City closes escrow on property along L.A. River

LOS ANGELES — Los Angeles leaders hailed the close of escrow March 3 on nearly 42 acres of property key to the city’s plan to revitalize the Los Angeles River.

The city paid the Union Pacific Railroad $59.3 million for the land alongside the river, called the Taylor Yard G2 plot, and estimates its development will cost $252 million, including the purchase price. The state has agreed to contribute $25 million.

“We’ve always considered G2 to be the crown jewel in our vision to revitalize the L.A. River, and that’s why I have been committed to fighting for the resources to finally return this land to the people of Los Angeles and the wildlife that call it home,” Mayor Eric Garcetti said.

“We got it done, and now this vast site can transform how Angelenos connect with the natural world —because it will allow for habitat restoration, and open more than a mile of direct access to the river for local communities that have been cut off from it for too long,” he said.

The Taylor Yard G2 acreage is on the east bank of the L.A. River in Cypress Park. Development of the plot will connect it to Rio de Los Angeles State Park and with the Bowtie parcel, another state park.

The plot is a side project connected to a possible $1.4 billion U.S. Army Corps of Engineers plan to revitalize 11 miles of river running through the Elysian Valley and return it to a more natural state.

“It has been a process to secure the G2 site in Council District 1, but we have finally done it” said Councilman Gil Cedillo, whose First District includes the land. “G2 is the most integral part of the L.A. River Revitalization Master Plan for Northeast L.A., for it is the only direct access point to the river from the communities in our district. It is the beginning of the future for the L.A. River as we imagine it.”

“I’ve been focused on revitalizing the L.A. River for the better part of a decade, including fighting for the $25 million budget allocation that made it possible for us to acquire this parcel,” state Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León said. “We have a long way to go to realize our dream of a healthy L.A. River as a vibrant social and recreational center of our city, but today the future looks brighter than ever.”

“Today, Angelenos now own the largest available piece of property along our Los Angeles River,” City Councilman Mitch O’Farrell said. “Parcel G2 is a keystone for habitat restoration identified in our Los Angeles River Revitalization Master Plan, and I commend everyone involved for the tremendous lift to acquire this asset for all of Los Angeles to enjoy.”

The land is expected to take five to 10 years to develop before the public will get to use the space due to the significant environmental cleanup that will need to be done.

While city leaders celebrated the acquisition of the land, the future of the larger $1.4 billion revitalization plan is unclear. The council voted in 2013 to split the cost 50/50 with the Army Corps of Engineers, but the Army Corps has only agreed to pay 20 percent. There is also the looming threat by President Donald Trump to cut off federal funding to so-called “sanctuary cities,” which could end up applying to Los Angeles.

Los Angeles is expected to be a target because of the LAPD’s longstanding policy of not initiating contact with a person simply to determine their immigration status, and other stances city leaders are taking to oppose Trump.

 

COMMUNITY CALENDAR: Earth Day program planned in Whittier

The Union Pacific Railroad and the Upper San Gabriel Valley Municipal Water District co-sponsor the 10th annual Earth Day program of the Los Angeles County Sanitation Districts from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. April 9 in the parking lot, 1955 Workman Mill Road, Whittier. Admission is free.

The program features 50 conservation-oriented exhibitors, earth-friendly arts and crafts, tours of the water reclamation plant and materials recovery facility, music and dance performances and face painting.

Information: (562) 908-4288, ext. 2311

Other upcoming events include:

Friday, April 8

Knabe speaks: County Supervisor Don Knabe is the guest speaker at a Norwalk Chamber of Commerce lunch at noon at the NorwalkArts and Sports Complex, 13200 Clarkdale Ave. Tickets are $30 for chamber members and $35 for non-members. Information or reservations: (562) 864-7785.

Library market: A farmers market is open in the Bruggemeyer Library parking lot, 318 S. Ramona Ave., Monterey Park, from 4 to 8 p.m. It features fresh and organic fruits, vegetables and flowers grown at California farms. Also available are hummus, breads and tamales, raw honey from Energy Bee Farms, peaches from Arnett Farms and a wide selection of Asian vegetables from Vu Produce of Fresno. (626) 307-1388

Dance night: Parnell Park, 15390 Lambert Road, Whittier, hosts Friday night dances from 6 to 10 p.m.Dance professionals Rudy andMaria Hernandez offer lessons on a specific style of dancing from 6 to 7 and then a dance party runs from 7 to 10 p.m. Cost is $10 and includes light refreshments. (562) 567-9450

Saturday, April 9

Youth summit: The South Gate Police Department conducts its sixth annual Youth Summit from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the South Gate Park Auditorium, 4900 Southern Ave. The theme is “Be Your Own Super Hero.” Workshops encompass values, leadership, ethics, responsibility and health. Interested participants may send an email to Lieutenant Sergio Camacho at scamacho@sogate.org

Tax assistance: The Cal State Los Angeles Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program is offering free income tax preparation services to individuals who make $54,000 or less and need assistance preparing and filing tax returns. Tax assistance is available from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on the third floor of Salazar Hall, room 343 on campus, 5151 State University Drive, Los Angeles. Tax help also is available for persons with disabilities, the elderly and limited English-speaking taxpayers who need assistance. (323) 308-8485

Book sale: The Friends of the NorwalkLibraries hold their semiannual Bag-of-Books Sale from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Norwalk Library, 12350 Imperial Highway. Thousands of books, as well as movies and music, will be available at $5 for as many items as you can fit into a paper grocery bag. (562) 868-0775.

Downey market: A farmers market offers fresh produce and other items from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Downey Avenue between Second and Third streets in Downey. Parking is available in the city’s parking structure there or on marked spaces on surrounding streets. (562) 904-7284

Street fair: The Downey Chamber of Commerce conducts its 23rd annual Street Fair from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Brookshire Avenue from Firestone Boulevard north to about Fifth Street. Admission is free for live entertainment, a Harley Davidson motorcycle show and a kids fun zone with giant slides and inflatables. Vendors sell food and craft items. (562) 923-2191

Symphony concert: The Downey Symphony Orchestra, directed by Sharon Lavery, presents the final

Monday, April 11

Bellflower market: A farmers market operates from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Simms Park, 16614 S. Clark Ave., Bellflower. Fresh fruits, vegetables, flowers, plants, breads, sprouts, honey and more are available. (562) 866-7510.

program of its 58th season at 8 p.m. at the Downey Civic Theatre, 8435 Firestone Blvd. Featured is clarinetist Kelli O”Connor, who performs a clarinet concerto by Spanish composer Oscar Navarro, who is expected to attend the concert. Tickets are $30 to $35, $10 for students with identification. (562) 904-7230

South Gate market: Harbor Area Farmers Markets sponsors a farmers market from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at South Gate Park, Tweedy Boulevard and Walnut Avenue. Fruits, vegetables, herbs, nuts, fish, eggs, honey, baked items and gardens plants are available. (323) 774-0159

Junior golf: Youngsters from 7 to 17 may participate in the Pico Rivera Junior Golf Club at the Pico Rivera Golf Course, 3260 Fairway Drive, from 5 to 6 p.m. Cost is $10 per week or $30 for the month. (562) 692-9933

Therapist speaks: Marcie Habell, an educational therapist, speaks on “How to Get Things Done” from 6 to 7:30 p.m. in the Cormack Room of the Downey Library, 11121 Brookshire Ave. Admission is free. (562) 904-7364

Tuesday, April 12

Farmers market: The Norwalk Committee on Aging conducts a farmers market from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Excelsior High School south parking lot, on the south side of Alondra Boulevard west of Pioneer Boulevard. Fresh fruits, flowers, vegetables and fish are available.

Wednesday, April 13

Fresh produce:The Huntington Park Farmers Market offers fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts and other items from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at Salt Lake Park, 3401 E. Florence Ave. (323) 584-6218

Tax assistance:College students certified by the IRS provide free basic income tax return preparation for individuals and families who earned $52,000 or less in 2015 as part of the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program from 2 to 6 p.m. at Rio Hondo College, 3600 Workman Mill Road, Whittier. Those seeking assistanceshould bring photo identification for all those on the return, Social Security cards, birth dates for filers and all dependents, wage and earnings forms, a copy of 2014 federal and state returns, if available; a blank check with bank routing and account numbers for direct deposit and interest statements, day care records, day care tax ID number. Appointments are recommended. (562) 463-7359

Thursday, April 14

Business seminar: The Downey Chamber of Commerce sponsors a small business seminar from 9 to 11 a.m. at the Tropicana Restaurant, 10218 Paramount Blvd. Admission and a breakfast are free. Registration begins at 8:30 a.m. (562) 923-2191Coloring club: The Norwalk Library, 12350 Imperial Highway, conducts a coloring club called Color us Happy from 1 to 2 p.m. Coloring is a no-pressure art form that helps people unwind from a day at the office. Materials are provided. (562) 868-0775

Open house: The Bellflower Chamber of Commerce conducts a ribbon cutting and open house for ANA Insurance Brokerage, 10130 Rosecrans Ave., at 4 p.m. Refreshments are served. (562) 867-1744

Friday, April 15

Dance night: Club Parnell hosts a community dance night at Parnell Park, 15390 Lambert Road, Whittier. Rudy and Maria Hernandez conduct a program called “Disco Nights, with music of the 1970s and 80s. Registration and social begins at 6 p.m. and lessons at 6:30 p.m., followed by a dance party until 10 p.m. Light refreshments are provided. Cost is $10.

Saturday. April 16

Daddy-daughter dance: The Norwalk Parks and Recreation Department conducts a “Daddy and Daughter” dance for girls ages 3 to 10 from 6 to 8:30 p.m. at the Norwalk Arts and Sports Complex, 13100 Clarkdale Ave. Cost is $12 per couple for “daughter appropriate music” and dessert. Girls may also bring their grandfathers or uncles. (562) 929-5734

Items for the Community Calendar may be submitted in care of Wave Newspapers, 3731 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 840, Los Angeles, 90010 or by email to dwanlass@wavepublication.com. Please include a daytime phone number.