GPW: Self-Tempered Anarchy since 2009

Your GPW Editor-on-Occasion is Petra Fried in the City.
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stories along The Way

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Someone else noticed.

Great article on CityWatch today about the systematic theft of charter-mandated funding from our City parks.

Park notes from July's Griffith Park "Resources Board" meeting

Despite the name, there is no actual board. A lot of information and rumor about the park is disseminated at these meetings, however. Here are the tidbits I picked up after a late arrival:

  • Griffith Park Drive on the north side of the park will reopen at the end of July. Live Steamers aficionados, frustrated commuters and, sadly, lewd conduct creeps will be thrilled to get their turf back.

  • Tom LaBonge has a tour of Headworks scheduled for October - contact his office if interested.

  • Forest Lawn is 'donating' 150(?) acres of unused land back to Griffith Park which should open up new trails on the north side of the park. Guessing up by the fire break, but not sure.

  • Prop K is funding trail improvements at the Girls Camp and signage? at trailheads throughout the park.

  • The draft EIR (environmental impact report) for the proposed new Crystal Springs baseball fields will be released in October. These fields impact the popular and heavily-oversubscribed picnic area. If you use the Crystal Springs picnic area, you will want to be commenting on this EIR. One alternate site for these baseball fields is in North Atwater Park which does not impact Crystal Springs and is therefore likely a better location choice.

  • The Negative Declaration (of any environmental impacts) for a new performance shell at the Old Zoo will be released shortly.

  • An LVNOC (Local Volunteer Neighborhood Oversight Committee) will be forming for $1 million in improvements at the Commonwealth Nursery. I suspect LaBonge's office will be populating that VNOC so if you want to be on it, contact his office. Walk-thru will be in November.

  • LAPD wants a new riding ring for their mounted unit on the Atwater side of the park. The public is supposed to have access to the new arena when PD isn't using it.

  • Apparently there is now a Friends of Vista del Valle group. Why? Who the heck knows. But if they remove graffiti and pick up trash, I'm good with it. Any new development in the interior of the park, and I am definitely not good with it. If you are a 'Friend', drop us a line and enlighten as to this group's purpose.

  • The Riverside Trailhead is being renamed for Mr. Sol Shankman.

  • Anne-Marie Johnson, who played Althea Tibbs on the brilliant In the Heat of the Night series among other roles is now working for LaBonge's office. Strange juxtaposition, the result of which found me almost calling her 'Althea' when I saw her at the meeting.  argh.

Monday, July 22, 2013

At least they're listening

Update: The motion was passed this week. This will be a process, so take every opportunity to get your public comment in.

In June, Wesson, Krekorian, and LaBonge filed a motion to have the Dept. of  Recreation and Parks create a plan to increase its budget to $250 million in five years.

Council File #13-0807 could be good - putting an end to some of the chargebacks that have literally decimated the funding for our City parks.

Or it could be bad - no changes to chargebacks, but a mandate that Rec and Parks charges for every single thing they do in Los Angeles. (new revenue!)

The motion will be heard in City Council tomorrow. Likely it will go through. It's the process that follows passage of the motion that could be the devil in sheep's clothing.  We'll see.