Thursday, August 27, 2015

Red Car Canyon: Tuesday Morning Pit Bull Attacks

Photo: Red Car Canyon Neighbor, August 25, 2015.  Tuesday morning, my on-leash dog was attacked by 2 Pit Bulls that escaped their yard on Riverside Place.

In recent weeks I've heard of several unprovoked dog on dog attacks on both the Red Car Property and on adjacent streets.  None involved the same dogs.  Not all involved Pit Bulls.  All incidents involved at least one off-leash dog attacking an on-leash dog.  If your dog is off-leash - you are in violation of the law.

I only write this today because so many neighbors have asked me to do so.  I usually hear stories from second or third parties, well after the fact.  So I haven't been able to use them.  Since I've already lost the better part of 2 days dealing with this issue and my dog's injuries, I hope dog owners faced with an attack by any kind of dog will learn to stay calm and take specific actions if they find themselves in a similar situation.

Pay Attention
Tuesday morning, I was walking alone, southbound through the canyon, with my dog on a short leash at my side, when I saw 2 big pit bulls about 75' ahead of me, off-leash and unattended, running onto the property from Riverside Place. They both looked over their shoulders at my dog.  They immediately changed direction and charged at my dog. 

Stay Calm, Be The Alpha, Shout For Help
I did what usually stops an aggressive dog in its tracks.  Without hesitating, I stepped in front of my dog, made myself big, putting my fists on my hips, shouting in a low voice "NO! BAD DOG! NO!"  (Really, it usually works.)  Clearly, these bad dogs felt no remorse and went right around me, knocking my dog to the ground, first biting at his neck, then biting at his legs.  While trying to push the larger, more aggressive Pit Bull with my legs to the side and pull back on its collar, I was shouting for help, "I'm in the canyon, somebody please help me!"

I ended up on the ground in a jumble of all 3 dogs.  I wasn't panicking, but starting to think that no one could hear me and I'm alone and these 2 dogs were going to either break my dog's legs and/or kill him and I'm not strong enough to fight them off.  All the literature says hitting a Pit Bull in the head will only make it more angry - so its a good thing I didn't try that.  

Pack Behavior
With 2 attacking dogs, it only complicated matters, since they were defending each other when my dog attempted to fight back.  

Think Fast, Don't Run
There were no sticks nearby to use as a barrier.  I kept getting knocked off my feet by the fight. There was nothing to jump on top of to get to higher ground.  I knew running was the wrong thing to do, because that would only incite the chase instinct.  

Look For A Big Stick
After what seemed like an eternity, I was about to call 911 in vain, but dropped my phone.  Just then, 3 neighbors from Lake View and 1 from Riverside Place who heard me yelling for help, came running from their backyards.  They helped distract and separate the dogs.  One of the Lake View Neighbors picked up a long stick or pole and was using it to get between one of the dogs and me & my dog (one of the recommended techniques).

2nd Dog Attacked
Apparently the dogs had escaped their gate.  No sooner had the owner arrived when one of the dogs broke free, raced down the trail and attacked another dog.  Luckily the neighbor with the stick was nearby and helped fend off that attack.
Photo: Diane Edwardson, August 25, 2015.  Aftermath: If your dog is in a dog fight, as soon as you get  home, check through your dog's fur carefully for puncture wounds.  If he's got any, take him to the vet immediately.  Puncture wounds can be deep and get infected easily if left untreated.

Prepare For Next Time
If you Google "how to break up a dog fight" or "what to do if you're attacked by Pit Bulls," there's actually very little useful advice out there unless you carry a big stick, pepper spray or an air horn and are able to use any of those things properly in a situation where you might be panicking. 

Many neighbors tell me they carry pepper spray.  I think an air horn is more effective because it not only shocks the the dog, but it will get the attention of neighbors.  My dog would not have been so lucky had neighbors not come to my rescue.  Pocket size air horns are the same size as pepper spray and if you point the air horn at your face by accident, only your hearing may be impaired temporarily. 

If you have dogs that are escape artists, take extra precautions to lock gates and secure your fences.  You are responsible for your dog at all times.

Leash = Freedom
Walk your dog on a leash.  All of the dog on dog altercations I hear about on the Red Car Property and on the neighborhood streets occur because one of the dogs is off leash.  The Red Car Property owner's rep has given us permission to walk on the property.  Use it responsibly.  Keep your dog on a leash.  And always pick up after them.

In my dog's world, leash equals freedom.  If he wants to leave the yard, he has to be on a leash.  If you can't walk your dog on a leash, you need to get fit, get some dog training, get a smaller dog or you don't get to walk your own dog.   

Good info on breaking up Pit Bull attacks: Pit Bull Rescue Central

Pit Bull Rescue Central also has a lot of good info if you are considering adopting a Pit Bull.  They are very specific about the not so nice side of the breed and the commitment it takes to be a responsible owner. 

There's always more non-breed specific advice: ASPCA

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Red Car Property: Studying Urban Trees With Earthwatch & NASA

Photo: Stephanie Bartron, August 21, 2015.  Last Friday, a team of neighbors set out on the Red Car Property, collecting data on local trees as part of the Los Angles Urban Forest Project led by Earthwatch. (Click on photos to enlarge.) 

Earthwatch has teamed up with NASA to produce maps of vegetation and ground temperature using a repurposed spy plane collect highly specialized data.  Paolo Perrone of Trust for Public Land (TPL) joined us.  He'd contacted us to help collect field data that would be analyzed to field check the project.  TPL currently holds the option to purchase the Red Car Property as a park. 
Photo: Diane Edwardson, August 21, 2015.  As with all things Red Car Property, it's never as easy as it sounds.  Many of the trees are in the steep slopes - in these photos - that go all the way up to the power lines.
We sampled a variety of trees from a defined area, identifying species, GPS coordinates, trunk diameter (half the circumference), tree condition, and took leaf samples.  The leaves were sent to a lab where they'll be analyzed for size, weight and nitrogen content. Our data will be linked with the NASA data.  Unfortunately, we won't have the results for several months. 

Stephanie Bartron, neighbor, garden designer and co-author of The Drought Tolerant Garden, LA County Handbook, made sure we practiced safe horticulture by wiping the clippers with rubbing alcohol between trees so as not to potentially spread pests, disease or fungus between trees.
Photo: Diane Edwardson, August 21, 2015.  We collected data from protected California Black Walnuts, Coast Live Oaks and other natives, in addition to non-native species on the property.  The study should tell us which trees are better at retaining water and fighting the heat island effect.

"The Trust for Public Land is excited to work with local community members on the Earthwatch tree survey, making the Red Car Property a site for scientific research and discovery," said Perrrone, TPL project manager.  "With the data collected this past Friday, NASA and Earthwatch will be able to ground-truth a tool that has global implications.  From carbon sequestration to surface cooling, this data will help future decision makers incorporate trees into their urban climate change strategies. "

Monday, August 24, 2015

Corralitas Drive: Dead Eucalyptus Trees Cut Down

Photo: Diane Edwardson, August 21, 2015. Last week, 2 huge dead Eucalyptus trees were removed near the Corralitas Public Staircase.  Now you notice how tall and steep the hillside really is.  (Click on photo to enlarge.)

Sunday, August 23, 2015

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

Photo: Diane Edwardson, August 22, 2015.  Drought has the California Black Walnuts dropping their leaves early this year.  (Click on photo to enlarge.)

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Red Car Property: Abandoned Mercedes SUV Removed After Three Months

Photo: Gary Vlahakis, August 21, 2015.  The totaled Mercedes SUV abandoned on the Red Car Property on Memorial Day Weekend, was finally removed late this week.  (Click on photos to enlarge.)
Photo: Diane Edwardson, June 12, 2015.  The SUV was parked in the area south of India St, on the Red Car Property, where Rose Scharlin Nursery School is allowed to park 4 cars.  When the crashed SUV first appeared, before putting it on the blog, we sent photos and information to Rose Scharlin and to the property owner's rep.  Neither claimed any knowledge of the SUV's owner.  We repeatedly asked the Red Car Property owner's rep to have the car removed as it was only attracting more problems to the area.  LA City Dept of Building & Safety issued an order to comply to remove the abandoned SUV earlier this month.

Without adequate parking gates to keep vehicles off the property, this type of problem will persist

Friday, August 21, 2015

Corralitas Drive: Defensive, Drought Tolerant, Fire Resistant Landscaping

Photo: Diane Edwardson, August 21, 2015.  Once established, night blooming Cereus cactus produce showy 8" flowers open only at night. (Click on photo to enlarge.) 

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Red Car Property: It Takes Effort To Dump Here, Even More Effort To Get It Picked Up

Photo: Gary Vlahakis, August 20, 2015.  Two dishwashers were dumped under a tree on the Lake View Ave side of the Red Car Property, near the mouth of Red Car Canyon. (Click on photos to enlarge)

This is the same location where televisions and computers were dumped in the past. Seriously, there's no excuse for this.  They had to drive several hundred feet onto the property to dump the dishwashers under the tree. This seems to be a favorite dumping ground for someone who strips large household electronics for parts or wiring, then dumps the leftovers. We've seen this before.
Photo: Gary Vlahakis, August 20, 2015.  The City's E-Waste Center on Colorado Blvd is open Saturdays and Sundays and is just north on the 5 Freeway a couple of exitsIt's free and they even take it out of your car or truck for you.

The other afternoon, one neighbor managed to take photos of some men dumping a couch on Rosebud under the freeway.  When the dumpers couldn't escape on Corralitas, a dead end street, they thought better of it and picked up the couch on their way back out and sped away. 

If you see someone dumping, take photos, write down a license plate, get a car & person description.  And call 1-877-ASK-LAPD immediately with the information.  These folks are usually dumping around the neighborhood not just in one place.

Report illegal dumping for pickup using the City's My LA 311 service, but they won't pick up from private property. 

Riverside Place: Armor Clad Alien

Photo: Jonathan Vandiveer, June 19, 2015.  Check out the spikes on the hind legs of a very large grasshopper.  (Click on photo to enlarge.) 

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Corralitas Drive: Some Kind Of Lotus

Photo: Diane Edwardson, July27, 2015. This may be one of more than 2 dozen native yellow lotus wildflowers or a handful of non-native yellow lotus known to bloom in Los Angeles County, according to CalFlora.   (Click on photos to enlarge.)
Photo: Diane Edwardson, July 27, 2015.  In the spring you can find Annual Yellow Sweetclover off the Corralitas Public Staircase, but the leaves on this plant are different.

See all 41 identified types of lotus wildflowers in LA County: CalFlora

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Red Car Property: Park Bench Left Behind By Rogue Film Crew

Photo: Gary Vlahakis, August 15, 2015.  The film crew, shooting on the Red Car Property meadow last week, not only did not have permission from the Red Car Property owner (according to the owner's rep), they left us a park bench.  (Click on photo to enlarge.)

Monday, August 17, 2015

Corralitas Drive: Is There Any Wonder Why Neighbors Hate Developers?

Photo: Corralitas Neighbor, August 15, 2015.   Developer's trucks left a very narrow passageway between heavy equipment, parked cars, and a truck blocking the public staircase, starting at 7AM Saturday for the construction site in front of 2512 - 2614 Corralitas Drive.  (Click on photo to enlarge)

Complaints from neighbors started rolling in to my email box shortly after 7AM Saturday, for the third Saturday in a row.  We thought we had an agreement with the developer so he would notify us so we could move cars from this portion of the street in addition to the first blind curve coming up the hill.  I forwarded this photo to him, after a neighbor sent it to me.  Hours later he responded, claiming no knowledge of the work happening Saturday.

Another neighbor pointed out, little or nothing has been happening on this construction site on weekdays, so why is this happening on weekends on a narrow substandard hillside street with only one means of access?  On Saturday, Building & Safety isn't working so it's not like we have any recourse.

Report violations to LA Dept of Building & Safety

Report parking violations to Dept of Transportation (i.e. Parking Enforcement) (818) 374-4823  

Additional questions, problems with City departments: contact Mary Rodriguez, CD13 Silver Lake Deputy: (213) 207- 3021

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Extreme Heat Warning Today: View From Corralitas Drive Circa 1950

*This post is a rerun.  With extreme heat warnings in effect today we think you should think cool thoughts.
Photo: Smith Family Archive, probably 1950 April snowstorm.  We never tire of this photo.  There were very few houses on Lake View or Silver Ridge until the 1980s' building boom. (Click on photo to enlarge.)

Apparently there were snowstorms in both 1949 & 1950.  True to form, the Red Car Property neighborhood got way more than the 0.3" of snow - take a close look at the laundry hanging on the line. 

Stay cool.  Click here for all our snow related photos.   

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Red Car Property Meadow: Not A Park, It Just Looks Enough Like One For Film Crew

Photo: Red Car Property Neighbor, August 13, 2015.  The Red Car Property is often used by rogue film crews without permits.  (Click on photos to enlarge.)  

You can check permits or report problems with a production on location to FilmLA.  

I forwarded photos immediately to the Red Car Property rep. I don't know if they have permission from the property owner.

The neighbor who passed through the site this morning, said they all appeared to be in their 20s, and there appeared to be no smoking on site.
Photo: Red Car Property Neighbor, August 13, 2015.  If you look closely - on the left - they even brought park benches!  Dogs were on leashes.  There even appears to be an actor portraying a homeless man (the guy wearing a rug).  

Worth noting: the protected native California Black Walnuts on the slope directly above the group is staging a comeback after the near inch of rain in July. 

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Corralitas Drive: Who's Hiding In The Bougainvillea?

Photo: Gary Vlahakis, August 11, 2015.  For the past week, a 2" Praying Mantis has taken up residence in a neighbor's Bougainvillea.  Her camouflage is so well adapted to the thorny vine, her large eyes are pretty much the only thing that give away her presence. (Click on photos to enlarge.)
Photo: Gary Vlahakis, August 11, 2015.  According to the neighbor whose yard she's living in, "Ms. Mantis has been hanging around a spiderweb, poaching bugs as they get caught in the web."  What an opportunistic hunter.  

Learn more about mantids:  
What's That Bug?
Bug Guide

Click here for all our Praying Mantis posts.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Red Car Property: 2 White Cars Abandoned Behind Homes On Corralitas

Photos: Corralitas Neighbor, August 11, 2015, 6:55 AM.  While out for an early walk this morning, a neighbor found two cars parked in a suspicous place hidden into the hillside behind homes on Corralitas Drive, on the Red Car Property.  Neither car was parked there yesterday morning. 
The Buick, a 4-door white sedan's CA license plate is 4COA887. 
The Subaru, a 4-door white sedan's CA plate is 5UMC525.

Photos with this information were sent to the Red Car Property owner's rep, LAPD Senior Lead Officers Lenny Davis and Gina Chovan, CD13 and nearby neighbors. 

Since this is private property, if the cars are not reported stolen, only the property owner can have them towed.   Since the property is not gated to vehicle traffic as it was some 25 years ago, it periodically becomes a dumping ground for stolen and abandoned vehicles.  The neighbors at these 2 homes are not parking their cars on the property. 

In the meantime the Mercedes SUV abandoned on the Red Car Property south of India, Memorial Day Weekend is still there. The Red Car Property remains a lawless place.

*UPDATE Aug 13, 2015: Cars gone. 

Monday, August 10, 2015

Corralitas Drive: Peaceful Saturday Morning, Oh, The Joys Of Hillside Living!

Photo: Corralitas Neighbor, August 8, 2015.  For the second Saturday morning in a row,  the developer of the lot at the top of the Corralitas Public Staircase has completely disregarded the neighbors by having a very large crane working, trucks parked on the wrong side of the street, Bobcat backhoe parked not only in the red zone on a blind curve, but also on the sidewalk (despite multiple requests by the homeowner not to park on the sidewalk.  

He failed to give the neighbors warning, or even put up signs that they would need the entire portion of the street on a Saturday morning. (Although a neighbors reports they did an excellent job of cleaning the street afterwards.)

We also requested no grading, hauling or deliveries on Saturdays due to the extreme challenges of parking and hillside construction, are much worse on weekends on a substandard hillside street with only one means of limited access.  How hard is it to get large trucks and equipment up Corralitas DriveSee this post from last month.

Another neighbor commented "There was heavy equip, multiple flatbeds to pick up the heavy equip and every guy was in a big truck."  

We've repeatedly requested they park their unnecessary vehicles at the bottom of the hill. Instead, it's the neighbors who have to haul their groceries up the 6-story public staircase.  The neighbor who sent the photo said, "I ran some errands and  just parked on the bottom and took the steps as there's no way to get up by car at the moment. To top it off, another neighbor's got tons of workers here too."  

You better be fit or not be in a hurry to get up or down the hill.  It's another Joy of Hillside Living.

Friday, August 7, 2015

LA River: 2nd Annual Boat Race, Saturday, August 8, 2015

Photo: Diane Edwardson, August 30, 2014.  Head on down to the LA River and watch Saturday's 2nd Annual LA River Boat Race.  (Click on photos of last year's event to enlarge.)

Saturday August 8, 2015
12-6 PM
Starting Line: Clearwater St at LA River

Photo: Diane Edwardson, August 30, 2014.  The LA River Mudpeople we by far the highlight for many on the shore in Elysian Valley.  They do give good photo op.
Photo: Diane Edwardson, August 30, 2014.  Stand-up paddle board (SUP) will return again this year.  No word if they've managed to attract Laird Hamilton yet.

Photo: Diane Edwardson, August 30, 2015.  The LA River through Elysian Valley is a great place for kids to explore.  

If you're heading to the river from the Red Car Property neighborhood, we recommend walking or biking there.  Show respect for our neighbors.  Elysian Valley is primarily a residential neighborhood with limited parking.  Special events can easily overwhelm the narrow streets. If you are taking your bike to the river, we remind you to slow down and share the path with pedestrians.

Click here for all our Elysian Valley posts. 

UPDATE: August 9, 2015.  See what you missed this year: The Eastsider

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Silver Lake Ave Public Staircase: No, You're Not Hallucinating From The Heat & Humidity

Photo: Diane Edwardson, July 24, 2015.   Moai stand guard at the section of the Silver Lake Ave Public Staircase between Riverside Place and the Red Car Property.  (Click on photo to enlarge.)

This segment of the public staircase is recognized by the City Dept of Transportation as a public staircase/walk street. 

Note: I always see people, guidebooks in hand, attempting public staircase hikes in the summer heat.  I've walked the steepest hills and public staircases of Silver Lake and Echo Park for 25 years.  If you are just a casual hiker, don't do this after 9 AM or before 7 PM in the summer heat.  Hiking stairs, even on cloudy days, increases your body heat unbelievably fast.  With the kind of humidity we're experiencing, sweat doesn't evaporate and you run the risk of heat stroke.  

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Silver Lake Ave Public Staircase: According To Dept of Transportation Map, 2/3s Of It Doesn't Exist

Photo: Diane Edwardson, July27, 2015.  Yesterday, while trying to report a red curb in need of repainting, we learned the LA Dept of Transportation online map shows the Silver Lake Ave Public Staircase doesn't seem to exist between the paper street of Silver Lake Court and Silver Ridge.  In other words, one of the most well-used public staircases in the neighborhood doesn't link Lake View to Silver Ridge, the Red Car Property or Allesandro Elementary School. Yet there is  City street sign post on the south side of Lake View Ave and Silver Lake Ave Public Staircase marking the intersection.  (Click on photos to enlarge.)
Photo: Diane Edwardson, July 27, 2015. Remnants of red paint are on the curb, looking down toward the Red Car Property from Lake View.

The public staircase (or walk street) appears on ZIMAS (the City's mapping & zoning information system) and the County Assessors' maps.  LAFD used to have the only reliable public staircase (and unbuilt paper street) map for emergency response.  (In the  early 2000s, during the last Silver Lake - Echo Park - Elysian Valley Community Plan Update, we gave the LAFD Hillside map to the Dept of City Planning, so  they could update and create a public staircase map.)
Photo: Diane Edwardson, July 27, 2015.  The Silver Lake Public Staircase intersects Lake View Ave and continues up to Silver Ridge Ave.  There is no parking anytime on the west side of Lake View Ave.

There is no excuse for the City not to coordinate all of their mapping systems.  This is 2015, not 1995. 

*Update 3:30 PM:  Word came from DOT via CD13 Silver Lake  Deputy Mary Rodriguez.  Submit requests like this using the nearest address, and describe the location.  Mind you, I tried that route several times yesterday, but the website refused to take my request.  Today the website accepted it.  If neighbors want to follow up on this red curb, use service request #44828.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Silver Lake Ave Public Staircase: Time To Repaint The Red Curb At Lake View Ave

Photo: Diane Edwardson, July 24, 2015. You have to wonder, would the same driver park the truck blocking a public street intersection?  Yes, the truck is parked facing the wrong way.  (Click on photo to enlarge.)

The Silver Lake Ave Public Staircase at the intersection of Lake View Ave has no sidewalk.  The red curb is badly faded.  However a City street sign marks the public staircase at Lake View.

Report faded red curbs to the LA City Dept of Transportation (DOT).  Unfortunately, DOT does not acknowledge the Silver Lake Ave Public Staircase between the Red Car Property and Lake View or Silver Ridge on their map.  (Yet it appears on ZIMAS, LAFD, County Assessor and DWP maps).  So I was unable to submit the request online.  Good luck getting the curb repainted since the DOT staff answering the phone will be looking at the same map available online.  

And we wonder why our public staircases are so neglected?