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Community Identity and TV Coverage

December 25, 1988

Now that the NFL playoffs will include the Los Angeles Rams, the citizens of Orange County may still be subjected to an acute identity crisis. The odds for a Super Bowl win are slim, but if this occurs, a question of geography and community pride surfaces.

Where will they hold the ticker-tape parade? Does Mayor Tom Bradley still claim this Orange County team? Will the stars of Hollywood grace Anaheim Stadium and then follow the team bus an hour north to downtown Los Angeles? Will the Los Angeles-based electronic media envelop our Orange County team in its "Southland" umbrella?

These may not be idle questions as our diverse, thriving county sputters through multiple urban snarls during its centennial year. A lack of identity permeates the 714 area code. Other than the Orange County Performing Arts Center, community pride is isolated to Mickey Mouse's Main Street. But unlike the real Fantasyland, health care, housing, transportation, air quality and crime are issues that can't be swept behind the ticket booth.

But how do we address these problems, and what does this have to do with Anaheim Stadium? Our first priority is to base electronic media coverage of our community in Orange County. A local network news affiliate would focus attention on issues that are crucial to our future. Local advertisers would undoubtedly welcome and support this. Constant news reports of Los Angeles gang murders or the latest crackdown on crack cocaine are interesting; however, coverage of our collapsing trauma care system, the development of the south county, transportation solutions and the consistent and expanding haze over our valley would better serve our community.

Print media is important, but the masses are moved by the airwaves. Electronic neglect of these topics and others fosters public indecision. Our tourists may continue to be confused as they land at the John Wayne, Costa Mesa, Newport, Laguna, Orange County Airport and the Rams may drive up the Santa Ana Freeway for confetti, but we'll always know where we live and work when we turn on the news.

This brings me to my final question. If the California Angels ever win the World Series, where will they hold the ticker-tape parade, Sacramento?

VANCE GARDNER

Irvine

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