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The baseball field at Montecito Park has been selected for refurbishment as a part of the Dodgers Dream Foundation grant program. The Dodgers Dream Foundation seeks to encourage interest in the sport of baseball by revitalizing local ball fields.

Founded in 1998, the Dodgers Dream Foundation was created to provide educational, athletic and recreational opportunities for the youth of the Greater Los Angeles community.

The Dodgers' fields program is the Foundation's signature initiative. The fields program is a partnership between the Dodgers, the Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks, local city officials and others.

The Foundation hosts several fundraisers a year and receives contributions throughout the year from various individuals and corporate entities. Dodger outfielder Shawn Green has agreed to donate $250,000 each year of his contract, totaling $1.5 million to the Dodgers Dream Foundation.

The Dodgers are not unfamiliar with Montecito Park. Montecito Park was one of three parks selected to host preliminary competitions for the 'Power Hitters' talent search in 1998. Finalists competed at Dodger Stadium.

Show your support for the Dodgers and their wonderful Dream Foundation! Attend the official renovation announcement this Thursday, September 12th, at 6:30 pm at the Montecito Heights Senior Center. There will be a question and answer period.

Go Dodgers!

Department of Toxic Substances Control Seeks Community Input on Contaminated Property

You may be receiving a notice from the Department of Toxic Substances Control telling you about a community assessment for the ITT Cannon Humboldt Street property - 3.5 acres located at 3209 Humboldt Street, in Lincoln Heights near the Lacy Street Animal Shelter.

We need to be sure to respond to this, and insist that the company who caused the contamination should clean up their mess. They also need to know that the clean up must not put us at further health risk.

Apparently ITT Cannon stored degreasers and other solvents in one above ground storage tank and several below ground storage tanks on this property until 1963. The property was sold and industrial / warehouse buildings went up. These were demolished in 1998.

Now the Department of Toxic Substances Control has found PCBs, VOCs and heavy metals at the site.

I checked the EPA website about these substances, and I know a little about them from my chemistry days, and they are pretty scary. These organic chemicals are petroleum derivatives and they are all pretty bigtime carcinogens, and can also cause birth defects. They say they have found contamination with metals, and while that doesn't sound too scary at first, understand that what they are really talking about are lead and mercury. When you think lead, think brain damage, mental retardation, kidney dysfunction, and severe headaches. Mercury is pretty scary too, and when it sits in water (and they indicate that historical documents indicate groundwater contamination) mercury forms mercuric chloride - this chemical compound can cause neuromuscular deterioration, insanity, birth defects, seizures, blindness and death. Remember, I'm not an expert, and I may not even know how bad it really is.

The notice was sent out in English, Spanish, Chinese and what looks like Vietnamese. Somebody is really being careful, and we need to make sure to be just as careful.

We need to make sure we respond to this. The cleanup will most likely cost millions of dollars, and if we don't force ITT Cannon to do it now, the taxpayers will have to do it later, or just get sick or have sick children and it will be our own fault.

I have posted a blank response form that you can print out. You can also read the letter. Check your mail and don't ignore the big white envelope from the Department of Toxic Substances Control.

Click here to read about what the EPA says about PCBs VOCs are bad too, but not as stingingly bad as PCBs. We all know how bad metals can be.

Again, you can click here to read the letter the Department of Toxic Substances Control sent out, and click here to get a printable version of the response form they sent out. Here is a map to show you where the property is located:

ITT Cannon Site mapped

Board of Neighborhood Commissioners Grants Certification to Arroyo Seco Neighborhood Council

October 2, 2002
The Board of Neighborhood Commissioners (BONC) certified the Arroyo Seco Neighborhood Council (ASNC) with all 6 communities including Montecito Heights, Sycamore Grove, Hermon, Monterey Hills, Mt. Washington and Cypress Park.

ASNC leader Jim Thompson easily agreed to several stipulations suggested by BONC. BONC suggested that the larger communities of Cypress Park and Mt. Washington who fear they may lose a voice in their governance might be appeased by the addition of two representatives for the larger ASNC communitites. Mr. Thompson so stipulated on behalf of the ASNC. Cypress Park and Mt. Washington will now have have four representatives on the ASNC board, and Montecito Heights, Hermon, Sycamore Grove and Monterey Hills will each have two representatives. At-large representation remained the same. Other changes were relatively minor, and will be reported in more detail later.

This certification has been a difficult and contentious process for many of us. Some members of the Arroyo Seco community may still have reservations about participating in the ASNC. For that reason I would like to quote Benjamin Franklin:
The opinions I have had of its errors I sacrifice to the public good. I hope therefore, for our sakes as a part of the people, and for the sake of our posterity, that we shall act heartily and unanimously in recommending this [new method of governance] wherever our influence may extend, and turn our future thoughts and endeavors to the means of having it well administered.
To what new method of governance did Benjamin Franklin refer? It was nothing less than the Constitution of the United States of America, a landmark instrument that changed the world, and was crafted after some tremendously angry debates.

Though the establishment of a unified Neighborhood Council does not compare to establishing a new form of government, it does not diminish Franklin's message. We have finished the initial process of establishing our governing structure. Now we move forward together to heal our rivers and parks and support all of our communities. This is an exciting time to live in North East Los Angeles. We're all in it together.

Dog Attack sends Montecito Heights man to Hospital

I received a note from a concerned mhia list member:

I was walking my puppy around the radio towers at the top of Montecito Dr. My puppy was on leash.. we were suddenly and viciously attacked by a woman "walking" UNLEASHED her Pit Bull, Akita, Great Dane, and 2 other dogs..All of them hers. The Akita immediately attacked my dog's neck, which triggered the pit bull to attack his legs. It was an extremely vicious and avoidable attack. We both ended up in Emergency, my dog today just had a drainage tube removed from his back..Her dogs are known to be vicious and have attacked many other dogs.

Please help us stop any further dog attacks. You can help by: