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No Fair to the Basin

January 30, 1987

It would seem that the sun would have a better chance of sneaking past a rooster than a piece of property in the San Fernando Valley remaining undeveloped.

Now an Orange County-based "consultant" has come up with a scheme to turn our Sepulveda Basin into a home for the San Fernando Valley Fair.

Let's set the record straight. Fairs and fairgrounds simply can't exist on a three- or four-day annual run. To pay staff salaries and consultant fees--to say nothing of maintenance and expansion--fairgrounds must lease their facilities to everything from automobile sales to swap meets to hot-rod shows to pop and rock concerts to God-knows-what else.

The San Fernando Valley Fair attracts some 50,000 visitors to its current site at Devonshire Downs (CSUN North Campus). However, the vast majority come for the carnival rides, games, pop music and nightly fireworks, not to look at bunny rabbits and milk goats. The truth is that a 50,000-plus attendance out of a Valley population of 1.3 million is pretty dismal, indeed. And, without state agricultural district funds (read that as tax dollars), the San Fernando Valley Fair would be long ago bankrupt.

The San Fernando Valley Fair is an idea whose time has gone. Let the fair affiliate with the Los Angeles County Fair or even the Ventura County Fair.

But leave our blessed patch of greenery called the Sepulveda Basin free of cow barns, music amphitheaters, parking lots and Ferris wheels. If the proposed 55-acre National Guard site does become available, we need more areas for tennis courts, jogging trails, golf, personal fitness, picnic facilities, children's play and such.

We do not need construction in the last remaining open area of the Valley. It just isn't fair.

BENNETT J. MINTZ

Encino

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