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Celebrated South-Central Farm haunts Villaraigosa

August 18, 2008 | 12:01 am


The 25-year political saga of South-Central Farm, a community garden that once nourished one of Los Angeles’ poorest neighborhoods, continues. A fast-growing apparel business is seeking to operate a warehouse on the site of the farm, which the property’s owner, Ralph Horowitz, bulldozed two years ago.

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, who had championed the garden’s preservation along with Daryl Hannah and other celebrities, has stayed out of the fight so far. But activists worry that the mayor might be influenced by the $1.3 million in political contributions he has received from the apparel company. Read David Zahniser’s account of the new controversy over the farm, which gained worldwide attention and was the subject of a documentary film.

-- Margot Roosevelt

Photo: Demonstrators at Horowitz's Brentwood office in 2006, protesting plans to erect a warehouse on the site of the South Los Angeles community garden. Credit: Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times