Arnold York’s editorial “Deja vu All Over Again” [March 4] regarding the ball fields doesn’t really tell the complete story. When he says that the state and Little League worked out a deal to allow the ball fields to stay for a while and then move to Bluffs Park, he forgets to add that that move was also a temporary solution. This was quite clear at the time to all parties concerned and was spelled out in the operating agreement and the coast permit.
Subsequently, since the city’s incorporation, it has also been periodically reminded of this. Unfortunately, it appears that the only action the city has chosen to take is to covet Bluffs Park rather than find its own facility. At election time people running for City Council have also found it convenient to criticize the state rather than do the more difficult work of finding local fields.
Last year the city finally said it would look for its own facility and the state agreed to certain temporary improvements at the park. Then in January the city abruptly changed course and returned to the old scenario of trying to acquire land that the state does not wish to transfer. This is the moment that changed a long standing cooperative effort, and the city, not the state precipitated it.
State Parks has been consistent, open and honest in dealing with the city and community in stating our position on temporary use of the area. Last year we took the initiative in approaching the school district to look for alternative sites. This is something the city should have done a long time ago. Now they are actually going to talk to some landowners about the possibility of acquiring land for local recreational use.
What’s the best Mr. York can make of this? In his editorial discussing the temporary ball fields, he says, “We’d like to hear from anyone else who remembers this old battle.” So, while people involved in PARCS and the council search for solutions, the leadership we get from the Times is to dredge up the past. I suppose that will make good ink for a couple of weeks and let people vent. It is a lot easier than addressing the true issue that Malibu must face, and that is that the city must find recreational facilities of its own.
Angeles district superintendent,
California State Parks