Against an Arts Park in Sepulveda Basin

The report of Jan. 26 that the Cultural Foundation is celebrating a $25,000 contribution toward the building of an Arts Park in the Sepulveda Basin boggles the mind. What's to celebrate?

Here is an organization with no experience in a project of this kind and with a track record of one failure after another. After seven years of no progress other than press releases, they have achieved the magnificent sum of $50,000 in the bank and $25,000 worth of a corporation's stock, which all together amounts to less than one-fifth of 1% of the $45 million they need. And, at the rate they're going, they'll need twice that before the thing is fully funded.

Now, they're talking about five more years to raise the first $15 million to start building something nobody wants but the "arts" people themselves, and the contractors who look forward to the orders for the concrete for the monstrous buildings and the asphalt for the parking lots. So, after 12 years, they'll maybe start digging up the area for a project they'll never be able to finish, leaving the people of the Valley stuck with a hole in the ground or, at best, a music hall that can only pay for its upkeep with the kind of entertainment that further sullies the environment.

We of the Coalition to Save Sepulveda Basin are as interested in the arts as anyone in the Cultural Foundation, if not more so, but we know enough about the arts and the basin to know that this last major open space in Los Angeles is no place for such a project. To be anywhere near what it is proposed to be, it inevitably will bring traffic and crowds and hullabaloo that will diminish the tranquility and natural beauty that the open space of the basin now affords.

That is why the surveys have all shown that the people of the Valley want the basin to remain as nearly as possible as it is now. Please--no more traffic, no more crowds, no more buildings. Just peace and quiet.



Sherman Oaks

Lewis is president of the Coalition to Save Sepulveda Basin.

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