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L O S A N G E L E S
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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
California slips in Milken Institute's technology index​
The think tank says the state's high-tech stature is taking a hit because it's having trouble educating new engineers and scientists.​
From the Associated Press
June 20, 2008


SAN FRANCISCO -- Massachusetts remains the "gold standard" for mining economic growth from technology and science while California is losing its luster, according to a study released Thursday.

The report by the Milken Institute has ranked Massachusetts as the United States' top technology incubator all three times it has been compiled since 2002.

But California slipped from second place for the first time to fourth, despite being home to Silicon Valley's fount of innovation. The rankings are based on factors such as entrepreneurial environment, population of technology-savvy workers and government commitments to education and other programs that plant the seeds for more tech growth.

Maryland moved into the second spot, while Colorado held on to third, where it stood the last time the study was conducted in 2004. Washington, the home state of Microsoft Corp., rounded out the top five.

California's high-tech stature is diminishing largely because it's having more trouble educating and retaining future computer engineers and scientists.

The state ranked 13th in the Milken Institute's "human capital investment" category, which was led by Maryland.

"This should be seen as a red flag" for California, said Ross DeVol, the Milken Institute's director of regional economics.

"It's not the end of the world, but it's something that needs to be addressed."

Some of California's problems can be traced to an "unintended consequence" from the U.S. government's response to the September 2001 terrorist attacks, DeVol said.

It's now more difficult for people from outside the United States to attend school in the country -- a factor that DeVol said has hurt California more than most states because its publicly subsidized universities tend to attract a disproportionate number of students from outside the U.S.

The Milken Institute, a Santa Monica think tank, assembles the index in an attempt to identify states that appear to be in the best position to foster innovation and, theoretically, cash in on the resulting benefits.

LATimes​
Associated Press​
 

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L O S A N G E L E S
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
2 of 3 struggling to survive in capital of glitz, glamour​
Poverty a reality for most in county​
By Susan Abram, Staff Writer​
Article Last Updated: 06/19/2008 12:00:18 AM PDT

PACOIMA — Hollywood may be known as home to the rich and famous, but two out of three people in Los Angeles County struggle to get by, and their ranks are swelling.
"We're the entertainment capital of the world, but we're also the capital of the working poor," said Kafi Blumenfield, president of the Los-Angeles based Liberty Hill Foundation.

Blumenfield joined more than 150 community leaders, social-service providers and policymakers Wednesday in a daylong, first-of-its-kind brainstorming conference on poverty in the San Fernando Valley.

"Two out of three people don't have enough to meet their basic needs," said Blumenfield, whose organization helps secure grants for social services.

The goal of Wednesday's gathering was to help agencies make maximum use of resources and find better ways to help the working poor, people on fixed incomes and the homeless.

"I think there is a perception in Los Angeles that the Valley is middle class and well off, but there are pockets of poverty," said Marianne Haver Hill, executive director for Meet Each Need With Dignity. MEND, the largest anti-poverty agency in the Valley, hosted the conference.

"We're seeing a mix of people," Hill said. "We're seeing people who have lost jobs, those on fixed incomes, and some who pay rent but are suddenly homeless because their own landlords are losing the property because of the mortgage crisis.

"We're seeing people who are shell-shocked, because they
have never had to ask for food before," Hill said.
Hill said MEND distributes 40 percent more food boxes from its Pacoima center than it did a year ago, and its list of people newly in need of food is up by 83 percent.

In Los Angeles County, costs have increased by 15 percent for food, 12 percent for child care, and 31 percent for health care in the past five years, according to data provided by the Insight Center for Community Economic Development.

A one-adult family with
two children one a preschooler and one in school requires at least $45,000 a year to meet all basic needs, according to the organization's data.
City officials approved a plan last month to look at causes and potential solutions to poverty in Los Angeles.

The goal is to develop a full-scale action proposal.

"The myth is that people in poverty remain poor, but for many, it's temporary," said Los Angeles City Councilman Richard Alarcón. "The myth about poverty is if you have a job, you are not poor."

Alarcón, who chaired a similar panel when he was a state senator, created the ad hoc Committee on Poverty, which will lead in drafting the proposal.

He and others said they hope the panel will be able to
develop a master plan on a variety of issues. The conference helps to expose those needs, he and others said.
"I think it's important to have this event because it gives us a chance to come and think together about poverty and to brainstorm," said Thomas Backer, executive director for Valley Nonprofit Resources. His organization, launched last year, aims to link 4,000 nonprofit agencies to share resources and information.

But even social-service agencies themselves are affected by the soaring costs of gas and food, the slump in the housing market and government budget deficits.

Many continue to look for ways to stretch donated dollars as their client base increases and buying power diminishes.

There was advice at the conference on how agencies can get local and federal grants and how the poor can use free legal services to get health care. Those who were once poor are more likely to volunteer for others in hard times, many said.

"We're all undergoing several challenges in that we all have to cut back," said Maggie Cervantes, executive director for New Economics for Women, a nonprofit organization formed 20 years ago by a group of Latinas who wanted to work with single-parent families in need of affordable housing.

In 2005, the organization opened Tierra del Sol, an apartment complex and elementary charter school in Canoga Park.

"We were considering a four-day workweek, so that our own employees could cut back on gas," Cervantes said. "We all are having to try to find ways to cut back at a time when we still have to provide services."

Daily News​
 

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Caleuphoria
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610 Posts
:( :no:

Although this excerpt from the first article...

California's high-tech stature is diminishing largely because it's having more trouble educating and retaining future computer engineers and scientists.
...isn't relegated to just California, IMO. The entire country is going through this. Other countries are simply producing more computer engineers and scientists moreso than the United States.

Either way, I do agree that we need to rectify these issues before they grow into something worse.
 

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Chairman of the Bored
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haven't you heard? Young people in LA don't want to be scientists, engineers or teachers, they all want to be dancers, rock singers and rappers
 

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Shaken, never Stirred
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haven't you heard? Young people in LA don't want to be scientists, engineers or teachers, they all want to be dancers, rock singers and rappers

^ But do to the high cost of living in Los Angeles they ended being swallowed up by the Porn Industry for a quick buck in order to survive.
 

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Bleed Dodger Blue
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Well I don't know how significant that is, but I'm sure it's present. The main problem that Fern alluded to (kudos to him) is the lack of affordable housing. People move to bum-fudge (I'll let you figure that out) Las Vegas to get cheap housing. We need to fix this or we'll see a mass exodus out of LA and a big loss in our creative output.
 

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L O S A N G E L E S
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
The Doctor Is In: HBO Renews 'In Treatment'​
02:25 PM PT, Jun 20 2008​
HBO's "In Treatment" has been renewed for a second season, and it will join ABC's "Ugly Betty" in moving the set to New York to take advantage of new tax credits, according to a news release today from HBO.​
Gabriel Byrne and Dianne Wiest will reprise their roles in the critically acclaimed series about a psychiatrist and his patients. Byrne plays Dr. Paul Weston and Wiest portrays Dr. Gina Toll, Paul's therapist.

In April, New York's governor signed into law a bill that tripled the amount of the state's film tax credit, giving TV and film production companies a 35% refundable tax credit as an incentive for filming in the state. ABC immediately took New York upon the offer and decided to relocate "Ugly Betty," which is set in New York, to Manhattan for its third season.

HBO has hired Warren Leight to run the show. Creator and director Rodrigo Garcia will serve as an executive producer in charge of post-production. The series will maintain its half-hour, nightly stripped format.
-- Maria Elena Fernandez
LATimes​
..That's TWO..​
 

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L O S A N G E L E S
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
White House invokes executive privilege in EPA inquiry​
The Bush administration refuses to turn over subpoenaed documents related to the agency's decision to prevent California from enacting stricter emissions standards than the federal government.​
By Richard Simon, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
June 21, 2008
WASHINGTON -- Escalating a fight with Democrats on Capitol Hill, the White House on Friday invoked executive privilege in refusing to turn over documents to a congressional committee investigating the Environmental Protection Agency's decision to deny California permission to implement its own vehicle emission standards.

The Bush administration asserted executive privilege hours before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee was to vote on whether to bring contempt-of-Congress proceedings against EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson and Susan Dudley, administrator of regulatory affairs in the White House Office of Management and Budget, for refusing to turn over subpoenaed documents.
Chairman Henry A. Waxman (D-Beverly Hills) put off a vote on the contempt resolutions while he considers his options.

"I don't think we've had a situation like this since Richard Nixon was president," he said, appearing determined to press ahead, even if it leads to a court fight. "We don't know whether this privilege that's being asserted is valid or not."

Presidents since George Washington have claimed rights to executive branch confidentiality, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service. The Bush White House invoked executive privilege to prevent officials from testifying about the dismissal of nine U.S. attorneys in 2006. President Clinton cited presidential privilege during investigations into the Monica Lewinsky scandal and on other issues.

House and Senate committees have been investigating what role the White House played in EPA decisions preventing California and other states from enacting tougher emissions rules than the federal government and in the EPA's approval of new ozone pollution standards.
The administration's claim of executive privilege is the latest twist in the escalating legal and political battle over California's efforts to implement its own law combating global warming. Critics of the EPA decision contend that it was based on politics, not science or the law.

As Waxman considered his next move in his fight with the White House, another House committee in the room next door grilled former Bush Press Secretary Scott McClellan, who wrote a revealing book about his days in the White House. The hearings were a sign of determination by Democrats not to ease up on their oversight activities, even in the final months of the Bush administration.

In asserting executive privilege in the EPA inquiry, the administration made public a copy of a letter sent to the president by Atty. Gen. Michael B. Mukasey saying that releasing internal documents "could inhibit the candor of future deliberations among the president's staff."

EPA spokesman Tim Lyons said the agency had provided the committee with more than 7,000 documents and devoted 2,200 hours of staff time to responding to requests for information, and he called it "disappointing" that the committee had decided to "politicize environmental regulations."

Jim Nussle, director of the Office of Management and Budget, took issue with Waxman's "sudden and unwarranted" move to consider contempt proceedings, noting that Dudley had appeared before Waxman's committee last month and was asked "only four questions" -- and only one by the panel chairman.

"There is no valid reason for moving from mutual cooperation to unilateral confrontation," Nussle wrote Waxman.

Waxman said: "I am very disappointed and disturbed that the administration is keeping this information from us, and I think we have a right to it."


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Bleed Dodger Blue
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I don't know WTF is up with the federal government and not allowing us to enforce good air quality. Is clean air too much to ask for? We're not like east coast cities where they can pollute as much as they want because the terrible weather just wipes it all away.
 

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Caleuphoria
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I don't know WTF is up with the federal government and not allowing us to enforce good air quality. Is clean air too much to ask for? We're not like east coast cities where they can pollute as much as they want because the terrible weather just wipes it all away.
Co-sign... what exactly is the motive here? It would make sense to anyone with a brain to put a cap on the pollution before the entire Californian landscape is altered. It's just common sense, right? :dunno: We're the state with the biggest population as well as the U.S.'s biggest economy, we should have that right to control our emission standards due to the money we're putting in this country.

And on another note, I need someone here to school me on something real quick. What exactly is preventing L.A./California from lowering the taxes on filming here in the state? Or are the out-of-state incentives just that much of a great deal that they can't pass it up?
 

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L O S A N G E L E S
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
New York State basically says "Fuhgetaboutit.. we ain't competing with yous, we're competing against locations like North Carolina, New Joisey and most especially, Canada."
They really think that we here in California, or Los Angeles, shouldn't worry about being a beached whale carcass that has its ASS in the air ready to get FUCKED while the other locations circle around, laughing while they pick us apart.​
It's not their fault, they say it's not even personal- just business. 35%, something like that?​
I can go on wasting electronic ink on this matter for hours, but we don't give them an alternative or even match their offer. We sit around in offices and wait until we reach a certain number in jobs, product or money lost- and then we act! And it's always too late by then. We would have acquired the "Stench of Death" and there's no turning back from that.​
Sacramento would laugh at this, but this is a signature, world renown business culture of ours and we're giving it away! I'm gonna count them down as they leave...
 

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Registered
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California's lack of attention to the filming incentives in other states and countries is truly perplexing. I really dont understand it.
 

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Caleuphoria
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:eek:hno:

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080623/ap_on_re_us/mobile_homeless

L.A. seeing more people living out of their cars

By CHRISTINA HOAG, Associated Press Writer Mon Jun 23, 2:48 PM ET

LOS ANGELES - Having lost her job and her three-bedroom house, Darlene Knoll has joined the legions of downwardly mobile who are four wheels away from homelessness.

She is living out of her shabby 1978 RV, and every night she has to look for a place to park where she won't get hassled by the cops or insulted by residents.

"I'm not a piece of trash," the former home health-care aide said as she stroked one of five dogs in her cramped quarters parked in the waterfront community of Marina del Rey.

Amid the foreclosure crisis and the shaky economy, some California cities are seeing an increase in the number of people living out of their cars, vans or RVs.

Acting on complaints from homeowners, the Los Angeles City Council got tough earlier this year by forbidding nearly all overnight parking in residential neighborhoods such as South Brentwood.

But some people are just crowding into other parts of the city, including the seaside community of Venice, where dozens of rusty, dilapidated campers can be seen lined up outside neat single-family homes. The stench of urine emanates from a few of the vehicles, and some residents say they have seen human waste left behind.

"They're nasty and gnarly," said Venice resident Jeff Scharlin. "We've heard about drug dealing and prostitution in them. I've never seen it, but visually they're a blight and they take up parking space."

In Los Angeles, as in many other cities, it is illegal to live in vehicles on public streets. But the law is not easy to enforce. Police have to enter a vehicle to find signs that people are living there, such as cooking or sleeping, and occupants often refuse to answer when cops knock.

An easier way is to restrict overnight parking. In L.A., a first offense carries a $50 fine, and subsequent violations can cost as much as $100.

Parking-enforcement officers often give vehicle owners a warning and tell them to move on before issuing a ticket, and that usually solves the problem, said Alan Willis, a city transportation engineer. But other cities in the area are not as lenient.

"I had my motor home towed in Culver City. It cost me $500 to get it out," said Desiri Hawkins, who lives in a small RV in Venice. "I got ticketed in Santa Monica and had to go to court."

Tourist states with temperate climates, such as California and Florida, have long been magnets for the homeless. Los Angeles is the nation's homelessness capital, with an estimated 73,000 people on the streets. A survey of 3,230 homeless people last year in Los Angeles County found nearly 7 percent living in vehicles, according to the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority.

"It's trending toward an increase," said Michael Stoop, acting executive director of the National Coalition for the Homeless. "People would rather live in a vehicle than wind up in a shelter, and you can't stay on a friend's couch forever."

People living out of their cars or campers tend to be more well-off than the homeless on the street. They usually have jobs or disability checks that enable them to maintain an old camper but do not allow them to afford rent.

"For more working-class and lower-middle-class people, the car is the first stop of being homeless, and sometimes it turns out to be a long stop," said Gary Blasi, a University of California, Los Angeles, law professor and activist on homeless issues.

Some Venice residents are clamoring for overnight parking restrictions. But parking limits in oceanfront neighborhoods are problematic because the California Coastal Commission requires communities to accommodate surfers, fishermen and other early-morning beachgoers.

"The complaints are getting louder and louder," said Los Angeles City Councilman Bill Rosendahl.

For years, some cities such as Santa Barbara, Calif., and Eugene, Ore., have accommodated people who live out of their vehicles. Activists in Venice are looking at some of those ideas. Santa Barbara, for example, allows vehicles to stay from 7 p.m to 7 a.m. in church and city parking lots.

Knoll said she can barely afford to drive around with the rising price of gasoline eating away at the $950 monthly disability check she receives because of mental illness.

She said she is also sick of police waking her up in the wee hours by pounding on her vehicle with their nightsticks, and she is tired of fighting with residents who call her "lowlife scum" and hurl other insults.

"We need somewhere we can have a safe haven, where we won't be harassed," Knoll said as the wind from a passing car rocked her RV. "I never thought I'd be living like this, but I'm stuck. This is it for me."
 

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L O S A N G E L E S
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I wasn't going to pull the trigger on this yet but​
George Clooney calls for truce between actors unions​
solarnavigator.net​
Star is seeking common ground between the Screen Actors Guild and the American Federation of Television & Radio Artists on contract negotiations with the studios.​
By Richard Verrier and Claudia Eller, Los Angeles Times Staff Writers
2:46 PM PDT, June 26, 2008
One of the industry's biggest movie stars today called on leaders of both actors unions to end a fierce and increasingly ugly feud that has put Hollywood on edge.

George Clooney stopped short of denouncing leaders of the Screen Actors Guild, but he did indirectly question a campaign the union was waging to defeat an agreement negotiated by the smaller actors union, the American Federation of Television & Radio Artists.

"Rather than pitting artists against artists, maybe we could find a way to get what both unions are looking for," Clooney said in a statement. "The one thing you can be sure of is that stories about Jack Nicholson vs. Tom Hanks only strengthens the negotiating power of" the Alliance of Motion Picture & Television Producers.

Hanks is among more than a hundred actors who are backing the contract recently negotiated by AFTRA, while Jack Nicholson this week joined more than 60 celebrities to declare their support for SAG's leaders.

Although AFTRA's deal includes pay increases for actors, SAG officials have argued that it didn't meet some of their key bargaining goals and are pressing 44,000 members it shares with the smaller union to vote down the tentative contract by July 8.

But, in his statement, Clooney suggested it was unrealistic for SAG to seek to "break a model" already negotiated by directors and writers.

The director and star of the football comedy "Leatherheads" also took to task SAG Executive Director Doug Allen, a former assistant executive director of the NFL Players Assn., for applying football analogies to Hollywood.

"Doug Allen has said on several occasions that this would be a negotiation for the linemen, not the quarterbacks," he said. "Unlike the NFL, in this guild the quarterbacks protect the linemen."

Pamm Fair, SAG's deputy national executive director, said the union "appreciates George Clooney's observations and opinions regarding our current negotiations and the critical issues facing all actors today. We welcome this valuable input."

The Oscar-winning star of "Syriana" and "Michael Clayton" has had a testy relationship with Allen and SAG President Alan Rosenberg. This year, Clooney along with some other high-profile actors openly called on union leaders to begin immediate negotiations with studios.

Still, Clooney said today that SAG shouldn't just "roll over and give the producers what they want" and offered two ways that high profile actors could help their union.

He suggested that a group of stars, including himself, Nicholson and Hanks, form a panel to annually review growth in online entertainment to ensure that actors get their fair share of revenues as markets emerge.

To help raise money for the union's healthcare and pension funds, Clooney also advocated that the guild raise dues for actors like himself who make "an exorbitant amount of money." Dues are currently capped at $6,000. Instead, he said, actors should pay $6,000 for each one million dollars they earn.

"The quarterbacks," he said, "have to do more."


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LATimes
 

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L O S A N G E L E S
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Where have Echo Park's lotuses gone?​
swanfungus​
The lake in Los Angeles used to house the largest, lushest lotus beds in the nation. All that remain are a few sickly leaves. The city is working to revive them, but experts say it may be too late.​
By Deborah Schoch, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
June 29, 2008
The Day of the Lotus might as well be called the Day of the Dead.

Echo Park's famous lotus beds are nothing more than a scattering of sickly, yellowed pads floating in foul-smelling water, a scene that in two weeks will greet some 150,000 visitors who are expected to attend the 2008 Lotus Festival.
imperfect ending​
Gone are the hundreds of pink- and cream-colored flowers atop a lush green expanse of umbrella-like leaves that were once described as the largest lotus beds in the nation.

The count as of Friday: 12 leaves, mostly dying.
Martin Cox​
Residents and some park managers who had hoped the lotus would rebound from two weak years conceded that the lotuses -- with their perfectly sculpted blooms that have long been an icon of summer in urban Los Angeles -- are probably dead.

"I think they're gone; they're not going to be reappearing," said Thomas L. DeBoe, chairman of the Echo Park Advisory Board, who believes the city should have moved early on to resuscitate the lotus.

"They seem to have collapsed. The 31st annual Lotus Festival will have no lotus," said photographer Martin Cox, who lives near the park and has chronicled the shrinking of the beds, e-mailing the images to city officials.

The Echo Park lotus plants are believed to be direct descendants of plants imported from China in the 1920s by Aimee Semple McPherson, founder of the domed Angelus Temple across the street from the park. The popular festival sponsored by the city of L.A.'s Department of Recreation and Parks celebrates the city's Asian heritage.

No one knows for sure what has all but killed the giant beds after eight decades.
imperfect ending​
A new city report lists 13 possible causes, from poor water quality and accumulation of chemicals to unauthorized raiding of the edible tubers, pests, disease and a 20-year lapse in refurbishing the beds.

The city is preparing for a $60-million overhaul of Echo Park and its lake, scheduled to begin in July 2010. The report, released this month, recommends "salvaging" what remains of the lotus tubers and storing them.

"It's a sad sight," Cox said. "They are completely devastated."

A paradise lost

In the old days, the blooming of the Echo Park lotuses eclipsed the largest, most sumptuous canvasses of Monet.

Artists with easels ringed the cove at the lake's northwest corner. Photographers used their widest lenses to capture the tableau of pinks, greens and blues. Children stood at the water's edge, entranced by blossoms the size of cantaloupes. Some residents came simply to meditate. They described the flowers as symbols of Buddhist enlightenment.

Ducks maneuvered through the stalks. Nearby resident Judy Raskin said coots were known to build nests in the curved dish of the lotus leaves.

"To have this absolutely unbelievable, beautiful flower grow out of the ooze every year -- they capture people's attention, there's something mystical about it," said Cox. "It reminds me of rebirth and rejuvenation."

As recently as 2005, the lotus stood 5 feet high and spilled onto the shore.

The first apparent hint of trouble came in the summer of 2006, when the lotus bloomed too late for the festival. Experts blamed a cool winter and an unusually hot June.

The lotus bed shrank even more last year, when only about 30 lotus blooms appeared, only on the cove's western bank. This time, an unusually cold winter was blamed.
Still, nothing prepared park managers and residents for this year's demise. Just three weeks ago, eight vivid green leaves on stalks protruded above the water. Now, they're gone.

"The leaves seem to get this brownish quality to them, and they disintegrate," said Cox, who believes the troubles began after the severe storms and flooding of 2005 and 2006.

Echo Park Lake serves as a storm drain catch basin in winter, leading some to suspect that contaminants from runoff may be harming the lotuses. In summer, water can be seen seeping from the lake walls into the lotus beds at the cove's northernmost point, Cox said.

But Bureau of Engineering engineer Alfred Mata, who visited the lake Friday morning, said that runoff flows into the lake only during major storms and that no storm drains directly empty into the lotus beds.

Two plant experts familiar with the Echo Park lotuses said testing for disease is a reasonable next step. Several factors could be killing the plants, they said.

"I'm sure it's more than saying one bad thing happened," said Virginia Hayes, curator of living collections at Lotusland in Santa Barbara, a well-known garden. She has not seen the beds recently but said that if only 12 leaves are left, "It would take a great effort for them to rebound from that little remnant."

Jim Folsom, director of the Huntington Gardens in San Marino, where the lotus beds are flourishing this year, said he visited Echo Park several months ago at the request of the parks department. He advised park staff to plant a small plot of lotuses in the lake to see how they fare.

The staff set three pots in a 12-foot by 12-foot area in the cove, fenced with chicken wire to keep out turtles and other possible predators. Each pot has a different soil mix and, if all goes well, lotuses could bloom there in one to two months, said Stephen Moe, who oversees the city's 17 lakes.

If the potted lotuses flourish, that would suggest the soil under the lake could be at fault.

Moe has pored over old records but has found no evidence that new lotuses have been planted since the 1920s.

Parks department spokeswoman Jane Kolb said Friday that the city is working hard to find a cure.

"The city cares, and we're all looking for solutions, and right now, we don't know what's causing it," she said.

Some residents are angry that the city did not act sooner.

"What's going on right now is a little too late," DeBoe said. "And it's a little too little."


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L O S A N G E L E S
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
This is what used to be...​
LATimes​
Luis Sinco/LATimes​
Los Angeles Public Library​
Louise Van Nuys is pictured in a canoe in 1936, during a visit to Los Angeles.​
Herald Examiner/Los Angeles Public Library​
Los Angeles Times​
 

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L O S A N G E L E S
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
For the city's punishment, not only should they successfully replant these at Echo, but also at MacArthur!
 

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Chairman of the Bored
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They picked 'em all and sold them along with fruits and vegetables on the freeway off ramps near the park
 
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