry this summer if it doesn't get picked up soon.  Brush clearance is supposed to be done by May 1.  (It's not so green anymore.)
Frankly we'd rather post photos of butterflies, hawks and wildflowers than have to focus on dumping.  While it does become a part of the landscape and you do really have to think about it when someone asks if the pile of dumping is still in the canyon.  After 7 months, it's time to haul it away.