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Culver City beautification

Culver City is doing a streetscape median and traffic safety improvement on the way to Costco. This first section under construction is from Rosabell to Meier Street across from the 99 Cents store.

SOON TO BE BEAUTIFUL

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Street Tree bites the sidewalk

It looks like a truck or accident knocked over this street tree in front of 12306 Venice Boulevard  a week or so ago. It also seems that Bureau of Street Services has cut the stump and removed the tree. There are four missing street trees from Grand View to Centinela on this south side of Venice Blvd.

STREET TREE DOWNED

The question is how do “we” or the property owner get this stump and others in the area removed and a replacement tree? Business owners seem to always be concerned about trees blocking their signage or window displays. Certainly there is a city approved tree that would satisfy both the business and the public needs and add to the Million Trees LA count.

STUMP REMAINS

The non profit Venice Boulevard Streetscape Improvement Association has developed a list within a “Greening the Boulevard” master plan to replace and plant new trees and more from Lincoln Blvd. to Sawtelle Blvd. The success of the VBSIA work on the two pilot medians at Grand View and Venice are evidence of what the future may hold.

The first step may be for concerned citizens and property owners to call 311 and ask for the Urban Forestry Division of the Bureau of Street Services and ask what the procedure is. The requirements may include, as they do for homeowners,  a comittment from the property owner to water and maintain the tree for five years! Also urge city officials, business and property owners at each location to consider the benefits of a Greener Boulevard to attract cool customers to stay and shop in Downtown SoMar.

Alley Gates Going In

A group of over 50 SoMar homeowners worked diligently for about three years to install alley gates on a north – south alley between McLaughlin and EastBoulevard.  
This, like a lot of alleys, was a magnet for illegal dumping and a haven for petty crime. The old Los Angeles City program to financially aid neighbors in closing alleys has long past so these neighbors had to raise all the funds from themselves. City bureaucracy added an insurance requirement to the permit which complicated matters but was eventually removed with the help of Councilman Bill Rosendahl. The Councilman also helped with the permit fees.   Neighbor Jim Davidson, who spearheaded the closure effort, designed the gates from city Engineering Department specs.  The gates cost came in approximately half of what a general contractor might have charged. This is an example of citizens banding together to solve a problem instead of

Neighbors assist workers

expecting the government to do it. Working with the Councilman’s office to break the bureaucratic logjam created a successful outcome for a truly grass roots effort. The city is scheduled to clean the alley one more time before property owners take over maintenance. Installation is expected to be complete this week and a neighborhood party is planned to celebrate sometime soon.

Pet Waste Transmits Disease

The North Oval Neighborhood Association has sponsored a dog poop station.  As you see here in the photo it has a place to dispense plastic bags and a covered bin to place the waste. It is located on the outer wall of Meadowbrook Manor, a mental health facility, who also donated and maintains the station. A second waste unit is seeking a location on this popular route for dog walkers and joggers..

Tree Planting on Pacific Avenue

A successful tree planting took place on a Saturday morning a few weeks ago on Pacific Avenue Rosa Bautista of Tree People and neighbor Stacey Louriabetween Grand View Blvd. and Centinela Avenue. The project was headed up by local resident Stacey Louria with able assistance of the well respected Tree People non-profit organization and volunteers from the neighborhood and from the greater Westside area. Snacks, coffee and water was provided by local Mar Vista vendors.

Twelve Brisbane Box shade trees were planted under the supervision and help of several Tree people staff and volunteers.  This shade tree is an evergreen from Australia known to do well in Southern California because of its drought resistance. It blooms yearly with small white flowers and is known for its beauty and attraction for birds.

Stacey hopes to be able to add at least five more trees when permission and funds are available to cut out concrete near the Grand View end of this block of Pacific. Property owners and neighbors committed to water the trees in the early stages. The Tree people model is to do at least yearly volunteer tree care events to provide the trees a greater guarantee of survival and growth.

Verizon moving their FIOS Control Boxes Up

The Verizon subcontractor GSI- Gulbranson Services Inc.  has been raising their FIOS control boxes up on the utility poles in South Mar Vista and the entire city as a result of many complaints especially the disability lobby. Now instead of crashing  into them at shoulder height we will have to view them up higher.

UP IN THE AIR BUT STILL VISUAL BLIGHT

HIGHER HEIGHTS

Hopefully the grafitti kids won’t be able to reach them easily either but if they do it might be harder to get it removed.  More visual blight I do see is the new added  bracket underneath which looks like it is a slot for the lift equipment (actually used for a ladder support so it won’t tip when worker mounts the pole 3-17-10) that Verizon will now have to use to work on these controls.  Will Verizon raise rates to pay for the retrofit?  and it does cost more to use service people on lifts.  Maybe they are making enough money from FIOS to be able to absorb the greater expenses.

Big Sunday Projects in South Mar Vista May 2-3, 2009

Come on out and help your neighbors make the neighborhood more beautiful!

What is Big Sunday? Big Sunday started as a community service day. Today it has grown into a full weekend of community building. The idea behind Big Sunday is that no matter who you are, no matter what you do, everyone has some way they can help someone else. It is non-denominational and non-political. All we ask is for your time and talent.
Project #101 is at the Mar Vista Library to clean up trash and do some light landscaping. We will be meeting at the Mar Vista library 12006 Venice Blvd. Saturday, May 2 from 9:00 A.M. to 1:00 P.M.We are seeking volunteers who can work on this project part or all of the time. Donations of snacks and water are also appreciated. Please sign up.
The Library cleanup was a great success last year as part of Mayor’s Day of Service. Head Librarian, Carole Kealoha was very appreciative of the community turn out. We expect out of area Big Sunday volunteers to join us this year too.
Can’t make it on Saturday? No problem. Big Sunday Project #100 will be landscaping and cleaning up outside the Pacific Community Police Station, 12312 Culver Blvd. Sunday May 3, 2009 from 9:00 A.M. to 1:00 P.M. Last year we cleaned up, trimmed bushes and removed 50 bags of trash from the front of the Station. Captain Joseph Hiltner was very pleased with the results. Councilman Rosendahl’s office followed up with a truck full of mulch to guarantee that the weeds wouldn’t return.
This year we will continue the good work down Culver Blvd. to the corner at Centinela trimming and weeding. Many hands make light work. Big Sunday
Volunteers will be joining local community members to make Pacific Station a clean and safe place to visit. Come and be part of the largest citywide volunteer day in America.
Questions can be addressed to Pat Karasick, Team Captain 310-572-7929