It is not surprising, that some Californians, who have fled and shed unhappier lives from other countries and other states, might also cop out when it comes to Los Angeles.
According to the the Daily News’ Rick Orlov, the southernmost section of Van Nuys, bordering Sherman Oaks, would like to join that klassy section of Los Angeles whose charms are most apparent along plastic signed, billboard pockmarked, Ventura Boulevard:
Now, another group of residents is launching an effort to break away from Van Nuys. The 1,855 homeowners in an area bounded by Sepulveda Boulevard and Hazeltine Avenue, and Burbank Boulevard and Oxnard Street, want to declare themselves part of the far tonier Sherman Oaks. Laurette Healey, a Valley businesswoman who has run unsuccessfully for local offices in recent years, has collected signatures from about 800 residents and is bringing the proposal to the City Council for a final decision. Healey — one of the leaders of the Valley’s secession effort in 2002 — said the community is energized over the issue. She said most of the parents in that neighborhood already send their children to schools in Sherman Oaks and that the name change will help attract young couples.
What’s ironic is that many of the unpleasant Van Nuys properties cited in this blog, from the shabby slum mall on the NE corner of Kester and Victory (owner: Ori B. Fogel) to the badly kept “Dare Management” buildings are owned by people who live in Sherman Oaks and Encino. Merabi and Sons destroyed the oldest house in Van Nuys in 2007 and now the lot is empty. These absentee landlords do not care about Van Nuys, but continue to profit by exploiting it. Of course, they don’t live in VN but they don’t mind grinding out a profit from its poorer and less powerful residents.
Instead of fighting for the betterment of Van Nuys, these real estate driven fear mongers rally residents to run away from those social issues that should rightly compel them to more noble political and moral action.
The grand game of name changing, which has seen parts of North Hollywood turn into Valley Village and Valley Glen, does nothing to improve the quality of life in Los Angeles. It further decentralizes and alienates residents from the historic shopping districts which should be gathering places for all Angelenos.
Nobody knows where Valley Glen is, and few will know of the future section of Sherman Oaks that was once a part of Van Nuys, but everyone will suffer as the most well off abandon the fight to improve their neighborhood, and instead ride off into a fantasy sunset of superficial name changing.