Invasion of the Doo Dah Parade in East Pasadena Saturday

Square Dancing Roller Skaters

The Parade that is a party…the random nearly-annual Doo Dah Parade takes place in East Pasadena on Saturday April 30.  None of the usual stuffiness of the Rose Parade, this is a totally irreverent event that I just adore.  Its a lot silliness, a lot of politically incorrect and just plain fun to watch it stroll on by.

The party is set to start 11 am-ish.  It will start at the corner of  Vinedo and Colorado Blvds (MAP HERE).  The parade will march down one side of Colorado Blvd westerly to Altadena then turn around and go east on the other side to San Gabriel Blvd.  At San Gabriel the parade again turns around to go west back to Vinedo Ave.

There are multiple parties going on after the parade.  The big official party will be at the American Legion Hall at  179 N Vinedo St (2 Blocks north of the parade route).  All the info you could want on the parade and after party HERE on the official web site.

Do arrive early as the spectator space fills fast. Sorry, but there is limited public transpo into the parade site and traffic does get nasty around there.

4 Angelenos on a reality adventure

It starts with a call from Ford if you’re Matt Farah from Redondo Beach who runs the Los Angeles based “The Smoking Tire”. For others like Donna Ruko in the Focus Rally America it was answering a post in a trade paper promising a reality show based on a cross country road trip.  For those that answered the call and got chosen its been an adventure unlike anything they’ve ever done before.

Four Los Angelenos have been on that adventure for 3 weeks now, due to end sometime in the next couple of weeks (my personal guess is somewhere here in LA). They are Matt Farah (Redondo Beach) and Brittany Boddington (Northridge) making up Team Red. Team Yellow also representing LA is Donna Ruko (Los Angeles) and Bryn Dresher (West Hollywood).

All of them are dialed into the social networking scene to a degree. The most notable is Matt Farah of the red team who owns The Smoking Tire the blog and on twitter as @thesmokingtire. His rally partner Brittany Boddington set up a tumblr blog just before this race and is on twitter as @britboddington. Donna Ruko has her own site and can be followed on twitter at @donnaruko. The only one without a significant web presence is Bryn. Complete bios are at their Rally America pages for Team Red and Team Yellow.

As racers in the Rally America part of their challenges involves their followers. Team Red currently has nearly double the amount of followers of its nearest competitors (8049) and Team Yellow is mid pack (3790). Why is this important? Well as a team follower you can interact with them while they are driving and help them solve challenges. As an example, today the followers had to find objects starting with specific letters and upload them to a facebook page, with check in at the checkpoint based on your completion time. Sort of an interactive Amazing Race.

Their days are planned out by the production team, but they have no idea what is in store for them when they wake up every day. Their days are so busy with challenges, checkpoint and jump start that they have no time to do touristy stuff, and if they do have some down time they all have to agree on what they do and do it together. For Donna she says she has seen so much of this country this trip that she is looking to going back to many of the places and being a tourist and just check out what she missed.

When I talked with them this morning they had plenty of good things to say about this adventure, but they all missed LA to a degree. For Matt, Brittany and Bryn its the homey things like their own bed, their cats and friends here in the city. For Donna its hikes up behind the Hollywood sign that she misses the most. Regardless, their adventures will be over soon and they’ll be back to life in LA and its adventures.

When we travel we all miss something from home, these guys have been on the road 25 days already and told me what they missed about LA. What do you miss most about LA when you travel? Just curious.
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZWhKnfJnlco&NR=1[/youtube]
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w5hrT30-Pwc[/youtube]

Screen grab with the permission of Focus Rally America

Two area Blogger’s take exception to the presence and accuracy of Patch

Not that many months ago Patch, AOL’s news group came to LA with the promise of hyper local news reporting. I have to admit I had high hopes for them to be digging into local news that the bigger outlets don’t tackle as it just wouldn’t generate the ratings. Not all the bloggers held the same high hopes, some certainly have taken exception to the presence of “McBlog”.

Here in the SGV two bloggers in particular have focused on what Patch is doing in their communities. Sierra Madre Tattler and Monrovia City Watch believe that Patch reporters don’t report accurately or in depth.  Allegations are also made of censored comments and out right banning from comments.

On the first topic Sierra Madre Tattler is more adamant about the shortcomings of patch. John Crawford has numerous posts up on Tattler regarding the short comings of the legal understanding and accuracy of reporting. He has openly challenged the stories on their controversial water rate hikes. He and many believe that procedurally the city didn’t follow the law regarding hearing notices etc.,. When challenged Sierra Madre Patch ultimately stood behind the report even though Sierra Tattler believes they gave them all that was needed for a retraction. (As a side bar the Howard Jarvis folks are looking into the rate issue and may sue over how it was done).

He summed up Patch in a recent email “he reporting on Patch is lame at best, disinformation at worst. The Sierra Madre version of America’s 800 site McBlog has resorted to telling the worst kinds of lies in what is a rather pathetic attempt to curry favor with City Hall.” He also said in a blog post “Sierra Madre has long been beset by media that thinks people here are only interested in reading hollow press releases and brain numbing boosterism. Material coming from the same small handful of people, over and over again.”  More on his thoughts HERE.

My emails to Sierra Madre Patch editor John Stevens for comment on the allegations made by Sierra Madre were not responded to.

Here in Monrovia, Monrovia City Watch takes exception with the depth and accuracy as well, but is more concerned with censorship of comments. Recently there was an unfortunate loss of life in a fire and comments went off topic into the effectiveness and compensation of the local firefighters. In it Cyrus posted a link to a youtube video that was, according to Nathan McIntire of Monrovia Patch, flagged by 3 locals as “inappropriate”.

After that Cyrus made several additional comments regarding the “censor” of his comment. He has stated to me that those comments were all removed as well as those made by Nathan to remove the entire chain of comments so no one could read into what had transpired.

Nathan commented on Cyrus’ allegations in an email to me:

As far as the depth of our coverage, I think it speaks for itself. We cover Monrovia on a daily basis and are grateful to have been embraced by nearly everyone in the community, including Mr. Kemp (who was a very active user), before this unfortunate incident.

Regarding Mr. Kemp’s charge that he was “censored” on our site: the only comment of his that was ever removed–before our regional editor removed his recent threat to spam our site–was removed by other users. It was a link to a video deriding firefighters (in vulgar language) that was posted to a story about a local woman dying in a fire. Three users flagged the post as inappropriate, and it was automatically removed by our system.

Cyrus reponds that it is pure “bullshit”, that he was banned because he got into “Nathan’s face over the depth and accuracy of the fire reporting”. He agrees that the video had what some would consider vulgar language, but he believes that the link alone could have been deleted. If they felt his including his blog URL in the comment was spam they shouldn’t have included a spot to put ones URL in the comment in the first place. Banning him outright was just “Bullshit and hiding behind the TOS was equally so”.  (It appears that flagging results in automatic removal of comments by the Patch system based on Nathan’s comments).

Bloggers like Cyrus and John get it that comments aren’t always nice or for the thin skinned. Certainly life isn’t always nice-nice, but is the AOL TOS for Patch just a little rigid?  (I get it they are a big corporation and can set their own terms of service).  Anyone else running into similar with Patch?

(screen grab of the patch sign-in courtesy of Cyrus Kemp and it does get bigger with a click)

“Gimme the Gig” Free concert at the Whiskey Thursday evening

Eyeshine

2 local bands, Eyeshine and Jake Newtown will be among the final 7 bands in the “gimme the gig” competition at a concert to be held at the Whiskey on Thursday evening. The winner of the competition will have the chance to have 2 tracks the produced by Don Was.

Since I started following Gimme the Gig I’ve been watching the local bands climb up and make it to the finals. Once my favorite local band was knocked out of the competition I really started watchin’ for a band that struck a cord. Ultimately that would be Eyeshine, of course I will share the love and support the other local too.

Just in case you were wondering, I know I’ve blogged about Gimme the Gig before (I’ve lost the link) but this is a Ford event sponsored by them and Don Was to give new bands a shot at growing their fan base. If you want to vote for a favorite or get more info on the event check out the link HERE.

Don Was on the competition…
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sVzx6XREcK8[/youtube]
Eyeshine’s video from the voting
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=naGLQ07ttUA[/youtube]
Jake Newton’s video from the voting
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z6SNT6Eh8RY[/youtube]
Deets:Thursday, February 17, 2011, 7:00pm – VALET PARKING IS AVAILABLE, BEHIND THE WHISKY. PLEASE USE THE CLARK STREET ENTRANCE. Whisky A Go Go, 8901 Sunset Blvd. West Hollywood, CA, USA 90069 MAP HERE

Image courtesy of concert sponsor Ford Motor Company and used with their permission.

A little lovin’ for L.A.

L.A. has been the topic of more than a few songs over the years because there is so much to love. What’s your favorite love song to the city we live in? You need to click the headline to get to the Sinatra vid. Hat Tip to Hidden LA who found this great old video.
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=13x3pcDRBek[/youtube]

Happy Valentines Day to the city I love.

Do you know where your fault lies?

I do, and its not far from where I live.  40 years ago this week was the San Fernando Quake that caused extensive damage and some loss of life here in LA.  As a result of that quake legislation was pass requiring you to disclose earthquake faults near or on your property when you sold it.

The California Geological Survey has had the task forever of mapping those surface faults that put homes and humans at risk. Up until this week you had to either buy their CD or paper maps to get the information.  Now you can download the forms in PDF format, if only out of morbid curiosity, to find what faults are near your home.  The link to the CGS site HERE. Metro Los Angeles is covered in the maps.  Although the map isn’t labeled by street, it does drill down to street level when mapping out the known surface fault lines.

Of course knowing where the faults around you is half the battle.  The bigger one we seem to get lax with is quake preparedness…check out CA Shakeout for more information on how to prepare for quakes, especially big ones.

Ever wanna joy ride your own cop car?

Have you ever wanted to start your own taxi or livery business?  Ever just want to take cop car for a spin and couldn’t fearing the consequences?  Well you can if you buy one of these retired beauties from the CHP.  The potential uses are there, it just takes a little creative thinking.

They are sold out of Torrance with lists updated daily.  They even start as low as $2,500, arrest history not included.  For all your retired cruiser shopping needs its as easy as a quick phone call to 310-538-0469 for daily updated listings.

I’d probably skip the old Taurus sedans and go straight for the Crown Vic…been in a few over the years and can tell you they ride and handle much differently than the straight up civilian version.  Just remember caveat emptor as these cars though well maintained have had a lot of hard miles put on them.

Pics courtesy CHP Southern via twitter and used with their permission.

Where would you build an NFL statium?

So last week Farmers Insurance based in Simi Valley bought the naming rights to an NFL stadium to be built in downtown LA.  Pretty cool, right?  Well the folks out in the City of Industry haven’t given up on an NFL stadium out there and can one up the Downtown LA Folks, their preliminary draft Environmental Report has gotten approval.  The Pasadena Star News is running a poll and as of Sunday afternoon voting is 2 to1 in favor of City of Industry.

Of course its all contingent on getting a NFL team to plunk in a stadium and for that there are no commitments. Personally I think it would be pretty cool to be Downtown if only because it would be mass transit accessible for more folks as opposed to the transit starved C of I.

Where would you put a stadium?  Sound off in the comments and vote over at the Pasadena Star News HERE.

Found on Road Alive: 1975 Thunderbird

LA is the land that rust forgot.  Back in the day the air was bad enough to rot the rubber and vinyl off a car, but the rust never got to it and this 1975 ‘Bird illustrates it well.

I spotted this running example of the biggest T-bird ever built over this last weekend.  Powered by a huge 460 (7.5L) V8 and weighed in at over 5,000 lbs, gulping unleaded at a rate that was single digits at best and still sold wellish until the cost of gas started spiking to near a buck a gallon.  It was Fords biggest and best luxury offering in its time.  Subsequent generations of the T-bird shrunk in size with the last generation being the closest to the original 2 seater when the line was launched in 1955.

Pics by me with the ever present cell phone.

Rose Parade Parking, closures and Mass Transit options

Hat tip to the folks over at Total Traffic Los Angeles for twittering a link to their site outlining all the parking, road closures and Mass Transit options for the Rose Parade on Saturday morning.  Here in the SGV traffic will suck prior to and especially right after the parade, if you can take Mass Transit use that option.   Complete list from Total Traffic Los Angeles HERE.

The Metro Gold Line has several stops in Pasadena, none more than a couple of blocks from the parade route.  Metro Gold Line will have free fares for those travelling into Pasadena New Years Eve, along with extended hours according to the Pasadena Star News.  The Gold Line schedule HERE.

Sweet Charity:Blogging.LA’s Guide to Giving-its a wrap

Time to bring this series to an end.  To save you a lot of scrolling here’s a list of Charities, Non-profits, and other organizations that we here at Blogging. LA believe in enough to spend time helping them or donating directly to them.    Each post has ways that you can help them out if you so desire.

If you have one that you feel passionate about drop me a note at frazgo(at)mail(dot)com and I will post it for you.

Image by IronRodArt from flickr used via creative commons licence.

The never ending rain has filled Sawpit Basin

Full drainage basin on Sawpit Creek

I got the tip off from a friend a bit further up the hill from me that the Sawpit Drainage Basin here in Monrovia is full.  I popped over on my way back from a few early morning errands and not only was it full, it was actually starting to drain off the spillway.  This the first time in several years (2005?) that that has happened here.  Then again, we’ve had a relentless 6 days of rain, and with my informal measuring system not too unlike Will Campbells, we have measured close to 17″ in the Foothills since it all started.

LA has been under a series of watches and warnings since it all started.  Today is being forewarned as the worst of the storm since it all started.  Details of watches/warnings affecting us all via Accuweather are HERE.

At the rate the rain is falling, I may wait for a lull in the activity and check out the ducks and their ponds along the San Gabriel River later this morning if I can make the time to do so.

Sawpit Spillway and drainage area.

San Gabriel River runs very full this week.

San Gabriel River looking south from Encanto Park bridge.

So much for JPL’s prediction earlier this fall for a La Nina winter punctuated with colder and dryer than usual conditions.  The rain that started on Friday has already dumped nearly 9 inches of rain on my corner of LA in the Foothills and looks to be worse. The Folks at the National Weather Service via the good folks at Accuweather has issued a flash flood watch until Thursday morning.  Its been reported there that we can expect more rain this week than we have received any other week in recent years.  How’s that for a La Nina?

In the brief lull from the rain this morning I took a walk along the San Gabriel River near Duarte.  The river is the highest its been in years and appears to be cutting a new channel not unlike what it did after the heavy rains in ’05.  The only critters out this morning were families of ducks in two large ponds that have formed in the river.

Where are your favorite places to enjoy the rain here in the LA area?  What’s your favorite rainy day song?  Enjoy my favorite after the last image.

Looking north from the bridge towards Azusa and Fish Canyons.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TzFnYcIqj6I[/youtube]