Saturday, December 27, 2014

Hahamongna Alternatives

Hahamongna Watershed Park, named for the Native American village that once nestled there, is one of Pasadena's prettiest places. Now, it's NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory that nestles, framed by the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains.

Hahamongna is what it is: some open space, some utility poles, some water spreading basins owned by Pasadena Water and Power, some pathways and trails. It's big and beautiful. Partly wild, partly not. Pasadenish use it for recreation as well as utility, not to mention an important water source. It's also home to coyotes, bobcats, rabbits, snakes and the occasional mountain lion.

Hahamongna's borders touch Pasadena, Altadena and La Canada Flintridge. At its south end is the Devil's Gate Dam, which keeps runoff from the San Gabriels in check so it doesn't flood the Lower Arroyo. Los Angeles County Flood Control manages the dam.

And now the county has a plan to dig out the greenery you see in these photos, and leave the land bare.

Every kid learns in school that plants limit erosion, but despite this fact the County Board of Supervisors decided the "Big Dig" was a good plan to keep silt from building up against the Dam. Surely too much silt is not a good thing, but we don't all agree on the plan for removing it. The County says 425 trucks a day, 5 days a week, for 5 years, is a good idea. That's one truck almost every minute, rumbling through the residential neighborhoods of La Canada Flintridge, west Pasadena and west Altadena. The Arroyo Seco Foundation and a group of Pasadena citizens have offered less drastic plans, but these alternatives have been ignored.

You'll guess my opinion: a less drastic plan is a better way.

A group of concerned, active and influential citizens is raising money to sue the County. They need to pay for it.

You can contribute to this effort and get some immensely cool premiums, donated by people who care.

I think Hahamongna is well worth it. Thanks for listening (I did the voice-over on the linked video), and thanks for donating. Send in a buck! Or more! You don't have to be from Pasadena to contribute, but you become an honorary citizen in my heart.

18 comments:

Kalei's Best Friend said...

I agree w/Mr. Z.. he's right.. I remember when they brought in the huge backhoes to develop land behind us.. the dirt that filtered thru some existing homes.,.. as well well as NOISE...btw, where do they plan on moving that dirt to??? by the empty pockets of the frwy? I know the 5 was being renovated I saw piles of dirt, cement being shoved in plain eyesight.. I never realized how beautiful your Hahamonga is.. once they bulldoze, it will be dangerous if the future heavy rains fill it.. Your existing vegetation is what is saving your homes. We all know how fires that destroy vegetation eventually wreaks favoc once the rains come. The people in your area have one hell of a fight.. More Zev Yaroslavskys are needed.

Petrea Burchard said...

We never seem to have enough Zevs, KBF.

The dirt will be moved to a couple of landfills outside of town. One is in Irwindale, I believe. More trucks, more dust, traversing southern California freeways and blowing diesel and dust as they go.

William Kendall said...

The County Board sounds like they need a good slap upside the head a few hundred times until they get the point.

llandudnopictures said...

County Councils/County Boards are usually universally the same... in the main, pretty incompetent.

Petrea Burchard said...

I think they're in a position where they can't know everything. There isn't time to read all the material, although they should. So they have to decide whom to believe: the citizens or the guys who want to keep their jobs by digging up the habitat. Since the citizens are the ones who vote for them, you'd think...

Kalei's Best Friend said...

Its a shame he retired!. I remember when he was just starting out..

countrynmore said...

We have lived near the Hahamonga for a long time and would prefer that it be left alone. It is a habitat for so many animals and it is a place where one can take a peaceful stroll.

Petrea Burchard said...

Hi countrynmore,
Suing the County can put a stop to the damage. Really. Please contribute to the campaign, and share the No Big Dig link with your neighbors.
You live in a beautiful area. There's no reason to let LA County destroy your lifestyle and property values.

Susan Campisi said...

You did a great job with the video voice-over, Petrea. Thank you so much for taking the time to do that - and for donating your Hahamongna photos!

Petrea Burchard said...

My pleasure!

José Mendonça said...

Beautifully composed shot on top and I also like the bottom shot very much.
I wish Hahamongna all the best. Preservation always is a good cause!

Petrea Burchard said...

Thank you, José. I certainly agree with you about preservation.

Irina Rekhviashvili said...

I am so fed up with those politicians/county people who do not see far than there noses. I wish Hahamonga to win this battle.
Meanwhile here our president ordered to froze vodka price or even to low it during the rising inflation. What a sweetie, doing most valuable economy step. Poor people are drunk and happy, not noticing that country falls to nowhere.

Petrea Burchard said...

As if vodka is what the people need! It's the same here, some (not all, never all) people are drunk on sports and pop culture, lulled into not caring about what goes on in the world.

Margaret said...

Thanks for doing so much on thins issue, Petrea.

Petrea Burchard said...

Thank you, Margaret. I haven't done much compared to those who've been working on this for years, who are organizing the lawsuit, who organized the indiegogo campaign. It's a big effort, most of which is not mine.

Pasadena Adjacent said...

Guess I've been out of the loop. Just saw your voiceover on the Haha vid. Excellent as was the commentary. Really 'drove' the point home.

Petrea Burchard said...

Thanks, PA. I hope we get a lot of action on the indiegogo campaign.