GPW: Self-Tempered Anarchy since 2009

Your GPW Editor-on-Occasion is Petra Fried in the City.
Send us your stories, ideas, and information. Insiders welcome - confidentiality guaranteed.

stories along The Way

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Birding at the garden

This black headed grosbeak avails himself of the bird bath at Amir's Garden every afternoon like clockwork.

He has lots of friends who do likewise over the course of a day, making the garden a good place to casually bird watch. No binoculars needed.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Blackman's out

Villaraigosa is closing ranks and Jimmy Blackman is getting the boot from his inner circle. The rumors about Bagman Blackman over the course of the guy's tenure are almost as thick as the rumors about his boss.

One must ask: is this another King Beutner decision?

Of course it is.

Why leashes are good law

This horrifying incident of a coyote-snatching of a beloved pet dog occurred just up the arroyo from Griffith Park near Debs Park. With the urbanization of coyote populations, it could have happened almost anywhere. And it does.

They may look like a pet dog, but coyotes are swift, effective and lethal opportunists. Keep your pets safe by always using leashes, and  please   please   please   do not feed coyotes. Ever.

Everyone's heart here at GPW goes out to Don and Mellie. Peace.

Dear friends,

Don was doing his everyday routine walking at the park close to where we live when our beloved little yorkie, maltese, terrier dog Tecin was grabbed by a coyote. Don tried to chase the coyote but the beast took the little dog in the thick bushes. Don tried to go in but it was too late. He didn't see the coyote or the dog anymore.

Tecin had a mind of a human being. When I come home from work everyday she would run to me and wouldn't stop barking till I pick her up and give her a kiss. She was originally from Canada, owned by Don's daughter. Tanya brought her to us because Erin our granddaughter was allergic to other breed. Tecin who had a silky hair was not shedding and so it was okay for Erin to have her. Tecin was a very good hunter. She would chase mice eating and destroying my garden produce. Although she was supposed to be for Erin, she ended up living with us and loved Don more than everybody else in the household. Don recently discovered a game with her, where he would put a treat down on the floor and pretend that he would take it away from her. She would growl and guard the piece of treat till Don gives up while laughing so hard.

A long time ago I knew somebody who mourned deeply when she lost her dog. I didn't understand it very well back then thinking it was just a dog but now I understand. I feel the same pain.  We lost a family member.

Thank you all for reading my thoughts.


Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Los Feliz Village Summer Fair this Saturday

Presser from the Los Feliz Business Improvement District - they're giving away an IPAD. Fun, and free stuff. It's all good.

The local businesses on Vermont, Hillhurst and Hollywood are celebrating summer with specials and discounts!

Come see the best Los Feliz has to offer - we’ll have the welcome mat out with amazing 30-70% discount specials, strolling musicians, face painting, live entertainment & music and a scavenger hunt. Enjoy your favorite hang-outs and get to know our new businesses!

Pick up a comprehensive map of participating members & planned events on our complimentary transports. Free transportation throughout the Village provided. Stops will be posted throughout the Village.

Get a chance to win a 3G IPAD! $1 raffle tickets will be available at several locations throughout the Village. Proceeds to benefit the Barnsdall Art Center.

Join the fun, relive the good times and come celebrate at the Los Feliz Village Summer Fair.
Saturday, July 31 from 2:00 – 9:00pm
Questions or to participate in the fun, call our info-line at (818) 669-2618.

More arson in Elysian Park

Guessing no one from Rec and Parks cares to do fire patrol at hot spots any longer. Fire patrol must not be a "core service".


Greater Alarm Brush Fire
South Bound 110 fwy at Hill St.
Lincoln Heights/Solano Canyon
Friday, July 23, 2010
TIME: 5:59 PM
INCIDENT #: 0967

On Friday, July 23, 2010 at 5:59 PM, 11 Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, 1 LAFD Rescue Ambulance, 1 Arson Unit, 1 Rehab Unit, 3 Helicopters, 1 EMS Battalion Captain, 1 Battalion Chief Officer Command Team, 1 Division Chief Officer Command Team, under the direction of Battalion Chief Rudy Hill responded to a Greater Alarm Brush Fire at South Bound 110 fwy at Hill St. in Lincoln Heights/Solano Canyon.

Firefighters arrived to find a column of smoke and 1/4 acres of medium to heavy brush burning. The incident started alongside the steep hills near the 110 freeway, just outside Dodger Stadium.

Although the fire was slow moving, command teams quickly assessed the need for helicopters, as ground crews were unable to reach the bulk of the flames due to steep terrain. Three LAFD water dropping helicopters were put into action, holding the blaze in check from the air, while firefighters below continued the fight on the ground.

As more companies were called into action, additional personnel were strategically placed, halting the fire from its advance.

With relatively slow wind speeds being 13 mph, a relative humidity of 35%, and the temperature at 86 degrees, firefighters were able to knock down the flames in less than 1 hour. Due to the strong efforts of 71 firefighters, this fire was completely extinguished with no threats to civilian or any structures.

Thanks to the quick work of all the crews at the scene, only 3 acres was consumed by this blaze. Happily the Dodger game which was about to begin near by, was able to start on time with no interruption from the smoke. The cause of the fire is still being investigation by LAFD Fire Officials.

Firefighter Paramedic/Specialist
Public Service Officer
Los Angeles Fire Department
(213) 485-5162

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

LAFD flyover at American Heroes Airshow

In case you missed the show this weekend, here's some rather pedestrian video of the LAFD helicopter water drop. The water drop was killer cool. The video is pedestrian.

Every public safety agency you can think of had displays at the American Heroes Airshow on Saturday:  LAFD, LACoFD, LAPD, Airport Police, Post Police, LACo Sheriff, LA Animal Services, CERT, CEMP, Army, Navy, Coast Guard, and even the FBI to name just a few.

Notably missing from the show were the Los Angeles City Park Rangers who have had a booth in past years. If I had to guess why, I'd guess it is because their Interpretive Unit, who is ostensibly tasked with Community Outreach in parks, now as a rule doesn't work on weekends - the busiest time in parks.

So what is it the Interpretive Unit does, again, exactly? No one seems to know. They are definitely pulling a City paycheck and they are not patrolling the parks nor doing 83% of the specific job activities any longer that their job description says they do. That much is certain.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Elysian Park.... arsonist?

First yesterday, now this morning:
*GRASS FIRE* Elysian Park; MAP 594-J7; FS 1; 1 acre light grass southeast
corner of park; No evacuations; No structures threatened; NFD; Ch:9,12 @
9:09 AM -Brian Humphrey###
Isn't Los Angeles just fun?

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Parks on fire

From:"[LAFD ALERT]"  

Date: Sat, Jul 24, 2010, 10:15

*Brush Fire* 16 Elysian Park Rd; MAP 594--H7; FS 1; Reported to be 1/2 acre
of light to medium brush burning on a ridge; NFD; Ch:9,12 @ 3:02 PM -Devin

Also, small brusher in Sepulveda Basin yesterday.

Murphy's Law and idiots that throw cigarettes or barbecue coals mean Griffith Park will get one soon. Have you done your brush clearance?

Friday, July 23, 2010

City Hall insider is new Head of Planning

Michael LoGrande, the city’s chief zoning administrator, is now the Planning chief.

Villaraigosa has pretty much resigned himself to just go through the motions, keeping the safe and familiar all in place.

Poor Los Angeles.

Image courtesy LosAngelesExposed

Thursday, July 22, 2010


New LA City water rationing plan details announced:

Monday Wednesday Friday for odd numbered addresses.
Tuesday Thursday Sunday for even numbered addresses.
Saturday is a blackout day.

Can turn on non-conserving nozzles such as sprinklers and bubblers and fountains for up to eight minutes a day or 24 minutes a week.

Can turn on conserving nozzles such as multi-stream rotary heads twice a day for up to 15 minutes each use for a total of 90 minutes a week.


Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Park pic of the day

Found on a sandy bank in Hansen Dam.

Amazing what turns up where you
least expect it.

Keep the faith.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Now Gloria Romero Jumps the Shark!

State Senator Gloria Romero has found an issue of utmost importance to California that she is putting the whole force of the Legislature behind it to serve you.

She wants to remove Serpentinite as California's official state rock.  Why you ask, what did the poor rock do?

Some Serpentinite rocks contain trace elements of asbestos which we know is very bad for our health. That's why asbestos is no longer made or used.

The whole notion is based on some very dubious science and even if passed would do nothing to make people safer.

If you ask me Romero has rocks in her head.  Read all the gory details including the scientific stuff which is well put together at LAist.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Arcadia man killed by canyon fall was respected bird expert

Arcadia man killed by canyon fall was respected bird expert 

By Jessica Donnelly, Pasadena Starr News Staff Writer 
Posted: 07/15/2010 05:04:01 PM PDT 

Members of the birding community were shocked Thursday after getting news that renowned bird expert Michael San Miguel fell down an embankment and died while counting owls overnight in the Angeles National Forest. San Miguel, 70, of Arcadia died late Wednesday after he fell down a steep ravine in in the forest near Angeles Crest Highway and Mt. Wilson Red Box Road, Los Angeles County Fire Department Dispatch Supervisor Robert Diaz said.

San Miguel, a well-known bird expert, was conducting an environmental study on the impact of running Southern California Edison power lines in the area. "The very early call this morning... should have been about a really good bird, but instead it brought devastating news," wrote Kimball L. Garrett, Ornithologist with the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, in a letter to San Miguel's friends and family. "And somehow it isn't any comfort to know that Mike died working hard doing one of the things he loved most - birding with a purpose," he continued. San Miguel was a conservationist and the president of the Western Field Ornithologist (WFO). He enjoyed traveling all over California chasing rare birds, and he led field trips for interested birders on behalf of the Pasadena Audubon Society. San Miguel served many years on the California Bird Records Committee, and he had an important role in the production of the California Bird Records Committee book "Rare Birds of California" and published several papers in WFO's journal Western Birds. San Miguel is survived by his wife Gayle, son Michael, and daughter Lisa. "Birding was only his second passion," Garrett wrote. "Many birders don't realize that Mike virtually stopped birding for many years to be the best possible father to his growing children, and even after he resumed birding with more zeal and passion than ever he was always talking about his children and, eventually, grandchildren."

A rescue team found the biologist dead after finally reaching him 300 feet down a ravine north of Altadena, an official from the county coroner's office said. San Miguel was with colleague and friend Jon Feenstra when he fell, said friend and Los Angeles-area birder Todd McGrath. They were hiking down to a spotted owl's nest around 8 p.m. when Feenstra realized San Miguel was not behind him, said McGrath, who had talked to Feenstra Thursday. Feenstra found San Miguel injured and hiked out of the ravine to their vehicle to call for help with a satellite phone, McGrath said. San Miguel's condition worsened and he died before rescue teams reached him four hours later, McGrath said. Due to overhead power lines, sheriff's and fire officials were unable to hoist San Miguel out of the forest by helicopter, Diaz said. The Montrose Search and Rescue team retrieved San Miguel's body and brought it up the ravine, where Homicide Bureau officials and the county coroner were waiting to begin an investigation, officials said. "The team did not return till 5:30 a.m. on Thursday," said Sgt. Debra Herman with the Crescenta Valley Sheriff's station.

Detectives are continuing their investigation to determine San Miguel's injuries and cause of death, county they said. San Miguel did environmental surveying for the Pasadena-based company Bon Terra for Edison's Renewable Transmission Project, Edison spokesperson Vanessa McGrady said. "His loss to California birding will be immense," said Ron Cyger of the Pasadena Audubon Society. "He was a teacher and an active supporter of natural life."
626-962-8811, ext. 2104

Friday, July 16, 2010

Time to clean up City Council

L.A. Clean Sweep - a grassroots movement to elect fresh faces to City Council next March kicks off tomorrow at 1pm with a fundraiser at the Mayflower Club.

All even-numbered City Council districts are up for grabs in March 2011, and CD 4 - Tom LaBonge's district where Griffith Park resides - is definitely ready for new, competent REAL representation.

New candidates for many of the districts up for grabs will be making the rounds and presenting their platforms. This includes Stephen Box, currently running for LaBonge's CD 4 seat.

Former Mayor Richard Riordan is one of the speakers at the Clean Sweep event tomorrow.

Tickets are $20 at the door.

Yay grassroots! See you there, and some of LaBonge's spies too.

CLEAN SWEEP LAUNCH PARTY - Saturday July 17th, 1pm
Mayflower Club
11110 Victory Blvd
North Hollywood, CA

Morning around the park

The heat is on, and all "shelter and welfare" activities in Los Angeles fall to the Department of Recreation and Parks who will be opening their cooling centers at SFV park facilities this weekend.

Times and locations: 
Saturday (10:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.)
Sunday (Noon to 9:00 p.m.)
  • Canoga Park Senior Citizen Center --7326 Jordan Avenue, Canoga Park
  • North Hollywood Senior Citizen Center --11430 Chandler Boulevard, North Hollywood
  • Sepulveda Rec Center/Mid-Valley Senior Citizen Center -- 8801 Kester Avenue, Panorama City
  • Sunland Park Senior Citizen Center -- 8640 Fenwick Street, Sunland
  • Sylmar Recreation Center -- 13109 Borden Avenue, Sylmar
  • Van Nuys-Sherman Oaks Senior Citizen Center -- 5040 Van Nuys Boulevard, Sherman Oaks
  • Wilkinson Senior Citizen Center -- 8956 Vanalden Avenue, Northridge

The City of Glendale is determined to build a bridge into Griffith Park, dammit, and you can't stop them.  The need for this bridge goes basically undocumented, but Mulholland Terrace was pretty clear with his feeling that it is simply that Glendale wants access to LA's greatest asset.
Glendale is considering a number of different potential locations of the bridge, and none of them correspond to the location where Tom LaBonge claims he has been trying to put a bridge for years: on the Atwater Village side. Equestrians in Atwater, including the LAPD mounted unit, have to actually ford the river from the Atwater Rancho area - a dangerous proposition almost any time of year. A bridge with an equestrian component from Atwater is a matter of public safety regardless of cost.
The logical thing for LaBonge to do is work with Glendale to accommodate both sets of need, but that doesn't seem to be happening. Perhaps LaBonge is too busy organizing the CRA's hostile takeover of a section of Atwater that includes his "River Glen" pipe dream to work on this much-wanted public safety need.

You can send your comments on which location Glendale should choose to:

John Pearson - Project Manager
Glendale Narrows Riverwalk
613 East Broadway - Room 120
Glendale CA 91206-4399

Speaking of Tom LaBonge, we're amused that he is taking credit for cancelling the EcoMoron Award-winning DWP Holiday Lights Festival, claiming that DWP work in the park makes it too unsafe.

It's interesting: LaBonge had no qualms last year of spending hundreds of thousands in ratepayer money to force the DWP to stop work on the same project for the Light Festival. The real reason for the stoppage this year?  The King of Los Angeles, one Austin Beutner, told Tommy "no" in a letter we've seen. Hats off ... we guess... to LaBonge for trying the lame spin.

Lucky for us (?), LaBonge promises there will be some kind of celebration in a park somewhere. Guess we know which park, and who will be paying for it. Let's just hope it isn't as tacky as LaBonge's snore of a "Santa Parade".

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

My little yellow DWP friend

My little yellow DWP friend is back this morning.

Last year, after 5 or 6 different transformer fires exploded among the 3 that have the duty to step down power from the transmission lines in my Valley neighborhood, my little yellow DWP friend made his first visit.

Before my friend's extended visit, while transformers blew and blew and blew and the DWP replaced them over and over and over with the same size transformer, there were stretches of time in my neighborhood without any power that went on for nearly a week in temperatures approaching 100 degrees.

The DWP Fun Time went on for two years.

Then, finally, my little yellow DWP friend arrived last summer and took over stepping down voltage and current for our neighborhood. And life was better. My little yellow friend did his job like a champ, and was much admired by everyone in my neighborhood, including the kids at the Rec Center where my yellow friend was stationed, separated from them by simple cones and tape. He might have made funny noises and smelled real stinky, but we all loved him anyway as we ran our lifesaving AC with his cheerful assistance and paid our exponentially growing DWP bills.

Over this winter, the DWP took my yellow friend away one day, replacing him with what they promised was the right transformer set for my neighborhood. I was sad to see my friend go, but I had no choice but to believe the DWP because there is no way to actually question them.

Yesterday at 5pm -- not a terribly hot day in the Valley as Valley summers go -- one of the new transformers went kaboom! and a friendly LA Co Fire truck who was just passing by put out the blaze for us. No power again for my Valley neighborhood.

This morning, my little yellow DWP friend is back! Hurray!

I had missed him, my little yellow friend who is far more trustworthy than the overpaid engineers who design stepdown transformer arrays at the DWP.

I'm sure the kids at the Rec Center missed the tantalizing opportunity to play with him, too. Now they can play with my friend during the whole Summer of 2010.

Thank you to Councilmember Krekorian's office for making sure my little yellow DWP friend returned, rather than just another quality repair job by the mightly DWP.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

LaBonge kills Library parcel tax motion

Tom LaBonge just asked City Council to "receive and file" his motion for a new parcel tax to restore Library services already being paid for by public fees and taxes.

Smart move.

Now let's see the City take care of their ballooning pension liability. As a taxpayer, I don't remember authorizing my tax money to be used for pensions rather than parks, libraries, and public safety. Do you?

PensionGate: the City's pension liability is a ticking time bomb, and the City Council and Mayor have had full understanding of this for at least a few years now. Have they done anything about it? No.

Why then are the City Council members who are responsible - everyone but Krekorian and Koretz - still in office?

We can vote half of those responsible out of office come next March. It's time.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

This is your CD 4 incumbent

From Ron Kaye by way of MayorSam:

LaBonge Watch:  I Forget What Day It Is

Stephen Box declares candidacy for CD 4

It's late, so here's Box's presser:

Stephen Box Announces Candidacy for Los Angeles City Council
Hollywood, CA - Stephen Box, community organizer and transportation activist, announced his candidacy for Los Angeles City Council. Seeking the fourth district seat, Box's “Forward... for a Greater LA” campaign is a vision-driven, active solution alternative to traditional City Hall politics.
"I believe in Los Angeles and I love Hollywood, but these are challenging times. We must learn from the past, not hope for its return. We must pursue L.A.'s destiny as a 'City of the Future' and I'm here to move Los Angeles forward," said Box.
Box challenges voters to consider the choice between more of the same and a city that works. His platform builds on a foundation of four commitments:
A Vision that Connects: The City of Los Angeles must connect its boundless potential with a commitment to improve the quality of life for those who live, work, and operate businesses. L.A.'s vision must connect the 91 neighborhood councils, 35 community plans, 15 council districts, and 45 city departments in a commitment that transcends traditional boundaries. Most of all, it is imperative that CD4 connect its rich history with the abundant opportunity that lies ahead. It's time for Los Angeles to connect with its destiny as a great city and CD4 is the place to start.
A Plan that Endures: The City of Los Angeles must bring its vision to life with a General Plan that endures. The plan must be more than a suggestion. The people of L.A. can no longer afford to live in an environment where vision plans battle with specific plans, master plans contradict community plans, and they are forced to sit by as growth follows the whims of developers. CD4 is attractive to developers for all the wrong reasons and it is imperative that the community grow according to a "plan that endures."
A Budget that Sustains: The City of Los Angeles must develop and implement a budget that is based on a commitment to the city's vision and plan, committing resources to the support and enhancement of the elements that improve the quality of life in our neighborhoods. L.A.'s budget must build on opportunity and drive prosperity, not submit the people to a repetition of a past that codifies mediocrity and perpetuates inefficiency. Now is the time to insist on a city budget based on a commitment to performance, efficiency and effectiveness. CD4 is an abundantly diverse community with a vigorous economy and it is imperative that the city's budget commit to supporting the quality of life by allocating the necessary resources.
A City that Works: The City of Los Angeles must put people first, engaging them, serving them, and evaluating performance based on the delivery of city services. There is no better time than now for L.A. to move from a complaint-driven system to a standards-driven city, one that delivers on its vision, commitment and potential. Most of all, L.A.'s greatest asset is its people. It's time for the City of L.A. to make its priority putting people to work, starting with CD4.
Stephen Box is a first-time candidate, newly-minted American citizen and a veteran of civic engagement, community campaigns, and grassroots politics.  
For more information,
Contact:    Stephen Box, Candidate for District 4
                (323) 864-7586

The Movie Star returns!

Griffith Park's Travel Town and L.A. Live Steamers - ridiculously overpriced new station and all - can't hold a candle to this star of more than 100 films and television series.

Who am I?

I'm the Sierra No. 3!

The Movie Star!

The last time this blogger saw the Sierra No. 3, it was in little train bits and pieces inside the Jamestown RR Museum engine roundhouse awaiting funding for restoration. Here are a few of the pics I attempted to take of the Movie Star back in 1997 inside a very spooky roundhouse.
After 16 years and a $1.5 million restoration, here's the Sierra No. 3 on July 3rd, 2010, fully restored and at full steam!

The Sierra No. 3 is in the same league with major Hollywood legends like Cary Grant or Douglas Fairbanks... both Sr. and Jr.  I'm not at all embarrassed to admit that I heaped the appropriate hero worship upon The 3 when I was there for its return to service last weekend, shooting hours of video that Sierra No. 3 mega fans can obsess on along with me at this link.

No sign of Huell Howser, which surprised me.

Here's one video:

Ride the train! WooHoo!

I had the time of my life at Jamestown. Your kids and the kid in you will love this museum and the historic goldrush town nestled in the foothills of Yosemite National Park.

Get your tickets to ride the Movie Star on the first weekend of the month through October at Jamestown. It's well worth the five hour drive from Los Angeles through some of the most beautiful countryside in California.

Who am I?

Who am I?

I have appeared in more than 100 significant films and television series. My films include The Virginian with Gary Cooper,  High Noon, The Great Race, Bound for Glory, Back to the Future III and Unforgiven. I have also guest starred in more television series than I can count, including The Lone Ranger, Petticoat Junction, The Wild Wild West, Rawhide, Death Valley Days, Lassie, Gunsmoke, Bonanza, and Little House on the Prairie.

I have been out of action for the past sixteen years due to poor health, but thanks to my many friends and supporters, I have launched a comeback this month.

Who am I?

The answer later today.

Friday, July 9, 2010

First step was a doozy

A horse and rider went ass-over-tea kettle down a 300' slope near Dantes' View in Griffith Park yesterday evening.

Thankfully, both horse and rider were unhurt.

This is probably a good place to put in a PSA on the importance of always wearing a safety helmet.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Ex-BART officer guilty of manslaughter, LA Times guilty of writing under the influence

Johannes Mehserle gets 2-4 for an involuntary manslaughter verdict.

Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Times slaughters the English language: 

(the italics are ours)

Olis Simmons, executive director of an Oakland youth group that is advocating a peaceful reaction, called the verdict a miscarriage of justice.

"It is a walk for him. It is a walk," said the head of Youth UpRising. "I think everyone --the family, everyone young black person who is afraid of the peoliceeverobody is goign to see this as a msicarraige of justice."
Update 6:50pm:

Looks like the LA Times has corrected their online copy. It now reads:
"It is a walk for him. It is a walk," said the head of Youth UpRising. "I think everyone -- the family, every young black person who is afraid of the police -- everybody is going to see this as a miscarriage of justice."

Impressions of Fern Dell and the Observatory

Busy Beth's Blog has a nice write up on her impressions of Fern Dell and the Observatory with a bit of history sprinkled in for good measure:

The Western Canyon entrance at Griffith Park (the one with the “Golden Bear” statue welcoming you) is right near the entrance to one of my favorite parts of Griffith Park, Ferndell. The entrance is on the west side of the road, and you can miss it if you’re not paying attention. It’s an amazing place that makes you feel like you’ve left L.A. , or maybe stepped back in time a few million years (though there are always clues like floating KFC buckets to remind you of where and when you are).

It’s always cool and shady there thanks to a tree canopy, and the narrow, winding path lined with benches takes you along a gurgling brook where you view tropical plants, and 50 fern species. It’s also an historic cultural monument, as archaeological evidence suggests that there were Indian villages in Ferndell canyon.

Read the full article here.

Fern Dell image by Dot Wen

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Question of the day

Why isn't the Mayor V! blog being updated any longer?

Grim Sleeper in custody

Excellent detective work and a lucky DNA family match has led to the capture of the alleged serial killer known as the Grim Sleeper.

The LA Weekly has the most detailed reporting on this professional piece of police work.

Station Fire: CalFire lead air attack officer contradicts USFS claims

Community members in the areas affected by the Station Fire have been saying since the first week of that month-long inferno that the US Forest Service screwed up by paying far more attention to the rich people's fire down in Rancho Palos Verdes.

Like good bureaucrats, the Forest Service has steadfastly denied it.

Now comes a seriously damning report by CalFire's lead air attack officer that his repeated, impassioned attempts to get more airpower on the fire before it went rogue were entirely ignored. The report includes radio transmission recordings and log files.

Quel surprise.

My home didn't burn in the Station Fire, but it came close again and again and again and again. We spent 30 days breathing carcinogenic pea soup air and packing and unpacking to get out of Dodge at a moment's notice, while wondering if we should even sleep for fear of being overrun during the night. It was a month of pure freaking hell. Today, one of our horses has permanent lung damage from breathing the air.

I want those USFS guys dead, metaphorically speaking.

I imagine there are others who lost homes and property that want far worse for the USFS jerks. Take the families of the two La County Firefighters who lost their lives, for starters.

Read the account of the day firefighters Ted Hall and Arnie Quinones lost their lives here.

Image: AP Photo/Dan Steinberg

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Park pic of the day

Park pic of the day by gwlittle and friend. Both had a great time in Griffith over the Fourth of July weekend.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Autry to redesign Griffith Park facility, SW Museum left out of plans

The Autry announces a new new project... redesigning the Griffith Park facility but this time within its existing footprint. The SW Museum is still completely screwed in the redesign as the Autry continues to ignore the terms of its merger with the SW Museum.

So, um, we guess the threat by the Autry to leave town was exactly that, a threat. Aren't you just totally surprised?

What follows is Brenda Levin's somewhat nauseating press release on the subject.


Transformation of Griffith Park Facility by Levin & Associates Will Add 25,000 Square Feet and Offer Stunning Showcase for the Autry’s Collections New Building in Burbank Designed by Chu + Gooding Will  Serve as Autry Research and Resource Center

LOS ANGELES, CA June 30, 2010– Moving forward with its ambitious plan  to create a major new intercultural center, where it will bring together and honor the stories of all the peoples of the American West, the Autry National Center today announced plans for two major architectural projects. The Autry will transform its existing Griffith Park campus into a cultural attraction for Los Angeles, designed by the distinguished firm of Levin & Associates. The Autry will also purchase a new building in Burbank and work with Chu + Gooding to create a new Research and Resource Center. Through the $75 million, seven year project, the Autry will bring its collections and exhibitions to the public as never before.

Over the past year, the Autry has worked closely with Brenda Levin, Principal of Levin & Associates, on a planning study for the Griffith Park facility. The study determined that if the Autry is to dramatically increase and modernize its galleries in the existing building, it must free up spaces on the first floor that are currently used for offices, conservation laboratories and collection storage. To achieve this goal, the Autry will establish an off-site Research and Resource Center, which will accommodate its curatorial offices, laboratories, research libraries and approximately 500,000 artworks and artifacts that have been stored until now in both the Griffith Park and Mt. Washington facilities.

Brenda Levin’s plan will open up the first-floor level of the museum, adding 25,000 square feet of gallery space. These new galleries, scheduled to begin opening in 2013, will allow for the presentation of multiple exhibitions. Highlights include First Californians, a permanent gallery devoted to the story of Native Americans living in the West before European settlers arrived; a new gallery space for rotating exhibitions of the Southwest Museum’s outstanding Native American Collection; and a redesign of the outdoor landscape area now called Trails West.

The new Autry Research and Resource Center will be a two-story, 100,000-square-foot structure located on Victory Boulevard in Burbank, approximately 2.5 miles from Griffith Park. Its primary use will be to provide state-of-the-art, museum-quality storage for the Autry’s extensive collections of art and artifacts and library materials. The Autry’s Institute for the Study for the American West, which encompasses the Braun Research Library and the Autry Library, will move to the Research and Resource Center. A reading room will be open to the public by appointment.

The collections now stored at the Southwest Museum building in Mount Washington will also be moved over time into the Research and Resource Center. This move will ensure that these priceless artifacts and pieces of artwork are maintained under pristine conditions; that they remain safely accessible to scholars and researchers; and that the Autry’s curators can select from them for exhibitions and installations. Gallery space in the Southwest Museum is currently being used for expanding much need conservation and preservation work on the collection. The Autry expects this conservation project to be completed at the end of 2013. The Autry is currently seeking partnerships with educational, cultural or civic organizations to develop future programs suitable to the Southwest Museum site.