Posts Tagged ‘Ecology’

REVISIT – Radiated Runkle Canyon

Every once in a while I’m going to repost certain topics that I feel are particularly fun, interesting or important for people to learn about. This topic is obviously the latter. I couldn’t find any real updates on the current status of the Runkle Canyon development, but when I do, you’ll know.
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Original post: July 25, 2009

You’ve heard of Chernobyl and Three Mile Island.
Have you ever heard of Rocketdyne or Runkle Canyon? [youtube width=”590″ height=”380″]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IILp3uAdSLY[/youtube]

Frighteningly, very few people actually have… especially considering that in 1959, what is considered to be the worst nuclear accident in American history actually happened just 30 miles outside of Los Angeles, spreading up to 459 times the contamination of Three Mile Island across Simi Valley. (Note to self: *always* take a Silkwood shower after driving through Simi Valley.)

Shockingly, the scope of the partial meltdown at the Boeing-Rocketdyne sodium reactor was covered up. In September 2005, 100 local residents filed a class-action lawsuit amid fears of cancer and thyroid issues and were awarded $30 million in damages. It was only during this lawsuit four years ago – 45 years after the meltdown – that the extent of the radioactive iodine leak was confirmed. Meanwhile, land developers have been proposing to build 461 residences in the 1,500-acre contaminated canyon (including 138 units for senior citizens) to this day despite legitimate protests. YIKES.

Here is a timeline of the Rocketdyne events. A scary History Channel program about the incident featured after the jump.

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LOCAL – L.A. Nature Lovers

[googlevideo]http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-2099984916464728483[/googlevideo] At left is a silent video (circa 1930s) taken by the NATURE FRIENDS LOS ANGELES, headquartered in Sierra Madre.

Their umbrella organization was originally founded in Austria in 1895 as Naturfreunde, a non-profit Alpine social club formed to promote tourism with a minimal effect on the environment (an early version of eco-tourism), international friendship and understanding. The Los Angeles branch was opened in 1920. The club is still active and membership is very affordable. In order to join you need to be sponsored and recommended by two members, but if you are a nice person who’s really “interested in nature, conservation, hiking and the outdoors” I’m sure they’d probably befriend you. Maybe you could see about joining them for movie night on Saturday, July 25th and introduce yourself.

This (again, silent) video captures images of:
• The club’s weekend activities at their lodge in Sierra Madre;
• Construction of a cabin in the San Jacinto Mountains;
• Outings to the Coachella Valley desert;
• A beach party near Corona del Mar in Orange County;
• Skiing at Big Pines;
• Driving through Angeles Crest;

• Hiking to San Gabriel Peak… and other vintage L.A. nature-lovin’ stuff. :)