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South Bay Digest

San Pedro : Board OKs 2 Soccer Fields

October 15, 1987

The Los Angeles Recreation and Parks Commission has unanimously approved plans to build two new soccer fields at one park and to rename another after Martin J. Bogdanovich.

The board last week approved a 25-year lease with the county for 10 acres on the southeast corner of Friendship Park. The city will pay no rent under the terms of the lease, but will maintain the land and construct the soccer fields.

The board also voted to rename San Pedro Recreation Center the Martin J. Bogdanovich Recreation Center, after the San Pedro community activist and founder of Star-Kist Foods. Star-Kist was once a major employer in the area. Another city park of the same name was turned over to the Air Force for housing earlier this year.

The votes, which follow the recommendations of a citizens advisory committee, come at a time of intense concern in San Pedro over a shortage of athletic facilities for young people. At an emotional hearing earlier in the week, a coalition of youth groups demanded that 35 acres of the undeveloped White Point Park be set aside for a city-operated youth sports complex, rather than a state park and nature preserve.

The coalition's spokesman, Mike Lansing, said he is "not very pleased" with the commissioners' action. Before he resigned from the citizens advisory committee last week, Lansing was the sole member to vote against renaming San Pedro Recreation Center after Bogdanovich. He said that park was the only one in the area that bore San Pedro's name.

"We're changing names around and not adding anything new," Lansing said, adding that if his group prevails at White Point, it will ask that the sports complex be named after Bogdanovich.

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