Western datebook: Meet the commissars

STEPPING out of the Kremlin gates tomorrow to give presentations at the G2 Gallery in Venice on their glorious accomplishments will be Jonathan Parfrey, Los Angeles Department of Water and Power board commissioner, and director of LADWP Water Resources Thomas Erb. Some of my best vague acquaintances work for the DWP, but if you think that the Kremlin reference is unfair, try searching Erb’s name on the DWP website and you get exactly one result. For a background article on Parfrey from the LA Times’ best city hall reporter David Zahniser, click here. For a recent story on DWP plans to cover the dry lake bed of Owens Valley with a solar farm, here. To find proof of the department’s much publicized commitment to removing water-hungry and energy-wasting turf, look at the lawn surrounds of its substations. It’s rumored that former general manger David Nahai looks positively

Western datebook: Robert Turner

The photography of Robert Turner will be on exhibit Thursday January 21-Sunday January 24th at the Susan Spiritus Gallery space at the Los Angeles Art Show.

Left, photographed in the Eastern Sierra, Turner’s “Twilight at Mono Lake,” (2000).…

Western datebook: January on the half shell

With warm wishes for 2010, a few events of note:

January 5: “Borderlands,” a show from the International League of Conservation Photographers studying the impact of the border fence between the US and Mexico, G2 Gallery, Venice, California, through February 7

January 13: Southern California Shells and Beaches from Prehistoric Fossils to Modern Seashore Life
with Scott Rugh,
Collections Manager, Invertebrate Fossils, San Diego Natural History Museum, Casa Romantica Cultural Center Lecture Series, San Clemente

January 13: State of the Bay Report and Conference, Bay Restoration Commission, Stewards of Santa Monica Bay, Los Angeles

January 14: G’day Australia Week 2010 Water Policy Forum, Los Angeles

January 27-29: Climate Change Impacts on Water, policy conference with Jane Lubchenco, Administrator, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Washington DC

Chance of Rain will begin publishing

Western datebook: Old man with a paint brush

IF ANY one life sums up the turbulence, potential and sheer beauty of the 20th century experience in the American West, it might be Fred Rochlin’s. Born in 1920s Arizona, Rochlin went on to become a leading Los Angeles architect, apprenticing with Lloyd Wright and Charles Eames and then founding his own firm Rochlin & Baran.

Apart from 2,000 projects that he helped build, with his wife, Harriet, he also documented the largely untold stories of Jews in the westward migration in their 1985 book “New Life in the Far West.”

After retirement as an architect, in 1998, Rochlin startled the world of performance art with his World War II memoir “Old Man in a Baseball Cap.”

Now, seven years after his death in 2002, yet another of Rochlin’s talents has been unveiled: Painting. A new exhibit, “Fred Rochlin Watercolors,” will be on show

Western datebook: Darwin in San Diego

IF YOU are looking for intelligent design, you could do worse than the newly opened show celebrating the 200th anniversary of the birth of Charles Darwin and the 150th of the publication of his “On the Origin of Species.”  For more information, click here. The show runs through February 28, 2010 at the San Diego Natural History Museum.

For an online biography of Darwin from the Natural History Museum in London, click here or for links to the celebrated traveling show on Darwin from the American Museum of Natural History in New York, the Field Museum in Chicago, The Royal Ontario Museum and the Museum of Natural History, London, click here.

For the National Public Radio series Darwin: The ‘Reluctant Revolutionary,’ click here.

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