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Byline: Michael Coit Staff Writer

Transforming the Los Angeles River The Los Angeles River is an intermittent river flowing through Los Angeles County, California, from Canoga Park in the west end of the San Fernando Valley, 51 miles (82 km) southeast to its mouth in Long Beach.  from an eyesore eye·sore  
Something, such as a distressed building, that is unpleasant or offensive to view.


something very ugly

Noun 1.
 to an attraction brings together an unusual alliance of flood control officials and environmental groups.

How far greening projects will go, however, is still in doubt.

Bike paths, walking trails and small parks along the right of way are being designed and developed. More controversial is the push by river advocates to remove portions of the concrete walls encasing much of the river in a box channel.

``Do you want to take a hike along a concrete ditch or along something that at least restores some of the river's environmental values and some of its history and place,'' asked Ann Riley, a former state hydrologist hy·drol·o·gy  
The scientific study of the properties, distribution, and effects of water on the earth's surface, in the soil and underlying rocks, and in the atmosphere.
 and founder of the Waterways Restoration Institute in Berkeley.

Riley contends that engineering advances can balance flood protection with habitat and aesthetics. For instance, concrete portions of the Los Angeles River might be removed and the channel widened to bring trails and vegetation down closer to the water without affecting flows.

River advocates proposed some removal of concrete in the recent effort to design a mile-long bike and walking path along the river through Studio City.

But the project, a pilot for linking the Sepulveda Basin and Universal City with bike and walking paths, will not touch the river's walls. The path, featuring seating areas, lighting and landscaping, will remain high above the waterway after residents rejected the removal idea.

``It's a series of `what ifs' and we weren't prepared to take that risk,'' said Tony Lucente, president of the Studio City Residents Association. ``While beautification beau·ti·fy  
tr. & intr.v. beau·ti·fied, beau·ti·fy·ing, beau·ti·fies
To make or become beautiful.

 always is a great thing, flood control has to remain the top priority.''

A project along the margins of Tujunga Wash Tujunga Wash is a stream in Los Angeles County, California. It is a tributary of the Los Angeles River, providing about a fifth of its flow, and drains about 225 square miles.  in the San Fernando Valley San Fernando Valley

Valley, southern California, U.S. Northwest of central Los Angeles, the valley is bounded by the San Gabriel, Santa Susana, and Santa Monica mountains and the Simi Hills.
 might provide answers about the concept's feasibility.

The Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy The Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy is an agency of the state of California in the United States founded in 1979 and dedicated to the acquisition of land in the Santa Susana and Santa Monica Mountains and the Simi Hills, north and west of Los Angeles, for preservation as open  has a $3 million local grant to study removing a small portion of walls forming the 15-foot-deep channel that feeds the river. Los Angeles Los Angeles (lôs ăn`jələs, lŏs, ăn`jəlēz'), city (1990 pop. 3,485,398), seat of Los Angeles co., S Calif.; inc. 1850.  County Public Works officials manage the wash and are involved.

``Don't just lock yourself into one design because attitudes change,'' Riley said.

``There's been a huge change already. If we would have sat down and talked about those design alternatives five years ago, we would have been laughed out of town,'' she said.
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Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Jan 30, 2000

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