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Reservoirs, Bird Balls and Property Values Discussed in Silver Lake

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Last Saturday, about 400 Silver Lake-area residents turned up at the Micheltorena Street School to hear city and Department of Water & Power (DWP) officials talk about future plans for Silver Lake and Ivanhoe reservoirs, and the forthcoming meadow, a patch of land near the reservoir that'll be opened as a park this summer. As the Times recently reported, both Silver Lake and Ivanhoe reservoirs will eventually be phased out, which raises the question of whether to make Silver Lake Reservoir an accessible lake or keep up the fence, ie, how do you balance possible watery fun with property values? Meanwhile, a more pressing issue is how to protect Ivanhoe from possible future bromate contamination (the kind causing draining at Silver Lake reservoir). Right, now the DWP is proposing "using "bird balls" -- small, weighted orbs that float on the water to shield it from both the sun and from birds" to protect Ivanhoe for the next four years, according to the Times. The balls would be removed when a replacement reservoir goes up near Griffith Park's Travel Town area. So what happened at the meeting? A reader fills us in. [Reservoir shot via Modus Eundi]

"The DWP was obviously very concerned about how this news would be received and wanted everybody's mind to be put at ease that they've tried to think of everything to solve this - hence the heavy hitters [in attendance at the meeting LADWP General Manager David Nahai, Assistant General Manager Jim McDaniel, Board of Commissioners President Nick Patsaouras, Council President Eric Garcetti and Councilmember Tom LaBong].

Some people were pretty upset...a flyer was going around that nobody would be able to sell their house with these bird balls in place. A few made suggestions for other solutions (some type of reflective fabric was one, getting artists involved was another) and the DWP said they would be willing to explore other ideas, as long as the water supply is protected. They reiterated that everybody has the right to clean, health water, which is ultimately more important than anybody's view.

We thought much of the crowd had only come to hear from the DWP, but when the subject switched to the Meadow, nobody moved. About a half hour in to the Meadow presentation, the audience saw that there were no surprises and many started to make their way out. ..there were stickers that were passed out that said "I heart the Meadow Park" and there was quite a sea of them in the room.

The reactions to the Meadow plan were the usual - the Coyote Lady, people complaining of traffic, crime and trash, and one woman who said she was going to put her house on the market immediately because of this horrible park, plus a few who spoke heartily in favor of it.

One member of Open the Meadow Now was heckled by a small group of people for congratulating Eric and Tom on getting the job done. Bad form.

Eric invited all 400 people to join the Meadow Advisory Board if they have any ideas..."