Five years in bloom: Arlington Garden to celebrate on Saturday

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An anniversary celebration on Saturday will mark Arlington Garden’s five years in the community.
The property, which is owned by Caltrans, was once the site of an opulent, 17,000-square-foot mansion that was built in 1901 and then demolished in the 1960s.
The 3-acre lot at one point was poised to become a staging area for 710 freeway construction crews.
But after standing vacant for 40 years, Charles and Betty McKenney had a different idea about what the land could be used for: a garden. City officials banded together with neighbors, local schools and dozens of donors and volunteers to make the garden a reality.
Image: Chuck McKenney, in 2007, with his wife Betty, who came up with the idea to create a garden on an empty Caltrans-owned 3-acre lot at the northwest corner of Arlington Street and Pasadena Avenue. Neighbors helped with the landscaping and plantings, including 50 orange trees. (File photo)

More photos after the jump.

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Week in science: Oil spill threat spreads | James Cameron helping to bring 3-D to Mars | A monster jellyfish of the deep

Image: Dr. Erica Miller, left, and Danene Birtell with Tri-State Bird Rescue and Research work Friday to help a Northern Gannet bird, normally white when full grown, which is covered in oil from a massive spill in the Gulf of Mexico, at a facility in Fort Jackson, La. (AP Image)

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    The still-spreading Gult Coast oil spill is threatening to become a full-fledged environmental disaster that may eclipse Exxon Valdez in cost and impact. [WaPo]

    • Today, the Obama administration put pressure on BP America to do more to stop the leak and clean up its aftermath. [NYT]
      • Experts and volunteers are scrambling to aid the wildlife affected by the spill. [Discovery News]

        Image: This satellite photo provided by NASA shows the oil slick in the Gulf of Mexico as it closes in on the Pass a Loutre area of Plaquemines Parish, La. (NASA photo)

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        Slip and slide: Firefighters get some relief from grueling conditions



        These pictures would warm our hearts, if they weren’t already molten from the heat.

        But, seriously, as a fiery Armageddon descends on SoCal, we’re glad to see that the Engine 111 firefighters out of Little Tujunga Station got a little reprieve — however momentary. They’ve been battling the  Morris Fire in the rugged terrain of San Gabriel Canyon above Azusa.

        Daniel Tedford reports:

        They have faced 30-foot flames in the intense
        heat of day and cold canyon nights without bravado, but instead with a
        stoic sense of duty.”

        As a “thank you” for their service, the children’s water play area at the Santa Fe Dam Recreation Area in Irwindale was opened especially for the firefighters.

        “‘They have been working hard, so we made the exception,’ said Marc Allen, a senior life guard at the park.”

        At right, top, firefighter Danny Flores cools
        off on Thursday.

        Second from top, Flores, left, and engine captain Bruce Steinberg.

        Third from top, Alfred Mendoza floats in shallow waters after his crew from Little Tujunga Station has been working 12- and 24-hour shifts battling the Morris Fire above Azusa.

        Mendoza told our photographer the water slide made him feel “like a kid again.”

        Bottom, Steinberg prepares to follow Mendoza down the water slide.

        (Photos by Watchara Phomicinda and Suzanne Khazaal / Staff)