No Improvements After The From Lot to Spot Meeting on 091518

It has been about 3 months since the meeting with Maria From Lot to Spot and nothing has improved at the San Pedro All Year Community Gardens (SPAYCG).

There has been no word to the gardeners if nothing of the ideas presented at the meeting is moving forward. Maria and Julie from the LA Garden Council presented at the last meeting and there seems to have been no progress made.

A vote was to be arranged to move ahead with the proposals presented by both Maria and Julie, yet no meeting or votes have been scheduled.

The watering schedule is still limited to 2 days. Most gardeners maybe water 1 day per week. Each day the water is only for 3 hours. So, the garden is in bad shape again.

2018 is almost over and the SPAYCG is in the same situation as 4 years ago when the Sanitation department first cut water to the gardeners.

The city needs to do something again if these organizations they bought on don’t do anything soon.


091518 Meeting Notes

Garden Meeting

There were 2 speakers:

Maria from Lot to Spot and Julie from the LA Garden Council. The meeting lasted 2 hours. About 87 people attended.

They provided updates as to the issues at the garden with the water and the future of the garden.

The Sanitation department cut the water to the gardeners because Mayor Garcetti ordered a 20% water reduction at all city facilities.

Gardeners were unaware of this and suffered because of non-communication from the sanitation department.

In order to get the garden back to working condition in all aspects of water, leadership, and finances decision will have to be made.

The 2 biggest decisions facing the gardeners is to vote on 2 measures:

A) To accept the LA Garden council assistance to organize the garden and leadership.

B) To vote to install a new separate water meter which would increase the cost of having a garden.

The Sanitation department will pay for the installation of a new separate meter.

Watering schedule changes every 2 weeks because they are running tests as to why there is low water pressure.

Engineers came in to analyze the issues with water pressure. There is a report of the findings.

Redoing the piping to all the gardens with the new water meter will very expensive, a grant will be needed to fund the project.

Each has its good and bad.

At a future meeting, the decision will be made on these issues.

Water Schedule – August 2018

Again,  Sector 3 is burdened with additional 4 “lotes” lots.

The water schedule is still subject to change every 2 weeks. The reason given, “The changes are due to the fact that some areas are not favored with water.”

This makes no sense. What areas? Seems like Sector 3 should have more watering days, not adding more “lotes” to our watering days. See no reason for the schedule change when nothing else is changing. All areas are given an equal number of watering days. As it stands, we only get 4 watering days out of 31 days of August all front loaded at the beginning of August. What about the last 2 weeks of August. Plants need water at the end of the month too.

Gardening on 13% water in the month of August is a joke. How is this gardening?! This is absolutely ridiculous. Can’t others (Carlos) do math to see that 250 gardeners cannot maintain gardens on 13% watering. Not to mention, this is only for 3 hours on those days. Sigh!

August Water Schedule 2018
Water Schedule – August 2018

Inequitable Bi-Weekly Watering Schedule

The watering schedule arranged by Carlos (Board) has inequality built in again. Carlos and the “Board” consistently makes bad decisions.

The biggest issue with this water inequality schedule is in Sector 3. Sector 3 was the most affected by the water source being closed on the north side, no water for almost 3 years while other sectors did. Then, with the pipe reconfiguration, many were left without proper piping and/or irrigation.

Now, to add insult to injury Carlos is burdening Sector 3 water-load to 8 areas ( #1, #13, #14, #15, and +4 lotes (lots)). It makes not sense to have another 4 “lotes” included in Sector 3 when all sectors have their appointed watering days and times listed on the schedule. Unless Carlos is opening the water to other sectors when he should not be.  Carlos needs to be questioned about this decision.

Biweekly watering schedule

Sectors 1 and 2, the least burdened, only serve water to  5 areas. Remember each area serves about 40-50 gardens, so the more areas, the more water is required and the longer hours needed.

Making a schedule that changes every 2 weeks is bad. This means we don’t know when water is going to be available consistently and without change. Also, it would help if there were watering days in both the morning (AM) and afternoon (PM). This would also help spread the water load to different times. Now, people are forced to use it at the same time, causing low water pressure, and not enough water. People have different schedules and by not offering both leaves gardens to die.

Once again Carlos and the Board have made decisions that are bad for the San Pedro All Year Community Gardens. They have let down the gardeners they are meant to serve. This trend of bad decision making will continue with Carlos and his appointed “Board” until they are replaced.

Update: Still No Water 3 Years Later

Coming up to the 3 year Anniversary of No Water at the garden.

Over 900 days and counting of no water by the city. This issue has been brought to their attention and in-decision and in-action has been the Los Angeles City decision.

There has been no interrim solution, which could have easily been implemented. Instead, they chose to simply let indecision be their defining strategy.

A temporary day could have been set aside for those to carry water in buckets, or a hose pipe attached to the Department of Sanitation 1-day per week could have also helped out gardeners.

Now, I see there are no gardeners left on the Northside. I carry 5 gallons buckets into my garden. This is not considerate for the elderly who cannot do this or injured.

Gardens on a Closed Sanitary Landfill 1977

Been to the garden many times.

Never noticed this sign posted. It was so easy to miss.

It was not well maintained. The sign was old, the writing was faded in with the background and hardly readable. The sign was posted not at eye level, and posted in a very forgetful spot.

 

sanitary landfill closed 1977
Gaffey Street Sanitary Landfill

Here is what the sign reads:

Gaffey Street
Sanitary Landfill
1400 North Gaffey Street
San Pedro, CA
Closed Sanitary Landfill
Date of Closure 1977
No Dumping
L.A.M.C…

This land is trash, literally.

Gardeners I hope you understand this when getting a garden here. I was not made aware of this at the time of signing my garden plot. This might make some people uneasy knowing what lies under their gardens.

This might be somewhat of an issue now that the city is involved in its management. They have to disclose this vital information to gardeners when getting a plot here.

In 1978 gardeners were welcomed here to garden shortly after closure.

What else could be done about a closed municipal landfill? Turn it into something positive like a garden. At least, that might have been the thought about 40 years ago. The soccer field adjacent is also a trash field.

Came upon some interesting data about the closure of this facility and the monitoring plans.

Will Cheat The City For Water

It has now been about 730 days without water in the San Pedro All Year Community Gardens. Yes, that is over 2 years! Can’t believe it.

The city of San Pedro has taken control of the gardens. They collect our fees and don’t do much to aid the gardeners in fighting the inequality of 67 gardeners not getting water.

If you are not part of the solution, then you are part of the problem.

The result is, the biggest offenders of water usage on the NW side has decided to cheat the city of water.

They don’t want others to use it or know about it, so it’s obviously for their gain. They are selling their fruits from their trees. This is the same group of gardeners who are part of the old regime of pay-to-gardeners.

Here is the video of how they do it as of July 31, 2017:

I confronted one of them and he said the water is not for everyone because he paid for the piping and did the work.  I’m also assuming he did not bother to ask or inform the city of their water usage plans.

How can you tell who these gardeners are? Just walk and look for the greenest gardens with trees and plants growing beautifully. Or, if the long hose pipes are out, then you can just follow those from the source to the destination gardens.

What more does the city need to remove this gardener and others like him? These 3 gardeners have to be removed and plots revoked because of this. It’s plain stealing to only benefit the 3 of them. Not to mention, this water stealing costs the city of San Pedro money.

Who Is Really In Charge?

san pedro city gardens

About 6 years ago I tried to get a garden in San Pedro All Year Community Gardens. I walked around and found some gardeners. They did not speak English, so I communicated as best as I could with them. I was told the guy would be there on Monday’s and drove a white truck – to look for him. I did, and found him.

He was a complete fraud. He wanted cash up-front and he said there was a 5 year wait to get a garden, and once again did not speak English. I felt uneasy about all of these barriers to entry.

When I refused to pay his extra demands in cash to get my name ahead of the others, he just wrote my name on a broke piece of paper and his Englished seemed to get progessively worst with me and then communication was difficult. It was obvious, there was pay-to-garden policy going on at the time and preferential treatment taking place.

This after this, this went on for 3 more years or so. The city then came in an took over. There were complaints about the garden and the city stepped in.

This was good and bad. The city became more aware of the problems. Nicole Deering, City Services Manager, was listed as the contact person for the city. She was over-whelmed with the issues and how to correct them.

Part of the reason, is there is a “board” and a person named Carlos is responsible for some issues and reporting back to Nicole Deering. This is an unoffical role, and between the 2 of them there is no accountability.  About 80% of the gardeners do not like how Carlos advocates for the gardeners. He must be completely removed as he is a remnant of the of regime of pay-to-garden. Not only that, he allows gardeners he has known for many years to break garden rules on the contract we all signed when getting a garden.

Garden meetings are never recorded and only certain people are invited. This must be changed also. All gardeners should be notified and allowed to attend. The decisions affect all gardeners and being able to take part gives gardeners a sense of belonging.

Even though the city is in charge of the gardens now, they must include the gardeners who want to improve the San Pedro Community Gardens. Otherwise, this will not work out as well as it can.

Gardeners Who Don’t Follow The Rules

san pedro gardens

Some gardeners get away with murder (figuratively).

They are some of the biggest offenders of water because of the size of their land and the number of trees they grow.

One that I know of has sugarcane, multiple over-grown avocado trees, guava trees, pomogranate trees, and who knows what other tree inside of his plot.

He also has a big shed and a bbq pit with table and chairs.

All these offenses are against the community garden rules, but for some reason he is not brought into compliance with the rules we all have to follow. The city is aware of this person and ignores him.

The main reason this is unjust and unfair to all the other gardners following the San Pedro Community garden rules is that he gets away with it. Second, is I’m sure with all the fruit and vegetables he is growing that either he is selling them for profit, or letting them fall and rot on the ground. The third, most important one, is he is the biggest user of water and he get first access to the water source first because of his garden location and water pipe location.

What does this mean? Well, he uses a lot of water which costs the city a lot of money. In a time when we are fighting the city of San Pedro to get water back on to our plots, he must be brought into compliance or his plot revoked. Otherwise, he will just continue to cost the city more money. He is just one, there are many other cases like this.

We are all affected by the drought and his offenses along with others have cost 67 gardens to not have water for almost a year. The city has told me the cost for water is “the water costs millions”. Well, I would ask him first to pay you, then turn on the water. As far a I’m concerned “millions” is an outrageous figure as stated by our City Services Manager.

It has now been about 300 days some of us gardeners have not had water. Thanks Nicole Deering and Joe Buscaino of the Harbor District Office.