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Free Business Greening Program

All you businesses in SoMar can and should take advantage of this free opportunity. To download a pdf of this flyer click here.

Help Clean Up at LAPD Pacific Division

LAPD PACIFIC AREA STATION CLEAN UP DAY – Saturday, Aug 27, 9 am – noon.  Bring gloves and garden tools and help clean things up around the station in preparation of the annual Open House on September 10, 2011.

12312 Culver Boulevard at Centinela  Los Angeles, CA 90066  310-482-6334   9AM

Reminder for Vanishing Bees Screening

Free CPR Training – Saturday August 20th

In just one hour, L.A. area residents can learn to save a life by attending a free, Red Cross ” Citizen CPR” (hands-only CPR) training session on  Sat., Aug. 20.

Participants receive instruction in hands-only CPR, controlling external bleeding, and managing shock during an emergency.

The course is being offered at four times: 10:30 a.m., 12:00 p.m., 2:00 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. at LA84 Foundation/John C. Argue Swim Stadium (Expo Center), 3980 Bill Robertson Ln., Los Angeles, 90037.  (Please note – this is a non-certification class.)

There are no prerequisites, and there is no age minimum required to participate in this event. Registration is required by calling (800) 627-7000.

Free Green Living Workshops

These workshops are happening in Pacific Palisades in what I am told is a gorgeous setting. If you want to wait for the same series of workshops at a closer location they will start in October at the Santa Monica Bundy campus off Centinela. I will update you when closer to that date. To download a pdf of this flyer click here.

The Big Thirst by Charles Fishman

The Big Thirst : The Secret Life and Turbulent Future of Water by Charles Fishman, Free Press – 2011

As the Mar Vista Community Council liaison to the LADWP- Bureau of Sanitation Recycled Water Advisory Group (RWAG), I thought I knew a little about water sources, usage and reuse but The Big Thirst by Charles Fishman was a well written revelation. Told in a fact filled, but never boring series of stories, it made a lively, easy read for what can be a depressing subject.

It should be required reading for the Mayor, LADWP Commissioners, management and employees, City Council members and staff as well as city workers and citizens. Maybe it could be on the list for next years Big Read program in Los Angeles to inspire young and old Angelenos to rethink their relationship to water.

I made my wife read the book and I only do that when I think it is game changing fiction or non-fiction.  I reserved my copy online from the Los Angeles Public Library and picked it up at the Mar Vista branch.

The motto at RWAG is that all water is recycled. The Big Thirst explains the scientific basis for that fact in an entertaining and enlightening way.  No water has been created or lost since our planet was formed. It is constantly transformed but there is no more no less. Through harrowing examples from Australia, India, and various states and cities in the U.S. among them California, Atlanta, Galveston, and Las Vegas we get a sense of the scope of the worldwide problem in finding and keeping it in usable form.

Water has been plentiful all around the world since before the arrival of man but very local, thus creating the geographical shortages and the pollution that has corrupted the sources. Indoor plumbing has grown so ubiquitous in the developed world over the last 100 years that we might think of tap water as free but in reality the costs are large when you factor in the transportation of water with construction, labor, electricity, pumps, pipes and pre and post treatment and maintenance.

In reality we ignore water and waste huge amounts when you think that we leak, flush and irrigate with drinkable water. Greywater plumbing legislation everywhere would go a long way to alleviate part of this waste.

Mr. Fishman does cover the subject of bottled water and confirms the absurdity of that industry on quality, price, taste and an ecological basis and how we succumbed to the marketing geniuses that convinced millions of us that bottled is better than tap. If the book is a little light it is in providing step-by-step solutions but we already have those.

Now educated and warned by the Big Thirst, it is up to all of us to find the will to implement the change.

As the aging infrastructure has been neglected and starts to break down and the cost of imported water rises the LADWP will be asking for rate hikes and more recycling of sewer water. Getting over the yuck factor is a big hurdle and has scuttled projects in the past.  The Big Thirst and Charles Fishman lays out the arguments for recycled water even better then the LADWP and Bureau of Sanitation or the participants in the RWAG will ever be able to do.

LADWP should dip into their promotional toys budget and do a sponsored paperback printing of the Big Thirst and mail it to every customer and give away at public events.

The author concludes that the Golden Age of water is over and everything about water is about to change, how we use it, how we share it and how we think about it.

Local Crime Report – August 2011

From Senior Lead Officer Marcy Garcia:

I wanted to pass on some information about a robbery that occurred on Saturday August 06, 2011 at 2 in the morning on Venice & Marcasel.  Suspect 1 and suspect 2 approached the victim on foot.  Suspect 2 acted as a lookout. Suspect 1 punched the victim in the face and took his property.  Both suspects were described as male Hispanics between the ages of 17 & 18 years of age, approximately 5’3 to 5’4 in height. If any further information is revealed, I will make sure to pass this on.

From the LAPD Block Captains meeting Thursday Aug 11, 2011:

LAPD Pacific Division Captain Jon Peters and Detective Steven Katz dropped by to give us an update on crime throughout Pacific and to inform us about a current ROBBERY series in the PALMS area.

Businesses in the PALMS area have been hit by a series of robberies (Aug 6 – 10).  The robberies have occurred between 8:20pm and 9:45pm at Bob’s Market, Overland Market and Trader Joe’s (details on attached flyer).  The suspects are described as male, black, 18-25 years, wearing black short sleeved shirt with “SECURITY” on the back, ski mask and armed.  Possibly related vehicles described as 4 door Black Honda, maybe an Accord, and 4 door White car with sunroof.
Residential burglaries in Pacific are up for the year compared to last year,  In Venice (A11) and East Westchester (A67) east of the 405 freeway (RD 1469), recent arrests have reduced the occurrence of the burglaries for those areas.  The arrest of two burglary suspects (a man and woman) in Venice was made possible because of footage from security cameras being shared with the police.    Captain mentioned that they are seeing an increase in burglaries in Mar Vista (A25). We were reminded that many residential burglaries occur because folks are not locking their doors and windows.
Bicycle thefts are up (286 year to date).  Locking the bike is not working to prevent theft as the locks are cut.  The advice was to take your bike inside with you.  (not sure how that works in practice, but that was the message)