Topanga New Times, June 19, 2020

Topanga families are the focus of this special Father’s Day issue of the Topanga New Times, with a portrait of neighbors, a look at family life on the wild side, and a trip back in time to meet a Canyon patriarch who was a conservation pioneer.

A red flag warning and a flurry of small wildfires—the closest in the Sepulveda Pass near the Getty Center on June 10 and a nerve-racking 12-acre blaze at Liberty Canyon on June 12—brought the return of a different kind of anxiety during the first half of June, as temperatures soared and unseasonable Santa Ana winds rattled nerves. 

It was a reminder that more than one disaster can occur at the same time and that this would be a good time to check emergency supplies like batteries and water, and revisit evacuation plans. Topanga residents are encouraged to visit their Emergency Preparedness website—TCEP.org—for tips on how to prepare. The Los Angeles County Fire Department’s annual fire clearance deadline arrived June 1. For more information, visit https://vms3.lafd.org.

Despite the coronavirus threat, a record number of peaceful protests continue, as people of all ages and all backgrounds protest the death of George Floyd and rally for Black Lives Matter. However, it’s challenging to practice social distancing in a crowd. The Los Angeles County Department of Health is encouraging all local protesters to get tested for COVID-19.

More businesses have been given the green light to reopen—from campgrounds to hair salons. In Topanga, restaurants and shops are finally able to open their doors to in-store customers, although the number of COVID-19 cases in the county continues to grow. Face coverings and social distancing remain essential as local businesses reopen and more social and business activities resume.

And finally, a small corner of Topanga recently became part of the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area. Two parcels totalling 32 acres in the Santa Maria Canyon watershed, were donated to the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority last month. The new acquisition contains pristine habitat, including rocky outcroppings and several springs, and it is the last piece needed in a patchwork of public lands to ensure a permanent connection between Ed Edelman Park and Topanga State Park. 

Happy Father’s Day from the TNT crew to all of our community’s fathers and father figures!

Stay safe, be well!