Blog Posts By ginnyb

Raw Food UN-Cooking Class: Sun Aug 18, 2013, 3-5pm

RawFood-UnCookingClass

 

One of the outcomes of our recent Chicken-Keeping party: making new friends!  TCC was happy to make a connection with Raw food enthusiast Jenny Funkmeyer  who is offering this al fresco how-to workshop:

RAW FOOD UN-COOKING CLASS
Sunday, August 18 2013 — 3-5 pm
The Funkmeyer Garden, 2027-2033 South Spaulding Ave., LA 90016
FREE — donations welcome

Come and enjoy magical food in an easy summer sunday having fun and learning with your community with Jenny & Otis Funkmeyer, raw food enthusiasts and owners of the garden.

ON THE MENU: Learn how to make (and then eat!) a delicious raw kale coconut banana superfood smoothie, cauliflower paté , plus chia seed crackers to go with the paté.

The class takes place in an outdoor kitchen where greywater directly feeds the plants growing inches away.  Julie and Mabel (the two chickens) live amongst 25 fruit trees in a garden following the “Back To Eden” organic method pioneered by Paul Gautschi.  This permaculture garden is nestled in metropolitan Los Angeles, right next to the Christopher Columbus Transcontinental Highway (aka the 10 fwy), one exit from Culver City!

The entire class, including raw material and sweet treats, is FREE.  If you wish to make a donation, it is accepted with pleasure!

Free Eco Movie: Ecological Consciousness, Sat Aug 10, 2013 — 7 pm

AndrewFaust-EcologicalConsciousness

There are billions of years of collected wisdom in the fabric of our being.
How do we unlock our inner cosmic energy in the landscape?

TCC & our neighbors Transition Mar Vista/Venice are co-hosting an inspiring video from one of NYC’s leading permaculturists, Andrew Faust of the Center for Bioregional Living . Join us in exploring what it means to begin to live in ways that intentionally participates with evolution.

ECO-MOVIE NIGHT:
ECOLOGICAL CONSCIOUSNESS

Saturday, August 10, 7-9pm
Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Center, 13325 Beach Ave Marina del Rey 90292

FREE event—donations always welcome.

Discussion follows film

 

Andrew Faust

ABOUT ANDREW: One of North America’s premier Permaculture teachers and designers with nearly two decades of experience in the field, Andrew Faust’s passionate and visionary presentation and curriculum has been inspiring and motivating students since his days as an alternative school teacher at Upattinas in Glenmoore, Pennsylvania. Andrew lived off the grid in West Virginia for 8 years where he designed and built a Permaculture inspired homestead including a 1600 sq ft strawbale house. He moved to Brooklyn in 2007 and has been applying his knowledge to the urban landscape, culminating in a Permaculture Design Certification course many consider to be life changing.

Andrew is founder of The Center for Bioregional Living in Ellenville, NY with his partner Adriana Magana. The Center is a pilot campus for his students and clients to learn how to create diverse regional Infrastructures that are well adapted to LOCAL ecological, social and geological realities.  Being experienced in both rural & urban permaculture, Andrew’s curriculum teaches how to retrofit urban environments to be more ecologically sound and socially responsible as well as how to create positive relationships between cities and outlying rural communities.

 

Chicken-Keeping Workshop and Pot Luck, Sat July 20 2013, 1-4 pm

Chicken-Keeping Workshop

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.

CHICKEN-KEEPING WORKSHOP
& POTLUCK PARTY

Little Blue House—Culver City 90230
For specific address, RSVP
TransitionCulverCity@gmail.com
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 WilhelmiChristy 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 Urban Bee KeepingHoneyLove’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.

The Parkway Landscaping Report: YES, the Public WILL be Heard!

Drought Tolerant Parkway Curb

 

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?

Continue reading

Residential Parkway Regulations to be Discussed at City Hall – TUESDAY May 28, 2013

Out with lawn grass strips, in with drought tolerant plantings and food gardens!

 

Parkway Regulations

 

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
When:

TUESDAY, May 28th, 2013, 7pm

Where:
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:

CC Parkway Agenda ItemA1-Dos&Donts

 

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:
 http://on.ted.com/Finley

Hope to see you at City Hall on Tuesday, May 28th!

——————-
POST-MEETING ADDENDUM:

Read about how the vote went  >>>
(spoiler alert: happy beginning, much more story to unfold!)

Plastic Bag Ordinance being presented to City Council Monday, May 13, 2013

City of Culver City
City Council Agenda Item:

Introduction of
Single-Use Carryout Bag Ordinance
and Adoption of
California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) Determination

 

The proposed ordinance proposes to ban the issuance of plastic single-use carryout bags (excluding product and produce bags) and requires that covered stores impose a minimum 10 cent charge on each recyclable paper carryout bag. These charges are retained by the stores. Low income customers participating in either the Special Supplemental Food Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) or in the CalFresh/Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) are exempted from these charges.

The proposed ordinance covers the following types of stores (approx. 72 retailers in Culver City are anticipated to meet these criteria):

1. A full-line, self-service retail store with gross annual sales of two million dollars ($2,000,000), or more, that sells a line of dry grocery, canned goods, or non-food items and some perishable items; or,

2. A store of at least 10,000 square feet of retail space that generates sales or use tax and that has a pharmacy; or

3. A drug store, pharmacy, supermarket, grocery store, convenience food store, food mart, or other entity engaged in the retail sale of a limited line of goods that includes milk, bread, soda, and snack foods, including those stores with a license issued by the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control.

In order to allow sufficient time for businesses to use up their existing inventory of bags and to adjust to the requirements of the proposed ordinance, its implementation is proposed to be phased in. Larger stores will be given six months from the effective date of the proposed ordinance (approximately 210 days after the date of adoption of the proposed ordinance by the City Council) to comply, whereas smaller stores will be given twelve months from the effective date of the proposed ordinance (approximately 395 days after the date of adoption of the proposed ordinance by the City Council).

The proposed ordinance is very similar to the Los Angeles County Ordinance. The minor modifications that are proposed include:

1) Requiring retailers to post signage clearly indicating the per bag charge for recyclable paper carryout bags so customers are not surprised by the charges.

2) Replacing the quarterly reporting requirement with a requirement that stores keep records and make them available to the City upon request. This should reduce the reporting burden on stores and staff time required for oversight.

3) Specifying a minimum charge of 10 cents rather than a charge of exactly 10 cents. This will allow stores flexibility to charge more than 10 cents for each recyclable paper bag, recognizing that some stores may pay more than 10 cents for the bags they provide to customers.

4) Enabling the minimum 10 cent charge to be increased by resolution. This change will make it easier for the City Council to raise the charge if it elects to do so at a future date (for example, if the minimum 10 cent charge is no longer effective at achieving the desired reductions in bag use due to inflation or other factors).

5) Changing the effective date of the proposed ordinance and the account for depositing fines.

 

The notifcation sent out to residents:

Announcement of Ordinance

Transportation How To Fieldtrip… let’s take bikes on the train!

bike-train fieldtrip to downtown LA

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:

• Water
• 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)

Meghan Bike ChauffeurWe’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 in Downtown LA

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.

 

See You at City Council Chambers Monday May 13 – Support the Plastic Bag Ban!

Support the Plastic Bag Ban in Culver City

bag monster

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)

Overview:
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 >>

Culver City Hall decorated with Plastic Bags 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 >>
http://www.350.org/en/node/26349

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 >>
http://5gyres.org/posts/2012/01/03/a_convenient_misconception_industry_tactics_for_misinformation 

In Defense of Plastic Bag Bans (on GreenBiz blog) >>
http://www.greenbiz.com/blog/2011/12/28/defense-plastic-bag-bans 

Plastic Bag Ban Article in Rolling Stone “PLASTIC BAG WARS” article in Rolling Stone >>
http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/the-plastic-bag-wars-20110725

 

Trashed Film with Jeremy IronsDon’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?

NEWS FLASH: Arborist to Speak at House #5F at Mar Vista Green Garden Showcase

 

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.

WHERE:
House #5F
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 >>

CicLAvia comes through our town Sunday April 21!

www.ciclavia.org

CicLAvia!
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!