Category: Events

Events that you might enjoy attending.

ASF hosts green forum for mayoral candidates in Pasadena

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The Arroyo Seco Foundation will host the Pasadena Mayoral Candidates Forum on the Environment to be held in the Donald Wright Auditorium of the Pasadena Central Library, 285 E. Walnut St. in Pasadena on Tuesday, January 14, 2020 from 6:30 p.m.-8:30 p.m. The theme of the event will be “How Green Should Pasadena Be?” Topics to be covered will include climate change, the Arroyo Seco, trees and other issues of local concern.

The program will begin with a brief opening statement from each of the four candidates on their environmental record and views. The candidates include Jason Hardin, Victor Gordo, Major Williams and current Mayor Terry Tornek. Following the initial statements, there will be a panel of local environmental leaders who will ask questions of the candidates. The public will also be invited to ask questions of the candidates. The event will conclude at 8:30 pm.

The discussion is a timely event since the primary election for the Mayor’s race will be held on March 3, 2020.

“We are pleased that all four candidates have confirmed their participation,” said Tim Brick, Managing Director of the Arroyo Seco Foundation, “and look forward to a lively discussion of critical environmental concerns and solutions.”

So. Cal. Women on the Fly enjoy a banner day on the LA

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 Lesley Smith, with finny friend, from Golden State Fly Casters shows off why carping the Los Angeles River can become an obsession. Analiza del Rosario, far left, organized the event for SoCal Women on the Fly. Many of these women were just at the Southern Sierra Fly Fishers “Celine’s Fly Gal Weekend” last month learning how to fly fish for the first time. Karen Hall, third from left, from Sespe Fly Fishers enjoyed the best carp fishing day, hooking five. L.A. carp guru Lino Jubilado helped them, making flies and leaders for them, as well as brought rope to rappel down the rip rap to reach the river.  (Courtesy Lino Jubilado)

Sixth annual River Day highlights a river on fire

The Los Angeles River continues to be scalding hot, and that’s not just the summertime temps of the water. Two big river events in two days this week, the official groundbreaking for the Taylor Yard Pedestrian Bridge, followed by the sixth annual River Day at City Hall.

The city has worked on being “riverly” since — 1988 — according to former Councilmember Tom LaBonge who retired in 2015. It’s been a long road with our community still waiting for promised federal dollars to the tune of $2.6 billion to restore the river’s habitat.

Let’s count down what’s happened since the last River Day. The slogan could be “connect, don’t neglect” as underserved communities regain the connections lost to the construction of a concrete flood control channel:

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MAYOR ERIC GARCETTI, center, and friends broke ground on the Taylor Yard Bicycle and Pedestrian Bridge, which will connect Elysian Valley to Cypress Park. Once complete in early 2021, the $20 million bridge will be roughly 400 feet long with an 18-foot-wide passageway for cyclists and pedestrians. (Credit Jim Burns)

— Four new and-and-bike friendly bridges to connect communities: Taylor Yard Pedestrian Bridge, North Atwater Village, Red Car Pedestrian Bridge and Verdugo Wash Bridge that will connect Glendale to L.A.

— Friends of the Los Angeles River’s celebrates the 30th annual LA River Clean-up and begins #CrackTheConcrete fundraising campaign. It’s a classic FoLAR campaign that is pro Taylor Yards/G2 River Park and its long-promised habitat restoration and con Casitas Lofts, a 420-unit housing development.

— LA River, Arroyo Seco in Pasadena, to get $4.3 million from state budget for restoration.

— Opening of Albion Riverside Park in Lincoln Heights.

— $18 million in state funding for a continuous bike path along the river. Remember, this is a 51-mile waterway.

— Last week the Environmental Protection Agency awarded $500,000 to help clean up the polluted soil of Taylor Yard/G2.

— Councilmember David Ryu takes on chairmanship of river committee from Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell.

“Some day the LA River steelhead will come back,” Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell said at the river celebration, echoing what FoLAR co-founder Lewis MacAdams said for many years to anyone who would listen.

See you on the river, Jim Burns

Trout Unlimited’s Bowtie workshops impact urban fishing

First-timer Michael, left, gets a lesson in the art of the improved clinch knot from TU volunteer Tom Blankenship, while attendee Erica looks on. (Jim Burns)

Over the last couple of weekends, the stalwarts of Trout Unlimited South Coast Chapter put on a series of beginning workshops at the Bowtie parcel, a 17-acre site near Fletcher Bridge that is as urban as it gets. In 2003, California State Parks purchased the narrow strip of land adjacent the Los Angeles River, once part of Southern Pacific Railroad’s maintenance and operations facilities called Taylor Yards. If nothing else, it’s a chance to squint your eyes and see what it could become.

And Los Angelinos certainly have embraced this urban outlier in any number of positive ways, including the LA River Campout that is so popular, the 75 campers are chosen through a lottery. This chance to cuddle up in a sleeping bag and see the stars is an initiative of California State Parks in partnership with Clockshop, the National Park Service and the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority.

As for fishing, TU led the way last year with “Vamos a Pescar,” during which some 120 urbanites learned to fish.

This year’s stats showed 110 attendees over the two May weekends, with a third under 18, and pretty evenly split overall between female and male.

After two Saturdays filled with the joy of passing our sport along to others — and the chance to practice patience while unspooling line from inside a reel (how does that happen?), I thought of these words from “A Place in Between”:

What is a park? Is it a place to escape the surrounding city? A place to breathe and contemplate? Or is it a gather place? A place to celebrate, laugh, play and compete? Perhaps it is a place to learn and grow? A place where our shared cultural and natural histories are celebrated? Is it a place of beauty? A place of pride designed by our finest architects? Or a place apart, left alone for nature to run its course?”

THE PREZ SEZ: Chapter President Ban Luu makes a point to the crowd about river ecology. (Jim Burns)

As you squint your eyes at the Bowtie, what is magically becomes what could be. Our collective imagination will be our compass, our guide, our pole star for the future.

See you on the river, Jim Burns

FoLAR notches 30th annual river cleanup

Thirty years of cleaning up our river, more than 70,000 volunteers and 500 tons of hauled out trash, make this April event that just ended yesterday the biggest urban waters clean up in the country, according to Friends of the LA River, creator of the event.

Over the years, oddities pulled out of its water include:

— a Volkswagen Beetle                                        — a phone booth

— one entire dumpster                                      — a portable toilet

And recently, as fisher folk know, lots of carp, bass, tilapia and an occasional former aquarium dweller.

As FoLAR’s Lewis MacAdams told me once, “When the steelhead return to the river, we’ll know our job is done.” The motto on his statute in the park named after him says it all.

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Poet and river visionary Lewis McAdams must be proud to see the next generation of river stewardship unfold. (Jim Burns)

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As Kesley Gallagher, right, put in on FB, “Yes! Your hard work is paying off and keep it up!” The health of the river has a long way to go but we can all help by getting involved.”

See you on the river, Jim Burns