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Saturday, February 5, 2011

My Walk With Tommy

The famous Tommy, of My Life With Tommy, had an opportunity to check out Hahamongna Watershed Park the other day. He gave it countless stamps of approval (the solid ones responsibly removed by Tommy's human, Susan).

When the rain came after the Station Fire in late 2009, water rushed off the mountains bringing with it the mountain's unprotected surface. Tons of ash, sand, rocks and burned tree trunks filled the watershed. As much as Tommy enjoyed inspecting the rubble, it's got to be cleaned out from behind the dam. There is some dispute, however, as to the best method for doing so. The Los Angeles County Department of Public Works has looked at only one alternative: digging out 50 acres of natural vegetation (read: wildlife habitat), turning Hahamongna Watershed Park into Hahamongna Wasteland Park.

If you'd like to help prevent that, or just learn more, click on SaveHahamongna.org. For starters, from the home page you can sign up for updates and sign the Save Hahamongna petition (and check out the videos to see why a watershed is not a great place for a soccer field).

Susan, Tommy and I strolled through some of the beautiful, semi-wild acres we may soon be missing. You can do the same any time, or join the Hahamongna Walkabout sponsored by the Arroyo Seco Foundation February 19th. Tours will leave each half hour from 9:00 am to 10:30 am, so click here, learn more about the Hahamongna Walkabout and reserve your place.

Mark your calendar! Not like Tommy would do it.

24 comments:

Shell Sherree said...

Oh, Tommy. It's always so lovely to see you. As for the stamps of approval ~ so that's what those mean?! I learn new things all the time over here at your Aunt Petrea's place!

I'm still scratching my head over this latest Hahamongna situation. All the best with your endeavours, yet again.

Abraham Lincoln said...

Have you written any letters to the editor? I would.

Bellis said...

Tommy's as cute in your photo as in Susan's. Love the ears going in different directions. Glad he had such a good time.

I'm offering a prize to anyone who can work out a way of removing vast amounts of silt and mud from behind the dam without disturbing the trees. There's got to be a more habitat-friendly solution, hasn't there? Get your thinking caps on, all you brilliant innovative engineers out there. (And isn't it ironic that Hahamongna is right by the Jet Propulsion Lab where brilliant innovative engineers are driving vehicles on Mars).

Petrea said...

Shell, with all you've got going on at your end of the world, it's very kind of you to care about ours. Although I think it's all connected.

Good idea, Abe. I've written to my congressman, my senators, my state representative and my county supervisor, but not the editor! Next on my list.

His ears are like that 24-7, Bellis. And yes, we have so many brilliant minds in town I hope a few will put some thought into this. What's the prize?

Trish said...

good lord Tommy's cute. Looks like he was probably run while his previous owner was on a bike----typical for pit bulls. NOT something I would recommend to do though! He needs a place to work off all that protective energy---glad HaHa allowed him some space to walk and enjoy, even at a slower speed that full tilt run!

I'm curious as to why "planners" seem to find the only solution to a problem such as this by way of destruction. For YEARS USFS insisted that putting out ALL fires and NOT cutting down trees was the ONLY way. Welp, turns out a) some fires do a LOT of good and b) if trees don't come down and thin the herd, they overpopulate and strangle the herd, thus causing a BIGGER fire danger. ooops!

Seems the same with HaHa...the ONLY way to "save" the habitat is to get rid of a lot of it?!?! Where's the CCC or WPA or AmeriCorps when you need them? Chain gang of a thousand strapping young people who could use a job, bucket by bucket would get rid of the silt quickly, I'd think. Even if portions had to be helped with bigger equipment, am sure it would do FAR less damage than what is proposed!

Laurie said...

Tommy is too cute. Thanks for keeping us updated on all of this, P. I'm so nervous about things after seeing what happened in Arcadia. I think I'll link to this in tomorrow's post.

Pasadena Adjacent said...

Tommy is kinda cute but I think he needs a personal stylist. Ditch the blue halter. I want to see Tommy in something more glamorous. Leather and diamonds come to mind.

Cafe Observer said...

Tommy with Susan and now, Petrea. Seems very stimulating.
Your walk w/Tommy was nice. But, as with Susan I will be more interested in your first night with Tommy.

Petrea said...

Cafe, I think Tommy is a one-woman dog just as I'm a one-dog woman. Boz is the pooch of my heart. (Though I agree with PA that he would look nice in diamonds and leather.)

Trish, there are too many tons/years of silt behind that dam to make a bucket brigade practical. But I hear you--the county can come up with more innovative, 21st century ways to do this.

Laurie, please do link, thank you. Every voice helps and yours reaches so many people.

Susan Campisi said...

It's so fun to see Tommy's photo here. He had a great time in Hahamongna and I hope he can enjoy it for years to come. Thanks for the trek, Petrea.

I like Trish's idea! Put people to work clearing sediment, bucket to bucket. It's an idea radical in its simplicity.

Kristen said...

Tommy Lee is some rock star, what karma he has! He must be a patriarch in dog heaven, leading the way for all rescue dogs! Love it and Sue you do such a nice job with him.
Love you,
Kris

Petrea said...

I'm not saying I don't like Trish's plan. I'm saying that at an estimated 300-400 truckloads of silt per day, five days a week, 8 months a year for three years, I'm not optimistic we can convince the county of the practicality of digging out the silt by hand. Perhaps smaller trucks?

Tommy is definitely a star, Kristen. I'm grateful to him (and Susan) for appearing on my blog.

Virginia said...

Damnation those ears made my heart melt.
V

J+P said...

"Cute"—? Cute!? He's a man-killer! Slaughterer of hogs and dragons! Scourge of squirrels and magpies! His breath is hurricane of ar! When he shits, the world thunders! When he marks a stone it sunders

Call him Tommy if you dare, in polite company … in the desperate wastelands of Ha-Ha-Monkey-Na, he is The Bowelmeister, Who Walks With Death …

Petrea said...

Definitely darling ears, V.

And J, there's a misspelling in your comment. It's a hurricane of ARRRRR!

Susan Campisi said...

Petrea, of course you're right: the county is not going to go for a plan of men and buckets. But it sure sounded good.

It's been so sweet to read how all the gals find Tommy so cute, but J's comment cracked me up. Did you hear that thunder tonight? Wow.

Petrea said...

Was the Bowelmeister responsible?

TheChieftess said...

Soooo, what happens to the HaHa soccer fields they're so desperate to build if all the silt takes over???? Is this just another step in the mastermind???

Petrea said...

We're talking two separate entities, Chieftess: City currently proposes one soccer field; County plans silt removal. City owns the park, County owns/manages the dam.

I don't know what the City's response to the County's plan will be. The Hahamongna Watershed Park Advisory Committee, which advises the City Council, has asked the County to propose alternatives to the current plan. I don't think we've heard anything from the City Council.

It's possible some of the silt could be used to build up the area where the soccer field is proposed. It needs to be raised at least 10 feet above what is currently a flood plain. To me that doesn't make sense; the silt was transported there by water, it can be moved again by water. But I'm no engineer.

Tbrick said...

What a great dog! I recognize the location, just to the east of Devil's Gate Dam.

Thanks for the plug for Hahamongna Walkabout, which will be a lot of fun and also educational.

The County needs to consider other alternatives. Environmental Impact Reports for projects like this are the law, but the County is trying to skirt community input and alternatives by relying on an emergency exemption.

I believe Pasadena intends to raise the site for the proposed soccer field 23 feet.

Tim

Petrea said...

23 feet? I didn't realize it was that much.

Thanks for your comment, Tim. I'll continue to keep my readers updated on Hahamongna.

Susan Campisi said...

The Bowelmeister (and his keeper) are always responsible.

Trish said...

P----I do understand about how long such a concept might take, but think of the employable person hours that would take, to employ THAT many people and save the natural environment...yes, maybe smaller trucks or tools might work. Keep thinking folks!

and, after helping a friend with theirs...how about the water district getting involved---encouraging homeowners to FILL IN their pools with silt? That ought to account for a few dozen truckloads and discourage chlorine filled evaporation---plus give the homeowners a link to drought resistant plantings...

every little bit helps.

Petrea said...

Trish, I like it. The DPW is talking about this as an ongoing thing. Why not make it an ongoing, non-invasive thing?