Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Alligator News
from the Los Angeles Police Department:

Arrest Made Related to Alligator Release

Los Angeles: Two men were arrested yesterday and early this morning, August 24, 2005, on conspiracy charges related to the illegal possession of exotic animals and the release of an alligator into Machado Lake in San Pedro.

The arrest came after a citizen tip led detectives to the 1900 block of Elanita Street, San Pedro. Accompanied by Los Angeles City Animal Services, California State Department of Fish and Game and Federal Fish and Wildlife officers, LAPD dectectives served a search warrant yesterday, around 7 p.m. The resident, Anthony Brewer, 36, was arrested after investigators found evidence of an alligator habitat, photographs of alligators, narcotics and two live snapping turtles.

The investigation led detectives to a second location the same night at 2530 South Moray Street, San Pedro. Todd Natow, 42, was arrested around 3 a.m. this morning, after detectives served a second search warrant and found Natow in possession of 3 alligators, 4 Piranha fish, 1 rattlesnake, 3 desert tortoises, 6 desert tortoise eggs, 1 scorpion and 6 live marijuana plants (approximately 10 pounds).

Investigators believe the conspiracy included Brewer giving the alligator, named Reggie, to Natow, who later released it into Machado Lake.

All the animals seized were in good physical condition. They are currently in the care of the State Department of Fish and Game.

Anyone with information on this investigation is asked to call the LAPD 24-hour toll free number at 1-877-LAWFULL (529-3855).

media contact: 213-485-3586

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Florida 'Gator' Team
To Aid in Alligator Quest

At Lake Machado

August 23, 2005, 11:00 a.m. – A team of four alligator experts has arrived at Ken Malloy Regional Park to aid the City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks in capturing the alligator in Lake Machado. The team is from Gatorland in Orlando Florida and is lead by Tim Williams, “Dean of Gator Wrestling.” Known internationally as the “Alligator Capital of the World,” Gatorland provides affordable priced family-fun with thousands of alligators and crocodiles, one-of-a-kind reptilian shows, educational programs and much more.

Williams has over 30 years experience in the alligator business. Before joining Gatorland, he served as General Manager and Director of Shows at St. Augustine Alligator Farm. He wrestled gators and trained other wranglers. In addition, he developed educational programs for the public as well as for law enforcement and health and medical professionals. What makes gators so alluring? “It’s the danger,” Williams observes. “You never know what to expect.”

Gatorland has volunteered to catch the alligator and while the City is paying expenses, the Florida park is providing the manpower. The Gatorland group arrived at the Lake this morning and includes Ronnie Mitchell, David Harris and Flavio Morrissiey.

For information on Gatorland, visit their website

Media Contact:
Jane Kolb - 213-928-9294
cell: 323-816- 6712

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Lake Machado, Ken Malloy Regional Park

Los Angeles, August 18, 2005, 2:30 p.m. Jay Young, the “Gator Wrangler,” hired by the City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks will take at least a week’s break, maybe two, in his quest to capture the alligator in Lake Machado at Ken Malloy Regional Park. According to Young, “the gator is stressed and we don’t want him scared or sick.”

Young offered his services for free if he didn’t catch the gator, but according to Jon Kirk Mukri, Department General Manager, he will be paid for his time.

The Department is installing temporary security fencing around the lake today and will post 24-hour security managed by Department Park Rangers.

Watch for updates on this Web log, LA Parks News and Information.

Media Contact: Jane Kolb 213-928-9294
cell 323-816-6712

Wednesday, August 17, 2005


The Department of Recreation and Parks joined Councilmember Tom LaBonge on Tuesday, August 16, to dedicate a synthetic surface soccer field at Griffith Park. A significant advantage of having the two-acre synthetic surface is the reduction in maintenance costs. Funding for the $1.1 million project came from Proposition K ($700,000) and the Federal Land and Water Conservation Fund ($400,000). Land Images of Los Angeles designed the field, Los Angeles Engineering, Inc. of Rosemead performed the work, and the Bureau of Engineering (Department of Public Works) managed the project.

CUTTING THE RIBBON: Pictured above (from left to right) Jon Kirk Mukri, General Manager, Department of Recreation and Parks; Cathie Santo-Domingo, Project Manager, Bureau of Engineering; Neil Drucker, Prop K Project Manager, Bureau of Engineering; soccer captains from local youth teams, Fourth District Councilman Tom LaBonge and Mark Mariscal, Griffith Metro Region Superintendent, Department of Recreation and Parks.

Jane Kolb: (213) 928-9294, or cell (323) 816-6712

Harvey Drut: (213) 928-9296, or cell (323) 816-6711

Tuesday, August 09, 2005


A groundbreaking ceremony was held on Monday, August 8, to mark the start of construction on a $5.9 million overhaul at the Echo Park Deep Pool, a City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks facility located near downtown. Ceremonies included, from left to right Recreation and Parks (RAP)Assistant General Manager Jim Combs, RAP Executive officer, Robert H. Jensen; First District Councilman Ed P. Reyes; Bureau of Engineering Project Manager Cathie Santo Domingo, Deputy Chief City Engineer Bradley Smith, and RAP Aquatics Director Joe Batarse. Children were from the Echo Park Child Care Center, Echo Park Recreation Center and Echo Park Boys and Girls Club

Monday, August 08, 2005


Echo Park Deep Pool

WHEN: Monday, August 8, 2005 3:00 p.m.

WHERE: Echo Park Deep Pool 1419 Colton St.

WHAT: Groundbreaking for a $5.9 million overhaul at the Echo Park Deep
Pool, a City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks facility located just west of the downtown area. The project will consist of renovation of the building in which the pool is housed and improvements to the existing adjacent bathhouse (including a new roof over the entire aquatic complex), upgrades to the restrooms, locker room, and shower area to make them compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act, modernization of the facility's mechanical and electrical systems, and more.

Project funding comes from Proposition 12 ($2.8 million), the City of Los Angeles Sites and Facilities fund ($2.1 million), and Proposition K ($1 million). Frank R. Webb Architects of Los Angeles designed the improvements, which will be built by Tobo Construction, Inc. of North Hollywood. The Department of Public Works' Bureau of Engineering will manage the project through its Recreational and Cultural Facilities Program, with support from the Recreation and Parks Citywide Aquatics Section.

WHO: Councilmember Ed P. Reyes (1st District, in which Echo Park Deep Pool is located)
Robert H. Jensen, Executive Officer, Department of Recreation and Parks
James L. Combs, Asst. Gen. Mgr. - Operations West, Dept. of Recreation and Parks
Bradley M. Smith, Chief Deputy City Engineer, Department of Public Works

TO GET TO ECHO PARK DEEP POOL: From the 101 (Hollywood) Freeway, exit at Alvarado St. Take Alvarado St south two blocks to Temple St. Take Temple St. east about ½-mile to Glendale Blvd. Take Glendale Blvd. south about ¼-mile to Colton St. Take Colton St. east one block to the facility. (Thomas Guide page 634, grid E2).

Harvey Drut: (213) 928-9296, or cell (323) 816-6711
Jane Kolb: (213) 928-9294, or cell (323) 816-6712
Aquatics: Mary Bingham, (323) 906-7953
Recreation and Park Commission

LOS ANGELES – The City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks’ Board of Recreation and Park Commissioners will hold an evening meeting on Tuesday, August 9, 2005 at 5:30 p.m. at Ramona Hall, 4580 N. Figueroa St., in the northeast portion of the city.

Councilmember Ed P. Reyes, who represents the 1st District is scheduled to give a welcome. The public is invited to attend.

Commission meetings are regularly held on the first and third Wednesdays of each month, except for July and August, when the board meets just once each month, on the second Wednesday. The August meeting was moved to accomodate the schedules of commissioners.

Media contact: Jane Kolb, (213) 928-9294

Wednesday, August 03, 2005


Opening of Virginia Reid Moore Library
Cabrillo Marine Aquarium

WHEN: 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. through Saturday, August 6, 2005
(Friday is noon to 5:00 p.m.)

WHERE: Virginia Reid Moore Library
Cabrillo Marine Aquarium
3720 Stephen M. White Dr.,
San Pedro

WHAT: A multi-day event to celebrate the opening of a considerable addition to Cabrillo Marine Aquarium, a City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks facility located in San Pedro. The Virginia Reid Moore Marine Research Library is part of a $10 million expansion; it is named for a woman who was born in Long Beach, served as a librarian during World War II, and devoted her life to philanthropy. Activities will include craft projects, story time and book readings, music, and tours of the library.

Informational materials at the Reid Library focus on the richness and diversity of Southern California marine life. Computer stations are provided so that visitors can browse the Internet for marine science resources, and there is a host of additional amenities that add to the library's appeal, including comfortable seating areas, carrels and tables that offer quiet space to work and reflect, and panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean from a large window.

VISUALS: A beautiful new facility with all kinds of marine-related stuff on display and children enjoying the facility

TO GET TO CABRILLO MARINE AQUARIUM: Take the 110 (Harbor) Freeway south to its terminus at Gaffey St. Exit there and take Gaffey St. south about 1½ miles to 22nd St. Take 22nd St. east two blocks to Pacific Ave. Take Pacific Ave. south about one mile to Stephen M. White Dr. Take Stephen M. White Dr. southeast to the facility entrance. (Thomas Guide page 854, grid C2).

Harvey Drut: (213) 928-9296, or cell (323) 816-6711
Jane Kolb: (213) 928-9294, or cell (323) 816-6712
Cabrillo Marine Aquarium
Marisol Ramos-Lum: (310) 548-7562, ext. 220
Final performances of the 8th annual series
Point Fermin Park

LOS ANGELES - The closing performances of the 8th annual Shakespeare by the Sea series will be given on Friday, August 12, and Saturday, August 13, 2005 at Point Fermin Park, a City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks facility located in San Pedro.

This year's productions are Othello and The Merry Wives of Windsor, and they will be presented once each in that order beginning at 7:00 p.m., with a pre-show program at 6:30 p.m. both nights. There is no charge for admission to the performances.

Guests are encouraged to dress warmly for the cool night air; Point Fermin Park overlooks the Pacific Ocean and provides a wonderful venue underneath starlit skies where these works from the Bard can be enjoyed.

Attendees are welcome to bring picnics, blankets, and lawn chairs for comfort. There is some bench seating available on a first-come, first-served basis, and various concessions will also be available from local vendors.

Point Fermin Park is located at 807 Paseo Del Mar, at the end of Gaffey Street. For more information, call (310) 548-7705, or visit

Harvey Drut: (213) 928-9296, or cell (323) 816-6711
Jane Kolb: (213) 928-9294, or cell (323) 816-6712
Point Fermin Park: (310) 548-7705