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Beverly Hills Weekly
Beverly Hills, California
January 27, 2000     Beverly Hills Weekly
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January 27, 2000

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citywatch Is Greystone Being Sacrificed to Cultural Triage? By Ellen Stem Harris Starve a fever, feed a cold? Starve Greystone of sufficient funding for its long overdue, desperately needed, exten- sive restoration to feed the alleged "cul- tural center" on Crescent drive and Santa Monica boulevards? Could be. The latter is, of course, to be installed at the landmark Crescent Station Post Office. This is the centrally located facility which the city council sacrificed on the altar of the alleged cul- tural gods. This, despite protests from hundreds of postal patrons and many surrounding businesses. The council did nothing to keep the 3,300 post office boxes and window service at Crescent. In fact, instead of asking our federal officials to keep the boxes and window service where they were most conven- ient to patrons, the council decided it would take over the entire building for purposes yet to be agreed upon by a vote of the people. The irony is, Beverly Hills prides itself on being one of the fast planned communities in the West. The anchor to that plan is the Crescent Post Office, strategically located between residential and commercial areas of the city. Oh, yes, the council did hire a consult- ant to conduct hocus-pocus focus groups. The groups were stacked to Unfortunately, the Maple facility was only designed for 3000 box-holders and half as many window patrons as now wait in long lines. Where Crescent had ample adjacent parking and was sur- rounded by wide streets, Maple is ||The council did nothing to keep the 3,300 post office boxes and Window service at Crescent. J assure the outcome the council was seeking. It was quite a charade, paid for with our tax dollars. But now we are living with the chaotic consequences. The USPS sold the Crescent Station to the City and prompt- ly closed down window service. Next, it moved all the post office boxes to the USPS Maple facility in the Industrial Area. That means there are now as many as 7,000 box-holders at the Maple drive facility at the corner of Third street and Maple drive. bounded by narrow streets and very little convenient parking. Disabled patrons, who used to only have to walk a few feet to access postal services and boxes at Crescent, now may have to walk as much as a block just from the building entrance, to their box. Oh yes, there is underground parking. But for patrons who no longer have the option of fight or flight, the elderly and the disabled, that is not a safe choice. Anyone could be hiding behind a car, or in the elevator, and no one would even heal" a scream. Fortunately, Beverly Hills is located between two major cultural centers, the Getty and the L.A. County Museum of Art. We could offer frequent shuttle service for a fraction of the cost of hav- ing our own,comparatively mediocre, cultural center. Instead of directing tax-deductible dollars to the shamefully deteriorating Greystone Mansion and gardens, the way to win the council's favor, may be to contribute big bucks to the Beverly Hills Cultural Center Foundation, found- ed by councilraember Vicki Reynolds. That's the organization which appears weekly on the Council's Closed Session Agenda. Talk about an inside track and the appearance of impropriety. It's time to open up the process. Conflicts of interest should not dictate our civic destiny. The council should put the future use of the historic Crescent Station Post Office building to a vote of the people. I Doctors' Service Voice Message Telephone Answering and Paging Service With Live Operator Backup liHello, this is Doctor Roberts. If your call is an mergency, please press 1 ;if your call is not an mergency, please press 2. III IIIIII I 1 Emergency! Caller leaves a message and you are automatically paged immediately. J 2 INon-Emergency Call':'' .... I ]Caller leaves a message, l JStaff picks up a message during i 7 DAY FREE TRIAL Demonstration Number: 1-800-9-4 DOCTOR 943,-6286 The Telephone Connection of Los Angeles, Inc. January 27-February 2, 2000 9