By Alex Branning
Los Angeles Times Rebuttal - Tear down the Cactus Curtain!
While it was not "new" to many in the Antelope Valley, many of you saw the article posted on the Los Angeles Times web site on September 30. The article was disappointing to me because the focus was not on the outstanding success of the Lancaster Blvd project, or our forward-thinking solar projects, or our local economic rebound, or the new power plant in Palmdale - no, the article was focused on the tarnished relationship between the mayors of two neighboring cities in the Antelope Valley.
We will all win if we work together: the community, the politicians, the business leaders, the churches, the families, all of us. The more we work together to make good things happen, the more we will get done and the more we will all reap the benefits. The mayors of Lancaster and Palmdale have made it clear they don't respect each other. Without respect there is no trust and without trust there cannot be true reconciliation or teamwork. Their feud is not the end of the road for collaboration between the cities. It is an open door for other leaders from both cities to step up and work together. I believe that the LA Times article, though it opens a sore wound for the majority of us, may accomplish some good; it may be the catalyst to get other city leaders to step up and make things happen.
I am hopeful that the councilpersons from both cities (Ron Smith, Ken Mann, Sandra Johnson, Tom Lackey, Steven Hofbauer, Laura Bettencourt, and/or Mike Dispenza) will answer the call and open discussions, privately or publicly, with each other so that the cities can work together.
I am hopeful that the mayors will stop their fighting, set aside their bitterness towards each other and move on. Both mayors have attacked the other, both are at fault and both need to stop.
The Antelope Valley doesn't consist of just Lancaster and Palmdale, of course; this is also an opportunity for the leaders of the other cities within the Antelope Valley to take charge and make a name for themselves and their respective cities by encouraging positive change.
My Antelope Valley is proud to be associated with community changers such as Chris Spicher and Jim Greenleaf's and their movement called "AV Nice". The idea behind AV Nice is to create a community of people who work together to promote the Antelope Valley. Spicher and Greenleaf have done a fantastic job of talking to people who have stories to tell.
There is so much positive news coming out of our area that we should be talking about. Let's spend our time talking about those things instead of focusing on the negative! My Antelope Valley was born to talk about the positive in the AV. When the LA Times reporter called we talked about the area and all the great progress we've made but the final article was focused on the infighting. This focus on the negative is what keeps people criticizing our hometown, isolating themselves from the community around them, and failing to change things such as the Cactus Curtain. Let's stop letting such negativity define our home. Let's take back our Antelope Valley!
Read the original article here: http://www.latimes.com/local/la-me-c1-cactus-curtain-20130930-dto,0,1935070.htmlstory
Thank you to Kristen Ezmirly for her assistance in writing this piece
Chris Spicher talked to Mayor Ledford about the LA Times "Cactus Curtain" article, and Mayor Ledford had an interesting point of view...take a moment and watch to see what he thought of it