The REAL face of courage

Reading about the "gutsy" decision of Rosemead council members to keep polluting our local waterways, this story might give some insight into what courage really looks like: This woman risked (and lost) her job to help reclaim the Los Angeles River from decades (even centuries) of abuse.

Risking something now for the benefit of future generations: That's REAL courage. Screwing the future for temporary political gain? Sorry, not courageous.

Photo credit: Lawrence Ho/Los Angeles Times

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I'm impressed that she'd put up with the system and keep trying to change it.


It is impressive to hear about real courage in public administration. The official goal of the Clean Water Act is to make all "navigable" waterways swimmable and fishable, so floating a kayak down the length of the river helped demonstrate that the Los Angeles River was navigable (and certainly was navigable in the past). It will never be pristine, but it can at least be changed from an eyesore to a thing of beauty. It won't happen overnight, but it can happen.

For Rosemead, it's not really about the Los Angeles River as it is about the Rio Hondo and San Gabriel Rivers. The Rio Hondro runs right along part of our eastern border, while the San Gabriel and Rio Hondo sort of merge down in the Whittier Narrows. Even now, I bet people still swim down by where the Rio Hondo passes under the Pomona Freeway. *I* wouldn't do it, but it's not about me. It's about what people can and will do today, and what they could do in the future.

Yes, let's start cleaning up our own mess. Not all at once, and not by waiting 25 years of doing nothing before crying about how it'll cost us too much to THEN do all at once, but by taking one small step at a time. We ought to start now changing the way each individual development impact our urban runoff. That way, in 25 years, our navigable waters will be that much cleaner and that much fishable and swimmable. THAT would be the gutsy thing to do.

Now is a great time to do it

Now is a great time to do it - wages are really low. People are desperate for work. People want to get back to nature.