News in Brief
Youth Runners Rally for Standing Rock in Santa Monica
The ongoing water protector protests to stop the Dakota Access Pipeline from carrying crude oil through Native American land briefly expanded last week to include Santa Monica Beach, where a group of young activists rallied support for the cause.
Carrying on an indigenous tradition of spreading important messages on foot, the Oceti Sakowin Standing Rock Youth Runners called for unity around a message of environmental protection during an afternoon rally on Nov. 21.
“Send love and strength to [the water protectors]. Send love to Mother Earth,” said Eagle Tail, a member of the Rosebud Sioux tribe who took part in the Youth Runners’ journey from Big Sur to Los Angeles.
In July, Youth Runners traveled from North Dakota to Washington D.C. to deliver a petition against the pipeline to the Army Corps of Engineers.
One of the Youth Runners described “getting pepper-sprayed for offering an officer an apple and water” during protests at the Standing Rock Sioux reservation, which have been ongoing since April.
Water Protectors have also been shot at with rubber bullets and sprayed with cold water hoses in freezing temperatures, and this week state officials announced new plans to block food and supplies from reaching protest camps by levying heavy fines against couriers.
— Stephany Yang
County Plans to Cut Down Trees in the Marina
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Works plans to cut down 13 trees at five locations in Marina del Rey this month, including along Admiralty, Fiji, Mindanao and Palawan ways.
The trees slated for removal are not healthy and must be removed for public safety reasons, according to county officials.
Local environmental groups have been critical of the county for felling mature trees over the past several years, including those removed from Oxford Basin and replaced with new vegetation in July.
— Gary Walker
Late-Night Drivers Can Expect Santa Monica Freeway Closures
All westbound lanes of the Santa Monica (10) Freeway between Cloverfield and Lincoln boulevards will close for signage replacement from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. on Dec. 5, 6 and 7.
Traffic will exit the freeway at Cloverfield and follow Olympic Boulevard as a detour, according to a city of Santa Monica information bulletin.
The improved signage is intended to prevent last-minute weaving at ramps, improve lane assignments, and reduce congestion through more efficient lane utilization. The closures are necessary for hoisting large signs over travel lanes.
Additional weeknight closures between Dec. 7 and Dec. 25 will be announced via smgov.net/kbug.
— Joe Piasecki
Marina Dredging Rescheduled to Begin Dec. 5
Plans to dredge roughly 425,000 cubic yards of sediment from the entrance of Marina del Rey harbor were temporarily delayed this week after bad weather in Oregon held up the barge slated to do the work, the L.A. County Department of Beaches and Harbors announced.
The 220’-by-60’ dredging barge Heidi Renee is expected to arrive Dec. 5 to begin ’round-the-clock digging on the north side of the harbor’s mouth, leaving the south side open for vessels to pass.
The $2.7-million job is being paid for with federal funds.
“During the rougher winter and fall seasons, heavy shoaling can occur within this port and waterway entrances, causing a restriction or ‘bottle-necking’ effect in water depth and vessel maneuverability,” U.S. Coast Guard spokeswoman Andrea Anderson said. “Once the dredging is completed, the water depth and channel width will increase and allow for much larger passages and maneuverability for Coast Guard vessels into and out of the harbor.”
— Gary Walker