Fixing the LA River Part 1b

It's a start but it's not the end

The LA River got a little closer to its roots as the official boating program got launched today. The unofficial program has been going for years and it is the reason why the LA River is where it is today. The activists who have risked arrest by hitting the river are the real heroes and they deserve the praise and less those who have hidden behind non-existent laws to promote the boating program. On the day of this event the Canadians who hit the river in February for the sole purpose of exploring LA River were being paddled in court in Van Nuys for their transgressions. Their crime? Setting foot and boat in the LA River. Their charges? Loitering and trespassing.

The LA River will become the LA River when it is fully restored to what it once was: the heart and soul of LA. Please contact me at if you want to become a part of the next wave of truly cleaning up the LA River.


Viva Mulholland?

Either you bring the water to L.A. or you bring L.A. to the water
LA would not be LA without our imported water. LA’s growth was maxing out at the turn of the century because LA did not have enough of the wet stuff. Until the early 1900s the LA River was our sole source of water. LA was founded near downtown…not near the ocean, because downtown was where the freshwater was. LA basically exists because of the LA River. The 11 families who founded Los Angeles constructed the city’s first water system, a brush “toma” or dam across the LA river. This dam diverted water to the Zanja Madre, or mother ditch, which fed irrigation canals in their adjacent fields and to other smaller ditches to supply drinking water. This worked for twenty years or so then the demand for water outstripped the supply.
Then Mulholland…you know, the guy the street is named after…., a city engineer, crafted a plan to bring water in from the Owens Valley (near Mammoth) via an aqueduct. The LA aqueduct, completed in 1913, changed the water landscape of LA and helped turn it into the megalopolis it now is. Read more about him and how he shaped LA here:,0,6150147.story

Cycling Episode

Worried about cycling in LA? Consider the following….


Grow Your Own

Can You Dig It?

Spring has sprung and many are getting their gardens on.  There are probably few better things you can do for yourself and for LA than growing your own fruits and vegetables.  While many in LA do not have access to dirt, and some of the dirt that people do have access to is pretty dirty, there are still plenty of other gardening options.  We are indeed fortunate in LA to have many community gardens.  There are approximately 70 community gardens in Los Angles County, serving 3,900 families.  Community gardens are a special type of park: they are open to all who apply, but they are self-maintained and self-policed by the membership.  Unlike most parks, community gardens occupy three categories of land: private land with short-term leases, public land with short-term leases, and garden-owned land.  

If your community wants to build a community garden, the LA Community Garden Council will help you do it yourself.  There are several non-profit organizations that build community gardens side-by-sice with a garden club, church, or school.  A patchwork of private, federal and city funding has been used to build community gardens since 1996.

For more info about community gardens please visit

Let It Flow, Sis and Bro

You know I love that river and Lisa Boyle has written an excellent article that lets you know where it has been and where it is headed.  It all started with the river and as long as the river keeps flowing so will we.

Attend an LA River event this weekend.

Let’s Get Vertical?

It’s spring and many are getting their gardens on.  Many Angelenos, however, do not have access to soil…the ground, so they resign themselves to be garden less.   The world’s population is rapidly expanding and god ain’t growing any more land so we have to figure out another way to grow.  Plants need air, sun, water and nutrients to grow – the nutrients come from the soil.  The nutrients don’t have to come from the soil.  You probably have heard of hydroponics – sounds kind of head shop – but it’s not…well, it is about growing plants without soil…I guess that is how some grow weed.   You can have a great garden in your apartment, condo, Mc Mansion without soil using a hydroponic system.

Here is how great it can be:

The vid tells you how you do it all y’all:

Safe Cycling Is Da Best Cycling, Mon

We all need to get places and getting there on bike is starting to make more sense every day.  Cycling can be a safe mode of transportation – certainly safer than texting and driving – but stuff does happen.  Fran Pavley, Julia Brownley and Safe Moves ( are hosting a biclycle safety event on May 7th at Will Rogers State Park from 11 to 2.

Get Your Bike On!

The LA River Dog Has No Bite

He Just Barks A lot

I went to municipal court today in Van Nuys to support my Canadian friends who were cited for loitering by the LAPD in February for being in and around the LA River.  Fortunately and unfortunately the case was dropped.  So thousands of dollars and hours of time and pieces of six souls were burned up because the City of LA doesn’t know what to do when it comes to the LA River: “Hey, there is someone in the river, Chief. What do you want us to do? Go down there and write them one of those meaningless tickets…teach them a lesson?” What kind of a message does this behavior send to the thousands of Canadian tourists that come to LA every year? I know that people like to make fun of Canadians, but we Angelenos are the joke when it comes to the river. So, it appears, as suspected, there is no law that prohibits people from going in the LA River. Case solved. Paddle on safely, amigos.

Safely Spinning

Cyclavia is happening on April 10 th – downtown closed off to cars – and it is going to be a happening for sure.  Surviving LA fully supports the pro-cycling movement in LA and the first step is getting people out on their bikes.  Before you hit the streets consider the following safety tips:

And here is all you need to know about Cyclavia:

Peddling for Dollars

Gas prices are going up again and are only going to get worse as we head into summer.  Some people are now using their bikes to get around town and reaping the benefits of saving money on gas and getting some exercise at the same time.   While LA is definitely dominated by das auto, it is not difficult to imagine a future LA where cycles and cars truly share the road.`

That future is realized in the LA Master Bike Plan.  Kudos to the LA County Bike Coalition, Mayor Villaraigosa, Ed Reyes, and other cycling advocates who shaped the recently approved plan.   There are many, many miles of new bike lanes in the new plan and a variety of other goodies that will definitely push LA forward on the biking front.  You can check out the plan at:

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