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LA River in Metropolis Magazine

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  • mel
    Check out this excellent story in the February issue of Metropolis Magazine. On your local newstands now or on the web at:
    Message 1 of 3 , Feb 1, 2001
      Check out this excellent story in the February issue of Metropolis
      Magazine. On your local newstands now or on the web at:
      http://www.metropolismag.com/new/feb_01_content/river.htm
    • Blake Gumprecht
      Hi: Now that the Metropolis article is out, I feel compelled to share with river watchers a letter-to-the-editor I wrote in response to the article, which did
      Message 2 of 3 , Feb 2, 2001
        Hi:

        Now that the Metropolis article is out, I feel compelled to share with
        river watchers a letter-to-the-editor I wrote in response to the article,
        which did not accurately present my views.

        I'd also like to take this opportunity to inform everyone that a paperback
        edition of my Los Angeles River book (with a new preface) will be published
        soon by the Johns Hopkins University Press. It is due out in March.

        Regards,

        Blake Gumprecht

        ==========================================

        15 January 2001

        Editor:

        Adam Davidson's analysis of current debate over the Los Angeles River
        ("Wild and Free," February 2001) is more perceptive and nuanced than most
        of what has been written about the river recently, but he also gets a few
        things wrong.

        Los Angeles was founded as a pueblo (an agricultural village) not a mission
        (a religious facility developed to help covert non-Christians). Floods from
        the Los Angeles River have not killed more people than earthquakes in Los
        Angeles, though floods throughout the region have (as I told your
        fact-checker). Forests did not likely once cover "most of what is now the
        city" of Los Angeles; the vast San Fernando Valley was grassland. The river
        bed north of downtown Los Angeles today is not "dirt," but cobblestone that
        allows water to percolate above ground and vegetation to take root. Many
        people other than taggers and dumpers now visit the river, at least on its
        less-blighted stretches. To suggest that Friends of the Los Angeles River
        did not make its mark until Melanie Winter was hired as executive director
        in 1997 grossly underestimates the impact of founder Lewis MacAdams and
        others.

        In addition, the way in which Davidson quotes me seriously distorts my
        views. The placement of my comments suggest that I disagree with Winter
        that the varieties of vegetation that once grew along the river varied
        geographically. This is an unassailable fact. Nor do I disagree with all
        aspects of alternative proposals for the Chinatown (aka Cornfield yards)
        site. My criticism is limited to a proposition for development of a San
        Antonio-like river walk that would include restaurants, shops, and a canal
        dug from the river to the site along the historic route of the city's main
        irrigation ditch. Most of the rest of the proposals are wonderful ideas for
        reinvigorating a neighborhood. I support them without reservation, although
        few have much to do with the river.

        Blake Gumprecht
        Lecturer, Department of Geography, University of Oklahoma
        Author, The Los Angeles River: Its Life, Death and Possible Rebirth
      • NickJeri Santangelo
        Great story! Thanks for that. __________________________________________________ Get personalized email addresses from Yahoo! Mail - only $35 a year!
        Message 3 of 3 , Feb 2, 2001
          Great story! Thanks for that.

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