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We Have Goose Issues: WSJ Interviews Maria Of Echo Park

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The Wall Street Journal cares about our geese. Well, our celebrity geese. They care so much that they sent someone here to talk to Echo Park's famous Maria and her man-friend / walking buddy retiree Dominic Ehrler about their possible relocation during the upcoming $65 million overhaul of the park.

The city is expected to begin rehab on park by summer starting with the 14-acre lake, "built as a reservoir in the 1860s, but now the center of a gentrifying neighborhood where dog-walking film editors mingle with immigrant families as men fish for catfish," says the Wall Street Journal. "The rehabilitation project will drain the lake to remove debris and droppings from the dozens of geese and ducks that live there. For two years, the lake's fountains will be shut, its center a dry lake bed circled by a fence."

The state identified problems with the lake in 2006 citing "algae, ammonia, copper, lead, odor, PCBs and trash" as possible reasons for the signature Lotus plants' disappearance. It is unclear if Maria and her animal friends will also disappear as the lake problem begins to be solved. Notes WSJ, "in its environmental-impact report on the lake, the city worried more about the nesting grounds of blue herons and other birds that stop on their way to other havens, even planning to construct small temporary ponds for them."

"As engineers prepare to start the $65 million rehabilitation project, they don't have a plan for local birds," reports the WSJ, but people involved in the discussions say Maria may end up at MacArthur Park Lake. The local celeb was examined by a zoo biologist on Thursday and deemed "fit to stay and socialize with construction workers to satisfy her need for human contact," says the Wall Street Journal.

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Many locals already knew about the "goose at the lake who pecked at homeless people to wake them and seemed to prefer human friends to avian ones," notes WSJ, but it was OK Go that made the winged beauty a star after she refused to leave set while they were filming 'End Love' at the park last year.

65-year-old Mr. Ehrler, with whom Maria morning walks, runs, and flies alongside each morning, considers the bird his best friend. He wants to move her to Oregon or somewhere they can continue their walks, but technically she's property of the state.

Not to be goosed by another publication, the LA Times also ran a story today about the city's bird celebrity with a GREAT action photo of Maria flying along side Mr. Ehrler on a scooter!

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