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VALLEY FOCUS | Pacoima

Humphrey Invited to Rededicate Park

July 02, 1998|TOM SCHULTZ

Local officials hope Minnesota Atty. Gen. Hubert Humphrey III will help rededicate a park named for his father, Hubert H. Humphrey, who served as vice president under President Lyndon B. Johnson.

Officials said the ceremony would symbolize recent efforts to improve safety at Hubert H. Humphrey Memorial Park, the site of a shooting Aug. 17 that killed ex-Kennedy High School football star Jaret Harris.

Harris, 18, was riding through the park on a motor scooter at the time of his death.

"It has been one of the parks that needed a lot of help," said Edward Kussman, president of the Pacoima Chamber of Commerce. "We want to have it safe for everybody."

Veronica Rodriguez, who helps oversee the park for the Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks, said the rededication will likely take place in August or September and be accompanied by a cleanup and repairs.

Hubert Humphrey served as vice president from 1963 to 1969. North Pacoima Park, located at Dronfield Avenue and Filmore Street, was renamed Humphrey Memorial Park shortly after his death in 1978.

Along with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota, Hubert Humphrey III helped secure a $6.6-billion settlement in a lawsuit against the tobacco industry this spring.

"I know he's really tied up there," Kussman said. "We're waiting for him to set a date because we can't afford to pay his way."

To help persuade Humphrey to attend, Kussman said he has contacted Los Angeles City Councilman Richard Alarcon, Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Los Angeles) and Rep. Howard L. Berman (D-Mission Hills).

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