Last Day Project? For one year, on the last day of every month we stood in this spot at Hahamongna Watershed Park and looked out over Johnson Field, watching it change with the seasons.
A few hundred yards away, Devil's Gate Dam was backing up with sediment. After years of neglect plus a Station Fire and two seasons of heavy rain, the sediment must now be removed. Much discussion has ensued about how to do so, and it looks like a two-phase plan will soon begin. In order to pacify those who don't want debris-laden trucks on their street, the first phase could involve LA County piling sediment in Johnson Field as soon as the annual toad population clears out.
Toads hang out in wet places. They're about the size of a thumbnail and the color of a pebble. Because they run and hide when I come near them the pictures I've gotten are lousy, but Walt Mancini of the Pasadena Star-News got a good one. The toads will go away when the water dries. It's drying now.
I'm glad the County is willing to wait for the toads to leave. Let's be honest, these little guys are being saved long enough to get eaten by snakes and coyotes, but that's better for the ecosystem than a pile of sediment. Then again, a pile of sediment is better for a city than a failed dam in a flood.
So it looks like we might have a decent compromise, at least for now. Nobody gets everything they want but everybody gets something. That's democracy, and it's beautiful when it works. The coyotes and snakes will need to go somewhere when the trucks come. They know all about compromise. They'll likely end up in the yards of the people who didn't want trucks on their street. Are coyotes in the yard better than trucks on the street? If you live alongside Hahamongna, you may not have a choice.
I'm not crazy about piling sediment in Johnson Field, but I'm crazy about compromise. It's the only way unless we want a monarchy, and I wouldn't vote for that.
There will be a Phase II.
The next meeting of the Hahamongna Watershed Park Advisory Committee will take place at 6pm this coming Tuesday, July 26th at the Pasadena City Yards - Training Room, 233 West Mountain Street, Second Floor, Pasadena 91103. On the agenda: Update on the LACDPW Post Station Fire Sediment Removal Project.