You are browsing the archive for Utilities.

Please Don’t Take My Mailbox Away

12:17 pm in News, Utilities by Will Campbell

Too late.

Since leaving my outgoing mail by our house’s mailbox isn’t really an option, I’ve been in the old-school habit going on the seven years I’ve lived here in Silver Lake of walking down to the mailbox at the corner of Sunset Boulevard and Parkman.

I did just that this morning. Only this time I did a WTF having found not the familiar blue USPS receptacle, but instead just the air and space that the mailbox now no longer occupies, as pictured at right.

It was a small consolation that I timed my trip just right so as to be able to hand off my mail to the postman making his delivers there, and he said this wasn’t the only box in the area to get the hook. With a smile and a shrug he said the closest box still standing (for now) was nine blocks east at Alvarado.

Sigh.

Any boxes missing in your neck of the hoods?

  • Print
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • email
  • Tumblr

What’s a California Voter to Do?

7:35 pm in Politics, Social issues, Utilities by Matt Mason

In the run-up to the June 8 California Statewide Direct Primary Election, I have been getting bombarded with printed material in the mail, probably three pieces per day on average.  And it’s damned confusing.  A bunch of candidates vying for the same position (such as Assembly Member), often with very similar-sounding positions.  Tit-for-tat attack pieces sent on alternate days by candidates and the special interest groups who oppose them.  What’s a voter to do?

For starters, do a little research.  Check out the websites of the candidates for their stated positions and their records.  See who endorses and opposes them.  Enlighten us here through your comments.  Check out your Voter Guides if you have been sent them.  Then read the fine print on some of those special interest group pieces.  Often, the groups with the loftiest-sounding names (Citizens For a Fair Economy, Moms For Health Care Justice, Girl Scouts for Puppies) are primarily backed by big corporations which may not have your interests in mind.

Read the rest of this entry →

  • Print
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • email
  • Tumblr

Photographic History Of LA Street Lamps

8:00 am in History, Twitter, Utilities, Vintage by Julia Frey

Dual Pendant Style

While looking for images of Los Angeles to use for a different post, I ran across The George A. Eslinger Street Lighting Photo Gallery on the City of LA website. Have you ever looked up to see what kind of art was lighting your evening commute? You might now.

On the site you can see images of some of the first street lights used in LA and combo pics of original poles and lights and their updated, more modern replacements. There other street lighting department images, things like crews replacing poles from the early 1900′s and today, fleets of repair trucks then and now, light poles used on bridges and historic night views of LA.

From the main gallery page:

This gallery is a tribute  to George A. Eslinger, former Director of the Bureau of Street Lighting.  Through his dedication, leadership and vision he was responsible for spearheading the implementation of  information technology solutions to make significant operational improvements in the City of Los Angeles Bureau of Street Lighting.

The George A. Eslinger Street Lighting Photo Gallery

Click on through to see more images from the site.

Read the rest of this entry →

  • Print
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • email
  • Tumblr

Electrical Box Art: GPS Edition

10:40 am in Art, East Side, Utilities by Kevin Ott

As some of you may already know, I’ve been cataloging the painted electrical boxes in my neighborhood. Actually I’m not even sure they’re electrical boxes, or what they’re used for exactly. All I know is that there’s occasionally a guy with a toolbox and a pocket protector standing in front of one with his van parked behind him, peering inside at what appears to be the control panel of the Millennium Falcon.

Today’s example resides at Alexandria Avenue just north of the intersection with Hollywood Boulevard. And you can tell, because there’s a little map on one side letting you know exactly where you are. It’s like the directory at the mall, only at the outdoor border of East Hollywood and Greater Griffith Park, with nary an Orange Julius or Hot Topic in sight.

The little person is the "you are here" stamp. I think I saw that dude's cousin on a men's room door.

These are painted by the dedicated community artists at LA Commons, by the way, which I failed to mention last time. More pics after the jump.

Read the rest of this entry →

  • Print
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • email
  • Tumblr

5 Water Main Breaks in a Week

2:11 pm in Utilities by Jason Burns

sinkDid you know that another water main broke today in Los Angeles? That makes five.

UPDATE (2:46PM) Make that six. In less than a week.

But, don’t worry. The City Council plans to “more closely monitor upgrades to the city’s aging, leaky water system.”

Oh. Thanks.

In the meantime, may I recommend some afternoon shopping?

Photo from KTLA

  • Print
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • email
  • Tumblr

Burbank Residents: Green Your Home and Get Free Stuff

1:42 pm in Announcements, environment, The Valley, Utilities by missrftc

Burbank Water and Power is conducting a beta test of a new residential energy and water savings program, the “Green Home House Call.” They need volunteers, preferably from single-family homes with automatic sprinklers, to help evaluate the program. As part of the test, you will receive free weatherization services, water efficient product installation, energy efficient lightbulbs and more.

If you would like to volunteer to be in the beta test group, please call 1.866.365.7358 to set up an appointment.

bur

  • Print
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • email
  • Tumblr

Planned SCE Power Outage — Lies, or Simply Cluelessness?

7:29 pm in Rants, Technology, Utilities, West Side by Matt Mason

IMG_1655As Jerry Seinfeld would say, “who are the wizards who thought this one up?”  Yesterday, notices were posted at my apartment complex indicating that, this Saturday night/Sunday morning starting at midnight, Southern California Edison plans to shut off power in my neighborhood to perform “routine maintenance.”  The posted message on my building owner’s letterhead, which may or may not have been from SCE talking points, states that “in an effort to minimize inconvenience, the testing will be done during night time hours, when the majority of our residents will be sleeping.”

Oh really?  Asleep on a Saturday night at midnight?  I can (and did) assure my building complex’s manager that the majority of us certainly will not be asleep.  Rather, many of us will be engaged in a variety of activities (use your imagination) for which we will want to use our stereos, televisions, lights, or other electrical appliances.  Read the rest of this entry →

  • Print
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • email
  • Tumblr

by Burns!

Cartoon Dump!

3:00 pm in Downtown, Driving, Entertainment, Hollywood, Theatre/Stage, Utilities by Burns!

Photo by gaelenh used under Creative Commons.

Photo by gaelenh used under Creative Commons.

I’ve said it before, and it continues to be true: One of the best parts of living in L.A. is that every night of the week there is something to do that will be fun, interesting, and perhaps more than a little unusual. Case in point, last night’s performance of “Cartoon Dump!” at the Steve Allen Theater in Hollywood.

Cartoon Dump! is a parody of a children’s television variety show which centers around some of the worst cartoons ever aired. The show was created by Frank Conniff (formerly of Mystery Science Theater 3000) and animation historian Jerry Beck. In addition to the really bad cartoons, there are songs, comedy, puppets, and (at least last night) a juggler.

Follow me past the jump for more about Cartoon Dump! Read the rest of this entry →

  • Print
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • email
  • Tumblr

Be a water-miser or pay more

4:28 pm in Utilities by thunderboltfan

It’s official. According to an email from Councilmember Tom LaBonge’s office that just appeared in my inbox:

The City Council voted 9-2 today to approve a tiered water rate

system in response to the state-wide drought that’s now into its third

year. The plan, which requires heavy-water-users to pay more than

water-misers, takes effect on June 1.

Los Angeles residents who use more than the allotted base amount of water will be charged 44% more for the amount they use over that level. Two months ago, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa called for drought-year pricing that decreases by 15% the amount of water that ratepayers can buy monthly at the lowest price tier.

So in effect, the less you use the less you pay.

This all comes on the heals of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California reducing water deliveries by 10% to the region.

  • Print
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • email
  • Tumblr

Present from LADWP

9:45 pm in environment, Utilities by jozjozjoz

Present from LADWPWell it’s not so much a present because I’m pretty sure I paid for it already via my past electrical/water bills. Thanks, LADWP!

Even so, it was pretty cool to open the front door and find a little green giftbag sitting there.

The “LADWP giftbag” included:

Did you get one?

  • Print
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • email
  • Tumblr

Reduce Your Water Use By June 1st or Pay Higher Rates to LA DWP

10:29 am in Announcements, environment, Utilities by Jodi Kurland

Dry creek bed in O'Melveny Park, Granada Hills by Jodi

Dry creek bed in O'Melveny Park, Granada Hills by Jodi 02/01/09

For the third consecutive year, California is experiencing a drought, which led to the Governor to declare a state of emergency on February 27th. The proclamation contains several directives for reducing water consumption. The deficient water supply is taking a devastating toll on our agriculture industry and increasing the risk of another significantly destructive wildfire season.

The city of Los Angeles already has a conservation ordinance in place, which includes such rules as no watering the lawn between 9am and 4pm and no automatic service of water to restaurant patrons. To comply with the new state government regulations, the L.A. DWP is implementing “shortage  year water rates,” beginning June 1, 2009.

DWP charges are based on allocations for the amount of water households and businesses use. Every customer’s allotment is being cut by 15%. If you conserve and stay with reduced limit, you might see a decrease in your bill. If you exceed the limit, a premium price is charged for the overage. The L.A. DWP offers more information on rates and  tips for saving water on their website.

Share in the comments any actions you are currently taking to save water. Aside from taking shorter showers, I’m pretty sure I’ll have to do a lot more to see a significant difference in my bill.

  • Print
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • email
  • Tumblr

LA on your iPhone

10:24 pm in Maps, Utilities by Sean Bonner

Have you ever tried searching for Los Angeles in the iTunes App Store?

laapps

I did it sort of by accident and was shocked to see so many options. I picked up LA Traffic Cam because the idea of having all those traffic cams in LA streaming right to my phone just seemed kind of fun. The reality is a bit less glamorous – the video is very choppy and 4/5 cams are offline every time I look. There’s also no shortage of Map apps, but I grabbed Mappity Los Angeles because it seemed to be the most comprehensive. Most people I know carry around Thomas Guides in their car, so having that level of map available regardless of data connection seemed like it might come in handy. There’s a lot of travel guides too, which not being someone who is visiting LA but rather one who has lived here for many many many years are all but useless to me. Also some stuff for sportsfans. Of course these are just the apps with “Los Angeles” in their name, anyone found anything less obvious that comes in handy around LA?

  • Print
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • email
  • Tumblr

LA Times Tries to Define Los Angeles

10:48 am in Maps, Utilities by Queequeg

la-times-mapping-project

When  Jenny Beorkrem set out to make this awesome typographical map of Los Angeles, she was well aware of the politics, insanely intense neighborhood pride, and the death war that is launched when you talk to the wrong person at the wrong bar and refer to Silver Lake as the “East Side.”  So, ideally, the LA Times is taking note of all this as it culls together its “Mapping LA” neighborhood project.

Designed to  be “a tool that will allow reporters and editors to be consistent when describing neighborhoods in news stories in a city that sometimes seems to change the names like most people change socks,” the Times says it’s intent on drilling down, once and for all, who lives where.  It’s a pretty nifty interactive map – probably one of the better things the Times has done lately.

Some quick thoughts on this after the jump.

Read the rest of this entry →

  • Print
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • email
  • Tumblr

Vote on Solar Power in Los Angeles this March 3

8:42 pm in environment, LA, Politics, Utilities by Matt Mason

On March 3, Los Angeles voters will be able to vote on a ballot measure that could significantly increase L.A.’s use of solar power.  So-called Measure B, the “Green Energy and Good Jobs for Los Angeles Program” (you want some crackers with that cheese?) would require the Department of Water and Power to “install, operate, maintain and repair and/or oversee the installation, operation, maintenance and repair of solar power installations within the City and on City-owned airports to meet specified goals regarding the production of electric generation ….”  The full text of Measure B is here.

Read the rest of this entry →

  • Print
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • email
  • Tumblr

LA City Budget Survey: Share your voice!

1:32 pm in Biking in LA, Crime, Driving, Education, LA, Law Enforcement, Mass Transit, Politics, SoCal, Social issues, Transportation, Utilities by lucindamichele

I’m on a mailing list for NorthEastLA (NELA) community issues and this came across my desk: the City of Los Angeles Budget Survey. I just completed the survey myself. I think it’s a good exercise and brings up a lot of interesting questions. Why no survey questions about subway funding or routes? And why do they even have to ask about what they call “needs based budgeting,” which would divert funding to areas that appear to need them the most? Is the city actually NOT “Repaving streets based on condition of the streets and the usage of the particular street?” or NOT “Focusing gang reduction services in communities where gang crime occurs most”…? Why do they even have to ask me if this is a good idea?! It made me think of a recent report I heard on local newsradio, where a representative from the Westside was bitching about higher-crime communities diverting his crime-prevention forces. “I know we don’t have as much crime as those areas,” he admitted, then went on to whine about the whole thing.

Well, ’nuff said. Go voice your own opinion here. The letter that came with the link is behind the jump.

Info on the current budget & process is here; the fiscal year 2008/09 budget itself is here. Read the rest of this entry →

  • Print
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • email
  • Tumblr