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Former Rancho Palos Verdes Mayor Barbara Ferraro still takes the southern route to work through RPV so she can see the ocean and Catalina. "I still marvel that I get to see the ocean every day," Ferraro says.
But Ferraro and everyone else visiting Rancho Palos Verdes would probably have no view of the ocean if not for two groups, Save Our Coastline (SOC) and the Palos Verdes Peninsula Advisory Council (PVPAC). They successfully fought the master plan of the powerful Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors in the early 1970s for the unincorporated area that is now RPV.
The Supervisors' plan called for up to 70 units per acre to be built along the coastline, a plan that would have virtually eliminated any ocean views. But after a long process, RPV was incorporated in 1974, and city officials down-zoned the coastline area from 70 units per acre to one.
That historical process has been documented in a new video produced in conjunction with RPV's 25th anniversary this year. Produced by Palos Verdes On the Net and titled, "Rancho Palos Verdes 25th Anniversary," the video begins by showing viewers that the area was originally part of the oldest Spanish land grant given to Juan Jose Dominguez in 1784.
The video continues moving viewers through time, from the purchase of 16,000 acres in the Portuguese Bend area by Frank Vanderlip in 1913, all the way through incorporation in 1974. The video features interviews with PVPAC and SOC members, and other former and current city officials.
John McTaggart is a 16-year RPV City Councilman who was on the PVPAC, a coalition of homeowners in the unincorporated area. McTaggart says the 25th anniversary video is well-done. McTaggart said it is very interesting to watch the interviews with the "dedicated group" of people from the other Palos Verdes cities and from the unincorporated area that would become RPV. "Some things were mind-joggers," McTaggart said. "It will be interesting to newcomers to see what we went through to get the job done."
But bringing all of the history together in one video was a tough job in itself. RPV resident Maria Bauer came to Palos Verdes on the Net as an intern and was expecting to simply help with research for the video. She ended up producing and writing the video. Executive producer is Ted Vegvari, the executive director of Palos Verdes on the Net. Bauer led a group of residents in research efforts for the project, doing most of it at the local history room at the Malaga Cove Library.
A group of local high school students also did some volunteer work on the video. Bauer and the group began by meeting with the RPV city committee on the 25th anniversary, which was chaired by RPV's first city manager, Len Wood. The committee gave Bauer a list of people to contact for interviews on the video. "Most people graciously agreed to do the interviews," Bauer said. "When we started interviewing people, many of them had additional clippings and other materials like campaign posters, which was wonderful."
The video includes about 21 interviews. Among them are: SOC Committee Chair Eleanore Wiedmann, SOC Steering Committee member Robert Homan, RPV's first mayor Marilyn Ryan, PVAC President Gordon M. Curtis Jr., and former Palos Verdes Estates Mayor Joseph T. Barnett. Several members of the first RPV City Council are interviewed, including Gunther W. Buerk, Ken Dyda and Francis D. Ruth.
The video can be ordered by:
calling (310) 541-7992
A note about the beautiful 25th anniversary logo which was displayed on banners throughout the Peninsula: The City of RPV original city logo was converted to computer based graphic format in May of 1998, by Computer Technology Center graduating high school intern, Bryce Stockwell .
Bryce interned at the computer center for over 2 years (4 semesters and 2 summers), and specialized in learning computer based graphics design as applied to a wide variety of business, art, and entertainment industry needs. The anniversary logo and banner were re-designed under the auspices and direction of RPV City Council member Tom Hollingsworth (the creator of the original logo) while working with Bryce.
The final version was then further modified and adapted for use on t-shirts, cups, hats, pins, etc. The process included scanning the original artwork and lettering using Adobe Photoshop 4.5 for NT, Adobe Illustrator, a UMax flatbed scanner, matching and selecting digital postscript fonts, recreating the logo using Adobe Illustrator, outputting to a photo printer, and emailing the final EPS format image file to the companies which manufactured the banners, hats, pins, etc.
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