Speak now or forever hold your peas

It’s a toss up as to which I like better about this Downtown News story, that the City of Los Angeles has called a public meeting to discuss plans for a landscape to replace lawn smothered by those wholly organic Occupiers, or that a reader is already making plant suggestions in the comment box. Either way, this story joins reports by KPCC and the LA Times that the Department of Rec & Parks will be weighing up the call to replace the lawn with something more befitting America’s only major metropolis with a Mediterranean climate. The meeting will be held on Tuesday, January 10th at 6.30 pm at the Los Angeles Theatre, 615 South Broadway. For background and links, there is no better source than the Mar Vista Community Council Green Committee. Click here to see a petition begun by Mar Vista activist Sherri Akers calling for a more

Long Beach is groovy

If Los Angeles Department of Water & Power buildings were landscaped like the people inside believed in water conservation, Southern California would be a far better place. We residents have a way to go for that, unless you live in a city as progressive as Long Beach, whose water department, headquarters pictured above, walks its talk about outdoor water conservation.

As if further proof were needed that Long Beach is groovy, this week the City College is holding a sale of many drought tolerant plants, co-sponsored by the Water Department. Add to this, the Los Angeles Times has a dispatch from Jeff Spurrier about a thriving urban garden there.

Maybe it’s the city’s proximity to the Pacific, or simply that Long Beach selects for sanity, but unlike just about every other water agency in the region, Long Beach Water Department also gives a damn about fish.

That is reflected

Boston ferns and birds of paradise

As a somber Mayor of Los Angeles delivered his State of the City address this afternoon, the set dressing said as much as the speech. Los Angeles is a place flagging as much from failure of imagination as from a monetary crisis. Fluffing out the rim of the podium were a mix of Boston ferns and birds of paradise. Behind the Mayor were crumpled-looking American flags.

This is not the stage set worthy of our Mayor, our city or our region. There is no reason for gratuitous greenery when announcing painful budget cuts, or any other occasion. Better no plants than the wrong ones. Better no flags than rumpled ones.

But, if we must decorate, then let’s decorate with our best asset, our natural beauty. Let’s fly our city flag for State of the City addresses. When our Mayor speaks of stalwartness, let’s surround him with rugged agaves instead of