Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Red Car Property: Still Waiting For Brush Clearance

Photo: Gary Vlahakis, May 15, 2017.  Native Jimsonweed is holding its own among the tall, dry, non-native, invasive weeds on the south end of the Red Car Property.  

Still no sign of brush clearance by the property owner.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Red Car Property: Dry Brush

Photo: Red Car Property Neighbor, May 5, 2017.  The good news is some of the big trees are recovering after the 2016 fire.  Bad news: dry brush is more dense than a year ago.  (Click on photos to enlarge.)
Photo: Red Car Property Neighbor, May 12, 2017.  Some upslope neighbors did their brush clearance by May 1.  Understandably, it appears at least one went overboard clearing well past the property line.  (The power lines, halfway up the hill, are at the property line to the Red Car Property.)  Many of the protected native Black Walnuts and Coast Live Oaks are recovering from last year's fire, including trees LAFD's contractors cut down (that were not dead) 6 months after the fire. 
Photo: Red Car Property Neighbor, May 12, 2017.  A relatively small tree that did not recover from the fire and CalTrans' subsequent butchery, is still partially blocking Corralitas Walk, a public sidewalk between Corralitas Drive and Allesandro Way and Lake View Ave.
Photo: Red Car Property Neighbor, May 5, 2017.  The dead tree still had its crown a week earlier.  Ironically, May 8, three days after this photo was taken, CalTrans sent me email confirmation that the fence had been fixed here on a complaint I'd made November 3, 2016, regarding fence damage between Rosebud/Corralitas and Allesandro Way/Lake View Ave.  I guess if they can't see it from their trucks, the problem doesn't exist.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Rosebud Ave & Corralitas Drive: Homeless Guy Paints Birds Red, Neighbors Cry "Foul"

Photo: Corralitas Neighbor, May 12, 2017.  A number of neighbors are alarmed the homeless guy's live doves appear to have been painted or dyed red and pink.  (Click on photos to enlarge.)
Photo: Corralitas Neighbor, May 12, 2017.  Several neighbors contacted me over the past few days saying the doves were now red.  Two took photos.  All were advised to call the City's Animal Abuse Task Force.  

One neighbor wrote in an email, "The birds do not look well at all, especially the red one.  I understand this guy is homeless and has issues, but it's not these poor birds fault."
Photo: Red Car Property Neighbor, May 12, 2017.  Neighbors were already concerned for the doves' well being  as their cage was too small for them to move much or stretch their wings.  Painting or dying the helpless birds has really crossed the line.

The homeless guy has tested the patience of Corralitas Drive neighbors since early January.  

Previous posts:
February 17, 2017
March 24, 2017
May 11, 2017

Friday, May 12, 2017

Allesandro Street, 2 Freeway: Motor Homes, Dumping, Unwalkable Sidewalk, Dry Brush

Photo: Corralitas Neighbor, May 11, 2017, 7 PM.  Two motor homes without license plates have been parked on Allesandro Street just south of Rosebud Ave, attracting dumping.(Click on photo to enlarge.)

This portion of Allesandro to Riverside Drive was a part of a "No Overnight Parking Zone," but the signs directly across from the controversial Semi Tropic Spiritualists' Tract 15-lot subdivision mysteriously disappeared when it was under construction.

Neither the City nor CalTrans takes care of the sidewalk adjacent to the 2 Freeway.  But then, it's not a real sidewalk, despite the City building ADA compliant ramps at all the intersections on Allesandro in the 1990s.  It's still a narrow strip of asphalt in a curb.  The lack of street addresses prevent all but the most persistent neighbors from getting dumping removed by the City.  Weeds, trash, dumping and telephone poles blocking the extremely narrow sidewalk are a challenge for any pedestrian.

CalTrans insists the "sidewalks" adjacent their freeways are the City's responsibility.  If homeowners are supposed to maintain the sidewalk adjacent to their homes, shouldn't CalTrans have the same responsibility? 

Wonder if CalTrans will be doing the brush clearance up on their parkway since it can no longer be seen from the northbound 2 Freeway due to the sound wall.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Corralitas Drive & Rosebud Ave: Homeless Guy Has Pets Now, Neighbors Fed Up

Photo: Red Car Property Neighbor, May 5, 2017.  Some neighbors are concerned about the homeless guy's new pets - a pair of live doves in a cage far too small for the birds. The cage is on the ground to the right of the couch.  (Click on photo to enlarge.)

Neighbors are fed up.  A few  raised concerns regarding animal neglect or cruelty with regard to the 2 doves kept in a cage that is barely big enough for one canary.

However, neighbors are far more frustrated by the City's inability to move the homeless guy and his belongings out of our only vehicle access route on and off the hill. In the past 6 weeks, a number of neighbors close to the tunnel on Rosebud, expressed anger over the homeless guy stealing electricity and water.  Several have chased him off their property when he attempted to charge a half dozen electronic devices plugged into a power strip at once. LAPD advised neighbors to lock their water and electrical outlets in lockboxes, in addition to filing police reports of trespassing. 

Regardless of whether or not the homeless guy is involved with the recent uptick in burglaries or mail theft in the neighborhood, he is the target of neighbors' ire.  It doesn't help that he makes no attempt to conceal when and where he urinates on the street.  (It's not a crime, but have some respect for your neighbors, dude.)  A number of women have told me they no longer feel safe walking through the tunnel on Rosebud because of the homeless guy.  They also no longer allow their children to walk through the tunnel either.

If we have to move cars parked on a City street every 72 hours, why should the homeless be allowed to reside on the same patch of city sidewalk for more than 72 hours?  His camp has been there continuously (with the exception of 3 hours) since the beginning of January. 

Background: February 17, 2017
March 24, 2017

UPDATE May 12, 2017: His live doves have been painted or dyed red.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Corralitas Drive: Little Skunk Has No Fear

Photo: Corralitas Neighbor May 2, 2017, 6:15 PM. The cats do not get to eat outside.  Why?
Photo: Corralitas Neighbor, May 2, 2017, 6:30 PM.  The Little Skunk has long been a fixture in this yard.  She used to hang out with the semi-feral cat, even leaving her babies with him to babysit while she went on her foraging rounds.  

Skunks don't see well but they do have a nose for food.  It is not unusual to run into skunks on Corralitas in the daylightDon't panic, don't make big moves.  Talk to them in soothing tones and they go about their business.  If you want to take photos, use the zoom on your camera.  Never feed wildlife.

City of Los Angeles Animal Services has info on their website on living with skunks and other wildlife.

Click here for all our skunk posts.

Monday, May 8, 2017

Corralitas Drive: Rainfall Totals

Photo: Corralitas Neighbor, May 7, 2017.  A wild cut-off low zoomed back for a second round with a huge thunderstorm Sunday around 4:45 PM The  thunder was so loud the Corralitas Rain Gauge Monitor said, "I think there's a bowling alley in the attic!"

Rainfall totals in the Corralitas Drive Rain Gauge:

March 22, 2017: 0.2" (We neglected to post to the blog then.)
May 7, 2017: 0.4"
Rain Year to date: 24.04"

Most responsible hillside homeowners got their brush clearance done by May 1, prompting the Corralitas Rain Gauge Monitor to complain, "I can hear the f'n weeds slurping up the water and all the seeds about to pop!"

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Red Car Property: Not A Park, It Would Still Look Like One Without The Construction Fence

Photo: Red Car Property Neighbor, April 30, 2017.  North of the construction fence on the Red Car Property, some, not all, of the protected native Black Walnut Trees have recovered from the last five years of exceptional drought.  (Click on photos to enlarge.)

Let's hope all those trees are storing lots of water.  Due to the loss of more than a dozen huge Eucalyptus trees on the property near Adelbert, and developers clear cutting the adjacent recovering native woodland for a 14-home development on Riverside Drive, the north end of the trail has been through radical change of the urban forest.  It's hotter, sunnier and drier than just a few years ago.
Photo: Diane Edwardson, July 19, 2009.  The Big Parade walked through the same section of the property in JULY.  Almost all the trees on both sides of the trail (for the length of the hikers' line in this shot) were California Black Walnuts.  Now the walnuts are fighting back with other native and non-native trees.   

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Lake View Ave: Fog Forecast

Photo: Gary Macheel, April 2017.  After hot and dry conditions for days, it's hard to believe fog is forecast for Thursday morning and possible rain for Saturday.  (Click on photo to enlarge.)

2 Freeway: CalTrans Keeping Neighbors Awake

Photo: Red Car Property Neighbor, May 2, 2017, after midnight.  CalTrans lit up the entire neighborhood.  It's so bright, you can see the dry brush on the Red Car Property in the foreground.)  One neighbor said it was so bright, "I could've done shadow puppets."  (Click on photo to enlarge.)

It wasn't just bright, one Corralitas neighbor remarked, "It was annoyingly LOUD!!  The pounding!!"  

Sound walls would have only helped 6 of the eight houses on the south end of Corralitas.  If you are above the line of sight of the wall, as 90% of the neighborhood is, sound travels up and sound walls don't help.  However, this is cruel and unusual punishment for the 8 homes less than 50' from the southbound lanes of the 2 Freeway, particularly since last summer, when CalTrans cut down all the trees that previously blocked the view of the freeway.  

The least CalTrans could do is put up temporary sound baffling when there are homes within 100 feet of the freeway.  Additionally, give notice to neighbors within a 500 foot radius that bright and noisy work would be happening on specific days/nights.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Corralitas Drive: Where To Look For Urban Hawks

Photo: Corralitas Neighbor, May 1, 2017.  After weekend brush clearance, a neighbor's cats turned the yard into their own killing fields, sharing three gophers with their owner in the past two mornings. 

Hawks, like the cats, are more frequently seen hanging around lots where brush clearance is being or was recently done.  Look for Red Tailed Hawks sitting on tree branches, tops of telephone poles or even the railing of your deck, intently watching something on the nearby lot lot. (Yes, we have very urban hawks.) The hawks' backs are usually to the sun, so the prey is temporarily blinded when the hawk swoops in for the kill. 

Corralitas neighbors have long witnessed this hunting behavior.  We've even seen hawks drop in for a kill, while workers were still weed whacking the lot.  A few of us have actually been used by the hawks as we walked the Corralitas Public Staircase.  The hawks were using humans to screen for them, often only changing course slightly around the human's head then dropping back in to the human's shadow.  Both Red Tails and a few Cooper's Hawks have used this technique hunting near the Corralitas Public Staircase.  They're also careful to time their descent when the person is either distracted or has their back to the hawk.  This is a brilliant adaptation of hunting technique in our urban hillside neighborhood.

Its usually around this time of year when hawks' eggs are hatching.  They to feed rapidly growing chicks (in an area where almost every vacant lot has been built) the successful hawks adapted.

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Corralitas Red Car Property: Why Does The Red Car Property Owner Get away With Not Doing Brush Clearance By May 1?

Photo: Red Car Property Neighbor, April 28, 2017.  When the dry weeds are taller than your dog, it's time to do the brush clearance.  (Click on photo to enlarge.)

Seems like every year we have to bitch about the fact the Red Car Property owner doesn't do the brush clearance by May 1 like the rest of the Hillside homeowners are required to do.

If you look closely at the small dirt slope in the background, that's where there was a 40' tall wall of trees (with some 80' tall Eucalyptus) separating Corralitas Drive and the Red Car Property from the southbound lanes of the 2 Freeway, prior to the June 19, 2016 Silver Lake FireCalTrans used the fire as an excuse to cut down all the trees, including the trees that did not burn in the fire.  As a result, Corralitas Drive is hotter, dirtier drier and more dangerous than ever before.

Last year, we documented the hazard with photos sent to CD13 and LAFD Brush Clearance Unit prior to the fire.  Unfortunately, we were unable to post here in the month prior to the fire.

Neighbors, report your brush clearance concerns about the Red Car Property to CD13 Deputy: and LAFD:

Click here for all our brush clearance posts.

Friday, April 28, 2017

Silver Lake Ave Pubic Staircase: Some Brush Clearance Done

Photo: Red Car Property Neighbor, April 28, 2017.  Brush clearance immediately adjacent to the Silver Lake Ave Public Staircase was done (it is a 30' wide public right of way), but not elsewhere on the slope, on the Lake View side of the Red Car Property.  (Click on photo to enlarge.)

Red Car Property: Dumping, Weeds at India Street Entrance

Photo: Red Car Property Neighbor, April 28, 2017. The Red Car Property remains a lawless place.  The brush is dry and the dumping fresh at India Street.  (Click on photos to enlarge.)
Photo: Red Car Property Neighbor April 28, 2017.  Chairs and other debris are among the dumping.  If it is a resident, let's hope they requested a bulky item pick-up via the City's MyLA311, or it may take a while to get picked up.

On a positive note, the large opuntia cactus (on the slope) has recovered from 5 years of unprecedented drought. The mature cactus is good defensive landscaping for its drought tolerance, fire resistance and crime deterrence.   Plant it near windows and along fence lines.  

Deadline for brush clearance is May 1, every year.  That slope is on Red Car Property, Lot C at India Street.

Red Car Canyon: DWP Contractor Trimming Trees Near Power Lines

Photo: Red Car Property Neighbor, April 28, 2017.  This morning, tree trimmers were working in Red Car Canyon.  (Click on photos to enlarge.)
Photo: Red Car Property Neighbor, April 28, 2017.  It appears they were only trimming trees on the Lake View side up at the power lines, which is also the property line.  I confirmed by phone with Pacific Coast Tree Contractors that they were doing work in the area for the DWP today.  They've trimmed trees around the power lines on the Red Car Property for the DWP, for many years.
Photo: Red Car Property Neighbor, April 28, 2017.  There has been no effort to clear brush on the Red Car Property.  Red Car Canyon is where LAFD and their partner agencies put a stop to last June's Silver Lake Fire.  It burned right up to adjacent homes on the west side of the property.  The property was not cleared of remaining brush and dead trees until the following December.

The May 1st deadline for brush clearance is Monday.  There has been no effort to clear brush on the Red Car Property.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Red Car Property: Drywall Pile On Lot C Now Protected By Riverside Drive Developer's Fence

Photo: Red Car Property Neighbor, April 21, 2017.  If you're going to fence in property that isn't yours and put in plumbing, then pick up the pile of drywall, first dumped in January 2016.  (Click on photo to enlarge.)

In January this year, the drywall pile was still outside the construction fence for the Riverside Drive development that was put up on the Red Car Property last fall.

At least those 3 trees are still alive.  Wonder how many more native trees they cut down.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Now That You've Celebrated Earth Day By Picking Up Other People's Trash, Pull Some Weeds In Your Backyard

Photo: Red Car Property Neighbor, April 16, 2017.  Everything in this photo, shot from Silver Ridge Ave, is non-native and invasive, even the yellow-orange-red Nasturtiums (Tropaeolum majus).  (Click on photo to enlarge.)

All parcels of the Red Car Property as well as the neighborhood are within the Very High Fire Hazard Severity Zone.  While many trees were removed after last year's fire, most trees did not catch fire.  It was the extreme heat of the fire that dried the trees out.  The dry grass and wind quickly spread the fire uphill, putting homes on Corralitas Drive, Silver Ridge Ave  and Lake View Ave, in the direct path of the fire. 

Get your brush clearance done.  LAFD brush clearance inspections start May 1, 2017.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Red Car Property: Lot C Neighbors Tired Of Dumping

Photo: Red Car Property Neighbor, April 17, 2017.  A new sign showed up on a fence on Lot C of the Red Car Property, north of India Street before the construction fence.  (Click on photos to enlarge.)
Photo: Red Car Property Neighbor, April 17, 2017.  "No Dumping, Trash, This is NOT Your House!!!!!"  Of course the  "fence" is about 20 - 30 feet over the property line on the Red Car Property's Lot C.  

Homes on this downslope side of the Red Car Property front on Riverside Drive.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Red Car Property: Looking For Wildflowers?

Photo: S. Bartron, March 22, 2017.  The north end of the Red Car Property, above the City of Los Angeles Historic Landmark Viaduct Footings (looking toward the Menlo Property and Griffith Park), has long been a healthy ecosystem where native wildflowers and wildlife can be found.  (Click on photos to enlarge.)
Photo: Diane Edwardson, April 9, 2009Tomcat Clover above the historic viaduct footings.

Even though the non-native grass and flowers are tall, it's time to look for native wildflowers low to the ground, particularly at the base of the slope going up to Adelbert, among the viaduct footings and along the edges of the trail.  Many of the native flowers bloom after the non-native, invasive grasses have gone to seed, so there is still time to start looking for the native plant communities.
Photo: Diane Edwardson,  February 2, 2013.  Miner's Lettuce (Claytonia) near the viaduct footings.

What blooms on the north end of the Red Car Property?  Natives include: Blue Fiesta Flowers, Miner's Lettuce, Tomcat Clover, Golden Stars, Arroyo Lupine, Spanish Lotus, California Fuchsia, Doveweed, Kotolo Milkweed, Cudweed, California Poppy, Toyon, Native Dandelions, in addition to protected native Coast Live Oak and Black Walnuts.  There are others we've not yet identified.
Photo: Diane Edwardson, June 6, 2016.  Mystery plants near Adelbert have green flowers that apparently create pink to red seeds.

Non-native grasses are more diverse than you might thinkNon-native Wild Radish flowers are widespread, scenic and attract a variety of butterflies.

California Harvester Ants were thriving and helping to diversify the plant population by harvesting and inadvertently planting seeds.  Prior to the devastation of the urban forest on the Red Car Property and the the Riverside Drive Lots now being graded, Harvester Ants thrived in either a super colony or multiple colonies between the Coast Live Oak Tree and Fletcher.  Harvester Ants are an "indicator species."  Their presence is a sign of a healthy and diverse environment.
Photo: Diane Edwardson, May 21, 2016.  Native Dandelions attract a variety of pollinators including tiny beetles.

Unusual bugs to look for: mod-looking Flower Flies, Funereal Duskywings, swarming Green Darner Dragonflies, Trapdoor Spiders and in June, look for Tarantula Hawks
Photo: Diane Edwardson, August 8, 2014.  Red Shouldered Hawks tend to hang out in the protected native Black Walnut Trees  

Red Tailed Hawks ride the updrafts of Fletcher at Riverside, often landing in the power line towers off the public staircase coming down from Waverly.  Neighbors report hearing owls after dark.

Rarely seen, but present in the neighborhood: Bobcats and Gray Foxes.

In the early mornings you're likely to see coyotes on this part of the Red Car Property, even crossing Fletcher near the ARCO Station.

Click here for all our neighborhood native plant posts.

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Red Car Property: Feral Chihuahuas Make A Kill

April Fool's Post 2017
Photo: Red Car Property Neighbor March 31, 2017.  The marauding pack of Chihuahuas led by the little nasty white dog, was spotted yesterday feeding on a fresh kill on Lot C of the Red Car Property, near the construction fence. 

The vicious little wild dogs chased off the photographer who captured this rare photo and then they tried to kill his much larger dog.  The last documented sighting was in 2011. However, neighbors have long told of the marauding pack, known for chasing people; swarming large dogs; playing chicken with cars and escaping coyotes with their impressive speed.

This post should not be used as proof of anything other than April Foolishness...

However, the marauding pack of Chihuahuas is real and has been out and chasing people and dogs on Lot C this past week.  They now seem to have a mixed breed puppy with them.  They were photographed here eating "something yucky" in a trash bag near their reported home.  Additionally, they have indeed terrorized people walking on the Red Car Property for years.  Read more:
October 5, 2010
July 4, 2011