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Valley Perspective

Community Name Changes

November 08, 1998

I have lived in Van Nuys since 1989 when we bought our house at the peak of the real estate market. I have not had a single bad experience in the 10 years that I have lived here. I am proud of Van Nuys. It is the rest of the Valleyites who turn up their noses when they hear me mention my place of residence. I wish more people of Van Nuys would rise up to its defense. Those who wish to break away are snobs, I would say. The NIMBY crowd!

We bought a house in Van Nuys because that was all we could afford at the time. Do I wish I could move to an area with a better reputation? Sure I do, if I had the money to buy in the $300,000 range. Since I don't, I make the best of my situation. Those who do not like Van Nuys can move too. Nobody is stopping them. They do not have the right to degrade the name of Van Nuys because of their lack of confidence in themselves.


Van Nuys

* Re "Just Call It a Cop-Out," Nov. 1.

Your editorial is a cop-out and just plain wrong. Before you start throwing stones, I'd like to know if the individual(s) who wrote that editorial lives in Van Nuys? Owns property in Van Nuys and has enjoyed the lessening of property values? Has witnessed firsthand the deterioration of that community? Knows where Van Nuys is?

It is easy to criticize those who want to disassociate themselves with an area by either moving away or by changing the name of the community for public relations or other reasons. The Valley Edition of The Times has yet to offer any concrete alternatives or programs to turn around Van Nuys or any other community going through what Van Nuys is experiencing, for that matter. That is the true cop-out.

It is easy to sit in your offices and print that people should solve the problems of the community that they live in. Why don't you show some leadership and address the issues that the people in Van Nuys and elsewhere in the San Fernando Valley are experiencing? Why don't you send reporters out to find root causes instead of reporting symptoms?

Your editorial made the statement that "it's a little like slapping a fresh coat of paint on a house with a damaged foundation." I find that statement very suitable for a daily publication like the Los Angeles Times. Isn't that what you do every day?



* Lately, I have become aware of a trend in our society that is of great concern to me: people refusing to take responsibility for their actions and their situations. Increasingly, I see and hear people denying or blaming or trying to run away from their circumstances. I believe that the proposal to change a portion of the area of Van Nuys to the name Lake Balboa to be just such an attempt to run away from existing problems.

I have no strong feeling either way about a name change. What concerns me, though, is how easily people look to separate from the problems in Van Nuys (and neighboring communities). Rather than working to deal with the circumstances that exist in Van Nuys, it is easier just to run away.

This movement is selfish. It fails to look at the full impact on others. Changing the area name will force business to spend additional money, and these expenses may become higher costs for customers. Changing the area name will also not help those in higher-risk areas who need assistance. Instead it will only create further isolation and increase problems.

I also wonder what will happen five years from now when crime and urban decay creep into this new community. Will we be looking at a proposal to become West Lake Balboa, or East Thousand Oaks? How small can we cut up our community in order to avoid the problems that surround us?

Rather than running away from troublesome situations, both in our homes and in our communities, we need to face them and work to improve them, for our own sake and for the sake of those around us.


Christ the King Lutheran Church

Van Nuys

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