LA’s Plastic Problem

LA has a plastic problem. No, this is not a post about breast implants, nor is it a post about the ever present lack of authenticity in LA.  Our dear city has a lot of plastic bags, bottles, and yes, some discarded breast implants fouling our roads, rivers, ocean, and…well, it’s all over the place and it is not going away. Several organizations are doing a lot to battle this blight and one of them, the Plastic Pollution Coalition, is doing more than a lot. They have a great event coming up at UCLA on 8/22 and a lot of great info on their website:

http://plasticpollutioncoalition.org/

Event info:

Directions
The Bridges Theater is located at the Northeastern corner of the UCLA campus.  To reach the UCLA Campus using public transportation, please see the campus map with bus stops<http://www.transportation.ucla.edu/portal/maps/transitmap/index.htm>or plan your trip at Metro <http://www.metro.net/index.asp&gt; .
Parking is available in Lot 3. Parking fee is $10.  From Hilgard Ave. enter the east side of campus at Wyton Dr. Make and immediate right turn onto Charles E. Young Dr. East and signs will direct you to Parking Structure 3.
From the ground level of Structure 3, enter the underpass (or from the street level cross Charles E. Young Dr. North and proceed down steps) and walk straight alongside Melnitz and Macgowan Halls. Turn left at the plaza and proceed to the courtyard of theaters.
Charitable Donations will be accepted at the event.


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LA River Revitalization Corp

There is much confusion now about what will happen to the LA River now that it has been declared navigable and thus protected by the EPA. Many have been working for years to do something positive with the river and there is a revitalization master plan. The River Revitalization Corp is the lead agency for getting things rolling.

The River Revitalization Corp is having a meeting on Aug 17.

Learn more at:

http://www.larivercorp.com/page2.php

Did You Clean Your Hands?

Hand transmission of microbes (bugs) by health care workers is a primary cause of infections in healthcare settings. Compliance with effective handwashing and hand sanitization regimens can help prevent such infections.  Many studies have shown that alcohol gel sanitizers are as effective and sometimes more effective than soap and water at killing bacteria and viruses that hang out on people’s hands and healthcare workers are now being advised to use alcohol gels instead of soap and water to help prevent the spread of infectious diseases.

When a person washes their hands they are supposed to do it for at least twenty seconds and the rubbing of the soap and the water should be vigorous.  Such a proper washing uses (or wastes?) more than a quart of water.  And what about the paper towels that are wasted as well?  If the use of alcohol gels is as or more effective than soap and water then what are we doing with these handwashing rituals we engage in a few or more times a day?  This is a question that has few solid answers so far, but needs to be debated.  Water is a precious resource and we shouldn’t be playing games with it.  Let’s figure this thing out together.

LA River Starting to Flow

There has been much news lately about the LA River. Recent EPA action now has people thinking, “How do I get in that water?”

Wall Street Journal – A River Really Runs Through It – July 31, 2010

LA Times – http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-river-20100729,0,6138290.story

Palisades Post – http://www.palisadespost.com/news/content.php?id=5942

LA River Has New Life

Two years ago I helped lead a trip down the LA river to prove that it was navigable so it could deserve the protection it needed under the clean water act. That action paid off in a big way today.

From the EPA:

Today’s action clarifies the legal status of the L.A. River under the CWA and strengthens protection for the tributary streams and wetlands that make up the L.A. River watershed. EPA’s decision enhances the ability of the EPA, in coordination with the Army Corps of Engineers, the State, and the City, to fight pollution and protect the health and safety of those who use these waters. In particular, it will help federal, state and local agencies stop the future destruction of natural streams, wetlands, and other waters remaining in the L.A. Basin that are important for water quality, wildlife, recreation, and public health, and to reduce harm to the watershed from polluted stormwater runoff.

Rollin’ Down the River

Wanna have some fun; burn some calories; and help support the greening of L.A.? Then sign up for the Los Angeles River Ride and join 2000+ other riders for a day of cycling fun along the Los Angeles River! The Los Angeles River Ride offers 5 great rides in one, including a century (new this year). Enjoy rest stops with music, food and fun, plus cool prizes, an Eco Expo and our new international food fair at the finish. The ride is sponsored in part by Honorary Ride Chairman, actor Ed Begley Jr.

The Rides

KIDS’ RIDE AND FUN FAIR
A short, festive ride in Griffith Park, for ages 6 and under, and plenty of games and activities brought to you by Moms In Motion Los Angeles Chapter. Prizes for all kids who participate! Registration and festivities begin at 10:00 a.m. to allow families the option to also join the Family Ride at 11 a.m.

10 MILE FAMILY RIDE
Travel along the river and through Griffith Park via dedicated bike paths and streets with striped bike lanes. For ages 7 and up. All Children must be accompanied by an adult. Registration starts at 10:00 a.m. Ride starts at 11:00 a.m.

HALF CENTURY (50 MILES)
From Griffith Park to the City of Paramount and return. Registration starts at 7:00 a.m. Ride starts at 8:15 a.m.

70 MILE RIDE “Park to Playa to Park”
From Griffith Park to Long Beach. Registration starts at 7 a.m. Ride starts at 7:45 a.m.

CENTURY RIDE (100 MILES) – New for 2008
Same route as 70 mile ride, except with additional loops to complete the remaining 30 miles. Registration starts at 7 a.m. Ride starts at 7:30 a.m.
Go to http://la-bike.org/ for more info.

Wasting Water is a Waste

Angelenos waste millions of gallons of drinking water to flush toilets and water plants. Now that more people have become more eco-conscious more people are starting to reconsider their water misuse. Some folks are devising gray water systems to help make good use of the good water that is sent down the sewer. Gray water is water that was once drinkable (potable or whitewater), but was used for washing dishes, clothes or even for bathing. It is not water you let go down the drain while waiting for the shower or bath water to heat up, which is still clean “whitewater” that could easily be used for anything. Nor is it water from the toilet bowl. Toilet water is considered “blackwater,” with biological contaminants such as human and animal feces and urine.

Clearly much white and gray water could be used for watering plants and flushing toilets, but California’s complicated gray water laws scare most away. In 1994, California became the first state to establish guidelines for gray water use — as most other states have since — and it has become a leader in building industrial-scale gray water systems. Although gray water use is legal in California, systems that conform to the state’s complicated code tend to be very expensive. As a result, many homeowners have installed unpermitted, illegal plumbing, relying on techniques developed by covert researchers like the Greywater Guerrillas. They have written a book about gray water systems: “Dam Nation: Dispatches From the Water Underground”

Here is a video that explores the issue and shows a simple system:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=akrEncD4V50

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