Tag Archives: santa monica

National Park Service opens the country’s first “Net Zero” visitors center

A 7,000 square foot visitors center in the Santa Monica Mountains – just north of Malibu, CA – can survive off the grid. It has a 94-kilowatt solar roof array to power highly energy-efficient LEDs installed throughout the center. This is the first visitor center from the National Park Service to be “net zero”.

The site also achieved a LEED Platinum Certification by using environmentally friendly materials, incorporating natural light, using light dimmers during daylight hours, and by re-purposing the existing structures. They were originally horse stables for King Gillete – the razor billionaire from yester-year – and his mansion still exists in the 588-acre park.

The project was funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act – $9.5 million – along with matching funds from the California government and a local conservancy. All materials were made in America. The site will be managed by a joint public-private enterprise.

More on the park – King Gillete Ranch:

One of the most stunning locales in the Santa Monica Mountains, 588-acre King Gillette Ranch is located at the confluence of five major tributaries and offers a rare, unspoiled view of California’s rich archaeological cultural and historic resources. Its broad meadows and low ridgelines serve as a wildlife corridor. The ranch includes the 1928 mansion designed by Wallace Neff for razor magnate King C. Gillette…and includes hiking trails, beautiful grassy picnic areas, a pond and dormitory facilities for overnight educational camps.

 

Sources:

 

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There is a mountain lion in central Los Angeles, prowling around Griffith Park

It’s true, in fact, there are several of them but mostly in the nature reserves of the Santa Monica Mountains. This one is different because it is truly in the heart of LA, Griffith Park.

 

 

Surrounded by freeways on two sides, Hollywood and downtown on the others, this is truly an urban area. Which makes it all the more interesting that the lion even made it into the park:

In an odyssey of perhaps 20 miles, the cat had to cross concrete and backyards, dodge commuter traffic and thread an obstacle course of culverts, bridges and roads…(it) might have traversed a bridge or culvert to cross the 101 and 405 freeways to enter the park. It’s possible, however, that the cat sprinted across lanes of traffic — and got very lucky. In a study of the 405, scientists have documented two deaths of lions killed by motorists. – L.A. Times

Fortunately, the cat (also known as a cougar) is extremely solitary and mostly nocturnal. It shouldn’t pose any harm to park-goers while enjoying the plentiful mule deer in the area. Not to mention, the beautiful views of downtown Los Angeles, the celebrity-packed Hollywood Hills, and that never-ending traffic of LA.

The L.A. Times has a nice write-up about the history of lions in the park, including the fact that several Angelenos claimed to see a lion and nobody believed them until now - Mountain lion makes itself at home in Griffith Park

Also, check out the spread of mountain lions from their dominant home, the Western U.S., and back into the Midwest (North Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin).

 

 

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Silicon Beach Fest – this weekend in Santa Monica – June 21-23 – the SXSW of Los Angeles

Silicon Beach Fest is LA’s first festival organized by its tech community to celebrate LA tech, entertainment & startups with panels, keynotes, workshops, mixers, and more at a dozen venues focused in Santa Monica and Venice on June 21-23, 2012. Head to the beach on the first weekend of summer to celebrate LA’s digital innovators!

Follow @SBFestLA - #SBF.

Fest attendees and speakers include: invited celebs, start-ups, VCs, movie and music studio execs, agencies, fashion, content creators, artists, social media gurus, developers, etc. from LA, Silicon Valley, etc.

 

Learn moreSilicon Beach Feast

 

Of all the events, the most exciting is Angel Pitch Day, with Nate Werlin of Venture Beat judging:

Got an idea? Want to pitch it to the angels and get feedback?

Then Angel Pitch Day is the event for you. If your idea is selected, you will get to participate at Angel Pitch Day where you will have an opportunity to pitch your idea to a live audience of angel investors.

You will have 2 minutes to deliver your pitch, then you will get candid feedback from top angels on your idea. Hear what they have to say and their insights into how you can improve your idea.

Geeks on-stage modeling clothes – Geek 2 Chic comes to Los Angeles

Confession: Before Geek 2 Chic, I had never been to a runway fashion show. Shocker, right? I’m not totally fashion challenged. I can play dress-up when the occasion arises. But as someone who has ordered over a dozen of the same pair of olive green cargo pants off the internet for the past three years…I’m no fashionista. And yet, two years ago in DC, I fell in love with Geek 2 Chic, the charity-fundraiser conceived by Dr. Mark Drapeau (also known as @cheeky_geeky), Director of Innovative Engagement for Microsoft’s Office of Civic Innovation. “Geek” models, from diverse walks of life, strutting the runway in Wellies, and houndstooth, and distressed leather. Now Geek 2 Chic is making its way across the country, taking LA by storm on May 10th and raising funds for The Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE). via Pacific Punch

Tickets are still available for $25. The event starts at 6:30 PM on Thursday, May 10th, at Bloomingdales in Santa Monica, and runs until 9 PM for the after-party.   // Photo – Geek2Chic

Hello, Silicon Beach – the burgeoning tech scene in Los Angeles

What could be better than beautiful weather, beaches, and your favorite scrappy start-up?

Two cities in Los Angeles are slowly becoming hubs of technology, Santa Monica and Venice.

In the spread out landscape of Los Angeles these two cities are adjacent close-knit urban areas, with ample office space, coffee shops, restaurants, and apartments. But, not the typical high-rise or pre-fab buildings, these are old school one-story remodeled spaces.

Think fun, diverse, and in some places gritty (i.e. hipster).

Recently, both held town hall meetings with local companies and government officials to strategize growth:

Santa Monica devoted much of its annual State of the City address to promoting the tech community, with Mayor Richard Bloom declaring: “Today we are not just Santa Monica, but Silicon Beach and the Tech Coast.” (In an unofficial vote later, hundreds in attendance overwhelmingly threw their support to the Silicon Beach name.)

“Our technology-qualified workforce, creative workplaces and leading broadband infrastructure will keep our economy well-positioned for future growth,” Bloom said.

After the mayor’s address and a short video touting the rise of tech companies in Santa Monica, Jason Nazar, who is chief executive and co-founder of local start-up Docstoc.com, moderated a panel of people connected to the tech scene.

via LA Times – Technology

Silicon Beach is spreading to Venice.

The quirky beach-side community drew hundreds of attendees to a packed town hall meeting dubbed The Emergence of Silicon Beach.

Executives from Google, local start-ups Viddy and Mogreet, and accelerator Amplify were on hand for a panel moderated by Los Angeles City Councilman Bill Rosendahl, who repeatedly told audience members that they were witnessing a “Venicessance.” Nearly two dozen tech companies set up booths to tout their products and ideas to about 400 attendees.

“Ten years ago, it was very hard,” James Citron said. “You had to fly up to San Francisco and do the Sand Hill Road dance, for those of you who know the venture capital world. Now they’re coming down here looking for great companies, so that’s a big fundamental change.”

via LA Times – Tech Now

 

It also helps that Google Los Angeles has set-up shop in the, Frank Gehry-designed, Binoculars Building in Venice.

For more on the start-ups in the area, including who’s hiring, Los Angeles Times reporter, Andrea Chang, has been doing a great job covering all of the start-ups in Silicon Beach.

Here are a few of them:

Downtown Santa Monica, the 3rd Street Promenade

 

//Photos – majunznk, …love maegan

Pacific Standard Time's last hurrah for the exhibit – Lost and Found

I will be sad to see the Pacific Standard Time exhibitions go. For the past few months 60+ institutions all over California have been showing off the best native works from 1945-1980.

The pieces below are from the Robert Berman Gallery in Santa Monica’s Bergamot Station, on display until the end of this year, December 31, 2011.

The exhibit, called Lost and Found, features abstract expressionist pieces with a Los Angeles twist.

Here are my favorites.

By Alexis Smith, 1982 - Title: Christmas Eve, 1943 #41, From Here to Eternity

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Pacific Standard Time’s last hurrah for the exhibit – Lost and Found

I will be sad to see the Pacific Standard Time exhibitions go. For the past few months 60+ institutions all over California have been showing off the best native works from 1945-1980.

The pieces below are from the Robert Berman Gallery in Santa Monica’s Bergamot Station, on display until the end of this year, December 31, 2011.

The exhibit, called Lost and Found, features abstract expressionist pieces with a Los Angeles twist.

Here are my favorites.

By Alexis Smith, 1982 - Title: Christmas Eve, 1943 #41, From Here to Eternity

Continue reading

A long way off: seafood at farmers markets that is fresh, local, and sustainable

“Ideally, farmers market customers would like a vendor to offer:

  • Wild fish that is freshly caught, rather than frozen.
  • Caught in local waters.
  • Sold directly by the fisherman, his family or his employees.
  • Available regularly and reliably in a diverse range of products.
  • A reasonable price.

“Realistically, however, it is virtually impossible for one vendor to fulfill all of these criteria, any more than one person can be both a top-flight ballerina and a football linebacker.”

“Many farmers markets do have fish vendors, but almost all of those are resellers who readily tell customers that they bought their fish wholesale. If a certified produce vendor at a farmers market were doing that, they’d be violating the direct-marketing regulations that govern farmers markets.”

“Looking back at the fish vendors who have sold at the prestigious Santa Monica farmers market since she started managing it in 1982, Laura Avery says she can think of only one, a shrimper who no longer operates, who she was sure sold only what he caught.”

From LA Times Market Watch

The same goes for me. I have visited markets all over this country and only found one who sells what they catch. That is Buster’s Seafood at the Dupont Market in Washington DC.