I think what I love about my city most is that citizens can make differences by contacting their elected officials. The outcome may not be exactly as one would like but I am extremely grateful for the phone call I got this morning from L.A. City Councilman Tom LaBonge, himself.
Last week I wrote about the concerns many local hikers had in regard to the removal of the beautiful bench - 'High Bench' - which is considered a landmark by most of us having traversed these hills for many moons. The tourists that come from around the world have sat on this same treasure - dangling their feet while meeting locals. To the readers who contacted the Councilman - your emails and calls got some answers.
Although, our beloved bench will not be returning due to an assessment by Recreation and Parks risk management - benches will be reinstalled within two to three weeks.
I know that LaBonge loves the history of this city and tries to preserve it whenever he can because I know Tom and his wife Brigid. Nothing could be done to stop the removal. Perhaps hikers - aka as the people - weren't clued in by Park and Recreation because we can make a difference in decisions. We've lost a lot of our history in Los Angeles and continue to do so.
Yes, it's wonderful news that we're getting new benches in place but did we need to remove them in the first place? Risky business? Hikers have sat there for decades and gleefully climbed onto 'High Bench' - which was seated in cement. Don't stop signs take longer to be errected or replaced? Perhaps the kid in me allows the feelings the movie Big gives us as the aged - but youthfully spirited viewpoint - is permanently removed. It appears that our stop signs or signals take years to be considered a risk matter - usually many deaths later - before being erected or replaced. The cost of replacing those benches might have been better spent on potholes. I love priorities.
We will always have photos of what was and even a short film: Shorty & Morty: Hollywood @ Steak to preserve memories of 'High Bench' - it's not the same.
The back end of Fryman off of Mulholland has a trail that has been damaged and affects the animals as much as it does the hikers. Parks and Recreations is its own little town - maybe it needs a new sheriff.
I thank Tom LaBonge and staff for both writing and calling. Tom assured me he understood the loss we feel and I believe him.