Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Corralitas Drive: Pink Clouds, Power Lines, Palm Trees, Plane

Photo: Diane Edwardson, November 17, 2017.  The title pretty much says it all. 

Stay calm, however you travel over Thanksgiving weekend.

Corralitas Drive: Construction Hours Until 9PM Monday Through Friday?!

Photo: Corralitas Neighbor, November 21, 2017.  Construction notice is posted at 2608-2610 Corralitas Drive.  Two single family homes are approved for the site situated on a blind hairpin curve adjacent to the Corralitas Public Staircase.  (Click on photo to enlarge.)

Why does the City allow construction activity in a hillside neighborhood with substandard Hillside streets until 9PM?  

The likely answer is to allow extra time for DIY homeowners who don't have time during weekdays to work on their own homes.  But that is a completely different situation than new home construction or permit-triggering renovations.  

Most construction sites don't work past 6 PM on Corralitas Drive, but why is it even allowed?  Considering parking, limited access and heavy evening traffic on residential Hillside streets in any zone, this is absurd.  Multi-family zoned Hillside streets are even more congested and have bigger parking problems than R1 Hillside neighborhoods.  

If it falls within the Hillside Area, no matter the zone, construction should only be allowed until 6 or 7 PM, M-F.  It doesn't even benefit developers if they have to stop work, move trucks, fences and equipment every time people try to drive up the hill.  

Why is construction allowed on all national holidays like Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years Day?!  Neighbors of this site report the developer will be drilling holes with heavy equipment on Thanksgiving.  No grading, hauling, deliveries or heavy equipment use, associated with construction permits, should be allowed on residential Hillside streets on Saturdays or national holidays. This should include any site where vehicle access is via residential Hillside streets.

Corralitas Drive has suffered through construction of 11 lots in the past 27 years, this is now the 12th.  Yet another duplex has been proposed for another lot on the street.  The fastest site took 18 months to build by developers who knew what they were doing in Hillside.  The longest was 5 years.  Corralitas Drive is not a through street and does not have regulation sized cul-de-sacs.  Weekend construction with heavy equipment and deliveries is not worthwhile.

You can file complaints about violations like failure to adequately control fugitive dust, equipment stored in the street or on sidewalks, blocking the street and public staircases, dangerous conditions, damage to adjacent property on Building & Safety's (LADBS) website. 

Neighbors should save the phone number of Parking Enforcement (LADOT) to their phone: (818) 374-4823 

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Red Car Property: Marching Band

Photo: Red Car Property Neighbor, November 19, 2017.  Lake View Neighbors want to know, what's with the Fellini-esque marching band going up and down the Red Car Property late every Sunday afternoon?  Looks like they have drums, brass, at least one guitar and a flag girl or guy bringing up the rear.  

The neighbor who sent the photo says they're not really playing recognizable music, but they're a rag tag group, best described as "Fellini-ish."  Another neighbor speculated, "Maybe they're practicing for the Doo-Dah Parade."

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Corralitas Drive: Scenic Sunrise

Photo: Diane Edwardson, November 16, 2017.  Damn power line.  Enough said.

Monday, November 6, 2017

Red Car Property: Shelf Fungus

Photo: s_d_m, October 27, 2017.  Red Car Property neighbor found a large shelf fungus growing out of cracks in the burned stump of a Eucalyptus on the south end of the Red Car Property, just off Corralitas Walk at the 2 Freeway.
Photo: s_d_m, October 27, 2017.  According to Mycoweb, it's most likely Laetiporis gilbertsonii, also known as a Chicken of the Woods.  They commonly grow in Eucalyptus trees in California.  We've documented many through the years in the Red Car Neighborhood.
Photo: s_d_m, October 27, 2017.  Chicken of the Woods often returns annually to the same trees.  This photo shows the fungus growing out of both sides of the stump.  The stump was left behind after LAFD contractors did brush clearance in December 2016, six months after it was scorched in the June 19, 2016 fire.

Related: All our fungus posts

Friday, November 3, 2017

Corralitas Drive: Creepy Sky

Photo: Corralitas Neighbor, November 3, 2017, 11:08 PM.  Tiki god, skulls or Iron Man in the clouds? Corralitas Drive.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Corralitas Drive: Lost Dogs Passing Through

Photo: Corralitas Neighbor, November 1, 2017.  A couple of good looking, friendly Huskies came romping through the top of Corralitas Drive just before 10 AM today.  Neighbors attempted to corral the dogs but they were having too much fun running free.  Huskies are notorious escape artists.
Photo: Corralitas Neighbor, November 1, 2017.  Both dogs had collars, but no tags.  They took off down the street.  Huskies can run for miles so they may not be from the Red Car Property Neighborhood.

If you find a lost dog, the best thing to do is to take it to LA City North Central Animal Shelter on Lacy Street.  You can put the right of first refusal to adopt the dog, if the owner does not claim him.  

The "pound" is the first place most people look for their lost dogs.  They can also scan animals for microchips.  If you've recently moved, be sure to update your pets' microchip info with the company it's registered with.

UPDATE: Dogs were found by their owner who lives in Elysian Valley via NextDoor.

Lake View Ave: Dia De Los Muertos

Photo: s_d_m, October 15, 2017.  Red Car Property Adjacent Neighbors found an Angle Winged Katydid and it obliged with a seasonal photo shoot while demonstrating its excellent camouflage.  See more of their photos on iNaturalist.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Corralitas Drive: Ghosts of Halloween Past

Photo: Diane Edwardson, 1995, Corralitas Drive.

Photo: Diane Edwardson, 1997, Corralitas Drive.

Photo: Diane Edwardson, 2015, Corralitas Drive.

Monday, October 30, 2017

Corralitas Drive: Fog Swallows Eastside

Photo: Corralitas Neighbor, October 29, 2017.  Fog consumed everything east of the LA River

Saturday, October 28, 2017

In Memoriam: Karin Flores, LA River Advocate

Photo: Diane Edwardson, December 25, 2009.  Blue Heron on the LA River.  

Karin Flores, LA River advocate, environmentalist, community activist and friend, died earlier this month.  A memorial will take place, today, October 28, 2017, 10:30 A.M. at The Frog Spot, 2825 Benedict Street, Elysian Valley). 

Karin was a tireless activist for the river and surrounding neighborhoods in the Glendale Narrows, including Elysian Valley and Atwater.  Through her work with Friends of the LA River, she got to know and genuinely care about the people who make the neighborhoods unique.  

Most of all, Karin was a good person.

Photo: Diane Edwardson, November 16, 2016. Air pollution hanging above Elysian Valley and Cypress Park, trapped by the inversion layer.

I got to know Karin while we volunteered with the Northeast Residents for Clean Air working to get Metrolink to respect the neighborhoods they pollute surrounding the maintenance yard in Cypress Park.  Her positive energy helped keep several of us going on the project since 2011.
Photo: Diane Edwardson, December 19, 2012.  Mushrooms in Red Car Canyon.

Karin had the gift of seeing not only the big picture, but how the minutiae fit into the big picture.  She loved the beauty and endless variety of mushrooms, not just locally, but worldwide as seen alongside environmental causes she supported on her Twitter feed, @PurpleSageLA

Karin was always supportive of the effort to acquire the Red Car Property as a park.  She understood its potential as a link between parks and neighborhoods.  She often suggested creative outreach and always knew who to contact in city/county/state departments to help solve problems.
Photo: Diane Edwardson, July 18, 2012.  Marine Blue Butterfly on Corralitas Drive.

Karin appreciated the art of the imperfect bird or butterfly photograph, where the animal's movement at the shutter snap turned the photo into art.

Karin was an asset to the community.  Her positive outlook and genuine concern for the neighborhoods made her easy to work with.  Her loss will be felt for years to come.

Friday, October 27, 2017

Rose Scharlin Nursery School: Hullabaloo Saturday October 28, 2017

Rose Scharlin Co-op Nursery School is a Red Car Property neighbor since 1946.  They're hosting their annual children's Halloween Party Saturday, October 28, 2017, 10:30 AM to 1:30 PM. 

According to the flyer and their outreach to the neighborhood, the school will secure a "no parking/loading zone" directly in front of the school for the day of the party.  There is NO PARKING on the Red Car Property.  The school did the same thing for the past couple of years.  According to neighbors, it is a better system than the mayhem that used to ensue from the parking situation on Lake View and the Red Car Property.  (The Red Car Property is not a park, nor a public roadway.  It is private property.)

Please remember to SLOW DOWN while driving the neighborhood as there will be many more children than usual on the neighborhood streets.

If you live within walking distance of Rose Scharlin and have children in heading for preschool in the coming years, we strongly encourage you to consider sending your kids to Rose Scharlin. Until the 2000's, it was a true neighborhood nursery school, with only a few parents dropping off kids by car.  We'd like to see a majority of neighbors join the Rose Scharlin Family again.

After a lapse of 28 years, the school secured their Conditional Use Permit for Rose Scharlin.  It was issued by City Planning February 1, 2017.

Monday, October 23, 2017

LAFD Declares First Red Flag Day In 3 Years

Photo: Diane Edwardson September 9, 2009.  LAFD declared a Red Flag Day starting at 8AM Tuesday, Oct 24, 2017.  LAFD's website has become difficult to sign up for or change how you receive notices.  Some of us, who've been signed up for alerts since the program began, got notice, others did not.  I got a call and email but not a text.  I used to receive all three. I recommend following @LAFDtalk on Twitter.
Photo: Red Car Property Neighbor June 19, 2016.  The Silver Lake Fire illustrated why Corralitas Drive is a Red Flag Day No Parking street.  There is only one access road, Rosebud Ave, to about 52 homes on Corralitas.  If you didn't drive out before the Fire Dept arrived, you could not drive off the hill.  June 19, 2017 was not a Red Flag Day.  Neighbors a half a mile away reported 6" embers blowing past their homes.  

The recent fires in Orange County, Napa Valley and Santa Rosa were wind driven fires.
9:15 PM: Typos were corrected.

Corralitas Drive: Killer Kitty Celebrated Urban Wildlife Week With Rodents

Photo: Corralitas Neighbor, October 16, 2017.  A killer kitty brought home what appears to be a megamouse.  Before disposing of the rodent, the owner took a few photos. 
Photo: Corralitas Neighbor, October 16, 2017.  It (same rodent as first photo) looks like a tree rat, also called a roof rat.  However, it lacks the white belly and chest.  Norway rats have small ears lower on their head.  Verdict: tree rat, A.K.A. roof rat.
Photo: Corralitas Neighbor August 19, 2017.  You'll often see tree rats as trained rats on TV because they are cuter than Norway Rats.  This one was an earlier tree rat kill.  The owner quickly distracts the cat(s) with cat treats so the kill can be quickly disposed of, rather than allowing the cat to eat the kill.  Almost all rats and mice have some level of poison in their system. 

Rats can live for up to 18 months with poison in their systems.  The poison travels up the food chain and it can cause serious health problems for the predator.  
Photo: Corralitas Neighbor, October 21, 2017. This is definitely a mouse.  

Talk to your neighbors - if you live in the hills - everyone has rat stories.  Some of us just document them.  

If there is a construction site nearby, be sure they are disposing of their trash in a covered container as they are required by the municipal code. Rats already like construction and remodelling sites, because they gain entry to a house.  Open trash piles and open trash cans make it easy for them to feed close to shelter.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Corralitas Drive: Not A Frog

Photo: Corralitas Neighbor, October 17, 2017.  A neighbor rescued the tiniest lizard from one of the killer kitties.  It's most likely a fence lizard.  The neighbor placed it way up in a bird of paradise flower, out of reach of the killer cats.  

It's Urban Wildlife Week.  More info @NatureinLA

Related: All our lizard posts

Monday, October 16, 2017

Lake View Ave: Angle Winged Katydid

Photo: s_d_m, October 15, 2017.  Red Car Property neighbor found a Katydid in the yard yesterday.  Check out those alien feet!  See more photos: iNaturalist.

We've seen a few of these unusual looking bugs, often brought in by a neighbor's cat

According to @NatureinLA (LA County Natural History Museum), it's Urban Wildlife Week.

Click here for all our unusual bugs.

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Corralitas Drive: Wildlife!

Photo: Corralitas Neighbor, September 24, 2017.  A neighbor placed empty and rinsed recyclables on the stairs to take to the bin.  Five minutes later, a young raccoon was already looking for snacks.  There's a reason we endlessly preach about keeping recycle and trash bins closed tightly.  Urban wildlife is opportunistic.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Red Car Property Neighborhood: Signs Of The Times

Photo: Red Car Property Neighbor, September 15, 2017.  Last week, LA City Fire Department began posting "No Smoking, No Discarding of Burning Objects" signs in the Hillside Area surrounding the Red Car Property and Semi Tropic Spiritualists' Tract (above photo at Allesandro and Rosebud - the sole vehicle entrance to the steep Semi Tropic hillside).
Photo: Red Car Property Neighbor, September 15, 2017.  The municipal code sections are referenced on the signs, here seen at the site of the 2016 Silver Lake Fire at the end of Corralitas Drive.  The LAFD has the authority to place these signs in Hillside Areas. 
Photo: Red Car Property Neighbor, September 15, 2017.  While brush may be cleared in many of the areas now, brush is often often dry for months before it is cleared.   Neighbors who've seen the same signs all over the Hollywood Hills for decades, noted their more recent proliferation in Beachwood Canyon and requested the signs for our neighborhood.  Several neighbors provided a list of suggested locations to the LAFD fire marshal overseeing the placement of the signs.
Photo: Jay Lieske, September 23, 2017.  Indeed, the fire marshal compared parts of our  neighborhood to neighborhoods in the Hollywood Hills.  We have many isolated areas like this one on Adelbert, right up against brush areas on narrow winding Hillside streets with no through traffic, in addition to public staircases and paper streets that are hidden and open to the Red Car Property.

Neighbors welcomed the signs as a reminder we live in a tinder dry hillside neighborhood.  Neighbors hope the signs get the attention of smokers who carelessly discard their cigarettes in dry brush areas.  At least one neighbor documented discarded cigarettes in parts of the neighborhood in the request for signs.  Neighbors noted areas where partying, homeless camps and squatter houses have attracted problems.  

I've asked for these signs for 25 years.  I'm grateful to the Red Car Property Neighbor who was able to devote time and energy into spearheading this project to making it a reality. 

Friday, September 22, 2017

Corralitas Drive: Measurable Rain!

Photo: Corralitas Neighbor: September 21, 2017.  On the last full day of summer rain fell! At least the street sweeper blew less dust in the air.

We track rainfall totals in the Corralitas Drive rain gauge. For the past couple of years, we followed the water year as the rain year since the State changed the way it measured rain or water year from October 1 to September 30.  

Previously the season to date was from July 1 to June 30.  Apparently everyone is confused by the fluidity of the definitions (pun intended).  I'm now finding July 1 to June 30 the primary rainfall season once again. 

So this is either the first rain of the year 2017 - 2018 (since our last measurable rainfall on Corralitas Drive was May 7, 2017) or it could be the last rain of 2016-2017.  For now, less than a tenth of one inch isn't going to change our Corralitas totals enough to worry about to which year we're attributing it.  The LA Almanac and other sources count the season as July 1 to June 30.  So we're returning to that schedule this rainy season and will, once again, identify July 1 to June 30, "season to date."

September 21, 2017: 0.05"
Rain/water year to date: 24.09" Oct 1- Sept 30
Season to date:  0.05" July 1 - June 30

Friday, September 15, 2017

Red Car Canyon: Shredding Trees, Spreading Dust, But What About Insects & Pathogens?

Video: Red Car Property Neighbor, September 14, 2017.  While it's technically OK per LAFD to spread the tree shred/mulch around to help retain moisture on the slopes, it's not exactly the best thing for air quality during the chipping or shredding.  There's also the question of spreading pathogens of the dead trees.

After consulting a neighbor who is a landscape designer, and reading up on some of the local insects and pathogens, I can wholeheartedly say, if you have a sick, dead or dying tree, consult a certified arborist.  This issue is way beyond my skill set to simplify beyond the following advice.  There are too many ways to infest/infect other trees depending on the insect and or pathogen, and you may be able to save your trees.  Your mature trees are an investment in not only your home's resale value, but also the future of our neighborhood and local air quality.

We've lost a lot of large trees in the neighborhood in the past few years.  Take care of your large and native trees.  Every tree counts.