Sometimes it Starts With a Facebook Page

Valley-Westside Rail
You Should Like This

Before The Event That Never Was, I wrote about the need for a rail line along the 405 corridor. I exchanged a few emails with Bart Reed of the Transit Coalition, who shared some insight as to how to get such an important piece of the transit puzzle off the ground (or rather, under.) He said they have been in talks with Los Angeles Council Districts 6 and 11, and that they would begin promoting through social media sites.

The Valley-Westside Rail project is now up on Facebook. You should like it.

I asked Bart how people could get more involved. He said that we need to start by garnering support from neighborhood councils. So, that’s where I began, with a few emails of my own:

This past weekend, the closure of the 405 and the media attention it received resulted in a ripple effect on the entire freeway system. Drivers got lucky. Businesses did not. This further illustrates the need for viable transportation alternatives. Specifically, a more comprehensive regional rail network.

As a contributing author for Blogging.LA, I wanted to get your input on a newly envisioned Metro rail line from the Valley to the Westside, by way of the 405 corridor.

Continue reading “Sometimes it Starts With a Facebook Page”

From the top of Topanga

Drama in the Valley

Topanga signageThis is the view of the San Fernando Valley from the top of Topanga Canyon a few minutes ago. I’ve driven Topanga Cyn hundreds of times and not once have I ever stopped at the overlook so today I thought I’d just take the time and take in the valley. I had no idea there were benches and a parking lot up there. There’s also badgers and mountain lions and a couple that was scurrying off into the brush for a frolic. I didn’t stick around for that though. It’s a very cool spot and I’m glad I finally took the time to stop. Apparently it’s also a good place to go get stoned according to Google.

Gavin Newsom to Visit the Valley

gavSan Francisco Mayor and California gubernatorial candidate Gavin Newsom will be visiting the San Fernando Valley next week for a Conversation about California’s Future.

Every day, it seems, we read about more bad news coming from Sacramento.

We read about cuts to schools, cuts to colleges and universities, cuts to health care, cuts to transportation projects, cuts and more cuts. But what we don’t see is any sustained attempt to cut out the politics and replace it with the kind of bold and honest leadership we need in Sacramento at this moment of crisis.

That’s why I am inviting you to join me on Wednesday, July 15 for a conversation about how we can all participate in the struggle to get California back on track.

Don’t you kind of wish this guy could be Governor and the Mayor of Los Angeles at the same time?

For RSVP info. and map to the Town Hall, go here.

Random Valley Front Yard of the Day: 3.15.09

Found in the east Valley (gets hella bigger with a click):
random valley front yard of the day 3.15.09

I particularly enjoy the hard horizontal line of the edge of the roof, occasionally broken as an awning extends forward; the vibrant blue of the stucco; how the grey of the roof matches the windows in shadow; and, of course, the grid of thoughtfully-placed lawn ornaments, almost as though a tiny little cemetery had been built into the front yard & each grave marked by a fake Canada goose or potted plant.

Behind the jump, a gem of a find…: Continue reading “Random Valley Front Yard of the Day: 3.15.09”

Woman Robbed at Gunpoint in Studio City

badgeThe Valley has seen its fair share of crime during the current recession. Car break-ins. Knock-knock bandits. And now, armed robbery with semi-automatic weapons.

Just last night, a woman was robbed at one of the busiest and most public intersections in the Valley, at Ventura Boulevard and Laurel Canyon. At 9:30.

Are you paying attention, Mr. Mayor? While you continue to play coy about your intentions to run for Governor, the city of Los Angeles is spiraling out of control. Do something, before citizens begin arming themselves for their own protection.

As for Erin Muir, he is her entire email account of what happened last night, posted with her permission:
Continue reading “Woman Robbed at Gunpoint in Studio City”

Random Valley Front Yard of the Day

In my ongoing series of Random Valley Front Yards, I’ve been trying to express to everyone who reads LA Metblogs the joy I find in looking at all the different houses in suburbia. While to many cruising the streets of the Sam Fernando Valley looking at house after house seems like one of the levels of Hell, I confess I am absolutely fascinated by the way in which tract homes, initially indistinguishable from one another, transform over time as homeowner after homeowner places their personal touch on their own little postage stamp of Los Angeles. rvfyotd022709

Because the age of the house plays a large role in how differentiated from its neighbors it becomes, I usually find the older sets of tract homes, many built between 1940 and 1960, to display the greatest variety. But sometimes the very design of the home — from “birth” — makes it unique.

On and around Hollywood Way in Burbank, a set of early tract homes built with rustic brick fireplaces and unusually slanted front windows has been partially erased by later developments. The exposed brick of the fireplaces serves a greater-than-utilitarian role in giving the house the appearance of a Hobbit-ish residence, and on almost all the homes an angled front window slants skyward slightly, creating what I’m sure is a nightmare for anyone trying to hang curtains on the inside…

Continue reading “Random Valley Front Yard of the Day”

Is Valley Crime Getting Worse?

photoIs the L.A. crime rate really at its lowest point in years? I’m just wondering, because there seems to be a rash of vandalism and burglaries in the 818.

  • Someone broke into my co-worker’s car in a gated parking garage in Sherman Oaks about 5 months ago.
  • Someone broke into my car in a gated parking garage in Studio City on December 23.
  • Someone broke into my other co-worker’s car in a gated parking garage in North Hollywood on January 11.
  • Then, there’s the well-mannered Knock Knock Bandits, who have the courtesy to knock on your door before relieving you of all your prized possessions. They’ve politely hit 40 homes since last Summer.

Are these incidents gang-related? Is the economy to blame? Is LAPD doing enough to protect citizens?

How safe is your neighborhood these days?

New Hands-Free Law Does Not Apply To The Valley

cellphone.jpgRemember that law that you couldn’t talk and drive unless you had a hands-free device? Went into effect way back in 2008? I just learned today that it was never adopted by the cities of the San Fernando Valley.

Here, you can talk and drive and talk and text and talk and turn and drive all you want. Especially if you’re pulling a converted U-Haul trailer full of landscaping equipment. Or if you’re a just bad driver that isn’t quite sure where the hell she’s going anyway. Turn left here? No, wait.. I think I turn right up there.. Or, maybe I’ll just continue weaving between two lanes until my destination finds me.

I consider myself blessed to have witnessed both of the aforementioned examples of the non-existent cell phone law within the span of one hour. It’s further proof that laws that apply to Los Angeles do not quite make it over the hill. Just like you Westsiders.

Photo From the L.A. Times of What Appears to Be a Valley Girl, Doing Valley Girl Things