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Proud of Canoga Park

May 21, 1987

In reference to your (May 10) article "All Miffed: Those In or Out of West Hills," I object. Robert Hechtman is quoted as saying that Canoga Park has a bad reputation. With whom? I ask.

It would appear that Hechtman, Lil Younger, and the West Hills Property Assn. can see no further than the nearest dollar sign. Canoga Park has always been a small, warm, rural town. The shops are quaint (OK, except for the Pussycat Theater and the sex book shop--but those add color). The people are genial and gentle. We have an industrial section offering jobs for our people. We have an older section which attests to our history. We have a blend of nationalities and economic groups paralleling cities and towns everywhere. Unfortunately, we now have a newly monied caste which wants to and has almost succeeded in separating Canoga Park citizens, bringing hurt and dissension, jealousy and distrust into our midst.

The remainder of the article quoted real estate agent after real estate agent wanting the name change so they can claim exclusivity and higher cost prizes (oops, prices) on houses in the area. Not mentioned anywhere by anybody is the cost to the human psyche that disassociation from our roots (namely our town, Canoga Park) would inflict.

We have nothing to be ashamed of and everything to be proud of. Insurance companies and real estate companies do not play the tune we dance to. We cannot lose sight of who we are as a community. We cannot allow outsiders to tarnish our self-esteem in trade for the almighty dollar.

I and my family may live within the newly set West Hills boundaries (we have lived here 24 years); but we will always say, "We're from Canoga Park and proud of it!"

JAN BEASTROM

Canoga Park

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