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Wednesday, October 08, 2008

LAFD Fiddles While LeBong, SAG, RAP Commission Burns Firefighters' Memory

We've already reported the lengths to which T-LeBong and his Performing Ego would go just for a press op. Even "revisionist history" isn't beneath the Autocrat of Griffith Park in his rabid desire for a little camera time.

What's truly amazing is that the LAFD are just sitting on their collective hands while LeBong and the Rec and Parks Commission conspire to kiss some SAG administrator's gi-normous derriere on this one. The death of 29 men in just 20 minutes during the horrific 1933 Griffith Park firestorm is the worst loss of firefighters in California State history. (correction: ...in American history.) Until now, the LAFD had been tireless stewards of the memory of these men. Men whose memory has been included in the LAFD's annual Fallen Firefighter Memorial Service which, ironically, takes place this Saturday.

When even the LAFD can't be trusted to look out after their own history, the designation of Griffith Park as a Historic Monument is an idea whose time has definitely come. --


From SaveGriffithPark.org :

GRIFFITH PARK'S DEPRESSION DEAD TO BE DISHONORED.
WHAT WOULD PAUL NEWMAN THINK?

An eerie episode is unfolding behind the scenes that in its own perverse way
reinforces the necessity of obtaining Historic-Cultural Monument status for Griffith Park.

At its meeting of October 3, 2008 – the 75th Anniversary of the catastrophic Fire of 1933 in Griffith Park that killed 29 men laboring for subsistence wages in the worst year of the Depression – the Board of Commissioners of the Recreation and Parks Department was asked to approve the installation of a monument to the tragedy in the Mineral Wells area of Griffith Park. The proposed plaque commemorating the event will not honor the men who were burned alive – it will honor the Screen Actors Guild.

Worth reading is the attached report to the Rec & Parks Board which employs semantic juxtaposition to link a pivotal SAG organizational meeting that took place the evening of the fire with Warner Bros Studios' loan of klieg lights to rescuers to light the search for victims. Students of labor movement and motion picture history will know that in 1933 anti-union film moguls and SAG existed in separate, adversarial worlds. The lights were not lent because of SAG. There is no evidence that the union's members fought the fire. There is no evidence that SAG sent aid to victims and their survivors at all, much less to any degree that would warrant their bring singled out for recognition.

Nevertheless, SAG was founded in June 1933, so this year marks its 75th Anniversary, too. While these separate but coincidental anniversaries are enough of an historical relationship for Councilmember LaBonge to conceive this photo op, should it be reason enough for a well-respected union like SAG to participate in trivializing dead workers? Save Griffith Park doubts that SAG's dues-paying members are knowing participants in this empty honor. Classy SAG member and philanthropist Paul Newman once declined a national medal he actually deserved calling the recognition "honorrhea." How would he describe this ghoulish episode?

Public support for Historic Cultural Landmark status for Griffith Park will help end Orwellian rewrites of our local history. Encourage people who support this long overdue designation to let the Cultural Heritage Commission know by sending a letter to:

Cultural Heritage Commission
Office of Historic Resources
L.A. Department of City Planning
200 N. Spring Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012

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13 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said:

The Rec. and Parks Commisioners actually bought this steaming pile of shit?

October 08, 2008 10:26 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

bigger question, does SAG rank and file have a clue this is happening?

October 08, 2008 10:30 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

I'm surprised Tom didn't bring his galpal Janice Hahn and their mascot Reggie the Alligator to "support" his position. They both got major PhotoOp time when they dragged Reggie to the zoo and Janice claimed he was waving to his old pals in San Pedro. Amazed Janice didn't invite the marching band from Ishia to play again while she showed a video of herself made on city money as "an Alligator Wranger" responsible for catching Reggie at a cost of hundreds of thousands of dollars. They could dress Reggie up as an American Indian and claim he's supporting their plans for the Autry because it brings attention to the zoo and the whole area. Even Janice probably wouldn't dress Reggie up in an LAFD cap. But who knows... Anything to distract from facts.

These two are shameless and while I don't care what they do to get their ugly mugs on camera, it does bother me when they waste our money and time. She's been told to cut down on this time-wasting in Council, though, so she's sad and available for Tom's PhotoOps.

However I don't see evidence that Tom is planning anything heinous for Griffith Park -- the cable car upto the observatory would be great and cut down on vehicle traffic up there. Many major cities have a cable car upto a view point, and it's great for our kids as well as tourists. Just as long as he doesn't pave paradise to put in a parking lot. Paving the parking lot at current Autry to hold the Southwest Museum seems a shame in that I like the scale there now, but face it, who goes to the Southwest Museum? They have a renowned collection that's barely known in LA. It's more known to scholars and those with a special interest in American Indian art and culture.

October 08, 2008 11:04 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

can you please stop posting breathless subjects that nobody cares about?

in fact, delete this one now!

October 08, 2008 11:26 AM  

Blogger LAFD Media and Public Relations said:

Petrafried,

Please know that any comment upon the official action of the people's elected representatives comes collectively from the organizations that represent the leadership and/or rank-and-file membership of the LAFD, and not any individual assigned to our office.

That much said, I appreciate your interest in our fallen colleagues, and look forward to seeing you at Saturday's memorial ceremony.

Respectfully Yours in Safety and Service,

Brian Humphrey
Firefighter/Specialist
Public Service Officer
Los Angeles Fire Department

LAFD Blog: lafd.org/blog

October 08, 2008 11:27 AM  

Blogger LAFD Media and Public Relations said:

...oh, and I should mention: The death of the 29 fire control workers in Griffith Park remains the single largest (recorded) loss of firefighters in a single incident in *American* history.

It was - and in our eyes remains, a national tragedy.

-BH-

October 08, 2008 11:32 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Dude, Tom's "cable car" is running FROM the Observatory to Mt. Hollywood -- in the wilderness section of GP.

There would be a lot less arguing if the cable car were running from a mass transit hub TO the Observatory...

October 08, 2008 11:36 AM  

Blogger PetraFried in the City said:

FF/S Humphrey,

Question sir,

Griffith Park has a reported 10 million visitors a year.

Are LAFD leadership and rank and file really content to stand by and watch as a third party publicly co-opts the history surrounding the tragic death of these men?

How sad for the LAFD, the families of the men, and the history of Los Angeles as a whole.

October 08, 2008 1:02 PM  

Blogger PetraFried in the City said:

11:47, There have been more than enough national politics threads on this blog to keep you very busy, so not sure why you aren't playing "hey - let's blow Bambi's brains out!" with the other kiddies over there.

October 08, 2008 1:11 PM  

Blogger LAFD Media and Public Relations said:

PetraFried,

Thanks for the note. You asked...

Are LAFD leadership and rank and file really content to stand by and watch as a third party publicly co-opts the history surrounding the tragic death of these men?

As earlier inferred - if not most clearly stated, I cannot speak on behalf of the membership of the aforementioned organizations, which formally represent the political interests of uniformed LAFD members.

To assist you in contacting those organizations directly, I placed links in the 11:27 reply above.

I hope this information helps. If there is any other way I can assist you, please do not hesitate to ask.

Respectfully Yours in Safety and Service,

Brian Humphrey
Firefighter/Specialist
Public Service Officer
Los Angeles Fire Department

October 08, 2008 7:09 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Single largest loss of firefighters in America??? What about 9-11 World Trade Center firefighter deaths??

October 09, 2008 7:04 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Single loss in a brush fire... 9-11 was, when stripped down, a 'building collapse'.

Of course, it was so much more than that.

October 09, 2008 8:16 AM  

Blogger LAFD Media and Public Relations said:

Anonymous 7:04,

You are correct. Having lost several FDNY friends on 9-11, please know I am keenly aware of the important distinction. I thank you for your noting and sharing it.

I neglected to include the important word 'wildfire' that had been mentioned earlier in the article/thread.

As referenced in our LAFD News & Information blog post, the Griffith Park wildire of 1933 remains the single deadliest wildfire to firefighters in (recorded) American history.

...more on that 'recorded' part will become apparent later this week on the LAFD blog.

Again, thanks!

Respectfully Yours in Safety and Service,

Brian Humphrey
Firefighter/Specialist
Public Service Officer
Los Angeles Fire Department

October 09, 2008 8:23 AM  

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