Category: Nature

Emergency Meeting: The Future of Runyon Canyon

Because of overwhelming public outcry over the construction of a corporate-sponsored basketball court in the middle of a wilderness area, a secretive deal arranged by Friends of Runyon Canyon (FORC), the Hollywood Hills West Neighborhood Council, the advisory board that oversees Council District 4 and Runyon Canyon Park, is convening a special town hall meeting. The hastily...

The Runyon Canyon Basketball Court: Doing Deals and Keeping it Quiet

When Edward Snowden disclosed that the United States government was abusing the powers of the National Security Agency by collecting data on every American’s phone calls and emails, most citizens were outraged to learn that they had been duped by the very folks who claimed to be looking out for their interests. Even if you...

Harmonizing Every Thread

Five jazz musicians walk into the living room of our house, the music room. They’re getting ready for a gig the following night at an area college. A concert. They each bring their own vibration to the rehearsal, their individual tone. Some cats are lighter and some are darker than others. Some project calm and...

Runyon Canyon Follow-Up: No Parking Any Time

“The parking lot idea, putting a lot inside Runyon Canyon, is dead on arrival. It’s not going to happen.” – John C. Gile, President, Friends of Runyon Canyon With apologies to Jackie Gleason, what we have here is a failure to communicate. Call it a simple misunderstanding. Or clumsy public relations. Or meager community outreach....

Friends of Runyon Canyon?

Runyon Canyon Park, the dog-friendly nature sanctuary in the hills above Hollywood, has been the subject of several essays in this space, as well as a scenic location in at least two or three of our books. It’s just about the greatest part of living in this neighborhood, and maybe all of Los Angeles. For...

So You Think You’re an Environmentalist?

Animal agriculture is the leading cause of global climate change and environmental devastation. Fossil fuels are a major contributor, yes, but livestock are actually the chief malefactors in terms of greenhouse gas emissions – and a litany of destructive ancillary effects. Environmental harms associated with the meat industry include deforestation (particularly in the Amazon basin),...

Poem: Water and Honey

Water flows downstream. Water seeks the nadir. Honey does, too. But whereas water finds crevasses and depressions, Filling all the little lacunae, Seduced by gravity and soaked in its own enthusiasm, Honey journeys won’t be assimilated. They conclude only when you can’t get any lower, When you stumble into a ceaselessly bleak pit of despair,...

They’re Lizards

Nothing that’s ever walked, slithered, swum or flown the earth has ever been as intelligent as human beings. We’re the smartest species ever. The things we can do with our brain can’t be done with a sparrow’s brain, or an ant’s. Or even a dolphin’s. They’re clever, sure. And other species can do stuff we...

Pavlov’s Dogs

On a recent trip to Madagascar in search of wildlife in its natural habitat, we visited the magnificent Andasibe National Park, where a dozen species of lemur monkeys found nowhere else in the world make their home in the forest canopy. Viewing sifaka (“dancing lemurs”) normally seen only in captivity cavorting in the wild, leaping...