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CARSON : Firm Upgrades Park in Lieu of $8,000 Fine

March 03, 1994|MARY GUTHRIE

Carson Little Leaguers won't be wading through weeds and scrambling over a bumpy outfield thanks to a deal that allowed a Wilmington firm to do community service rather than pay an $8,000 traffic fine.

The Los Angeles Police Department cited Stan-Dur Steel Products in October for operating an overweight vehicle without a permit. When attorneys for Stan-Dur appeared in court, they asked the judge for leniency when imposing the fine on the family-run equipment rental company, said Dan Jeffries of the Los Angeles city attorney's office.

Los Angeles Municipal Court Judge Keith Schwartz agreed to let the company clean up the Freeway Little League Field instead of paying the fine.

"It's really common for individuals to do community service for their fine. It's rare--but not without precedent--for a company," Jeffries said.

For the last eight years about 200 Freeway Little League players have chased pop flies and slid across the hard packed dirt on a piece of privately owned land near Main Street and Del Amo Boulevard, said league President Phil Evans.

Jacob Esperanto, Stan-Dur's chief of operations, knew about the rough field conditions because his son plays Little League. Even before the company was fined, Esperanto had offered a low bid to renovate the field, Evans said.

Since mid-February, Stan-Dur employees have been grading, seeding, planting and sprucing up the field, Evans said. They also gave the league $2,000 to purchase equipment and uniforms. The project is scheduled to be completed before the league's opening day March 26.

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