Top Story: ZevTV
February 28, 2013
This really is a bird of another feather.
For starters, she’s got a masculine name—Apollo. But that’s nothing compared to this: She’s got a serious turkey vulture crush on a bearded, soft-spoken Los Angeles County worker named Dave Stives.
Stives, the county’s regional animal keeper, has become accustomed to Apollo working herself into a hormonal tizzy when he nears her enclosure at the Placerita Canyon Nature Center in the Antelope Valley, especially during spring mating season. Among other things, she spins in circles and flaunts her tale. “A courtship dance,” says Stives.
Apollo and Stives first met nearly a decade ago. Apollo had been hit by a vehicle in Virginia and was shipped west for treatment at a private facility in the Antelope Valley. A tendon in Apollo’s wing had been damaged, thus bringing her flying days to an end. In those early days, Stives had helped in her care and training. Two years later, when the private facility went under, Apollo was moved to the county’s Placerita Canyon center. It was love at second sight.
“She remembered me and trusted me,” Stives says. That was seven years ago, he says, and the relationship is still going strong. “She follows me around like a puppy dog,” Stives says affectionately of the black-feathered, red-headed vulture.
Stives, 48, has worked as an animal keeper for the county’s Department of Parks and Recreation for some 14 years. He’s responsible for the seven nature centers and parks that house a menagerie of animals, including birds, possums, raccoons, rattlesnakes—“probably anything that is indigenous in the state,” he says. He travels from one facility to the next making sure all are in compliance with state and federal laws governing everything from the diet of the animals to their educational use, a requirement for the county to keep them. “We make sure they have the best possible life under our care,” Stives says.
At home, Stives also has some feathered and furry friends—two dogs, two cats, three falcons, plus a snake. As a “master falconer,” he takes his birds into the wild, where he’s “conditioned” them to circle overhead as he beats the bushes for rabbits. The falcons then swoop in.
As for Apollo, she now spends her weekends with Stives at educational animal shows, dispelling myths of vultures as the creepy outcasts of the bird world. “She’s actually quite pretty,” he says. “In her own way.”
To see the two in their native habitat, click on the video above.
March 21, 2012
Kent Twitchell made his name as an outdoor artist whose enormous, hyper-realist outdoor portraits have become an indelible part of the L.A. landscape.
But there’s a downside to all that larger-than-life public visibility. He’s seen many of his iconic works disfigured by vandals and sometimes unceremoniously destroyed over the years. So it is with a sense of relief and renewed enthusiasm that he’s working on his latest project—a series of murals for the county’s downtown Bob Hope Patriotic Hall that will be displayed safely indoors.
Our video visit to Twitchell’s downtown L.A. studio offers some behind-the-scenes insights into this important work in progress, while the gallery below gives a sense of the breadth of his work, from the salvaged remains of earlier pieces to the prep work for such still-standing murals as “Harbor Freeway Overture.”
Twitchell was selected in 2010 for his role in the Patriotic Hall project, part of an extensive renovation. In coming months, his artwork, painted on mural fabric, will be moved from his studio and adhered and sealed to the lobby walls of the imposing 1926 building.
March 13, 2012
It was a journey for the ages—all ages: a slow-moving procession through 22 cities and four counties, beginning in a Riverside County quarry on Tuesday, February 28, and culminating at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art on Saturday, March 10. Along the way, thousands of spectators turned out to marvel at artist Michael Heizer’s 340-ton boulder and its massive custom-made transport. At the museum, the rock will be attached to a concrete channel, creating the illusion that it’s floating, or levitating, overhead. “Levitated Mass” is expected to open as a permanent LACMA installation in late spring or early summer. Here’s our video account of one of the most memorable moments in L.A.’s art history.
January 24, 2012
Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky and a team, including county engineers, recently hopped on bikes and took a look at street strategies that could be applied across the county. On their cycling tour of Long Beach–which makes no secret of its aim of knocking Portland off its perch as America’s most bicycle-friendly city–they pedaled along innovative bike boulevards, green sharrows and a spectacular stretch of the Pacific. Their takeaway: where there’s a will, there’s a bikeway.
November 23, 2011
The wedding of Denny Lyons and Terrie Madrid on Santa Monica Beach was less a storybook ending than a new beginning for the chronically homeless couple. Their big day—Friday, November 18—came about with help from a program called Project 60, which assists veterans like Lyons, who served in the Navy Reserve, to find permanent supportive housing, health care and treatment for mental health and substance abuse issues. Now, with a federal housing voucher in hand, the couple can move out of the Samoshel homeless shelter and into their own apartment.
November 6, 2011
As the Exposition Light Rail Line rolls closer to becoming a reality, Supervisor and Metro Board Member Zev Yaroslavsky recently hopped aboard one of the test runs. Early next year, trains are expected to run from the 7th Street Metro Center downtown to La Cienega and Jefferson. Meanwhile, construction will continue on Phase 1′s westernmost station in Culver City. Eventually, Expo Phase 2 will extend to 4th Street and Colorado Avenue in Santa Monica. When it’s complete, the 15.2-mile line will be the first mass transit rail project on the Westside since the Red Cars.
August 7, 2011
July 20, 2011
Last weekend’s closure of the 405 Freeway represented a historic moment in our region’s long traffic history. Bracing—and preparing—for the worst, we were rewarded with a day of surprisingly smooth driving and lower stress. Here’s a video we made to document this important event as we look ahead to doing it all over again eleven months from now.
July 15, 2011
Zev discusses the July 16-17, 2011 405 Freeway closure.
This video was produced by the Jewish Journal.