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For many Angelenos, this year's Memorial Day turned out to be more than just the unofficial first day of the summer -- it was the beginning of a new era. The Los Angeles River, whose concrete channelization in the 1930s created a web of bureaucracy that largely prevented the public from legally entering the river, began its official Pilot Recreation program on this holiday. The natural-bottomed Glendale Narrows section of the river, between Fletcher Drive and San Fernando Road, is now open for recreation until Labor Day.

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