Controversy over the Hazard Park Armory reaches Newsprint
Much has been written here about Legacy LA and its founder, Southwest Society Member Jenny Krusoe. In the days ahead Ms. Krusoe will have her hands full with Legacy LA and as an active supporter of the Autry atttempt to expand their space in Griffith Park.
In the recent weeks the Southwest Society has been active in supporting the McCormick, Baron, and Salazar Transit Development Proposal in Highland Park with Grayson Cook, Carol Jacques and Jenny Krusoe helping with facilitating a presentation by Dalila Sotelo's old bosses. Some speculate that this was done to win favor with Councilman Ed Reyes .
Meanwhile an important meeting will take place Monday at 10:00 AM in City Hall on Zoning Issues pertaining to the proposed Autry Expansion in Griffith Park.
Back to the Hazard Park Armory, Krusoe and her associate Lou Calanche had these remarks in response to concerns of community activists such as Jose Aguilar.
For Jose Aguilar, Urban Park Community Chair, the development of the buildings and the services planned are positive plans, but he worries about the possibility of a 30-year contract with an entity that is not public.
“They are using private money for the project, and besides talking to the residents of the area, there is no guarantee that Legacy L.A. will always have the best interest of the community in mind or reflect what the community wants,” Aguilar told EGP. Aguilar compares it with the Southwest Museum which began with community members wanting to preserve and keep historical artifacts in Arroyo Seco, but now feel that they have been robbed of a valuable resource, since the privately run Autry National Museum assumed control of the museum.
Krusoe says Legacy L.A. is trying to create a partnership with the Department of Parks and Recreation. Councilman Huizar echoed that concept.
“The details have yet to be worked out, but Legacy L.A. will be in a partnership with Recreation and Parks, but Rec and Parks will retain ownership of the actual property.”
According to Krusoe, next month they will complete their studies and present their findings to the community.
“We are doing everything we can do be transparent,” Krusoe said.
She also said the Web Site does not contain more information because they currently don’t have the funds to update it.
Hmmm., did someone just get a $200,000 grant??
Executive Director of Legacy L.A. Lou Calanche grew up in Ramona Gardens and says the majority of the people who make up the organization are from the area and are excited that the armory (which was off-limits to civilians in the past) may be used by the community.
“Legacy L.A. began as an umbrella to house local community organizations,” Calanche told EGP,
“But the program has evolved and now we plan to provide services to the community.”
Calanche said the city had thought about using the buildings for a youth boxing center but the city does not have the funds or capacity to do it.
Calanche recently express her appreciation to Mayor Villaraigosa by doing this,
Maria Lourdes Calanche (Instructor, LA Community College District) Los Angeles, CA 90031
Antonio Villaraigosa Mayor 1305101 - Antonio R. Villaraigosa for Mayor 2009 A - Monetary Contribution Received (IND - Individual) [Period: 01/01/08-06/30/08] $1,000.00
And Councilman Jose Huizar said this,
In a statement responding to questions from EGP, Councilman Jose Huizar pointed out that often community programs are created without community input, and said, “this will be the opposite.”
“Contrary to some fringe opinions, the board is not uniformly filled with supporters of one group over another,” Huizar wrote. “There was a lot of painstaking effort to ensure it included a fair mix of people and it obviously includes community members. Again, the whole basis of the program is to promote community ideas and community support and that will continue throughout the duration once the community decides what programs it wants.”
Will that include dialog with community members??
More in the days ahead............