Divergence Over Use of Public Lands

An interesting divergence of concepts of use of public lands in the May 26 Metro/Valley Section. In the piece on Griffith Park, author Jerry Cohen writes, “They go to golf or play tennis or picnic . . . to hike the mountain trails. To jog. To bike . . . Or merely to loll in the sun at the entrance to leafy Fern Dell, only a stroll from Hollywood’s tacky pornography joints and fast-food jumble.”

Then, in the piece by Steve Springer on the Los Angeles Express intending to play summer football at Pierce College, he quotes league commission Harry Usher as saying, “We had a wonderful piece of property out at the Sepulveda Dam area. We could have had a swim stadium, a velodrome and lots of things . . . Few people want to go all the way downtown to see the wonderful things of life...”

This may come as something of a shock to Mr. Usher, but there are thousands of us in the San Fernando Valley who fought against the relocation of Hollywood Park race track, the rowing ditch that would use reclaimed sewage water and other “improvements” in the Sepulveda Basin. We like our quiet golf courses, tennis courts, soccer fields, wildlife areas, cornfields, Little League baseball diamonds, jogging trails, bike paths and open space. And we don’t think that all the “wonderful things of life” are either paved with concrete or downtown. Like Griffith Park, the open, sparsely developed, no-neon Sepulveda Basin is a blessed relief from the porno shops, the fast-food franchises and terrible traffic.

Be wary and vigilant, all of you who use the Sepulveda Basin. It appears there is another threat on the horizon. Methinks someone politically well-connected is planting the seeds of a football stadium.