The county health department has provided a list of cooling centers at local libraries and community facilities to help residents cope with rising temperatures during significant heat events, like the one we've sweltered through for the past few days. Residents are asked to call in advance if they plan to visit one of the 76 designated cooling centers in the county. The Department of Public Health advises people to take precautions if they plan to be outdoors in the heat: Avoid the sun from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Reduce physical activity. Drink plenty of fluids and avoid alcohol. Use sunscreen, at least SPF 15, if you plan to be in the sun. Wear light-colored, lightweight clothing when outdoors. Set air conditioners to 75 to 80 degrees. If you do not have air conditioning, take a cool shower twice a a day and visit public facilities that are air conditioned. Dial 211 for the Los Angeles County Info Line to learn more about nearby cooling center locations. You can view a complete list of cooling centers by city and hours of operation, Click here
For the first time in decades, you can legally kayak down the Los Angeles River as part of a pilot-program going on now. From now until September 25th, you can join a group of kayakers for a 1.5-mile ride down the river from Balboa Boulevard in Encino to the Sepulveda Dam. The pilot-program is offered on weekends through September 25th. The cost is $50 per person. It's free on fridays for youth programs along the river in the San Fernando Valley. The program could be expanded to include a lush, 8-mile stretch north of downtown Los Angeles, known as the Glendale Narrows and the river estuary at Long Beach. The current picked up last year when the EPA officially listed the river as "navigable", and therefore under the protections of the Federal Clean Water Act. In July, the Army Corps of Engineers issued the license allowing the Los Angeles Conservation Corps to operate the pilot-program along the stretch between Balboa Boulevard in Encino and the Sepulveda Dam in Sherman Oaks.
The Los Angeles City Council voted 9-2 on August 12th to seek proposals from potential partners to operate the Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens. Councilman LaBonge says the City has to plan for the future to keep the zoo open and to maintain its mission of promoting education and conservation. "We're going to go out there and see who in the world could be a partner with the City of Los Angeles to operate out zoo, to expand our zoo, to continue the great care for the animals," said Councilman LaBonge, whose district includes the zoo. "We'll have an opportunity in seven or eight months to see if we want to reject this or not. We'll see who's out there." The city would save about $20-million dollars over five years under the partnership proposal, according to a study by city-hired consultant KPMG. Potential partners will have 90 to 120 days to submit their proposals, which the city will begin to weigh early next year.
A non-binding agreement with developer Anschutz Entertainment Group to build a $1.2 billion NFL stadium, a new city convention hall and two parking structures on municipal land downtown easily won the backing of the Los Angeles City Council. The stadium project includes the demolition and replacement of the 40-year-old West Hall of the Los Angeles Convention Center. AEG hopes to have the project adjacent to L.A. Live and Staples Center completed by the start of the 2016 football season.
The vote clears the way for AEG to begin arranging financing to pay for the stadium and to conclude an ongoing environmental impact report, which the developer hopes to have approved by May 2012. It also allows AEG to advance negotiations with the NFL to bring a football team or two to Los Angeles. An announcement is unlikely until after the Super Bowl in early 2012. The approval marks a shift from a conversation about how the project will be funded to a debate over the finer points of the proposal, which could mean more or less cost to taxpayers. Those include how the city will mitigate traffic and whether or not AEG will share advertising revenue from an estimated 50,000 square feet of new billboard space. Credit City News Service for this report
Annette Cardona (aka Annette Charles) actress, teacher and mentor to many young students, passed away peacefully, surrounded by loved ones, right before 6:00 p.m. on Wednesday, August 3, 2011 at USC University Hospital. She was 63 years old, and of Mexican, Italian, and Native Indian descent. The cause was non-smokers lung cancer. She was best known for her role as Cha Cha di Gregorio in Grease the Film, a part that was specifically created for her. She had an amazing life and career both on and off the screen.
Sightings and brushes with Coyotes seem to have risen this summer in Los Angeles. We've been getting reports of more coyotes who are not afraid of humans. It's important to know the do's and don'ts of dealing with these wild animals, who are fast, smart and opportunistic.
Tips: (applies to many wildlife issues) Take pet food in at night. Never leave food outside for strays or attempt to feed wildlife. Pick up fallen fruit, remove ripened fruit from trees. Clear dense vegetation; create a 1 foot clearance of space beneath hedges and bushes to reduce rodent hiding places. Make sure crawl space screens are secured and well maintained. (use 16 gauge welded wire mesh sandwiched between 2 frames and use screws not staples) Trim tree branches away from the roof (fire department requires a 5 foot vertical clearance from the eaves.) Do not put out trash until morning of pick-up and secure trash can lids if need be. Cap chimneys Keep barbecue grills clean and properly stored. Avoid composting human food items in an open compost pile. Avoid having brush and wood piles which attract rodents that in turn attracts the larger wildlife. Neighbors that feed squirrels and birds may have wayward seed that also attract larger wild animals so you may wish to encourage them to use feeders that are less likely to drop seed, etc. It is a good idea to block access to a roof by tree banding nearby trees and cutting away branches touching the roof, Baffling/Tree banding can be done by placing a piece of sheet metal or galvanized aluminum around the tree trunk that attaches to itself at starting at about 4 feet height off the ground and the piece itself should be about 2 feet wide, This will allow the animal to drop down off the tree but block access back up. In order for this to work tree branches from other trees must not touch other trees.
The City of Los Angeles Department of Animal Services is not providing traps or issuing trapping permits for the public to use their own, rented or borrowed traps to remove nuisance wildlife. The trapping or relocation of wildlife by the public is prohibited. The Department of Animal Services suggests trying property alteration, deterrents & exclusionary methods. The option exists for L.A. City residents to contract with a Nuisance or Pest Control company that has permits to trap and remove some types of mammals. Wildlife trapped by these agencies would be released on site or immediately euthanized. California State law prohibits the relocation of predatory mammals. (CCR Title 14 sec. 465.5)
So residents can in fact contract with trappers who have permits, but you many people call back later on again and say they spent a lot of money trapping and the problem returned. Once people switch to exclusion, scare tactics and property alteration instead, the wildlife issues in most cases are reduced and what neighbors are doing can be a factor as well. This department prior to 1994 did in fact trap wildlife and it never really solved anyone's problem and the same people called year after year. Trapping laws changed, the direction of the department changed and the goal has become "No Kill" on animals. Truly we have found that people who made the adjustments have done better with their wildlife issues. It is though a community effort and we need everyone to be on board. Should your community wish to go with a trapping agency there are many and not all have the experience that is successful so calling and comparing companies is best.
It is encouraged to put together a wildlife scare kit which should be kept by the door for larger predatory animals. An 18 or 20 gallon container would suffice to hold an air horn, police whistle, baseballs or golf balls to throw, an umbrella to open and waive around, disposable camera w/flash (the flash scares them in many cases) When it comes to your pets make sure you check around your yard for anything that may be harmful and have something handy from the items I mentioned when out walking. Just as you would be cautious on a walk for human predators, look back often while on a walk, and Carry that umbrella and a whistle. In almost all of these cases when incidents happen, there will be no official from our agency or the police nearby so each person should be prepared for any given situation. see the flyer pictured above