Guaranteed to improve your English

Maybe Use Some of that Gas Tax to Correct Signage

On Nov. 1, a 12-cent gasoline tax went into effect, supposedly to fix roads and infrastructure. As there have been numerous such increases in the past, and the roads remain horrible, I am skeptical that this will work.

But I digress.

I recently drove up Balboa Boulevard and encountered the first big construction project since the tax went into effect (I don’t know whether this project was previously scheduled). Like many projects, the first indication is a large flashing sign that informs what roads will be closed and at what times.

This sign informed me that San Fernando Road would be closed between 7 a.m. and 5 a.m. Since it was about 4 p.m. when I saw this, I immediately started thinking about an alternate route. To my pleasant surprise, all lanes were open and there were no signs of traffic cones or construction machines.

I thought, “Strange that it’s only two hours the roads are open,” but I didn’t give it any more thought.

It wasn’t until the return trip did I realize something was amiss. As I drove down San Fernando, I came across traffic cones, road closures and big machines. It was about 8:15 p.m.

The closure was from 7 p.m. to 5 a.m.

I wondered if I had read the sign wrong. I checked. It flashed, “7AM to 5 AM.”

I plan to call Caltrans and tell them to fix the sign.

Until next time! Use the right words!


January 2, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

More City/Street Origin Names

I couldn’t get enough origin stories, so here are some more, again courtesy of the 1968 book “Los Angeles: Portrait of an Extraordinary City.”

Pico Boulevard — Named for Pio Pico, the last governor of Alta California.

Redondo Beach — Named from Rancho Sausal Redondo, meaning “round clump of willows.”

San Marino — The name comes from the tiny European country. Wealthy landowner Benjamin Davis Wilson (called Don Benito by the local natives; this is why there is an elementary school in Pasadena with that name) conveyed land to his son-in-law, James de Barth Shorb, who named it after his grandfather’s plantation in Maryland. When Henry Huntington bought the land, he kept the name.

Santa Monica — Named for Rancho San Vicente y Santa Monica. But how the area got the name is in dispute. Wikipedia says it’s either because of the feast day of Saint Monica or because of two springs that reminded missionary Juan Crespi of the tears Saint Monica shed over her son’s impiety. That son became Saint Augustine.

Sepulveda Boulevard — Named for Francisco Sepulveda. The street follows the northeast boundary of Rancho San Vicente y Santa Monica, which Sepulveda owned.

Spring Street — Lt. Edward Ortho Cresap Ord was a surveyor who helped map Los Angeles in 1849. He named the street after his Santa Barbara sweetheart, Trinidad Ortega, who he called his “Springtime.” In Spanish, that word is “Primavera,” so on the map, it was called Calle Primavera in Spanish and Spring Street in English.

Tarzana — Named for the Edgar Rice Burroughs character Tarzan (Burroughs lived on a ranch there).

Watts — The area originally was part of Rancho Tajauta (I’ve also seen it spelled Tajuata). Charles B. and Julia A. Watts owned a portion.

Whittier — A one-time Quaker colony was named in 1887 for poet John Greenleaf Whittier.

Wilmington — Named by founder Phineas Banning after his hometown of Wilmington, Del.

Wilshire Boulevard — Named for Henry Gaylord Wilshire, noted Socialist, lecturer, publisher and promoter.

Until next time! Use the right words!

November 30, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment


%d bloggers like this: