Our pal Will Campbell — who helped furnish our humble abode by providing a desk and office chair and brightened our Thanksgiving Day bounty — made the news today instead of writing the news. From the Glendale News-Press:
They won’t write citations, lead hikes or carry guns, but Glendale’s new volunteer trail watch guards will almost certainly be dealing with difficult people.
On Saturday, the roughly 20-person team got a lesson in “verbal judo,” as Glendale Police Officer Larry Ballesteros called it.
Ballesteros took on the roles of obnoxious people — like a 24-year-old, thrill-seeking mountain biker “with 4 ounces of body fat” — and tested the volunteers.
Will Campbell, a freelance editor from Silverlake, tried to convince Ballesteros’ biker persona to slow down. But he kept coming at him with attitude. He had a pretend $15,000 bike. He showed Campbell scars from death-defying feats.
“I ain’t afraid of that trail,” Ballesteros said, folding his arms.
“Well, other people may be afraid of you,” Campbell replied in a parental tone.
Ballesteros’ response: “Old people need to get out of the way.”
He and 19 other like-minded people have getting trained by Ballesteros and other law enforcement officials ahead of them entering the field next month.
The volunteers, officially known as the Trail Safety Patrol, won’t be doing everything the naturalists once did — such as leading campfires and interpretive hikes — but they will be there to report on trail conditions, assist in emergencies and advise park goers on which trails to use.
Meanwhile, the “other” safety patrol, aka The Los Angeles Police Department, Northeast Division, had their hands full last weekend in our neck of the urban woods. Anthea Raymond writes in the Echo Park-Silver Lake Patch:
Those of us who look carefully at local crime statistics know that it’s been quiet at the core of Echo Park of late.
But this weekend blew that notion away, as two drive-by shootings claimed victims.
A father was shot in the buttocks Saturday night at Berkeley Avenue and Mohawk Street as he reached over to care for his baby. Shots rang out from a vehicle reportedly headed east on Berkeley as well as from a man who was standing near the car, according to a posting on the Eastsider.
Then, the next morning at around 11 a.m., a known gang member was fired upon from a vehicle, up Echo Park Avenue near Baxter Street. He was taken to the hospital and is now in stable condition.
The Eastsider reports that LAPD Northeast Division gang detectives believe the second shooting is a possible retaliation for the first, though the man struck in the first was not a gang member.
The shootings also occurred on opposite sides of Glendale Boulevard, a dividing line for two rival gangs in Echo Park.
As I noted here last week, a careful reading of the gang tagging in the community, which has been very, very busy of late, indicates that there is a territory dispute going down in EP, Silver Lake, and Frogtown on the other side of the L.A. River.
Corralitas Red Car Property blog by Diane Edwardson is an excellent blog that provides coverage for our neighborhood; she reports that the coyotes have been out and about of late (click link for pics), just a few quick steps from our front door:
My neighbor writes, “I had to stop while a young coyote crossed in front of my car at Rosebud and made his way up the steps. As I grabbed my phone to try to get a shot for everyone, his brother walked into the shot! They are a team. Cute, but not a good sign. Watch your small animals and make big noises if you pass them. They were not at all concerned with me noticing them.”Last week, a coyote trotted rather casually past another neighbor walking her dog (on-leash) from the Corralitas Public Staircase toward the top of the hill at 8 in the morning.
A large brown bear was spotted Sunday night digging through a trash bin in a Chevy Chase Canyon neighborhood, police said.
The bear, which residents described as between 500 and 800 pounds, was sifting through an outdoor trash bin in the 3200 block of Cornwall Drive, Glendale Police Sgt. Tom Lorenz said.
Officials said the size of the bear, if accurate, is extremely rare.
Glendale police who responded to the scene flashed their patrol car lights and used an air horn to scare the bear off into a nearby hillside and out of sight.
Residents have reported seeing the bear every day over the last week, Lorenz said.
While most bears enter hibernation in winter, the unseasonably warm temperatures have kept some of them outdoors, said Andrew Hughan, spokesman for the California Department of Fish and Game.
“They are getting there, but look at how warm it is,” he said. “These ones that are up got to eat.”