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


Thursday, March 30, 2017

Red Car Property: Native Black Walnut Trees Blooming Big Time

Photo: S. Bartron, March 22, 2017.  The large protected native Black Walnut Tree, atop the historic landmark viaduct footings, is blooming big time.  

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Red Car Property: FIESTA!

Photo: Jay Lieske, March 19, 2017.  Native Blue Fiesta Flowers (Pholistoma auritum) reclaimed the slope at the Adelbert cut-through on the Red Car Property.  (Click on photos to enlarge.)

Lieske, a longtime Red Car Property neighbor, reports the Blue Fiesta Flowers are thriving in the slope between the Adelbert cut-through to Fletcher.  Lieske said, "The Fiesta Flowers are even climbing up the chain-link fence around the construction."
Photo: Diane Edwardson, March 13, 2009.  In 2009, we first discovered and documented a few Blue Fiesta Flowers near the Adelbert cut-through to the Red Car Property.

2016 was a lean year for the ever festive Fiesta Flowers due to the extraordinary drought combined with the removal of more than dozen large Eucalyptus that died suddenly over the course of 2 years. This alone changed the ecosystem dramatically due to the loss of shade as well as water and carbon storage capacity of the huge trees.  The north end of the Red Car Property which had always been cooler and more damp, suddenly became an inhospitable place, hotter and drier than the previous 26 years I'd walked the property.

Further destroying habitat, in August2016, an entire forest of trees  (including scores of protected native Black Walnuts that had begun to grow back after the 2014 illegal tree removal) was clear cut for the development of the Riverside Drive lots north of Gilroy, further changing the climate and ecosystem in the neighborhood.  

Let's hope the remaining protected native trees on this section of the Red Car Property recover from the past 6 years of extreme drought and stupidity development, encouraging the entire native plant community and the diversity of wildlife it supports to return to the north end of the property.

Click here for all our Blue Fiesta Flower photos and related posts.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Red Car Canyon: Not A Park...

Photo: S. Bartron, March 20, 2017.  It just looks like one.  (Click on photo to enlarge.)

LAFD deadline for brush clearance in the Very High Fire Hazard Severity Zone (VHFHSZ) is May 1, 2017.  In the past 26 years I've only seen the Red Car Property cleared a handful of times before the 4th of July.  Let's hope this year is different.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Corralitas Drive & Rosebud Ave: Homeless Guy Refuses To Move

Photo: Corralitas Neighbor #1, March 5, 2017. Neighbors are  frustrated by the City's policy allowing the homeless to live on the sidewalk.  Neighbors were fed up when the homeless guy's camp expanded with electronics, Christmas lights and what several neighbors described as "entertaining sketchy looking friends." (Click on photos to enlarge.)
Photo: Corralitas Neighbor #1, February 14, 2017.  Neighbors on Corralitas Drive had been remarkably tolerant of the homeless guy who, he first week of January, took up residence under the 2 Freeway,  at the corner of Rosebud Ave and Corralitas Drive.  However, after six weeks, neighbors noticed a deterioration of his camp, of blocking much of the sidewalk

Neighbors were fed up and amplified their calls and emails to CD13.  Several neighbors responded to our earlier post, including this response on February 17, by a neighbor at home with her kids, sent via email to neighbors and CD13:

"He knocked on my door on a rainy day, asking me for a wine bottle opener because someone stole his. I kindly told him I don't have one and immediately closed the door. I was home with all my kids and pretty concerned because as he went down the stairs (most likely frustrated), he went to my neighbor's garage door and cracked the bottle open by breaking off the neck of his wine bottle and leaving the broken glass on the sidewalk."  

Another neighbor home with his kids, witnessed the same incident after he'd sent the homeless guy away after making the same request at his door.   

In the following weeks, neighbors were on edge due to a reported increase in Silver Lake car break-ins; an attempted Corralitas garage break-in; graffiti, package and mail theft; suspicious vehicles cruising our hard to find hillside street; other cars seemingly abandoned on the Red Car Property; and most disturbingly, witnessed by multiple neighbors, a woman described as either on drugs or crazy, showing up inside at least one home on Corralitas Drive and another home on Riverside Place(Both times, homeowners confronted the woman, who did not know her.Only one of those events was witnessed as related to the homeless guy, but his presence only aggravates the general unease in the neighborhood.
Corralitas Neighbor #2, March 6, 2017.  Neighbors were surprised to see so many City trucks and police officers in the tunnel late in the day, March 6.  The homeless guy had been given notice by the City, at least 72 hours prior to the Dept of Sanitation regarding moving his property from the sidewalk.  
Corralitas Neighbor #2, March 6, 2017.  The City followed their standard policy to clean  the sidewalk.  The lengthy process to remove property from City sidewalk was initiated in January. Due to civil rights lawsuits, the City has a very specific policy related to removing the homeless' belongings from City property.
Photo: Corralitas Neighbor #2, March 7, 2017. Three hours after his camp was cleared by the City, the homeless guy returnedNeighbors are getting hostile.  Remember, Rosebud Ave is the primary means of access to Corralitas Drive.  It is the only vehicle access. 

Corralitas Neighborhood Watch warned neighbors NOT to give handouts to the homeless guy as it was only encouraging him to stay.  Neighbors resumed their emails to CD13.  A representative assured us, the return was reported to PATH and the process resumed.
Photo: Corralitas Neighbor #3, March 9, 2017.  Less than 24 hours after the homeless guy's camp was cleared from under the 2 Freeway on Rosebud at Corralitas Drive, a new couch appeared.  The old couch was black.  This begs the question, who is delivering  couches to the homeless?  He did not get it here on his shopping cart.
Photo: Corralitas Neighbor #2, March 17, 2017.  Neighbors are frustrated as his pile of belongings and trash grows daily.  One neighbor said, "His collection grows every day...he is so in your face, as if that is now his property."  Other neighbors have witnessed suspicious activity.

Neighbors with children and single women have expressed fear and will no longer walk through the tunnel to reach Allesandro.  With such a small street, the homeless guy knows all of our schedules, cars and homes.  Neighbors are fed up.

CD13 is urging neighbors to report all suspicious and illicit activity to the LAPD.  Report dumping and graffiti to MyLA311.

It is not a crime to be homeless, nor is public urination.
Photo: Corralitas Neighbor #4, March 22, 2017.  It figures, in Silver Lake, we have hipster homeless.  Corralitas Neighbor #4 remarked, "I think our homeless guy has a subscription to dwell."

Clearly people in Silver Lake throw out too much stuff.  Instead of throwing your used home goods, clothing, toys and furniture in the trash, or giving the stuff you're tired of directly to the homeless guy, donate it to Out of the Closet, Goodwill or St Vincent de Paul.  All three have donation centers in Cypress Park or Lincoln Heights, freeway close and just minutes away.  

PATH outreach workers were seen again yesterday talking with the homeless guy who, so far, has refused to get off the street.

Related: City of LA Guidelines on Abandoned Property and Encampments (CD13)
PATH

Request a bulky item pick up, report illegal dumping, graffiti, street light outages, and other City Services: MyLA311

Earlier post: February 17, 2017

Monday, March 6, 2017

Corralitas Drive: Rainfall Totals

Photo: Corralitas Neighbor, March 5, 2017.  Don't block other people's driveways without their permission.  With a recent uptick in Silver Lake vehicle related crime, neighbors were suspicious of this black Honda, as its rear windows were blocked by black towels.  It took off when a neighbor pulled in behind it. It pays to befriend your neighbors.  Neighbors look out for one another on Corralitas.

We're tracking rainfall totals in the Corralitas rain gauge: 

March 5, 2017: 0.07"
Rain year to date: 23.44"

Friday, March 3, 2017

Red Car Canyon: Neighbors Suspect 2 Stolen Cars Abandoned

Photo: Red Car Property Neighbor #1, March 2, 2017.  Yesterday, a longtime Red Car Property neighbor, who walks the property regularly, sent a photo of 2 cars that appeared to be stolen, abandoned on the Red Car Property.  If you look closely at the first photo, you can see the second car further back.  We have not been able to confirm if indeed these cars were stolen, but the story only gets stranger.

In the predawn hours, Thursday, another neighbor walking his dog, offered to call the police for a man without pants who was standing outside one of the cars.  The man declined.  As soon as I learned of the incident, word was sent to LAPD Senior Lead Officer Lenny Davis, CD13 and adjacent neighbors, including Rose Scharlin Co-op Nursery School. 

Longtime neighbors know the signs of abandoned stolen cars.  While the canyon is not a common place to dump stolen cars, it has happened in the past.  Often, neighbors have reported stolen cars abandoned on the Red Car Property, or on Rosebud under the 2 Freeway, hours or even days before the car owners reported their cars stolen.
Photo: Red Car Property Neighbor #2, March 2, 2017.  Midday Thursday, LAPD came out to check on the car. They told a neighbor it was just stuck in the mud.  There appears to be considerable damage to the right rear bumper.

A third neighbor reported the car was pulled out of the mud by a white truck late Thursday afternoon.  The person who appeared to be with the Prius, was not wearing shoes.

The Red Car Property is not a park, nor is it a city street right of way.  It is private property.  In the early 1990s, there were heavy steel fire road gates that blocked traffic from portions of the property.  

We have long advocated for installation of gates similar to those on every fire road in Griffith and Elysian Parks to prevent all but police/fire/ambulance emergency access.  Fire road gates would enable pedestrians and non-motorized access to the property, while preventing people from driving cars from driving and dumping, joyriding or gathering for parties, which have been persistent problems.  Pedestrians help keep many bad uses out by their daily presence.  

In the past, the property owner threatened to fence off the entire site with chain link, but that would only keep the law-abiding neighbors off the property.  Fencing the entire property only creates a safe haven for bad usesHomeless and people looking to commit crimes, use drugs or party would then have free use of the property without the watchful eyes of pedestrians and families who use the property in a positive way.  

The Red Car Property is a lawless place.

Click here for all our stolen car posts.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Corralitas Red Car Property: Lupines!

Photo: s_d_m, February 26, 2017, via iNaturalist.  Native Arroyo Lupines are back on the southern end of the Red Car Property. 

Monday, February 27, 2017

Red Car Canyon: Rainfall Totals

Photo: Red Car Property Neighbor, February 18, 2017.  Red Car Canyon.

We're tracking rainfall totals in the Corralitas Drive rain gauge. 

February 24 - 26, 2017: 0.1"
Rain year to date:  23.37"

Friday, February 24, 2017

Corralitas Drive: Unusual Visitor Trapped In Kitchen

Photo: Corralitas Drive Neighbor, February 24, 2017.  A very talkative, unusually colored hummingbird flew into a Corralitas neighbor's kitchen.  (Click on photos to enlarge.)

The neighbor said the tiny bird was metallic red, burnt umber and white which is very unusual coloration for around here, and very very vocal.

Rufous Hummingbirds are just migrating through Silver Lake on their way back to the Pacific Northwest from Mexico.  Cornell University's All About Birds describes the Rufous as pugnacious, explaining his talkativeness. 
Photo: Corralitas Neighbor, February 24, 2017.  "He just wanted to lay in my hand for a while before flying off.  He pooped on me and flew away."  They have a 4000 mile migration.  No wonder he needed a lie-down. 

You know hummingbirds get trapped in certain neighbors' homes on a regular basis, when my response was "How did you capture this one?"  The neighbor's replied, "I walked up to him flying against the window and said, 'Here let me help you with that.'  I prepped the camera [phone] before offering my assistance." 

In the past I used a small towel capturing trapped hummingbirds who were bashing themselves against a window in a panic to get out.  They weigh nothing, so it's hard to tell if you even have the bird in the towel.  The neighbor continued, "I don't use towel anymore, because one got his beak and foot stuck in the terry loop and was traumatized about it.  And it pooped all over the towel.  Easier to wash my hands."

Click here for all our hummingbird posts. 
 

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Dramatic Sky Over The Eastside

Photo: Red Car Property Neighbor, February 22, 2017.  Note to developers: the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow is at the junction of the 2 and 134 Freeway - Glendale.

Red Car Canyon: Mudwatch, Rainfall Totals

Photo: Red Car Property Neighbor, February 18, 2017. Hard to believe that pine tree is still standing after more than 23" of rain.

We're tracking rainfall totals in the Corralitas Drive rain gauge...

February 18-21, 2017: 0.17"
Rain year to date: 23.27"

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Red Car Property: How Long Will It Take To Get This Tree Hauled Away?

Photo: Red Car Property Neighbor, February 18, 2017.  Last week, someone cut down a large Peruvian Pepper Tree on the Lake View Ave side of the Red Car Property.  It has partially blocked the roadway since then.  (Click on photo to enlarge.)

The Red Car Property is a lawless place when it comes to people cutting down trees and leaving them to become fire hazards.  Nor do they seem to care they've created a fire hazard once the trees dry out

The same portion of the Red Car Property seems to attract dead Christmas Trees.

Let the countdown clock start on this one. RIP Peruvian Pepper Tree, February 13, 2017.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Red Car Propery: Mudwatch, Rainfall Totals

Photo: Red Car Property Neighbor, February 18, 2017.  The Red Car Property was muddy, yet walkable, a day after the deluge.  

We're tracking rainfall totals in the Corralitas Drive rain gauge...

February 17 - 18, 2017: 2.4" (as of 9:30 AM)
Rain year to date: 23.1" (since Oct. 1)

Friday, February 17, 2017

Corralitas Drive: Mega Wind

Photo: Corralitas Drive Neighbor, February 17, 2017, 10:30 AM.  The wind was pretty incredible in a yard that's usually pretty well protected from wind.  Last night, TV newscasts were warning people not to go to work if they didn't have to today.

Rosebud Ave & Corralitas Drive: Homeless Guy's Upgraded Campsite

Updated March 6, 2017*
 Photo: Corralitas Neighbor #1, February 14, 2017.  Homeless or IKEA promotion?   It's hard to tell the difference.  (Click on photos to enlarge.)

Corralitas Drive residents have been remarkably tolerant of the young homeless guy who took up residence on Rosebud Ave near the stop sign at Corralitas Drive more than a month ago.  The 2 Freeway overpass offers some protection from the rain
Photo: Corralitas Neighbor #2, January 9, 2017. When the young homeless man showed up under the 2 Freeway in the heavy January rains, several neighbors attempted to engage and encourage him to move into supportive housing.  They contacted CD13, who quickly notified PATH, (People Assisting The Homeless).  One even neighbor organized interested neighbors in an effort to help move him off the street and into support services. 

PATH representatives and LAPD Senior Lead Officer Lenny Davis reached out to him Thus far, he's not moved into a shelter, choosing to stay on the street.  Neighbors are skeptical that he will move into one, since (even in each of the photos) there are often open bottles of alcohol near his bed. 

One of the largest impediments to moving homeless into supportive housing, is drug and alcohol dependency.  Unless they are willing to get off drugs and alcohol, they cannot move into housing.  The housing bonds passed in recent elections fail to address this very real problem.  County Measure H, on the March 7, 2017 ballot, would allocate some funds  toward support services, but it seems to be a drop in the bucket.
Photo: Corralitas Neighbor #2, January 13, 2017.  This homeless guy has been tidy and  has not been belligerent like some of the meth-addicted homeless who've lived up on the 2 Freeway's landscaped medians (before the June 19, 2016 Silver Lake Fire).  However, neighbors are concerned that someone who reportedly is there all day and night knows when neighbors are coming and going.  Corralitas Drive is a very isolated street with only one means of vehicle access.  Our isolation makes us more self sufficient than most neighborhoods, but at some point, public safety becomes an issue.

Neighbors who own and live in their duplexes, have sent me email expressing frustration as a number of prospective tenants have told them they fear for their safety because of the homeless guy and the problems homeless attract. The tunnel has been hit with both Frogtown and Echo Park gang graffiti in the past month.  While the graffiti vandalism has always happened here, it now adds to the unease neighbors feel about the homeless guy.

Neighbors' patience has grown thin.  Many have said it's time for the guy to move on.  Hector from CD13 has been communicating with PATH and neighbors regarding this issue.  There are a myriad of issues involved.

Neighbors have been successful in using the City's MyLA311 app to get the graffiti painted out, usually within 24 hours of reporting it.  If the graffiti is on up on the 2 Freeway and inaccessible from the sidewalk, the City will not paint it out.  Report it to CalTrans.
Photo: Corralitas Neighbor #3, January 4. 2017.  A few days before the homeless guy showed up, the tunnel under the 2 Freeway on Rosebud Ave was the cleanest it's been in years.  The tunnel  is usually so trashed, that when it's clean, neighbors get pretty damn excited about it.  

A neighbor was so pleased seeing the clean tunnel, she sent me this photo of a woman walking her dog in the immaculately clean tunnel. As a 27-year resident of Corralitas Drive, I did not want to publish it, because I didn't want to advertise to dumpers and graffiti vandals.  A few days later, the homeless guy took up residence.  File it under: why we can't have nice things.

*UPDATE March 6, 2017: After giving 72 hour notice last week, the City's Department of Sanitation cleared the homeless guy's camp around 5 PM today.  He was back by 8 PM.  He even refused PATH's offer to get him into temporary shelter during recent rains.  Neighbors are growing increasingly hostile toward his continued presence.

You are not helping by giving him handouts.  You are enabling him to remain on the streets. It is best to allow the professionals to deal with this situation.  Contact PATH or another homeless services agency, if you want to help the homeless. 

For an explanation of the City's policy and process for moving the homeless: CD13.