GPW: Self-Tempered Anarchy since 2009

Your GPW Editor-on-Occasion is Petra Fried in the City.
Send us your stories, ideas, and information. Insiders welcome - confidentiality guaranteed.

stories along The Way

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Which Way GLAZA -- the lure of the dollar, or the belief in the mission?

(Update: the MOU between GLAZA and the LA Zoo states that GLAZA will be operating the LA Zoo as an event venue. So much for the Zoo's "mission" (see below).  

That said, since this is a different use that the LA Zoo's mission, an EIR may be required.) 

GLAZA, the non-profit support group for the Los Angeles Zoo, has announced it is spending some of it's own bank on Zoo publicity. A lot of bank, actually:

In an effort to introduce more people to the mission, exhibits and wildlife conservation programs of the L.A. Zoo, GLAZA — the organization's longtime non-profit partner — announced Monday it will spend $2 million in marketing and public relations money, beginning in July.
Marketing and public relations...  In practice, marketing and public relations seems to be LA City code-speak for become an event venue, which is why this article caught my attention.

The Los Angeles Zoo is an entity that is using Griffith Park property. The land is zoned Open Space, and used to be under the purview of the Dept of Recreation and Parks until it was spun off as it's own department. 

Myself and the many visitors to Amir's Garden have all had a better view than most of the recent major construction projects across the canyon at the LA Zoo. As well as the expansion lights, noise, and clearing of park land, park users in this area have already had to endure live band music pounding throughout Mineral Wells canyon from a new summer concert series.

Commercialization might be a good thing for the Zoo financially, but one has to question the impact to the urban wilderness areas of the park. When the concerts are in full swing , the racket they make is like your bad neighbor who plays music way too loud keeping the entire neighborhood up all night.

Honestly, do you hike through the urban wilderness of the Griffith Park interior expecting an onslaught of loud band music? No one goes hiking or riding in Griffith Park to experience that. It probably goes without saying that this cannot be good for the Zoo animals, too. Beyond that, parks themselves have sound ordinances that should prohibit this kind of noise. 

Prohibited unless the LA Zoo is designated an event venue, that is.

Revenue generation by any means possible is always OK as far as City Hall is concerned, so I guess we're bad neighbors for even suggesting that parties and concerts at the LA Zoo isn't the best use of the facility. So be it - we're bad neighbors. 

What we can hope for is that GLAZA doesn't subscribe to City code-speak and their $2 million worth of publicity will really be all about the Zoo's purported mission
The L.A. Zoo is an important component of the greater Los Angeles region’s quality of life. Citizens need safe places to recreate and decompress from their daily chores. The corporate responsibility of the Zoo to save wildlife and wild places manifests itself in good educational programming, conservation support, and academic research—all of which enhances the Los Angeles community.
            - John R. Lewis, LA Zoo Director    (LA Zoo Annual Report 2011-12)