About a Champion Story That Erred in Many Places


My heart bleeds for “lonely Bob Champion” (if that IS his real name).

An Old Cowboy Movie

The redevelopment efforts so far remind me of a bad “B” Western – the rich Bad Guy from out of town rides in, buys off the city council, then gets his way no matter what the residents – TAXPAYERS one and all – think about his plans.

The Bad Guy, has no stake in this community… except for the huge amount of money he plans to make by being the unelected dictator of 12.5 acres of Culver City, throwing over 300 people out of work, putting several dozen small businesses out of business.

Another Option

He wants to tear down buildings that don’t need to be torn down, and which could easily be re-faced to look great.

But that wouldn’t make the Bad Guy his millions. So he’ll do whatever he can to steamroller the residents who are opposed to his ill-conceived plan, greasing whatever palms he needs to grease along the way.

Where Is the Plugger?

All that’s missing from this bad Western movie scenario is the John Wayne-type hero to ride into town and plug the Bad Guy right between the eyes.

You decry the way “poor Mr. Champion” has been treated. If you were at the June 27 meeting, you were obviously not paying attention when a number of local residents got up and expressed their opinions.

Class? Not a Chance

A good number of those people brave enough to speak went out of their way to say they didn’t blame Champion for the situation, since a developer is going to build to the maximum size the city codes allow.

You say he has “class” for the way he hasn’t shown any displeasure with the residents opinions.

That is NOT class. That is a poker face, of the kind possessed by the majority of the slimy crooks in the real estate business.

Wrong, Wrong, Wrong

You know the type — they smile and shake your hand while knifing you in the back with their other hand

If what you call a “lightly debated motion” was indeed lightly debated, why did it take almost 15 minutes to do so?

You are also in error about the motion itself.

You Are Wrong Again

It in no way “singlehandedly froze” anything. The Citizens Advisory Committee is only able to make recommendations to the City Council, which may or may not pay any attention to these recommendations.

The “Specific Plan,” as you put it, is about addressing the city building code, and its height and population density requirements.

It has basically nothing to do with what a development should look like.

About That ‘Chaos’

Your so-called “chaos where none previously existed” was not caused by the Citizens Advisory Committee.

It was caused by Champion and his threats. Using his logic, he stated, “If I don’t develop this area with my Master Plan, it will be done by others in a piecemeal fashion.”

That’s the same kind of logic used by George Bush regarding the quagmire that is the Iraq war: “We have to fight them there or they will follow us home.” What he refuses to realize is that the terrorists are already here.

Finding a Label

And to the residents of Sunkist Park, that’s what Champion is: a terrorist.

The neighborhood residents are mostly happy with the existing shopping center, where they know the merchants and vice-versa.

They don’t want their favorite little “mom and pop” stores to be bulldozed to make way for a neon plastic mall containing several more Starbucks outlets.

No Room

The residents of Sunkist Park feel NO compassion for Champion.

At a meeting in December, he had the audacity to tell the crowd “I got off of the 405 at Jefferson because the freeway traffic was stopped.”

At the June 27 meeting, he kept repeating that he was ASKED to be there.

Choose Your Version

Okay. Which one of his statements is the truth? They can’t both be true. One of them is a bald-faced lie.

And since he has been definitively caught in one lie, how many others has he perpetrated in this process?

It’s impossible to believe anything he says at this point. There seems to be a plentiful lack of truth and transparency regarding this entire project.

Time to Go

The residents of Sunkist Park would applaud if Champion, as you put it, “walked through the door for keeps.”

Get your reporting straight, Mr. Noonan. You missed the meaning of this entire story by 12.5 acres.