Was that Chicken Boy in the L.A. River?

Photo by Martha Benedict

Highland Park’s Chicken Boy takes to the water | Photo by Martha Benedict

ELYSIAN VALLEY — A stretch of the L.A. River was turned into a race course on Saturday, with kayakers, canoeists and paddleboarders, some of whom were dressed in costume or accompanied by dogs, zipping down the waterway.

In addition to spectators, the second annual L.A. River Boat Race also attracted a group of anti-gentrification protestors, who hung signs along the L.A. River Path.  Martha Benedict was there to snap shots of the event.

Event organizers were still waiting on the final results.

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  1. I thought dogs are not allowed in the riverbed. We’re the rangers handing out tickets?

    • That’s wonderful. Oh, look dear, there’s people kayaking in the treated sewage!!
      Is having proof of a tetanus shot a prerequisite of entering the race?

  2. Aldo Thee Apache

    LOL YES you tell those horrible evil, “terrorist” kayakers who are causing the downfall of the eastside.
    Not the developers, not the real estate speculators, not the greedy landlords or the major chain stores.
    The only way to fight back and let the world know we’re serious is to take a stand against hipster pizza slices and $4 lattes!!!

  3. The facebook page for “Frogtown residents opposing gentrification” has a picture of mayor Garcetti with a Hitler moustache and a swastika. Completely tasteless.

    I see they have some environmental concerns about wildlife thriving in the midst of the kayaking and plans for revitilization. I think that’s totally legitimate and are conversations we should have. But when you put a swastika on the mayor’s face and you claim the councilman is “terrorizing” the community, you lose all credibility. I’m not even sure if the environmental concerns are foremost or if it’s just an afterthought to the vauge anti-gentrification hate.

    • That and they also have conspiracy theory posts about “Agenda 21” AKA “How the United Nations is secretly trying to take over the planet”, backed by Glenn Beck and the rest of the tinfoil hat brigade.

    • @neighborino

      I just went to their Facebook page.

      Those people need a check up from the neck up.

      • Yeah, there’s a lot of craziness coming from them. They used a completely random car accident that happened in Elysian Valley as a launching pad to rail against the new restaurant that will be opening on Fletcher and Ripple – saying that “great majority of the community opposed to all this projects because it will put in great danger the Health, Safety and environment not only of the great Eysian Valley but to all the residents in the adjacent communities,”. Like when a restaurant opens there are just rampant DUI wrecks everywhere. I think there’s more danger on that corner now with the constant “FTR” graffiti scribblings than there will be when there’s a nice brand new restaurant that’s not going to tolerate gang nonsense on their property.

        I think it boils down to “the neighborhood I live in is getting nicer and featuring more desirable and upscale amenities than it ever has and I am afraid that will increase my rent”. Let’s just be honest and say that’s what this is about, not the evils of kayaking or the great danger of restaurants.

  4. Why is everybody so afraid of active white people? Hiking, biking, rock climbing and kayaking is kind of our culture. Go to any REI and you will see. Stop disrespecting our cultural heritage.

  5. For most of you that might not live in the Elysian Valley and only visit the Los Angeles River for it’s recreational use. The L. A River Expeditions who has put on the 2nd annual L A River Boat Race thinks they are over and above the Law. They did not obtain a parking permit to shut down our public parking yet they put orange cones and moved people off the public parking. They re wrote the law and just took it from the public and used it for their event. One of the event organizers tried to make a handicap women move from her parking spot. This was totally wrong I found out later she was a resident of Elysian Valley who has been involve in her community to stop all the wrong doing. This violates her rights under the Americans Disability Act (ADA) and they had no permit for their event. This is what a lot of you who do not live in the community of Elysian Valley or along the river understand what we put up with in our community. Another upset was that the ranger from MRCA did not ticket the event organizers they clearly violated the law. He also did nothing about the dogs in the river. We have community members who have been told countless time to not allow the dogs in the river the law is the law for everybody. This L A River Expedition 2nd Annual River race has left a bad impression on the Elysian Valley residents.

    As for the Environment lets start with the dogs in the river and why they should not be allowed to be in the river. To protect them from diseases but more important to protect our local and migratory wildlife. We all need to keep in mind that the river is part of the pacific fly which is a very important component to our bird population. If you do your research on diseases like the new castle disease and other diseases that affect our wild and domestic birds you will also find that some of these bird disease can even affect humans. Its also a matter of time when people begin to feed the birds and domesticate them disrupting their flying pattern . Keep in mind just because the city and army core of engineers added navigable to the river it will never stop being what it has been for over 90 years a dangerous flood control channel. What the city is proposing to do is to remove the cement lining from the river is setting us up for a disaster. The city of Los Angles has a funny way of removing very important parts of our infrastructure like the cement in the river that protects the surrounding communities. I don’t want a few years to pass by and somebody gets hurt or passes away so the city to come back and say we are putting the cement back costing us more of our tax dollars. one only has to go back to when the city removed the red carts and now we put them back up only changing the name to the yellow, red, blue, purple lines their are many more other examples if you research. There are very serious problems with the Los Angeles River revitalization plan and we all must get involve.

    • Elizabeth Kitching-Robles

      There should be an environmental impact study done before all of the invasions into the territory start (or as they continue). isn’t this a protected area for the wildlife? It is not being treated as such. I hope we get big floods next year to put all of the plans on hold!

    • If your main issue is specific environmental concerns, that is fine. But your group’s signage says “NO GENTRIFICATION” “NO DEVELOPMENT” “GARCETTI IS HITLER”. None of that is coherent or productive and it only makes us think that you are angry low income people who are upset that middle class people are moving in and scaring you that the neighborhood is getting nicer and your rents might go up.

      • No middle class and upper middle class people (me) oppose Garcetti and and his high density and even higher tax revenue agenda! He’s completely out of control! Garcetti will permanently effect the quality of life in Los Angeles for the worse. It’s already happening….This city is notorious for corrupt politicians making poor decisions which are later realized. Like channelling all the fresh water to the sea or ripping up an existing and public purchased rail system.
        Fight the power!!!

  6. The community support group F.R.O.G. is against Gentrification and over Development. These two issues are 100% Environmental when you do the proper research and try to understand the points of views that others express. Taken in to consideration all the development in Elysian Valley with live in works spaces and high density building developments. These developments will bring more people and cars to the community of Elysian Valley that has been a single home resident community for over 60 years. One must keep in mind that this will bring more pollution and put the public health and safety at risk. Since the Los Angeles River Revitalization plan and turning the river in to a recreation zone the Elysian Valley community has had to put up with many visitors kayaking , biking and taking walks along the river. As more people find out about these recreational opportunities this will bring people and all the problems that come with them some being pollution’s like cars, trash, crime, traffic, disturbing wildlife, feeding wildlife, and over population of the asset. One good example of public assets being over populated and putting the health and safety at risk are the trials in the Hollywood hills sign. It has been in the news for a long time with residents complaining about the public’s trash, traffic, crime and taking of public parking.

    For all of you that attended the 2nd annual L A River Boat Races hosted by Los Angeles River Expeditions. They are a good example of how private companies come in to our communities without coming to introduce themselves at our local Neighborhood Councils or how they could put on an illegal event with out the proper event and parking permits. Then upsetting community members that are handicap by closing off public parking violating the ADA and having a family celebrating their daughters 15 th Birthday by taking away all public parking.

    F.R.O.G will now start to take up the issues of the privatization of our public assets. The Los Angeles River is a public asset and should have never allowed companies like Los Angeles River Expeditions or any other company to commercialize our public assets.

    • I’d agree with the others who point out the complete insanity of this FROG group. Their graphic of the Mayor with a Hitler mustache is disturbing- enough for most people to walk away. I imagine that Gracetti’s Jewish Mom would be a bit upset.

      Soon they’ll be walking around with pyramids attached to their hats, claiming that alien space ships are secretly being transformed into kayaks at night. Once stowed in LA River storm drains, aliens will paddle to an underwater city where they will hypnotize a swarm of snakes, directing them to invade homes of long suffering locals through their sewer pipes. Gentrificators will come at you from all angles! Finally the source of cobra in the toilet urban myth.

      I’m no big fan of the boat race but kayaking is not a problem, on the contrary. Kayaking has absolutely no negative impact on habitat. It happens during a season after prime nesting time. Routes of entry to the river are bio-vetted for nesting situations. The birds have largely adapted to boats and are at times curious. Nobody has explained, exactly how does a kayak kill a bird? Run it over at high speed?

      In fact kayaking brings people into close connection with river and then become stewards who care for the river. Not to mention that the river being “navigable” is exactly what qualifies it to be under the jurisdiction of the EPA and the Clean Water Act. The EPA is who enforces and demands increasingly stringent clean water standards for the river.

      The vast majority of the local community, including many long term residents, love what is happening with improvements in the area and the river. They view the kayak protestors as a troubled fringe who want to claim the public’s space as theirs alone. That not how parks and open space work folks. Not in the case of river access in Elysian Valley any more than beach access in Malibu.

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