Friday, June 23, 2017

Astro Restaurant: C-145 Brought A Friend



Video: Gary Vlahakis, June 18, 2017.  The coyote in tracking collar, often seen waiting for a meal in the Astro Restaurant parking lot, was identified as C-145 by LA City Animal Services Wildlife Officer Hoang DInh, but we could just call him Astro.

National Park Service was tracking C-145 along with 5 other coyotes in their Los Angeles urban coyote study.  C-145 and his mate had a litter in a Silver Lake backyard in 2016.  According to the NPS website, the batteries died a few months after the collar was placed on the coyote.  Information regarding the study hasn't been updated since 2016. You might try Facebook for their latest info.  

There is an ongoing coyote scat study, with the help of volunteers, they learn much about what Los Angeles coyotes are eating.  In C-145's case, you don't need to find his poop to know he's a regular at Astro and probably taught his pups to eat there too.  (I'd heard stories for years about the coyote in a collar who visits Astro, but last week was the first proof.)

Under the advice of  Wildlife Officer Dinh, Vlahakis attempted to chase off C-145 and his buddy from the Astro parking lot. C145's buddy took off across Fletcher. C-145 is so unafraid of people that he went right back to the parking lot to wait for breakfast early Sunday morning. 

Dinh recommends hazing coyotes: making your self large, waving your arms, throwing pine cones in the direction of coyotes to make them afraid of people again.  

LA City Animal Services is hosting a series of Wildlife Workshops across the City.  In addition to coyotes in our neighborhood we have bobcat, gray fox, raccoon, opossum, skunk, rats and snakes among a plethora of birds, raptors, owls, gophers and insects in the neighborhood.
Thursday, July 13, 2017
6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
North Central Shelter
3201 Lacy St.
Los Angeles, CA 90031
(Cypress Park)

Learn more about living with urban wildlife:
Los Angeles City Animal Services
Coyote Hazing The Humane Society
Conflict Resolution With Coyotes The Humane Society 
Keep Me Wild State of California  

Document coyote sightings (citizen science):
"Coyote Catcher" University of California
LA Nature Map on iNaturalist LA County Natural History Museum

We've been documenting coyote sightings in the Corralitas Red Car Property Neighborhood for the past ten years.If you have photos of coyotes or other wildlife in the neighborhood, email photos or links to video along with a brief when, where and what was the behavior you observed: redcarproperty@gmail.com

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Semi Tropic Spiritualists' Tract: Dead Trees, Brush Clearance

Photo: Corralitas Drive Neighbor, June 13, 2017.  Dry grass on the odd slope on Allesandro St at Rosebud Ave which is actually Sunflower Ave, but the maps are out of sync with the street signs.  (click on photos to enlarge.)

The odd slope is within the CalTrans easement, but like everything surrounding the 2 Freeway, no one takes responsibility for it. More than once in 27 years,  I've seen a CalTrans crew spray the weeds with poison.
Photo: Corralitas Drive Neighbor, June 13, 2017.  Enlarged from previous photo.  Dead Eucalyptus are in the Modjeska Street right-of-way, a paper street, on an  extremely steep slope in the Semi Tropic Spiritualists' Tract.  Looks like the Modjeska slope is in need of brush clearance too.  The City will never build  40' wide Modjeska Street right-of-way, as it is steeper than a 30% grade.
Photo: Diane Edwardson, May 22, 2016.  A year ago, the dead non-native Eucalyptus in the Modjeska paper street, were clearly evident as viewed from Corralitas Drive.  Eucalyptus trees all over the area have been dying suddenly for the past 4 years.  The Modjeska trees have been dead for more than a year.

Every year on and around the 4th of July, some idiots invariably shoot fireworks off over the Semi Tropic Spiritualists' Tract.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Red Car Property: Homeless Adding Furniture

Photo: Red Car Property Neighbor, June 18, 2017.  The homeless camp on the Red Car Property behind Rose Scharlin Nursery School is expanding with furniture.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Red Car Property: Settling In

Photo: Red Car Property Neighbor, June 17, 2017.  Red Car Property is not approved for camping uses.  Neighbors have notified CD13 who sent email to Red Car Property owner regarding the camp site near Rose Scharlin Nursery School.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Red Car Property: Spot The Homeless Camp

Photo: Red Car Property Neighbor, June 15, 2017. Neighbors discovered a blue tent pitched among the bushes on the Red Car Property near Rose Scharlin Nursery School today.  Just past the pile of railroad ties dumped on the property behind a home on Riverside Place.  (Click on photos to enlarge.) 

One neighbor heard voices coming from inside the tent this morning.
Photo: Red Car Property Neighbor, June 15, 2017.  Neighbors from Corralitas Drive, Riverside Place and Lake View Ave texted and emailed photos to me and CD13 today.  Neighbors are concerned about the risk of fire since brush clearance has not been done.  Homes on this part of the Red Car Property are very close together.  There are still some dead and dying Eucalyptus trees in the background of this photo, as well as a stand of arundo.  

Neighbors are also concerned due to recent mail and package theft, as well as a general increase in property related crimes in the area.  When you call the police regarding anything on the privately owned Red Car Property, you need to tell LAPD dispatch there is an active  trespass order on file at the Northeast LAPD Station or they won't respond.

Send your concerns regarding brush clearance, homeless, partying, joyriding or any other issue on the Red Car Property to hector.vega@lacity.org in CD13. 

Rosebud Ave & Corralitas: Homeless Guy's Camp Cleared, Returned, Vacated in In One Day

This story is told through neighbors' photos and their anonymous quotes received via text.  All photos are by five different Corralitas Neighbors.  Click on photos to enlarge.
June 6, 2017.  After six months and three couches, neighbors are fed up with the homeless guy's camp at the corner of Rosebud Ave and Corralitas Drive, under the 2 Freeway.  A number of neighbors complained about him stealing water and electricity from their front yards, public urination, fornication, dumping his trash on Corralitas, checking a doorknob on a garage, belligerently knocking on doors looking to borrow a corkscrew, potential animal abuse (dying doves red) and dumping one of his three couches on Allesandro once he got a new one.

Considering Rosebud is the only vehicle access to Corralitas Drive, it is totally understandable why neighbors were increasingly agitated seeing this guy here every day. He knows everyone's cars and schedules.  A recent increase in mail and package theft and a few break-ins on our normally quiet street has everyone on edge, regardless of whether or not the homeless guy was involved.
June 11, 2017.  Neighbors saw notices posted Friday, hoped this time the homeless guy would get the message and move on.
June 13, 2017, 8:23 AM.  Beginning around 8 AM, neighbors exercising and leaving for work, reported the Dept of Sanitation and "numerous other agencies, are supervising the homeless guy pack up his belongings."  

Neighbors were not too hopeful, since we've seen this before.  He's refused numerous offers of assistance to get off the streets from PATH, who were once again on site.
June 13, 2017, 8:23 AM. Several neighbors texted as they watched the homeless guy move his belongings in shopping carts across Allesandro.  "He's been prepared with 3 - 4 carts ready to wheel away."

Coincidentally, a June 12, 2017, LA Times story on the City settling a lawsuit  over discarding the homeless' belongings, mentions a Catholic charity handing out shopping carts to the homeless on skid rowNeighbors still want to know who's handing out couches.
June 13, 2017.  By 9:30 AM,  the City hauled away his couch, swept the sidewalk and was gone. Any belongings that left behind that would fit in a 30 gallon trash bin would be stored for 90 days where he could retrieve them. (See City notice above.)  While the tunnel was clear, neighbors sent yet another flurry of texts, photos and a video.
June 13, 2017, 9:30 AM.  As soon as neighbors noticed his stuff parked temporarily on Rosebud across Allesandro more photos and texts came in. 

One neighbor texted "They let him take ALL HIS CARTS across Allesandro where he appears to be waiting for all to leave so he can move back in."  

Previously a neighbor questioned why he was allowed to have so many belongings blocking much of the sidewalk, exclaiming, "He's got more stuff on the sidewalk than I have in my entire apartment!"
June 13, 2017.  An hour later, the first cart full of stuff and his pet birds reappeared.  (Last time it took him three hours to reappear with a lot less stuf.) 

According to another neighbor who was driving by and stopped when he saw two "18-22 year olds were opening homeless guy's bird cage.  I asked if they knew him and they said they did.  They were helping him move back."

May 19, 2017, after outcry from multiple neighbors, LA City Dept of Animal Services determined the doves were dyed red and pink with a hair dye used on dogs, and there was no crime or animal abuse.
June 13, 2017, 12:41 PM.  Two carts and already bags of trash were appearing.  A neighbor commented she was sick of seeing him dump his trash around the corner on Corralitas.  It's not like there aren't trash cans all over the street he could use.
June 13, 2017, less than 10 minutes later he was captured on video pushing a third cart up Rosebud back to his "home."  Neighbors were hopping mad at this point.
June 13, 2017, 7 PM.  Neighbors, returning home from work, were not pleased seeing the homeless guy's carts on the sidewalk and one in the street.  Many had left the hill while the City was there in the morning.  A neighbor said, "Did some furious neighbor overturn his cart? Or did he do it?  Or did it simply roll to its demise?"
June 14, 2017, 6 AM.  Neighbors were even more surprised to see a vacant tunnel the following morning.  Neighbors reported everything was gone at 9 PM and 2:30 AM when they returned home.  

Further inquiries with neighbors indicated several had run-ins with the homeless guy in the afternoon while he was bringing his carts back.  Police were called on at least two occasions.  However, neighbors got tired of waiting and left.  So we're not sure where he's gone now. 

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Red Car Property: Coyote Calling

Video: Gary Vlahakis, June 11, 2017.  Vlahakis heard a coyote calling noisily prior to seeing the youngster on the Red Car Property slope, below homes on Lake View Ave.  It's worth watching with sound.  This was Vlahakis' second coyote sighting of the morning and it wasn't even 9 AM.
Photo: Gary Vlahakis, June 11, 2017.  The coyote in the video was sitting to the right of the scorched and bent telephone pole (center of photo).  This photo shows potential den sites and pathways into the dense brush.  

If you need another reason to get your brush clearance done, other than reducing risk of fire: the dense brush gives coyotes good cover for ambushing prey and neighbors' pets.  

Keep your dogs on a leash.

The telephone poles running across the slope are at the Red Car Property line. In addition to the Red Car Property, only a couple of upslope neighbors on the Lake View and Silver Ridge side have done their brush clearance.  At least the protected native Black Walnut Trees are recovering from last year's fire.

Click here for all our coyote posts.
Click here for all our brush clearance posts.

Astro Restaurant: Coyote Wearing Tracking Collar

Photo: Gary Vlahakis, June 11, 2017.   The coyote appears to be wearing a tracking collar like one worn by P-22, the Griffith Park mountain lion.  (Click on photo to enlarge.) 

Sunday morning, a medium-sized coyote was lying down in the middle of Astro Restaurant's parking lot when Red Car Property neighbor, Gary Vlahakis pulled in.  He'd seen the coyote wearing a collar in the parking lot before.  This time, he was able to grab a great photo and some video.  The coyote seems to be waiting for breakfast. 

Vlahakis spoke to workers in the restaurant, where he learned the coyote is a regular visitor.  Vlahakis advised them not to feed the coyote as it is not only against the law, but it encourages the coyote to associate humans with food.  Clearly this one has no fear of humans. At least the trash dumpster, a potential food source, is closed.

We forwarded the video and photo to the researcher conducting the Los Angeles urban coyote study with the National Park Service via one of their volunteers who is a Red Car Property neighbor.  

Click here for all our coyote posts. 
 

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Red Car Property: Why We Bitch About Brush Clearance

Photo: Red Car Property Neighbor June 6, 2017.  Aside from the potential risk of fire fueled by dry weeds and  unrestricted vehicle access to the Red Car Property, there are other risks both on the Red Car Property and adjacent lots.  (Click on photo to enlarge.)

 1. Several adjacent Lake View Ave, Silver Ridge Ave and Corralitas Drive neighbors have failed to do their brush clearance.  There is a large Castor Bean forest growing on one Lake View Ave lot.  Castor Bean Plants are non-native, highly invasive.  All parts of the plant are extremely toxic and emit a toxic gas when burned (Ricin).  Castor Beans will take over entire hillsides, quickly crowding out any native species.  


The power lines in the middle of the slope run along the property line between the Red Car Property and adjacent Lake View and Silver Ridge lots.

2. At least one telephone pole (see arrow in photo above) appears bowed or bent.  With fires in 2014 and 2016, neighbors wonder if the pole has been weakened and needs replacing. 
Photo: Red Car Property Neighbor, July 16, 2016.  Several neighbors spent months after the 2016 fire getting the runaround from DWP and AT&T regarding the status of the pole.  Nothing ever seems to have been resolved.

3. There are several large dead and dying trees near the power lines including what's left of one pine tree leaning at a 45 degree angle (see first photo).  The trees appear to be on the adjacent Lake View lots.  In April, DWP contractors trimmed trees under and within 10' of the high voltage lines in the Red Car Canyon.  However, Eucalyptus can collapse months after the rainy season, usually in July and August.  At least one of the two big dead trees on the slope is Eucalyptus and perilously close to a telephone pole that has a transformer on top (see first photo). 

The first photo does show one positive thing.  The protected native Black Walnuts and Coast Live Oak, along with other large trees are recovering from the 2016 Silver Lake Fire.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Red Car Property: Why We Bitch About Brush Clearance - Failure To Restrict Vehicle Access

Photo: Red Car Property Neighbor,May 31, 2017.  A year after the Silver Lake Fire, and the Red Car Property owner has not only failed to do brush clearance by May 1, they continue allowing vehicle access  to the the Red Car Property, including the steep, narrow Red Car Canyon between Corralitas Drive, Lake View Ave and Riverside Place.  (Click on photos to enlarge.)

Additionally, a number property owners on Lake View Ave and Silver Ridge Ave have failed to do brush clearance.  You can't control your neighbors.  You can report brush clearance issues to LAFD Brush Unit:
LAFDBrush@lacity.org, 800-994-4444.  If you're reporting issues on the Red Car Property, include: Hector.Vega@lacity.org in CD13.
Photo: Red Car Property Neighbor, June 4, 2017.  Dirt bike motorcyclists were reportedly riding back and forth on the Red Car Property last Sunday.  (Neighbors called police.)

Since the dry weeds are taller and more dense than last year, neighbors are understandably concerned.  Increasingly, neighbors have reported cars and construction trucks driving onto the property since construction began on the Riverside Drive Lots off Lot C - nowhere near Corralitas Drive.
 

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Corralitas Drive: LAFD Planning Ahead

Photo: Corralitas Drive Neighbor, June 6, 2017.  A neighbor encountered LAFD firefighters walking Corralitas Drive as he squeezed his car through the narrow passage on the first curve of Corralitas Drive.  (Click on photo to enlarge.)

Two firefighters told the neighbor, they were making a game plan in case of another fire.  Both were among the nearly 200 firefighters who fought the June 19, 2016 Silver Lake Fire.  They would also look into the lack of brush clearance on the Red Car Property.

Corralitas Drive is a substandard Hillside street with blind hairpin curves and only one means of vehicle access.  It's also a Red Flag Day No Parking Street.  We can only hope they witnessed the parking scofflaws who routinely block the hydrant at the last blind hairpin turn.

Monday, June 5, 2017

2 Freeway & Corralitas Drive: CalTrans Did Some Brush Clearance

Photo: Corralitas Neighbor #1, June 3, 2017.  Saturday, a CalTrans crew cleared brush about 10' back from the chain link fence on Corralitas Drive. (Click on photos to enlarge.)
Photo: Corralitas Neighbor #2, June 3, 2017.  Unfortunately, the work order did not include the steep slope directly adjacent to the southbound lanes of the 2 Freeway.  

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Red Car Property: Brush Comparison 2017-2016

Photo: Red Car Property Neighbor, May 30, 2017.  Dry weeds are taller and more dense than they were just a year ago.  Although the trees are recovering from the 2016 Silver Lake Fire.  Note the dry brush on the slope.  Neighbors are asking, once again, "How do the large lot owners get away without doing brush clearance by May 1, EVERY YEAR?" (Click on photos to enlarge.)
Photo: Diane Edwardson, May 17, 2016.  A month before the June 19, 2016 fire, the dry weeds on the flatter part were sparse and the dry brush on the slope was mashed down and not as thick as normal years due to the lack of rain.
Photo: Diane Edwardson, June 20, 2016.  The day after the Silver Lake Fire, the trees didn't look so bad. Lots of water poured on the fire from the air and by hose washed much of the charred debris from the slopes. The following weeks would not be good.
Photo: Diane Edwardson, October 12, 2016.  Four months later, neighbors questioned if the trees would recover.  The protected native Black Walnut and Coast Live Oak Trees, in particular, had shown signs of recovery, but with a desolate post-fire landscape, if you didn't look closely while walking the property, you did not see the new growth.  It doesn't help that the Black Walnuts and Chinese Elms drop their leaves for winter, so the growing season was all screwed up for these poor trees. 

After the fire, CalTrans clear-cut so many trees adjacent the Red Car Property and Corralitas Drive, there was a dramatic temperature shift in the immediate neighborhood with the loss of so much morning shade. The street is hotter, sunnier and dustier.  It did not rain significantly until shortly after LAFD contractors did brush clearance in December.


Red Car Property: Brush Clearance Comparison 2017 - 2016 Corralitas Side

Photo: Red Car Property Neighbor, May 30, 2017.  Dry brush is taller and more dense than just one year ago on the Corralitas end of the Red Car Property.  Since the Red Car Property owner has a long history of failure to do brush clearance by May 1, if at all, we've been reminding CD13 of the issue for the past few months.  (Click on photos to enlarge.)
Photo: Diane Edwardson, May 21, 2016. A year ago, conditions were much the same.  Although there were more trees up on the hill of Corralitas Drive.
Photo: Gary Vlahakis, June 19, 2016.  Relentless water drops from helicopters and hand crews put a stop to the fire that damaged two homes on Corralitas Drive.  In the weeks after the Silver Lake Fire, many of the trees dried out, looking terrible, only to recover in 2017 (see first photo)

Red Car Canyon: Brush Comparison 2017 - 2016 Before The Silver Lake Fire

Photo: Red Car Property Neighbor, May 30, 2017.  Neighbors are glad this year's more than 24" of rain helped the trees recover from last year's Silver Lake Fire. However, they're understandably nervous since the Red Car Property owner has failed to do brush clearance yet again. (Click on photos to enlarge.)
Photo: Diane Edwardson, May 21, 2016.  A year ago, as usual, the Red Car Property owner failed to do brush clearance.  Last year, the weeds were comparatively sparse.  The trees were dense and had not been thinned since 2013.
Photo: Gary Vlahakis, June 19, 2016.  Firefighters stopped the Silver Lake Fire in the middle of the canyon with endless water drops from helicopters, followed up with wildland fire crews and water from the ground level.   Neighbors had been complaining in writing, with photos, to CD13 and LAFD Brush Clearance Unit for at least a month before the fire.  The dry grass and high winds (that come up every afternoon from the 2 Freeway), spread the fire quickly north on property.  It burned right up to homes on Lake View Ave, Silver Ridge Ave and Corralitas Drive while simultaneously burning northbound on the 2 Freeway toward the 5 Freeway.  (Several homes suffered some damage.) 
Photo: Red Car Property Neighbor, June 19, 2016. If the fire had spread another 100' into Red Car Canyon, the dying Eucalyptus  would have exploded in flames, affecting the entire neighborhood.

The Red Car Property owner must have thought there was no need for brush clearance after the fire and never did any last year.  For months after the fire, neighbors requested brush clearance.  Even after LAFD red tagged the property in December, the owner still failed to do brush clearance. LAFD brush clearance contractors did the brush clearance in December 2016

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Red Car Canyon: 2008-2017 Pine Tree Defying Gravity


Photo: Red Car Property Neighbor, April 28, 2017.  After more than 24 inches of rain this rain year, it would be easy to blame the rain for this skinny but apparently healthy pine tree in Red Car Canyon, near the public access easement trail down to Riverside Place.  (Click on photos to enlarge.)  

In fact, I thought this tree would have died last summer or been removed when the LAFD contractor did brush clearance in December.

However, while combing my files for similar photos, the tree has been in this position for a number of years. More interesting, is the ever changing landscape around the tree.  Very few native trees are growing in the canyon area.  However if you look up on the slopes, beneath the larger trees, you'll see smaller protected native California Black Walnuts and Coast Live Oaks as well as recently proposed for protection, native Blue Elderberry and Toyon.
Photo: Red Car Property Neighbor, December 12, 2016.  LAFD Contractor did brush clearance and took down a large number of dead and dying trees in the canyon, but left the leaning pine tree. Its crown was still green, despite its awkward position.
Photo: Red Car Property Neighbor, December 11, 2016.  Lots of trees were taken down or trimmed back.
Photo: Diane Edwardson, October 9, 2016. In 26 years, I had never seen more dead and dying trees in the canyon. Trees that did not burn in last year's fire, in just a few months, had succumbed to a variety of problems amplified by the fire and 5 years of unprecedented drought.
Photo: Diane Edwardson, May 19, 2016.  After five years of unprecedented drought, and one month before the fire, Red Car Canyon was still green.  It's hard to comprehend that even though the fire was stopped 100' away, it toasted all many of these trees.  Even days before the fire, the canyon was green. 
Photo: Diane Edwardson, June 12, 2015.  In 4 years of unprecedented drought, Red Car Canyon remained green.
Photo: Diane Edwardson, June 10, 2015.  That pile of brush was dumped almost a year earlier. 
Photo: Diane Edwardson, September 23, 2014.  A year earlier, the bamboo and other dry brush were freshly dumped.
Photo: Diane Edwardson, June 21, 2013. Red Car Property neighbors and friends celebrated Make Music LA Day at the Charles Lacey Memorial.  The leaning tree is not the first one, but it's in the background (arrow pointing to it.)  Sadly, the tree at the Lacy Memorial was cut down in December 2016 by the LAFD contractors.  It was one of many that was already suffering from 5 years of extreme drought prior to the June 19, 2016 fire.
Diane Edwardson, June 15, 2012.  Green trees, dumping and the leaning tree, so what else is new?
January 15, 2010. Until 2016, the only way you could tell the difference in photos between January and June, was the color of the grass.
Photo: Diane Edwardson, April 10, 2009.  The leaning tree had a markedly different angle in 2009.
Photo: Diane Edwardson, August 6, 2008.  The trees were so dense and green, you could barely make out the leaning tree.  Clearly this has always been a favorite dumping spot since it was hidden from the  neighboring upslope homes by the dense tree canopy.