North of Mulholland:Essays from the San Fernando Valley Business Journal


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The imagery of space was especially salient in the Valley during the Cold War because here is where much of the machinery of the space age was designed and built. Even while the region was primarily dusty ranch land, several of the world's most high-tech factories and research facilities were operating in the Valley. After the war, the promise of good jobs in defense industries and affordable suburban housing attracted thousands of veterans and their sweethearts to the Valley.

Woody and Buzz: Landscape Motifs in the San Fernando Valley

Within a decade, many, especially those working on rocketry and jet aircraft, found their wartime-defense industry jobs had evolved into longer-term careers in the aerospace industry. Thousands more moved in. By , the population of the Valley had topped ,, making the Valley one of the top ten most populated "cities" in the US, and perhaps the top city for space-industry jobs.


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The landscape that emerged from this high-tech-city-on-a-dusty-ranch is one of deep irony and cartoonish frivolity. Perhaps only in the s San Fernando Valley could you so readily find factories full of rocket scientists springing up among sprawling ranchlands.

Cowboys and spacemen worked and lived in the Valley alongside each other for decades. The spatial juxtaposition of the Old West and the Outer Rim was intense during the s. Consider, for example, that Rocketdyne, the designer and manufacturer of the rockets that both put Russia in peril, and Americans into space and onto the moon, was established in in sleepy Canoga Park. Just a few blocks down the street, employees of Rocketdyne or their children could take classes on animal husbandry at the newly opened Pierce Agricultural College. Just blocks from the Skunk Works was the seventy-five-acre Los Angeles Equestrian Center, where rodeos and barrel racing continue to this day.

It was there that nuclear power production was first commercialized in Two years later, it was the site of the first partial nuclear meltdown, a secret kept from everyone for decades, including the cast and crew of the TV series "Gunsmoke" being filmed just a quick mule ride away in Box Canyon. Valley historian Kevin Roderick notes that during the Cold War, nine out of ten of the biggest manufacturers in the Valley were defense contractors. Still, the Valley clung to its Western-themed past.

Essays from the San Fernando Valley Business Journal

Nudie Cohn, the tailor to the most famous cowboys and cowboy wannabes in the nation for forty years, ran his shop on Lankershim Boulevard in North Hollywood. Looking down on the park no doubt were soldiers stationed at the Nike missile batteries on Oat Mountain. The intended target of the Nike missiles was a Soviet bomber called "The Bison. Straddling both sides of the cowboy-spaceman divide was J. Hertz, owner of the car rental company.

He raised world-class thoroughbreds in Woodland Hills on his spread called Amarillo Ranch, while his foundation supported research in ballistic missile systems. Perhaps this strange hybridization of past and future was perfectly captured by the epigrammatic ode to Rocketdyne sang by Valley school kids to the tune of the campfire standard "My Darling Clementine" also a John Ford Western movie :. Of all the landscapes that capture the duality of cowboys and spacemen, the ever-present ranch-style home is most noteworthy. I live in one. Every house on my street is a ranch.

Built largely in the twenty years following World War II, the ranch-style home seems the perfect domestic setting for the San Fernando Valley.

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Ranches built during the s were built to appeal to suburban cowboys and cowgirls. Board and batten siding, weathered brick chimneys largely useless , and fieldstones were common design elements. Built largely in a sprawling L or U shape, with large glass doors at the back of the home, single-story ranch homes directed families to spend time out-of-doors, even if it was only in the backyard.

Here Dad could make a proper cowboy dinner steak and beans? At the same time, the design of the ranch directed family life away from the streets or front porches that marked the communal, anti-cowboy qualities of life back East, or even in L. Merry Ovnick argues compellingly that the ranch-style home was well suited to house "GI Joe" and "Rosie the Riveter" who wished to settle down in a safe location. To anyone who witnessed the horrors of Iwo Jima, Utah Beach, or the Ardennes Forest, a little ranch house on a sleepy suburban street in the Valley provided servicemen back home from the war a cozy and safe domestic space without sacrificing their masculinity.

Ranches were safe and secure, but not too emasculating. Women, also having contributed mightily to the war effort, especially in the Valley, building, among other weapons, the deadly Ps, also probably found the ranch a suitable homestead, one that permitted some room to explore their newly won, yet still modest expansion of their gender role.

Traynor , the California Supreme Court became more liberal and progressive. Traynor's term as Chief Justice from to was marked by a number of firsts: California was the first state to create true strict liability in product liability cases, the first to allow the action of negligent infliction of emotional distress NIED even in the absence of physical injury to the plaintiff, and the first to allow bystanders to sue for NIED where the only physical injury was to a relative. Starting in the s, California became a leader in family law. California was the first state to allow true no-fault divorce , with the passage of the Family Law Act of In , the Legislature granted registered domestic partners the same rights under state law as married spouses.

In California became the second state to legalize same-sex marriage when the California Supreme Court ruled the ban unconstitutional. Since the mids, the California Supreme Court has become more conservative, particularly with regard to the rights of criminal defendants. This is commonly seen as a reaction against the strict anti- death penalty stance of Chief Justice Rose Bird in the early s, although the funding that eventually brought about her defeat was from corporate and business interests concerned with what they felt was an anti-business stance by the Chief Justice.

The state's electorate responded by removing her and two of her perceived liberal allies from the court in November Starting in the s, high technology companies in Northern California began a spectacular growth that continued through the end of the 20th century. The major products included personal computers , video games , and networking systems. The majority of these companies settled along a highway stretching from Palo Alto to San Jose , notably including Santa Clara and Sunnyvale , all in the Santa Clara Valley , the so-called " Silicon Valley ", named after the material used to produce the integrated circuits of the era.

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This era peaked in , by which time demand for skilled technical professionals had become so high that the high-tech industry had trouble filling all of its positions and therefore pushed for increased visa quotas so that they could recruit from overseas. When the " Dot-com bubble " burst in , jobs evaporated overnight, and for the first time over the next two years more people moved out of the area than moved in. This somewhat mirrored the collapse of the aerospace industry in southern California some twenty years earlier. Although air pollution problems have been reduced, health problems associated with pollution have continued.

The brown haze known as " smog " has been substantially abated thanks to federal and state restrictions on automobile exhaust. An energy crisis in led to rolling blackouts , soaring power rates, and the importation of electricity from neighboring states. The ongoing demand for well-educated workers continued.

More people commuted longer hours to afford a home in more rural areas while earning larger salaries in the urban areas. Speculators bought houses they never intended to live in, expecting to make a huge profit in a matter of months, then rolling it over by buying more properties.

Mortgage companies were compliant, as everyone assumed the prices would keep rising. The bubble burst in as housing prices began to crash and the boom years ended. Hundreds of billions in property values vanished and foreclosures soared as many financial institutions and investors were badly hurt. On October 7, , Davis was recalled , with With a plurality of Lieutenant Governor Cruz Bustamante received Schwarzenegger began his shortened term with a soaring approval rating and soon after began implementing a conservative agenda.

This initially resulted in sparring with the heavily Democratic Assembly and Senate over the state budget, battles which provided his infamous "girly men" comment but also began taking their toll on his approval rating. Schwarzenegger then embarked on a campaign to enact several ballot propositions in a special election touted as reforming California's budget system, redistricting powers, and union political fundraising.

Stolen Child

The union-led campaign spearheaded by the California Nurses Association contributed heavily to the defeat of every proposition in the special election. Since this conspicuous failure, Schwarzenegger made a turn back to the left, criticizing the Bush Administration at many junctures, reviving his environmental agenda, and compromising with the legislature on the traditionally Democratic issue of education spending. His approval rating also revived, and he was re-elected in However, continued paralysis in state government and the inability of the legislature and governor to work out the fundamental funding questions resulted in voter disapproval of both the legislators and the governor, whose approval rating was among the lowest ever recorded pending the election of Jerry Brown in November From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Part of a series on the. Maritime Railroad Highways Slavery. See also: List of earthquakes in California. Main article: California oil and gas industry. Main article: History of California's state highway system. Further information: Richmond Shipyards. Further information: California Shipbuilding Corporation. Further information: Mare Island Naval Shipyard.

Further information: Naval Base San Diego. Random House Digital, Inc.

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Immigration Statistics yearbook; pg. American Heritage , Aug. Hopkins and A. Los Angeles Department of Water and Power. XXI 7 : — Includes construction photos. San Francisco Water Power Sewer. Bureau of Reclamation. Central Valley Project.

Los Angeles/San Fernando Valley hiking trails: Chatsworth Resevoir Park

Department of Water Resources, State of California. Center for Land Use Interpretation. California Department of Water Resources. University of California, Los Angeles. Capital Public Radio. State Water Contractors. California Water Impact Network. Quest for Flight: John J. Montgomery and the Dawn of Aviation in the West. Norman, Oklahoma: University of Oklahoma Press.

North of Mulholland:Essays from the San Fernando Valley Business Journal North of Mulholland:Essays from the San Fernando Valley Business Journal
North of Mulholland:Essays from the San Fernando Valley Business Journal North of Mulholland:Essays from the San Fernando Valley Business Journal
North of Mulholland:Essays from the San Fernando Valley Business Journal North of Mulholland:Essays from the San Fernando Valley Business Journal
North of Mulholland:Essays from the San Fernando Valley Business Journal North of Mulholland:Essays from the San Fernando Valley Business Journal
North of Mulholland:Essays from the San Fernando Valley Business Journal North of Mulholland:Essays from the San Fernando Valley Business Journal
North of Mulholland:Essays from the San Fernando Valley Business Journal North of Mulholland:Essays from the San Fernando Valley Business Journal
North of Mulholland:Essays from the San Fernando Valley Business Journal North of Mulholland:Essays from the San Fernando Valley Business Journal
North of Mulholland:Essays from the San Fernando Valley Business Journal North of Mulholland:Essays from the San Fernando Valley Business Journal
North of Mulholland:Essays from the San Fernando Valley Business Journal

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