Wednesday, June 08, 2005

communism, corruption and eminent domain

after the latimes' recent big, wet, sloppy smooch to dodger stadium, it might be interesting to watch tonight's documentary on KCET at 9:30: Chavez Ravine: A Los Angeles Story [via LA Observed].

To be honest, I don't know much about the neighborhood that stood where dodger stadium is today. John had told me the building of the stadium involved corruption, abuse of eminent domain and vicious inter-city politicking - all par for the course for LA's major development projects, right?

yet the story of chavez ravine goes much further - a proposed public housing project funded by the Feds was to have been built there, yet was hamstrung and ultimately abandoned, as its supporters were forced to defend themselves from allegations of communism (The assistant director of the LA Housing Authority even lost his job and spent a year in jail after facing down the House Un-American Committee). eminent domain razed the homes in a neighborhood of mainly mexican-american families. and in one of the worst abuses of the public trust, the city bought the land back from the Feds at a drastically reduced price and turned around and cut a sweetheart deal with the Brooklyn Dodgers - selling the land for a fraction of that price.

fire up the tivo. this should be a good one.


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