In a well-run Zoom meeting on September 3, founders of Resilient Palisades were joined by about 30 community members. Co-founder Ingrid Steinberg said that the group’s goal is to address climate change and environmental degradation by working together as neighbors.
“We’re trying to provide a forum for neighbors to come together,” she said. “A way to make change in the Palisades is to bring lots of people together to make the change.”
Having reported on Marie Steckmest’s efforts with Palisades Cares, Circling the News agrees that the idea of five people, via Resilient Palisades, leading a group of residents, may be a more sustainable model.
It was hoped that residents could learn together, makes changes in our homes in the community and advocate for change. The model would be for community teams, who share similar interests to develop and implement change.
Resilient Palisades next plans to establish a values document, which will list the guiding values and address environmental racism and environmental justice.
It was proposed that teams of four to eight members could focus on one issue. That team would research and explore actions, educate the community and implement campaigns.
For this meeting, residents were organized into one of four interest groups: 1.) Air and water – including leaf blowers; 2) energy and transportation; 3) waste and plastic; and 4) food.
CTN sat in the air/water group, because this reporter has written about leaf blowers for decades. Diane and George Wolfberg helped lead the campaign to get a City ordinance passed in 1998 that bans gas-powered blowers in residential neighborhoods. There are two recent stories about the gas blowers on Circling the News (November 2019 and May 2020).
Little has happened since the gas-blower law was implemented. Enforcement of the law is nearly nonexistent. A California Air Resources Board study stated, “By 2020, leaf blowers and other small gas engines will create more ozone pollution than all of the passenger cars in the state.”
Maybe its time to go beyond Pacific Palisades. What about a state ban, with help from the California Air Resources Board or funding PSAs? In the meantime, if everyone who has a gardener who uses a gas blower asks him to stop, the resident can rake and sweep: If one truly believes this is an issue, then one should be willing to support the change, even if it means physical activity.
Another air quality issue that could be addressed—the haul trucks that line up on Temescal Canyon Road most mornings.
According to L.A. County Public Health, “When a car, truck, or other vehicle is left idling (when the vehicle’s engine is turned on, but the vehicle is not in motion), it can affect the air that people are breathing nearby. Vehicle emissions are known to contain pollutants that can contribute to asthma, heart disease, and other serious health problems.”
L.A. City almost always gives a permit because the trucks are a temporary condition, but there are rules that limit how long diesel trucks can idle—most are only allowed five minutes. To report idling trucks, visit the CARB website or call the California Air Resources Board at 1-800-952-5588.
Residents also object to firewood being stacked along Temescal Canyon. According to the California Air Resources Board, “Residential wood burning is a growing source of air pollution. Most wood heaters, such as woodstoves and fireplaces, release far more air pollution, indoors and out, than heaters using other fuels. In winter, when we heat our homes the most, cold nights with little wind cause smoke and air pollutants to remain stagnate at ground level for long periods.”
Although this was just a first meeting, it seems really important for each group to research the four areas of concern. For example, one person reported that sports teams at Paul Revere and Palisades Rec Center do not recycle.
This editor has reported for years that there is no recycling at any of the City Recreation centers and that during the Will Rogers 5/10K Race (even though it was attempted) the City had no way to recycle. Even the contents from Marie Steckmest’s blue recycle bins in the Village area are mixed with regular trash. There is no recycling program here.
(Visit: https://www.circlingthenews.com/problems-with-recycling-plastic/ and https://www.circlingthenews.com/landfill-debris-…of-wind-turbines/ and https://www.circlingthenews.com/many-of-your-pla…oing-to-landfill/ and https://www.circlingthenews.com/businesses-and-a…nt-buildings-are/ )
At the meeting, somebody suggested listing places to recycle on the Resilient Palisades website. Another suggestion was to organize a trip to a recycling plant.
One resident had written Circling the News, “For the past three years, I have walked Temescal Canyon at least once a week and I often pick up trash. Each year, there is a substantial increase in the amount of litter specifically food containers, plastic cups, utensils and liquor bottles. What is most alarming are the number of tissues and napkins, used for “pit stops,” that are left in the bushes and on the ground. Not only does all this debris make Temescal Park unsightly and unsanitary, but this trash is blown down to the beach and ends up in the ocean. I am glad to work with service clubs and/or any volunteers to organize a community clean-up of Temescal Canyon.”
This is an important environmental subject, because with the first rains, even though the Temescal Canyon Park Stormwater Improvement project is in place, and captures runoff and contaminants from a rainstorm’s “first flush” the amount of trash currently on Temescal could tax the system.
Kehillat Israel is supporting Coastal Cleanup Day on Saturday, September 26. People are asked to clean up candy wrappers, cups or lids, plastic utensils, cigarette butts, glass bottles, aluminum cans, balloons, plastic bags and pieces along our shores. If you find sharp objects or heavy items or something else that needs to be picked up by the city, call 311. Visit: ourki.org/event/international-coastal-cleanup-day-.html. Those participating are asked to take photos of the clean-up and email them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Perhaps, Resilient Palisades could also encourage the City to send a street sweeper to Temescal before the rains start.
Palisades resident and UCLA law professor Jonathon Zasloff spoke about an environmental voter project, which is a nonpartisan 501(c) (4) forum (visit: environmental voter.org). Zasloff said there are a lot of people who are interested in environmental projects, but don’t vote. “We get people to the polls who may have never voted before,” Zasloff said.
(Editor’s note: Circling the News looks forward to supporting Resilient Palisades efforts. “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world,” said Margaret Mead. “Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”)