Option A: Just Plain Places


This blog has written 13 other times on “Option A”, a Metro LA proposal by the public transportation agency to wipe out 33 acres of industry in Van Nuys, near the junction of Oxnard and Kester, and replace it with a light rail service yard. It would destroy 1,000 jobs, displace 186 businesses and flatten…

A Week’s Worth of San Fernando Valley Manufacturing Jobs


Years back, manufacturing jobs were a mainstay of prosperity in the San Fernando Valley. Huge aerospace, automobile, electronics, and construction companies fueled a vibrant, strong economy. New immigrants, and working people from other states came to California and were able to find employment at General Motors, Teledyne, Ford, Lockheed and McDonnell-Douglas. Today, there are almost…

Demolition Days.


Across Van Nuys this winter, they are demolishing some large buildings. Prominent among the big, ugly ones now being hacked away and dumped into large containers, is the former Wickes Warehouse Furniture Store on Sepulveda Blvd. north of Oxnard. The white, windowless, concrete structure, which housed perhaps the world’s ugliest collection of overstuffed and ungainly…

The Holdouts.


Not far from my house in Van Nuys, there is an unimproved street without gutters or sewers, where the blacktop was probably laid down 80 years ago, past large parcels where grew walnuts, oranges and figs. On Columbus Avenue, there are perhaps five properties of 20-30,000 square feet each. Most of the houses are rented,…

North Hollywood Redevelopment Plan Collapses


Blue Corner, originally uploaded by Here in Van Nuys. The aged and decrepit mall property on the corner of Victory and Laurel Canyon will not be redeveloped anytime soon, according to the Daily News.

The Eternal Garage Sale.


Spread out on lawns and along the sidewalks: blankets and sheets. They are covered with old clothes, boxes of CDs, vacuum cleaners, pots, pans, glassware, chairs, hats, scarves, underwear, socks, and baby clothes. Since the Depression laid its dollar-killing hands around the neck of Los Angeles, two years ago, junk sales have blossomed and proliferated…