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Observations/Lamentations...South Central Farms, LA

  • Subject: [cg] Observations/Lamentations...South Central Farms, LA
  • From: Adam36055@aol.com
  • Date: Tue, 13 Jun 2006 21:45:44 EDT

Friends,

This is from South Central Farms in LA, where a 14 acre community garden  has
been destroyed for profit.  This dispatch, from the front is from David
King, a community gardener and master gardener from the LA area.

What can you really say in a situation like this, except "sorry for your
loss - and ours."


Best regards,

Adam Honigman\
Community Gardener, NYC

Adam -  thanks for putting up my last post - I don't know why it didnt' go
through  with our your help, but I am grateful you stepped up to the plate.
I'm
 at work now, and I don't have access to my cg list email account - would you
 do me the favor of posting this as well?  I won't be doing this on a
regular basis I assure you.  I'm just feeling shell shocked today.   It is a
very
sad day indeed.

I have been to South Central Farms and  stood on the street in protest,
looking across two lines of police to the Farm  where LA County Sheriffs
removed
those who were in the farm when the eviction  started at 5:00 a.m. b I felt
too
impotent.  When reinforcements arrived  and they began to strap on their riot
helmets, I excused myself.

We had already lost and that was plentifully apparent to me.  We  lost and
from what I can ascertain, we really didnbt have a chance to begin  with.
You
see, I heard on the news b from Mayor Villaraigosa himself, no  less b
that
Ralph Horowitz, the property owner, was, in fact, offered the full  amount for
the purchase of the farm, but Mr. Horowitz vindictively refused the  sale
because he is intent that everyone on the property be evicted before he  would
sell
it.

He has gotten his wish.  Everyone was evicted from  the Farm today and now
law enforcement has moved in to wipe the last of the  protestors off the
street.
 Not only a glutton, but a small, mean one at  that; Mr. Horowitz does not
want for money b the $16 million wouldnbt have  been chump change, but he
and
his family have nothing to want for no matter  how this property eventually
ends up being disposed of.

Mr. Horowitz  came to be the property owner under highly suspect conditions.
The city  had bought the property using eminent domain in the 1980bs for $5
million.  After the project slated for the site fell through, the city
transferred the property from one department to another b valuing it at $12
million.  But then, in some odd twist of fate, the city then sold the
property to
Ralph Horowitz for the sweetheart sum of $5 million, a transaction  that was
hidden from public scrutiny for six months.
With much fanfare and  a lot of heart, funds were raised to meet Mr.
Horowitzb
 asking price of $16  million but Mr. Horowitz had made up his mind that he
would make his mark on  the people of South Central Los Angeles and do what he
could personally do to  make them feel the brunt of the law and his personal
power.  It is hard  for me to look at such a moneyed person and feel sympathy,
yet I know that  would be the truly sacred attitude to assume.  Ibm sorry
Ibm
not that  evolved.

And Ibm sorry that our system has failed.

In an act of  supreme irony, today was also the day that our Los Angeles
County Sheriff  announced support for a drive to raise a special tax to fight
gangs.  How  can one support a tax hike when one knows that those taxes will
be
used to  offset the expense of this eviction b eviction from one of the very
few
bright  spots in that part of Los Angeles where lack of hope fuels gangs?
South  Central Farm was well noted for being gang free and an even safer place
than  the neighboring schools!  It appears that no one is listening and the
taxpayer pays for it going both directions.

And even in the same  breath, the mayor and city council are talking about
expanded green spaces  through out our city.  It appears that 14 acres in
South
Central Los  Angeles will be bulldozed to make way for another warehouse.  It
is green  now, there would be no money required to make it green b it IS
green.   But soon it will go awayb&

Horowitz is only the most visible  criminal here.  I donbt understand how he
came to own this land and how  the city was able to sell it to him without
more outcry and why those, from  the citybs side, havenbt been named and
brought
to account.
As  always, the event that makes the TV cameras, like what has happened
today, is  only the tip of a very large iceberg that has been among us for a
very
long  time.

Events like todaybs media circus are only that.  The  hard work that went
into making South Central Farms one of the largest of  community gardens in
the
nation will be bulldozed and poor families,  disenfranchised from the legal
and
financial system, will move on to find a  new place to put in their crops and
pray for a good harvest.  It has  always been thus and prayers that we, here
and now, Los Angeles 2006, could  rise up to be a better civilization and
kinder society remain unanswered while  the deals in the backroom continue to
oppress the life and vitality of those  willing to work for a better world.

I have lamented, now I have  beans to water and tomatoes to weed.  Itbs all
I
really  know.

david






--
David King, Garden  Master
The Learning Garden   www.thelearninggarden.org   office  310.722.3656
A garden, where one may enter in  and forget the whole
world,  cannot be made in a week, nor a  month, nor a year; it must
be planned for, waited for and loved into  being.  Chinese Proverb
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Date: Tue, 13 Jun 2006 19:11:13 -0400
From: David King <greenteach@adelphia.net>
Reply-To: greenteach@adelphia.net
To: adam36055@aol.com
Subject: Observations/Lamentations...
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Adam - thanks for putting up my last post - I don't know why it didnt' go
through with our your help, but I am grateful you stepped up to the plate.
I'm at work now, and I don't have access to my cg list email account - would
you do me the favor of posting this as well?  I won't be doing this on a
regular basis I assure you.  I'm just feeling shell shocked today.  It is a
very sad day indeed.

I have been to South Central Farms and stood on the street in protest, looking
across two lines of police to the Farm where LA County Sheriffs removed those
who were in the farm when the eviction started at 5:00 a.m. b I felt too
impotent.  When reinforcements arrived and they began to strap on their riot
helmets, I excused myself.

We had already lost and that was plentifully apparent to me.  We lost and from
what I can ascertain, we really didnbt have a chance to begin with.  You
see, I heard on the news b from Mayor Villaraigosa himself, no less b that
Ralph Horowitz, the property owner, was, in fact, offered the full amount for
the purchase of the farm, but Mr. Horowitz vindictively refused the sale
because he is intent that everyone on the property be evicted before he would
sell it.

He has gotten his wish.  Everyone was evicted from the Farm today and now law
enforcement has moved in to wipe the last of the protestors off the street.
Not only a glutton, but a small, mean one at that; Mr. Horowitz does not want
for money b the $16 million wouldnbt have been chump change, but he and
his family have nothing to want for no matter how this property eventually
ends up being disposed of.

Mr. Horowitz came to be the property owner under highly suspect conditions.
The city had bought the property using eminent domain in the 1980bs for $5
million.  After the project slated for the site fell through, the city
transferred the property from one department to another b valuing it at $12
million.  But then, in some odd twist of fate, the city then sold the property
to Ralph Horowitz for the sweetheart sum of $5 million, a transaction that was
hidden from public scrutiny for six months.
With much fanfare and a lot of heart, funds were raised to meet Mr.
Horowitzb asking price of $16 million but Mr. Horowitz had made up his mind
that he would make his mark on the people of South Central Los Angeles and do
what he could personally do to make them feel the brunt of the law and his
personal power.  It is hard for me to look at such a moneyed person and feel
sympathy, yet I know that would be the truly sacred attitude to assume.  Ibm
sorry Ibm not that evolved.

And Ibm sorry that our system has failed.

In an act of supreme irony, today was also the day that our Los Angeles County
Sheriff announced support for a drive to raise a special tax to fight gangs.
How can one support a tax hike when one knows that those taxes will be used to
offset the expense of this eviction b eviction from one of the very few
bright spots in that part of Los Angeles where lack of hope fuels gangs?
South Central Farm was well noted for being gang free and an even safer place
than the neighboring schools!  It appears that no one is listening and the
taxpayer pays for it going both directions.

And even in the same breath, the mayor and city council are talking about
expanded green spaces through out our city.  It appears that 14 acres in South
Central Los Angeles will be bulldozed to make way for another warehouse.  It
is green now, there would be no money required to make it green b it IS
green.  But soon it will go awayb&

Horowitz is only the most visible criminal here.  I donbt understand how he
came to own this land and how the city was able to sell it to him without more
outcry and why those, from the citybs side, havenbt been named and brought
to account.
As always, the event that makes the TV cameras, like what has happened today,
is only the tip of a very large iceberg that has been among us for a very long
time.

Events like todaybs media circus are only that.  The hard work that went
into making South Central Farms one of the largest of community gardens in the
nation will be bulldozed and poor families, disenfranchised from the legal and
financial system, will move on to find a new place to put in their crops and
pray for a good harvest.  It has always been thus and prayers that we, here
and now, Los Angeles 2006, could rise up to be a better civilization and
kinder society remain unanswered while the deals in the backroom continue to
oppress the life and vitality of those willing to work for a better world.

I have lamented, now I have beans to water and tomatoes to weed.  Itbs all I
really know.

david






--
David King, Garden Master
 The Learning Garden   www.thelearninggarden.org  office  310.722.3656
A garden, where one may enter in and forget the whole
 world,  cannot be made in a week, nor a month, nor a year; it must
 be planned for, waited for and loved into being.  Chinese Proverb


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