This Months Current News
Send us your photos and River experiences so we can share YOUR River!Friends of the Los Angeles River570 W Ave 26, Suite 250Los Angeles, CA 90065ph. 323.223.0585Tuesday & Wednesday, May 5th & 6th - 7pm-9pm Environmental Writing in Southern California, a reading and discussion with Jenny Price, Brad Monsma, and Bill Fox. More info at www.westcoastwriters.orgSaturday, May 9th - 9a-noon The 20th Annual Great LA River CleanUp - La Gran Limpieza 2009! Pick a site! Come CleanUp!May River Walk - no walk in May! CleanUp instead!May 28th - Jun 21st - touch the water A River Play from the Cornerstone Theater CompanyRiver School Day attendees picking up trash in the Riverbed, while in the background Capt. Robby Cordobes educates students about River safety.Photos by Peter BennettCurrent NewsMay 2009The influenza virus is a public health hazard. The virus mutates often, making it hard for us to discover a lasting cure. Every year in the United States, approximately 36,000 people die of the flu. Flu season is during the cooler fall and winter months, when we stay indoors. Someone sick comes to work, sneezes on their hand, touches a doorknob, and you come along and open the same door... bam! A week in bed with debilitating symptoms, if you were in good health, and a trip to the hospital if your immune system is compromised.So as organizers of a large event, we have been keeping a very close eye on all swine flu developments. Should we be inviting people out in large numbers? Are we going to cancel!?!?The answer to those questions is decidedly NO. Here's what we've learned:1. The swine flu strain of the H1N1 virus is a relatively mild strain.2. People who are feeling sick are very unlikely to come out for an event that involves physical exertion.3. Being outside, where you are spread out from other attendees, chances of catching a virus are very, very low.The World Health Organization is worried about something else. The swine flu strain could mutate between now and the beginning of flu season. It may become less worrisome, or it could become much more tenacious and dangerous, turning this pandemic into something truly historical. The pandemic thus far is just the definition of a pandemic: the disease has spread across borders and even oceans, making this disease worldwide, not surprising in this age of jet planes and frequent travel.We would not ask you to come out to the CleanUp if we thought it would be dangerous. And we certainly understand if you feel more like staying home. We also want to respectfully acknowledge those who have been sick or have lost loved ones to this disease, whether it be swine flu or the average influenza virus that spreads every year.Don't come to the CleanUp if you are feeling sick. Stay home and rest - the River can wait until you feel better.Those of you attending, use the hand wipes and hand sanitizer provided at each site, and don't drink the water or lick your fingers after picking up trash you find in the River! Eat well, get regular excersize, and keep yourselves healthy!For more information, we recommend the LA Times article from last week; you can access that article by clicking HERE.We're hoping for a cool day this year - but if there's even a slight sprinkle of rain we will have to cancel! Being in the channel when it's raining is the big no-no along the River.River School Day was a great success this year again! Over 700 students came out and picked up 2.29 tons of trash and recycled 83 lbs of recyclable materials. Councilmembers Tom LaBonge and Ed Reyes came out for the press conference, and Stan Joffe of Earthwise Bags showed off the 2009 CleanUp bags that his company has generously donated to help reduce the use of plastic bags in our city. Captain Robby Cordobes gave safety talks to students, and the Swiftwater Rescue helicopter demonstrated the awesome capabilities of hanging still in the air as well as speeding by, sirens blasting.Thank you to everyone who took part in the April 24th River School Day! Check out the LAist blogs photos HERE.Special thanks to the LACC Riverkeepers, City Year, and the Kings Employee Volunteers!Action Alert! Take Action Now to help save our waterways!American Rivers is currently holding a nationwide campaign to help improve infrastructure so that our roads and highways are not allowed to continue to contaminate our waterways. Please go the the website HERE and take part in this very important campaign.Most of the nasty stuff in the LA River comes through our storm drain system. Any water that falls in the 834 sqare foot watershed washes over our streets, parking lots, driveways, and freeways, collecting copper dust from brake pads, tire rubber, oil & other fluids that leak from cars, and all that trash! In Los Angeles County, we have a very small number of grates on storm drains that help with the trash and we have absolutely no filtration systems to ensure that all that gunk doesn't wash straight into the LA River and out to the ocean. Yuck!Speak up now! Tell you congressmember to change this weak system into something respectable and modern! Please go the the website HERE.Army Corps Projects funded by the Recovery PackageThat's right, recovery money is headed our way. Or at least it's headed to the local Army Corps division, so they can spend the money in LA County, including on some LA River projects. These are not exactly the kind of projects we were hoping for, but at least they may create some jobs and put a little money into the local economy.The projects along the River (and the money allocated to them) can be viewed at this website: http://www.usace.army.mil/RECOVERY/Pages/Projects.aspxOnce at the page, select the download 'Operations & Maintenance'. This will download a .pdf file, you're looking for pages 27 & 28. Money is coming for more dredging of the estuary in Long Beach, for improvement of a collapsing wall in Burbank, to clear non-natives from the Narrows (palms & arrundo), clean up in Compton Creek, flush and fix the ‘subdrain’ system (Action Alert?), remove sediment from the Verdugo Wash, and to update the four master plans that pertain to waterways in LA County. This document is not very detailed, and I wish I could tell you more. Now you know what we know! Hopefully there is more to come! We will keep you informed.FoLAR Thanks You for Caring About the Los Angeles River Send us your photos and River experiences so we can share YOUR River!Friends of the Los Angeles River570 W Ave 26, Suite 250Los Angeles, CA 90065ph. 323.223.0585May 28th - Jun 21st - touch the water A River Play from the Cornerstone Theater Company. Come see FoLAR founder Lewis MacAdams and Joe Linton, author of Down By the LA River, perform in a brave, humorous, and exciting play about life along the River - performed at the LA River!! Details here.Saturday, May 30th - 8:30a-10:30a Tour de Arroyo Bike Ride! A fun ride along the Arroyo Seco, including the section down in the channel! In memory of Dennis Crowley - read more here.Saturday, June 6th - 10a-12p LA River Tour by Bicycle. Warm up for the River Ride with a very casual cruise, north from Crystal St Bicycle Park and back again. Details here.Sunday, June 7th - 7a-4p The 9th Annual LACBC LA River Ride. From a kids ride to a century, all cyclists will enjoy this fun day of bicycling. Start and end at the Autry Museum (we hear there's a beer garden this year). Details here.Sunday, June 14th - 9.30a-4:30p By Demand! LA River Tour of the South LA River! Jenny Price takes you on a trip from downtown LA to the mouth of the River in Long Beach. Not to be missed! Details here.Sunday, June 21st - 4:30p River Walk along Bull Creek. Explore the newly restored Bull Creek! Details here.Trash collecters extraordinaire!Marsh Park Bike Site! At Marsh Park we managed to collect 2.8 tons of trash, the heaviest haul of all the sites. The majority of that trash was hauled by bike trailer from the banks to the dumpster. Thanks to volunteer groups from Sempra Energy/The Gas Company and Gay4Good and all our neighborhood helpers for showing up and making a really big difference!Willow Workers At Willow Estuary, people showed up in force to clean up this valuable migrating bird habitat.Tujunga Wash CleanUp volunteers cleaned up the Tujunga Wash bed out at the foot of the mountains.Current NewsMay 2009Opening WeekendDon’t miss performances by FoLAR’s founder and Chairman on the Board of Directors Lewis MacAdams, along with Joe Linton, author of Down By the Los Angeles River. Come for special pre-play walks starting at 7pm on select nights. Details below…Cornerstone Theater Company presents
Touch the Water
A River Play
May 28-June 21, 2009
Wednesdays-Sundays at 8pm***Join us for special pre-play walks with guest speakers, starting June 5th, including Jenny Price, Jessica Hall, Melanie Winter, our friends from North East Trees, and FoLAR’s Executive Director Shelly Backlar. A full schedule of walks and guides can be found by CLICKING HERE. ***
Performed along the bank of the Los Angeles River at the
Rio de Los Angeles State Park - Bowtie Parcel
entrance adjacent to 2800 Casitas Ave, LA 90039Bring something warm to wear - it’s been cold along the River at night!TICKETS
All tickets are Pay-What-You-Can!
To reserve tickets, visit www.CornerstoneTheater.org or call (213) 613-1700 x37.Cornerstone will host community dialogues and talk-backs after all Thursday night performances.For more information, visit the Cornerstone website and sign-up for e-mail updates.
www.CornerstoneTheater.orgWhat a success! Together with 3,000 of your friends and neighbors, you picked up over 30,000 pounds of trash in just three hours. We also recycled over 400 pounds of recyclables within the City of LA, thanks to the Bureau of Sanitation. We saw fewer large, heavy items than we have in the past, which might mean that people are less likely to dump that stuff in the River these days. That's the good news. Unfortunately the majority of what was pulled out was made of already disintegrating plastic, and boy were there a lot of plastic bags! As you probably know, the LA River contributes a significant proportion of the plastic trash that floats in the Pacific Ocean. Every piece we pick up doesn't make it to the ocean - congratulations on a job well done! If you missed it this year, don't worry, we'll be back next year.Photo courtesy Many Paths World Service Sepulveda Basin SiteAll the details for each site are on our recently updated CleanUp page on the website, where you'll see that now there is a page for each CleanUp site. We're working on putting info on all the sites, including trash weight (where available), numbers of volunteers, and photos from each site. This year over 30 large community groups, organized by businesses, non-profits, schools, and other organizations attended the CleanUp, which doesn't include all the residents and individuals who came with their families, friends, or just happened to walk their dog by while the CleanUp was going on. To everyone who helped out - Thank you!We'd like to thank our sponsors once again, for without them, we'd be hard pressed to come up with t-shirts, raffle prizes, trash bags, water, and bottles. We couldn't have done it without you:SUSTAINING SPONSOR $10,000:ASSOCIATE SPONSORS $5,000:SUPPORTING SPONSORS $2,500:OTHER SPONSORS:Baxter BioScience $2,000Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky $1,500Water Replenishment District $1,500Whole Foods Market $1,500Councilman Tom LaBonge $1,000NBC Universal $1,000Tour de Arroyo
A Fun, Festive Bicycle Tour of the Scenic Arroyo Seco
Honoring the Memory of Dennis Crowley
Saturday, May 30, 2009, 9:00 am
Assembly - 8:30 am - Memorial Park, Pasadena
Rally - 10:30 am - Los Angeles State Historic Park, The Cornfield
Dennis CrowleyAn extraordinary bicycle advocate passed away last year. Dennis Crowley's favorite place to ride was the Arroyo Seco where he dreamed of reviving the California Cycleway, an elevated bikeway developed by Pasadena Mayor Horace Dobbins at the beginning of the last century.This Tour de Arroyo will honor the memory of Dennis Crowley and promote the vision of a bikeway for fun and commuting between Pasadena and downtown Los Angeles.
The Arroyo SecoThe Arroyo Seco has been called the most celebrated canyon in Southern California. This spectacular corridor with a gentle river flowing through it links downtown and Northeast Los Angeles with Pasadena and the San Gabriel Valley.On this ride we'll tour the scenic hightlights of the Arroyo Seco on a gentle downhill ride of about ten miles from Pasadena to the Los Angeles State Historic Park near downtown. Riders can then take the return ride to the starting point with stops at some of the cultural gems of the Arroyo or return on the Gold Line train from the Chinatown Station.from Meredith McKenzie, of the Arroyo Seco FoundationFoLAR Thanks You for Caring About the Los Angeles River
Send us your photos and River experiences so we can share YOUR River!FoLAR has a new store at CafePress.com - buy your River Boy t-shirt today! The design was created for Lewis MacAdams’ character, Roger Vadim!, for the recent Cornerstone Theater production “Touch the Water.” It’s a photo of Lewis himself grinning and holding up a jackhammer. Appropriate attire for the River Rebel in us all! Click on the photo above for more...Friends of the Los Angeles River570 W Ave 26, Suite 250Los Angeles, CA 90065ph. 323.223.0585Wednesday, July 1st - 1-3p Metals TMDL Meeting at the River Center - The City of Los Angeles is working to meet the Water Board heavy metals regulations put in place for the LA River and they are looking for your input. Come to the LA River Center & Gardens, 570 W Ave 26, Los Angeles, CA 90065, to learn more about problems and solutions to the water quality issues that the City is dealing with these days. Contact Ramona at FoLAR for more details.Sunday, July 19th - 4:30p River Walk in Long Beach. All you South LA River fans, come out and ask us your questions - we're here for you. Details here.Clean Water Restoration Act Success!!Thanks to all of you who went online last month and signed the petition encouraging our Senators to support the Clean Water Restoration Act! Senator Boxer went to bat for you and successfully moved the bill out of her committee - now its up to the entire Senate to make their next move. We are hopeful that the Senate will pass this bill, sending it to the House committees for further debate. We're hopeful - and we couldn't do this without your support. Further updates to come...Don't forget to renew your membership!Our new Membership page allows you to choose the amount you'd like to donate each month! $5, $10, $20, every dollar helps us towards our goals of a swimmable, fishable, boatable River.Current NewsJuly 2009Departures Launched!
This spring, FoLAR joined forces with Juan Devis at KCET to create an online educational resource on the L.A. River for the KCET Departure Series. FoLAR was attracted to this project because it enabled us to activate our city's youth to investigate and explore the many stories about the Los Angeles River—THEIR River! In January, FoLAR Program Director Alicia Katano met with 24 exceptionally bright and inquisitive students from the Los Angeles Leadership Academy to introduce the Los Angeles River through a series of in-class workshops, biota surveys, and River clean ups.LALA students immediately began developing and articulating their own ideas about the importance of River revitalization and went on to interview a host of River stakeholders and advocates to help create portions of this
project under the direction of Juan Devis and Justin Cram who worked in collaboration with Shelly Backlar and Lewis MacAdams.The result: a dynamic multimedia resource where you can experience the River in a truly unique way-- interactive maps articulate key areas along the 51 mile River, historic images tell stories of the River before it was paved, images and video uncover wildlife inhabiting the River today, and video interviews communicate multiple perspectives from River stakeholders and advocates who live near, use, and work to protect and restore this resource running through the heart of our city. This has been an incredibly rewarding project and we would now like to share with you.Please visit Departures: The Los Angeles River at http://kcet.org/local/departures/la_river/ and share this amazing resource with your friends and colleagues. Note: site best viewed in EI7 or Firefox 3.0.
Calling all L.A. River enthusiasts! Are you interested in sharing your passion for the environment and the L.A. River?FoLAR is looking for energetic volunteers to help us promote awareness about the causes and consequences of pollution in our rivers and oceans. FoLAR is looking for volunteers who can commit 4 hours a month for a 12 month period. River Stewards will lead educational tours and presentations on the Los Angeles River and assist in staffing community environmental festivals. Volunteer orientation and training are required. Interviews begin the week of Aug. 1st and training is scheduled for Sat. Aug. 15th, 22nd, and 29th from 9am-12pm.Volunteers will receive a complimentary one-year FoLAR membership—perks include a complimentary copy of Down by the Los Angeles River by Joe Linton or L.A. River note cards, discounted admission to events and programs and subscription to Current News, FoLAR’s monthly e-newsletter. For an application please contact akatano@....
“Down by the River” – the phrase conjures up all sorts of wonderful images: fishing, boating, bird-watching, swimming, just hanging out. That was the Los Angeles River once, and can be again. But only with the leadership of FoLAR and others. Creating access to the River, making recreation along the river real, and restoring the River itself – a big job; but every year we come a bit closer to this goal. Every step feels like a major victory. And the satisfaction of seeing a river come back to life – hard to put into words, but immense.Alex WardArchitect, FoLAR Treasurer, Board Member 7 yearsBoard Treasurer Alex Ward had an especially busy CleanUp this year. He attends the Taylor Yard site, and you'll recognize him in this video as the man climbing a tree to dislodge plastic bags with a shovel! Video filmed and edited by Robert Scheid, music by The People's Party.The FoLAR Board of DirectorsFor the next year or so, Current News will feature one board member a month, introducing you to the eclectic, intelligent, and engaged bunch that steers the FoLAR boat. If you think you belong amongst this team of intrepid enthusiasts, consider contacting us for more information on how you can help guide FoLAR and the LA River into the future.FoLAR Thanks You for Caring About the Los Angeles River Send us your photos and River experiences so we can share YOUR River!FoLAR has a new store at CafePress.com - help us raise funds and buy an LA River t-shirt, travel mug, or hat!Friends of the Los Angeles River570 W Ave 26, Suite 250Los Angeles, CA 90065ph. 323.223.0585Thursday, July 30th - 7-9p Los Angeles River Images by Michael Tweed - Join photographer Michael Tweed for a reception at The Hummingbird Collective in Atwater Village: 5029 York Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90042. For more info contact: michael@.... To see his photography online visit: www.tweedphoto.com.Saturday, August 1st - 5-8p Postcards from the River Gallery Opening and FoLAR fundraiser! - Come join artist Carole Garland for the opening of her show Postcards from the River, a collection of landscape paintings dedicated to our surprising LA River. 10% of proceeds will be donated to FoLAR. Contact Ramona at FoLAR for more details or visit www.taggallery.net for details about this three person show.Saturday, August 8th - 6-9p Reimagining Chinatown: An Interactive Planning Process - Ever wanted to build your own city? Have some good ideas about connecting the River to commercial corridors? Here's a chance to put together a newly planned part of the City that could potentially connect with the LA River through the State Park - come help us create that reality. Opening Aug 8th, exhibition up Aug 5-Sept 5th. Details here.Sunday, August 16th - NO RIVER WALK THIS MONTH! Come to the Clean Ups instead! Details below.Saturday, August 22nd - 9a-noon LA River Clean Up at Sepulveda Basin with Aquarius Spring! People of the San Fernando Valley! Come out and pick up the accumulated trash in the River, directions HERE.Saturday, August 29 - 9a-noon LA River Clean Up at Taylor Yard with Aquarius Spring! Come enjoy a community celebration and River CleanUp with food and fun, directions HERE.Thursday, September 17th - 6-9p Introducing our Artists Studio Vists Series with artist George Michael Hernandez - Have you wondered how artists bring to life their work? Wanted to sit down with the artist, perhaps over a glass of wine, to see where their muses are and what they were thinking? Here's your chance - and what better muse to explore than our very own LA River. Details to come - official announcement in the next e-newsletter. Save the date now!Volunteer Recruitment Drive!It's not too late to commit to just 4 hours per month to ensure a better future for the LA River. Sign up now to be in time for training sessions. Become a trained docent, able to lead River Walks, educate your community about the LA River, and ensure that FoLAR is well represented at community events.Contact Alicia Katano at akatano@... or 323.223.0585 for more information.Don't forget to renew your membership!Our new Membership page allows you to choose the amount you'd like to donate each month! $5, $10, $20, every dollar helps us towards our goals of a swimmable, fishable, boatable River.Current NewsAugust 2009FoLAR Partners with Aquarius Spring! to Host Two River CleanUp Celebration Events this AugustFrom 9am to NoonAugust 22, 2009, Sepulveda BasinAugust 29, 2009, Taylor YardCLICK HERE for more information on our website.As Los Angeles River awareness builds we receive more and more calls asking about opportunities to clean the River. One major CleanUp a year is just not enough for our friends and fellow River enthusiasts. So when an Aquarius Spring! representative asked FoLAR to join their national, cross-country campaign this summer to involve citizens in watershed protection and pollution prevention efforts in their local communities we welcomed the opportunity to gather at the River.Join us at one or both River CleanUp and Celebration Events from 9:00am to noon. Both locations will feature live music, food, and cold water. Aquarius Spring! representatives will be on hand to give out t-shirts and reusable totes, made from recycled materials. Help us ensure that the next rain doesn't take whatever is in the River today down to the ocean.We do hope that picking up trash in the LA River will be a thing of the past one day. The City of Los Angeles Bureau of Sanitation has put in storm drain grates and catch basins all across the city, which will help to significantly reduce the amount of trash that comes from the streets of LA. If you see a neglected storm drain within Los Angeles, feel free to call the storm drain hotline at 323.342.6006. There remains much to be done, and until a time when trash rarely makes it into the River, we've got work to do!7/28/2009Dear Friends,
It's a broiling hot day in the city of the angels. Don't you wish you could go swimming in the river? If Friends of the Los Angeles River succeeds, you'll be able to. FoLAR has more than 5,000 people on our e-mail list, 5,000 people who rely on our newsletter and our other communications to find out that's going on along the river and what's going on at FoLAR, which has been speaking for the river and for the people who love it for more than twenty years.We are now at the beginning of the most ambitious project we have taken on since we led the effort to win the Cornfield and Taylor railroad yards for the public, our Central City Initiative. Our goal is nothing less than to transform the River through downtown from the most isolated and inaccessible 4 1/2 mile stretch to parkland and restored habitat with increased flood protection, a green technology corridor and housing. It will involve covering the railroad tracks, taking public ownership of the last rail freight yard in the city, and coordinating the right of way and terminal for high-speed rail with river restoration; and yes, we can do it, and yes, you'll be able to go for a swim. You will hear much more about that soon as we unveil our proposals. It goes without saying that this is an ambitious project. It must be said that we need your help to achieve it.To those of you whose Memberships are current: Thank you. You are a riparian hero.Today less than 10 percent of our mailing list are members of FoLAR. If another ten percent donate $5 a month for a year - the price of an annual FoLAR membership - we will be able to continue to represent the River and the people who love it. There is no way around it: we need each other. We need you to keep our doors open and our computers humming. You need us to lead the fight to transform the river through the central city. So become a member online right now, while it's on your mind, and we'll see you down by the River. And don't forget your sunblock!Lewis MacAdamsFounder & ChairmanFriends of the LA River570 W Ave 26, Ste 250Los Angeles, CA 90065323.223.0585
As a resident of Long Beach, and a beach-goer, I see how people come together to enjoy our beautiful water-front. Every week I see locals exercising along the Shoreline Bike Path, kite surfers skillfully skimming across the water, teenagers skateboarding down and up the beach drainage channels, boaters cruising past the Marina's brown pelicans, herons, and cormorants, fishermen smiling their hellos, sea lions thrilling tourists by Rainbow Harbor (in any language, I recognize the intonation of delight), and parents caught up in their children's enthusiasm, I give my time and energy to FoLAR because Long Beach is a world class city that deserves world class beaches that are nourished by a clean and healthy LA River.Frank O'BrienInstitute of Outsider Art co-founderFoLAR Executive Committee, Board Member 8 yearsThe FoLAR Board of DirectorsFor the next year or so, Current News will feature one board member a month, introducing you to the eclectic, intelligent, and engaged bunch that steers the FoLAR boat. If you think you belong amongst this team of intrepid enthusiasts, consider contacting us for more information on how you can help guide FoLAR and the LA River into the future.FoLAR Thanks You for Caring About the Los Angeles River Send us your photos and River experiences so we can share YOUR River!FoLAR has a new store at CafePress.com - help us raise funds by buying an LA River t-shirt, travel mug, or hat!Friends of the Los Angeles River570 W Ave 26, Suite 250Los Angeles, CA 90065ph. 323.223.0585Friday, August 28 - 6p-10p Disposable Routines Opening Reception at Cella Gallery Join international filmmakers Beatriz Barragan Horn & Janine Stengel for an interactive art experience exploring the way we live and consume. More infomation available HERE.Friday & Saturday, August 28th & 29th - 8.30p Hold Your Mud, L.A. Highways presents a symphonic interpretative expression of a collection of photographs taken Barbara T. Smith during the 1970s. Music and mud. More information HERE, and click on Performance on the left of the page.Saturday, August 29th - 9a-noon LA River Clean Up at Taylor Yard with Aquarius Spring! Come out and pick up the accumulated trash in the River, directions HERE. Check out the LA Times coverage of last week!Tuesday & Wednesday, Sept 15th & 16th - All day both days! Compton Gateway: Symposium for Creekside Community Development Join the LA & San Gabriel Rivers Watershed Council and UCLA Cooperative Extension to discuss, debate, and discover a vision for the Compton Gateway that incorporates stream habitat, recreation, economic opportunities, transportation, and more! See the details HERE.Thursday, September 17th - 6-9p Introducing our Artists Studio Vists Series with artist Gregory Michael Hernandez - More infomation available HERE.Saturday, Sept 19th - 9a-noon Coastal CleanUp Day with FoLAR and City Councilman Tony Cardenas. Heal the Bay's annual Coastal Clean Up Day has come inland, to remind us that the trash at the beaches often comes from the Rivers and waterways that lead to the ocean. FoLAR is hosting the Sepulveda Basin site with Councilmember Cardenas - so come out an join the fun. Not at our usual Sepulveda Site! Check out the Heal the Bay site for directions and details.Sunday, Sept 20th - 4:30p-6p LA River Walk starting at the Bette Davis Picnic Area! Come out for a casual stroll with a FoLAR's Executive Director, Shelly Backlar, who will answer all your River questions, directions HERE.Wednesday, Sept 30th - 7:30a-5p Conservation Forum: Recycled Water/Plants/Soil Compatibility Join LA Parks & Recreation at the LA Arboretum in Arcadia for a coversation on the succesful use of recycled water on drought tolerant plants in park settings. A panel discussion on how drought tolerant plants can be used in parks and how to conserve water. Email rmarks@... for registration materials and more information.Anytime in Pasadena, Aug 22nd-Sept 27th - Take yourself on a tour! - Via bike, bus, metro, car, or foot, the City of Pasadena wants you to weigh in on the General Plan! What would be better than taking a tour of the areas slated for improvements? Check out the General Plan site for the details by clicking HERE.Sunday, October 4th - 9a-4:30p LA River South Taco & Paleta Tour with Jenny Price - Join Jenny for our new south LA River tour, with tacos for lunch and paletas (fresh fruit popsicles) in the afternoon! This tour is all day, but as it's a car caravan tour, you can come for just the morning or for the whole day! Starting in Downtown LA and finishing in Long Beach - more infomation available HERE.City of LA Update on the LA River Revitalization Master PlanIf you missed the latest River Update Meeting (RUM), don't worry, you can still get all the fun info on their website. The Bureau of Engineering put together a comprehensive presentation that you can download HERE. Some of the most exciting details:
Don't forget to renew your membership!Our new Membership page allows you to choose the amount you'd like to donate each month! $5, $10, $20, every dollar helps us towards our goals of a swimmable, fishable, boatable River!Salmon in the Seine?Paris is reporting a return a of the Salmon in the Seine River! Atlantic Salmon haven't been seen in the Seine since just after World War 2, when pollution levels made it unlivable for the sensitive fish. Due to clean up efforts, the River has become inviting and the population is returning. If they can do it...Current NewsAugust 2009FoLAR Action Alert! Stop The Bulldozers!The LA County Department of Public Works (LACDPW) is asking the Regional Water Quality Control Board (Water Board) to give them a 5 year 401 permit to bulldoze two of the most critical natural bottom stretches in the Los Angeles River watershed: the Willow Street estuary in Long Beach and the Compton Creek - all without having done sufficient research on the environmental impact of their actions.We urge you to discourage the Water Board from issuing this 401 permit, and insist that the LACDPW begin a substantive study of flood protection alternatives that include habitat protection and restoration. You can make a difference!Join FoLAR at the Sept 3rd Water Board meeting at the Metropolitan Water District building downtown and ask that the Water Board ensure that the LACDPW doesn't continue to use the most devastating technique on the limited and scarce open space inhabited by the birds and fish of the LA River. There are alternatives and we will encourage the Water Board to ask the LACDPW to employ those alternatives. If you cannot make it, please send us an email and your comments will be shared with the Water Board. You can also contact the Water Board directly by emailing Valerie Carillo.Meeting information:Where: 700 N Alameda St, Los Angeles, 90012, Water Board Board RoomWhen: 9:00am, Wednesday, Sept 3rdFor more information about the 401 permit process click HERE.To review the past Water Board resolution in regard to this permit click HERE.Gregory Michael HernandezSeptember 17th, 6-9pmFoLAR is proud to announce a studio visit with artist Gregory Michael Hernandez.Hernandez' unique vision for the River gives the viewer a 360 degree view in geometric, two-dimensional photographs as well as in three-dimensions (photo at right). He has generously offered to host a viewing at his studio, just off the LA River in Cypress Park.Event DetailsWhat: Studio Visit with Gregory Michael HernandezWhere: 246 N Ave 25, LA, 90031, at the corner of Ave 25 and Humboldt St. Parking will be available, signs will point the way.When: 6pm-9pmHow: This event will be free, however donations to FoLAR will be accepted.For more information go to our website.Announcing FoLAR's LA River Photo Competition!Call for entries!FoLAR wants to publish your best LA river shot as a postcard for mailing all over the world.How: $35 entry fee, which will also make you a member of FoLAR. Current members can enter for free!Deadline: October 31st, 2009. Late submissions will not be reviewed. Winners will be announced November 16th.Send to: FoLARphotos@... - Entries accepted in digital format only.Director of the Month of August: James RojasRevitalization of the LA River will come from community conscience building.James RojasUrban Planner/ArtistFoLAR Board MemberCheck out this video of James' Reimagining Chinatown. James described the evening in this way: "Saturday night was a flurry of urban interventions in Chinatown as local residents, artists, curators, urban planners, children, and the general public participated in the Re-Imagining Chinatown art opening/community visioning meeting. The Fifth Floor became an impromptu urban planning "store" with shelves liningthe walls that hosted an array of small, colorful buildings made from recycled objects. Visitors took these buildings off the shelves and placed them on an interactive map/model of Chinatown, the Cornfields, Elysian Park, and parts of the LA River, located in the middle of the gallery. From a disco city on the LA River to a large bridge that connected the Cornfields to North Broadway, the ideas were everything from whimiscal to serious. This process forced participants to think creatively and playfully. Children as well as adults shared their urban interventions for the area. The map/model heped participants express and share their ideas and visions for this area. The model constantly changed throughout the night as the work built upon the contributions of others." Next, James will bring his unique form of urban planning to the 2009 International Architectural Biennale, featuring a model of Rotterdam.The FoLAR Board of DirectorsFor the next year or so, Current News will feature one board member a month, introducing you to the eclectic, intelligent, and engaged bunch that steers the FoLAR boat. If you think you belong amongst this team of intrepid enthusiasts, consider contacting us for more information on how you can help guide FoLAR and the LA River into the future.FoLAR Thanks You for Caring About the Los Angeles River
- Presentations were made by Carol Armstrong, of the Bureau of Engineering, as well as Claire Bowen of the Dept of Planning, and representatives from the Community Redevelopment Agency, and the Army Corps of Engineers, who are partnering with the Bureau of Engineering on the feasibility study.
- Federal funding to kick off the Master Plan may be as much as $25 million - although that was awarded in 2007 before the recession and is subject to appropriations. The City of LA will match the final amount appropriated. At the meeting, we talked about just how we want that money spent.
- Details of the nine priority projects and the funding already awarded to those projects are in the presentation on page 5. Bike paths are coming!
- Go to the website HERE, scroll down to the July 28th, 2009 RUM, and download the full presenation for more information and to get excited about River Revitalization!
Send us your photos and River experiences so we can share YOUR River!FoLAR has a new store at CafePress.com - help us raise funds by buying an LA River t-shirt, travel mug, or hat!Friends of the Los Angeles River570 W Ave 26, Suite 250Los Angeles, CA 90065ph. 323.223.0585Join FoLAR on Facebook! Get regular updates on activities and easily send information on to your friends!Friday, October 2 - 12:15p-3:30p Breaking the Climate Deadlock: The Governers Global Climate Summit 2 Join Governer Arnold Schwarzzenegger, Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, and NY Times Foreign Affairs Columnist Thomas Friedman for a luncheon program. Contact Terri New to RSVP, tickets are $200. More info HERE.Saturday, October 3rd - 9a-1p Assemblymember Kevin De Leon's 2nd Annual Health and Fitness Fair Held at 1900 N San Fernando Road, LA, 90065: Rio de Los Angeles State Park! Free vision, dental, and hearing tests, free massages, and much more!Sunday, October 4th - 9a-noon Nature Park Clean-up on the Arroyo Seco Barbara Eisenstein hosts a monthly clean up of the Arroyo Seco Nature Park. More info HERE.Tuesday, Oct 13th - 5.30p-7.30p High-Speed Rail Alternatives Analysis Presentation and Comments. Join FoLAR and stakeholders to review the high-speed rail proposals for track movements through downtown LA and along the River. At the LA River Center & Gardens, 570 W Ave 26, Los Angeles, CA 90065.Saturday, October 17th - 7a-12:30p C3 Compton Creek Clean Up Register with the City of Compton Dept of Planning & Economic Development and join in for trash pick-up, graffiti removal, data collection, and landscaping! Details HERE.Sunday, October 18th - River Walk - See article at right.Sunday, October 18th - 2p-2a Footsies County Fair! - Join us our local bar Footsies for a last blast in the summer sun. This event will include a dunk tank, games, bands, and will help to raise money for FoLAR and other local non-profits! 2640 N Figueroa, LA, 90065.Sunday, October 25th - 9a-4:30p LA River South Taco & Paleta Tour with Jenny Price - Join Jenny for our new south LA River tour, with tacos for lunch and paletas (fresh fruit popsicles) in the afternoon! This tour is all day, but as it's a car caravan tour, you can come for just the morning or for the whole day! Starting in Downtown LA and finishing in Long Beach - more infomation available HERE.The Army Corps v. Arundo donaxThat's right, face off time...The Army Corps of Engineers has been given federal funding to remove invasive plant species from the Glendale Narrows section of the Los Angeles River. A draft Environmental Assessment for the Los Angeles River-Glendale Narrows Non-Native Vegetation Removal Project is now available to the public.The best way to weigh in? View the document online HERE. The review period ENDS October 23rd. So go there now.This is a big document. Language is repeated often, so don't be intimidated by the length. To help you, we recommend reading pages 8-11, section 3.0 "Alternatives Considered". Note that the preferred alternative, #4, is to remove only non-native vegetation. Other alternatives include removing all vegetation or removing none. There is a lot of interesting information in this Environmental Assessment - we recommend taking a look and giving your comments so the Corps gets public feedback.Copies can also be picked up at three LA Public Library Locations: the Atwater Village Branch at 3379 Glendale Blvd, The Cypress Branch at 1150 Cypress Ave, and Downtown at 630 W. 5th St.Don't forget to renew your membership!Our new Membership page allows you to choose the amount you'd like to donate each month! $5, $10, $20, every dollar helps us towards our goals of a swimmable, fishable, boatable River!Ever Wondered How toMake the Most of your Donations?Have you started to plan for retirement? Do you have a living will? If FoLAR hosted an educational seminar on planned giving, would you attend?We know that you care about the LA River and its future. We know that you give what you can to help us ensure that someone is always watching out for the Rivers interests. Did you know that you can avoid costing your heirs taxes by donating to a non-profit in your will?FoLAR is learning about planned donations. If you want to know more about how to donate to FoLAR for a tax break for your heirs, please contact Ramona.Current NewsOctober 2009Vote for FoLAR!Patagonia has nominated Friends of the LA River as one of three organizations eligible to win grant money through their "Voice Your Choice" Campaign! Of the three, the top vote getter will win $2,500. Second- and third-place will win $1,500 and $1,000 respectively. It's up to you!Cast your vote for FoLAR! You can help - go to the Patagonia store in Santa Monica (2936 Main St, 90405 - see map HERE) and cast your vote between now and October 24th. FoLAR will be in store on Table Days, Oct 10th & 17th. Get more info, speak to a FoLAR representative, maybe pick up a copy of the Fish Study? And VOTE for FoLAR!Update on the County Bulldozing PermitLast month we asked you to attend a public meeting with the Regional Water Quality Board to voice your concerns and outrage over the proposed bulldozing of the Willow Estuary and Compton Creek. Well, prepare to be even more outraged.Instead of having a public comment hearing, the Water Board had to announce (to their acknowledged embarrassment) that they allowed the permit to remain on file for over 1 year, effectively approving the permit by default! If the Water Board doesn't review a permit within a year, it is automatically approved. And this week, the County has bulldozed the Compton Creek, just like they always do...A truly sad sight to see. Take a look at this LA Times article for the full story.Keep your eyes open - another fun way to help FoLAR raise much needed funds!LA Weekly's LA 101 on November 3rd featuringSilversun PickupsThe Dandy Warhols & Matt and KimPlus the KROQ Locals Only Stage featuring the best of LA!Get tickets now at www.LiveNation.com! Each ticket sold benefits FoLAR!A Special Robinson Jeffers River Walkon the Arroyo SecoOctober 18th, 3.30p-5pLower Arroyo Seco Nature ParkMeet at the Lower Arroyo Seco Nature Park parking lot, enter at S. Arroyo Blvd and Norwood Dr. Map HERE.As part of The Big Read: Robinson Jeffers and the Ecology of Nature, FoLAR and Occidental College have partnered to bring you a special River Walk along the Arroyo Seco, celebrating poetry and nature. Explore one of the beautiful tributaries of the Los Angeles River that features restored native vegetation, walking paths, andspectacular, historic bridges.River Walks are on the third Sunday of each month, and we suggest a $10 donation for folks who are not yet members of FoLAR. To become a member, click HERE.We meet at 4:30pm during the summer and 3:30pm during the winter. Walks last for an hour and a half and are led by a FoLAR staff or board member. Come ask your River questions and get introduced to a new section of River each month!The Big Read is an initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with the Institute of Museum and Library Services and Arts Midwest.The LA River's paved downtown section is on TV again!?Check out the 1st Episode of this season of The Amazing Race featuring the one and only Los Angeles River...FoLAR's LA River Photo Competition - It's On!You have all month - now get shooting and send us your best shot!FoLAR wants to publish your best LA river shot as a postcard for mailing all over the world.How: $35 entry fee, which will also make you a member of FoLAR. Current members can enter for free!Deadline: October 31st, 2009. Late submissions will not be reviewed. Winners will be announced November 16th.Send to: FoLARphotos@... - Entries accepted in digital format only.Director of the Month of October: Michael WooThere are a lot of worthy non-profit organizations in L.A. But when you're asked to donate your time or your money, you have to make a choice based on where you can make the most difference. FoLAR is unique because the public's awareness of the River's potential is at an all-time high, and because government officials could make pivotal decisions shaping the River's future - but only if FoLAR is there on the scene, marshalling public awareness and government to do the right thing.Michael WooDean, College of Environmental Design, Cal Poly PomonaFoLAR Board MemberThe FoLAR Board of DirectorsFoLAR Thanks You for Caring About the Los Angeles River