Mayor Villaraigosa's office supports continuing negotiations with developer Ralph Horowitz over 14 acres in South Central LA. Twenty years ago, the City used eminent domain to force a sale for a trash-to-energy project. Community opposition prevented that and Horowitz got the property back for a warehouse development. In the meantime, 350 families have been farming the land, growing food to eat and sell at a farmers' market. Horowitz tried to evict them, but the farmers organized and gained the support of activists. Now, the LA Weekly reports that the site is not the oasis of pastoral harmony it's made out to be. Should 14 acres of private land remain a community farm in the heart of urban Los Angeles? We'll hear the latest on the South Central Community Garden, and look at the broader issues of land use and a changing population.
- Reporter's Notebook: Private Judges, Special Rule of Law for Wealthy Californians
When most Californians need to litigate their disputes, they go to the courts where it's all on the public record. However, if they're rich enough, there's an alternative. They can agree to hire a lawyer or a retired judge for a private hearing with an outcome that will have force of law but that nobody else will find out about. Michael Hiltzik is a columnist for the LA Times.
South Central Farmers
Los Angeles Neighborhood Land Trust
Trust for Public Land
Los Angeles Community Garden Council
Hernandez's article on South Central Community Garden
Hiltzik's column on 'private justice'