Trash, Trash, and Even MORE Trash!

I live in a "hot" neighborhood where homes are going for around $800K. The small bungalow across the street that was renting for $3500 a month must have finally been snapped up because the "For Rent" sign was down this morning.
But, despite the trendiness, I get to see this lovely sight while walking my sons to school. Yeah, that's some sort of meat in that pot. All this was there at 8:00 this morning, at 10:30, and again at 2:30 this afternoon. I guess the chef had to go out for more A1 sauce or something.

Hmm...I wonder if the Mayor of Los Angeles' kids also walk by this sort of thing on the way to school? Are there these sort of trash issues in Mount Washington or Hancock Park? Would this be allowed to sit on the street for days outside of the Ivy or any of the paparazzi-filled boutiques on Robertson Boulevard?

I don't know. For some reason, my guess is that Antonio Villaraigosa's children aren't seeing makeshift cook stoves on their way to school. And Paris Hilton isn't stepping over abandoned car seats as she exits the latest trendy store.

Some other parents complained to the principal of my kids' school about what your seeing in the picture since this is right next to school property. She claims that there's nothing she can do about it. She says she's called the city and nothing happens.

Given my success ridding my street of the pack of drunks (absent for a week now!), I decided to email my city councilman, Eric Garcetti about this situation. I sent him this photo and I detailed how the trash is so bad on one of the streets we walk on en route to the school that I have to pick my Pre-K son up because he's afraid to step through it. Then I told him how in the next block there's the mattresses and abandoned furniture propped up against utility poles and street lights.

There's also the tree that's infested with bees. The bees were going crazy today because someone left this beer case right next to the tree. I'm not sure if there are any bottles in it, but the bees were swarming. I don't know about you, but I'm not a fan of bee stings. I wonder if Mr. Garcetti likes getting stung by bees?

I got one of those generic, "Thank you for your email. You're important but we're really busy!" kind of replies. However, the email did say, "Most city services can be addressed 24 hours a day, seven days a week, by calling 3-1-1. You can report a pothole, a sofa left on your street, graffiti or broken street lights by calling 3-1-1."

So I called 3-1-1. I got put on hold for awhile, then transferred around a few times. Ultimately though, I ended up talking to Operator 57. He wanted to know what my issue was. Man oh man, where to start?

I gave him a detailed list of all the locations where trash and illegal dumping have gone down in my little neck of the woods. After the fourth location I gave him, I could hear the weariness in his voice as he asked, "Is that all, Miss?"

"Um, actually, no. We also have a tree infested with bees."

"Bees?" I could practically hear him rolling his eyes and see him mouthing, "What the f***!"

"Yes, bees." I replied.

I told him all about the bees and he said, "So you have a bee hive that you want the city to remove?"

"Yes," I said. And to throw him a bone, I told him that that was the last of my issues.

He said he'd put in a request for all of it.

Good. I thanked him profusely for being so patient.

Now let's see how long it takes for everything to get moved. What do you think? One day? Two? I've added a little poll over in the sidebar. You can vote till Friday. My vote? One week. But maybe the city will surprise me. Keeping my fingers crossed...


I can't get past how you seem to believe that the children of the mayor of Los Angeles might walk to school. Unlikely in any major city, but Los Angeles? You are so adorable sometimes.

I hope they come out, but my money'd be on "keep dreaming."
Jameil said…
i'm going with more than a week. but good for you for contacting your councilman and 311. they're there for you to harass until satisfaction.
Jon said…
You'll be running before city office before we know it! I'll cross my fingers, hoping the city takes a look at the problems you reported to Operator 57.
Anonymous said…
Does L.A. have aldermen, like Chicago does? If this was happening in my neighborhood in Chicago, I would definitely work to get the alderman on my side.
Liz Dwyer said…
I know what you mean, but they might walk to school! Actually, most kids here walk to their neighborhood school unless they're in a magnet school or a private/charter. Ok, they probably don't walk, but still! ;)

My dad says that if I don't hear anything, I should send my email and the photos to one of the news stations out here. I wonder if that would get any result.

You know, I actually want to run for school board and be on the neighborhood council...but the partisan politics is a big issue for me. I wish there were a way to do it without the nasty politicking that goes on.

So, we have the city council -- the guy I emailed, Eric Garcetti, is on it. I've met him before and he's really nice. His dad used to be the city atty. back in the OJ Simpson days. We also have neighborhood councils, but ours doesn't seem to do too much.
Anonymous said…
I remember the first time I went to NY city and saw that mess... we have messes but not to the degree that L.A. Chicago or NY has...but no...I don't think our wonderful t.v., movie or drunk stars see this type of mess and if they do, its almost like seeing blur...u get use to it, because its not them!
As for the person on the phone, they are tired, frustrated and overworked. Almost anyone who works in a call center, especially a government call center feels this way...Hell i worked for an insurance call center and was annoyed. I feel sorry for the operator!
Mamita Umita said…
Ok. So if your day wasn't bad enough by seeing this stuff, I just saw pics of your man Orlando Bloom with Jennifer Aniston.

Blaniston has arrived.
Liz Dwyer said…
You're in Indianapolis, right? Last time I was there, last fall, it was really pretty looking.

I'm keeping my fingers crossed for tomorrow being the day that all the trash miraculously goes away. I remember on my first visit to NYC, I was just shocked by the amount of garbage around the city, even in touristy places like Times Square. I think part of it is our homeless population here, but the other part is that I've definitely noticed that there's a culture of littering in LA. Folks just toss stuff on the ground all the time. But, if this generation learns not to do that, LA could be a very different place in a few years.

Please, God, don't let it be true! UGH! I'll tell you, if this is true, I'm officially going to vomit up the delicious tofu scramble I just ate for lunch. In fact, I might feel sick to my stomach till they break up. And there WILL be a break up because she sucks. Oh, please let this possible hook-up merely be a matter of a mutual agent, etc!
Anonymous said…
I found it amusing that on councilman Eric Garcetti's "blog," his last two posts are about his trip to Armenia and Katrina victims in Los Angeles. I guess writing about fixing potholes and getting rid of drunks congregating around taxpayer's schools isn't interesting enough to write about. pljrto
M said…
No, no, Aniston and Orlando are NOT together. They were both in Mexico for their manager's wedding - and got photographed standing by each other in bathing suits - but they were there with a big group and are not dating.

Oh god. Do not ask HOW I know this. I am so, so ashamed.

I voted for "keep dreaming" on how fast things will get picked up, but I hope I am pleasantly surprised.
Liz Dwyer said…
That's such a shame. Not that going to Armenia and helping out Katrina victims aren't worthy endeavors, but that's not why I voted for him. Clearly, I voted for him so he'd do stuff in my neighborhood. I did get an email back today from someone in his office though and I found this paragraph to be of particular interest:
I want to share additional information about how your local school works. All schools have a budget for the upkeep at their school and immediate surrounding area, which they have direct responsibility for, including sidewalks, trees, lighting, and parkways. If public schools in the 13th District need assistance, we are happy to work with the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) to bring attention to the school in need. I would encourage that you to continue to work with Principal _____and local parents for a clean, safe, school environment.

Fascinating. I mean, LAUSD can't even pay it's staff correctly, let alone keep the area around the school clean!

This is just further proof that prayer does work! Good grief, I've been in complete turmoil over the awful possibility of lovely Orlando with Aniston...I actually prayed that it wasn't true. And now you have put my heart at ease! YAY!

I hope I'm pleasantly surprised as well. I'll keep you all posted.
Jessalyn said…
In addition to sending the photos and email to the news stations, you should send a link to your blog, too. Send the link of your blog to Garcetti as well. Maybe if the issue is well publicized, it will bring about swift action?
Ian Lidster said…
All city and town bureaucracies are the same. Their employees are paid, whether they do something or nothing, so most opt for nothing. Why not?
I also believe the road to hell is paved with human garbage.
Liz Dwyer said…
That's a great idea. I need that Joel Grover guy from KNBC to get on the case! If he can expose Jiffy Lube's illegal practices, surely getting my neighborhood cleaned up will be a piece of cake for him.

I'm sure there's a lot of solitaire playing going on in lots of government offices. I'm tempted to go out there with a sign, someone's phone number and encourage every motorist that passes to call the school and the city.
xuLiz why are you hating on Jen! Leave that poor girl alone. I kid..I don't get the hype about her at all.

Def. keep on your councilman's office. The good ones do care about their constituents.
Jameil said…
probably not in l.a. maybe a smaller paper or tv station... like in iowa.
Liz Dwyer said…
LOL! I have never been an Aniston fan. I've just never seen what's supposed to be so darned cute! I guess it hearkens back to the Friends days when I was always thinking, "New York doesn't look like that!"

I now have an email dialogue going with one of his field reps so that's a good thing. But, it looks like some of the stuff may be carted away tomorrow morning.

That's what I'm thinking too. Thankfully, it's looking like it won't come to that.
Anonymous said…
Just read two things; one L.A. gov is trying to pass a ban on Fast Food restaurants because FF causes obseity and two, homeless can now sleep on sidewalks from 9PM to 6AM without getting tickets. Once L.A. builds 1.250 housing units for the homeless, they can again enforce the 1965 law.

One estimate was 48,000 homeless in LA while another cited twice that many. Thus, I doubt that trash such as that is going away anytime soon.

What does homelessness have to do with Fast Food? Perhaps the mayor and other city officials need to get their priorities straight. Most often when a homeless person does not come back to their meal or belongings is because they were arrested.
Liz Dwyer said…
I can't see a ban on fast food happening anytime soon. I believe the homeless population here is much larger than 48,000...and 1,250 units is going to be a drop in the bucket.

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