Hollywood Hills --Fire

I am staying in a hotel and by early afternoon the heat was intense enough that I was falling asleep, so to stay awake I went to turn on the air conditioner. As the cool air kicked on, I glanced up from the controls, to see jaw-dropping sight: enormous plume of smoke --so wide, tall it looked as though a bomb had gone off.

White blooming smoke --no color, flame, ash...I watched as it grew, puzzeled, but then went back to the desk. Later when I turned back to look: the hills --on fire --to the right of Griffith Observatory. --Patches of flame --tracing across the ridge line...shocking view...hard to look away. By sunset: the patches were filled in, flames grew UP --out, all directions. I'm on the third floor, of a hotel on a hill, the flames at eye-level --as far as the view goes.

The cheesy TV stations: claim it started by arson. How do they know? It is hot --by mid-morning temperature was high 80s, dry.. This is September weather --our summer in Southern California. It should not be this hot in May. Yesterday was record: 94 degrees. Today: 97 degrees --another record temp. Only 3 1/4 inches of rain this year...14 inches short --our rain fell in Africa --India?

By 8 PM: hunger drove me out of the hotel. As soon as I'm on the other side of lobby doors: warm --hot wind --too far away from the fire for the wind to be coming from it, a bad thing.

When I return: whole hillside bright red --leaping flames --creeping down the ridge lines. Two people head for the front desk --they have just evacuated their home, too smokey around them; checking in. I tell them they will be able to see the fire from north side, ask the clerk if he has any rooms that side. Then, quietly, I tell them they should ask for deep discount, for fire evacuation. --Most people don't know: every neighborhood hotel will usually make special rate, for such circumstances, for residents. They thank me...as I head for the elevator I'm sorry for them, grateful all my things can't burn, they are packed, in storage.

Then I learn the sad news: Dante's View, the unique special garden at the top of Griffith Park, created by hand, plant by plant by one character, named Dante, in gratitude --gift to Los Angeles --gone.

The Observatory looks okay...vintage Carossel --saved. The #5 freeway exits closed, at Los Feliz Blvd. and same for the #134, both directions. Three hundred people --gathered at Marshall High School, along with Mayor V. --but he didn't have much to add. The cool Tom Labonge, City Council member of the district, on scene, with firefighters. He is sad about Dante's View and the other things consumed in the plume.... A magnet school in the Park was evacuated. --Who knew there is a school there... how cool would that be, go to school inside the Park.... The golf course seems to be okay, why wouldn't it --golf courses: greedy selfish users --of water; as indifferent as those who use them, to the environment. --How does anyone hog water for grass, drop into ground, water is becoming valuable scarce prize. Tiger Woods, et al needs to get on-board.... Anyway the course is at the bottom, far from the flames on the ridges.

Why does seeing City Council "president" --standing at Mayor V's elbow while he is talking to reporters, make me angry...He doesn't know any thing more than the mayor --nothing to add --why is he there, in front of cameras.... Do I Suspect he is using the fire --the way Do-Nothing "Mayor" Hahn did, who couldn't be found/seen for four years, suddenly showed up at every knocked-over fire hydrant and spreading pothole --used as Important --photo op --camera face-time, only months before the election. --One of the many reasons: he isn't Mayor anymore.

Could the "president" --using his daddy's advice and his shiny new title, be showing up because fire is in part of his district, like Labonge --Or because: he lusts to be the next Mayor? Hugging Mayor V's elbow...seems to say it all.

The "president" in front of cameras last week, after cops 'cleared' --shot, beat--Hispanics marching in MacArthur Park May 1, put himself forward, got face-time...because Mayor V had miscalculated --scheduled visist to South America and Mexico --when he well-knew about high-profile march. There was the "president" --In charge, talking to reporters --speaking --English? --Naw, Perfect opportunity, for an opportunist --to use Spanish. --Uh, Russian, Greek, French, Korean and the residents who speak 133 other languages in Los Angeles --must have 'appreciated' that.

I think it's time: we, in the CD 13 district --get a real representative --one far less in love --with himself and with fat cat developers. His actions on eminent domain, 'necessity' of new hotels --all those "necessary" condo conversions --as many as seven in a neighborhood.... What has he actually done FOR Silver Lake, Echo Park --any part of the District --For residents, not for himself? Perhaps he has forgotten --what happened --why his arrogant daddy flops around with a camera instead of his old career.

Just his betrayal, deceit on parking meters alone is enough: we need to find, finance a good candidate to put in his place. Are you listening Neighborhood Council Boardmembers?

LAPD Chief Bratton, hasn't done investigation yet, but said a person was taken to the hospital --with burns. The man told police he fell asleep while smoking, woke up surrounded by fire. Arsonists: don't get burns. Gee, guess the bobbleheads were wrong, what a surprise, duh.

Chief said his own home is in the hills, near the fire, it's personal for him; residents ordered to evacuate, police pro-active to prevent looting.

--What about the animals --at the zoo. Some TV station fool --says the animals will be evacuated. Oh really, how does he imagine THAT will happen? --Elephants, tigers, monkies, lions --hundreds of birds --reptiles --loaded into crates??? How many days would That take? How stupid.... How do we fire stupid media jockies --those oh-so-dumb so pretty, so stupid, so worthless bobble-heads, usually giggling --at each other.

People living in Hollywood Hills --Los Feliz --Silver Lake, near Griffith Park, will know the fear people in Malibu knew. All of them in the surrounding area of Griffith Park --should have cleared brush --for 20 feet around structures. Did they do it? Everyone knew: we are in severe drought conditions. So far: no structures lost. Amazing.

Wonder why: they didn't use the mega-water plane --drop hundreds of gallons in one swoop, vs. several small planes and choppers dropping thimbles-full. Ah, the dumbness of bureauocracy --the mega-plane is controlled by the feds. "It costs too much to use" --Vs how much --if thousands of structures burned down? It should be illegal to get a job in govenment --if the Dumb gene is present.... Why can't we test for that? We could use it on bobbleheads too, before they start bobbing heads and giggling on camera.

Wind has died way down...hills are soft red glow, no flames showing...police said they evacuated every street, every house, but now only 30 in Marshall High School. --Did they go home --hotel, friends, another shelter? Hollywood-Los Feliz hills: can't remember the last fire... then they said: last burn was 70 years ago...that's a LOT of old brush.... There was a fire behind the hotel last weekend, but nothing lilke this...worn out, maybe it will be over by morning...that would be daVine...

UPDATE May 9 by 11 am this morning: fire kept going and so did firefighters --over 817 acres of trees, plants, flowers, benches consumed --but 50% of the fire has been put out.

Humidity is only at 2% but the temp is also down: yesterday, this time it was 91, today it's 81. All 1,200 creatures at the zoo: sheltered in place, no harm, no fire, no smoke. Whew, good job!

Nothing happened to Gene Autry Museum, Merry-go-Round, golf course or any houses: all saved, only one house has some damage. Wow, are they lucky --to have LAFD. Great Job, guys!

Great news: nothing happened to Griffith Observatory. --You haven't been there, don't know it? It is a beautiful Art Deco structure, and you probably do know it: it was a star, along with James Dean, in the movie "Rebel Without a Cause." It's also famous, among certain Boomers, once one of the Best make-out spots in all of LA; much-loved, used --and missed, since it only recently re-opened after a three-year rennovation.

Also untouched: Greek Theater, though it is closed for performances until notice --no performance tonight. Observatory and Greek will make up any tickets held for current dates. --They'll make it right, this ain't the federal govt, it's LA --where we rebuild freeways in 60 days --after an earthquake.

Mayor V: up in a chopper early this morning checking the burn; it's extensive, not pretty. But hey: if the dry veg is gone, it can't catch fire the rest of the year. Wonder what the wildlife that lives in the Park will eat. --Hey maybe they can munch on the golf course, like the doe caught on camera, she didn't seem to have a problem eating grass.

I have a rare view: hotel is up a hill, facing north --usually people live, drive up to the hills to look south. I could see the whole ridgeline, on fire, smoking, even after the wind died. Today: air is cloudy, smokey, it's hot but not as hot, no one lost their home...the fire is mostly out...daVine....

Maybe residents --everywhere, will get a Clue: stop planting grass in front of your house, stop watering concrete trying to keep it green --who even actually Uses the front lawn? Nothing Green --about trying to impress people living down the street --about wasting water. Instead of grass Plant: crushed rock, native plants or vegetables.

There will be Plenty of insects, don't make things Worse by using pesticide or artificial chemicals to "improve" plants. Nature: Must take over, Don't get in the way. --Tell ADM and "Miracle" to stay OUT of California.

If it's this hot in Los Angeles in May, what will it be like in summer....

tag: Hollywood Hills, Silver Lake, Griffith Park, Los Feliz Blvd., Commodore St., LAFD LAPD Mayor V, Police Chief Bratten, water-dropping plane, Greek Theater, Griffith Observatory, wildlife, LA City Council district 13, district 4 Tom Labonge, TV news media, grass, golf

1 comment :

  1. PressPosts / User / mandariinz / Submitted
    May 10th, 2007 at 3:30 am · Edit

    Submited post on PressPosts.com - “Hollywood Hills ?on Fire”