Autumn 2015 Miscellany

Homeless  Encampment Cleanup

A few years ago, I joined fellow neighbors to hike into the hillside brush near our homes to clean up all the trash and debris from a homeless encampment.  Others that showed up had come from far outside our neighborhood. So when another cleanup call to action came from across town, I returned the favor and volunteered.   

This situation was ten times (or more) greater than the clean up in our area.   The Big Tujunga Canyon dry wash is wide, remote and extends for at least a few miles.  In a certain section near town, it's thick with bamboo, scrub oak and other uncontrolled chaparral growth. 

80 people were evicted by police so the clean up effort could begin the next day.  What was planned as a single weekend clean up had to be extended to 3 weekends. The amount of trash, garbage, pilfered items, drug paraphernalia was astounding.  We discovered an RV half buried by previous rainy seasons.  3 industrial sized dumpsters were filled in the first few hours.   While the dry wash was eventually clean up, there was never a plan for those evicted.  They waited for the heavy equipment to leave and they have since moved back.

My take-away is a realization of how far-reaching the homeless issue extends. I never imagined these camps to be so vast. Our local police captain described some horrible things that had gone on there.  This is a complex and multi-faceted problem. Government, local entities and residents like me will be challenged greatly on providing solutions.


Conan O'Brien Show: "Conan"

We gathered a foursome of Virginia, myself, Elizabeth & Chris and decided to check out "Conan", live and in person. The show is taped at the Warner Brothers lot, studio 15.  Which happens to be just down the block from Virginia's office. 

We all took a 1/2 day off from work to jump the hurdles required to get in.  Of course it all starts with tickets that you get on line, but there is check in, wristbands, hand stamps, report back to this exact spot later on (or Conan will poke you with a blunt stick),  a long  chaperoned group walk through the studio lot, taking your seats then waiting. 

The set is gorgeous although (typically) it seemed very small.  Guests included Daniel Radcliff (the Harry Potter guy).    But the band (Jimmy Vivino and the Basic Cable Band) were the best, they sounded fantastic. Lots more about Conan O'Brien here:



Since there were only four family members in town this year,  Virginia decided that hosting at our (little) house would be do-able and a nice change.

We had an intimate dinner, made our own apple pie from Mom's recipe and generally had a very pleasant visit with Tommy and Song Yuan.

Home made apple pie cooling on the patio. 





And Finally . . .

Why not wrap things up with a miscellaneous cat photo: 

"All appointments with The Queen have been cancelled. Apparently she has fallen asleep on her thrown."


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Comments (4) -


Nice shot, Ken. You're place looks fantastic. Saw the pictures from Elder too. Thanks for sharing and Happy Holidays from me and Virginia!

Lyz O'Keefe

I read an article in the LA Times about this clean up.  I'm sure the homeless appreciated the work you did so they could move back into the river bed.  No one seems to have the right answers yet for the homeless population but a lot of people are trying to figure it out.  Meanwhile I imagine the LAFD will have lots of water rescues during El Niño.


One element of any solution is money. Thus you have TCOLA (The City of Los Angles) gridlocked in moving forward, because no single representative want's to give up a chunk of their budget.  

The problem requires a big picture, long range plan which is more than the narrow minded of which are responsible - can handle.  Not surprising.  

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