I was born in Los Angeles and have lived here most of my life. I didn't know much about the LA River until I took a mind altering Jenny Price led LA River tour in 2007. That tour and my many years as an ulcer riddled commuter inspired me to create a funny video about a guy who uses the river to get to work.
I am a public health physician who uses stand up comedy to convey information about our troubled lives here in LA - well, also to get my laugh on - and I know that the best comedy comes from a painful or emotionally sensitive place. The LA River situation was and is deeply disturbing to me, so on my birthday in 2007, George Wolfe, Evelyn Wendel and I headed down to the river and made this big little movie. This video, George's LA River Commute, was discovered by several river and environmental activists and used to demonstrate that the LA River is navigable - a criteria for a river to be fully protected under the Clean Water Act. People believed that this suited commuter man was actually using the river to get to work. George and I decided a year later to do an actual expedition down the LA River.
That expedition was used by the EPA to deem the LA River fully protected under the Clean Water Act this year. Small actions, and little movies, can sometimes lead to big change. Maybe we can take the LA River to work someday. I certainly hope so.