Photo courtesy of Monica Johnson

Bird Rescue

Last Friday, after school, my daughter Natalia was preparing a snack while our pet cockatiel Lafayette supervised from her shoulder.  This is not unusual; Lafayette has free rein in the house, and only uses his cage for sleeping.  Natalia then grabbed her guitar and walked outside, forgetting that Lafayette was still with her.  A crow flapped overhead and startled him, and he flew off her shoulder and out of the yard.

Natalia located Lafayette on Swarthmore Ave. by his calls.  As an enticement, we brought over Lafayette’s parakeet buddy Tickles and his cage.  The kind neighbors who owned the palm tree helped us set up shop on their balcony in the hopes of coaxing Lafayette over.  Lafayette inched over as close as he could, but couldn’t bridge the gap without flying, so he sat and waited.

We got a broomstick in the hopes that Lafayette would use it to walk over.  It proved too difficult to hold by the end, and wobbled.  Lafayette, frightened, flew off and landed on the very top of another neighbor’s roof, on Via de la Paz.

We called to him and he walked down from the apex of the roof, but he would not launch off.  So he paced back and forth.  With permission, Natalia climbed the neighbor’s tree, and Lafayette made his way over to her.  Again, the distance was too far.  But since his family was nearby, Lafayette wasn’t concerned.  He relaxed, and decided to take a post-flight nap.

Station 69 came to the rescue.  They brought their enormous truck and extremely long ladder. A small crowd gathered as they unleashed the ladder.  Unfortunately, when the ladder bounced against the house, it scared Lafayette into the air.  The good news was that he flew into a nearby tree.

The crew thought a minute, then proceeded to get “the baby ladder,” which is still a bigger ladder than I’ve ever owned!  Using “The Baby,” they got Natalia into the branches of the tree.  She climbed up to the very top, where Lafayette was waiting for her.  He walked onto her hand, and she then covered him with her other hand, balancing in the treetop.  A firefighter then climbed up with an empty sandbag.  They bagged the bird, and came down!  The homeowner let us transfer Lafayette from bag to cage in the safe closed space of inside his house.

Retrieving a lost bird is hard to do.  As inside pets, they don’t recognize the outside of their house.  They can quickly fly out of the neighborhood where people are looking for them.  In addition, parrots are flock animals and don’t do well without a group to protect them and assist them in finding food and shelter.  This situation that would not have resolved well had it not been for the help of people willing to help us.  We give a big thank you to Jasmine, Shawn, Dean, Cole, Pat and Station 69.  We truly live in a great community!

Monica Johnson

Embarrassment, Frustration and Humiliation

As a fellow Christian who attends Corpus Christi Parish, and a 25+ year resident of Pacific Palisades, I read with embarrassment, frustration and even humiliation the details described in the letter authored by Pastor Kenneth Davis that appeared in your Letters To The Editor section of your paper dated May 2, 2019. The ferocity of the expression of hate and the obvious viciousness of the woman who irrationally verbally attacked Pastor Davis’ daughter, and then him, would cause anyone to react exactly the way Pastor Davis did as he expressed in his letter. He and his daughter are to be commended for not retaliating in the moment, as most of us probably would.

Pastor Davis’ taking to the local paper to expose this hateful, racist encounter by penning his letter in your paper to “exorcise and purge” his anger and hurt, is an important example of his rational, intelligent and, dare I say, God fearing method of dealing with this atrocity. He and his daughter deserve a thorough and complete apology from the perpetrator, and a mountain of support, encouragement and heartfelt re-commitment of welcome from the community. I don’t know who that woman was but, based on my years in the Palisades, “she is not us,” even if she is a resident of the community.

In his letter Pastor Davis states that he “write(s) to my neighbors: When will America really change.” Speaking as one of his neighbors, I would suggest that this woman was not “America,” nor is she “The Palisades.” Instead, she is a sole, deranged, ignorant and racist individual who has refused to accept the change that the majority of America has labored to achieve (even if imperfectly) since Martin Luther King pointed the mirror at all of us and forced us to address, and work to change, the racism that was all too prevalent in America.

Is there still a residual of ignorant, racist people “in America” like the woman who accosted Pastor Davis and his daughter; yes, of course. Are those people “America?” I think not. Do the majority of us in this community welcome, enjoy and need Pastor Davis and his family in our community; again, the answer is “yes.”

Don’t lose faith in your neighbors, Pastor Davis. We honor you for your service to our community, and we welcome you and your family with fully outstretched arms.

Michael R. Rhames

Ban Scooters in Pacific Palisades

I learned recently that my good friend suffered traumatic injuries from a hit-and-run accident in town involving a rented LIME motor scooter.

I believe these are dangerous, unregulated vehicles that should be banned from the streets, and sidewalks, of the Palisades.

I grew up attending Corpus Christi and appreciate the safety and walkability of the village and surrounding neighborhoods.

These hazardous scooters can inflict great harm to pedestrians as my friend’s accident can attest to.

The barrage of scooters operating in the Palisades without permits threatens the welfare of the community and its citizens.

As our civic leaders, the Community Council, can ban these dangerous scooters and defend the public trust our citizens have freely enjoyed by walking safely on sidewalks and crossing streets without fear of being hit by an un-permitted vehicle.  LIME is an injurious newcomer to the neighborhood and their motor scooters are a public nuisance and a danger to public safety.

This issue needs your immediate attention as an Action Item on your next agenda.

The town needs to rally to address this danger, protect its citizens and maintain the walkability of the village and the great quality of life we appreciate in Pacific Palisades.

Kathleen Stanton
Corpus Christi Alumni
(Class of 71)