Tag Archives: clean-up

Funny and Not So Funny Happenings in Big T

First, the funny stuff…

One of the things that my grandmother did here in the canyon, and that I have continued doing since she passed, is feeding the local hummingbirds. Years ago I got a little hummingbird feeder that had perches for the little tykes so they could rest while having a snack. And, while it’s arguably not good for them, I do use a drop of food coloring in their water so I can more easily keep track of when the feeder needs to be refilled.

About a week ago I noticed that I hadn’t seen any hummingbird air battles in a while. Also, the rate of consumption of their food had dropped dramatically. The amount of food in the feeder was still going down, but not as fast as is typical.

Orange OrioleToday I discovered what is causing these changes in activity at the hummingbird watering hole. Orange Orioles.

I am still trying to snag a picture of the orioles that have commandeered my hummingbird feeder, but this picture I found on the web is spot on. Who knew? I don’t recall seeing this particular variety of bird in Big T before, but they are definitely here now.

Guess I’m going to have to get another feeder for the hummers, and this time without a perch so the orioles won’t use that one.

Now for the not-so-funny stuff…

This afternoon I took a drive up the road to check out the dam. As you might expect, the canyon had lots of cyclists, motorized and not, plus other visitors pulled off the the side of the road, parking and picnicking as though they never saw the “Forest Closed” signs.

The dam, as it happens, is full, and not with water.

The Big Tujunga Dam

This picture shows pretty clearly that the dam is completely filled with sediment. I have no idea what plans exist for excavating all that sand, silt, rock and debris, but I find it almost impossible to believe that the job could be done before next winter’s storms. And until the dam is dug out, all the water coming down the canyon is going to flow right over the spillway.

If anyone has connections with the dam, I would love to hear what plans are in the works to address this minor little problem. Otherwise, does anyone have blueprints for an ark I can borrow?

What was even more disturbing was what I found on the side of the canyon just below the vista point for the dam.

Someone's trash dump in Big T

From the look of it, someone dumped 5 or more boxes of books down the side of the canyon. The boxes appear dry, so this was fairly recent. But the books are scattered over an area at least 50 feet long, and on a very steep rock face. In order to clean this up someone would have to rappel down from the vista point and bring everything up piecemeal.

Illegal dumping is nothing new to Big T, but this just made no sense. Books can be donated or recycled. And the placement of the dump is practically malicious given how difficult it will be to retrieve this debris so it can be disposed of properly.

If anyone has resources available to tackle this issue, please let me know. It’s just heartbreaking to see this kind of thing in the forest.


Note from Mike McIntyre

Hi all,

The following is from Mike McIntyre, the District Ranger who covers the Angeles Forest region. He forgot to send an e-mail to folks about the HazMat folks. Per his request I am posting his comments here and will be sending this same info out via e-mail.


I came straight out of the field with the State Hazmat to and out of my office and I forgot to email out a reminder. Get those access permission slips in. Even if you passed the asbestos, they will still go on your property and take the Hazmat stuff the Southern Baptists won’t take (MK). That way by Monday the 23, we should be clean to the bone.

Also, if you didn’t burn down and have Hazmat (paint, etc.), they will take it too….but need the access slip. The reason I am sending this is I am off tomorrow and won’t be at work where my mailing list is and this is important enough not to lose a day.

Can someone get in contact with Alan Rachman as he did have a positive hit for asbestos and they will remove it but I don’t have a permission slip. Whaley was the last i got which turned out to be good as in the brief look they found asbestos. Leipperts haven’t sent a form in. Steve next to Buffy needs to send the permission slip and if he doesn’t sign it, email a permission. Anyone see Dumond, tell him to get a permission slip as the county saw his Hazmat stuff he had on the side but wont take it without the slip.

Here are the permission slips I have and sent to the County and State:
Garcia, Means, Kassouf (good job becky of posting your slip and giving your metal collectors the permission letter….I busted them but they showed the letter), Coppitiears, Carson, Wallace, Whaley, Gray (thanks again Becky), Gates, Stewart, Bush, Reynolds, and Buffy. On Thursday I will try and get a hold of Barbara G to see if we can connect. They will be starting on Monday so our window is narrow (they will take some during the week but hate to backtrack).

And the latest update…

Those who signed up with the Baptists but don’t get their asbestos checked will not be serviced by the Baptists.  So I am running around trying to get the County out there but they won’t go without permission slips and the Baptists won’t go in without a permission slip (another one) and the asbestos signoff or report………….and they said the Forest Service has a paperwork bureaucracy.

Today in the Canyon

The following report was sent via e-mail by Duncan Baird. Thanks Duncan, for everything!  ~B~

Sand Bagging Supplies40 cubic yards of “material” was delivered by the Public Works Dept. to the overflow parking area of the Vogel Flats Picnic Area. The “material” came from the PW yard in La Crescenta.

3000 empty white plastic sand bags were also delivered by the County FD at the same location. (Art Vander Vis sent photos to all of you of the dirt and empty dirtbags).

I met this morning with Chris Stone in the Canyon. (Stone is Bill Saunder’s boss). He looked over our situation and was non-committal regarding “K” rail placement along your side (the river side) of Stonyvale. He did commit to email back to you (Adi) and I regarding the placement of sand bags and/or “K” rails. I explained to him our timeline as it relates to the work that the Baptists are going to begin next week. Mike Studebaker told me that his goal was to finish their work by Thanksgiving.

I briefly got involved in cat trap placement by my cement mixer.

Trent Sanders showed up in the canyon. (He is the former owner and builder of Bert and Catherine’s home). He had not been in the Canyon since he left 15 years ago. He lives in La Canada now.

I got some bad news from Verizon. They are NOT putting in fiber optic. The info about fiber optic that I had been given a couple of weeks ago was grossly erroneous. So, we’re back to HughsNet or dial-up, Oh, poop! And my dish MELTED!

It got very windy and therefore way too dusty to do much work.


Photo provided by Arthur Vander Vis, PE
Area Engineer
Los Angeles County Department of Public Works, Flood Maintenance, West Area

Smell of a Land Grab

Smell of a Land Grab
In My Own Words
By James Marquiss

Note: This letter was sent by James Marquiss … Station Fire victim … to Millie Jones in LA County Supervisor Mike Antonovich’s office.

My name is James Marquiss, I am a victim of the recent Station fire (I lost my house and everything I owned).

My previous address was 2320 Stonyvale Rd. (Which is privately owned land in the Vogel Flats community)

I noticed that Edison was not replacing the power lines to my property and so I stopped in to the command center and spoke with the service planner and the regional manager who told me that the forest Service was not allowing them to re-institute power to certain areas.

I told them that this was a misunderstanding as it privately owned land and the Forest Service has no jurisdiction there. To which they responded something on the order of “we have to do what they tell us”.

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Some Treasures Can Be Saved From Soot and Ash Damage

Among the tragedies left behind by fire is the loss of family valuables. Guidelines from Heritage Preservation and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) may help residents and businesses salvage some keepsake items from the recent wildfires.

Cherished heirlooms that survive a fire are often covered with soot and ash, requiring prompt and gentle attention to avoid further damage. The following tips for cleaning soot and ash are based on the experience of respected conservation professionals who care for our nation’s treasures in museums and libraries.

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