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Blogging Tom LaBonge: Please Put Our Benches Back!

Our trails are slowly disappearing - soon they'll be gone or limited so that you can enjoy them from the tour buses - afterall, the buses pull in revenue don't they.

As an avid hiker I was concerned when this came into my mailbox about the benches being removed at the top of Runyon Canyon from my friend, Tom Tully.

This landmark area for hikers no longer has a seat that made me and my then young boy, feel like we were Tom Hanks in Big after climbing onto the bench and dangling our feet.

From the back of Fryman another destruction has taken place. Rangers brought in a crew of kids to teach them how to clear the trees leaving entire branches and whole trees fallen on paths so many use that is off-trail a bit. An area where one would cross large boulders as the stream ran no longer has the boulders and the trails are more dangerous by the destruction of the side being cut down.

Tom Tully asks that you write our councilman Tom LaBonge and provides an address below along with a letter to use as a guide. I ask that you ask for answers of how much longer we're going to have our hills to hike? The truth not political language. Look up Hollywood Central Park - more is coming and much around here will be gone as a result of 'we need to rebuild California' - remember that one? If we were rebuilding our people and helping them I would have agreed with that statement but have seen the damage done througout this state.

Dear Tom and staff,

I am writing to you about a serious issue. The benches that have been removed from Runyon Canyon Park. Although I am aware that such an event may seem inconsequential compared to other problems we face in this city, to those of us who cherish them the removal of the benches is of deep concern.  We need them returned to Cloud's Rest!

Let's be frank, Tom.  LA is a city that cherish very little of it's past. Despite a rich history and a booming tourist trade so much of what I knew and loved about Los Angeles when I first came here has been ripped up, discarded, bull dozed over or has just plain disappeared.

The main overlook bench known as HIGH BENCH has sat cemented in it's place for decades and could not be moved unless by machine. It is a treasure, not just for it's most practical usage, providing a respite for the weary traveler, but as a great gathering place for families and friends. So often I have met people from all over the world on that very bench or the ones nearby it. It is a simple yet endearing landmark. It needs to be returned.

Some permanent solution must be found to maintain the presence of such a well used city treasure. The other two benches are also well used and deeply missed.

Wendy Cutler and I are the main organizers of a hiking group in the canyon. All our people, as well as most everyone I see there, are very respectful of Runyon.

I call it our "vertical Central Park."

We need to have those benches reinstalled.

Thanks you for your consideration,

Tom Tully

Please send an email to: Tom.Labonge@lacity.org  Make up your own but basically just say "BRING THE BENCHES BACK" and he will get it.

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John Q January 10, 2013 at 05:51 PM
The benches are being put back- They were removed by Recreation and Parks risk management but new, safer benches will be re-installed
E.M. Fredric January 10, 2013 at 10:51 PM
Thanks John, I heard from Sharon Shapiro from Tom LaBonge's office this morning who said the same thing. Happy they're putting new benches in but confused by the need to remove them in the first place. Risky business? Hikers have sat there for years and loved that bench seated in cement - I think stop signs take longer to be errected or replaced. Perhaps the kid in me allows the movie Big to take over from that viewpoint removed. Seems stop signs or signals take years to be considered a risk matter - usually many deaths later. I love priorities.
Lissette Cruess February 20, 2013 at 05:12 PM
Thanks John! Thanks Eva-Marie! Two ordinary benches sit there now... two benches that are not even close to the awesomeness of the Giant Green Bench. We made a page to celebrate its sweetness, if you'd like to Like, join us here: https://www.facebook.com/OneGiantGreenBench

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