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W(Rec)k and Parks: Destroying LA in Order to Save It

The news out of Washington Thursday was that federal officials want to impose tough rules on advertising cereal, soda pop, snacks, happy meals and other foods to
children because of the epidemic of childhood obesity.42424.jpg

characters like Toucan Sam, pitchman for sugar-coated Froot Loops and sedentary online games, was cited as an example of using commercial messages to support unhealthy lifestyle and eating habits.

At LA City Hall on Thursday lies come sugar-coated routinely and truth is lost in all the hot air, the Council Budget Committee took the exact opposite of the childhood obesity epidemic by giving its seal of approval to Park Commission President Barry Sanders’ plan to plaster the zoo and city parks with the poison of commercial messages.

Sanders was thwarted last fall in covering every visible surface of three parks with posters promoting Warner Bros. “Yogi Bear” movie in exchange for a tax-deductible gift of $50,000 to the LA Parks Foundation, which Sanders also runs.

City Attorney Carmen Trutanich invoked the city sign ordinance to stop the madness but Sanders has continued to line up “sponsorships” and “partnerships” and took his case to the Budget Committee where he found support from everyone except Paul Koretz who was squeamish about trashing the parks with advertising.

He told the Budget Committee that corporate sponsors wouldn’t donate to the parks unless they got “recognition,” by which he meant huge signs defacing the parks and not a 2-foot plaque thanking them.

Foaming at the mouth, Greig Smith denounced the City Attorney’s efforts as “egregious,” Rosendahl was befuddled about what the problem with advertising in the parks is and Bernard Parks thought that anything that brings in money is good.

They ordered Chief Legislative to show them how they legally can ignored their own attorney’s advice and cash on making sure kids playing in the parks get the message: Buy, Buy, Buy — That’s what life is all about.

What Smith and the other Council members ought to find egregious is their own behavior in singling out the parks and libraries — the only departments voters endowed with shares of property taxes to protect them — for budget-busting “full cost recovery” requirements.

Parks and libraries — already savaged with massive budget cuts that have forced sharp cuts in services and hours — are being hit with millions of dollars in bills for water, power, trash pickup, early retirement costs among others.

So why not sell fast food and mind candy to kids?

KCET’s SoCal Connected tore apart Sanders’ policy in a January report that came complete with documents showing just how commercial his plan was.

Last week, they updated their report in advance of the budget hearings:

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4 Responses to W(Rec)k and Parks: Destroying LA in Order to Save It

  1. Anonymous says:

    This is America – land of the free. We are free
    to live our own lives and to try our best to save
    some of our income – even ten dollars a month.
    It doesn’t hurt to go to school to learn about
    business, either. It is interesting and valuable.
    There I gave you unrequested advice and it will
    not cost you a dime. We don’t need the government and wives telling us what to do in our
    lifetimes. Good luck.
    BTW, my husband and I leared that we needed to save some money so that we did not have to put
    all our needs on credit cards. Result: we did not buy every cute thing we saw.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I would like to know how many (W)rec and parks commissioners and city council members frequent our parks. Obviously they don’t. Because they don’t have any real idea on concept of green spaces. Real green spaces. Spaces that not only offer recreational relief from our harsh cityscape, but an opportunity to surround ourselves with nature.
    Instead of asking major corporations to sponsor our parks, why don’t the commissioners and council turn to local community representatives (Neighborhood Councils, homeowner groups, Chambers, Business Improvement Districts, etc.) and ask them to help solve the budgetary deficit plaguing our parks. I know we could come up with practical ideas and manpower that would benefit our communities. Unless there is an law against raising money…

  3. E. Nourma Skock says:

    Once again Carmen Trutanich comes to the rescue. He takes a principled stand when all the other city officials are ready to bury their heads in the sand box. Can’t wait til Trutanich becomes D.A. so he can throw all these corrupt city officials in jail where they belong.

  4. Anonymous says:

    If only he would, he’d get my vote. Nourma, do you know something we don’t.

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