Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Coyotes in Santa Monica

There have been recent reports of coyotes in Santa Monica, but their presence is nothing new. I've enjoyed nocturnal walks in Santa Monica for the past 20 years, and I see coyotes, on average, every 18 months.

One weekend in November, at around 3:30 a.m., I saw two coyotes wandering California Avenue and 4th Street. It's the first time I saw a coyote couple since the late 1990s, when I'd occasionally see a pair wandering around 15th Street, near Alta and Marguerita.

Almost always I see lone coyotes, north of Montana Avenue, in the wee morning hours. But in early 2012 I saw four coyotes along Georgina, between 14th and 17th, around 4 a.m. They entered a homeowner's front yard, and from there, presumably, the back yard.

In 2011 I saw a coyote around Georgina and 21st, at 8 p.m., Saturday. (I assume there's less traffic to scare them off on weekends.) He followed me a few blocks, the only time I ever saw such a fearless coyote. Even the pack of four kept their distance from me. In the early 2000s, I saw one coyote several times, on Centinella.

I've never had problems with coyotes. If one follows me, I stop and stare at him. He always stops too, and seeing that I'm unafraid, follows me no more.

I've seen racoons and what looked like possums on Centinella Avenue. I've seen a possum on California Avenue. I've seen racoons -- whole families of them -- north of Montana. And a lone raccoon on Arizona Avenue, my only wildlife spotting in the mid-City area. Several times, when they see me, the racoons rush for a storm drain, where they apparently live.

I've never met a hostile coyote. They mostly seem wary or uninterested. Whereas racoons often look at me with fierce, hostile expressions. At least that's how they look to me. But they keep their distance, and I keep mine.

Santa Monica is beautiful in the wee hours. Smog and heat have dissipated. No noisy traffic. No people shouting into cell phones. And occasionally, one is lucky enough to see wildlife.


Saturday, November 09, 2013

Crazy Hollywood Hills Property Owner Atop Granito Drive

A crazy-mad property-owner has been harassing anyone who hikes up Granito Drive in the Hollywood Hills, claiming that Granito Drive is a private road -- though it's not, according to city officials.

One harassed hiker took a video of the property owner as he bullied the hiker off Granito Drive.


The story is now being discussed on City-Data.com. According to one poster who was attacked by the property owner (a different hiker from the one in the video):

The person that attacked me was arraigned yesterday. He pleaded not guilty and was released on his own recognizance (meaning that he didn't need to post bail) with "Force, Violence and Weapons Conditions," which means that he can't use force or violence or harass people walking/biking, etc. up Granito Drive and he can't posses/use any dangerous or deadly weapons while the case is pending. This is really good news and it's great to see that he is facing some consequences for his actions.

The City Attorney has again asked that I try to find any one else that may have had a run-in with this person. I've heard a lot of stories about this guy harassing various people, but I haven't had much success in getting people to come forward. While the case may still not get to trial, I'm hoping that now that it's clear that the case is moving forward, people will be more willing to step forward. So, please, if you have had a run in with this person, please contact me and I'll put you in touch with the attorney. You can contact me or the attorney anonymously and my understanding is that there are various legal means that can be used to keep your identity private (protective order, etc.) if you're concerned about retaliation.

Read the full story here.