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RE: Loss of the Urban Farm in South Central

  • Subject: RE: [cg] Loss of the Urban Farm in South Central
  • From: "zebra zebra" zebra136@hotmail.com
  • Date: Wed, 14 Jun 2006 19:59:38 +0000

So I don't get it....apparently the "non-profit" had the owner's asking
price..so what exactly happened?

I hear that next month, the garden's attorneys are going to court to set
aside the sale of the land back to current owner..

Does anyone know what is really going on?

  --------------------------------------------------------------------

  From:  "Betsy Johnson" <betsy@bgjohnson.com>
  To:  "'Don Boekelheide'" <dboekelheide@yahoo.com>, "ACGA Listserv"
  <community_garden@mallorn.com>
  Subject:  RE: [cg] Loss of the Urban Farm in South Central
  Date:  Wed, 14 Jun 2006 14:42:46 -0400
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  <community_garden@mallorn.com>; 14 Jun 2006 18:42:48 -0000
  The actual South Central Farm situation is actually much more
  complex.
  After the panel during the conference, ACGA may be in a position to
  write up
  a balanced piece (including lessons learned.)  Many of the gardeners
  have
  not been hurt because they already relocated because they realized
  the
  current leadership was making saving the garden impossible.  Natural
  allies
  for the garden were shunned (or at least until too
  late.)  Negotiation with
  the site owner, who has a history of being a fair negotiator, was not
  attempted.  And more....

  Betsy Johnson
  Executive Director
  American Community Gardening Assoc.
  877-275-2242  betsyjohnson@communitygarden.org

  -----Original Message-----
  From: community_garden-admin@mallorn.com
  [mailto:community_garden-admin@mallorn.com] On Behalf Of Don
  Boekelheide
  Sent: Wednesday, June 14, 2006 1:45 PM
  To: community_garden@mallorn.com
  Cc: Adam36055@aol.com; greenteach@adelphia.net; ArtWorks945
  Subject: [cg] Loss of the Urban Farm in South Central

  David, Adam and list,

  I'm very sorry to hear about the situation in Los
  Angeles. Anglo TV and news here have largely ignored
  it (as well as ignored the World Cup - Go Togo!), but
  Univision gave quite good coverage to the garden
  eviction. Nasty scene. As a kid who spent my
  adolescence in Los Angeles's West Valley, it reminded
  me of the ethnic cleansing of Chavez Ravine long ago,
  to make way for a ballpark.

  In a city crying out for greenspace and social
  justice, this is such a destructive and dysfunctional
  act. What horrific lack of leadership and political
  will could have caused this? And what lack of
  transparency in government and lack of sensible
  policy?

  I see the same patterns here in Charlotte, where - to
  site but one example - a big junk yard was snuck into
  an environmentally sensitive wetlands near the
  university by a 'progressive' politician working
  behind the scenes with a wealthy individual with
  inside connections. We won't be voting and walking
  precincts again for 'Mr. Progressive', who never
  bothered to pick up a phone to call local community
  leaders.

  Across North America, we need policy that places
  democracy, the social health of communities, and
  environmental sustainability above the arbitrary power
  of developers and large absentee landowners (many now
  corporations, not individuals) to profiteer from their
  ability to work the system, and to cushion
  neighborhoods and citizens from the utterly irrational
  and often destructive behavior of the market (even the
  Trinity (Holy Ghost? forgive me, but gimme a break...)
  makes more sense to me than the notion of some
  all-wise "invisible hand").

  But all this blabbing doesn't make the sad news from
  Los Angeles any easier to witness.

  As Joe Hill once said, "Don't mourn. Organize."

  And it isn't a bad moment to remind ourselves that
  community gardening is about a lot more than growing
  tomatoes, and recall Honigman's Law: Community
  Gardening is 50% gardening, and 100% grassroots
  political organizing.

  In solidarity with the community gardeners of Los
  Angeles,

  Don Boekelheide
  Charlotte, NC

  >>>

  David's post, via Adam

  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

  ______________________________________________________
  The American Community Gardening Association listserve is only one of
  ACGA's
  services to community gardeners. To learn more about the ACGA and to
  find
  out how to join, please go to http://www.communitygarden.org

  To post an e-mail to the list:  community_garden@mallorn.com

  To subscribe, unsubscribe or change your subscription:
  https://secure.mallorn.com/mailman/listinfo/community_garden

  ______________________________________________________
  The American Community Gardening Association listserve is only one of
  ACGA's services to community gardeners. To learn more about the ACGA
  and to find out how to join, please go to
  http://www.communitygarden.org

  To post an e-mail to the list:  community_garden@mallorn.com

  To subscribe, unsubscribe or change your
  subscription:  https://secure.mallorn.com/mailman/listinfo/community_garden


______________________________________________________
The American Community Gardening Association listserve is only one of ACGA's services to community gardeners. To learn more about the ACGA and to find out how to join, please go to http://www.communitygarden.org


To post an e-mail to the list:  community_garden@mallorn.com

To subscribe, unsubscribe or change your subscription:  https://secure.mallorn.com/mailman/listinfo/community_garden





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