Return with me now to a kinder gentler time… March 21, 2004, to be precise, and my very first post as part of the freshly expanded B.la posse. I chose to inaugurate my rantings by lamenting on the conversion of the L.A. City College football field and track on Vermont Avenue into an ignominious faculty parking lot, and pointed out that I’d emailed the L.A. Community College District (LACCD) HQ a list of basic questions I wanted answered ó and now, dammit!
With inquiries soundly stonewalled by LACCD PR contact Lynn Winter Gross, the answers were nowhere to be found until I contacted Councilman Eric Garcetti’s people and openly wondered whose ass must I kiss in order to get some input. Garcetti’s office directed me to an Eric Piegonski, the executive assistant to LACC’s president. So I wrote Mr. Pigeonovitch with the same dang questions and a day or so later finally came an answer from him: “We should have a response for you in the next few days.”
Cool! But that was April 19. Not a peep since. Until today.
See, I may not the swiftest investigative journalist on the block, much less an investigator or a journalist (anymore), and shithowdy if I didn’t take Mr. Pigeonini at his word. Thus a few days turned into a week turned into two into three, until a couple days ago when I remembered that I’d forgot all about him and decided to follow up to see if he might be so kind as to define “next few days.”
Well, wrap up the L.A. Press Club award and send it COD because dang if the long-sought answers to my questions didn’t arrive in my InBox tofuckingday. Now that’s what I call service, but my definition for service in this case is “bureaucratic bullshit.”
Anyway, my questions regarding the paving of the stadium field into a parking lot and the district’s official terse and anticlimactic responses (in freaking ALLCAPS, no less) are as follows:
Q)When was this done?
A)DEC 2003 – JAN 2004
Q) Why was this done?
A) TO PROVIDE A PARKING AREA WHILE THE NEW PARKING STRUCTURE AND ATHLETIC FIELD ARE BEING CONSTRUCTED.
Q) Is it a temporary measure? If so, when will the field be restored?
A) YES, IN THAT THE PARKING LOT IS TEMPORARY, BUT NO IN THAT SNYDER FIELD WILL NOT BE RESTORED. THIS IS THE FOOTPRINT OF OTHER NEW BUILDINGS.
Q) What is the estimated date the parking lot will be removed?
A) WE ESTIMATE THAT THE NEW PARKING STRUCTURE WILL BE COMPLETED IN 12-15 MONTHS.
Q) Are offsite arrangements being made for the sports teams and classes that previously utilized the field and track?
A) NO. THESE SPORTS WERE ELIMINATED DUE TO PRIOR BUDGET CUTS AND FTES REDUCTIONS.*
*As if I know what FTES is. Thanks.
Q) Assuming there still is a team**, where will the L.A.C.C. football team prepare for and play its home games next season?
A) LACC HAS NOT HAD A TEAM IN OVER FIFTEEN YEARS. IT WAS CUT DUE TO COSTS AND LIABILITES. THERE ARE NO PLANS TO RESTORE THIS EXTRA-CURICULAR ACTIVITY.
**Silly me for thinking football still mattered.
Q) How much did the construction of the parking lot cost?
*** 300K? Damn!
Q) How was it paid for?
A) PROP A BOND FUNDS.
Q) Were there any alternatives previously considered before the decision was made to utilize the field as a parking facility?
A) YES ALTERNATIVES WERE CONSIDERED TO INCLUDE “PARK-RIDE” USING MTA RED-LINE FACILITIES. THIS WAS EVEN MORE COSTLY AND UNDESIRABLE ACCORDING TO FACULTY AND STAFF.
Q) Boxers or briefs?
A) EXCUSE ME?
Q) I’ll ask the questions here. Boxers or briefs?
Q) I knew it. Get outta here.
Anyway, excluding the last three, that was the extent of the discourse that took our community college district almost two months to reveal. Stay tuned for my next broken news item where I spend three months asking Jimmy Hahn why he’s such a vapor.