media


Last Saturday was the training day scheduled for the freshly minted volunteers of the inaugural class of Glendale’s Trail Safety Patrol program. I was among 17 others who sat in the Glendale Police Department’s Community Room for eight hours to learn about procedures, first aid, protocols, and such.

A reporter from the Glendale News-Press, Brittany Levine, was also in attendance. By far the most engaging segment of the day involved Glendale Police Officer Larry Ballesteros who discussed the best ways to deal with the inevitable “difficult” people we will meet on the trails. He asked for examples and I offered a scenario involving a speeding mountain biker. The ensuing exchange between myself and Ballesteros made it into her article published yesterday introducing the program.

Not being a regular reader of that newspaper, but being a regular reader of Rodger Jacobs, my thanks go to him for finding it and mentioning the article on his blog.

The pilot program set to begin next month rises from the ashes of cutbacks first to the city’s rangers and then to its naturalists program that basically has left Glendale’s 5,000 acres of open space pretty much unmonitored this past couple years.  The Trail Safety Patrol is modeled after the successful Mountain Bike Unit (MBU) program, which I was a member of in 2004-2005. It was during that same period that Los Angeles City Councilman Tom LaBonge was considering changes to Griffith Park’s master plan. Much to the joy of equestrians and hikers he ultimately bowed to the pressure they induced and opted to keep the long-standing mountain biking trail ban in place, and in the summer of 2005 I wrote him lengthily asking that he consider implementing an “MBU-Lite” version in Griffith Park, after the jump.

Needless to say LaBonge gave it zero consideration.

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I wrote about why I would be canceling my subscription to the Los Angeles Times over at Blogging.la (read it here), but just in case there’s  doubt as to whether I walked the walk with my symbolic gesture, I recorded the conversation I had this morning with the customer rep.

Two things you can count on angelenos to bitch and moan about: rain and traffic.

Orb weaver doesn’t give a shit. Orb weaver’s bad ass. Rain? Feh. Traffic? Go ride a bike, says Orb weaver.

The President of the United States is in town and it’s all about the gridlock everyone gets stuck in. Boo. Hoo. I swear, Khaddafi could’ve been found living the low life in some City Hall sub-basement and the top story would be how much worse the traffic is in and out of the Civic Center because of the ensuing lockdown.

 

But let us not be as thankful the segment opened with the anchor reading: “So it wasn’t a great day to go for a walk unless you like walking in the rain.” For the record, the walk got sprinkled early on, but by the time we got to LaFayette Park the skies dried up and it was actually an exceptional day the rest of the way.

PS. Yeah, that’s me with friends Joni and Don that they cut away from as I flash a peace sign at the cameraman.

As you might remember, a year ago in October I had something of a miracle encounter on Ballona Creek with a stricken gull whose injury most certainly would have proven fatal had I not been able to come to its rescue beyond my wildest imaginings.

Well, around the anniversary of that amazing incident, I got an email from a woman last month in New Zealand who endured a similar encounter with a gull that ended up on her deck, its beak entwined shut in fishing line. Unfortunately the gull flapped into the sea and paddled away to its heartbreaking fate before she could capture it. In the aftermath she got on the internet to see if anyone else had experienced a similar situation and found my post.

Deciding to write about it for a local magazine there she wrote me to ask permission to use a photo of the bird to accompany her article, which I didn’t hesitate to grant. She sent me the link today to the digital version of the November issue of Ponsonby News, and sure enough there’s my picture of the gull at the top left of page 90 (click for a larger version).

Got an email out of the blue Thursday morning from KNX Radio reporter John Baird wanting to interview me about tomorrow’s CicLAvia. I said sure. So he came over and we stood on the front porch for a few minutes talking about the event.

Then I lucked into catching a repeat broadcast of it on my audio recorder tonight. Here I am — and yeeeeessss this wincing gringo now knows I’m pronouncing “CicLAvia” wrong. It’s Cee-cla-VEE-ah, not Cee-CLA-vee-ah. Hint: Think “Pancho Villa.”

This is probably an abbreviated secondary version of the initial feature.

Mispronunciation aside, I’m pleased to have been able to help spread the word, and I’m so looking forward to the event tomorrow.

As one of them perportedully perfeshunal editor types, I’m at risk of being on the receiving end of a wiiiiide variety of press releases — most of them unrelated to my publication.

Some of them are not only unrelated but flat-out kooky. Case in point, this one just landed in my inbox and I’m helpless to keep it to myself:

Subject: News Conf/L.A. Press Club/Oct 8/Chocolate Strawberries 4 U

(Los Angeles)  Center of The Golden One will hold a major news conference at the LA Press Club in Los Angeles on October 8,2010 at 11:00am.

At this special news conference on October 8, Kendra Gamble, great-great-granddaughter of one of the founders of Procter & Gamble will unveil”The Announcement,” which will lead up to an online and print media event on 10-10-10.

The event called “The Announcement” will feature a presentation by Ms. Gamble and Rachael Wilder, Press Secretary for Center of The Golden One.

“The Announcement” is potentially the most significant event in modern history and may ultimately affect the lives of millions of people throughout the world.  In preparing to make “The Announcement,” Ms. Gamble has already been heard by over a million people in her print and radio interview.

“There are many names for God.  There are many paths to God.  But there is only one God,” said Ms. Gamble, “For history’s sake and the sake of peopleeverywhere, come hear ‘The Announcement.'”

Refreshments will be served.

Where to begin LOLing:

  • The “Chocolate Strawberries 4 U” in the subject line
  • Center of the Golden One
  • Great-great granddaughter to a Procter & Gamble founder
  • The “LA Press Club in Los Angeles” redundancy
  • 10-10-10 tie-in
  • The total lack of imaginative flair in simply calling such a to-be-monumental event “The Announcement” instead of perhaps “The Really Big Announcement” or “The Miss This And Be Damned Announcement”
  • Bonus points for repeating “The Announcment” four times
  • Ms. Gamble heard by more than (say it emphatically, Austin Powers-style) ONE MIIIIIILLION people
  • Ms.Gamble’s urgent plea to the world for the sake of the world to come to the announcement of The Announcement… nevermind that it’s a “news conference,” which by design doesn’t require the whole world to be present
  • Ending with “Refreshments will be served.”

I’m almost tempted to go to this.

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