Friday, August 31, 2007

Don't Waste This!

Before LADWP got into some complications with its PR contracting, the municipal utility really spread the good word. You've got to check this out from Franklin Avenue: a 1987 commercial that brings together the day's finest weather folks. (I guess this is before Fritz hit the scene!)

It made us laugh out loud - gotta love this City's history!

Thursday, August 30, 2007

City Nerd Helicopter

I'm not sure why, but starting at the beginning of August, we've had an unusual search term come up as the 2nd most searched term that leads people to this site. The 1st most searched term is simple to understand; it's "LA City Nerd." Makes sense, right? Well, the second most searched terms that leads people to this site: "City Nerd Helicopter." Why? I don't get it.

We did a post on helipad numbering on the tops of buildings in LA back in January, but why now is all the interest in City Nerd Helicopter? Is there something we're missing over here?

If you got here via that search, let us know why that's what you're searching for.

Oh, and no, we don't own a helicopter, but how cool would it be to have a true LA City Nerd Helicopter to report from.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Celebrating LA's Birthday: 226-years-old!

If you recall, last year we ran a series on "225 Things to do in LA to Celebrate LA's 225th Birthday". Well, the year is almost up - how many were you able to do?

About five months after our postings and the City's official birthday celebration on September 4, 2006, LA, Inc (the See My LA folks) launched an LA225 website. Were you able to do and see all of their suggestions?

Well, here we are a year later, and it's time for the LA's birthday celebration once again. Now, the official birthday is September 4, but celebrations last all Labor Day Weekend. Here's what we found is going on this year for LA's 226th Birthday.

The 26th Annual Los Pobladores "Walk to LA" (with Mayor Villariagosa)

The 10th Annual Great Los Angeles Ice Cream Party

Since it's not a benchmark year, not much else is going on. Or, is there something we're missing in honor of the City's birthday?

Picture from last year's celebration.

LA City's Mission Statement

If the City was a business, it would have a mission statement. Well, as it would be be, the City actually doesn't have one mission statement, but many; and none of them are exactly right on. If that sounds confusing, it's ok - it is confusing. As says:
The mission statement should be a clear and succinct representation of the enterprise's purpose for existence. It should incorporate socially meaningful and measurable criteria addressing concepts such as the moral/ethical position of the enterprise, public image, the target market, products/services, the geographic domain and expectations of growth and profitability.

The intent of the Mission Statement should be the first consideration for any employee who is evaluating a strategic decision. The statement can range from a very simple to a very complex set of ideas.
So, the City is an enterprise. If it had an overarching mission statement, perhaps its employees, from the Mayor to the receptionist in one of the DWP offices, would have a clear directive on how to serve the "customers," the people.

So, what does the City has in terms of Mission Statements (yes, that's plural)?

The Department of General Services has one for the Department, and then each division has one, too. The Department of Building & Safety has one, as does ITA, DONE, the Library, Airport Police, the Convention Center, the Urban Forestry Division of Street Services, Animal Services, the Commission on the Status of Women, Department of Aging, LAPD, LAFD, and even the LA Zoo. (All departments have their missions listed in the budget under their respective department heading. Noticeably, the Mayor's office does not have a mission.)

The Bureau of Sanitation seems to get it best, though. Their mission is clear and concise, and all employees will be able to tell you when asked: “Our mission is to protect public health and the environment.” Simple enough yet quite powerful.

So, where is the overarching City Mission? Where is that concise statement that guides every employee and department? Here's really the best we could find for LA City (and we looked!)...

From "Your Government at a Glance" (2004):
Your City government touches your life at more points more frequently than any other governmental agency, be it federal, state, or county. City government furnishes water, supplies electricity, provides ambulance, police, sanitation, and fire services, maintains streets, maintains parks and provides other essential services to citizens. In a very real sense, the City government is a huge corporation with nearly four million stockholders -- the second largest city in the United States. This City, in which you are a stockholder, is engaged in business exceeding several billion dollars a year.
This is nice, but no one employee can remember this. It's not really a mission statement.

Then, going back to 2001 from an ITA report, we find this:

In lieu of a City-wide mission statement, this list of City functions describes areas in which the City operates and identifies the major products and services it provides to its customers. This list, which came from the City’s Budget Manual, was adopted as a mission statement for the purposes of this Information Technology Strategic Plan.
1. Community Safety:
Provide for the safety and protection of persons, animals and property against willful or accidental harm, illegal action, fraud or destruction.
2. Home and Community Environment:
Provide for the orderly development and maintenance of our physical environment consistent with the safety, convenience and general well being of the citizenry.
3. Transportation:
Provide for the expeditious movement of people, goods, and vehicles in and out of the City and the parking of vehicles on the public streets and at City-owned off-street parking facilities.
4. Cultural, Educational and Recreational Services:
Provide the public with opportunities to participate in cultural, educational and recreational activities.
5. Human Resources, Economic Assistance and Development:
Encourage trade, tourism and economic development by assisting business expansion or location within the city, financially support events that promote the image of the City and provide employment opportunities for the disadvantaged areas of local government.
6. General Administration and Support:
Provide executive leadership, legislation, policy, management and support services for the operation of City government and its related programs.
As you can see, they clearly acknowledge there is no citywide mission statement. The report goes on, though..
The City of Los Angeles’ Vision Statement shown below, which came from Mayor Richard Riordan’s speech “Capital City of the Future,” was adopted as the City Vision Statement for purposes of this IT Strategic Plan.
The City of Los Angeles will be the Capital City of the Future and will be:
1. a city with the world’s leading 21st century economy,
2. a city that leads in creativity, ingenuity and quality jobs,
3. a city that is the leading trade hub of the world,
4. a city thriving with minority and woman-owned businesses,
5. a city with a flourishing downtown (convention center, sports and entertainment complex, concert hall, cathedral),
6. a city thriving with a manufacturing base making goods for the world to enjoy,
7. a city that prides itself on its diversity, independence and originality,
8. a city where every neighborhood is safe, where streets are clean and graffiti has no place,
9. a city with a government that prides itself on customer services, action and results,
10. a city that works with business and communities to help them realize their dreams, and
11. a city with an outstanding school system where children receive the tools to compete for jobs of the 21st century.

What is clear is that the City does not have a strong Mission Statement like 3M ("To solve unsolved problems innovatively") or Disney ("To make people happy"). The City doesn't have a guiding statement that establishes everything they do. Some say a City like Los Angeles is too big to have one, but if these international, multifaceted companies have them, why not a City?

Perhaps it's time to call on the City leaders to create a vision for the City - a mission statement that guides all actions of every employee in serving the residents, businesses, visitors, and neighbors of Los Angeles.

So, we think a Mission Statement takes some input. Here's our first, feeble attempt which obviously is not perfect. (There are experts out there who are paid lots to craft these statements, so this is just something to get the ball rolling.):
"Provide people with the basic services to allow them to live a culturally rich life"
Again, we're not thrilled by this one, but it's something. What would be a better mission statement for the City of LA?

(The LA City Nerd Mission Statement: "Share the City of Los Angeles with the world")

Monday, August 27, 2007

HIdden Monument

I came across a very special monument a few months ago in Echo Park, and I wanted to post about it. I never got back to snap a photo, and now, Dateline>City of Angels has done it for us all.

Check out the post here that describes the precarious location of this memborable monument - best viewed via car when stuck in morning traffic as one tries to exit the 2 onto Glendale Boulevard. You can note by reading the plaque (or viewing the post by Ed here) that it was erected (two blocks from the actual studio) in conjunction with the 1954 episode of This is Your Life featuring Mack Sennet, for whom the obelisk was installed.

This marker brings back the spirit of the random markers that dot our City, like my true favorites: these four.

Photo by Michael Imlay, 2005 via Dateline>City of Angels.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Quick! What are you doing tomorrow?

Here's something you can do to try to celebrate the City: The Ravenchase "Great L.A. Chase". It appears to be like the Amazing Race, or locally, like Race/LA. It's tomorrow at 2pm (but we're not exactly sure where it starts - unless they contact you once you pay).

For a $30 fee, here's what you get (via their site):
If you've been waiting to run your own amazing race, to find your own grail and to crack your own code, this is the chase for you! Our staff personally greets each group at the start of the race, explains the rules of the game and gives each team a hand made treasure map, clues on parchment scrolls and a bag of cool gadgets (like black lights to see clues written in invisible ink). Teams can travel in any direction they like around the city. Actors are also planted along the course, to interact with and help the teams. All the answers and puzzle pieces along the course will lead them to a secret end location, where prizes are awarded to the top three teams.

It's a beginner/intermediate level, but if you have a group, it could get expensive. Not sure if it's worth it, but it might be cool to check out! (They also do private events: perhaps an LA blogosphere bloggers challenge? Something that Mike may be inclined to help devise.)

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Do Councilmembers know their own districts?

With the LAist Neighborhoods Project in full swing, we thought we'd check in with the local LA City Councilmembers own web pages and see how well they promote the neighborhoods of their respective districts. This is the way they project what they know about their respective districts and the community's they serve.

On a ten point scale, with ten (10) being "awesome!" and one (1) being "doesn't seem to care about their district's neighborhoods," we evaluated each site on the following criteria with a corresponding point value for each:

1 point for posting a district map
1 point for neighborhood facilities (parks, schools, etc.)
2 points for posting a clear, complete list of the neighborhoods represented/served
3 points for listing the attractions/destinations of the district
3 points for listing the district's neighborhood organizations (Chambers, Neighborhood Councils, etc)

So, here's how each district fared in this cursory review...

Councilmember Ed Reyes, District 1
Ed's welcome page lists the neighborhoods and general description of the district. He has some links that don't work on his My Neighborhood page that could add to value of the site, if they worked. He doesn't easily share much about the rich culture and destinations of his community.
district map: 1 of 1
neighborhood facilities: 0 of 1
list of district's neighborhoods: 2 of 2
list of attractions/destinations: 0 of 3
list of neighborhood organizations: 0 of 3
Total Score: 3

Councilmember Wendy Greuel, District 2
Wendy has a great example of how to promote a district. She has useful links that list all the pertinent information like schools, parks, libraries, Neighborhood Councils, community organizations, and even fun things to do in her district (which is as close as she comes to landmarks/points of interest). She even has an entire maps page that lists her neighborhood councils, schools, and even communities. (She even describes each community she represents.)
district map: 1 of 1
neighborhood facilities: 1 of 1
list of district's neighborhoods: 2 of 2
list of attractions/destinations: 2.5 of 3
list of neighborhood organizations: 3 of 3
Total Score: 9.5

Councilmember Dennis Zine, District 3
Dennis has a District Info page that lists his communities, written out boundaries, many of the district statistics; but it doesn't talk specifically about the actual facilities or sites. He does list his libraries on the services page, and his district map is on his home page.
district map: 1 of 1
neighborhood facilities: 1 of 1
list of district's neighborhoods: 2 of 2
list of attractions/destinations: 0 of 3
list of neighborhood organizations: 0 of 3
Total Score: 4

Councilmember Tom LaBonge, District 4
Tom lists all of his Neighborhood Councils, has a district map, and deep within his staff page lists the communities served, but only in noting which communities the Field Deputies serve. He lists Points of Interest/Landmarks in his district, but they are either on the Miracle Mile, in Griffith Park, or are at 3rd & Fairfax. there is no mention of the NoHo Theatre and Arts District (which includes the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences), the Hollywood Bowl, Hollywood Heritage Museum, Campo de Cahenga Museum, Ford Theatre, Runyon Canyon, Paramount Studios, and many other points of interest/landmarks.
district map: 1 of 1
neighborhood facilities: 0 of 1
list of district's neighborhoods: 1 of 2
list of attractions/destinations: 1.5 of 3
list of neighborhood organizations: 2 of 3
Total Score: 5.5

Councilmember Jack Weiss, District 5
Jack has a whole page for his district profile, listing his communities served and a map. He doesn't list points of interest, but he does list all his libraries, parks, and schools. His site has a lot of useful information for residents, but doesn't list his community organizations.
district map: 1 of 1
neighborhood facilities: 1 of 1
list of district's neighborhoods: 2 of 2
list of attractions/destinations: 0 of 3
list of neighborhood organizations: 0 of 3
Total Score: 4

Councilmember Tony Cardenas, District 6
Tony has a lot of information about his district, but does not show any attractions/destinations. He has a few maps, library information and school information. He also lists all the Neighborhood Councils in CD6.
district map: 1 of 1
neighborhood facilities: 1 of 1
list of district's neighborhoods: 0 of 2
list of attractions/destinations: 0 of 3
list of neighborhood organizations: 2 of 3
Total Score: 4

Councilmember Richard Alarcon, District 7
Richard has a significant community profile page that includes the communities he serves, some limited points of interest (no Nethercutt Museum or future Children's Museum), and other promotional information about the district. He doesn't list community groups or schools, nor is there a district map posted; but he gets an extra point for painting a clear picture of the 7th District.
district map: 0 of 1
neighborhood facilities: 0 of 1
list of district's neighborhoods: 2 of 2
list of attractions/destinations: 1 of 3
list of neighborhood organizations: 0 of 3
extra point for comprehensive district profile
Total Score: 4

Councilmember Bernard Parks, District 8
(site under construction)

Councilmember Jan Perry, District 9
Jan has a prominent district map, but very little else in terms of information about her diverse and exciting district. Unless you viewed the map, read the press releases, or looked at the photo gallery, a visitor would barely know that she represented the heart of Downtown LA and areas south thereof.
district map: 1 of 1
neighborhood facilities: 0 of 1
list of district's neighborhoods: 0 of 2
list of attractions/destinations: 0 of 3
list of neighborhood organizations: 0 of 3
Total Score: 1

Councilmember Herb Wesson, District 10
Herb has a active site with a scrolling list of his communities served. He features his district map and has links to community organizations and Neighborhood Councils in his district. He doesn't list any destinations or neighborhood venues, though.
district map: 1 of 1
neighborhood facilities: 0 of 1
list of district's neighborhoods: 2 of 2
list of attractions/destinations: 0 of 3
list of neighborhood organizations: 3 of 3
Total Score: 6

Councilmember Bill Rosendahl, District 11
Bill has a strong district profile page with a map, listing of points of interest, and his communities. He also lists all the neighborhood councils. Though the site doesn't list the parks, schools, libraries, etc., it does give a strong district presence online.
district map: 1 of 1
neighborhood facilities: 0 of 1
list of district's neighborhoods: 2 of 2
list of attractions/destinations: 3 of 3
list of neighborhood organizations: 2 of 3
Total Score: 8

Councilmember Greig Smith, District 12
Greig's page is full of information. Once you get to the About The Councilman section, you can see the communities of the district. He has his district map, and the basic neighborhood information is in his pdf neighborhood guide: schools, Neighborhood Councils, Chambers of Commerce, parks, libraries, senior centers, and much more.
district map: 1 of 1
neighborhood facilities: 1 of 1
list of district's neighborhoods: 2 of 2
list of attractions/destinations: 0 of 3
list of neighborhood organizations: 3 of 3
Total Score: 7

Councilmember Eric Garcetti, District 13
Eric has a fairly informative site. The District Profile page offers maps, the communities served, and limited points of interest. Though he lists demographic information, he does not list community organizations or neighborhood facilities, but does have a map of Neighborhood Councils.
district map: 1 of 1
neighborhood facilities: 0 of 1
list of district's neighborhoods: 2 of 2
list of attractions/destinations: 1.5 of 3
list of neighborhood organizations: 2 of 3
Total Score: 6.5

Councilmember Jose Huizar, District 14
Jose has his district map as a link and his communities served listed on the homepage, but his district information doesn't go much beyond that. And even with that list, he doesn't indicate the communities of Downtown that he serves.
district map: 1 of 1
neighborhood facilities: 0 of 1
list of district's neighborhoods: 1 of 2
list of attractions/destinations: 0 of 3
list of neighborhood organizations: 0 of 3
Total Score: 2

Councilmember Janice Hahn, District 15
Janice lists the 5 communities of her district in her welcome note on the main page. She does list her Neighborhood Councils, but helpful links page shows a meager start to listing community organizations at the bottom of it. She is on the only Councilmember who does not have a district map on her site.
district map: 0 of 1
neighborhood facilities: 0 of 1
list of district's neighborhoods: 2 of 2
list of attractions/destinations: 0 of 3
list of neighborhood organizations: 2 of 3
Total Score: 4

So, what does this show?
Basically, the Councilmembers don't promote the district they serve on their sites in a way that is easily understood to a first-time or even repeat visitor. Of the 14 that were evaluated, the average was 4.89 with six sites receiving over a 5 and eight sites scoring 4 or below. The breakdown by district is as follows:
[District: Score]
1: 3
2: 9.5
3: 4
4: 5.5
5: 4
6: 4
7: 4
8: N/A
9: 1
10: 6
11: 8
12: 7
13: 6.5
14: 2
15: 4

Clearly there is room for improvement for some of these sites, and others just need to spruce up what they have to rank higher on the promotion of their district.

Maybe when the LAist Neighborhood Project is complete, each Councilmember can link to their neighborhoods' pages on the LAist site.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Heull Huaser's Map of L.A.

As the "King of California," LA City resident Huell Howser - you'd think - would have a decent online map of his favorite local and home: Los Angeles. Well, a map he had, but here's all KCET has to offer in terms of that local, interactive map.

It's a great start, but we know he knows our City; a more complete map would be great from the likes of this booster.

For more maps of Los Angeles, click here.

Image via this site - now defunct.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Free Gift Cards from LA City Housing Department!

The LA City Housing Department wants to hear from renters about their experience as renters. They are holding a focus group meeting on August 23rd at from 6 to 8pm. at their regional office on Van Nuys Boulevard. They want input from renters regarding the future of LA Housing Policy relating to the "Economic Study of the Rent Stabilization Ordinance and the Local Housing Market," according to their flyer.

They really must want folks to attend; just look at all they're offering if you do attend (from their meager flyer that doesn't even have a City seal on it):

What do YOU get for participating in this focus group?
  • $25 gift card
  • Parking reimbursed or bus tokens available
  • Refreshments will be provided
  • Opportunity to shape LA City housing policy
They really want you for at least $12 an hour plus snacks!

You must RSVP by August 22 to Sandra Luna at 213-892-0154. (This study is being conducted by the Economic Roundtable and sponsored by the Housing Deparment.)

Sign up today to get your non-descript $25 gift card! (We wonder where it is able to be used?)

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Four or More Dogs...

A reader wrote in asking about housing multiple dogs based on our recent article, "Unlimited Cats and Cars":
I need to find out about getting a kennel license and can't find anything about where to go. You mention that the cost is $130. Could you post where someone can go to get one of these kennel license?
Remember the rule of "four or more": if you have four or more dogs at one location ("any lot, building, structure, enclosure, or premises where four (4) or more dogs are kept or maintained"), then you need a Kennel Permit. To get a Kennel Permit to board or breed (or board and breed), just fill out the simple, one page application and send it in for review. (Additionally, all new dog kennels require compliance with the California Environmental Quality Act and additional fees may be required.)

So, go get legal if you want to have more dogs than three. Remember: Four or More = permits!

Flickr photo via Matt McGee

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Defining Commerical Vehicles

As we talk about parking restrictions and loading zones, a question that seems to continue to be raised is: what defines a commercial vehicle? Remember, there are special parking zones for loading and unloading of commercial vehicles, and commercial vehicles are restricted from parking on a residential street for more than 3 hours (unless actively conducting businesses). So, is that realtor who has their magnetic advertising decal on the side of their sedan a commercial vehicle? How about a limo or a taxi? Is a personally rented Uhaul considered a commercial vehicle?

As defined by the California Vehicle Code, which is applicable here in the City of Los Angeles:
A "commercial vehicle" is a motor vehicle of a type required to be registered under this code used or maintained for the transportation of persons for hire, compensation, or profit or designed, used, or maintained primarily for the transportation of property.

Under this definition, that realtor's sedan would not able a commercial vehicle, but a truck transporting goods - public or private would be. So, those Uhauls parked overnight on a residential street could be ticketed. A limo, taxi, or plumber's truck cannot park in your residential neighborhood, either. But, that realtor seems to be able to park in their own neighborhoods, as they are personal vehicles advertising (through the 1st Amendment) a service or message. (Those magnetic banners are like large bumper stickers, in a way.) They are not commercial vehicles.

So, if you have a problem of commercial vehicles parking on the street in a residential area overnight or for extended periods of time, just call 311 and let them know; an officer may be out to cite them. If it's truly a problem situation, LAPD may get involved and use the large, commercial tow trucks to remove the commercial vehicle. (We once saw a school bus towed from a small, apartment filled cul-de-sac where it took up four very precious parking spaces on a nightly basis.) You have the power to prevent taxis from taking over your street at night.

Friday, August 10, 2007

City of L.A. to Get Even Bigger?

A reader wrote in that a topic of discussion they'd like bought up is the growth of the City. They write:
"What other cities or unincorporated L.A. county territories would you like to see annexed by the City of L.A.?
(I personally would like to fill in a little bit, you know, Torrance, West Hollywood, Beverly Hills, Inglewood, and on and on.)"
Now, this is an interesting question, not just because there have been many complaints over the years that the City is too big, but because there is a concerted effort by developer Dan Palmer to add another 555 acres to Los Angeles through his Las Lomas Project. The Las Lomas Project, at the 5 & 14 Interchange, has found some opposition from various sources, as well as some controversy in the City of LA, too. There has also be rumblings that the Universal City development by NBC Universal - most of which is unincorporated LA County territory and not in the City - may want to be annexed to the City of LA, as well.

But the question at hand is: should the City grow via further annexation of unincorporated County area or other Cities? If so, which ones and why?

Our reader thinks we should fill in a little bit - does that make sense in today's political climate or did the City miss it's chance 75 years ago (and as recent as 25 years ago)? Just look at some of the most recent cities to be created in the County: Calabasas(1991), West Hollywood (1984), and Malibu (1991) - all were adjacent to the City of LA but became their own municipalities. And our neighbors to the east in unincorporated East Los Angeles are fighting for their own City, too; and they are also adjacent to the City of LA.

Expanding the City beyond it's limits today doesn't seem to be the trend in this era, but you never know what will happen. Remember, this is Los Angeles!

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Send Mickey Packing

Apparently LA is tired of Mickey hanging around the City...

He has apparently been backed in a crate ready for delivery into the O.C.

Or, is this the official, monthly delivery of "Los Angeles" to validate the "Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim." Or maybe, whatever is in the crate is going to save their stadium from being disgusting?

What do you think is in the crate?

From Signs of Los Angeles

Downtown LA Street Poem

Though around for years, the following little poem (or song) is not often given as much screen time online as it deserves. So, commit it to memory, and the next time you're in Downtown LA, you can know exactly the order of the streets.
"From Main I Spring to Broadway, and over the Hill to Olive. Oh wouldn't it be Grand to Hope to pick a Flower on Figueroa!"

The question the begs to be asked is: why does such a verse exist? and why for Downtown LA? Should one not also exist for Hollywood, Eagle Rock, or Van Nuys? Where else should these poems, songs and verses exist that would useful?

There is also a lesser-known east-west version for Downtown we've seen:
"Figueroa is the Flower of Hope on the Grand Olive Hill of Broadway where the Spring flows from the Main Los Angeles Wall to San Pedro Central near Alameda."

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Watts Happening in the LAist Neighborhood Project

We really do respect the LAist Neighborhoods Project that is currently underway at one of our favorite City Nerd sites. They are profiling each of the 173 officially designated neighborhoods (and then some) in a way that has offered insight and perspective on the many varied communities of Los Angeles City and beyond.

But the most recent entry - on Watts, a very special place to us- could have show a lot more. With the opportunity to shed insight and perspective, the article perpetuates some stereotypes of an important community in Los Angeles.

We encourage you to read the post here and draw your own conclusions; we've put some basic reactions in the comments of their post for their readers to read (and re-posted them at the bottom of this post).

Essentially, though, the LAist post could don more than recognized the history and current challenges as they did; we were left wanting more. They could have - and should have - also enlightened the online community of Los Angeles about the treasures and attributes of this community that make it unique in many ways, while at the same time similar to so many neighborhoods throughout Los Angeles from Chatsworth to San Pedro. There is more to Watts than gangs, poverty, and the Rodia Towers. I hope LAist will do a "Part Two" sometime to elucidate more of the neighborhood.

With that being said, LA City Nerd is joining the LAist crew to assist, where we can, in this neighborhood project. We don't claim to know every detail of every 'hood, but we know a little bit to make sure the nerdy nooks and crannies aren't overlooked. We love what LAist is doing - if our meager staff was a little bigger, we'd roll up our sleeves and do it ourselves. However, LAist started something special, and we're just rolling up our sleeves and pitching in where we can.

So, let's see if we can help out where needed.

* * * * *

LACN comments from the LAist post:

LAist Neighborhood Project, you know we love you!

But, this post lacks some of the true institutions of Watts, namely the Watts Labor Community Action Committee and all the work they do, as well as the Promenade of Prominence, the many churches, and the true neighborhoods off the main streets.

Watts is a special part of Los Angeles that needs even greater attention to show the parts that are not widely known and not just those common Watts themes: Rodia Towers, gangs, housing projects, & poverty. The Towers have an art center and museum attached that are quite impressive, and the neighborhood has true leaders that need mentioning like "Sweet Alice" Harris. Also, no mention of Ted Watkins or the park named in his honor is hard to fathom as it's one of the most prominent pieces of land in the community.

I can't wait for Watts Part II.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Street Renaming Confusion

With today's article in the LA Times about the name of the street just south of City Hall (is it First Street or Tom Bradley Boulevard, they ask), it's a good time to remember some of the other street naming issues in the city.

Remember this article about street name changes and eliminating confusion? Well, sometimes the City Council gets confused. Our recollection is that it was purely ceremonial. Someone should ask the members that were there, or the Chief Legislative Analyst's (CLA's) office whose job it is to be the institutional, non-biased memory of the City Council.

The person who probably knows exactly the intent is former, long-time CLA Ron Deaton, but he's not quite back to work yet. Someone should ask him, though. He'd know.

Interpretting Parking Restrictions

From a reader in the comments of another post:

Can anyone give me clarity on the three fold signage on Los Feliz?
The top part says 'Anti Gridlock Area'
the middle "No parking from 7-9AM'
the bottom "No stopping anytime."
So you can stop on crazy busy L.F.?
How could that be? What do they mean by 'stop?'

Sadly, this isn't as difficult as it seems. Each sign is merely posting a restriction that allows for citation for different sections of the LAMC. So, no, there is no stopping, but if you stop during 7am-9am AND it happens to be an anti-gridlock zone: Tow Time! The signs allow for a stricter enforcement and penalty beyond the parking ticket. It's true, though: sometimes the parking signs can be confusing. The easy answer is to avoid parking on the street where there are signs. Walking a few blocks never hurt anyone, did it?

And, no, the image above is not of the sign being asked about by the reader- it's just another confusing parking sign.
image by Sherrie Gulmahamad via

Monday, August 06, 2007

LA City Nerd Factiods

Sometimes, others post those City Nerd Factoids that people just love.

Brian Humphrey does well by posting the top 10 busiest fire stations in the City. Check out his list and realize that sometimes, some parts of the City do in fact need more resources than others. (We're looking at you, SFV.)

photo via eecue at flickr

Essential blogs

About 10 days ago, while we guest edited LAist for the day, we made a list of the 10 essential City Nerd blogs we read to get the information we need to stay current on issues of the City that people are talking about. There are over 100 we read, but if we had to read ten, these would be them.

Well, then, this weekend, the LA Daily News published Joseph Mailander's list of a dozen political blogs one should read. Half of them were on my list the week before. Mailander was trying to talk about those blogs that reveal the inside of politics, whereas we're looking at them to show the pulse of civic affairs.

Here's Mailander's list:******

Aside from those marked with an asterisk above, the LA City Nerd list included the following four:
Franklin Avenue
View from a Loft
CD13 Blog

We're not a political blog here, so we wouldn't expect to be listed in Mailander's list. But hopefully, if someone has a question about politics (and the patience to wait sometimes a week or more for an answer), they'll ask us. More than likely we know the process behind it or what's really going on.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Soon, we promise...

Seriously, no one thought that there would be a week without posts. We're working on some things that make not come to fruition on this site soon, but hopefully you - the readers - will see them in the near future.

So, for now, know we're coming back soon. We promise.

So, for your fix of LA City Nerdisms, go back and take a look at one of our posts from last week's LAist guest editorship:

Intro Interview
Top Ten City Nerd sites
LAX's Official Song
Tax Dollars at Work
Going BIG in LA

Oh, wait, that was two weeks ago. (Time seems to be melding together!)

See you soon...