April 4, 2006
This is a song of joy and
praise and disappointment
about the community you
I’ll try to sing it in under
First, my creds:
Grew up in H.P., attending
Pacific Blvd School and
Gage Ave Jr Hi, graduating
from HP High in June ’45.
Sister attended Miles Av
and grad from the h.s. in
Lived over time at 6020A
Oak St, 6010 Oak, 6205
Miles Ave, and, as a
married adult, on Plaska at
an address I know longer
remember. (First of four
daughters born while I
lived there.) The girl I
married grew up at 6916
Dad worked at Axelson’s
and at Sopp Chevrolet.
Mom kept house, except
for a brief period during
WWII, when she became
a riveter at Douglas
Aircraft in Long Beach.
Now, the point of this area:
After reading about HP’s
hundredth birthday, hauled
myself back home from
West San Fernando Valley
a couple of weeks ago.
First visit to H.P. in
Was in serious, joyous
culture shock for most of
my three- or four-hour
drive-around. The color
and excitement and vitality
of the city – especially as
manifest on Pacific – were
astonishing! Talking to
myself as I toured the city,
noticing the gone and the
new, I kept repeating,
omigod omigod omigod
Only two buildings on
Pacific that were
undisguised to me: Eastern
Columbia, now a store for
kids, and the Warner
Theater, which forlornly,
but hopefully advertises its
availability for lease.
Belgrave Ave in my old
neighborhood is now what
looks like lunch and lounge
space for the high school.
The old homesteads on
Oak St. are replaced by
townhouses, as are all the
old homes on that and
Bethlehem Steel on
Slauson is replaced by
Home Depot, Staples,
Bally’s Ultimate Fitness,
and – possibly in a
humanitarian gesture to
those who over-shop or
over-fit – a Quiznos or
Subway (forget which).
The high school seems to
have grown by twenty or
more buildings. (We
moved to Oak St. just
after the ’34 earthquake,
and the wreckage, rehab,
and new grounds and
buildings were my
playground from 3rd thru
Miles Ave School has
become an entire new
nation, possibly requiring a
passport, as has Pacific
On neighborhood streets
and Pacific: lots of
families, lots of smiles.
The point of all this –
First, I really have to share
my enthusiasm with
somebody who might care
– as I assume you might.
If you’d like to talk, I’ll
come see you and be
enthusiastic. I promise
not to bring the Civil
Defense helmet issue to
me as an Air Raid
Messenger in ’42 and
proved to be almost as
heavy as my bike. But I
could be persuaded to tell
about the day in 1942 that
ME Alcoa plant in Vernon
was replaced by a bucolic
agricultural hillside, topped
by a ramshackle shed of
no apparent military value
and thus not worth
We could meet at
Starbuck’s, where on the
Saturday, I fell deeply in
love with a pretty, young
barrista who said she
loved Huntington Park, has
lived there for twenty-four
years, and graduated from
H.P. High. She was just
the right person with
whom to share my story
and my enthusiasm.
I’d first thought I could
share my enthusiasm with
a city official, and found
Juan Noguez’ name on the
official H.P. website. Also
WatchourCity. If your
site is accurate – and, with
sources such as the L.A.
Times, I have to assume it
to be so – it appears that
the wonderful city I
discovered in my tour has
some pretty foul innards.
I decided not to expose
my naiveté to Noguez, but
to tell you my story
Cordially and respectfully,
More Letters to The Editor
Note: The following emails are here printed unedited, save for personal
identifying information such as names, telephone numbers and email
addresses which have been deleted to maintain anonymity. I'm O.K.
with the typos. No one's perfect.
Dear comments = Congratulations, great articles, I will continue reading
your articles as I am a long time resident of this city, keep up the good
name = ldb
comments = God Bless you for the work you're doing. Every city
should have a website like this because elected officials, unless forced,
will generally not be honest stewards of public funds.
comments = Keep up the great work!!!!!!!!!!!!!read the times story,
i'am here in los angeles.......
comments = WAY TO GO! Having learned of your website through
the L.A. Times article, I am very excited to see such exposure. I am
currently a resident of Bellflower and only dream of such a site for our
city. My only suggestion would be if there was some way you could
possibly supply various links to educational articles explaining how the
city is run, rules & regulations, etc. so that the common voter could
understand better what his elected official jobs are. Perhaps a schedule
of current meetings scheduled to encourage voters to attend. Keep up
the great work! Kudos to this website.
name = LT
comments = Read your work in LA Times. Excellent work. You may
want to publish what some of your readers write, especially from those
living in your community. Links to communicate with community
officials may also help. Keep it up.
comments = This is a very intresting website you have here. If it wasn't
because I read the times I would have not found it. As we Mexicans
say "Les estan sacando los trapos sucios a los politicos." Thanks for
name = Yolanda
comments = Thank you for your hard work. I sent your website to
several friends who live in HP or have friends there. Wish that you
could do this for other cities. Integrity is powerful and it is a trait that
most people respect more than any other. You may be doing a
dangerous high wire act but your protection from falling and hurting
yourself is your blanket of truth. Again, I thank you.
comments = I just read the article that was printed in the Los Angeles
Times (08/21/2004) regarding this website. What an awesone thing
doing in exposing these greedy politicians that take advantage of the
immigrant community. If more oversight was given to the communities
in southeast los angeles, maybe our people would be better off. I really
enjoyed the site, and hopefully one day I can begin to make a
difference in my city. Thank You.
name = W Arroyo
comments = This is great. I applaud you. However, I think this kind
of info needs to also be available in Spanish. I also think that
watchourcity will have to come out of the closet before too long; this
may turn out to be advantageous. Thanks for trying to help the
residents in Huntington Park. I happen to live in Sherman Oaks.
name = Vero
comments = I am impressed by your website. You have really done
your homework on how the cities monies are spent. It's a shame how
there is money to spend on certain unacessary things when certains
things such as education can benefit from this money that is just being
Congratulations, on your website. I will be sure to let my HP friends
know of it.
name = A. Young
comments = I've come upon your website an I'm very impressed with
the wealth of information. Keep up the good work, while keeping it
comments = Strict confidence, please! I admire your perseverince and
determentation, with your factual information gathering, along with
your commitment to uncover the truth.I live in the city of Montebello
and there have been some unsetteling events with the politicans, city
living conditions,gang murders that are never made public,etc... I work
60 hrs a week and do not find the time to create a Website, or have the
knowledge to begin an endevore so breath taking as you have. Is it
possible for you to start some type of investigation, into the reasons for
the unsetteling events I mentioned. Please email me, with any
queationsor comments you might have. Gracias
comments = Nice Job. The District Attorney should hear about these
abuses. An investigation should be launched.
comments = Thank you thank you thank you for a great website. These
crooks you report on are nothing more than crooks in suits and
pantsuits. THank you for exposing them for what they truly are. Now
we need to vote them out. Thank you for your hard work. You should
have some way to donate to your website.
comments = Great site. You've done a really good job & your work is
inspiationa. We're trying to do much the same in West Hollywood
where corruption is running rampant. The funny thing is that I grew up
in HP. My mom still lives there. Thanks
comments = whoever developed this website if you could make one like
this for inglewood city council members it would be off the chain
comments = You should expand this effort to include more
entities. Keep-up the good work
comments = dear people what happened to accountability san diego has
the same problems keep up the good work
name = M. Mena
comments = This is a great PUBLIC SERVICE! Why do people run for
city council? Laptop computers (plus free technical support$) that can
be used for personal business, are just one of the perc's.
comments = Hi, Just noticed your site via the GardenGroveResidents
Yahoo user group. We have started an Orange County site that focuses
on Police and
Judicial activities. This format could be expanded to any county in any
state. We have also considered inclusion of local government activities
too. Any comment regarding our site would be greatly appreciated.
name = C. Zaldivar Motts
comments = Nice website! Please add me to your emailing list. Thanks.
name = MTA
comments = Saw the article in the L. A. Times on Saturday. You're
doing great work. Keep it up!
My brothers and I are former residents on HP. In fact, I was actually
born there in Mission Hospital. We regard HP as our home town and
are always saddened to hear about the scandals. We're very glad that
someone is working to keep those people honest.
comments = Keep up the good work! As a former elected official who
represented Huntington Park during my 3 terms it pains me to see the
good people of that community being taken advantage of.
name = Wangsness
comments = You perform a very valuable public service in reporting
the facts about city affairs. Keep up the good work.
comments = I would like to converse with the founder of this web page
for the purpose of writing an article to be published in Hoy newspaper,
the new spanish language Tribune publication in Los Angeles. We will
respect your request for anonymity. Please contact me. Thank you.
critiques, for the
like South Gate,
from as far
and other parts
of the world.
and a keen
and their use of