Category: Columnists

San Antonio has more than just The Alamo — ‘Mission Trail’ offers fascinating look at history

SAN ANTONIO, Texas — We had come to San Antonio to meet up with a cousin from Idaho, who was to attend a one-day medical meeting there Monday. We had planned to be a tour guide of sorts, since we had visited the southern Texas city several times, including a visit only several months ago. She, on the other hand, had not been to San Antonio for decades and among the places we knew she would want to revisit was the improved River Walk — a must for San Antonio visitors. But after the obligatory dinner on the river, she opted to spend most of our only free day visiting “the missions.” What missions, we asked? We knew there was The Alamo, which had been founded in 1718 and was the first mission on the San Antonio River. Were there other missions? There certainly were and the National Park Service of the U.S. Department of the Interior, which operates the San Antonio Missions National Historical Park, has done an excellent job of bringing them all together in a “Mission Trail.” As the Auto Club tour book notes, the San Antonio Missions National Historical Park includes four missions, in addition to The Alamo. And you can reach them by walking or biking along a ten-mile Mission Trail that begins at The Alamo and runs south to Mission San Francisco de...

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Three honored for Ballona Wetlands support

The Third Annual Moonlight on the Marsh party held by the Friends of Ballona Wetlands Saturday, July 23rd, gave us the opportunity to learn more about the restoration of the Ballona Wetlands and the freshwater marsh at the corner of Jefferson and Lincoln Boulevards, adjacent to Playa Vista. Some 250 turned out, first for a tour of the freshwater marsh and later for dinner at the western end of the wetlands. The Friends group used the occasion to honor Fresh Creek Technologies, Inc.; Dr. Edith Read; photographer Bill Beebe; and your Argonaut editor. FRESH CREEK — Fresh Creek Technologies provides products and services to municipalities and industrial and wastewater industries that are designed to treat stormwater, urban runoff and overflows to remove gross waterborne pollutants such as trash and floatables. The Cedar Grove, New Jersey-based company has been active locally in providing nets across Ballona Creek to catch debris before it flows into Santa Monica Bay and back around into Marina del Rey. The firm’s Netting Trash Trap uses the passive energy of flowing water to contain trash and floatables in disposable mesh nets. There is already one of the company’s trash nets in place for an outflow into Ballona Creek and the City of Los Angeles is purchasing three other netting systems from the company to help cleanse the upper reaches of the Ballona Creek watershed. Installation of...

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Venice: Maryjane captures the ‘Spirit of Venice’ in amazing book that arrives in time for this summer’s Venice Centennial

Recently published for the 100th anniversary of Venice, A Sea Shore Memoir — Celebrating Venice, by Maryjane, is an amazing work, and although it is only a small part of the author’s archives, it captures the essence of Maryjane’s memories and archives of four decades in Venice. The back cover aptly describes the book as a “private memoir of a public life.” Reading this book is a little like peeking into someone’s diary or scrapbook. Here, all the randomness and impulsiveness associated with a private journal — including idiosyncratic spelling and syntax and the occasional French word — are preserved, and this is part of the overall charm of the work. Most of the over 250 large pages are enriched with graphics. There are dozens and dozens of photos and nearly a hundred of Maryjane’s wonderful pen-and-ink drawings that provide a glimpse of old nooks and crannies — many now lost — of this seaside community so rich in history and tradition. She has also included various historical documents, her reflections on whatever comes to mind, a lot of details of her own life and some of her own poems. Maryjane has been a vital part of Venice life and “spirit” — her word — for nearly four decades and she captures the community through turbulent periods that saw drastic changes in Venice, touching on Venice as the scene...

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