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 Post subject: Re: VHGC in the media
PostPosted: Wed Feb 23, 2011 10:09 am 
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Obviously, Mr. Carney of GLENDALE doesnt live up here in the Foothills, and doesnt have to put up with our traffic on the 210 and TCB. He was probably FOR the Gregg Development above the Oakmont Country Club; you know, that ugly blight of houses that have permanently scarred our hillside there, the one you can see from the 210 in La Canada.
But, Mr Carney is right...nothing lasts forever. Maybe he needs to be put in a rest home, as living in his own home cannot be allowed to last forever.


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 Post subject: Re: VHGC in the media
PostPosted: Thu Feb 24, 2011 6:22 pm 
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Funny you should make that comment about the Oakmont developments. Yesterday I was driving north on the 2 freeway and glanced west towards the mountains. I know those developments are on the hillside but yesterday the massive congestion of stucco and roofs, densely packed one against the other, stood out more than usual. Beautiful hillsides and mountain ridges broken up/divided by this urban sprawl of construction. I'm grateful that VOICE and the people of Glendale and the foothills stopped Oakmont 5.


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 Post subject: Re: VHGC in the media
PostPosted: Fri Feb 25, 2011 10:22 am 
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Yes, KarenZ, We need to hammer home how the VHGC area would look like if it went through...not to mention the traffic at the210 and La Tuna Canyon and TCB.


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 Post subject: Letter to Editor: 'Course demolition would harm area'
PostPosted: Sun Feb 27, 2011 8:44 pm 
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Karen Keehne Zimmerman
"Course demolition would harm area"
Glendale News-Press
February 24, 2011

A recent letter regarding the Verdugo Hills Golf Course suggests demolition of the golf course would create all kinds of retail jobs (“Close that open space and put people to work,” Feb. 22).

This is not true. The proposed project, 229 four- and five-bedroom houses, would create construction jobs, not long-term retail.

The writer may also be unaware the city of Los Angeles has already approved 223 houses less than a mile west of the Verdugo Hills Golf Course. In 2005, the L.A. City Council OK’d Canyon Hills/Whitebird, a large housing project in the undeveloped canyons and hillsides adjacent to La Tuna Canyon Road and the Foothill (210) Freeway. The project entrance will be constructed off of La Tuna Canyon Road near the westbound freeway onramp.

Add the proposed 229 houses on the golf course to Canyon Hills’s 223 units, and that brings the total to more than 450 new houses. Multiply that figure by two or three vehicles per unit and Paul Carney might better understand one of the other reasons many in our foothill communities want the Verdugo Hills Golf Course preserved for recreation — something Southland cities already find in short supply.

Karen Keehne Zimmerman
La Crescenta


Editor's note: Zimmerman is a member of Volunteers Organized in Conserving the Environment and the Sunland-Tujunga Alliance.

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 Post subject: 'Golf course provides a place to relax'
PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2011 1:02 am 
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Another Letter to the Editor in response to Paul Carney's comments:

Armen G. Derian - Letter to the Editor
'Golf course provides a place to relax'
Glendale News-Press
February 27, 2011

This is in response to Paul D. Carney's Feb. 22 letter, “Close that open space and put people to work.”

Sadly, it is Carney who needs to get a life, or at least a clue, and understand that many, if not most of the residents of Tujunga and the Crescenta Valley, indeed do care about the Verdugo Hills Golf Course and preserving it as a valued aspect of our community.

I live in the area and work in downtown Glendale. I take my kids, every Saturday morning, to the golf course for a golf lesson. I look forward to the days when my son and I can spend a morning together, walking the course, and spending some relaxing, quality time together.

Unless the residents of the area stay vigilant in their opposition to tearing our golf course down, it will be just a matter of time before “bulldozers move in and [we'll] have new apartments, a Target and a Starbucks.”

It’s not that I don't love Target or Starbucks, I do. Why, I am even fond of bulldozers. It’s just that we don't need them, or any new apartments in that part of town, and they will do nothing for our property values.

Maybe we should drive those bulldozers over to Carney's home and see what they can do. I hear the Americana at Brand wants to expand.

Armen G. Derian
Glendale

Source: http://www.glendalenewspress.com/news/opinion/tn-gnp-0227-mailbag,0,3253876.story?page=2
Scroll part way down page to find Derian's letter.


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 Post subject: " Letter was awfully short-sighted"
PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2011 1:08 am 
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Judy Seelig - Letter to the Editor
" Letter was awfully short-sighted"
Glendale News-Press
March 1, 2011


I read with utter disbelief the Feb. 22 letter by Paul D. Carney titled “Close that open space and put people to work.”

How anyone could have such a short-sighted opinion is beyond me. Carney, I invite you to visit the Verdugo Hills Golf Course on a Saturday or Sunday and see all the “nobodys” that don't care about the course. These “nobodys” range from kids who are just a little taller than their golf clubs to octogenarians who still relish the game.

And then there are all the “nobodys” in the Glendale-Crescenta Volunteers Organized in Conserving the Environment who are leading the Save the Golf Course effort. These “nobodys” have held fundraisers, put up signs and written numerous letters to government officials to glean support, among other efforts.

And, please don't forget our Los Angeles County supervisor, Mike Antonovich, another “nobody” who has pledged $1.7 million in the hope that a coalition of government entities can purchase the course.

Judy Seelig
La Crescenta

Source: http://www.glendalenewspress.com/news/o ... 4051.story

Seelig's letter is the second one on the page. Although the letter was posted to the newspaper website, it did not appear in the print edition. We hope the newspaper will run it in a future edition.

Update: Seelig's letter was published in today's GlendaleNews-Press,
March 1, 2011. They also published a letter about the VHGC by Bill Caruso. As soon as it is posted to the newspaper website, we'll add it here.


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 Post subject: Attitude is one that developers love
PostPosted: Tue Mar 08, 2011 1:09 am 
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Attitude is one that developers love
Glendale News-Press
March 4, 2011

Regarding Paul Carney's Feb. 22 letter, “Close that open space and put people to work,” I am compelled to chime in, because I was involved with land-use issues in the Crescenta Valley for years.

Carney's admonishments that “nobody cares about the Verdugo Hills Golf Course,” and “nothing lasts forever,” represent the kind of attitude that developers hope for when they propose projects that are mostly in their own interests.

After all, it's private property, no? “What business does anyone have telling me what to do?” say the developers.

I witnessed first-hand the efforts of Whitebird/Canyon Hills, the mega-project just west of the Verdugo Hills Golf Course, to rewrite land-use laws and redefine zoning to its benefit. Where did the original Community Plan, land-use rules and zoning designations come from? A decades-long process of community participation and democratic voting.

When government works well for people, government and the ground rules it establishes are a good counter-weight to the greedy.

I'm not aware of anyone in the general area of the golf course development (including the part of Glendale that is in the Crescenta Valley) who thinks it's a good idea. A profit-driven developer over-paid for the property in hopes of making an outsized profit. He may think he's proposed adequate mitigations to all the harm his project will create, but he doesn't have to suffer with the problems like the rest of us must.

Listen to the people who will be most affected for the best advice on what to build (or not) in our neighborhoods.

Steve Crouch
Tujunga

Editor’s note: Crouch was president of the former group, Canyon Area Preservation.

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 Post subject: Oakmont V, the VHGC, and trees.....
PostPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2011 1:21 am 
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Dan Kimber's March 4th column, "Are dollars lovelier than trees?"

Back when the biggest housing development in Glendale’s history, Oakmont V, was proposed, I had a question about oak trees that was never answered.

Like most of people in our community, I was opposed to extending Oakmont IV, arguably the most unsightly development in our city’s history, and I was interested to know how it was that a developer was able to side-step ordinances in place that protect our magnificent oaks. Variances were granted back then, as likely they will be again for yet another developer who proposes to gouge out our local mountains with hundreds of condos and remove our beloved Verdugo Hills Golf Course, adding insult to injury.

I have two oak trees on my property and am quite aware of laws in place that prevent me from trimming branches of a certain size, as well as laws that penalize tree services from working on oak trees at any time other than the summer months. There is a concerted effort to protect and save these old beauties, and yet, I’ll ask again: Why do I need to get special permission to even trim an oak on my own property while a developer could legally destroy a whole forest of them, some of which are more than 300 years old?

What special dispensation is given to businesses (developers) to do, en masse, what the law clearly prohibits each and every homeowner in the area from doing? What circumvention of the law is granted that allows a single business to supersede the longstanding commitment of a community to preserve a vital portion of its natural environment?

I suspect the answer has something to do with money, as it often does. If it can move mountains to cram more people into an area, it can surely uproot “protected” trees that are in their way. On the other hand, if a variance is granted on the basis of the public good being served, then something is definitely wrong. The opposition to the Verdugo Hills project has been overwhelming, so whose good are we referring to?

Then again, will the hundreds of proposed condos fill some “need,” as the promoters of Oakmont V insisted? I would ask, who needs yet more housing units on our hillsides, more overcrowding in our schools, more congestion on our roads, more consumption of precious resources, more destruction of our natural environment?

And while we’re on the subject of trees, here’s another thought for the greater beautification of our communities up in the foothills. Considering that the main streets in La Cañada Flintridge and Montrose owe much of their beauty and charm to the trees planted within their main thoroughfares, why not round out that lovely picture and bring some of that beauty and charm to La Crescenta?

A median of trees planted between Briggs and Lowell avenues would transform the look and the feel of a town that presently serves its inhabitants well but is, by any definition, drab and uninviting. My understanding is that proposals to plant the trees were shot down by only a few merchants along Foothill who complained that their businesses would be negatively impacted.

That has me scratching my head. I would think that each and every merchant along that stretch of road would benefit from a more welcoming and naturally beautiful environment.

Be that as it may, I find it interesting that a handful of business owners could have their way on this when the suggestion to plant the trees has already met with widespread approval. Once again, it is the almighty buck that reigns supreme.

And so to my fellow tree huggers I offer up this familiar poem by Joyce Kilmer entitled, “Trees.” Perhaps it might remind some of us of the need to be more proactive in our determination to create beauty and more vigilant in our efforts to preserve it.

“I think that I shall never see

A poem lovely as a tree.

A tree whose hungry mouth is prest

Against the earth's sweet flowing breast;

A tree that looks at God all day,

And lifts her leafy arms to pray;

A tree that may in Summer wear

A nest of robins in her hair;

Upon whose bosom snow has lain;

Who intimately lives with rain.

Poems are made by fools like me,

But only God can make a tree.”


DAN KIMBER taught in the Glendale Unified School District for more than 30 years. He may be reached at DKimb8@sbcglobal.net.


Source: http://www.glendalenewspress.com/news/o ... 1956.story


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 Post subject: Re: VHGC in the media
PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2011 3:11 pm 
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Government

StudioCityPatch
May 26, 2011

Krekorian Pushes for Prop O Funds
In front of the advisory committee, Krekorian argued for more funds.

Councilmember Paul Krekorian on Wednesday reiterated his support for community-generated plans to save the Verdugo Hills Golf Course and Studio City Golf & Tennis from development, telling a citizen oversight committee he believes money from a voter-approved bond can be used to preserve the two beloved community institutions as open space.

Krekorian told the Proposition O Citizens Oversight Advisory Committee that funds from the measure should be used to pay for the Verdugo Hills Stormwater Project, in Tujunga, and the Los Angeles River Natural Park project, in Studio City.

"These projects have a lot in common," said Councilmember Krekorian in front of advocates for both sites. "Both involve beautiful open space properties that have been treasured for decades in our communities; both are threatened with development projects that would forever change their natural character, destroy the open space and negatively impact the waterways on which they lie.

"Most importantly, both have the potential to capture and clean runoff from hundreds of acres of land -- runoff that flows directly into the Verdugo Wash, the L.A. River and out to the sea."

In 2004, Los Angeles voters overwhelmingly approved Proposition O, which authorized the City to issue a series of general obligation bonds for projects that protect public health by cleaning up the city’s polluted or trash-strewn waterways, beaches and/or the ocean to meet federal clean water guidelines.

In addition, the measure is intended to fund water quality improvements, provide flood protection, increase water conservation and protect open space. In that vein, the bonds allow the City to purchase property and/or improve municipal properties for projects that, among other things, protect rivers, conserve and protect drinking water, and capture, clean up and reuse storm water.

In the Second Council District, no project has ever been funded using Proposition O funds and just four sites in the San Fernando Valley have tapped the bond measure’s financial source. Krekorian argued to the Committee that the time had come for that to change.

Using Proposition O money on projects at the Verdugo Hills Golf Course and Studio City Golf and Tennis would be "feasible, affordable, and highly impactful," Krekorian said.

"These two projects will not only clean up the storm water runoff but will also recharge the aquifer with hundreds of acre feet of water a year," he continued.

"These two projects present a rare opportunity for the City of Los Angeles to make a major water quality impact while also preserving these vital contributors to the quality of life, character and history of these communities.

"They will present a dramatic example of the benefits of storm water recapture and groundwater recharge, while enhancing our environment, preserving open space and creating green jobs. I strongly support Prop O funding for each of these projects and stand ready to assist in seeing them completed."

A report on its feasibility is due next month.

Source: http://studiocity.patch.com/articles/krekorian-pushes-for-prop-o-funds

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 Post subject: Re: VHGC in the media
PostPosted: Thu Jun 02, 2011 5:14 pm 
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City looks into buying Verdugo Hills, Weddington golf coursesDana Bartholomew
Daily News
May 28, 2011

Ron Murphy stepped up to the No. 1 tee on Friday for his first-ever round at Verdugo Hills Golf Course.

Only 65 yards to the pin, he went for some heavy wood.

"Hit that sucker right -- now I know where the tree is," said Murphy, 53, of North Hollywood, his ball careening off a sturdy oak, then bouncing onto the fairway. "Story of my life.

"For the amount of money they ask you to play 18 holes, this is one beautiful place."

For a half-century, duffers and their kids have learned to play golf at the Tujunga short course located at the foot of the

Ron Murphy plays the first hole at the Verdugo Hills Golf Course in Tujunga on May 27, 2011. The city of Los Angeles is conducting discussions with various agencies about the possibility of purchasing this course and the Weddington Golf Course in Studio City using revenue from bonds or other funding. (John McCoy/Staff Photographer) San Gabriel Mountains.
Across the San Fernando Valley, generations of golfers have also made the rounds at the 9-hole Weddington Golf & Tennis facility in Studio City.

In the past decade, both historic courses have been threatened by development. And proposals at both venues have been bitterly fought by neighbors hoping to protect parks, open space and native habitat.

Now City Councilman Paul Krekorian has hatched a plan to save both golf courses -- and catch, clean and store stormwater runoff.

Last week, Krekorian called on a clean-water bond program to buy both properties to create a Verdugo Hills Stormwater Project and a Los Angeles River Natural Park.

"Preserving these two pieces of open space in a way that would become an asset to the city are among my highest priorities," said Krekorian, whose sprawling District 2 encompasses both golf courses.

"They present, really, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to create a model for environmental protection, and create a transformative (space) for the people of this community."

Proposition O bonds, approved seven years ago by Los Angeles voters, allow the city to spend $500 million to improve local water quality to federal clean water standards.

It has funded projects to reduce flooding, protect the ocean and use local parks to capture polluted stormwater, then naturally clean and store it underground.

Eco-benefits expected

Since its inception, however, only four Proposition O projects have been conducted in the Valley, including a $2.2million wetlands restoration at Hansen Dam Recreation Area.
Krekorian said city sanitation engineers will soon submit a report on the cost and eco-benefits of the proposed golf course-stormwater collection parks.

A preliminary study said they would recharge the aquifer with hundreds of acre-feet of water a year.

The report will be submitted to a Proposition O Citizens Oversight Advisory Committee, which must approve the parks.

Their cost would depend on a negotiated price for both properties.

Buying the golf courses -- which could run into the tens of millions -- could be funded by Proposition O bonds and other government funds, Krekorian said.

The golf course parks would be owned by the city or a joint powers agreement agency, he said.

"Both projects preserve some of the recreational aspects that are there now, and will preserve open space, capture stormwater, recharge groundwater and protect native habitat," Krekorian said.

"People will look back 50 years from now and say how wonderful it was that we saved these parks."

Controversy has plagued plans

A couple of golfers at the Weddington Golf and Tennis Club. (Dean Musgrove/Staff Photographer) to develop each golf course.
Condos opposed in past
The fight over the formerly named Studio City Golf & Tennis Club erupted a decade ago over a plan to build 200 condominiums for seniors.
Backers of a nature park have opposed the condos, saying they would cause congestion around one of the last chunks of rustic L.A. River land.

The family that has owned the club for a century, however, said it still plans to build the four-story condos. And its representative said he'd never even heard about the Proposition O plan.

"It's enough to drive you crazy," said Guy Weddington McCreary, whose family owns the 16-acre golf and tennis complex. "It just seems unreal to me.

"How can they say they can come up with the money to buy my land and build a park when parks are closing everywhere? It's like stealing from Peter to pay Paul."

McCreary said he'd consider selling the Whitsett Avenue complex for $60 million.

It was in 2004 that MWH Development/Snowball West Investments bought the Verdugo Hills Golf Course, then submitted plans to replace it with 229 homes.

Neighbors bitterly fought the demise of the 58-acre golf course, the site of a former waystation during World War II for interned Japanese-Americans.

Residents hail water plan

Without a zoning variance, the developer could build just 16 homes. MWH Development, which had paid $7.6 million, has reportedly placed a value of up to $20 million for property on La Tuna Canyon Road.

The Tarzana-based company did not return calls Friday.

Meanwhile, residents hailed the Proposition O proposal.
"It's the first really bright sign to possibly get the funding," said Karen Keehne Zimmerman of the Save the Golf Course coalition. "This would definitely be a win-win -- not only saving the golf course, but saving water."

Across the verdant course within earshot of the 210 Freeway, golfers made their rounds or teed off from its driving range.

They said the Verdugo Hills Golf Course, which opened in 1961, costs $10 for 18 holes. As such, it's one of the few affordable courses in the region open to everyone, including kids.

"It's a must for the community to keep, because there's nothing close," said Dick Saatzer, 78, of La Canada Flintridge, who once managed it, before launching a golf ball 225 yards. "This is regular folks."

"This is a landmark," added Darrel McHenry, 76, of Sunland, who plays the 3-par, 1,789-yard course every day. "Condos would ruin it.

"This looks good, and people around here like it."


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