Residents seek answers to dry brook By Billy Taylor Brookside is perhaps best known for its namesake, a natural stream that flows through the neighborhood. But in recent months, local residents have raised an alarm about the brook’s health. “Something is up,” says local real estate agent Richard Battaglia. “Within the past year the brook has dried up in places. Someone turned off the water.” Originating from sources in the Hollywood Hills, the El Rio del Jardin de las Flores travels south, underground at times, until it reaches Brookside backyards along Longwood Ave. on its way to Ballona Creek and the ocean. The waterway behind the houses has been a home to crawfish, frogs and koi for nearly a century, until now. Among residents, opinions vary in regard to the severity of the problem. “At the present time, I don’t
know if the stream is healthy or not,” says longtime Longwood Ave. resident Sandy Boeck. “We are seeking answers.” According to Boeck, the situation is different for each homeowner; for some, the water ebbs and flows; for others, the water is completely gone. To get answers, Boeck and other residents have invited city officials to investigate. Among those who recently made a site visit were staff from the Los Angeles Dept. of Public Works and Councilman David Ryu’s office. “My neighbors on the stream and I are very concerned about the health hazard due to mosquito infestation in our stream beds, which are nearly all dried, and eagerly await a report from you,” read a Nov. 6 email to Ryu’s staff from Boeck on behalf of a group of concerned residents. Speaking to the Chronicle, Ryu spokesperson Estevan
Montemayor confirmed that council staff made a site visit. And they did notice low water levels at some homes. “It might be debris blocking the water, but more information is needed,” he said. Moving forward, Ryu’s office has suggested that neighbors map out which properties have the worst water issues to help investigators localize the issue. (Please turn to page 29)
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