Eastview Little League is a managed business in the San Pedro area that utilized its membership to get out a large group of supporters who want Eastview Little League to remain at Knoll Hill after they agreement they signed with the Port of Los Angeles expires.
According to statistics supplied during the dealings with that large property along Western Avenue, there are about 600 families that are part of Eastview Little League.
If I can guesstimate that the average number of family members is 5.5 persons, then it can be considered that Eastview Little League represents about 3,300 persons.
Just so I don't forget other numbers, a knowledgeable person at the meeting stated that there are about 30,000 residents of San Pedro living east of Pacific Avenue.
Now to cloud the issue even more, when the new park along 22nd Street is finished, there will be just about four large open areas east of Pacific Avenue where residents of all areas can enjoy, if possible.
Along with Knoll Hill, the new park along 22nd, I think we can count on the one baseball diamond at Block field and the park lands at Cabrillo Beach as being the only park lands/large open spaces east of Pacific Avenue.
Real San Pedrans certainly know about all the parks, open spaces, and recreational areas west of Gaffey Street and there is quite a bit of space in relation to what is available for recreation east of Pacific Avenue.
Now to the meeting.
The Port of Los Angeles, along with a company hired to work on the future of Knoll Hill, the Knoll Hill Advisory Board, and representatives of the California State Lands Commission held a meeting to a packed house of interested individuals and families that took up two of the three largest ballrooms at the Crowne Plaza Hotel.
The representatives from the State Lands Commission traveled from Sacramento to explain the Tidelands Trust laws and requirements.
They also provided: www.slc.ca.gov as the Web site that provides information about what can and what cannot be done with Knoll Hill.
Representatives of the Port of Los Angeles and the Los Angeles Neighborhood Initiative presented the meeting with four alternative conceptual illustrations for what might be at the park in the future.
Alternative number 1 consisted keeping two of the three existing temporary ball fields atop Knoll Hill and having parking for lots of cars. This alternative included some of the features being considered for the open spaces and park-like amenities.
This Alternative and Alternative number 2 have one large ball field and one T-ball field remaining on the site. Alternative number 2 calls for fewer parking spaces and more amenities for visitors like trails from the bottom of the hill, tot-recreational space, view amenities, and other items.
Alternative number 3 has only one large baseball field on the site and much more different suggestions for amenities than the first two Alternatives called for.
Alternative number 4 illustrated no ball field and a much larger portion of the site being open space with basically nothing but grass on much of the site.
The meeting participants also were given a two-sided sheet of questions with a large portion being set aside for folks to circle whatever amenities they thought should be considered.
Lots of folks had comments and questions. My question centered around the fact that I didn't see any illustrations of restrooms on any of the Alternatives so I asked if they would be provided.
It was explained to me that since the illustrations were only conceptual, they didn't show the placement of any restroom facilities. I thought that was a bit odd since the illustrations did show parking lots, ball fields, trails, trees and shrubs, and other amenities.
I highly doubt that the concept of restrooms is unreasonable or should have been left off all four posters.
Eastview Little Leagues wants the ball fields to remain for what can probably be determined to be for ever.
The Tidelands Trust and lawsuits currently prevent Eastview Little League from remaining on the site after their signed temporary agreement with the Port of L.A. Expires.
We know that Councilwoman Janice Hahn has stated that she would like to see the ball fields remain.
What we don't know is if Eastview would be willing to give up one of the two large fields it currently uses so that other folks have better access and uses of the top of Knoll Hill.
One very important bit of information was passed out during the meeting.
There is no legal issue from the Tidelands Trust and the State Lands Commission's view if Eastview Little League wishes to approach the Port of Los Angeles to for the purposed of purchasing the land atop Knoll Hill for Eastview's use.
Apparently, nobody has even started talking about what the land is worth or whether Eastview's management/owners have the money to buy the property.
The basic explanation as to why Eastview can't remain on the site is that the site must serve the public with regard to activities related to the waters of California, the tidelands, and for the benefit of members of the public who have a real interest in the water areas of the State, or can provide proof that the uses of the tidelands property supports the public uses of the waterways.
Since there would be no way to create the scenario that little league baseball supports water activities, waterfront enjoyment, waterfront activities, or public benefit of the Trust's uses, then it cannot remain on Knoll Hill.
Someone got up and actually attempted to suggest that since Knoll Hill is near the cruise ship terminal, potential passengers to the cruise ships may find that baseball being played atop Knoll Hill would mean that some of those passengers might eventually wish to have younger family members play with Eastview Little League.
I looked at the fellow sitting next to me and we both stated at the exact same time, "That's a stretch."
So it looks like no matter how many Eastview supporters demand that the fields remain, they will most probably lose their rights to have league play on Knoll Hill after the agreement ends.
It was pointed out by one of the first commentors that Eastview knowingly agreed and signed contracts for a specific period of time and that they knew they had to leave Knoll Hill at the end of the agreement they signed.
So now what?
According to the folks running the meeting, in March, the four Alternatives will be whittled down to the one illustration that will go forward with more planning.
Eastview Little League can contact the Port of Los Angeles to inquire whether they would be willing to sell the top of Knoll Hill to private parties. Those private parties would then have the right to lease land to Eastview for whatever they wish to charge.
Eastview may also wish to contact the city of Rancho Palos Verdes and the Los Angeles County Department of Sanitation concerning Eastview Park.
Eastview Park is a park within the limits of the city of Rancho Palos Verdes that a very small minority of residents of Rancho Palos Verdes have ever been to or even know where it is.
Eastview Park is sitting on land owned by the County Department of Sanitation.
Eastview Park was a site considered for soccer fields by AYSO but apparently local residents of that area objected to its use for soccer fields.
Eastview Little League started out as a league primarily made up of boys living in San Pedro Highlands, the unincorporated area of Los Angeles County, now called "Eastview", boys from Channel Heights, and some others from the northern part of San Pedro.
Over the years as the Midtown League and fields folded, more boys from San Pedro joined the league.
Females were added to the league and that added participation.
Peck Park had an older league back in the early 1960's as well as several other areas, including Midtown. Block field had a league, too.
Eastview grew as other leagues folded or there were not enough fields in the area.
But that was then and this is now.
Interested folks probably need to continue meeting about Knoll Hill as the Eastview folks finally realize that there would be a new legal fight if they continue to demand keeping the temporary fields they themselves agreed to.
Folks may wish to continue to help decide which of the many amenities suggested for Knoll Hill should be included in the final build out.
One of the very best comments heard during the meeting is that there should be a memorial to I.L.W.U. members at Knoll Hill overlooking the harbor they toiled in for so many years.
Perhaps a permanent memorial with information about Bloody Thursday can be placed up on top of the hill.
I know Knoll Hill overlooked the old Standard Oil Marine Terminal and Todd Shipyard, so maybe memories for the Oil, Chemical, and Atomic Energy Union my dad belonged to could be placed up there along with all the trade unions that built and repaired ships at Todd Shipyard and other shipyards.
As for who may use Knoll Hill the most, perhaps it is the residents of northeast San Pedro including folks living in Rancho San Pedro, and other areas closer to Knoll Hill than the new park on 22nd Street.
It may be a good place for couples to have an outdoor wedding overlooking the harbor with a situation that calls for reservations of the space and fees charged.
The most obvious sight that everybody will see all long Front Street directly across from Knoll Hill is stacked containers, railroad cars, and A-Frame cranes. Oh boy!
But there will be views of the bridge, the fountain, and quite a bit of the Main Channel and parts of downtown San Pedro and Terminal Island.
Is it going to meet the wishes of everyone? No. But it may meet the wishes of the majority of the residents who will actually use the space one everything is rebuilt.
With so many youngsters participating in soccer, baseball, karate, football, basketball, and other organized sports leagues and organizations, perhaps they should be allowed more free play and recreational activities that are not structured by other, but by their individual parents and friends.