By CARA LOEBS
Los Angeles’ Van Nuys in the San Fernando Valley, along with other central valley cities, has not maintained the best reputation. But what most people may not know is that Van Nuys is a diverse area with a rich history. It is full of historical landmarks, recreational facilities and government buildings. Young kids in the 1950’s, 60’s, 70’s and up until the 80’s, used to cruise up and down the city’s central artery, Van Nuys Blvd, on a Friday or Saturday night. This scene was so popular, movie-makers made a feature film about it in 1979 called Van Nuys Boulevard. Today, the famous Van Nuys Blvd. is home to many stores.
By LESLIE FLORES
Imagine walking into a Zen-filled garden with three large bodies of water and a stone path to guide along the six and a half acres of land. It is the Japanese Garden, a secret gem located in the heart of Balboa Park in the city of Van Nuys. You’re walking into a whole new world with a feeling of tranquility away from the busy city noise into clean fresh air and well kept plants surrounded by Japanese Koi fish filled waters.
The Japanese Garden was created in 1984 in collaboration with Donald C. Tillman’s Water Reclamation Plant, which treats 80 million gallons of sewage through seven steps in eleven and a half hours.
“The Water Reclamation Plant is a good thing to have here,” said Urban Studies and Planning professor Ashwani Vasishth of California State University, Northridge, “The more water there is, the better we are.”
By NATALIA ZELAYA
If you are looking for an intimate place where various ethnic groups come together to share news about Van Nuys and enjoy eating great food then Mercado Buenos Aires deli-meat market is the place for you.
Located at the corner of Sepulveda Blvd. and Covello St. in the heart of the city of Van Nuys “The ‘Mercado Buenos Aires’ alias ‘El Mercadito’, started as a deli-meat market, according to restaurant General Manager Eduardo Rodríguez .
“My mother used to make the ‘empanadas’ and my aunts would help out as well. It was only carry out food. Later on, we put a table for people to eat Argentinean sandwiches with coffee. Little by little…it became a restaurant,” Rodriguez recalled.
By CYNTHIA GÓMEZ
Before 11-year-old Ricardo Hernandez, joined the Keep Youth Doing Something (KYDS) program, his report card would show D’s and F’s. Now, after joining the KYDS program, he has improved his school grades to B’s.
“It (the KYDS program) got me better… in my grades,” Hernandez said.
Hernandez said the KYDS program, an after school program for youth, provides different activities in order to keep youths off the streets and preventing them from joining gangs.
“There are a lot of things that will keep your mind busy instead of on the streets,” Hernandez said. “There are a lot of activities that you can do.”
By HARRIET MIRANDA
The neighborhood of Van Nuys in the San Fernando Valley is a staple of the melting pot communities in modern society. The 2000 census shows diversity in ethnic backgrounds with Latinos and Hispanics being a large majority, but also having African Americans, Caucasians, Asians, and Pacific Islander representations in this neighborhood of about 130,000. Robert Putnam, a Harvard political scientist, famous for his essay Bowling Alone: America’s Declining Social Capital, argued that the declining civic participation in American societies can be attributed to widespread mistrust in communities due to so much diversity, and that they are more unlikely to participate in group activities like volunteering, community projects, and elections.
By CARA LOEBS
The neighborhood of Van Nuys located in the heart of Los Angeles’ San Fernando Valley has been picked apart—piece by piece—in order to form other neighborhoods. Usually when this happens the part of Van Nuys that wants out forms a new community with a new name. But, a section of Van Nuys between Burbank, Oxnard and Sepulveda boulevards and Hazeltine Avenue, does not want to form a new community—they want to be a part of an existing one: the neighboring Sherman Oaks.