I was one of the neighbors in the crowd attending the dedication of the Vassie D. Wright Memorial Library (Times, June 7). As we stood in the adjacent newly created Leslie M. Shaw park, Mayor Tom Bradley and Councilman Robert Farrell both spoke of their dismay in seeing the long wall bordering the western end of the park covered with graffiti, having been painted only the day before. They urged the neighborhood to do something about this problem, as gangs and drug dealers struggle for dominance in the area. (One teen-age murder has already occurred in the new park.)
However, as we neighbors listened, we wondered at the ivory-towered mentality of the Los Angeles Parks Commission that would authorize the building of any walls around any inner-city park. Walls are an open invitation to gang “hieroglyphics.” Chain-link fences are not, let alone being cheaper. The wall the mayor and councilman were speaking of has been cleaned at least four times since the brief existence of the beautiful little park, about eight or nine months.
The same “designers” erected a large stone base chiseled with the park name instead of a high wooden shingle-type or wrought-iron nameplate, and this stone has also been cleaned of graffiti several times.
The neighbors in my group know that now that the dedication ceremonies are over it will be a long time before we see the graffiti removed again. We wish better insight on the part of the planners of the next inner-city park.
MRS. J.E. WILLIAMS