Dog park or people park?

Well it’s election time again. After eight years of absolutely no progress in getting some long sought-after and desperately needed open space for Wrigley Heights children, Councilmember Tonia Uranga is having a meeting with residents– to determine what kind of DOG park the city will build here. Because it would have to be so close to homes, I believe most residents don’t want a dog park at all. But no survey has ever been taken to actually find out. Instead the canine park is being forced upon us, apparently in an attempt to make the councilwoman look good to the rest of her district in an election year.

I love dogs (and cats, too). But locals worked very hard for many years to get the city to buy two parcels of land (one at Baker Street and Golden Avenue, the other on Golden just north of Wardlow Road), specifically for open space for PEOPLE. The city received two government grants for these properties. One was for $2 million to purchase the properties. Since they only cost around $1.3 million total, where’s the other $700,000? And in July 2007, Los Angeles County Supervisor Don Knabe obtained $500,000 for Long Beach, earmarked specifically to build a community park at Golden and Baker. His press release stated:

Baker Mini-Park Development ($500,000)
This project will develop a 1.34-acre neighborhood mini-park in the Wrigley Heights area of Long Beach near the Los Angeles River and the 405 Freeway. The project consists of installation of: irrigation, playground equipment, turf and trees, and picnic tables.

The property remains an empty dirt field. That means a total of $1.2 million should be left from the two grants. Surely the city can do better than a dog park for that kind of money.

Wendell Anthony
Long Beach

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