Monthly Archives: February 2008
USING THE RIVER IS NOT A CRIME: Judge rebuffs Garcetti L.A. River power grab, throws out Philip Estrella “loitering in river” case
This from Carmelo Gaeta, yesterday (Thurs) evening:
“I just spoke with Philip. The case was thrown out. His public defender told him the judge doesn’t even want to see the case and the judge will just dismiss it, on the grounds that Philip was not loitering as stated in LAMC 41.22.”
This is the second time in recent memory that a judge has dismissed a loitering-in-the-river ticket; the last time was the Duckman.
Again, if LAMC 41.22 has any legal bearing on what goes on in the River, and that’s questionable given the overlapping jurisdictions (city, county, state, federal) and lack of governing authority, it is to do with what’s been called the “spirit and intent” of the law, which is to outlaw vagrancy and vandalism in the area.
The courts have now ruled twice that walkers, fishermen, stoneskippers, duckfeeders, and so on are not vagrants, by definition, and thus those activities are not prohibited by LAMC 41.22, no matter what Councilman Eric Garcetti’s staff say.
The courts have the final say here, not Eric Garcetti. The councilman’s office should immediately and publicly withdraw and rebuke their previously stated plan to order the Army Corps of Engineers and DWP to post threatening (and misleading) “No Trespassing according to LAMC 41.22” signs along the banks of the L.A. River.
Contact Councilman Garcetti’s office:
Medicinal and/or edible plants found by Nance Klehm this morning in/along the L.A. River and its islands in the Glendale Narrows area:
plantain (herbal not banana)
lamb’s quarters (wild spinach)
On Friday, Garcetti deputy Julie Wong told Jenny Burman of the LAObserved/Chicken Corner blog:
“The public has not been allowed to go into the channel for any reason (including fishing) for decades because of public safety concerns. For safety reasons, Council President Garcetti (along with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, LAPD, the LA Fire Department, and others) does not support changes to this policy.”