Wednesday, January 31, 2007

2006 City Nerd Award Winners

After a month and a half process, the 2006 City Nerd Awards are ready to be announced. You will recall that there were ten categories for which nominations were accepted. This was done to broaden the pool so that not just the LA City Nerd office was making nominations in their limited (albeit a large limit) scope.

There are four criteria that the winners were nominated and selected upon so that it wasn't just a popularity contest:

-passion for Los Angeles
-knowledge of Los Angeles
-promotion of Los Angeles
-actual positive contributions to Los Angeles

Then, there was a poll to gauge public opinion. Knowing the potential pitfalls of online polling, this facet of the awards was to give public input with the caveat that this wasn't a "people's choice award." The City Nerd Awards take into consideration the opinions of the masses, but then they also employ the opinions of anonymous experts.

And that leads us to the results...

So, the 2006 City Nerd Awards are given with honor to the follow:

2006 City Nerd Blog
Though there are so many blogs out there that have an LA theme (many listed on our menu to the right), there are few that have the passion for the City to do what needs to be done to focus on the City and promote it. Metroblogging LA, or Blogging LA, does just that and is the 2006 City Nerd Blog awardee. I think what proved their passion for blogging in LA wasn't that they stayed focused on LA through and through, but that they really went for it. Proof: the 25 greatest fictional characters of LA. They speak of LA in a way that promotes it - just look at their feature that keeps the world aware of LA's art scene. And as a group blog, they have varied civic-nerdy posts. Heck, they even have "celebrity" postings from Wil Wheaton. How much more nerdy and LA can you get?

2006 City Nerd Blogger
This award is bestowed upon the blogger most likely to be a City Nerd in my absence. I think the proof of this comes in the LA-centric posts that appear almost weekly at his Downtown focused blog. From maps to histories to digging into the important, very local issues that effect downtown, Eric Richardson has a true City Nerd-esque way about his blogging. He promotes parts of the City, and has worked to improve his community as a blogger (and a DLANC board member). He has shown himself to be a true Downtown City Nerd Blogger this year. (Now if he'd only link to this site!)

2006 City Nerd Elected Official
This year's City Nerd Elected Official awardee proved himself early on as a City Nerd Award winner for 2006. Though this category was designed for the likes of Tom LaBonge and his infinite knowledge, passion, and action on behalf of the City, this year's Elected Official Award goes to City Council President Eric Garcetti. Not only does he blog regularly, answer his own email, and continue to work on behalf of the people of not only the City but the entire nation, he is a true city nerd. This was confirmed early this year when he stood up in May at Taix and shared nerdy facts about the City. Council President Garcetti has had a decent year with trials and tribulations, but he's come through as a true passionate booster of the City with the knowledge and action to back his words up.

2006 City Nerd Elected Official Staff Member
This category may be the most interesting in that it had the most total votes at over 3000. But, with such an anomaly, even more scrutiny was paid to those who received the highest public votes and those in the mid-range also were paid attention to. After careful review of comments, suggestions, and the poll, the 2006 City Nerd Award for Elected Official Staff Member goes to Mitch O'Farrell of CD13. Mitch as been described by community members as "outstanding" - so much so that he was promoted from field deputy to District Director for Constituent Services. This year, he worked on LA River issues and bringing the Echo Park Farmer's Market into existence. He's made some real contributions as a staffer; and outside of work, he has proven his passion for Los Angeles by serving on boards and as president of various community improvement (& political) organizations. He's working for Los Angeles in the way that a City Employee should. [Note: this does not imply the other staffers nominated are not as effective or are not hard workers.]

2006 City Nerd Department Head
With five great nominees, this category was difficult to decide. All had great positive contributions. Each had passion for the City and promoted it equally. But one person - one GM - truly has knowledge of the City. And it's clear why: starting on a pothole crew decades ago and rising through the ranks, Bill Robertson has a distinct understanding of the City and it's infrastructure. He can speak to any group and know issues in their neighborhood. This year, he had the chance to have a bond to fund his operation, but it was pulled back. Then, his funding was frozen (and in some instances, decreased) while public safety saw increases. Yet, the Bureau of Street Services still kept street repair moving forward and continues to do more with the limited resources they have. And though the street system as a whole is not in the condition that even Professor Pothole himself, Bill Robertson, would like to see, he keeps working to address the infrastructure needs with limited resources. For these reasons, William R. Robertson is the recipient of the 2006 City Nerd Award for General Manager.

2006 City Nerd Neighborhood/Community
Everyone seems to be passionate about the Neighborhood or Community in which they live, but as the awardees are selected, just think about the four criteria. Which community does more for LA than any other? The answer is obvious, and this year's no different. Hollywood spreads Los Angeles to the word. It promotes and is passionate. And in terms of actual contributions: no com unity - whether a geographic one or an industry one - does more to bring people and increase revenue here than Hollywood. Hollywood Boulevard is one of the leading free tourist attractions in the region. Hollywood has been good to Los Angeles in 2006 with a renewed Christmas Parade and an invigorated Honorary Mayor. Investment is up in the heart of Tinseltown, and people continue to flock back to see our modern day Rome. All roads lead to and from Hollywood: both the place and the state of mind. Hollywood is good for Los Angeles.

2006 City Nerd Project
To find a project has has "passion for Los Angeles" isn't easy. But to find one that reaches to all Angelenos, regardless of their location in the City, language, or economic status is rare. But, there is one project that in 2006 crossed all borders and was created for Los Angeles: the Million Tree Initiative. Forget the politics behind it - it's become a project all people can embrace. It will have a lasting impact on the City that will be reaped for years to come - the true impact not really being felt for another 15 or 20 or even 25 years. If nothing else, this project has made people think. And whether you agree or not with the amount of money spent advertising this program, no one can deny that as a program it shows a passion and commitment to the future of our City.

2006 City Nerd Neighborhood Council
With 88 neighborhood Councils in the City, which one is truly making it work and doing good things in their neighborhood? Which one isn't mired in the process and caught up in minutia that turns community members off to the whole idea of getting involved with government? Which council is actually getting things done? This year, the Reseda Neighborhood Council has been able to get a lot done, building on past years of success. Though not perfect, the Reseda NC has implemented emergency plans for their community with supplies to aid thousands, they have held meetings that consistently attract community members, and they even have consistent communication with their stakeholders. As a council, they have embraced the development in their community and have not been mired with the conflicts of who has the power. They hold two meetings per month: a business board meeting to take care of board business and a community Board meeting to address issues that would be of interest to the community (planning, public safety, expenditures on projects, etc.). They brought holiday decorations to the business district, they installed surveillance cameras in crime areas, and they implemented multiple community improvement and beautification projects. And, they have a pretty impressive and often updated website (even if it's all frames). A neighborhood council must have knowledge of the City and passion for their community to get such projects accomplished in a year.

2006 City Nerd Citizen of the Year
When we look at the City Nerds out there working to make LA City better, there are a lot of folks from which to choose. But, if you think about the criteria of a City Nerd Award, the field begins to narrow. And, in looking at the nominees, though all shine in their own way, one stands out among the rest. Nominated in multiple categories and respected by all those who know or know of him, the 2006 City Nerd Citizen of the Year award goes to Brian Humphrey of the Los Angeles Fire Department. As the man behind, Brian has innovated blogging this year to the point that other departments look to him as the benchmark. Throughout City Hall, departments are directed to the Fire Department's efforts to communicate to the public using new tools and "to connect to the people." Brian is innovative, trying BlogTalk Radio and even calling in posts from the field if he can't get into his dungeon of an office. Brian's positive demeanor and participation on other blogs shows his ability to work to improve all of Los Angeles. He has made strides in raising the bar for government, making it useful, transparent and a part of the community (be it online or in the flesh). The LAFD has had a trying end of 2006, but Brian's stability online has been welcomed by all.

And the City Nerd Awards' highest honor, which may not be given out every year:

"The LA City Nerd Award"
As previously mentioned, the City Nerd Awards are almost designed for the likes of Tom LaBonge: a true booster of the City and city nerd, if there ever was one. Though his details are a little vague, Tom has a story about almost every street corner in the City. He is a human 3-1-1: you can give him a department or issue that needs to be solved and he can give you the number to the office and the direct line to the supervisor. Tom has made more positive, tangible contributions to this City than most city employees - and this was before he was elected. From monument in Griffith Park to flagpoles at parks across the City - Tom made things happen. He had signs posted and streets named and communities united. Before the Department of Neighborhood Empowerment, there was Tom LaBonge. He brought communities together from Hollywood to Atwater Village. Tom knows more people than most electeds and can drive down almost any commercial corridor and stop a shop to say hello to an owner he knows. And on top of all that, he has captured the City on film From video taping NFL games to his personal photography, Tom has captured the heart of the city. He has a permanent photo exhibit up at Nick's Cafe on Spring Street and an entire collection (161 photos) on the Library's website as a photographer and not just the subject! With the opening of the Griffith Observatory, his work on behalf of public transportation from subways to runways, his push for the LA River restoration, his celebration of water and Mulholland, and his overall zeal for LA, Tom LaBonge is the only person to receive the inaugural LA City Nerd Award.

The Redline's Actual Route

If you ever look at the Metro Rail maps, the subway routes area quite contrived: straight lines and perfect angles make up the maps of the winding tunnels and tracks. Here's the way Metro reveals the route on their subway maps in an "arty" interpretation. It looks so simple and direct across the City.

But, a frustrated reader asks where a map of the true route of the downtown Redline Subway can be found. "I ride the subway to work every day, and the "subway map" on the wall just taunts me. I know it's for ease of understanding, but what's the real path of the Red Line?," she writes. Well, look no farther than Metro's own BUS MAP to find the actual route of the subway beneath downtown. And to see a more accurate, but not the exact route as with the Downtown map, check out the West/Central LA bus map.

Yes, the Metro downtown bus map actually shows the real route of the subway as it curves through the earth. (I wonder if that route disturbs the Lizard People or their tunnels?)

Maps pointed out by the Metro archive librarian, Matt Barrett - a true Transit Nerd.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Watts Turns 100; or, The Short Life of Former Cities

The City of Los Angeles has a lot of communities, some of which were once municipalities of their own. Of the 178 current communities in LA City, there were only 11 cities that once existed as their own municipality and are now part of the City of Los Angeles.

Here's who they are and how long they were around for...

Barnes City: 14 months (Feb. 13, 1926 to April 11, 1927)
Eagle Rock: 12 years (March 1, 1911 to May 17, 1923)
Hollywood: 6 years (Nov. 9, 1903 to Feb. 7, 1910)
Hyde Park: 2 years (May 12, 1921 to May 17, 1923)
San Pedro: 21.5 years (Mar. 1, 1888 to Aug. 28, 1909)
Sawtelle: 15.5 years (Nov. 26, 1906 to July 13, 1922)
Tujunga: 7 years (May 1, 1925 to March 7, 1932)
Venice (which started out as Ocean Park): 21.5 years (Feb. 17, 1904 to Nov. 25, 1925)
Watts: 19 years (May 23, 1907 to May 29, 1926)
Wilmington: 4 years (Dec. 27, 1905 to Aug. 28, 1909)

The oldest City to last before becoming part of LA were the two coastal communities for Venice and San Pedro, with Watts coming close behind at 19 years.

Also, this May, Watts will be turning 100 years old. What celebrations are planned, I wonder.

Source: LA County Chief Administrative Office.

Bulldozer repellent

Ever thought about that historic home or building in your neighborhood that you'd hate to see lost? The City can protect structures, but only after a specific process is followed (and even then, sometimes structures are torn down illegally!).

Well, do what is right and find out how to preserve the City's heritage BEFORE the bulldozers show up to eliminate the last remnants of our City's history.

The LA Conservancy and the California African-American Museum (CAAM)are presenting a free workshop for concerned and interested individuals on saving historic landmarks before it's too late. The event is on February 10th from 10 to 1pm at the CAAM. More details are at the Conservancy website here. repellent

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Someone likes us!!!!

Well, somebody who reads LAObserved likes LA City Nerd. In the write-in section to LAO's recent survey, someone used four exclamation points after writing-in "LA City Nerd."

Thanks, I think.

Read the results posted by Kevin.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Bike Queen of LA

No, she's not married to the Bike King, Alex Baum. But, LA's Bike Queen, as LAist's Zach puts it, is the go-to person on biking in the City. Michelle Mowery started as a consultant in the City many years ago, and now, as a City Employee, she runs the bicycle group and has lead the city's effort to create a more bike-friendly, bike-centric City. She's put biking on the City's agenda as a mode of transportation. She advocates a grand vision and is determined to make it happen. Just last October, she received the LA County Bike Coalition's "Advocacy in Government Award" for her accomplishments achieved through her "uncommon combination of passion, technical knowledge, historical understanding, and work ethic."

Here's the great site she oversees and basically runs.

Here's Zach's interview with Michelle Mowery.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Where the Sidewalk Ends

The late Shel Silverstein is a beloved author of poetry and books for children and adults alike. From The Giving Tree to The Light in the Attic, Shel is known as a master of word slinging. But, perhaps most relevant to the City of LA, he writes of the mythical place "where the sidewalk ends".

Here in the City of LA, that place is not so mythical. In fact, on many streets, the sidewalk starts as abruptly as it stops. Why is that, people often wonder. "How could the City let this happen?"

Well, it's not the City... entirely. By State Law, the "1911 Act" dictates that the property owner is responsible fro the installation and maintenance of the sidewalk in front of their property. So, when you see their are sections of missing sidewalk (or curbs and gutters for that matter), you can point the finger, not at the City, but at the property owner who first developed the property. Often, when developments were laid out, a choice was made to have sidewalks, curbs and gutters - or not to. Some developers chose to only install asphalt berms to delineate the roadway from the private property, recalling the rural feel that such limited improvements convey.

So, if you see the sidewalk end, don't blame the City. That adjacent property owner has the right to have a sidewalk. Now, once a sidewalk is in place, it is NOT the property owners right to remove it. Additionally, if there is no sidewalk, the property owner is still required to have a ADA compliant access across their property in the public easement (if one exists).

This is a very complicated issue that is best dealt with on a case by case basis. Essentially, though, it is not the City's fault if there is no sidewalk. And sadly, there are not funds to install sidewalks on every street that are missing them.

drawing by Shel Silverstein

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Who is Mr. Hollywood?

If you check over at the Council President's website, you'll see the answer to the question: "Who is Mr. Hollywood?" It's not Honorary Mayor Johnny Grant or the late media mogul Gene Autry. And no, it's not Bob Hope or Sid Grauman.

Who, you ask, could have such a title?

For the answer, look over here where I'll be guest posting occasionally on topics relating to the 13th Councilmanic District.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Eliminating the City Sign Shop

The City has a sign shop where City signs are fabricated (well, those that aren't contracted out or bought in bulk, that it). But, as the Atwater Village Nerd points out: who needs them; make your own sign!

I'm only a City Nerd, so I can't do it. But if you're even the slightest technology nerd, I'm sure you could figure it out.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

28,000 Miles of Streets!

With talk of "Walkable Streets" in LA, it might be good to put those few blocks in perspective. According to the City's Department of Transportation, "the City has 160 miles of freeway and 6,500 miles of street, which includes nearly 1,500 miles of multi-lane thoroughfares " And, according to the Bureau of Street Services that is 28,000 lane miles.

That's a lot of street to travel on!

Additionally, there are 800 miles of alleys; 400 miles of which are fully improved, and 400 miles are "unimproved" (not to standard). And, of those 400 "unimproved" alleys, 178 miles of them are unimproved dirt alleys.

(There are also dirt streets that still exist throughout the City, from Chatsworth to South LA. Because they are lessening in number each year, throughout the year, the mileage is not readily available.)

Friday, January 19, 2007

311's new look (& a game to play)

While searching on the City's website today, I found a new bright blip on the screen: a brand new 3-1-1 logo. What do you think?

The first logo was this:

Then, it was most recently this:

What this continues to exemplify is that the City has no unified branding campaign, and therefore, a lack of a solid identity as the City of Los Angeles.

Also, did you know there was a 311 Board Game in the City?

Just for fun, look what other City's are doing for their logos:

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Helipad Numbers

Being a City Nerd doesn't mean you know every fact off the top of your head. More than anything, it means you can find an answer to a question or know someone who can.

That brings us to the latest request... A reader wrote in asking about the numbers that are painted atop the buildings in downtown LA (and actually, throughout the City). Knowing they were helipads, she wanted to know what they were for.

I knew exactly what she was talking about, and though I had a guess about the answer, I knew who would know for sure. So, I did the City Nerd thing, and here's what I found out:
"Pursuant of the City's Fire Code SEC. 57.118.12. EMERGENCY HELICOPTER LANDING FACILITY, the numerics indicate the weight (in thousands of pounds) that the helipad can support. The numbers are to be oriented north."

So, there you have it. And who was this super fire department code nerd? The answer was from the LAFD Nerd himself: Brian Humphrey.

If you've ever wondered why helipads have numbers (as shown above), they're not to identify which is which or the order in which they were built, but the weight capacity. I guess you could think of them as those inspection cards that are placed in elevators that tell you the maximum weight load and number of passengers.

Now, the question is: is Caltrans in violation because theirs is facing south, or does the fact that it's private make a difference? Take a look:

And oh, as for the LAFD Nerd, Brian - cut him some slack. The "other Brian" who was working with him got promoted, so the last week or so he's been doing the work of TWO Brians!

CalTrans Photo via Eric at BlogDowntown.

LA's Most Walkable Streets

In a City of 6,500 miles of non-freeway roadways (there are about 160 miles of Freeways in the City of LA), cars are still king. No matter how much investment is made in public transportation options, only a small percentage of people live without a car (by choice or by force). So, in all those streets and parking lots and vehicular oriented infrastructure, where can you actually walk in LA? Remember that hills, appearance, and general safety add to or detract from walkability. A reader asks, so here's the City Nerd list of the 10 most Walkable Streets in LA:

Sherman Way between Owensmouth and Canoga (Canoga Park)
Antique Row and Main Street Canoga Park make this All-America City's main drag an easy place to walk. The store fronts are inviting and the overhang of the shops over the sidewalk make this area a throw-back to the way "Downtown Owensmouth" must have looked.

Olvera Street (Downtown LA)
This vehicle free street may be a bit crowded at times, but you can walk up and down its center and see something new every time!

Los Feliz Boulevard between Cummings and Vermont (Los Feliz)
With wide parkways and historically designated Deador Cedar trees, this street can take you away from the traffic that lines the boulevard just to the east.

Hollywood Boulevard between La Brea and Vine (Hollywood)
The Walk of Fame and the BID make this star-studded (literally) sidewalk the one to walk on. Though often crowded, it's one the best to walk because the focus is the sidewalk.

Abbott Kinney Boulevard between Venice to Westminster (Venice)
Though the sidewalks arent wide, boutiques, galleries, and unique shops make this a pedestrian area unlike any other in LA.

Ventura Boulevard between Laurel Canyon and Whitsett (Studio City)
Though Ventura Boulevard has a reputation from end to end, this small section calls to walkers with palm trees, landscaped medians, and stores you'd actually want to walk to... one after the other after the other.

Larchmont Boulevard between Beverly and First Street (Windor Square/Hancock Park)
This mini-main street with angled parking and sidewalk cafes creates the ideal commercial core within a neighborhood. This street is often idolized by areas around the City wanting to have "more of that Larchmont feel."

Riverside Drive between Sancola and Clybourn (Toluca Lake)
The Toluca Lake Village has modern conveniences of Trader Joe's and Coffee Bean with that small town/movie studio feel. The four blocks that make up the Village are easy to walk and the pleasant bustle of the day keeps the people moving.

Glendale Boulevard between the Railroad Tracks and the LA River (Atwater Village)
Recently improved Streetscape plan and a 6-year-old Pedestrian Oriented District designation gives this street the appearance and space to let a person walk with ease.

Baxter Street (Echo Park)
Baxter Street (or neighboring Fargo) will give you the best work out - feel the burn on your calves and thighs!

OK, number 10 wasn't as true as it could be. So, what would your tenth suggestion be? You pick: which street in LA City makes your "walkable" list? (And remember, Colorado Boulevard, Rodeo Drive, and 3rd Street are not in the City of LA!)

[Note how many of the "walkable" streets are actually boulevards? Is it just mere coincidence?]

Photo courtesy of Friends of Atwater Village

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Earthquake coming...

First, there is all this talk (and smell) of tar.

Then, you've got pipes breaking in the Valley.

And, it's the anniversary of the Northridge Earthquake (which was actually centered in Reseda, not Northridge).

Are you prepared? The Earthquake is coming... and it could be really soon. (All signs point to it, and the USGS has now predicted an earthquake along the San Andreas within the next 30 years!)

Some resources to prepare yourself:
-The City's Emergency Preparedness Department
-Sign up forCERT Training
-The US Geological Survey (home of Lucy Jones)

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Around the City of LA...

Long weekend in the City of LA = lots to read:

The Atwater Village Nerd takes us to the woman-designed1939 Harvey House at Union Station, which itself was designed by City Hall architects Perkins & Perkins (father & son).

Take a trip to the heart of Watts, just northwest of the famed Rodia Towers, with the Angels & Vagabonds Nerd to commemorate the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

The Downtown Nerd reveals the Caltrans Logo atop their new building in - where else - Downtown - from City Hall during a rally, no less.

First, it was Boyle Heights. Then, it was the Fairfax District. Now, it's in the Valley Hills (!?) - that's where the Jews are, according to the Jewish Journal via the Curbed Nerd.

The Married Couple Nerd takes us to Hancock Park to find out who Norwood Young is and what's up with his house. (They promise an in depth interview coming soon!)

The LAFD Nerd takes us to North Hills (not Van Nuys) where a fatal plane crash occurred. If it's north of Roscoe Boulevard, it's North Hills. (It used to be known as Sepulveda!)

The San Pedro Nerds take us to, well, San Pedro, to question the tactics and motives of LADOT relating to the Bisno project. What are all the facts though...? They also reveal the Ocean Odyssey moving out to sea - is lift-off in the near future?

The Lofty Thoughts Nerd takes us to Lincoln Heights for a sad update on trees planted - at least there's hope at the end of it all.

LosAnjealous takes us to the OJ knife store in Downtown and, from Charles Phoenix, to IHOP in 1965 (the first of which actually opened in Burbank).

David Markland takes us to the Animal Services Website for "Fact Vs. Rumor".

Will Campbell takes us to a small brush
fire in Griffith Park
(surprisingly, no comment or mention from the LAFD Nerd).

Finally, LAist's Zach takes us to Chicago to tell us how the City of LA is not really working for the 2016 Olympic Bid! (He also takes us to Studio City, and then, to market, to buy celebrity vegan cheese.)

Friday, January 12, 2007

One Sentence Decriptions of LA

Eric has an interesting post about how to describe Downtown LA in just a few short sentences. I gave it my best effort, and then thought, "Well, how would I describe Downtown in one sentence?" This is what I came up with:
"Downtown is the heart of a sprawling metropolis that is a microcosm of a city, which is a microcosm of the world."

Then, I thought, "Well, how would I describe the City of LA in once sentence?" This was a little trickier, but here's what I got (I know, it's a bit LA-centric, but it's not an any feat!):
"Los Angeles, a truly international city, acts as the crossroads of the world and therefore influences the rest of the world in the way they think."

Then, it hit me, how would someone describe their neighborhood in one sentence? (With so many communities in LA, this could be long, such just think about that one!)

But, I wonder: could LA, or your specific neighborhood, be described in one sentence?

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Who is Matt Szabo??

Who's Matt Szabo and why does he have 1239 votes in the City Nerd Award Poll?

And what has he shown in terms of passion for Los Angeles, knowledge of Los Angeles, promotion of Los Angeles, and actual positive contributions to Los Angeles?

And how does he have over 1000 more votes than his boss, Mayor Villariagosa? and 1237 more votes than Dennis Zine?

Remember: only 4 more days to vote in all categories!

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Circles of LA

Connecting the dots of LA could be a very easy task, but it doesn't really make much sense. See, there are only a few number of dots - or roads forming circles - in the City of LA. There are two in the Valley, one in South LA, and the rest between the 405 and the LA River. (I'm not going to go through the definition of east or west side, or lack thereof!) And most of them - over half - are concentrated at one location.

So, what do you get when you connect the Circles of LA? And by Circles, these things can't be oblong like the "Beverlywood Tear" or "Victoria Circle":

They are real, roadway circles like...

The Sherman Oaks Circle

The Van Nuys Circle at Archwood & Katherine in the Van Nuys HPOZ

The South LA Circle at Gramercy and 76th (there are a few circles nearby in the adjacent Inglewood, but they're not in the City of LA.)

The Dodger Stadium Circle (it's a circle within the City if you follow the traffic lanes)

The Hollyridge Circle

The Murray Circle in Silver Lake

And finally...

The 3 three large circles at Park La Brea and the 5 smaller ones, too.

So what happens when you connect the 14 circles of LA?

I got a kite with a hole in it near the bottom.

Try it and see what you get!

Saturday, January 06, 2007

City Nerd Awards: Polling Update

Well, about a week into the City Nerd Award polling, and the results are showing some interesting things about online voters. I wonder how many are sticking to the principal that the awards are to be given to the nominee that best reflects the four City Nerd criteria:

-passion for Los Angeles

-knowledge of Los Angeles

-promotion of Los Angeles

-actual positive contributions to Los Angeles

Take a look at the screen shots below to understand more fully what's going on here...

First, look at the Neighborhood Councils:
(You'd thing that at least each member would vote for their own Council.)

Then, if you look at the Elected Official category, you can see that the Mayor is still quite popular, but what about the others, do they embody the spirit of the City Nerd Awards?
Some say LaBonge is the real City Nerd, knowing all the nooks and crannies of the City, its operation, and its history. Well, that's definitely not reflected here, unless there is some campaigning going on???)

Finally, looking at the Elected Officials Staff category - it is the highest number of votes of any category: 972!
There must be some email campaigning going on here. Even the "Blogger" and "Blog" categories, which have a built in readership, don't have this many votes. It's just feeds the notion that Elected Official staffers love the politics of it all. (And there are some staffers who must still be on vacation and haven't even voted for themselves.)

Well, regardless of how the voting has trended so far, there are still 9 categories that need to be voted on - go vote now!

LAST CHANCE (maybe): Drive and See It for Yourself

Quick! Get in the car and drive to/on the 5 at Stadium Way. Today, January 6, 2007, there is no graffiti on one of LA's most phenomenal murals. Yes, you can see this PRISTINE Kent Twitchell "LA Marathon" Mural in person. This was moved here from the 405 in Inglewood about 2 years ago. Recently, it had been practically obliterated by graffiti, but now, today, it's clean.

(And no, this is NOT the "creepy" LA Marathon Mural on the 10.)

How long will it last without a tag? Again, I urge you to go today!

Thumb Photo via Nathan Zakheim Associates, who are responsible for the original restoration (no confirmation if they did the recent cleaning, but I would presume so).

Friday, January 05, 2007

Watch out for Downed Power Lines

In these torrents of wind, the LA Department of Water & Power recommends the following electric safety tips regarding "Downed Power Lines":
(These would make Ezra Scattergood proud!)
1. Never touch a downed or dangling wire or anyone or anything in contact with it. Always assume a downed line is still energized. Report any downed power lines immediately by calling the LADWP at 1-800-DIAL-DWP. If you or someone else is in danger, call 911.

2. Don’t touch anyone in contact with a power source – you could be killed or seriously injured. If you find someone who has been injured, call 911 for help and tell them it’s an electrical injury.

3. If a power line falls on your car, stay in the car and wait for help. If you must get out, make sure you do not touch the metal parts of the car and the ground at the same time. The safest method is to open the door, stand on the door sill and jump free without touching the car.

4. Stay away from metal fences, such as a chain link fence – there may be a power line down and touching the fence somewhere beyond your sight.

5. If there is damage to the connection from the power pole to your house, you should go to the electrical box and turn off the main switch or shut off the fuse switch. Again, always assume electric lines are live.

6. In case of an electrical emergency, stay calm and think before you act. Don’t become a victim while trying to help others. Call 911.

7. If someone is shocked or not breathing, apply cardio-pulmonary resuscitation (CPR). Then cover the victim with a blanket, keep their head low and get medical attention.
DWP has a great model with real voltage that shows how dangerous downed power lines can be (as pictured).

City of the Future

Remember when there was the History Channel's "Designing an Empire" competition held in LA at LACMA back in December? Well, now it comes down to the National competition as to which of the "big three" cities will be the "City of the Future." And since we're all into voting right now, take a minute to go vote for Los Angeles at the History Channel website. (You have to fill out a form do cast your vote, but the information can be vague or put N/A as I did for a few categories.)

Here's to the future of LA!

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

National Confusion

As if National wasn't confusing enough, as mentioned at the very end of this article, there is a rogue street sign (pictured above; click it to really see the sign in question) that is not the LA City standard. It's white with black letters and is the only sign in LA City I've ever seen as such. True, Glendale has this black & white signage; but the closest city to this Palm's intersection is Culver City, and it's nowhere near the eastbound 10 National exit where this sign is placed.

Yes, signs are changing in LA, but this has been there for years, and the change is not to this style.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

City Nerd Awards Nominees

After accepting nominations from bloggers and readers alike, the following are the nominees in the nine categories for which their will be a chance for further public input... VOTE NOW!

When casting your vote in each category, remember that you should vote for the nominee that you think best reflects the following four attributes (where applicable) in their respective category:

-passion for Los Angeles
-knowledge of Los Angeles
-promotion of Los Angeles
-actual positive contributions to Los Angeles

Cast your vote for each the following City Nerd Award categories:

2006 City Nerd Blog

2006 City Nerd Blogger

2006 City Nerd Elected Official

2006 City Nerd Elected Official Staff Member

2006 City Nerd Department Head

2006 City Nerd Neighborhood/Community

2006 City Nerd Project

2006 City Nerd Neighborhood Council

2006 City Nerd Citizen of the Year

Use the Internet and do research on nominees you may not know, and remember that the polls close at 11:59pm on January 15th!

NOTE: The following webpolls are only a portion of the selection process for the 2006 City Nerd Awards. Additional subject matter experts will assist in selecting the final winner in each category.