CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 2, 1997 |
In an impassioned letter to Mayor Richard Riordan, Los Angeles housing czar Gary Squier has called for a major shift in the way the city attacks blight and decay in its poorest neighborhoods. Squier, who in January returned from a seven-month stint working for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, said Los Angeles faces a grim future unless it develops a long-term, citywide recovery plan. Current city policy, Squier said, is too focused on limited, short-term goals.
May 19, 1996 |
After scouring the San Gabriel Valley for months looking for a historic home in their price range, Michael and Bonnie Bone were ready to give up. Everything was either too expensive, too ugly or in too rough a neighborhood. As their search moved steadily east from Pasadena (too expensive), they began to despair. Then a real estate agent mentioned a quaint neighborhood called Lincoln Park. Their hopes soared until the agent told them it was in Pomona. The Bones didn't know a lot about this older city on the eastern edge of Los Angeles County, but they had heard it had high crime, urban blight and other problems.
December 12, 1995 |
Slicing through another heavy sheet of construction paper, Jerome McGee, 10 1/2, his stocky, gluey fingers pressed through the finger holes of blunt-edged scissors, talks onlookers through a tour of his morning creation. Jutting out of the tabletop like a centerpiece of exotic blooms, his paper structure is an explosion of colors and shapes--curlicues, arches, spheres. McGee sounds like the proud chief architect touring the site, missing only his hard hat.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 9, 1994 |
Signs of urban blight such as illegal dumping, front-yard parking and substandard housing are becoming more frequent in Oxnard, according to an annual report by the city's Code Enforcement Division. Community leaders have criticized Oxnard officials for failing to curb the city's growing code violations. But Richard K. McIntosh, the city's code enforcement chief, said he simply does not have enough resources to combat the deluge of infractions.
July 24, 1994 |
With a thousand-yard stare, Diane Haywood gazes past the rusty marquee of the Cloud 9 Motel in Cypress, scoffing at the sign's metallic, cartoon-like cloud turned neon nest for a family of pigeons. "Ha! This joint ain't no Cloud Nine, that's for sure," she says ruefully. "Cloud Nine means being on Easy Street, someplace like heaven. This place is more Motel Hell."
November 28, 1992 |
To the extent you can find a slum in Canada at all, the downtown east side of this spectacular coastal city is a good place to look. Just a short walk from Vancouver's heart of glistening high-rises, blocks from stunning views of the harbor and of tree-covered mountains rushing down to the Pacific, the downtown east side is, by official reckoning, the poorest urban neighborhood in Canada. For residents of these mean streets, the average monthly income is about $400.
November 4, 1992 |
Donald Kreipl felt cheated. For his 40th birthday, he flew here from Germany to celebrate with "the heavy metal rockers who hang out in Hollywood." But after roaming Hollywood Boulevard for two days, he said, he'd seen only tacky shops, littered streets, crime and poverty. "What happened to all the rock stars?" he asked, tugging at his leather-studded vest and faded jeans. "I heard that they were all over the place." Jama Purser of Chapel Hill, N.C.
May 17, 1992 |
Businessmen and women come here to make deals. Tourists come for the theater, music and opera, the museums and galleries. Almost nobody comes to see the public gardens. So it may surprise some visitors to learn that New York City also has, amid its daunting masses of concrete and steel, its mile after blighted mile of urban squalor, some of the finest public gardens in the country.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 29, 1991 |
Los Angeles' first citywide survey of graffiti damage found that 2,300 single family homes, 2,200 apartments and 2,400 commercial buildings had been marred, officials said Monday. The highest concentrations appear to be in South-Central and East Los Angeles, and in Pacoima in the San Fernando Valley, according to a two-month survey by meter readers working for the Department of Water and Power. Each of those communities had at least 300 graffiti occurrences per ZIP code area.
September 15, 1991 |
Ugly scrawlings of graffiti on walls and other objects are pervasive in Baldwin Park. Weed-filled vacant lots--littered with abandoned furniture, mounds of trash and junked cars--dot the city. To resident Jean Martens, the blight was so overwhelming that it gave her a sinking feeling. "It was almost like it was a contagious disease that was just going to keep spreading and spreading and never go away," she said. The gang markings and the trash made Ralph Miller angry. "It just bothered me.