Monday, May 25, 2015

Red Car Property: If You See Someone Dumping, Take A Photo

Photo: Diane Edwardson, May 24, 2015.  No sooner than one pile gets picked up than another appears.  A door was dumped on the Red Car Property yesterday, a few hundred feet from Corralitas Drive and about 50' from the tree below. (Click on photos to enlarge.)

Shortly after one pile of dumping gets removed another one shows up.  This type of dumping happens all the time in our neighborhood and neighbors are pissed off about it.  The City will not come on to private property to pick up dumping.
Photo: Diane Edwardson, May 24, 2015.  A week after the homeless couple who had taken up residence under this tree (where couches were dumped in February), and at least 5 days since they had seemingly abandoned the camp,  the Red Car Property owner had a contractor remove the dumping and remains of the campsite.  The contractor said the door was not there when he picked up the dumping from under the tree.

Tree branches were broken a few days ago.  The contractor said they would be trimming the tree and doing brush clearance in the next few days. 

If you witness someone dumping, take photos with your cell phone.  That way you record exactly when you saw it happen.   Call the non-emergency line, 1-877-ASK-LAPD and make a report immediately. 

If you capture photos of people in the act of dumping on the Red Car Property, send the photos to us, we'll publish them on the blog:

Corralitas Drive: Less Than An Hour Later...

Photo: Diane Edwardson, May 22, 2015.  Less than an hour after the City finally picked up the 30 trash bags of weeds and illegally dumped cabinet than someone dumped a stripped TV - in the middle of the day.  (Click on photo to enlarge.)  

This has been reported to My LA 311.  Don't dump your TV's here or anywhere else.  Take them to the City's e-waste center FOR FREE.

Corralitas Drive: Mantis Ootheca...Say What?

Photo: Diane Edwardson, May 24, 2015.  A neighbor noticed a scary looking, hard shelled, bug-like thing on my fence yesterday.  (Click on photo to enlarge.)

At 2 1/2" long, I took photos and then let her poke it with a stick.  It popped of the fence, looking like it had been there for quite some time. We lost it in the leaf matter.  I sent the photos to What's That Bug?  Daniel Marlos, the Bugman of Mt. Washington responded. It's an Ootheca, an egg case of a Preying Manits, looking like it had already released hundreds of aphid-eating babies.  

Read more: What's That Bug?

Suddenly the scale of the egg-laying in the Alien movies is not so out of the realm of possibilities.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Red Car Property: Follow The Harvester Ants To Native Spanish Lotus

Photo: Diane Edwardson, May 20, 2015.  Spanish Lotus (Acmispon americanus) is a tiny wildflower that varies from white to more pinkish, growing on the trail on the north end of the Red Car Property.  (Click on photos to enlarge.)

It tends to grow near the edges of the path, often where the California Harvester Ants are active.  Sounds like they have a symbiotic relationship.  The flowers are an annual and must reseed themselves to grow the following year.  The ants till the soil and most likely store some of the seeds too.
Photo: Diane Edwardson, May 20, 2015.  How tiny are the Spanish Lotus flowers?  About 1/4 of an inch or less.  For scale, if you look closely, the dry weeds in the above photo are foxtails (the dry weeds that get stuck up your dog's nose, in his ears and in between his toes).

Friday, May 22, 2015

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

Photo: Diane Edwardson, May 17, 2015.  Thank you for keeping your dogs on a leash & picking up after them.  (Click on photo to enlarge.)

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Lot C: Mockingbird Is Way Too Bold

Photo: Diane Edwardson, May 19, 2015.  As I passed the India Street entrance to the Red Car Property, I once again heard the nasty threatening sounds of mockingbirds divebombing a hawk in a tree on the slope above the Red Car Property (Silver Lake Court). (Click on photo to enlarge.)

Due to the extreme backlighting I really did not know what type of hawk it was until the mocking bird chased it from its perch.  Thus the hawk revealed its red tail feathers.  

It never ceases to amaze me how big mockingbirds can make themselves appear when they are taking on a hawk

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

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

Photo: Diane Edwardson, May 17, 2015.  Many neighbors use the Red Car Property as a trail to walk to & from nearby restaurants like Rick's, Home and Astro.  It's easier than driving and parking.  (Click on photo to enlarge.)

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Red Car Property: Why Brush Clearance Is So Important

*UPDATE at end of post
Photo: Diane Edwardson, May 16, 2015.  This past weekend, a homeless couple took up residence under a densely overgrown tree directly behind homes on the Red Car Property. A neighbor confirmed it Monday.  (Click on photos to enlarge.) 

Since parts of a sectional couch  and a bag of trash were dumped and left untouched since February, we've been asking the Red Car Property owner's rep to have the trash and dumping removed and trim the tree branches up from the ground per LAFD brush clearance regulations.  We warned him that dumping would only attract more dumping, scavengers and homeless.  

Sure enough, Saturday was a very strange day with the couple throwing things all over the place from under the tree, claiming to be "cleaning up the community!"  However they were making a really big mess.  I was followed by the woman on Saturday, as was a neighbor,  yesterday.  The woman never stopped talking.  We just walked away. 
Photo: Diane Edwardson, May 16, 2015.  The tree should be trimmed up from the ground as it is 1. a fire hazard and 2. offers the homeless a place to hide.  

The deadline for brush clearance was May 1.  No brush clearance whatsoever has begun on the property yet.

How come the individual hillside homeowners all have to do brush clearance by May 1 but the large lot landowners never seem to do their brush clearance by even the 4th of July?  Their negligence puts the entire neighborhood at risk.

The Red Car Property Owner's Rep Howard Fields, LAPD Senior Lead Officer Lenny Davis and City Councilmember Mitch O'Farrell's Deputy Adam Bass have all been notified of this new campsite and all of the recent dumping.  

Bass forwarded the information to the Neighborhood Prosecutor and advised neighbors to file a complaint with Building & Safety if the Red Car Property owner fails to clean up the dumping and homeless issues.

The Red Car Property is private property and there is an active trespass order signed by the property owner on file at the Northeast LAPD desk. 

LAFD Brush Clearance Unit  

Related: Fire 2014
Brush Clearance  
2012, Why did the City do such a good job at brush clearance while the property was for sale?

*UPDATE 5-25-15: The homeless couple that had taken up residence were last seen mid-week. Yesterday a contractor for the property owner removed the couches, debris and other dumping from under and around the tree, as well as the rest of the south end of the Red Car Property.  Per the contractor, will be returning this week to trim the tree and do brush clearance.  Within a few hours of the dumping being removed, someone dumped a door on the property 50' from the tree.  (We've seen this behavior before too.)   

Monday, May 18, 2015

Corralitas & Rosebud: Spring Cleaning Time

Photo: Diane Edwardson, May 16, 2015. The hillside homeowners across the street, always have a heck of a time getting the City to do a bulky item pickup on the weeds in trashbags after they do brush clearance.  (Click on photos to enlarge.)

The first 2 piles of bags have been here for over a month.
Photo: Diane Edwardson,May 16, 2015.  Saturday morning neighbors awoke to a large cabinet dumped in between the trashbags of weeds.  What have we said about "broken windows?"  Dumping begets dumping. 
Photo: Diane Edwardson May 16, 2015.  There were also a couple of small piles of drawers in the tunnel on Rosebud, as if somehow smaller piles of crap would be ok.  

Don't dump your crap in our neighborhood, the Red Car Property or anywhere else for that matter.  Call 311 or go on the City's website and request a bulky item pick up.  Ditto the trash bags full of weeds:

I know at least one of the three homeowners requested the bulky item pickup twice since his brush clearance was done at the end of April.

*UPDATE 5-22-15: At least 3 more requests to My311LA were made by neighbors between Sunday & Tuesday.  Wednesday, trash day came & went.  Still the bags had not moved.  Although the dry weeds at the corner were picked up. (I suspect a neighbor put those in their green bin.)  Several more online requests were made by multiple neighbors.

I finally sent this blog post to CD13 on Thursday asking for help, since this seems to happen every year. The bulky item trash guys don't see the 30 black trash bags on the side of the road, no matter how accurately the neighbors describe the location.  The bags were picked up the next day.  An hour after the bags and cabinet were picked up, a TV was dumped in their place.  It never ends.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Roselin Public Staircase: First Cooper's Hawk Photo of 2015

Photo: Diane Edwardson, May 17, 2015.  The Cooper's Hawk has a long horizontally striped tail, small head and beak.  They are a "forest hawk," flying through the dense trees to hunt birds as their primary prey.  (Click on photos to enlarge.)

While walking the Red Car Property near India St, I heard the annoyed, dive-bombing calls of mockingbirds threatening a predator.  I watched to see where they were focused and saw a hawk way up in a tree near the top of the Roselin Public Staircase.
Photo: Diane Edwardson, May 17, 2015.  Red arrow is pointing to the Cooper's Hawk in the tree. When I shot these photos, I had no idea it was a Cooper's Hawk.  I thought it was a Red Tailed Hawk, because it seemed kind of large for a Cooper's.  However, we do have some large Cooper's Hawks around the Red Car Property.

I've often heard Cooper's Hawks in the dense trees at the top of Roselin.  I've also seen them raiding birds' nests on Riverside Place, then retreating up to the trees on Roselin. 
Photo: Diane Edwardson, May 17, 2015. I only noticed it was a Cooper's Hawk while I editing the day's photos.  Cooper's Hawks are not yet endangered, but their presence triggers extra environmental review and mitigations in development applications under CEQA. 

Click here for all our Cooper's Hawk posts.  

Learn more about Cooper's Hawks: Cornell Lab of Ornithology 

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Red Car Property: Mudwatch. What Mud?

Photo: Diane Edwardson, May 15, 2015.  Considering almost an inch of rain fell in less than 2 hours Thursday night, it's pretty shocking that the whole south end of the Red Car Property was not under water. (Click on photos to enlarge.)
Photo: Diane Edwardson, May 15, 2015.  The north end of the property is dry too.  Too much rain fell too fast.  It all ran off the property and into the storm drains to the river.

The brush still needs to be cleared. 

Friday, May 15, 2015

Red Car Canyon Lake: Mudwatch, Updated Rainfall Totals

Photo: Jonathan Vandiveer, May 15, 2015.  After torrential rain Thursday night, vandiveer expected much more standing water on the Red Car Property this morning.  (Click on photo to enlarge.)

Vandiveer remarked, "Everything looks like a river washed through it."  

Updated rainfall totals taking data from the NOAA approved rain gauge : 
May 15, 2015: 0.1"
Season to date:  11.2"

Corraliras Drive: Rainfall Totals

Photo: Diane Edwardson, May 14, 2015.  Dark clouds hung over the The Red Car Property.  (Click on photo to enlarge.)

By 7PM we'd only seen 0.25" in the Corralitas Drive rain gauge.  However, between 8-10 PM,  the rain came down in buckets.  We're tracking rainfall totals in the Corralitas Drive rain gauge...

May 14, 2015: 1.1"
Season to date: 11.1"  Woohoo!

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Red Car Canyon: Not Quite Dead Yet

Photo: Diane Edwardson, April 20, 2015.  The pine tree is not looking so good this year as it seems to have dropped below a 45 degree angle to the ground.  It's been leaning at a steep angle for years, however it's looking precariously balanced on another pine tree across the pathway.  (Click on photo to enlarge.) 

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

LA River: Red Car Trolley Bridge Footings Will Be Reused For New Pedestrian & Bike Bridge

Photo: Diane Edwardson, April 23, 2011.  The Big Red Cars last crossed the LA River at the Hyperion Bridge, June 19, 1955.  (Click on photo to enlarge.)

This morning, at a press conference in  Atwater's Red Car River Park, City Councilmembers Mitch O'Farrell (CD13) and Tom LaBonge (CD4) announced plans for the adaptive reuse of the Pacific Electric bridge footings as the foundation for a new pedestrian/bike bridge connecting Silver Lake with Atwater

The pedestrian/bike bridge is part of seismic retrofit of the Hyperion Bridge that has been in the works for a very long time - at least the past 10 years (possibly longer).  

There's also a public hearing at the Board of Public Works, this Friday, regarding the planned earthquake retrofit and lane alignment of the Hyperion Bridge.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Red Car Property: Dumping One Piece of Furniture At A Time

Photo: Diane Edwardson, May 3, 2015.  Or you could call it a park bench, as long as you don't look under the tree back there.  (Click on photos to enlarge.)
Photo: Diane Edwardson, May 3, 2015.  Earlier a second piece of sectional couch appeared under the smoke tree on the Red Car Property behind 2443 and 2445 Corralitas.  Considering the location, it was not tossed over their fences. 
Photo: Diane Edwardson, February 28, 2015.  This photo (along with a close up) was sent to the Red Car Property owner's rep when the first piece of sectional couch and a large bag of trash appeared under the same tree.  There's no evidence it was hurled over the adjacent fence, which is a downslope lot (no broken branches). 

Additionally, a neighbor who's home has a direct view into this tree has been keeping an eye on the dumping to ensure it was not a homeless campsite. According to the neighbor, along with the neighbors who walk regularly, there is no evidence it is being used by the homeless.  

This is not the first time someone has attempted to scare neighbors into thinking the Red Car Property has a homeless problem by dumping large items under trees to appear to be homeless camps

Who benefits from the Red Car Property appearing to have a "homeless problem?"  Developers.   This is not a big dumping problem, we've certainly had worse.  But dumping always attracts more dumping and graffiti, creating a climate of fear and mistrust. Developers figure you'll embrace any development plan rather than deal with more dumping, graffiti and homeless.  Don't buy into their crap. 

If you witness someone dumping, take a photo, or write down their license plate, get a vehicle and person description.  Call 1-877-ASK-LAPD immediately.  If they won't take a report call your your City Council Office.  (The Red Car Property neighborhood is in CD13.)

Don't dump your crap here, or anywhere else.  You can make a free bulky item pick-up request on the City's website:

We've had a lot of small dumping lately.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

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

Photo: Diane Edwardson, April 26, 2015.  Thank you for keeping your dogs on a leash and picking up after them.  (Click on photo to enlarge.)

Saturday, May 9, 2015

SR-2 Freeway: Northbound Lanes Closed At Night

Photo: Diane Edwardson, March 26, 2015.  A 12' sound wall is not going to help the top floor of that apartment building on Allesandro St.  We made that point, in writing, during the EIR process for the SR-2 Terminus Project in 2009.  (Click on photo to enlarge.)

CalTrans announced another round of nighttime lane closures on the Northbound 2 Freeway in conjunction with sound wall construction.  Before they started working at night last month, I let them know the hawks were nesting  - with photos - and they promptly scared off the hawks by starting work directly below the tree with the hawks' nest.  Text of the press release follows:


LOS ANGELES / ECHO PARK - The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) announced construction of the soundwall along the Glendale Freeway (SR-2) between Oak Glen Place and Rosebud Avenue. Closures are as follows and subject to change.

Saturday, May 10, through Friday, May 15
Northbound SR-2
8 p.m. to 6 a.m. – Up to two lanes between Glendale Blvd SR-2 and Golden State Freeway I-5 
7 p.m. to 6 a.m. – On and Off Ramps & Connector to I-5 CLOSED between Glendale Blvd SR-2 and Golden State Freeway I-5

Construction dust and noise is anticipated as crews excavate and remove dirt, grind surface layers of pavement and perform other related tasks.

Detours will be posted.  Minor delays are expected.  The California Highway Patrol will be on duty.  Peterson-Chase Construction is the contractor on this $8.6 million project which is expected to complete in early 2016.
 # # #
According to the press release, more info:!/CaltransDist7

Friday, May 8, 2015

Corralitas Drive: Pathetic Rainfall Totals

Photo: Diane Edwardson, April 25, 2015.

The spritzing of rain we got early this morning won't be ending the megadrought.  We're tracking rainfall totals in the Corralitas rain gauge...

May 8, 2015: 0.1"
Season to Date: 10.4"

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Red Car Property: Beetle

Photo: Diane Edwardson, April 21, 2015.  Not sure what this 1 1/2" beetle was doing hanging out atop the dry weeds on the north end of the Red Car Property.  When my dog got close to sniff it, it sprayed something that made him sneeze.  (Click on photo to enlarge.)