Saturday, February 6, 2016

Pay Attention To Your Trees

Photo: Red Car Property Neighbor, February 3, 2016.  In the middle of Red Car Canyon, a very long tree branch, parallel with the ground, is shifting downward.  (Click on photos to enlarge.)
Photo: Diane Edwardson, September 7, 2015.  The difference is subtle, but if you walk the Red Car Property regularly you notice the changes.  

This poor tree is enormous.  The scale is not evident in photos.  The December 2011 windstorm devastated it. Four years of unprecedented drought and decades of neglect have not helped.  

Use this as a reminder to use the warm weather this weekend to take a good look at your trees.  Trees add value to your property, clean the air, provide habitat for wildlife, keep people sane and generally make the neighborhood a better place to live.  

It's advisable to consult a certified arborist if you have large trees.  If any of your trees are diseased, failure to clean the tools properly between trees, can spread the problem (pest, fungus or disease) from a sick tree to a healthy tree. Bad tree trimming can make matters worse for drought afflicted trees.  

Throughout the neighborhood, some varieties of Eucalyptus have been dying quickly (often in a matter of a few short  months).  If your Eucalyptus are dead, be sure to have them cut down before they fall down.  They have shallow root systems.  They are notorious for going down in rain and wind events.  They are oily trees, making them highly combustible, amplifying the fire danger if they are already dead.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Red Car Property Lot C: Dumping, Debris, Cumbling Slopes In 2002

Photo: Diane Edwardson, November 6, 2002. The same problems have always plagued the Red Car Property's Lot C. north of India Street: illegal dumping, stored salvage, cars parked on private property, encroached fences, falling rocks and crumbling slopes.  (Click on photo to enlarge.)

Since we've been following the dumping and associated problems on the Red Car Property way too much lately, I went into the archives and found some photos to match routine problem sites on the property.  There is always more.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Corralitas Drive: When Dumping Becomes Vandalism

Photo: Red Car Property Neighbor, January 30, 2016.  Sometime between Friday and Saturday mornings, someone dumped shelves, a rubber mat and a can of red paint.  The paint spilled across the asphalt "sidewalk" on the 2 Freeway side of Corralitas Drive, adjacent to the Red Car Property.  (Click on photo to enlarge.)

If you're paying someone to haul away your old stuff, be sure they're actually taking it to the dump.  

You can take paint and other hazardous household waste, oil, and electronic waste to the City's SAFE Center for free disposal, just a couple of exits up the 5 Freeway from our neighborhood.

According to the Dept of Sanitation's website:
Disposing of household chemicals in your trash, storm drains or sewers damages the environment, and is AGAINST THE LAW. Illegal dumping carries a minimum fine of $5000 per day per violation up to $100,000 per day per violation or imprisonment (Section 25189.5, Health & Safety Code).

Red Car Property: Seriously, Who Dumped The Dead Palm Tree?

Photo: Red Car Property Neighbor, January 30, 2016.  Just because it's dead, does not mean it's lightweight.  It had to be driven here.  We've had a 3' dead palm tree in our yard for a couple years, because it's too heavy to haul up to the street.  This one is a lot larger.  

It took effort to dump here - it takes more effort to get it picked up.  The City does not pick up illegal dumping from private property.

If you see someone dumping anywhere, take a photo and/or get a license plate and car description and call the LAPD non-emergency line, while it's happening: 1-877-ASK-LAPD.

Monday, February 1, 2016

LA River: Stormwatch, Rainfall Totals

Photo: Joan Stevenson, January 31, 2016.  There's still a lot of arundo in the LA River at the historic landmark Fletcher  Bridge.  Photos shot from the southwest corner of Fletcher and Ripple at Moore Street. 

The Army Corps of Engineers is installing temporary flood barriers and removing vegetation from the riverbed from Griffith Park to the Fletcher Bridge. 
Photo: Joan Stevenson, January 31, 2016.  The high water mark for yesterday's rain was not so high, which is not so bad.  The river path is always closed on rain days and it is closed between Griffith Park and Fletcher while the barriers are in place.

We're tracking rainfall totals in the Corralitas rain gauge... 
January 31, 2016: 0.5"
Rain year* to date: 5.62"

*Normally, the "rain year" would have ended June 30.  However, this year California joined the rest of the country, and will report rainfall totals between October 1 to September 30.  Who expected to have significant rain between July 1 and October 1?  There will always be an asterisk next to the 2014-2015 rain year on Corralitas Drive, which ended with 15.17."  We got an unprecedented 4" between July 1 and September 30. 

Friday, January 29, 2016

Red Car Property North: Dawn Shadow

Photo: Jonathan Vandiveer, October 28, 2016.  Still looking for a reason to get up early and exercise?

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Red Car Canyon in 2008: Eucalyptus Go Down In Rainstorms, Even In Dry Years

A version of this post was first published February 16, 2009.

Photo: Red Car Property Neighbor, February 2008. Red Car Canyon after the rain. (Click on photo to enlarge.) 

Despite a mostly dry year in 2008, enough rain fell in one February storm causing another eucalyptus tree to fall in Red Car Canyon. Eucalyptus trees have notoriously shallow root systems and do not help hold hillsides together. 

2016 Update: Are you ready for the next big rainstorm?  It's not too late.  If you have a dead or dying eucalyptus tree on your property, it might be time to have it removed.  Many large dead eucalyptus were removed from the Red Car Property over the past two years.  

If your eucalyptus is a healthy tree, it might need trimming.  Eucalyptus' shallow root systems can fail when the slopes are saturated. Thinning the dense branches may help save healthy trees.  It's best to consult a licensed arborist if you have concerns and want to save your trees.  Be alert for raptor nests.  Hawks are rebuilding their nests for mating season.

Click here for all our dead tree posts.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Lake Red Car In 2009: Need Sandbags? Know Where Stormwater Flows & Collects

Photo: Jonathan Vandiveer, February 17, 2009.  Lake Red Car is one of the vernal pools that reappears with almost every rain on the Red Car Property, between Lake View Ave and Riverside Place, just north of Rose Scharlin Nursery School.

It looks like we may be hit with another round of El Niño rain starting this weekend.  If you need sandbags, homeowners can get sandbags and sand at LA City Fire Stations.  Be sure to call before you go because not all stations have both sand and bags.  The City has an emergency alert and resource website:  You can find links to the LAFD station phone numbers there too.

If you are Red Car Property adjacent and missed the last big round of rain in 2011, you can search this blog for the routine problem areas on the Red Car Property by clicking on the following searches:

vernal pools
(There is a lot of overlap in the searches because we never thought we'd still be doing a daily blog for the Red Car Property after 9 years.  Photos date back to 2005.)

Send us your rain related photos from the Red Car Property neighborhood:  During this El Niño rainy season, we'll likely publish updates faster on Twitter than the blog.  Follow us on Twitter: @RedCarProperty

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Citywide: Small Lot Subdivision Ordinance Update, Public Hearing Tonight

Photo: Diane Edwardson, November 6, 2014.  That's the controversial 15-home small lot subdivision in the Semi Tropic Spiritualists' Tract, not an office park in Orange County.  It was built on green field, not in-fill.  (Click on photo to enlarge.)

The City is updating the Small Lot Subdivision Ordinance and design standards for new small lot subdivisions over 20 units.  They're also attempting to incentivize conversion of existing bungalow courts into for sale homes (which is a good thing), rather than tearing them down to build a huge dense development that's out of character with the surrounding neighborhood.

Unfortunately, there's nothing specific to Hillside areas, nor restrictions on green field development.  There is, however, a badly needed requirement for shared trash bins.  The access roads and shared driveways do not appear wide enough for Hillside fire requirements of 20' and should be reconsidered. 

There's also a few references to specific sections of the LA Municipal Code without outlining what they govern.  So we've yet to review all the changes proposed in the ordinance.  As always, the devil is in the details.  Go to the open house and ask questions!

Small Lot Subdivision Ordinance Update 
TONIGHT, January 26, 2016 
Open House: 5:30 - 7 PM
Public Hearing: 7 PM
Grace Simons Lodge
1025 Elysian Park Drive
Elysian Park, 90012

Case #s:
Comments in writing will be accepted until February 26, 2016.  See the City Planning website for a host of information.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Red Car Canyon Adjacent: Orb Weaver

Photo: Jonathan Vandiveer, January 17, 2016.  It's not common to find big spiders in the middle of winter.  Fall is usually the time of year for the giant Orb Weaver Spiders make their presence known around the Red Car Property neighborhood. 
Photo: Jonathan Vandiveer, January 17, 2016.  She was just a small Orb Weaver.  

Click here for our spider posts.

Check out the wide variety of Orb Weavers on BugGuide.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Red Car Property: Drywall Dumped On Lot C

Photo: Red Car Property Neighbor, January 21, 2016.  Since Saturday, a pile of broken up drywall joined the tidied-up dumping on Lot C.

Another day, another dumping post.  Neighbors are tired of it.  Paint over the graffiti and haul all of the crap away.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Red Car Property: Squirrel Appreciation Day

Photo: Diane Edwardson, September 25, 2013. Corralitas Red Car Neighborhood Red Tailed Hawks appreciate squirrels, big time.  

Apparently, today is Squirrel Appreciation Day, a holiday made for social media.  Personally, I don't appreciate the squirrels who steal the best heirloom tomatoes and fruit from my yard.  But the hawks sure like the squirrels.  And the squirrels help propagate the native Black Walnut and Coat Live Oak Trees that help hold the steep hillsides together when it rains.
Photo: Diane Edwardson, September 25, 2013.  Wide shot, same time.  Click here for the original post.

Red Car Property: Dumping Finally Picked Up

Photo: Red Car Property Neighbor, January 20, 2016.  The dishwasher, dumped the first week of October, disappeared from the Red Car Property.  The trash bags left too.  (Click on photos to enlarge.)
Photo: Red Car Property Neighbor, January 20, 2016 (enlarged from previous photo).  The trash bags were removed from where they were dumped in November.  Broken glass and a lot of other trash remain scattered in the area.
Photo: Red Car Property Neighbor, January 20, 2016.  Why take all the garbage when you can just leave the empty boxes in Red Car Canyon?
Photo: Red Car Property Neighbor, January 20, 2016.  Believe it or not, the well hidden pile in Red Car Canyon was reduced in size since the weekend.  Seriously, they couldn't pick up all of it?  Those broken windows, dumped in November, are much larger than they appear.
Photo: Red Car Property Neighbor, January 20, 2016.  Even the large kitchen fan was removed.  Maybe someone is shopping for spare parts using the Red Car Property Blog as a guide.    

Click here for all our dumping related posts.  If you see something you want, please haul it away quickly and pick up the trash around it too.  There are a couple of boxes in Red Car Canyon you can use.  The City does not pick up illegal dumping on private property. 

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Red Car Canyon: How Well Hidden Is That Dumping?

Photo: Another Red Car Property Neighbor, January 19, 2016. The dumping is so well hidden, you can't get it all in one shot.  What appears to be a large kitchen fan is only visible from the opposite side of the hidden pile of dumping in Red Car Canyon.

The City will not pick up dumping from private property.  The photo was forwarded to the Red Car Property owner's rep.  Neighbors fear the jade will just grow over the crap.  It will only reappear next summer when the jade dries out. 

If you see someone dumping - anywhere - take a photo if its safe to do so.  Get a license plate and immediately call it in to the LAPD's non-emergency line: 1-877-ASK-LAPD. 

Click here for all our dumping related posts.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Red Car Property's Lot C: Watch Out For Falling Rocks

Photo: Jonathan Vandiveer, January 18, 2016.  If you're joyriding, or just parking on the Red Car Property, north of India Street, watch out for good sized rocks tumbling down the slope.  

The slope just north of India Street, on the Red Car Property's Lot C has always been a crumbly slope
Photo: Jonathan Vandiveer, January 18 2016.  While these rocks were not so large, they can cause serious damage if they were to hit a car, person or dog.  

The slope is one of the predictable mudslide areas on the Red Car Property.  The Adelbert landslide zone is a tough one to work with.  

The slope up to approximately the power lines is a part of Lot C of the Red Car Property.  

Monday, January 18, 2016

Red Car Canyon: We've Said It Before, It Takes Effort To Dump Here, Even More Effort To Get It Picked Up

Photo: Red Car Property Neighbor, January 17, 2016.  Metal pipes or pieces of fence posts, light fixtures, parts of an ionizer air filter and an electric range top for a stove are among the debris added to the broken windows (dumped in November) in the most absurd place to dump in Red Car Canyon. 
Photo: Red Car Property Neighbor, January 17, 2016.  The pile is well hidden among the jade, off the trail through the canyon.  Last May, someone dumped a very large screen TV in the same place.  

The Red Car Property owner has made little effort to clean up the dumping.  The dishwasher and piles of trash bags have been on the south end of the property in a wide open space since October and November respectively.  These photos were sent to teh Red Car Property owner's rep yesterday

The City will not pick up dumping on private property.

Click here for all our dumping related posts.

Red Car Property: Someone Organized Last Week's Dumping On Lot C

Photo: Red Car Property Neighbor, January 17, 2016.  It's better than last week.  The Riverside Drive house that's being flipped, is in the background.
Photo: Red Car Property Neighbor, January 17, 2016.  Let's hope the piles get hauled away soon.
Photo: Red Car Property Neighbor, January 17, 2016.  Trucks that haven't moved in months, were  moved.  Now they're blocking the view of the portion of the Red Car Property where all the piles of of debris and the Riverside Drive lot where  squatters have been known to reside in sheds.

As always, photos were forwarded to the Red Car Property owner's rep, yesterday.

Click here for all our dumping related posts.  

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Red Car Property: Protected Native Black Walnut Tree Still Fighting Back

Photo: Jonathan Vandiveer, December 10, 2016.  For 15 years, we've documented this one California Black Walnut Tree on the Red Car Property. (Despite the encroaching fence, it is on the Red Car Property and not on an adjacent Riverside Drive lot.) 
Photo: Diane Edwardson, November 18, 2015.  At a time when it would have been dropping its leaves for winter, the Black Walnut near the Adelbert cut-through was pumping out new growth like crazy in November.  It had dropped its leaves early due to drought.

This formally beautiful tree was hit hard by the past 4 years of unprecedented drought.  For years it weathered our typical multi-year drought or deluge weather cycles.  Read more and compare the photos:
2000 - 2015
July 2015
November 2015 

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Red Car Property: Dawn At India Street

Photo: Gary Vlahakis, January 9, 2016.  Still looking for motivation to get up early and walk or run before work?  Sunrise from the Red Car Property is pretty spectacular.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Historic Viaduct Footings: Coyote Sighting

Photo: Jonathan Vandiveer, January 10, 2016.  You'll have to look closely for the coyote.  (Click on photo to enlarge.)

The coyote might be a little 2-dimensional and possibly cardboard.  At least the coyote art appears to be a less permanent addition to City of Los Angeles Historic Cultural Landmark #770 than some of the other "art."