Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Washington/Centinela Redevelopment Part 2

This morning, the construction workers finished removing the entire blacktop that served as the foundation of the old gas station. The whole lot is now dirt. The area already feels cleaner because the lot used to be overrun with litter and weeds and that has all been removed with the asphalt.

As I waited for the bus this morning, I watched the tractor break up the asphalt and lift big chunks of it into a giant pile. I wonder what they will be doing next.

I took the picture shown here with my cell phone. In the future, I may bring a camera with me so I can get a better looking photo.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Compost Heats Up

Back in April, I got 2 new compost bins so that I could work on speeding up the process to make compost. The plan was to add new material to one of them, and when full, to transfer the full bin's contents to another bin. In this other bin, no new material would be added and I would turn the pile about once a week and add enough water to keep the pile as moist as a wrung-out sponge.

Yesterday, after raking and shredding the fallen leaves from my neighbor's magnolia tree, my bin filled up for the first time! I transferred the whole pile to an empty bin and added some water after transferring each third of the pile.

Today, I took a look at my compost thermometer, and it read 148 degrees Fahrenheit! I have never seen it that high before. That means the microorganisms have kicked in and the pile is cooking. I am anxious to see how long it will take before the whole pile is black gold.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Washington/Centinela Redevelopment Part 1

Today, they bulldozed the Shell gas station and Michael's Flowers, two long-time vacant buildings on the northeast corner of Washington Blvd and Centinela Ave. This is just down the street from where I live and directly behind the bus stop I use every morning to catch the Santa Monica Big Blue Bus, Line 14, to work.

Culver City plans to build a new mixed-use structure on that corner where there will be commercial units on the ground level and residential units on top. The project is described here.

I was happy to see work begin this morning. I have been looking forward to having something new on that corner since I moved to this neighborhood over 5 years ago. The empty buildings have been somewhat of an eye sore, collecting graffiti and trash. I'm not sure what will go in there when it's done, but I'm hoping for any of the following: a cafe, bar, restaurant, cleaners, haircut store, gym, market, or movie theater.

Friday, June 16, 2006


When I told a friend of mine how I wish there were more than two parties, he pointed out that there is an effort underway for the '08 election to run an alternative ticket with a President and Vice President candidate that can be independent or from any party including Democrat and Republican. It is called Unity08. The process to choose 2 people to run on a Unity ticket will be entirely online. Sounds interesting. I hope they can gain enough attention to make their ticket competitive. I have never liked how we have a 2 party system in the US. If you have interest in supporting their effort, I encourage you to sign up for their mailing list so you can be informed about their voting process as we get closer to the '08 election.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Voting Green

This morning I went to my local polling place to vote in the 2006 primaries. I am registered in the Green Party, so I could only vote for the Green candidates that were running against each other. It turns out that the only office where more than one Green was running was for the California Senate. There were 3 candidates and I voted for Tian Harter, a guy from Mountain View, CA who listed more bike lanes and transit improvements as two of is main priorities. I also voted for Peter Camejo for California Governor. He ran against Arnold in the last election, and he really impressed me in the debates.

The staff at my polling place was unprepared and disorganized. I was asked to sign next to my name in a book listing my name, address, and political party. When the woman saw that my party affiliation was GRN (Green), she had no idea what that meant. She said, "GRN - what's that? Are you Democrat? Republican? I don't understand this GRN." I explained that it was my party and she said, "That can't be. I only have ballots for these parties (she pointed to ballots for Democrat, Republican, and few smaller parties like American Independent and Libertarian)".

Even the lady working next to her looked at me like I was crazy and felt that there was no such thing as a Green party. By this time, other staff members overheard her and came over to try to help. One of them, who must have known the Green party existed, said that they needed to look for the Green Party ballots. Finally, they found them deep in some box behind the counter and I was happy that I would be able to vote this morning.