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Bond Defeat Hinders Sports Park Project


The defeat Tuesday of an $816-million bond measure for Los Angeles County parks and beaches has crippled plans to build a 33-acre sports park in Glendale, repair the dilapidated Griffith Observatory and refurbish parts of Elysian Park, officials said Wednesday.

Proposition B--the Beaches, Wildlife and Park Land Conservation Act--was approved by nearly 57% of county voters, according to semiofficial results, but needed a two-thirds majority to pass.

The proposition, prepared by the Malibu-based Mountain Recreation and Conservation Authority, would have raised about $338 million for county parks and museums, about $368 million for dozens of cities, $20 million for the Museum of Science and Industry and $90 million for the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy.

The measure would have given Glendale $2.4 million to build a 33-acre sports complex on the east side of the Glendale Freeway, near Fern Lane, with three soccer fields, two baseball fields, picnic facilities and a play area for children.

Without it, the city will have to look in its own coffers or search for hard-to-find grants to build the much-needed complex, said Nello Iacono, director of Parks, Recreation and Community Services.

"The need for this particular facility is significant," Iacono said. "Many organizations have waiting lists of kids wanting to get involved in sports programs, and we have a growing need for an adult sports program."

The proposition would have provided $13 million to the Griffith Observatory to help build a new exhibition and education center, expand parking facilities and make critical repairs to the planetarium theater, the facility's major attraction, said Ed Krupp, director of the observatory.

Its defeat could mean the demise of the theater within five years, because officials have no money to fix a growing number of broken seats and doors and a 26-year-old, outdated projector, Krupp said.

"This place is like a used car, and in this case, it's a '64 clunker," Krupp said. "My guess is that we certainly don't have five years of life in the building. It's going to be difficult to hold it together with safety pins."

Krupp said he will appeal for more money from the city of Los Angeles.

Another $2.2 million from the measure had been designated to build new trails, picnic areas and playgrounds on the undeveloped north side of Elysian Park. The money also would have helped clean a man-made stream and pond in the park on the west side of Stadium Way, said Ted Heyl, a Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks planner.

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