the sandbox's very own L.A. thread

Message Bookmarked
Bookmark Removed
A long, dry wait is nearly over for the Owens River
The DWP says water will resume flowing Dec. 6, a boon for wildlife and tourism.
By Louis Sahagun, Times Staff Writer
November 27, 2006

Nearly a century after Los Angeles' water demands reduced it to a parched wisp of a river, a 62-mile-stretch of the Lower Owens is about to make a comeback in one of the most ambitious river restoration efforts ever attempted.

The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, fulfilling a long-delayed commitment, plans to put water back into the river on Dec. 6 in hopes of transforming its puddles and ponds into a biological superhighway of trees, fish, waterfowl, songbirds, elk and deer.

With the push of a button, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa is to open the clamshell-shaped jaws of a specially constructed automated steel gate about 235 miles north of the city, replenishing the river with its first appreciable flows of water since 1913.

"Let the water flow, baby," said Villaraigosa. "This is an unprecedented commitment on the part of our city to improving the environment and signifies a rebirth and renewal of an important resource."

The Owens River, fed by Sierra runoff, flows for about 100 miles before reaching the spot where the Dec. 6 ceremony will take place.

Most river water will continue to stream into the intake of the Los Angeles Aqueduct; some will pour through the steel gate and into the river channel.

The redirected water will surge 62 miles south to new storage ponds at the north end of dry Owens Lake. There, four newly installed 600-horsepower pumps will lift it and send it into the aqueduct and on its way to Southern California.

The river project will not restore the lake. Because water is being returned to the aqueduct, the project is not expected to affect Los Angeles' water supply nor add additional costs to consumers.

Owens Valley residents say it can't happen soon enough.

Business leaders believe the revived river will attract more tourists to the struggling towns that dot the valley, which runs between the 14,000-foot-elevation walls of the Sierra Nevada and the White-Inyo Mountains.

"Inyo County is in bad shape financially," said Kathleen New, Lone Pine Chamber of Commerce president. "So we plan to get very creative with our marketing programs to maximize what happens on the Lower Owens from here on out.

"After all," she added, "where else can you see wild mink and yellow-billed cuckoos?"

Sports enthusiasts and environmentalists are already drafting guide maps for miles of hiking trails, bird-watching hot spots, bass-fishing tournaments and a kayaking experience they are calling the "the long glide" because the river's carefully controlled flows will be free of rapids and waterfalls.

The renewed river is to flow year-round and, depending on the width of the channel, range in depth from 2 to 4 feet. It generally will drift along at slightly less than 1 mph, about the speed of a leisurely stroll. It will pick up the pace in steeper, deeper narrows.

Today, the river channel exists as a series of seasonally flooded pastures and murky shallow ponds fed by springs and agricultural runoff. Most are choked with cattails. Scattered clumps of cottonwoods clinging to shoulders of land are all that remain of once robust stream-side forests.

To enrich the habitat, the DWP plans to match hydraulics with climate and vegetation cycles to create a permanent annual base flow of 40 cubic feet per second that will surge when trees are pumping out seeds.

With a goal of helping more water push through habitat areas, the DWP has already replaced or repaired small spill gates, reshaped old ditches that feed water to wetlands and removed obstructions, including beaver dams.

If all goes according to plan, within five years the river will be an oasis for wild things, featuring a rich warm-water habitat for fish, crawfish and frogs, edged by galleries of cottonwood, willow and birch trees up to 25 feet tall, according to DWP stream ecologist Brian Tillemans.

Standing on the intake's catwalk overlooking the start of the Lower Owens channel, Tillemans said, "The water released on Dec. 6 will take roughly 19 days to reach the northern end of dry Owens Lake.

"After that," he said, "it won't take too long before the river finds its own way again and we see a die-off of desert shrubs, such as salt brush and rabbit brush, which can't handle a high water table."

Officials have no plans to stock the river with fish. They say the bass, catfish and bluegill already in the ponds are expected to multiply once they are loose in the channel, and other animals will find their way to the river as a forest and meadows sprout up along its length.

Barring unforeseen glitches, Richard Cervantes, an Inyo County supervisor, is looking forward to excellent bass and catfish fishing.

At sunup on a recent frosty weekday morning, Cervantes, 71, strode to a favorite fishing hole beside the crumbling ruins of a train trestle that served the region back when the surrounding hills were crawling with prospectors.

Casting a streamer into a murky pond, he smiled and said, "All the ugly things going on in the world don't really matter much when you're out here fishing on the wild side of California.

"The benefits people are going to get from a healthy river running through these wide-open vistas will be good for the spirit and the soul," he said. "No matter where you go, you won't find any signs that say, 'Keep out.' "

Los Angeles' unquenchable thirst has been hard on the Owens Valley, where residents still grumble about how, in the early 1900s, the city used agents to pose as farmers and ranchers to buy land and water rights in the valley. The city then built dams, diversions and groundwater pumps that starved local springs and wetlands, turning the 110-square-mile Owens Lake into an acrid dust bowl.

The Los Angeles Aqueduct and the so-called Second Los Angeles Aqueduct, built here in 1970, deliver about 430 million gallons of water a day to the city.

The DWP has a long history of delays in correcting the environmental damage it has caused in the valley. In previous long legal battles in the Eastern Sierra, the agency had to give up significant amounts of water to stabilize water levels in Mono Lake and to re-water parts of Owens Lake to reduce dust storms.

Three weeks ago, the DWP announced a proposed agreement to spend $105 million on berms to reduce dust pollution from the Owens Lake bed.

The DWP contends that the restoration of the Lower Owens marks the start of a new era of cooperation between the city and valley communities. The agency is one of the region's largest employers and a resource for cattle ranchers, who lease most of the 300,000 acres DWP controls here for pasture.

Some Owens Valley residents, however, were cautious in their optimism about the project.

"All is not instantly rosy," said Benett Kessler, owner of KDAY-FM radio in Bishop and an investigative journalist who has been publicly critical of the DWP since 1975. She noted that the DWP missed several court-imposed deadlines to finish the river restoration project.

"The mayor wants us to believe that Los Angeles is the most environmentally sensitive city in the West," she said. "But how can you call it environmentally sensitive if it takes a court order for it to do anything positive?

"Considering the DWP's track record," she added, "I think we have to see them in action before we come to any conclusions."

jbr, Monday, 27 November 2006 23:57 (sixteen years ago) link

The last line says it all.

We're all still on for Saturday?

Ned Raggett (Ned), Tuesday, 28 November 2006 00:46 (sixteen years ago) link

fapfapfapxico, Tuesday, 28 November 2006 01:06 (sixteen years ago) link


Meantime, Beverly Hills goes, "Oh yeah that subway thing!"

Ned Raggett (Ned), Tuesday, 28 November 2006 01:08 (sixteen years ago) link

As far as I know, Saturday's still good. I have a bad feeling the site is on 24/7 now, so I may have a 12 hour shift instead of the usual 10, but I won't know for certain until tomorrow afternoon. Will advise asap.

jaq (jaq), Tuesday, 28 November 2006 01:22 (sixteen years ago) link

kirsten drunkst grazed my leg at a bar in silverlake this weekend

i also saw donovan leitch and his wife Kirsty Hume and baby. also a few lesser knowns like alexandra holden (friends) and Craig Bierko

jaxon (jaxon), Tuesday, 28 November 2006 01:36 (sixteen years ago) link

i'm still on.

jbr, Tuesday, 28 November 2006 01:38 (sixteen years ago) link

Refresh my (apparently non-existent) memory - what time, where, dress code, how much alcohol will be available?

MsLaura (IPOW), Tuesday, 28 November 2006 06:03 (sixteen years ago) link

i'd try and make it if it's cool. ditto above(?)

fauxhemian, Tuesday, 28 November 2006 08:22 (sixteen years ago) link

Hahaha! Ice in Seattle = today's flight cancelled :) I'll be down there tomorrow though.

jaq (jaq), Tuesday, 28 November 2006 20:13 (sixteen years ago) link


youn, Wednesday, 29 November 2006 01:46 (sixteen years ago) link

ok, the deal w/ saturday (12/2) is:

6:30-ish - until you puke
red lion

jbr, Wednesday, 29 November 2006 04:06 (sixteen years ago) link


fxhmn, Wednesday, 29 November 2006 04:07 (sixteen years ago) link

Sweet drunkery.

Youn, are you back in town?

Ned Raggett (Ned), Wednesday, 29 November 2006 04:08 (sixteen years ago) link

it's been freezing here these past few days! if this is winter in l.a., i want my money back.

jbr, Wednesday, 29 November 2006 04:09 (sixteen years ago) link

red lion is fun but Lowenbrau Keller is the craziest German restaurant in town, go there while it still exists

bliss (blass), Wednesday, 29 November 2006 04:17 (sixteen years ago) link

wait, who are you?

jbr, Wednesday, 29 November 2006 04:26 (sixteen years ago) link

guys, i no longer live in my car.

remy bean (bean), Wednesday, 29 November 2006 05:13 (sixteen years ago) link

also, don't sleep outside on venice beach.

remy bean (bean), Wednesday, 29 November 2006 05:13 (sixteen years ago) link

This is why you no longer live in your car, I assume.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Wednesday, 29 November 2006 05:13 (sixteen years ago) link

wow yikes

fhxmn, Wednesday, 29 November 2006 05:15 (sixteen years ago) link

Oh yay, I'm back in LA. And not on 12 hour days til next week, so will be able to get to the Saturday fap at a reasonable hour.

jaq (jaq), Thursday, 30 November 2006 00:25 (sixteen years ago) link

Ah yes? Hmm. Drop me a line about plans, then!

Ned Raggett (Ned), Thursday, 30 November 2006 00:47 (sixteen years ago) link

gear to thread – and drop me an email (i lost your address and have a question)

remy bean (bean), Thursday, 30 November 2006 03:51 (sixteen years ago) link

Actually, Remy, plz check yer e-mail as well.

Jaq's let me know, sadly, that she might not be able to make it to the FAP, but I'll be along for it of course.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Friday, 1 December 2006 04:11 (sixteen years ago) link

No word at the end of the day what the hell is up with my work schedule. I really don't want to go on 12 hour days, and I really really don't want to go on nights, and I really really really want to come to JBR's birthday fap.

jaq (jaq), Friday, 1 December 2006 04:37 (sixteen years ago) link

Call in mysteriously sick for a day. Perhaps.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Friday, 1 December 2006 04:51 (sixteen years ago) link

If only. I spent a considerable amount of time today willing the genset to throw one of its mysterious fits, but I won't know until tomorrow morning if it worked :)

jaq (jaq), Friday, 1 December 2006 04:59 (sixteen years ago) link

It worked. Ned, check yr email.

jaq (jaq), Saturday, 2 December 2006 02:49 (sixteen years ago) link


Quick note to everyone -- I'm feeling a bit under the weather at present and may not be able to make it. More later.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Saturday, 2 December 2006 03:03 (sixteen years ago) link

Call in mysteriously sick for a day.
-- Ned Raggett (ne...), Yesterday.

Quick note to everyone -- I'm feeling a bit under the weather at present and may not be able to make it. More later.
-- Ned Raggett (ne...), Today


I'm hors de combat with whatever's going around as well, but going to try to rally.

Name Not Found (rogermexico), Saturday, 2 December 2006 17:22 (sixteen years ago) link


remy bean (bean), Saturday, 2 December 2006 17:24 (sixteen years ago) link

if yer strong enuff to post, yer strong enuff to fap

bliss (blass), Saturday, 2 December 2006 17:26 (sixteen years ago) link


Things not to do on a Friday night -- be stuck in an emergency room for six hours.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Saturday, 2 December 2006 17:39 (sixteen years ago) link

you okay now?

remy bean (bean), Saturday, 2 December 2006 17:40 (sixteen years ago) link

JBR, chk yr email?

remy bean (bean), Sunday, 3 December 2006 01:15 (sixteen years ago) link

Will there be any good music shows between December 16 and December 29? I'm thinking of going to see the Blank Tapes in Costa Mesa on the 21st. They'll also play in NYC before that.

Youn (youn), Sunday, 3 December 2006 23:28 (sixteen years ago) link

happy bday again jbr, sry I missed the shindig.

you okay now?


tremendoid (tremendoid), Monday, 4 December 2006 00:46 (sixteen years ago) link

dudes i planned on going but i totally forgot, no good excuse really. ; (

deep space nine (deep space nine), Monday, 4 December 2006 00:48 (sixteen years ago) link

Ya punk. (And yes I am okay now.)

Ned Raggett (Ned), Monday, 4 December 2006 00:56 (sixteen years ago) link

I may have shown up for this one too but I also had a touch of a cold, plus I'm going to Norway again Monday and thought I should prepare/rest up. Happy birthday Jody.

nickn (nickn), Monday, 4 December 2006 04:04 (sixteen years ago) link

guys, I have the stomach flu :(

remy bean (bean), Monday, 4 December 2006 18:26 (sixteen years ago) link


jaxon (jaxon), Monday, 4 December 2006 19:04 (sixteen years ago) link

haha, barf.

remy bean (bean), Monday, 4 December 2006 19:16 (sixteen years ago) link

i'm sick too.

paresthesia hilton (get bent), Monday, 4 December 2006 20:03 (sixteen years ago) link

so much for that daily multivitamin!

paresthesia hilton (get bent), Monday, 4 December 2006 20:04 (sixteen years ago) link

Maybe I *shouldn't've* visited y'all on Saturday.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Monday, 4 December 2006 21:34 (sixteen years ago) link

I have the stomach flu

:-( Glad it's not a cabbage 'n beer allergy, though. Hope you're all feeling better soon.

jaq (jaq), Monday, 4 December 2006 22:47 (sixteen years ago) link


MAP (mattp), Tuesday, 5 December 2006 04:11 (sixteen years ago) link

was on the way when the cabbage/flu cabal staged a coup :(

remy bean (bean), Tuesday, 5 December 2006 04:13 (sixteen years ago) link

xpost Chevron was the chain that had the drive thrus, a Pasadena one has it but don't know if it's actually working.

tremendoid (tremendoid), Wednesday, 6 December 2006 20:10 (sixteen years ago) link

shells and mobils have drive throughs too, bro.

chaki (chaki), Wednesday, 6 December 2006 20:15 (sixteen years ago) link

Thanks for the tips and links, everyone. I didn't realize there were so many nearby (I live in Highland Park). I guess I always thought the ones attached to the gas stations weren't self-service.

Arthur (Arthur), Thursday, 7 December 2006 02:18 (fifteen years ago) link

i misunderstood i thought you meant the park n spray ones. yeah the drive thru ones are everywhere.

deep space nine (deep space nine), Thursday, 7 December 2006 02:20 (fifteen years ago) link

CARWASHING! Eat that water conservationists and public transportation advocates!

walterkranz (walterkranz), Thursday, 7 December 2006 02:22 (fifteen years ago) link

not all drive-through spots are self service though xpost

walterkranz (walterkranz), Thursday, 7 December 2006 02:23 (fifteen years ago) link

CARWASHING! Eat that water conservationists and public transportation advocates!

i'm both of these! but we used to go through the drive-thru car wash a lot when i was little and we lived near one, and it was awesome and fascinating.

paresthesia hilton (get bent), Thursday, 7 December 2006 05:22 (fifteen years ago) link

i don't think i've ever washed a car i've owned.

MAP (mattp), Thursday, 7 December 2006 06:10 (fifteen years ago) link

WANT: huell howser egg nog

paresthesia hilton (get bent), Thursday, 7 December 2006 15:51 (fifteen years ago) link


also, one of the djs' names looks oddly familiar...

naus (naus), Friday, 15 December 2006 00:40 (fifteen years ago) link

omg, SF's own hipster dj richie panic!

jaxon (jaxon), Friday, 15 December 2006 01:33 (fifteen years ago) link

Maybe Spencer needs the Lionel Ritchie sculpture for this???

nickn (nickn), Friday, 15 December 2006 05:27 (fifteen years ago) link

Is it ILX you're spinning for?

Ned Raggett (Ned), Friday, 15 December 2006 05:36 (fifteen years ago) link

I have nothing to do with that event. I just happened to see it posted on MySpace. BTW, did Spencer stop posting? I remember him having a good presence here when I first started lurking.

naus (naus), Friday, 15 December 2006 06:20 (fifteen years ago) link

I think it was actually an LA thread that drove him away was it not?

walterkranz (walterkranz), Friday, 15 December 2006 06:24 (fifteen years ago) link

he still posts occasionally (i haven't seen him on the sandbox tho)

j.m. goatse (get bent), Friday, 15 December 2006 06:37 (fifteen years ago) link

two months pass...
posting info about tomorrow here since regular ilx is down:

join us for lunch tomorrow, february 17, at taste of brazil in el sereno (on huntington drive near eastern avenue). transit riders can take the 78/79/378 or the 256. routes and times are on the mta website. we're aiming for a 2pm start time.

after lunch we're going to pasadena to check up on ilxor BLAM at his notorious mccormick & schmick's bartending shift, fabled in story and song. that'll be sometime around 4pm. mccormick & schmick is at 111 n. los robles, near union st. walkable from the memorial park gold line station.

children of mentalists (get bent), Saturday, 17 February 2007 06:04 (fifteen years ago) link

maybe some of you would be into this. i dj with another dude as acid girls.

firstworldman (firstworldman), Saturday, 17 February 2007 09:34 (fifteen years ago) link

I RSVPed, so there's a chance I might go. My GF went to the Blow Up LA party and said it was fun.

naus (naus), Sunday, 18 February 2007 00:57 (fifteen years ago) link

If the Acid Girls dudes were who I thought they were at Switch on Tuesday night (the first guys to go on, right?) then I would completely go to this, if only to hear whatever the fuck that ridiculous banger of a track that went right after that LCD Soundsystem song was again. (unfortunately I have plans for the night already - I should probably make more of an effort to see AG out in Costa Mesa or whatever far-flung location y'all call yr homebase anyway.)

James Cobo (trdn89), Sunday, 18 February 2007 01:32 (fifteen years ago) link

My only other option tonight is standing in line at The Echo for two hours as the inept door staff shoots the shit with each other instead of letting people into the club. Jerry from Devo is DJing. Or I guess I could stay in the IE (but no).

naus (naus), Sunday, 18 February 2007 02:25 (fifteen years ago) link

playing a party tonight in beachwood cyn for famous bass players bday open bar hit me up if any ilxors wana go!

chaki (chaki), Sunday, 18 February 2007 02:42 (fifteen years ago) link

that's an awesome poster! if you go lemme know what jerry plays.

stepfanie kramer (get bent), Sunday, 18 February 2007 04:39 (fifteen years ago) link

'blow up' was fun. I'm home already cuz I'm old. taste of brazil was good and blammage iwth jbr and ned and elvis is fun!

tremendoid (tremendoid), Sunday, 18 February 2007 09:42 (fifteen years ago) link

and nickn too sorry. roxor

tremendoid (tremendoid), Sunday, 18 February 2007 09:51 (fifteen years ago) link

I didn't go to either of those clubs because I suck and all my friends wanted me to go to some garage-punk festival at Mr. T's Bowl in Highland Park. Only caught two bands but one of them was The Flakes and they totally made the night worth it.

naus (naus), Sunday, 18 February 2007 16:32 (fifteen years ago) link

the chairs of perception (new incarnation of urinals/100 flowers) and the last ('84 edition) are playing early sunday night at safari sam's on sunset east of western. both are tight, lean, and hungry. i'll see everyone there!

dan (dan), Sunday, 18 February 2007 16:53 (fifteen years ago) link

I was going to hit BlowUp, but was too tired. Acid Girls are highly recommended!

Also, I tend to play a baltimore club remix of Lionel Richie (The Commodores) "Easy". I might have to do my own edit of "Hello".

Spencer Chow (spencermfi), Sunday, 18 February 2007 17:03 (fifteen years ago) link

naus did you see knights of the new crusade? they played at my school on friday and then were going to mr. t's bowl last night. they do fake christian rock, dress up in chain mail, wave a big sword? theyre awesome.

max (maxreax), Sunday, 18 February 2007 17:19 (fifteen years ago) link

That was one of the bands that I wanted to see but missed :(

naus (naus), Sunday, 18 February 2007 17:58 (fifteen years ago) link

yeah--i got to spend a little bit of time with them and theyre sweet doodz. good choons, too.

max (maxreax), Sunday, 18 February 2007 18:03 (fifteen years ago) link

hi spencer!

stepfanie kramer (get bent), Sunday, 18 February 2007 18:06 (fifteen years ago) link


Spencer Chow (spencermfi), Sunday, 18 February 2007 18:09 (fifteen years ago) link

Hello to all. Sleeping in this morning was a fine thing.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Sunday, 18 February 2007 18:31 (fifteen years ago) link

sundays! i drove to san diego yesterday and i forgot how much i hate long weekend traffic. 7 hours driving, total, plus 6 major accidents along the way.

max (maxreax), Sunday, 18 February 2007 18:45 (fifteen years ago) link

i'm sad i missed stuff. i did make it out that night for john wiese!!! and captain ahab, who were... wow. fun times. happy three-day weekend everyone!

mattp (mattp), Monday, 19 February 2007 06:07 (fifteen years ago) link

hehe why did i think coffee and whiskey was a good idea?

mattp (mattp), Monday, 19 February 2007 06:08 (fifteen years ago) link

I would totally like to see BLAM's document of last night's shift.


naus (naus), Monday, 19 February 2007 06:50 (fifteen years ago) link

BLAM mentioned to me in e-mail he is having login problems! :-(

Ned Raggett (Ned), Monday, 19 February 2007 08:15 (fifteen years ago) link

jbr - or any other urban planningites -- got any thoughts on this story? Reads like a dumb hit piece to this layman, just wondering if you have more info or dealings with the org in question and how effectual it actually is.

tremendoid (tremendoid), Tuesday, 20 February 2007 02:57 (fifteen years ago) link

i have no thoughts on this story. zu^^@ d066 + kotkin = la la la not listening.

stepfanie kramer (get bent), Tuesday, 20 February 2007 03:17 (fifteen years ago) link

The movie Los Angeles Plays Itself is showing at the Aero in Santa Monica Friday and Saturday. It's well worth seeing and doesn't play too often. And may never be released on DVD because I take it the clips were used largely without permission.

nickn (nickn), Friday, 23 February 2007 07:44 (fifteen years ago) link

six years pass...

My hotel is in a weird location and I don't think there's anything fun nearby but maybe that's ok because two hours of sleep last night plus jetlag = no motivation.

tehresa, Wednesday, 13 November 2013 21:24 (nine years ago) link

if you have questions shoot away

t. silaviver, Wednesday, 13 November 2013 23:23 (nine years ago) link

Maybe moot now bc i have a lot of hw tonight for work stuff tomorrow and then I'm stupid busy, but I'm by usc and it seems lame.

tehresa, Thursday, 14 November 2013 02:51 (nine years ago) link

yeah usc is pretty close to dtla but the immediate area is college campus and much else

t. silaviver, Thursday, 14 November 2013 03:45 (nine years ago) link

went walking in search of dinner and it was all fast food :(

tehresa, Thursday, 14 November 2013 04:43 (nine years ago) link

yeah there's an old school greasy spoon in that hood but i don't have specifics
let me know if you are looking for a downtown cocktail joint

t. silaviver, Thursday, 14 November 2013 06:20 (nine years ago) link

Maybe for Friday night if I can get out of any work obligations!

tehresa, Thursday, 14 November 2013 15:08 (nine years ago) link

once again we were in the same city but a couple of weeks apart : (

estela, Saturday, 16 November 2013 02:56 (nine years ago) link

You must be logged in to post. Please either login here, or if you are not registered, you may register here.