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Fight Fracking (today!), See the City Lites, Take a Nature Tour, and Play Kickball

11:43 AM PDT on May 30, 2013

As an NPR junkie, I have long been aware that the natural gas industry has been a sponsor of their programming for several years.

But I nearly spit my coffee out last week when I heard a brief spot extolling the virtues of having the gas industry drilling in one's backyard.

Here in L.A., the drilling in our collective backyard, the Baldwin Hills area of the Inglewood Oil Field, has not been without controversy or consequences.

Today, organizations, public health professionals, farmers, and residents living near drilling operations will gather at noon outside Governor Brown's Los Angeles office (300 S. Spring Street) with Gasland filmmaker Josh Fox to protest the practice. The protest will also mark the launch of Californians Against Fracking, a statewide coalition working to ban fracking in favor of protecting California’s air, water, wildlife, climate and public health. Fox will speak at the rally as his new fracking exposé, Gasland Part II, screens across the state, and participate in delivering a petition with 100,000 signatures to the governor's office.

Member organizations of Californians Against Fracking include Food & Water Watch; the Center for Biological Diversity; Environment California; CREDO; Democracy for America; the California Nurses Association; Breast Cancer Action; the Center on Race, Poverty and the Environment; Citizens Coalition for a Safe Community; Family Farm Defenders; and AFSCME Council 57.

Join in the march at 12 p.m., today, at 300 S. Spring St.

For details on screenings of the film, visit

* * * *

Saturday, check out the City Lites Inner City Sports and Health Fair.

Now in its 10th year, the fair will host a 5-mile walk/skate/ride from Jesse Owens Park to the fair site, at Earvin "Magic" Johnson Park beginning at 8 a.m. and a 23-mile bike ride that launches from and returns to the fair site, with registration beginning at 7:30 a.m.

The all-day festival offers health screenings, outdoor entertainment, food vendors, a kids' fun zone, and raffle give-aways.

For more information about City Lites, visit their webpage.

Jesse Owens Park is located at 9651 S. Western Avenue; Earvin "Magic" Johnson Park is located at 905 E. El Segundo Boulevard.

* * * *

Sunday, the United Riders of South L.A. (the superhero identity of the East Side Riders and Los Ryderz) will be leading a bike tour through Willowbrook to point out green opportunities in the community. Participating in the tour will be staff from L.A. County Parks and Recreation, the Los Angeles Neighborhood Land Trust, and The Planning Center - DC&E to help ensure that opportunities translate into action down the road.

The ride will tour the five parks in the Willowbrook community, starting at George Washington Carver Park. Riders will meet there at 9:30 a.m. and return to the park around 1 p.m. for some barbeque fare and, what else?, a community-building kickball game.

John Jones III, a community organizer with the Land Trust and president of the East Side Riders, helped organize the event, bringing in members of his bike club and Los Ryderz both to help keep riders safe but also involve youth and other community members in taking back nature in their communities.

Carver Park is located at 1400 E. 118th Street Willowbrook, CA 90059.

For more information about the event, see here.

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