Silver Lake Residents Protest Sycamores Marked for Takedown; DWP Says It Should Have Been More Discrete

Is it really any wonder the L.A. Department of Water and Power is the 13th most-hated company in America?

On top of greedy, unnecessary rate hikes and surprise thousand-dollar bills out of nowhere, DWP officials are now openly admitting to the Los Angeles Times that they prefer to make neighborhood-altering decisions behind closed doors -- because that way, they never have to deal with the very people who pay them to exist.

Guess at this point, there's no use pretending to be anything other than the get-'er-done slimeballs they are.

At a protest on Silver Lake's "Grassy Knoll" yesterday (at the edge of the Silver Lake Reservoir), about 75 community members spoke up for the grove of 50-year-old sycamores, which they recently noticed were slashed with red spray paint at the base -- like some awful pre-plastic-surgery lipstick routine.

Resident Caren Singer called it a "sneak attack by the DWP." And when the Times asked Director of Water Engineering Glenn Singley for comment, he did nothing to dispel such a theory. In fact, he agreed with it. We quote:

"If I had to do it over, I'd have never marked the trees."

Translation: If I'd known these uppety townsfolk loved these stupid trees so much, I would have just hacked the sycamores while they were sleeping. Crisis averted!

From a July 9 post on the Silver Lake Reservoirs Conservancy website:

As of today, the DWP reports that it is still looking at the options with regards to which, if any, existing trees will be removed. They will try to preserve as many as possible but may have to relocate them or, if that's not feasible, remove and replace them with younger trees (generally at a ratio of two to one). We intend to hold them to their word.

Susan Rowghani, speaking for the DWP's Water Engineering & Technical Services, reviewed the preliminary plans and reports that, as of this moment, "four mature Sycamore trees and twenty small trees may be affected in the grassy area southwest of Silver Lake Reservoir. Mature trees may be transplanted near the construction limits in the grassy area. Two trees will be planted for any tree that is removed."

Singley argues in the piece that DWP owns the land, and needs it badly, for a huge pipe that won't fit through the sycamores' roots. The project has been underway for 25 years, reports the Times, and the environmental studies were concluded in 2006.

Meaning that, even more outrageously, DWP officials failed to mention to Silver Lake residents, in an open manner that would reach them, that the company would be uprooting what one man calls "one of the loveliest spots in Los Angeles" for an entire quarter of a decade? If that's not a deliberate coverup, we don't know what is.

Singley then made additional threats to the impromptu tree-sitters, telling them the DWP would have to cover the Silver Lake Reservoir (which local activists are equally opposed to) if the sycamores weren't hacked. Like those are the only two options in the entire world.

Luckily, L.A. City Councilmember Tom LaBonge stepped in and called BS, telling Singley to bring some more options to a community meeting later this month.

[@simone_electra/swilson@laweekly.com]

Upcoming Events


Sponsor Content

Newsletters

All-access pass to the top stories, events and offers around town.

  • Top Stories
    Send:

Newsletters

All-access pass to top stories, events and offers around town.

Sign Up >

No Thanks!

Remind Me Later >