A busy afternoon
Experience the joys of Backyard Chicken-keeping!
Come hang out @ the Little Blue House for a fun and interactive chicken-keeping teach-in! Meet the chickens, see the henhouse and chicken run. Learn how raising chickens and veggies can be complementary activities. Featuring guest speakers the Gardenerd & HoneyLove! We’ll wrap up the afternoon with a potluck feast.
& POTLUCK PARTY
Little Blue House—Culver City 90230
For specific address, RSVP
or text or call 310-780-1051
(please RSVP for a head count)
Workshop is free—
Donations are welcome (helps support future events).
Please bring a potluck dish for 8-10 people.
About Our Guest Presenters:
Christy Wilhelmi will talk to us about chickens as gardening companions and the “workhorses” of a healthy garden ecosystem plus other kernals of wisdom from her new book Gardening for Geeks which she’ll have on hand for purchase. ” REVIEW: “Gardening for Geeks is written in easy to understand language that will be useful for both the beginner and advanced gardener. There are loads of photographs, drawings and charts to help you see exactly what the author is covering in each chapter. If you pick up one gardening book this season, this needs to be it.” - Confessions of an Overworked Mom
HoneyLove’s Chelsea McFarland will pop by to speak for the bees! A local nonprofit conservation organization, HoneyLove’s mission is to protect the honeybees and inspire and educate new urban beekeepers. Why urban beekeeping? HoneyLove believes that the city is the last refuge of the honeybee. Our home gardens are free of pesticides, and in cities like Los Angeles, there is year-round availability of pollen and nectar.
Will Culver City residents be allowed to put veggies on the parkways abutting their homes?
Can property owners place benches and community library boxes on the parkways without getting fined?
In these economically challenging times, would a permit fee of $151.50 for installing drought tolerant perennials and succulents in one’s parkway promote or prevent people from removing their thirsty lawn strips?
How can our city ordinances support best-use of abundant residential parkway public land?
Out with lawn grass strips, in with drought tolerant plantings and food gardens!
Many Southern California cities are re-writing their residential parkway ordinances to be more in alignment with the environmental need for drought tolerance while creating a framework for aesthetics and ease of use. Now Culver City governance has Parkways on the agenda this coming TUESDAY, MAY 28, 2013 and you – yes you! – can be part of the conversation.
CULVER CITY PUBLIC MEETING TO DISCUSS
ADOPTION of a RESOLUTION ESTABLISHING
RESIDENTIAL PARKWAY STANDARDS
TUESDAY, May 28th, 2013, 7pm
Culver City Council Chambers
9770 Culver Blvd., Culver City, 90232
From Culver City’s Official Public Notice of Meeting :
On Tuesday, May 28, 2013, the City Council is scheduled to consider the 1) Introduction of an ordinance related to the process for tree removals and the requirements for making modifications to parkways; and (2) Adoption of a resolution establishing Residential Parkway Standards. All members of the public are welcome to attend and participate in the discussion.
If you live locally and are reading this website, it is most likely you’ve already converted your parkway to something more environmentally friendly with an array of luxurious drought-happy plants and bushes. And perhaps you’re growing a patch of veggies there, or put a park bench and a winding path in your parkway to help build community in your neighborhood like City Repair has encouraged throughout Portland, Oregon. Or maybe you’ve even installed a Little Free Library to promote literacy & solidarity in your neighborhood! Well, it looks like all of this and more will be out-of-compliance and incurring permit fees and possible fines if the new regulations go through unchallenged.
SEE CULVER CITY’s new proposed ordinance here >>
(scroll to Agenda Item A-1)
NOTE: There’s also information on tree removal in the ordinance,
but the focus of this blogpost is on parkway landscaping.
Come deliver your 3 minutes of opinion in person to the council,
or if you can’t attend but wish to express your views,
write an email to the council.
Please familiarize yourself with the actual 5/28 agenda item report
(just posted 5/22) so you’ll be up to date with the facts.
When you come to City Hall chambers, fill out a speaker’s card—ask for assistance if it’s your first time.
IN A NUTSHELL: The report drafted by staff is an amendment to a chapter of city municipal code pertinent to Parkway Planting Standards and Tree Removal Regulations & Ordinances. Exhibit C&D of the report includes a list of recommended plantings: 20 lawn alternatives (EXHIBIT C, no permit required) and 64 drought tolerant perennials & low bushes (EXHIBIT D, permit required)—nothing over 30 inches allowed. No edibles, no garden veggies, no fruit trees. And there’s hardscaping limitations too. TO VIEW THE LIST of recommended plants which includes helpful color reference pictures, go to the 5/28/13 Agenda report, scroll to Item A-1, click on the underlined description, then click on the PDF of “Attachments” on the right, then scroll to “Exhibit D”… whew!
Too much work? Here’s some excerpts from the proposed ordinance:
§ 9.08.210—PLANTINGS, LANDSCAPING, HARDSCAPES OR OTHER ITEMS IN PARKWAYS: PERMIT REQUIRED
A. No person shall plant any tree, plant, shrub, flower, vine, vegetable, grain, or other vegetation in or on any Parkway in the City without first obtaining a permit from the Public Works Director. Such permit shall state the variety, location and size of trees, plants and shrubs to be planted.
B. No person shall install, construct, deposit, or maintain any stepping stones, pavers, brick, rock, concrete structure or any other item or obstacle in or on any Parkway within the City without first obtaining a permit from the Public Works Director. Such permit shall state the type and location of materials to be installed, constructed, deposited or maintained…
If we’ve read the report correctly, it says that, pending passage of this proposed ordinance and Standards, a processing application & inspection fee for a basic parkway permit (other than walkable plantings selected from the recommended list) of $151.50 will be enacted. We’re hoping for some clarification on this point.
Here’s more from the proposed Ordinance about code violations:
§ 9.08.230 — VIOLATIONS UNLAWFUL; PENALTIES; ADMINISTRATIVE COST RECOVERY
C. A violation of any provision of this Subchapter is subject to a civil action brought by the City Attorney, punishable by a civil fine not less than one hundred dollars ($100) and not exceeding one thousand dollars ($1,000) per violation for each day, or part thereof, such violation occurs.
D. A violation of any provision of this Subchapter may, at the discretion of the City Attorney, be prosecuted as an infraction or misdemeanor and subject to the criminal penalties provided in Sections 1.01.040 and 1.01.045 of this Code…
F. It is the intent of the City Council to recover the costs incurred by the City from: (1) enforcing and obtaining compliance with the provisions of this Subchapter and (2) damage to City property resulting from violations of the Subchapter.
Continuing on to page 7, concerning EXISTING NON-CONFORMING PARKWAYS, the report says:
There are currently a significant number of unpermitted alterations to parkways that will be out-of-compliance with these proposed Residential Parkway Standards (and with the existing CCMC and Proposed Ordinance, if adopted, which require a permit). Code Enforcement has not been aggressively pursuing these violations due to the lack of clear Standards and a designated permit process. With the adoption of the proposed Residential Parkway Standards, the Code Enforcement Division has indicated that it intends to prioritize enforcement based on complaints received and the severity of the violations, consistent with the current Council-approved approach.
And here’s some illustrations from Exhibit B of the Report’s Attachments:
Can Culver City create customized regulations to suit the needs of our residents? Can we plan ahead as an entire community to become more resilient and food-growing-friendly in the face of challenging times or have a conversation about appropriate use of public space for the public good? Come let Culver City governance know your opinion!
If you’d like to learn more about this issue from the Los Angeles perspective, here’s some interesting stories:
“Taking Back the Streets through Urban Agriculture” from ROOTS OF CHANGE >>
An opinion about the L.A. Parkway Planting Rules from our friends the urban D.I.Y. homestead folks at ROOT SIMPLE >>
SUCCESSFUL CHALLENGE of L.A. MUNICIPAL CODE § 56.08: Support Growing Edibles on the Parkway in L.A. >>
The inspirational story of LA’s Urban Garden Guerrilla Ron Finley on TED TALKS, Long Beach, Feb 2013:
(over a million views!)
If embedded video not visible above, click here to view:
Hope to see you at City Hall on Tuesday, May 28th!
Read about how the vote went >>>
(spoiler alert: happy beginning, much more story to unfold!)
Bike/Train Field Trip to Downtown Los Angeles
WHEN: Saturday, June 1, 2013 9 am – 3 pm
WHERE: Meet-up at Culver City Hall
9770 Culver Blvd. Culver City 90230
Come spend an exciting day touring downtown LA with the friendly alternative transportation commuters of TCC and CC Bike Coalition who will teach you the ins & outs of bike-train travel.
Learn how to take your bike on the train with the group or join us sans bike—since we won’t be riding very far, this trip is suitable for walkers and bicyclists.
Things to bring:
• Picnic lunch
• Bike helmet (if on bike)
• Bike lock (if on bike)
• Metro pass or money to purchase a pass ($5 for all day pass)
We’ll rendezvous at Culver City City Hall plaza to receive some basic bike safety instruction from Meghan Sahli-Wells, one of the founders of Culver City Bicycle Coalition and now Vice Mayor of Culver City. Some points covered will be where to ride, the importance of “being predictable” on your bike, how to make safe turns and how to let drivers know your intentions.
Then we’ll board the Expo Line train at the downtown Culver City station, go to the end of the line and change trains at the 7th Street Station to get to the L.A. Civic Center Station. Then we’ll pedal and/or walk to the new Grand Park for our al fresco picnic lunch. We’ll have a chance to try out the famous lime green bike lanes of Spring Street adjacent to the park and explore the public sculpture art of the park.
THE LAST BOOKSTORE‘s upstairs Labyrinth: a porthole into an alternate universe. (Photo courtesy of Genaro Molina/Los Angeles Times / February 28, 2013 )
One more stop before we catch the train home: The Last Book Store, a former bank building that’s been converted into a fascinating bookstore/art gallery/performance space. In addition to being an amazing placed to buy used books for a great price, the Last Book Store also hosts special events and has become a communal canvas for local artists. There are many nooks and hidden passageways to discover (including an authentic bank vault). You might want to bring some cash for the labyrinthine $1-per-book room!
Then we’ll board the train for the return trip to Culver City.
Support the Plastic Bag Ban in Culver City
WHEN: Monday, May 13th, 2013, 7 pm
WHERE: Culver City Hall , Council Chambers 9770 Culver Blvd. Culver City 90230
Let your voice be heard with our local governance!
This coming Monday night May 13th, staff will introduce the proposed Plastic Bag Ordinance to the Culver City Council to discuss and vote on. (READ THE ORDINANCE DETAILS HERE)
1) Introduction of an Ordinance banning single-use plastic carryout bags and requiring a minimum $0.10 per bag charge for single-use paper carryout bags; and 2) Adoption of Resolutions adopting an Addendum to the Los Angeles County Final Environmental Impact Report (FEIR), Mitigation Monitoring Program, and Statement of Overriding Considerations in accordance with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).
If you live, work, play or shop in Culver City, please help us communicate the importance of reducing plastic bag use in our city by delivering your 3 minutes in person to the council, or by writing an email to the council to be read aloud in the chambers. When you come to City Hall chambers, fill out a speaker’s card—ask for assistance if its your first time.
THE PROPOSED PLASTIC BAG ORDINANCE >>
Read the article FIRST VOTE ON PLASTIC BAG ORDINANCE TO HAPPEN ON MAY 13
by Gary Walker in the 05/09/13 Culver City News >>
Here are some helpful talking points
From Heal the Bay >>
From Surfrider >>
What our community had to say about this issue back in 2010 >>
TCC’s Plastic Bag Think Tank Video >>
Council member Meghan Sahli-Wells’ Plastic Bag Report on 350.org >>
Where do many of those bags end up? Swirling around in one of the FIVE GYRES! >>
Get Ready for MISINFORMATION TACTICS from the Plastic Bag Industry >>
In Defense of Plastic Bag Bans (on GreenBiz blog) >>
“PLASTIC BAG WARS” article in Rolling Stone >>
Don’t think there’s a problem? THINK AGAIN.
TCC recently co-hosted a screening of a riveting documentary called TRASHED starring Jeremy Irons as the beleaguered narrator traveling around the world seeing how humanity has been dealing with its refuse. ONE OF THE BIG OFFENDERS is the seemingly innocuous single use plastic grocery bag… because plastic never really ever goes “away.” When it breaks down, the miniscule pieces of bag are mistaken for plankton and consumed by the bottom of the food chain, which then is consumed on up the food chain until it reaches us! Watch Jeremy age before your very eyes as the facts & stats unfold: TRAILER >>
We have a chance to make a difference here in Culver City if we can convince our council members that banning single use plastic bags by larger grocery store chains is a change mandated by the people. Will you stand up and speak out next Monday?
Arborist Pieter Severynan at a recent fruit tree pruning seminar in Culver City. He has generously offered to speak at the upcoming Green Garden Showcase
Saturday, April 20, 2013
Showcase hours: 10 am – 4 pm
TREE TALKS with PIETER SEVERYNEN:
10:30 a.m. – 11:45 a.m.
11375 Matteson Ave, LA 90066
Transition Culver City is proud to announce that popular westside arborist and landscape architect Pieter Severynen will be offering three short presentations at the upcoming Mar Vista Green Garden Showcase!
The author of the LA Times’ popular “Tree of the Week” series, Pieter will be sharing his wisdom with Showcase visitors as well as providing helpful hand-outs. Anyone who pops by during this window of time is in for a treat! Here’s the schedule:
10:30 – 10:45 am
Care of Southern California Fruit Trees:
Selection, Planting, Pruning and Maintenance
11:00 – 11:15 am
Recommended Low Chill Fruit Trees for Southern California
11:30 – 11:45 am
A Silent Jungle:
The Soil Under Our Feet
Come learn from an authentic master tree whisperer! Pieter has 35+ years experience as a Licensed California Landscape Architect and 20 years as a certified arborist. He speaks to civic groups on a variety of environment-related subjects including water in the world & global warming. His independent LA consulting firm is known for creating integrated, low resource consuming, emotionally appealing, environmentally sensitive, ecologically sustainable green space designs that emphasize character revealing trees and shrubs, low maintenance and long term viability.
This showcase garden, one of 100 gardens open to self-guided tours on the Showcase day, is also the Guest Booth for our local Transition Towns movement. Read more on TCC>>
Go to MAR VISTA GREEN GARDEN SHOWCASE website homepage >>
Sunday, April 21, 2013
10 am – 3 pm
From Downtown L.A. to Venice Beach
With the downtown Culver City restaurant districtas an official hub!
Includes FREE Bike Valet!
15 miles of open road — right in the middle of Los Angeles!
Here’s a plug for a wonderful day out with family and friends: It’s your chance to pedal down the middle of Venice Blvd unencumbered by those pesky fossil fuel mobiles with a sea of other bicycle enthusiasts! Or walk, or scooter/skate, or play catch, picnic, play tag, or dance with your hula-hoop… This Earth Day weekend the CicLAvia route goes right through our neighborhood, starting in downtown L.A., and ending at Venice Beach, with an official rest stop in downtown Culver City. Our friends at the Culver City Bike Coalition are hosting the Bike Valet across from the Culver Hotel.
The CCBC departs from Media Park heading downtown for CicLAvia 2012. Credit: Dino Parks
(To the uninitiated, Bike Valet means you can check-in your 2 wheeler and have it watched by a responsible crew while you and your family and/or friends dine and explore downtown Culver City—No muss, no fuss. Then reclaim your bike and off you go, westward down Venice Blvd to the sea!)
The CCBC is Culver City’s local chapter of the LA County Bike Coalition, Founded in 1998, LACBC works to build a better, more bike-able Los Angeles County and is the only membership-based nonprofit organization working exclusively for the millions of people who ride bikes in Los Angeles County. Through advocacy, education and outreach, Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition brings together the diverse bicycling community in a united mission to make the entire L.A. region a safe and enjoyable place to ride. The Culver City chapter is an all-volunteer, member-supported organization that encourages cycling, educates cyclists and motorists for safer streets, advocates to make Culver City more bike-friendly, and supports the successful implementation of the Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan (unanimously approved by the City Council in November 2010).
CicLAvia has no “start” or “finish”—the streets operate as a platform allowing participants to enjoy the space as they see fit. So join in on the route wherever you’re at, travel as far as you wish, enjoy the official hub stops, all of which include portable toilets and hydration stations. There will be activities along the route, and shop owners and restaurants are encouraged to open their doors to people along the route… celebrate a day without cars!
Here’s the route:
Or get the enlargeable PDF online >>
See you on the Blvd!
11375 Matteson Ave. — Showcase Garden #5F — Transition Town Guest Booth
Saturday, April 20, 2013
10 am – 4 pm
SELF-GUIDED TOUR of 100 RESIDENTIAL GARDENS
Throughout our Community!
Tour Maps available at:
Showcase Central — House #4H >>
Transition Town Guest Booth — House #5F >>
11375 Matteson Avenue, L.A. 90066
This annual Earth Day event in Mar Vista offers self-guided tours of 100 home gardens that exemplify environmentally friendly alternatives to the classic lawn. These local homeowners, renters, schools and churches have all taken the leap and converted their thirsty green expanses into drought-tolerant landscapes and edible gardens. The tour covers the spectrum from homespun do-it-yourself projects to professionally landscaped environments—including urban farms, sleek architectural hardscapes, composting & vermiculture, rain harvesting, aquaponics, chicken coops, sculpture gardens, hummingbird gardens… you name it! This year’s tour places special emphasis on the critical need for ocean friendly gardens and California native gardens that support much needed pollinators such as honey bees and monarch butterflies. It’s a great day to gather ideas and inspiration for your own future lawn conversion!
The International TRANSITION TOWNS movement will be represented at the special guest booth at house #5F, 11375 Matteson Ave., Los Angeles CA 90066. It’s a collaboration between two local chapters: TCC (of course) and our neighbors, Transition Mar Vista/Venice. So if you’re not in a hurry to see the other 99 showcase gardens, there’s plenty of al fresco patio areas here to sit down, pour a lemonade, and hang out to chat with like-minded people about community resilience, food security solutions, permaculture, alternative building, water harvesting, food forests, and much more.
Learn about Transition Mar Vista/Venice’s pay-it-forward Good Karma Gardens work parties—they’re a great way to get started if you want to learn how to grow your own food! And if you need even more motivation to drop by, come by to meet seedling master Matt Van Diepen (of Mar Vista Farmers’ Market fame!) who will be on hand with FREE veggie seedling giveaways and advice on how to include more home-grown edibles in your life. Owner of Home Grown Gardens L.A., Matt is one of GKG’s skilled project coordinators.
This year, House #5F features dwarf fruit trees and berry bushes, a brilliant display of spring wildflowers, stealth veggies interspersed with drought tolerant natives, meandering flagstone pathways and do-it-yourself bistro-style hardscaping all done under strict budgetary parameters—everything cheap, recycled, scavenged and free! For helpful Do-It-Yourself tips, read the event report and access the resource links from last year’s Showcase workshop D.I.Y.: Yes You Can!: Creative Lawn Conversions on a Budget.
Another feature at this location is an unusual “hybrid” active and passive urban rainwater harvesting system. Last winter the homeowners hosted a barn-raising-style Work Party to install the system. (SEE VIDEO HERE!) The volunteer crew, wrangled by Transition-friendly landscape architect John Tikotsky, created a passive diversion “reservoir” to help recharge the aquifer, helped install unique vertical tanks (an alternative to conventional rain barrels) for active catchment, and positioned a subsurface diverter pipe to feed the percolation area. The reservoir berms were planted with California native currants (ribes family) and shade happy leafy greens as the beginnings of an edible food forest understory. All this, in one day—a true demonstration of the power of community!
PEDAL-POWER! FREE BICYCLE PARKING
In efforts to support our community’s shift to a fossil-free future, TCC and our friends at the Culver City Bicycle Coalition are co-hosting a “pop-up” bike corral at House # 5F. Celebrate Earth Day in style: Visitors are invited to lower their carbon footprint by cruising the garden tour by bike!
Showcase maps are available at the Transition Guest Booth or Showcase Central at House #4F at 3635 Grandview Blvd.
2012 Showcase Bike Corral
Transition Culver City is combining forces with other local democracy & environmental activists and West Los Angeles College to present an action-oriented seminar about fracking and the democratic process.
Saturday, March 23, 2013
Registration: 9:30 am
Seminar: 10:00 am – 1:00 pm
West Los Angeles College
9000 Overland Ave., Culver City 90230
Fine Arts Auditorium (FA 100)
FREE parking—South Parking Structure only
Enter on Albert Vera Drive [map]
Seeking ways to squeeze a yield from depleted oil fields, producers of natural gas and oil across the nation are using a controversial extraction method called hydraulic fracturing (aka “FRACKING”) which forces a mixture of water and various chemicals underground under very high pressure to access hidden pockets of oil and gas. Despite sketchy regulations, ambiguous safety reports and public outrage, corporate interests continue to drive the current fracking and drilling boom.
What does this have to do with Southern California?
The Inglewood Oil Fields which hunker on the hills above WLA College is the largest contiguous urban oil field in America and is bi-sected by the active Newport-Inglewood fault line. Despite protests from concerned citizens about various health and safety issues—from air quality & noise pollution to cracks in their foundations—the 2012 Baldwin Hills Fracking Study reveals that the field has already been fracked, and that the sentous shale deep underground is a good candidate for more of the same unless the people unite to find their voice. The LA Times ran this article about the study >>
Come learn about your community rights and how to successfully mobilize.
- Fracking & Democratic Process: Risks, Costs, Benefits
- • Learn about local oil/gas extraction and fracking (hydraulic fracturing) and who benefits.
- • Understand the health impacts and risks associated with fracking: are you at risk or paying the costs?
- • Understand your options and how to exercise your democratic muscle…use it or lose it! How to take effective action on important issues.
- • Create an action plan: sign up for direct action that will make a difference
Speakers & Agenda:
9:30 am — Coffee & Registration
10:00 am — Introductory Remarks
President Abu-Ghazaleh, plus WLAC faculty and student body representatives
The History and Terminology of Hydraulic Fracturing
C. Tom Williams, Ph.D., oil field specialist, Sierra Club CalFrac representative
— Urban Hazards of Oil Production in the L.A. Basin
Paul Ferrazzi, Executive Director, Citizens Coalition for a Safe Community
California: Don’t Be Pennsylvania!
Lance Simmens, Former Special Assistant for Intergovernmental Affairs to Ed Rendell, Former Governor of Pennsylvania
The Health Hazards of Fracking Chemicals
James Dahlgren, M.D., Envirotoxocology and Internal Medicine, UCLA Dept of Medicine
Culver City: Fracking City
Culver City Council Member Meghan Sahili-Wells
Proposal for a Ballot Initiative and Charter Amendment
Culver City Mayor Emeritus Gary Silbiger
12:15 pm — Q & A, Legislative Options
Stephen Murray, Baldwin Hills Oil Watch
12:30 pm — Closing Remarks
Prof. Olga Shewfelt, WLAC Professor of International Relations
12:45 pm — Adjourn for Action Planning Information
Transition Culver City teams up with Citizens Coalition for a Safe Community, Baldwin Hills Oil Watch, Make Culver City Safe, and our hosts at WLA College and their Work Environment Committee for this important awareness-raising forum and opportunity to learn about the democratic process.
Here’s the schedule with speakers all in one place:
Quick on the heels of our inspiring fieldtrip to Nader Khalili’s earth-building paradise Cal-Earth, TCC has decided to add an extra movie night to our March events:
TCC Eco-Movie Night:
Saturday, March 16, 2013 • 6:45 pm – 9:30 pm
WHERE: The Little Blue House
(RSVP TCC for location)
BYO drinks, FREE Popcorn!
Stay after for lively discussion.
Garbage Warrior is a feature-length documentary film telling the epic story of maverick US architect Michael Reynolds and his fight to introduce radically sustainable housing to the public. An extraordinary tale of triumph over bureaucracy, Garbage Warrior is above all an intimate portrait of an extraordinary individual and his dream of changing the world.
Imagine a home that heats itself, provides its own water, and grows its own food. Imagine that it needs no expensive technology, that it recycles its own waste, and has its own power source. And now imagine that it can be built anywhere, by anyone, out of the things society throws away…
Thirty years ago, architect Michael Reynolds imagined just such a home—then set out to build it. A visionary in the classic American mode, Reynolds has been fighting ever since to bring his concept to the public. He believes that in an age of ecological instability and impending natural disaster, his buildings can—and will—change the way we live. Shot over three years in the USA, India and Mexico, Garbage Warrior is a snapshot of contemporary geo-politics and an inspirational tale of triumph over bureaucracy, as well as an intimate portrait of an extraordinary individual and his dream of changing the world. (from IMDb)
Michael Reynolds: another innovative architect offering solutions for a more resilient future. Image courtesy of: http://earthship.net/