Tarzana Is My Heroine

a poet considers the imaginary and reality of Tarzana

Something Rotten In Encino

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One of my friends, someone very interested in Valley civics, pointed out that it would be cool if I talked about community issues on my blog sometimes.

She mentioned the Encino Neighborhood Council elections, for one thing–how the voting process seemed mysterious, etc.–and that even she only found out about the election the day before it happened.

And I said, “What neighborhood council?” Meaning that Encino, to me, is some vague area around Ventura Blvd. between the Galleria and White Oak Ave. Other than that, Encino is where my house is.

“I’ve never thought of it as an actual town,” I said.

“Exactly,” she said.

So the doings of the Encino–or any other Valley Neighborhood Council–are way off my radar (though I did attend a small, private gathering with Congressman Howard Berman before the Nov. 6 election).

But the photos below show something that *is* on my radar and has been for 12 years, but I guess I never thought there was any local city entity to appeal to because I don’t have a sense of who or what is responsible for my community.

What is on my radar is this suppurating eyesore on Louise Ave.

It must be some perverse kind of Fountain of Youth, because I’m pretty sure it’s been oozing like this since I moved here in 2000!

You can tell where the water is leaking from the otherworldly color of the fetid algae. Look at how the light-post base is corroding.

Maybe the city agency responsible (identified in photo #2 as the City of Los Angeles Dept. of Public Works) will come fix it someday soon?

Now that I’m thinking about it, there must be some number–like the LA City number where you report potholes–to call. I just haven’t bothered to do it, because I’ve been an apathetic citizen of ?? …. Encino, er, Los Angeles.

Now you see a more tangible reason why I’m confused about Encino-as-a-town: L.A. seems to be responsible for fixing this Encino street. So I live in Encino, but get my city services from LA.?

Got it.

Well, I hope LA Street Services finds time to come and fix this. Especially because their sister agency, the Dept. of Water and Power, is intermittently threatening to bust anyone caught watering on the wrong day.

How about they bust LA Public Works for this12-year-old leak and counting?

I do have to admit that the burnt orange color is pretty awesome, but still!

Having written this, I went and googled the Encino Neighborhood Council. There is one, and they have meetings every 4th Wednesday of the month. The election my friend was referring to happened September 29, though it does look like it was announced in July–but maybe only on the Council’s own website. Here is the website: www.encinonc.com.

Now I have a place to go with my complaint about the oozing water leak, though for all I know, people may have been trying to get this fixed for years!

But somehow that seems unlikely.


Author: Coco O

I'm a stay-at-home poet, trained as a clinical psychologist, who studies creativity and the relationship between poetry and dreams.

One thought on “Something Rotten In Encino

  1. Thank you for writing about this. I learned about the election 30 minutes after the polls opened. I must admit, when we bought into Encino, I thought we were buying into a community. I have attended Neighborhood Council meetings in the past and recently it has been brought to my attention that we are working on restricting our zoning so that Encino can be more of a community rather than a business and traffic flow-through area. It is also my understanding that recent laws have been passed to preserve our skylines by restricting the height of buildings. Residential homes built on the skyline should not exceed one story.

    One of my absolute favorite parts of Encino is our Santa Monica Wilderness area. I have been hiking this area for over 10 years and have watched with dismay at some of the development that has been able to take place up there….

    Hopefully, with the high property taxes that we pay in this area, we can do something about the state of the Haskell Exit and the unkempt area along Magnolia. There is also the issue of no curbs or the destroying of existing curbs when paving occurred. The street surfaces look good though!

    I hope you get your sidewalk fixed one of these days and thanks for starting a public conversation on some of the things that concern the citizens of Encino.

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