In July 2016, I wrote a story for my previous publication, headlined “City Bans Wood Dumping on Temescal.” It noted, “The tipping point for resident Reza Pazirandeh came when a mattress, a broken dresser and large tree branches were left on the sidewalk along Temescal Canyon Road below Palisades High School, making it impassable for hikers and bikers.
“Now, thanks to Pazirandeh’s prodding, L.A. Municipal Code (Ord. No. 77,000, Sec. 66.25) will be enforced: No person shall deposit any non-combustible rubbish or any refuse of any kind whatsoever upon or in any street, sidewalk, parkway or upon any lot or private premises (including wood). The penalty is a $1,000 fine or six months in jail or both.
“Leaving cut wood on the sidewalk along the west side of Temescal has been a Palisades tradition for years. In a 2015 News story, one man said he used the wood for his wood-burning pizza oven and knew that larger pieces were being used by furniture makers. Others stopped by to pick up wood for fireplaces.
“But then, tree trimmers began leaving more and larger pieces of wood and dumping also started.”
Councilman Mike Bonin’s Field Deputy Lisa Cahill took the lead, explaining that it was a safety issue and that signs would be posted in English and Spanish warning that dumping (including wood) is not allowed and those found breaking the law will be cited. She admitted that “Enforcement is going to be difficult.”
Fast forward four years and this stretch of sidewalk continues to be an easy place for gardeners and landscapers to dump tree stumps and branches.
During this April heat wave, no one is burning wood. In other months, wood fireplaces contribute to particulate pollution and are a brushfire threat.
In response to these dangers, Los Angeles County has “No Burn Alerts” from November 1 through February.
The alerts are issued for residential wood-burning fireplaces, backyard fire pits and wood stoves when emissions and stagnant weather conditions raise fine particulate pollution to unhealthy levels. Alerts are typically issued for the entire South Coast Air Basin.
Today Friday, a Circling the News reader sent a photo of the City clearing the tree stumps and branches left by gardeners on April 23 at 7:30 a.m.
Six hours later, we received an mail from the exasperated reader, who said “[The wood] is back already.”