Monday, April 23, 2007

Weekly Calendar

Weekly Calendar
Latino Urban Forum

Meeting, Activities and events that promote our mission for April 23, 2007

1. Air Quality and Environmental Justice Issues

2. Fiesta Broadway

3. Great Streets

4. Keep LA Beautiful

5. Built Environment and Public Health Workshop

6. Homelessness: What Planners Can Do

7. LANI's Fifth Annual Community Forum

8. LA River Clean Up

9. LA River Bike Ride

10. Article: LA Times, City peddle parking for bikes

11. Article: Downtown News, Fiesta Broadway

12. Article: American Planning Association, Hispanic- Latino

American Planning Association' s 2007 National Conference

For Latinos in planning, the APA conference was a great success. A
large number of Latinos from all over the country were in
attendance, and this was the first conference that held a session on
Latino Communities and Urban Spaces. The session brought together
scholars and planning practitioners from across the country to
discuss how Latino communities use urban space. Cecilia H. Guisti,
from Texas A&M University, examined the development of "colonias" on
the south border of Texas. Michael Rios, from Penn State University,
examined the community participation process for the BART station in
San Francisco's Mission District. I spoke about how Latinos are
transforming the streets of Los Angeles by their use of urban space,
and how we need to develop policies that promote, protrect, and
enhance these communities. Leonardo E. Vazquez, and Irayda M. Ruiz,
updated us on the new Latinos in Planning APA Division. The session
was very well attended, especially by young Latino planners and
students, and demonstrates the growth of Latinos in the urban
planning profession.

Philadelphia has a rich history, historic architecture, and an
intimate urban scale which creates a walkable city. The historic
lots' sizes, and street widths, create a unique urban scale
reminiscent of a European city. Some streets are as narrow as 8
feet, and most are not more than 40 feet, including sidewalks.
Narrow roads reduce traffic speeds, making streets safe and
comfortable for pedestrians to cross at any point. As a human being,
I like to walk in places that allow me total flexibility, and to not
have to cross a street only at intersections is a great advantage to
human impulses. The historic lot sizes create very intimate, narrow
buildings, much like the pencil buildings in Tokyo. These narrow
buildings create a nice pedestrian rhythm for walking.

Philadelphia is a large city that has been in decline since it lost
its manufacturing base in the 1950's. Much of the city has been
preserved with even some street car lines still intact. Large
sections of the city feel isolated, however, with a number of
buildings presently abandoned, and reminded me of Manhattan in the
1980's or Downtown L.A. up until recently. We went to some great
bars and clubs next to these abandoned buildings, though. It was a
nice change from congested Los Angeles, and crowded Manhattan.

I would like to especially thank the students from Cal Poly Pomona,
and to some extent San Luis Obispo, who showed up in great numbers
at the conference. I spent time with the student from Cal Poly
Pomona in exploring Philly, and unlike students at other major
universities in L.A., most of these students are local, and are
committed to staying and improving the built environment in L.A!

James Rojas

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Tuesday, April 24, 2007 from 8:30-10:30 AM

"Air Quality and Environmental Justice Issues in the South Coast
Air Basin: EPA's progress and Major Challenges Ahead"
Featuring Mr.
Wayne Nastri,
Region 9 Administrator, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Please RSVP via our website at or by
contacting Tarren Lopez or Fredy Ceja at 323.343.3770
will be served

Location: The City Club on Bunker Hill

333 South Grand Avenue, 54th Floor

Los Angeles, CA 90071

(Parking is accessible below the Wells Fargo Building)

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Sunday, April 29, 2007 from 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Fiesta Broadway

"Fiesta Goes Green" has been selected as this year's theme in order
to help educate and motivate residents of Los Angeles to take
greater care of our environment. Fiesta Broadway dedicates this year
to make Los Angeles greener, cleaner, healthier, and more beautiful
for all to enjoy. Come visit LUF and other environmental groups at
Fiesta Broadway.

Location: Downtown Los Angeles

Broadway Street

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Monday, April 30, 2007 from 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

Great Streets Panel Discussion #3

The Park Bench, the Bicycle and the Black Walnut:
Designing the
Architecture of Our Most Accessible Public Space. Goals &
Objectives: 1.) To discuss the importance of greening the public
realm with bio-swales, landscaping, street trees, bike paths and the
need to make our communities inherently more walkable so we can
sustain the health & vitality of our lifestyles. 2.) To identify the
most effective methods for funding these projects 3.) To better
understand the bureaucratic obstacles to creating more
environmentally sustainable streets & sidewalks 4.) To describe the
challenges created by the confluence of a diverse mix of needs &
uses (bikes, cars, pedestrians, flora & fauna, watershed management,
open space, street vendors, retail, recreation & relaxation,
transit) and to establish priorities on a case-by-case scenario (in
other words, not all streets are created equal).

Moderator: Michael Lehrer, FAIA - Lehrer Architects

Panel Speakers: Calvin Abe, FASLA - President, ah'be landscape
architects & environmental planners Christine S. E. Magar, RA, AIA,
LEED AP - Greenform Katherine Spitz, AIA, ASLA - Katherine Spitz &
Associates Charles Stewart, Field Representative for U.S.
Representative Diane E. Watson Mark Rios, FAIA - Rios Clementi Hale

Location: The Ivy Substation

9070 Venice Blvd.

Culver City, CA 90232


Saturday, April 28, 2007 9:00 am to 1:00 pm.

Keep LA Beautiful and help clean the surrounding area around Fuller
Lofts on Gloves, tools and lunch will be provided. Grab your old
jeans, t-shirts & sneakers and give the neighborhood a makeover.

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Wednesday, May 2, 2007 @ 8am-3pm

Built Environment and Public Health Workshop

The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health is pleased to
a Built Environment and Public Health Workshop. This inter-
disciplinary workshop will emphasize new ways to plan for healthy
environments, highlight how Public Health can support cities in
their planning efforts, and preview a new County funding source for
built environment work. City officials and planners, transportation
engineers, public works professionals, public health staff, and
community based organizations working on land use issues are
encouraged to attend.

Note: This is a FREE event (meals on your own) Space is limited and
pre-registration is required Registration Deadline: April 20

Location: Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels

Downtown Los Angeles

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Tuesday, May 8, 2007 from 11:30 to 12:30 p.m

Homelessness: What Planners Can Do

Dr. Wolch will speak on this issue.

Location: City Hall

200 North Spring Street

City Hall Planning Dept. Training Room

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Thursday, May 17, 2007 From 8:00 am to 2:30 pm

LANI's Fifth Annual Community Forum

Workshop topics include: Accounting for Nonprofits, Billboards,
Farmer's Markets
Business Development, Community Murals, Disaster Preparedness at a
Neighborhood Level Transportation Linkages Water Quality and Your

Register at, or by calling (213) 627-1822 x20. The event
is free and includes parking.


USC Davidson Conference Center

3415 S. Figueroa Street

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18th Annual Great Los Angeles River CleanUp, La Gran Limpieza,
Takes Place on FOUR Days

This year over 4,000 volunteers are expected to participate in the
largest urban river cleanup in the country -- FoLAR's La Gran
Limpieza, the Great Los Angeles River CleanUp. For the first time
the CleanUp will take place on four different days:

Friday, April 27 River School Day & Press Conference

Over 800 students are expected

Sunday, April 29 Big Sunday CleanUp at Taylor Yard

Saturday, May 5, CleanUp in Atwater Village Hosted by PAVA

Saturday, May 12 CleanUp at 13 sites throughout the region:

____________ _________ _________ _________ _________ _________ _

Saturday June 10, 2007

LA River Bike Ride

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Saturday, June 23, 2007 from 10 am - 3 pm


At L.A. Eco-Village, 117 Bimini Pl, LA 90004

What's your community's mission? What's your vision? Values? What
will you do to make your vision reality? Knowing the answers to
these questions plays a key role in your nonprofit group's success,
whether it be a shared house, cohousing group, ecovillage, or other
type of co-op living or working situation.

Topics covered in this workshop include:

Welcome & Introductions


Preparing to Plan

Decision making options

Vision, Mission, Activities and Values

SWOT Analysis

Identifying and Prioritizing Strategic Issues Defining Strategic
Goals and Objectives & Establishing a Monitoring Schedule Plan

Presentation Summary & Evaluations

Fee: $75 (sliding scale available)

Pre-registration required: 213/738-1254 or

Note: Bring a brown bag lunch or enjoy lunch on your own at a local
inexpensive restaurant

About Ron

Ron Milam has over ten years of experience in the non-profit sector
and consults with community development and environmental
organizations in the areas of strategic planning, fundraising, green
development, campaign planning and leadership development.
As a
workshop instructor, Ron believes that everyone has valuable
experience they can share...


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Cities peddle parking for bicycles

Communities hope that valet and other services will encourage
residents to use bikes for commuting and doing errands.

By Deborah Schoch, Times Staff Writer

April 23, 2007

Pity the cyclist with the $4,000 titanium road bike attempting to
park at the Sunday farmers market in Santa Monica.

After 10:30 a.m., the meters and street signs were already claimed
by early rising cyclists who chained their bike frames to the poles,
and that hefty, pricey Kryptonite lock simply wouldn't fit around
the nearest fence post.

Now, cyclists in search of heirloom tomatoes and organic cilantro
can enjoy valet parking of the sort offered to BMW-driving diners at
Ivy at the Shore or Chinois on Main, handing over their wheels to
polite attendants who park them at a nearby bicycle stand.

In California bicycle circles, this kind of service is the coming

Long Beach residents can check their bikes at the downtown
Bikestation, where they can get free air for their tires and on-site
repair service. A Santa Barbara self-service bike center opening May
1 will feature hot showers and a locker room for changing from
sweaty nylon-spandex jerseys to suits, ties and heels.

Valet bike parking would seem a quintessentially Californian
response to clogged freeways and overflowing parking lots. By
encouraging more cyclists, cities are promoting environmental
consciousness and outdoor cardio workouts.

Most important, for some cyclists, is knowing that someone is
watching over their bike.

"You can have all the bike lanes you want, but when you get to your
location, you need a place to park," said Russ Roca, 29, of Long

Roca, a freelance photographer, travels exclusively on a bike
retooled to carry 200 pounds of camera equipment. He is a regular at
the local Bikestation, which, he says, has become a social spot for
area cyclists.

These centers for cycling aficionados are largely public-private
partnerships, modeled after facilities in Europe and Asia.

In 1996, the Bikestation in downtown Long Beach, near the MTA's Blue
Line station, was the first to open in the United States. Its
founders have created the Bikestation Coalition, an umbrella group
that helps open other centers on the West Coast.

The concept has spread to the usual progressive hot spots: Berkeley,
Palo Alto, San Francisco and Seattle.

Most of the centers offer valet and self-service parking. Some
contain small repair shops, and some offer classes. They were built
largely with public funds, and revenue covers most operating

The new Santa Barbara center, for example, is funded by downtown car
parking fees. It contains $80,000 in equipment and is expected to
cost $25,000 a year to operate.

Pasadena, meanwhile, is preparing plans for a bike center near the
Gold Line light-rail stop in Old Town. The city hopes to use
$180,000 in state grant money to build a facility that will hold 40

Santa Monica hopes to build a downtown bike center with room for 300
bikes. In the meantime, the city parks 200 to 250 bicycles at its
crowded Sunday market and is bracing for up to 350 bikes this
summer. The city funds the valet service.

Planners hope that these service-oriented parking centers will
encourage residents to use their bikes to do errands and commute to

On Sunday on Santa Monica's Main Street, trusting shoppers were
handing over their sleek racing bikes and rusty beach cruisers to
attendants who by noon had filled spaces designed for seven cars
with more than 70 bicycles. Although the service is free, most
people left tips of $1, $3 and more.

Kristin Mongiello, 35, of Santa Monica sped up to the valet table,
her bike pulling her son, Riley Egan, 5, who was behind her on an
attached wheeled contraption called a "Trail-a-bike. "

They were rushing to a super-hero themed birthday party, and Egan
was dressed in a blue and gold hero costume. On the way, they needed
a few things from the farmers market, where she has become a regular
valet parker.

"Parking here is dreadful," Mongiello said, "and we've had two bikes
stolen." She and others said they felt more secure using the free
parking service launched by the city last year to ease parking
congestion at the Sunday market.

Some owners initially were wary of leaving their bikes guarded by

"I actually came and scoped it out, looked at the people who were
taking care of it," said Jason Puerto, 35, of Santa Monica. He felt
so comfortable with the valet service that he left his $1,700 Felt
S22 with the attendants for the first time Sunday.

As often happens with good intentions, success has come with a cost.
The Santa Monica project has cut severely into the income of a white-
bearded man known only as Johnnie who started watching over bikes
and dogs two years ago at the market's Main Street entrance.

"I'm the one who started this business. They come here and just put
up their thing," said Johnnie, who said he once had as many as 40
cyclists as customers. On Sunday, he was guarding two bikes and four
dogs and said he was falling behind on his rent. "But I'm not
worried. God will bless me," he said.

These parking services are not simply for upscale cyclists, said
Andréa White, executive director of the Bikestation organization,
which now has centers in six different communities and is consulting
with other cities, including Washington, D.C., where a bike center
is due to open at Union Station next year.

Service workers and other low-income residents use the centers, and
the Bikestation is starting an outreach program to teach cycling
skills to women who have recently been released from prison or drug
rehabilitation, she said. Those who complete the program will get
bicycles to help them find jobs.

The Sunday crowd in Santa Monica, by contrast, was largely focused
on finding basil and breakfast croissants.

Mary Ann Cummins, 70, has equipped her bicycle with side bags large
enough to hold her artichokes, greens, broccoli and fresh Gaviota
strawberries. "My God, I forgot my eggs," she said, and hastily
returned her bike to an attendant.

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Cinco de Mayo Pre-Party

Holiday Comes Early With Fiesta Broadway on April 29

by Evan George

Fiesta Broadway, hailed by organizers as the largest Cinco de Mayo
celebration in the world, will flood Downtown's Historic Core on
Sunday, April 29. The 18th annual event will fill 36 city blocks
with food booths, musical performances and product giveaways,
shutting down Broadway from Temple to 11th streets for much of the
weekend. Other street closures will last for the duration of the
daylong festivities.

Organizers predict the festival will draw about 500,000 people.

Fiesta Broadway was founded in 1989 as part of a plan to revitalize
Downtown Los Angeles. It has grown steadily over the past two
decades, and this year the event will generate more than $60,000 in
donations for the Historic Downtown Business Improvement District
(paid by the event's many corporate sponsors). That will fund
neighborhood improvements, said Eddie Dominguez, operations director
for All Access Entertainment, which runs the event.

To some area stakeholders, Fiesta Broadway is an opportunity to show
off the neighborhood.

"What we need to encourage Downtown is really live, work and play
activity," said Michael Delijani, a board member of the HDBID and
the owner of several theaters. "In accordance with that ideal, we
need to bring in more cultural events and this is an excellent
example." Dominguez detailed the roots of the often misunderstood,
and some say increasingly Americanized, day of celebration. A
commemoration of Mexican victory over the French army has become a
cultural revelry centered around consumption - food, drink and fun.

"During the student movement in the 1960s they took it as symbolic
of achieving the American dream," said Dominguez. "Now it's just
become cultural tradition."

Downtown's celebration is touted as the largest Latino event in the
United States - a fact not lost on advertisers and sponsors who
provide the booths, banners and music stages. Corporate logos rival
the many Mexican flags that attendees carry.

Sponsors recognize that "it's an audience that represents a huge
amount of buying power," said Dominguez. This year AT&T and Burger
King won't be the only ones vying for the crowd's attention. Mayor
Antonio Villaraigosa will speak at the event to promote his program
to plant a million trees in Los Angeles. Seedlings and information
on environmental causes will be distributed in an area tagged "Park
Villaraigosa. "

"The idea is to get a lot of the green themes out to the Latino
community," said Dominguez.

Throughout the day, popular Latino musical acts - from rock to
Ranchera - will take one of four stages, including a local battle of
the bands.

In past years, some shop owners complained about the event, saying
street closures blocked their stores or eliminated parking. This
year, organizers say, they are cooperating with local business
owners and are making quick clean-up a priority. However, Dominguez
points out that anytime you have half a million people there are
bound to be some disruptions.

Other street closures on Sunday will include Hill from First to
Sixth streets; Olive from Sixth to 11th streets; Main from Ninth to
11th streets; Spring from First to Ninth streets; First to Sixth
between Spring and Hill; and Seventh to 11th from Main to Olive.

Fiesta Broadway is Sunday, April 29, 11 a.m.-6 p.m.,

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American Planning Association 2007 Conference Session

Hispanic-Latino Communities and Urban Spaces

By Chris Melendrez

APA Student Member

University of New Mexico School of Law

For its first national planning conference session, APA's new
Latinos and Planning Division focused on the unique challenges and
opportunities in Hispanic communities.

The Tuesday session was facilitated by Irayda M. Ruiz, AICP, of
Virginia Commonwealth University. James Rojas of the Los Angeles
County Metropolitan Transit Authority addressed the transformation
of Los Angeles suburbs as their Hispanic population increases.
Cecilia Giusti of Texas A&M University presented on issues
surrounding "colonias," or informal housing development along the
Mexico border. Finally, Michael Rios of Pennsylvania State
University talked about the use of public space in Hispanic

A trend in urban Hispanic communities has been to adapt vacant or
unused space into public, social space. A case study of East Los
Angeles shows that there is a great deal of social activity in
public areas, including public streets. Despite such activity,
formal public spaces are generally unaccommodating, requiring users
to retrofit the environment to their needs.

For example, this
community has accommodated many of its retail needs informally
through street vending. In East L.A., many members of the Hispanic
community walk, ride bikes, or use public transportation. Failure to
accommodate this activity has resulted in Hispanic males having the
highest bicycle fatality rates in Los Angeles.

Uses and activities in East L.A. present special situations that
current regulatory tools cannot easily accommodate. Currently,
planners and zoning administrators in these communities are caught
between enforcing zoning regulations and meeting the needs of the
community. Speakers said that reform efforts should focus on
creating inclusive planning processes where people of different
cultures and languages are meaningfully included.

Planning activities in San Francisco's Mission District were
identified as an example of a multi-language planning process
resulting in spaces that express and enhance community identity
while accommodating community needs.

Outside of the highly urban areas of Los Angeles and San Francisco,
a more rural but equally complex and challenging issue is taking
place along the Mexican border where substandard housing has
developed in the form of "colonias" without any formal oversight or

Generally, a colonia is an informal development close to
the Mexican border that lacks basic infrastructure. On average,
colonias have much higher Hispanic populations than the relative
populations of Texas or the U.S. as a whole. At the same time, the
relative poverty levels that exist are much higher than the Texas or
national average.

Colonias developed in Texas largely because counties lacked capacity
to formally accommodate their growing populations. Although new
regulations have been adopted at many levels of government, no
county, state, or federal agency has taken ownership of the problem.

Residents of colonias do not have access to the type of credit that
will allow for self improvement, and many houses are in need of
rehab and still lack basic infrastructure.

About the sponsoring division

APA's Latinos and Planning Division aims to identify the unique
challenges of planning in Hispanic communities, and to identify
career challenges of Hispanic planners. Currently some of the key
questions addressed by this division include how urban spaces are
used differently in Hispanic communities, and the associated
challenges and opportunities. The division recognizes that even
within the Hispanic community in the U.S. there is great diversity,
resulting in broad and complex planning issues unique to each

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Urban Eats:

"East Los Angeles Farmer's Market" every Saturday from 9AM TO 1PM

Features fruits and vegetables grown locally by local farmers. In
addition, you'll find one of a kind creations offered by local
artisans and meet representatives from local community organizations.

Location: First Street (between Rowan and Ditman).

Homegirl Café!

1818 East First Street

LA, CA. 90014

Mama's Hot Tamale Cafe

7th Street across from Macarthur Park

Visit us online or

To post events, activities or meetings that promote planning,
cultural or dialogue contact James Rojas at 213 892-0918 or email
Please submit post in word.

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