Job Opportunity in L.A. Eco-Village: Resident Co-op Apt. Manager

Our dear apartment managers of the past several years, John and Sandy Maliga, are retiring and moving north to be closer to grandchildren. What a treat it has been to have this team with us for almost five years, and I’m happy for them to be closer to family.

Entrance to main building in L.A. Eco-Village

And so we are searching for a Resident Manager for our 45 unit Urban Soil-Tierra Urbana Limited Equity Housing Cooperative right here in the Los Angeles Eco-Village.

If you, or someone  or some bodies, you know might be interested and qualified in joining our Management Team in our intensely urban intentional community, please see our Job Description and required and desired qualifications here    And submit your letter and resume to:
urbansoilmanagersearchcommittee@googlegroups.com

Also, please help us spread the word.

Note that our public tour schedule of LAEV can be found here:   http://laecovillage.org/home/tours/

UPDATE: the position has been fulfilled. Thanks for your help!

 

 

I had the privilege of meeting with Mayor Garcetti this week

I was honored and delighted to have a personal meeting with the Mayor this week. The Mayor goes way back with LAEV to before he became our Councilman, and we only owned one property instead of four.  So it’s always a delight to see how far both he and LAEV have come in the past dozen years or so.  I asked if we could take a photo, so I could have bragging rights when he’s our President some day.

Here a few of the topics we got to talk about, each of which the Mayor was supportive of.  Still a ways to go on advocacy work.  But with the help of the “less cars” folks, the permaculture folks, Teresa  Baker and her LATCH Collective, Hans Johnson leading the Styrofoam ban, and LAUSD Superintendent Michelle King, and, of course, the passionate folks who live in/at the Los Angeles Eco-Village, it’s all within reach!

  • Return the original intent of AB 744 for car-free affordable housing
    Mayor Garcetti and Lois

    Mayor Garcetti and Lois

    developments near transit.   The City watered this bill down so that developers couldn’t go less than 0.5 spaces per unit.  LAEV could demonstrate this for our future developments.

  • Tiny House Villages, legalize them, even on wheels.
  • Hillside terracing, using permaculture techniques for catching rainwater.
  • Joint City/LAUSD use of playgrounds during off-school hours
  • Styrofoam ban.  Let’s do it.
  • Vision Zero.  A few additional ideas.
  • Potholes and buses.  Best cost/benefits.

Let me know if you want a copy of what I recommended about these items.

 

 

Designing a “Perma-Circular” Economy in the City of Los Angeles

christian-arnspergerLast Summer (2016), L.A. Eco-Village hosted a fascinating public talk with Professor Christian Arnsperger of the Faculty of Geosciences, University of Lausanne, Switzerland. Christian has an endearing love for Los Angeles, always intriguing to hear about from Europeans who are not here just for the “Disneyland” type attractions.

Rather he, like many of us who live and thrive here, Christian has a vision and a plan for transforming Los Angeles in the next 50 years, utilizing permaculture principles, into what he is calling a Perm-Circular Economy. Why not? we ask. Many know that passion, combined with vision, planning, commitment and perseverance can make anything happen! Right?

So, here’s how Christian starts out his blog on this inspiring topic:

“It’s kind of a dream idea. A bit crazy, in fact — the stuff utopian ideas and innovations are made of. You might call it a thought experiment. On a massive scale.

I want to call it Ecovillage L.A. 2066.

The question: What if, 50 years from now, Los Angeles were organized and inhabited as an ecovillage, or – more to the point – a federation of ecovillages?”

Read on about Christian’s vision and plan for our future here.

And read his other fascinating blog posts on Permacircular Horizons

If you’re an LA visionary who wants to join with others to move forward on this new way of living in Los Angeles, let me know! And be sure to add your thinking on this topic to Christian’s blog.

AUTHOR’S NOTE: BARE WITH ME WHILE I GET SOMEONE TO HELP ME GET BETTER AT FORMATTING THESE BLOGS. IF YOU’RE THE ONE, I’M READY FOR YOU. LOIS

120 attend LAEV 20th Anniversary Celebration Honoring Jackie Goldberg

And what a night it was a month ago on December 7th! So cold, we squeezed almost everyone into the lobby, which made us much warmer and cozier, like an art opening, as pizza appetizers circulated hot out of Ray Cirino’s astounding rocket stove with great local and organic veggies donated by Mud Baron and Camille Cimino.

Eco-Villagers Ana Paula Noquez Mercado, Jimmy Lizama (ctr) and Eric Roman

Eco-Villagers Ana Paula Noquez Mercado, Jimmy
Lizama (ctr) and Eric Roman (photo by Yuki)

While wine flowed to accompany Jimmy Lizama’s great rice, beans and veggies with help from sis Mayi Mauricio,  more great food was prepared by Lara Morrison, also chief server for the evening.  Nichole Schwab provided a popular wine pairing activity while Eco- Villagers Jordan B and Becca L. tended bar. To top off the food

Early LAEV visionary Maria Davalos (photo by Yuki).

Early LAEV visionary Maria Davalos (photo by Yuki).

part, 15 dozen fabulous homemade cookies were provided by early LAEV visionary Maria Davalos.                                                                                   

A silent auction and raffle event were  organized by members Claire Bergen and Laura Allen.  LAEV members Yuki Kidokoro and Ianne Lavigne took some terrific photos as did our cohousing consultant and friend Raines Cohen from San Francisco. Yuki K. and Irma Garcia along with our friend Tina Mata helped check folks in at the door.  Other Eco-Villagers circulating to host the event and welcome our guests included Eco Maya Festival producer Julio Santizo, Peter Ralph, George Patton, Melba Thorn, Randy Metz, Somer and Aurisha Walters, Eric Roman, and Michelle Wong.

Thiago Winterstein and friends provide mellow bossa nova

Thiago Winterstein and friends provide mellow bossa nova (photo by Yuki)

Eco-Villager Thiago Winterstein DJed for the event, and, with his musician friends, Elizabeth Perry Dickson, Matt Dickson, and Clark Skelton, provided mellow live Brazilian bossa nova. Los Angeles Country  Bicycle Coalition staff Chris Barnes provided volunteer bicycle valet service.  LA Walks’ Deborah Murphy couldn’t join us but graciously loaned us her catering supplies making our effort at holding a zero waste event very successful.

Midnight dishwashing party with LAEV Intentional Community members.

Midnight dishwashing party with LAEV Intentional Community members (photo by Lois).

We had planned to debut our outdoor courtyard kitchen (coordinated by LAEV member and Greywater Action co-founder Laura Allen) for the dish washing activities, but the cold weather resulted in our carting all the dishes up to our community room for the midnight dish washing party spearheaded by Eco-Villagers Melba Thorn and Ana Paula Noguez Mercado, then joined by members Nichole, Becca, Yuki, Eric, Michelle, Laura, Jordan and Randy who finished the job.

KCET’s “Engaging Spaces” blogger and LAEV friend George Villanueva describes the highlight of the evening as we honored our former LAUSD School Board and City Council member Jackie Goldberg “who fought side by side with LAEV to make the physical and social space for the Village that we see today.” George goes on to quote Jackie saying  “how LAEV members ‘not only talk about what to do, but live it and demonstrate it.'” Go here to read the complete blog post.

Honored guest Jackie Goldberg holds clock plaque award up

Honored guest Jackie Goldberg holds plaque award up (photo by Yuki)

We presented Jackie with a small crystal plaque with the engraved words “Thank you Jackie Goldberg for giving us a garden plot instead of a parking lot” to honor the many times she helped save the LAEV neighborhood from being razed for a new school, especially because there were better alternatives. Jackie set the precedent which ultimately resulted in the saving of the northeast corner of Bimini and White House Place for the White House Place Learning Garden instead of more asphalt.  Currently in development, the corner will eventually host gardening instruction for kids from eight schools within walking distance of LAEV.

Eco-Villagers Mayi Mauricio (left),  George Patton, Lara Morrison

Eco-Villagers Mayi Mauricio (left),
George Patton, Lara Morrison (photo by Yuki)

After the presentation to Jackie, I made a special acknowledgement to Lara Morrison, 15 year LAEV member who has been our buildings manager for over ten years, nearly half of that time as a volunteer.  She will be leaving that position in 2014 as she pursues a variety of other earth-related interests.  A key player in piloting the conversion of our two adjacent apartment buildings of 45 units from conventional nonprofit ownership to the Urban Soil-Tierra Urbana limited equity housing cooperative,  Lara also oversaw the

Eco Maya Festival Producer and BVCLT Board member Julio Santizo.

Eco Maya Festival Producer and BVCLT Board member Julio Santizo (photo by Yuki).

Eco-Villagers Melba Thorn (r) and Lois Arkin

Eco-Villagers Melba Thorn (r) and Lois Arkin (photo by Yuki)

development of the Beverly-Vermont Community Land Trust, which now owns the land underneath that housing.  The White House Place Learning Garden has also been spearheaded by Lara’s boundless energy.  She will, of course, continue as a valued member of our LAEV Intentional Community.

Eco-Home Network Founder Julia Russell, now retired, chats with new ecohome  creator Avo Babian and former EHN board member Mary Proteau

Eco-Home Network Founder Julia Russell, now retired, chats with new Sherman Oaks ecohome creator Avo Babian and former EHN Board member Mary Proteau (photo by Lois).

More media coverage was provided by Koreatown News staffer Leyna Chon.  Referring to Jackie’s comments, Leyna states “Noting the recent natural disasters around the world and the unusually cold LA weather that evening, Jackie also emphasized the urgency of LAEV’s cause,”  referring to the increasing volatility of climate change.  Leyna’s article on LAEV is one of the most comprehensive in recent times, referring in some detail to our Housing Co-op and Community Land Trust, the LAEV membership process, the Arroyo SECO Network of Time Bank, and more.  See full article here.

Arroyo-Seco Network of Time Banks co-founder Autumn Rooney and Santa Barbara Time Bank activist Jonny Sacko

Arroyo-Seco Network of Time Banks co-founder Autumn Rooney and Santa Barbara Time Bank activist Jonny Sacko (photo by Lois)

Among some of our long time friends and activists attending were noted permaculture trainer Dr. Bill Roley, Eco-Home founder Julia Russell, LA Streetsblog founder Damien Newton, permaculture trainer David Kahn, environmental and political activist Hans Johnson; LAEV co-founder and CRSP board president Architect Ian McIlvaine and wife, architect Victoria Yust, both principals of Tierra Sol y Mar; City Planning staffers and CRSP board members David Somers, Priya Mehendale, and immigration attorney Jesse Moorman; Santa Barbara activist Jonny Sacko, Burbank recycling coordinator and long time friend Kreigh Hampel; Time-Bank founder Autumn Rooney, Time Bank activists Lee Conger and Kathie Adams; Cohousing coaches Raines Cohen and Betsy Morris,
affordable housing advocate
and consultant Ryan Lehman,
L.A. River consultant Jill
Sourial, Filipino-American cultural ambassador

Left to right: George Villanueva, Roque Bucton, Michelle Wong, David Kahn

Left to right: George Villanueva, Roque Bucton, Michelle Wong, David Kahn (photo by Yuki)

and environmental activist Roque Bucton, long time affordable housing activist Sheila Bernard; Beverly-Vermont Community Land Trust co-founders and Board members Tina Mata and Helen Campbell; LA County Bicycle Coalition co-founder Ron Milam, popular permaculture activist Hop Hopkins, attorney and social activist Adalilila Zelada-Garcia, Cal State Chicano Studies and Urban Planning professor David Diaz, Sherman Oaks ecohome creator Avo Babian, and school garden activist Mud Baron.

Long time LAEV friend Hop Hopkins with daughter.

Long time LAEV friend Hop Hopkins with daughter (photo by Yuki).

Then Surprise–
The surprise of the evening was when Eco-Village members Yuki Kidokoro and Becca L presented a large framed LAEV photo collage with congratulatory notes from many LAEV community members to LAEV co-founder Lois Arkin (i.e., “me”) along with a very special native buckwheat plant.  I was so surprised and flabbergasted, I was speechless, a most unusual response from someone who generally has something to say about almost everything. It’s pretty hard to keep a secret in the

Yuki Kidokoro and Becca L present congratulatory photo collage to a speechless Lois Arkin

Eco-Villagers present congratulatory photo collage to a speechless Lois Arkin

LAEV community, but they really did it.  After the photo presentation, long time friend and colleague Julia Russell made some very moving  comments about our friendship, followed by Tina Mata’s words of appreciation.  Here are a few of Julia’s words:  “…In my opinion, it’s the most evolutionary project in all of Los Angeles, demonstrating a society of economic and social democracy rooted in ecological wisdom.  Yes, it’s true, as Lois never tires of reminding us, none of us do what we do, or did what we did, alone.  It’s the armies of people that catch the vision and the fire of inspiration and opt to become part of it and give it their energy and commitment that actually bring it to fruition.” (Do email me if you would like to see Julia’s entire comments crsp@igc.org.)  If ever there is a time to make you feel humble, it is when something like this happens, so completely unexpected.

So, yes!, what a night it was to remember.  As an old lady of almost 77, who knows if I’ll be around for the 25th or 30th Anniversary party or not, and/or what shape I’d be in by then, to appreciate such lovely warm and inspiring thoughts?  So a great big public thank you to a wonderful community, one that knows how to throw a great party and make the most brash amongst us feel a tearful and speechless humility.

But, ultimately, the message has got to be:  let’s not take 20 years to create thousands of transitional urban ecovillages.  We’ve got the tools, and, already, there are dozens of eco community initiatives happening right here in the greater Los Angele area. What we call them is not so important as what people are doing in their neighborhoods to connect, collaborate and cooperate with one another for creating an ever higher quality of life at an ever lower environmental impact.  We’re nearly out of time so better to make change happen deeply and rapidly and with all the justice we can muster in the process.

Dec 7, 2013 from 7pm to 11pm: Come celebrate our 20th Anniversary with Us!

We’d love to see you.

You are cordially invited to celebrate the 20th Anniversary of the Los Angeles Eco-Village on Saturday evening, December 7, 2013 from 7pm to 11pm. We are honoring our former school board member and former city council member Jackie Goldberg, and acknowledging the many people who have contributed to our community.

Wine, food, music, fun, silent auction, raffle, schmoozing, networking, hanging out with old friends, making new friends.  Your donation supports new demonstration eco-technologies for our Urban Soil-Tierra Urbana limited equity housing cooperative.
——————————————
It’s a fun raiser and a fund raiser.
Make your reservation by donating here:
Donation: $25 – $100 (or more if you’re able and up for it)*.
Timebankers:  $20 plus 5 Time Dollars to Urban Soil-Tierra Urbana
or RSVP here:  crsp@igc.org or 213/738-1254

*Donations above $25 are tax deductive
as CRSP (the fiscal sponsor for this event)
is a 501.c.3 tax exempt corporation.
——————————————-

For a colorful electronic flyer to pass along to others, go to our website:
www.laecovillage.org

For newbies to our blog:
Los Angeles Eco-Village – Since 1993, LAEV members have been demonstrating how to reinvent urban life by integrating the social, economic and ecological systems of our neighborhood. We work at raising the quality of life while lowering our environmental impacts.

Examples include getting rid of many cars, walking and biking more, growing organic food, participating in our local Time Bank, removing land and housing from the speculative real estate market, home based livelihoods, regular community dinners and meetings, sponsoring public events on urban sustainability, engaging in the visual and performing arts, engaging with neighborhood kids and organizations, and more.

Julio Buddy August 07

Long time L.A. Eco-Villager Julio Santizo reads Diana Leafe Christian’s book Creating a Life Together: Practical Tools for Creating Ecovillages and Intentional Communities.  His pet bird “Buddy” (now gone) sits atop his head.

Job Opportunity at L.A. Eco-Village

Long time dedicated Eco-Villager and Buildings Manager Lara Morrison has decided to step down from this way-more-than-full-time position.  So we’re looking for a new Buildings Manager or possibly two (or 3) member team.  Go here to check out our Job Announcement:

http://laecovillage.org/urban-soil-tierra-urbana/job-opportunities/

Also, feel free to pass this Announcement along to others you think would be qualified and interested and make great neighbors to boot.

Thanks.

 

Large Apartment available in L.A. Eco-Village

Recent mulch delivery at 4-plex

Recent mulch delivery at 4-plex

This is a great opportunity for a household ready to take the big leap to live its dream for participating in the creation of a more sustainable city by example.  Take a look and see if your household qualifies:

Large two bedroom available in transit rich/bicycle friendly permaculture oriented neighborhood (about 3 miles west of downtown and 4 miles south of the Observatory as the crow flies).

The Beverly-Vermont Community Land Trust (BVCLT), a non-profit organization committed to securing permanently affordable, environmentally sensitive housing for low to moderate income households, owns a 4-plex in the L.A Eco-Village that it intends to convert from rental units to affordable condominiums in the next 3 years.  BVCLT is currently taking applications for a one-year lease with an option to purchase if the renter’s household meets purchaser qualifications and demonstrates timely rent payments. The building is located on the southeast corner of Bimini and White House Place. Opportunity to become a member of the LAEV Intentional Community. Approximately 1000 square feet, 2 bedrooms, 1 bathroom, dining room, living room, kitchen, laundry room, shared front and back yards, extra closets.  Rent: $1200 per month plus gas and electric.  No parking. Car-free household or “on your way to car-free.”  Minimum of 2 people, not more than 4 people; families with children encouraged to apply. Length of lease: one year.  No pets. No smokers (residents or guests). Must be aligned with LA Eco-Village core values and BVCLT tenant guidelines

Move-in costs:  $3,000.  Includes 1st and last of  $1200 plus $600 cleaning deposit.

If you are interested, please email Kris Benjamin (140Bimini@gmail.com) to set up a time to view the unit and go over the application. Applications are due as soon as possible, and candidate selection will occur sometime in April.

Income restrictions:
Combined annual income of all people in the household
-Not less than $29,000
and
-Not more than $39,780 for a family of 2
-Not more than $44,760 for a family of 3
-Not more than $49,680 for a family of 4

Credit check and rental application fee:  $25. -4-year rental history check (provide addresses and contact information of previous residences)-Verification of employment and 2 months of pay stubs or comparable

Oppose Unsafe Restart of San Onofre 12/14/12 in City Hall

LA City Council To Vote Tomorrow, Friday December 14 
On Resolution To Oppose Unsafe Restart of San Onofre

This is an issue that is near and dear to the hearts of many of us who have followed the events and on-going disasters at Fukushima.

 
TAKE ACTION
1. Please call your Los Angeles City Councilmember and tell them you support the Koretz/Rosendahl resolution on San Onofre safety!
To find out who your Councilmember is, go to this link: http://lacity.org/YourGovernment/CityCouncil/index.htm  Go to the bottom right hand side of the page where it says “Neighborhood Resources” and type in your address.
2. Please show up at the meeting tomorrow. It is enough to stand up and be counted, when one of the speakers tells everyone in support of the resolution to stand up. If you want to speak, you will have about a minute. The most important message you can give is that you are an LA resident, you are concerned about safety, and you support the resolution. If you are not from LA, it would be most helpful to stand up and be counted, since the Councilmembers will prioritize LA constituents.
WHEN: The council meets tomorrow, Friday, December 14 at 10 a.m. at City Hall, 200 North Spring Street. Please arrive at 9:30 to have time to go through security.
WHERE: ROOM 1010, CITY HALL, 200 NORTH SPRING STREET, LOS ANGELES, CA 90012

Yastel Yamada’s talk on Fukushima now On-Line

Founder of the Skilled Veterans Corps in Japan, Yastel gave a series of talks in the LA area last summer on the Fukushima clean-up crisis. The Skilled Veterans Corps is an association of nearly 1,000 Japanese seniors committed to putting their own lives on the line for the clean-up effort to spare shortening the lives of younger people from the dangerous work that will need to continue for years to come. Here’s the link with subtitles: http://www.SocialUplift.org Please pass along to as many as you can. This is a wake-up call, too, for our own dangerous situation with nuclear power plants and earthquakes.

Let’s Have An s4p Plaza Right Quick!

More Streets for People Coming to Los Angeles Soon:
Great Opportunity for Neighborhoods Councils

Stephanie Speights is in the Masters Program in Urban Sustainability at Antioch University  in Culver City. She’s doing an internship with CRSP here in L.A. Eco-Village and has a passion for transportation issues.  She’ll be working with our community and neighborhood on the process and a plan for transforming our alleyway and a portion of Bimini Place into a mini park, thereby radically reducing traffic in LAEV and generating a variety of other benefits for the neighborhood.

Architect & President, L.A. City Planning Commission Bill Roschen with L.A. Eco-Village Transportation Intern Stephanie Speights at s4p meeting.

On Wednesday, May 16th, Stephanie and I attended a meeting at the LA office of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) where Architect and president of the L.A. City Planning Commission, Bill Roschen, gave a presentation on the City’s s4p program, along with Public Health Policy Analyst Margot Ocañas.

By now, most of you have heard about the City’s first s4p project, the Sunset Plaza triangle (at Griffith Park Blvd. and Sunset in the Silverlake area), or if you haven’t, check it out here: http://flyingpigeon-la.com/2012/03/a-place-in-the-sun/

What most of us probably hadn’t heard is that the 11,000 square foot plaza was accomplished by the City in partnership with local community groups in an unprecedented four months and for under $30,000! (Of course, the community groups worked and advocated for this many years before the City actually got involved).

Planning Commissioner Roschen is passionate about  pedestrianizing our city.  Inspired by New York City’s transformation of Broadway Continue reading

Remembering the 1992 Uprisings and the start of LAEV

How LAEV came to be at Bimini and White House Place

First fruit tree planting on northeast corner of Bimini & White House Place,
Earth Day April 1993. Tree was named “Percy Persimmons.”

It was a Wednesday afternoon. I was sitting in my living room with Lottie Cohen working on the book we were co-authoring: Cooperative Housing Compendium. (Email me if you are interested in getting the on-line link to this book).

I lived in the four-plex across the street from the Bimini Apartments where the White House Place Learning Garden is going. Mine was the lower east unit. My front door was always open, weather permitting, and I didn’t use curtains or shades on the windows, so
there was a clear view out to White House, the intersection and Bimini Place. Lottie and I were sitting at a round glass table in the living room/library/office facing the windows and open door.

I had just returned two days before from Adelaide, Australia where I had been invited as a keynote speaker at the Second International Ecocities Conference and was full of enthusiasm for finishing the book and starting to focus more heavily on ecovillage planning.

There were always pedestrians on Bimini, and there were pedestrians that day. But suddenly, Lottie abruptly interrupted our work: “Lois, there’s rioting out there. We need to leave now. Grab what you need, I’m taking you home with me!” Continue reading

State Senator Leland Yee visits L.A. Eco-Village

State Senator Leland Yee inspects new art studio with Eco-Villager Ianne Lavigne

We were honored to give State Senator Leland Yee a tour of LA Eco-Village in early February. In this photo, Eco-Villager Ianne Lavigne shows him the nearly completed eco art studio she has been creating. The Senator was particularly interested in our integrated approach to permaculture and is considering holding a Senate hearing on the subject. Senator Yee represents the 8th District which includes San Francisco and San Mateo counties.

FUN TO BE HAD & HELP NEEDED SUNDAY 8/21 FROM NOON TO 5

L.A. Eco-Village is repairing its cob lizard bench on Sunday 8/21
from noon to 5.  If you are interested in natural building, take
this opportunity to observe and work with Ray Cirino, artist/inventor/
permaculturist, and mosaic artist, Lee Adams.  Ray
will be bringing his Sparky, the dragon pizza oven to the event
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zPSq9_QA4m0 so bring a pizza or pizza
toppings to enjoy from his very eco-friendly oven. AND, we'll also be
doing a partial street closing with music and dancing in the street.

Come and have fun, even if you don’t have time to help.
But if you do, here’s the help needed:

– Schlepping tables, chairs to the street and/or
– Traffic control (we will be closing off half the street) and/or
– Take a turn as pizza chef (this is really simple and training provided) and/or
– Bring acoustic musical instruments to make music in the street and/or
– Setting up shade canopies if needed and/or
– Staffing a sign-in and info table for Echo Park Time Bank and L.A. Eco-Village

Come for an hour, a few hours or the whole event. Time Dollars paid for how many hours you spend helping (for Echo Park Time Bank members http://www.echoparktimebank.com)

Note that Ray’s Dragon Pizza Oven is also available for events and parties.

Contact: Lois Arkin, 213/738-1254, crsp@igc.org
Location of event: 131 Bimini Place, LA 90004 (one block east of Vermont between First and Second Streets

Music Event/Food Sat Night 5/7 from 6 to midnight

Sat., May 7, 2011 from 6 pm to midnight at L.A. Eco-Village

Music! Music! Music! Different kinds. Some loud! Some soft!
Bands Single performers Duos
Electronic. Amplified. Acoustic
Some you’ve heard of; some not.

Fundraiser for L.A. Eco-Villagers’ and Friends’ Burning Man Cafe
$5 to $20 sliding scale.

Cafe Negro at Burning Man provides FREE Cafecito Organico coffee and musical entertainment to Burning Man attendees.

Please help us do it again this year, and support local businesses and fair trade organic coffee!

6 to 9 pm:  BBQ
8 pm to midnight: Music:
The Atomic Bomb Audition, The Shirley Rolls, fitter, Thiago Winterstein, Dust4ngel, Astronovazz, Telematique and more

Dunkelbunt Brewery Beer available by donation.

No reservations required.

Complete Streets Conference Packed 2/25/11

Complete Streets are multi-use environments that enable safe and comfortable access for all users on both roadways and sidewalks in a way that promotes vibrant, healthy and active neighborhoods.  Pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists and public transportation users of all ages and abilities, including older people, children and people with disabilities, are able to safely move along and across a Complete Street environment.”  (Definition from Conference Program)

Strong examples are noticeably lacking in Los Angeles, but this conference was designed to inspire people to action!

Packed room at Complete Streets conference

Held at the Japanese American National Museum in downtown LA, it was a treat to go to a conference on one of my favorite topics: making streets more people friendly. You might say I’m a radical “streets for people” person, my attempt to be more positive than saying I’m a radical anti-carist, not wanting my car owning friends to be offended by my passions.

The unusually long day (8am to 7 pm) was supported with lots of fabulous food.  Though I don’t want to appear unappreciative of the many culinary delights, probably we could do with less eating and more movement a la Japanese style.  Seems like tai chi breaks are more common than coffee breaks in that part of the world, and there’s a lot less obesity and degenerative diseases there as well, so no time like the present to start eating less and moving ourselves more, much easier once our streets become more complete, the main subject here, after all.

The event was sold out nearly two weeks before the happening.  It was impressive to see that at least half the 350 or so attendees were staff from a variety of public agencies:  Metro, L.A. City’s Department of Transportation, L.A. County’s Department of Public Health and others.  The balance of attendees were primarily students and faculty from several local academic institutions.  UCLA’s Lewis and Luskin Centers, along with Los Angeles County RENEW (Renew Environments for Nutrition, Exercise, and Wellness) were the co-organizing sponsors.  Many other sponsors lent energy to the event, including UC’s Transportation Center, The California Endowment, Metro, Green LA, AIA Los Angeles, ASLA Southern California, LACBC, SCAG, Safe Routes to School, UEPI at Occidental College, AHBE Landscape Architects, the Castle Press, Stanley R. Hoffman Associates, Linscott Law & Greenspan engineers, APA, LA City Planning Departement, Ryan Snyder Associates and Safe Routes to School.  Gosh, hope I didn’t leave anyone out (the papers never credit all the great energy that goes into making a successful event–yeah blogs! Oh, and then there were also advisory and outreach committees made up of many hard working folks whose names will be familiar to most of you who follow this stuff).  A healthy showing of nonprofit reps and activists were also attending.

Though I didn’t get there till almost noon, I still heard some cool quotes.  Here are a few:

Why did you go to school?” Professor Emeritus Allan B. Jacobs asked rhetorically.  “To get ideas!  Then, propose them!”  Jacobs taught City and Regional Planning and Urban Design at UC Berkeley, and formerly headed up San Francisco’s Planning Department.  His quote seemed to be directed toward anyone who might complain about  things not being right, but especially those who work in the public sector.

Continue reading

L.A. Weekly Bike Article features Eco-Villagers

Check it out: several mentions of  Eco-Villagers Joe Linton, Jimmy Lizama, Adonia LugoRon Milam and Eco-Village, too, plus many bicycle activist friends of LAEV.  This is a lengthy article which will hold the interest of bike folks all the way through.  Focusing on the upsurge in bicycle activism the past few years, it culminates in Stephen Box’s run for City Council.

But, overall, the article provides a very male perspective, with just brief mention of Adonia Lugo (who with Bobby Gadda and a few other  Eco-Villagers brought CicLAvia to LA ) and too much criticism of dedicated LADOT project coordinator for bicycles, Michelle Mowery.  Really, there are so many very actively involved women in the movement, and I hope we will start seeing many of them featured in the mainstream media in the positive light that they shine on this city.

Aurisha Smolarski-Waters is one of them, having contributed in major ways during her recent years with the LACBC.  While she loves seeing our LAEV neighbors in the media, she urges our neighbors and friends to note the contributions of women when speaking with the media.

Aurisha Smolarski-Waters advocating in City Hall

“This gender bias on bicycle issues has been an ongoing conversation among a few of us here in LAEV,” says Aurisha.   “I am starting to wonder if it is not part of our mission living here to also think about this as a social justice issue, not only in the way we live, but also in the way we portray the history of the movements, which many of us are a part of, to the media.  Being highlighted in the media is awesome and a great opportunity to start shifting the way people think,” she adds.

Dave Auerbach in the L.A. Times 2/2/11

Having a birthday lunch with my neighbor Dale today, he told me about this article that he caught in yesterday’s LA Times, and that he’d posted the hard copy on our bulletin board.  Couldn’t wait to get home to read it, especially when Dale indicated that he really understood what Dave’s research was about from this article, something that’s always been a bit too fuzzy for me.  But Lopez did clarify it for me.  Nonetheless, the critical part is about the simpletons that think they belong to the same species as we do but don’t want a rapid bus lane in their neighborhood.  Really strange, I agree.  How about an 8 lane two direction critical mass bike ride three days a week through those hoods till they cry “Uncle!”  Here’s the article (link to original):

Peering into a post-petroleum world

As protests in Egypt underscore the hazards of relying on imported oil, a bus and bike-riding scientist at UCLA is working on clean fusion energy that could wean us from foreign fuel.
By Steve Lopez

Dave Auerbach relaxing at home in LAEV courtyard

February 2, 2011

The story of how I ended up in the basement of a UCLA physics building, getting a tour of a plasma facility with a young scientist working on the development of clean fusion energy, begins with the uprisings in the Middle East.

On Monday morning, I headed west on Wilshire Boulevard with a couple of items on the agenda. First, I wanted to see if I could find any demonstrators left over from the weekend. People were still marching in the streets of Cairo, demanding the ouster of longtime U.S. ally Hosni Mubarak, so I thought there might still be a few protesters carrying signs in front of the West L.A. federal building.

I also wanted to meet with a UCLA student who had e-mailed me to say that he was ticked off about opposition to the proposed bus-only lane for Wilshire Boulevard. David Auerbach, a doctoral candidate who has no car and commutes by bicycle and bus, called the piecemeal scaling back of the bus plan “a great example of the typical L.A. governance.” He didn’t mean that as a compliment. Continue reading