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Court Upholds Deal on Chavez Ravine; Moratorium on Death Penalty Fails, April 22, 1959

April 22, 2009 |  8:00 am

April 14, 1959, Chavez Ravine

Photograph by John Malmin / Los Angeles Times

People cluster between homes on Malvina Avenue in Chavez Ravine
 for word on being evicted.

April 22, 1959, Cover The battle over Chavez Ravine reads like the same story after a while -- a long court fight with no end in sight.

This time, the state Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the city's deal with the Dodgers to eventually build the team a new ballpark. The decision was deemed "the last outstanding legal landmark" in the case. But any careful reader must have known there were more steps ahead, more twists and turns.

There were other familiar elements to the story. Dodgers owner Walter O'Malley was quoted as still hoping the new stadium would be ready by opening day of 1960. Attorneys for residents fighting the Dodger deal planned their next moves -- again.

City Council members were polled for reaction. Given The Times' long campaign in favor of the ballpark, it should not have been a surprise that Rosalind Wyman was quoted extensively but the opposition didn't exactly get equal treatment.

John Holland, a longtime opponent of the Dodger Stadium deal, said he would comment once he had read the Supreme Court's decision. There was no one else to ask? Just the previous day, The Times ran a short story about Councilman Earle D. Baker's unsuccessful attempt to have the eviction notices delayed for five families still living in the Chavez Ravine area. My guess is Baker or some of the six other council members who voted with him -- including Edward R. Roybal and Gordon R. Hahn -- might have been willing to go on the record.

-- Keith Thursby

April 22, 1959, Suburbs

The ills of suburban life and the intellectual benefits of cities.

April 22, 1959, Theater

More women are going to movies--at least "femme" tearjerkers like "Imitation of Life," Philip K. Scheuer says.  
April 22, 1959, Comics

Drinking problems in "Judge Parker," compulsive gambling in "Moon Mullins" and food issues in "Nancy."