Public comment continues here in the Metropolitan Water District's board room, where the LA Regional Water Quality Control Board is holding its meeting because of the overwhelming interest in the topic of a septic tank moratorium in areas affecting the Malibu Creek watershed, Malibu Lagoon and Surfrider Beach.
It's very polite - a byproduct of the impressive upscale serious locale? - but the divide is clear. Since I've been here we've heard from some longtime residents who say:
1 - septic is doing fine, and only may need updating in some places
2 - lots of other sources may be causing pollution & bacteria - relatedly -
3 - the science doesn't presently support tracing the problem to septic tanks
4 - updating to a treatment plant/sewage system would cost a lot and they shouldn't pay for it, especially now that we're in a financial apocalypse.
I listened to NRDC's Barry Nelson and others on Larry Mantle's show Wednesday morning - and I almost pulled off the road when I heard Nelson say that he had been working on policy stuff, not the bond stuff, so he didn't know much about some of the bond issues - including Temperance Flat.
One reason I almost pulled off the road is that 6 years ago, when Nelson schooled me, a young reporter at KQED, patiently and in detail, in our state's water policy follies, Temperance Flat was very much a live issue. By which I mean: perchance he knows more than he thinks.
The other is Temperance Flat. I left California for a little while after I covered water issues on the San Joaquin River. When I came back I was gobsmacked to hear Temperance Flat again. How does this project turn up like a bad penny every time?
When I lived in San Francisco I played softball in an architects, builders and contractors league. For a bunch of architects we were pretty good. The experience definitely demystified architects for me - they drank beer and wanted to win just like builders do - but maybe not architecture itself, a topic that few cover well, and not on public radio.
So it's with trepidation and fascination I approached these issues of green building.
Katie Swenson, one of the people I talked to for the story that aired today, actually directs the Rose Fellowship - she used to be a fellow herself. Her work was in Charlottesville. She wrote a book - Growing Urban Habitats - that describes the Urban Habitats 2005 competition, where Charlottesville designers sought plans for multifamily housing that prevent gentrification. The design - or re-design - target is housing court in the Hogwaller-Belmont part of Charlottesville.
Wearing a silver mask and a neat grey suit - his tie dotted with tiny luchador heads - El Hijo del Santo stepped forward to the microphone. He's a star of Mexican Lucha Libre, a second generation wrestler: famous to fans of the sport, celebrated in Mexico, and met with some bewildered glances from older, mostly white folks at the California Science Center.
Tomorrow at the second day of the MLPA meeting in Long Beach, El Hijo del Santo will be with Wildcoast - one of the two representatives of Latino communities in the South Coast's stakeholder group. Wildcoast's Fey Crevoshay says the group is a fan of Map 3 - one of a total of three proposed maps stakeholders are considering as part of the MLPA process in southern California.
If you want to meet a real luchador, celebrated for his headscissors takedown, his suicide dive, and his ocean activism: the place to do it is at the Hilton in Long Beach on Wednesday morning.