When the Soviet Union collapsed, it didn’t take that long before Leningrad reverted to its historic name of St. Petersburg — we can only hope and pray that someday the failed political machine that has ruined LA will fall and the names of second-rate politicians and the toadies who serve them will be stripped from public facilities.
In the meantime, we must endure driving past the “Dennis P. Zine Community Center” in Canoga Park as if he had done something great in his life as a servant of the public who has has managed to collect a six-figure city pension for this services as a traffic cop while drawing nearly twice that much as a councilman boastful of his sexual prowess..
And this morning, the Parks and Recreation Commission will consider expanding this great tradition by naming public facilities after themselves when it considers honoring its own president with the flattery of naming an athletic field after Barry Sanders — no, not the great Hall of Fame running back Barry Sanders but the Barry Sanders who got rich as a Latham & Watkins lawyer-lobbyist in the world of international deals.
You know the the effete patron of the arts, the dandy in the bow tie, the Barry Sanders who wants to plaster every surface in every park with commercial advertising to poison the minds of children so they become materialistic slobs and greedy acquisitive adults like the people admires and emulates? Gimme a break.
But that’s what the Parks and Recreation Commission has on its agenda Wednesday, naming the athletic field at Anthony C. Beilenson Park at this Barry Sanders, the man who chairs the Parks Foundation with so many rich heavyweight board members, and is president of the very commission considering the department’s recommendation.
And to top off his commitment to public service, Sanders — whose son Peter is the mayor’s press secretary — serves on the Memorial Coliseum Commission which is gifting the historic facility to USC after having run it into the ground and allowed the management to steal millions of dollars.
So where is the park named after former Congressman Beilenson for no more reason than he was a nice enough guy who held public office, you might wonder. It is at Balboa Park, the vast golfing, sports and recreational area north of Burbank Boulevard in Encino.
If there is a saving grace it is that no one among the tens of thousands of users knows it as Beilenson Park or will ever know the athletic field at Sanders Field.
Oh, the vanity, the waste of signage, the insult to the people who pay the taxes and get nothing but contempt from those in high and mighty places who sell out their interests while praising themselves for their nobility.
Here’s what I told a USA Today reporter for a recent article on this kind of nonsense:
“It used to be that it was a distinguished person who had died or at least reached a very old age. It was meant to honor somebody not just because he held office, but because he achieved things that were generally seen as highly significant. That’s what troubles me — that we cheapen honors.”
Just how cheap was put into focus a little over a year ago by SoCal Connected on KCET in a segment produced by Karen Foshay entitled “Show Me the Money: Billboards in the Park,” which included posting online documents showing how Sanders used his dual parks role to push his advertising in the parks scheme, even setting rates on the Parks Foundation website.