Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
San Fernando Valley
The San Fernando Valley is bounded by the Santa Susana Mountains to the northwest, The Simi Hills to the west, the Santa Monica Mountains to the south, the Verdugo Mountains to the east, and the San Gabriel Mountains to the northeast. Most of the San Fernando Valley is within the City of Los Angeles, California, although several smaller cities are within the Valley as well; Burbank and Glendale are in the southeast corner of the Valley, Hidden Hills and Calabasas are in the southwest corner, and San Fernando, which is completely surrounded by the City of Los Angeles, is in the north Valley. Mulholland Drive, which runs along the ridgeline of the Santa Monica Mountains, marks the boundary between the Valley and the communities of Hollywood and Los Angeles' westside.
Valley communities within the City of Los Angeles include Arleta, Canoga Park, Chatsworth, Encino, Granada Hills, North Hills, North Hollywood, Northridge, Pacoima, Panorama City, Porter Ranch, Reseda, Studio City, Sherman Oaks, Sun Valley, Sylmar, Tujunga, Tarzana, Valley Glen , Van Nuys, West Hills, Winnetka and Woodland Hills. Los Angeles' administrative center for the Valley is in Van Nuys. The Valley community of Northridge was the epicenter of a large 1994 earthquake and is home to California State University Northridge.
The Valley is home to numerous companies, the most well-known of which are involved in motion pictures, recording, and television production (including CBS Studio Center, NBC, Universal Studios, Walt Disney Pictures, and Warner Brothers Studios). The Valley was previously known for stellar advances in aerospace technology by companies such as Lockheed, Rocketdyne, and Marquardt which helped put man on the moon and win the cold war. Most of these enterprises have since disappeared or moved on to regions with friendlier political climates.
The Valley is also home to a multi-million dollar pornography industry. Local news coverage strongly indicates that the Valley's porn industry is a fallback career option for both hapless runaways and aspiring amateur actors who come to Hollywood with hopes of becoming a movie star, and are unsuccessful.
The Valley shares the Los Angeles Basin's dry, sunny weather. Although the southwestern edge of Valley is less then 10 miles from the Pacific Ocean, the Valley can be considerably hotter than the Los Angeles Basin during the summer months. Also, rainfall accumulations tend to be somewhat higher in the Valley during the rainy season in comparison to the Los Angeles Basin and the coast. The Valley suffers from heavy concentrations of smog, particularly in the summer, because of the mountain ranges surrounding it and because vertical motion in the atmosphere is often blocked by temperature inversions.
Although the Valley is part of Los Angeles, its development pattern is almost exclusively suburban, and the automobile is the dominant mode of transport. Several freeways criss-cross the Valley. Most of the major thoroughfares run on a cartographic grid; notable streets include Ventura Boulevard and Mulholland Drive.
Despite the dominance of the automobile, the Valley has two MTA subway stations, in Universal City and North Hollywood, which opened in 2000 as an extension of the Metro Red Line Subway connecting the Valley to Hollywood and downtown Los Angeles. An east-west Bus Rapid Transit line is under construction in mid-2004, which will connect the North Hollywood Metro station to Warner Center in the west Valley. Two commuter rail lines connect the Valley to downtown Los Angeles, and an express bus line operates on Ventura Boulevard, with more express bus lines being planned for other routes across the Valley.
Parks and Recreation
The San Fernando Valley is home to several large and many small parks. Griffith Park, the largest of Los Angeles' municipal parks, lies at the southeastern end of the valley, straddling the eastern end of the Hollywood Hills. Two large recreation areas occupy the flood control basins behind Sepulveda Dam and Hansen Dam. O'Melveny Park above Granada Hills protects the upper reaches of Bee Canyon, at the eastern end of the Santa Susana Mountains.
In the past decade, many large tracts of undeveloped or ranch lands in the mountains surrounding the Valley have been acquired for parkland. The Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy and its affiliated agencies have purchased or otherwise acquired many of these lands, which are maintained as parkland by the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area , California state parks, or local parks districts. In 2003 the Ahmanson Ranch , a 2,983 acre (12 km²) property in Ventura County at the west end of the Valley, was purchased by the State of California, and dedicated as the Upper Las Virgenes Canyon Open Space Preserve on April 10, 2004.
In 2002, Los Angeles residents defeated a proposal under which the Valley would have seceded from the City of Los Angeles. The Valley has tried to secede in the 1970s, but the state passed a law barring city formation without the approval of the City Council. In 1997, Assembly Speaker Bob Hertzberg and Assemblyman Tom McClintock helped passed a bill that would make it easier for San Fernando Valley to secede by removing the City Council veto. AB 62 was signed into law by Governor Pete Wilson. Meanwhile, a grassroots movement to split the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) and create new San Fernando Valley-based school districts became the focal point of the desire to leave the city. However, the state rejected the idea of Valley-based districts but remained an important cause for the failed mayoral campaign of Bob Hertzberg.
Before secession could come out for a vote, the Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO) must study the fiscal viability of the new city and that the new city must mitigate any fiscal loss of incurred by Los Angeles. LAFCO concluded that new San Fernando Valley city would be financially viable, but needs to mitigate the $60.8 million Los Angeles would lose in revenues. Secessionists took this figure as evidence that the Valley gives more money to the city than it gets back in services. This triggered a petition drive to put secession on the ballot. Measure F and H would not only decide whether the Valley becomes a city but voters also get to pick a new name for it. Along with Measure F and H, elections were held for fourteen council members and a mayor.
Opponents claimed that secession was motivated by racist and class-based factors. Valley politicians such as State Senator Richard Alarcon and City Council President Alex Padilla opposed the initiatives. The leader of the LAUSD breakup and former congresswoman and busing opponent Bobbie Fiedler also campaigned against secession. Supporters point out that the Valley suffers from the same problems of poverty, crime, drug and gang activity as the rest of the city. The proposal passed with a slight majority in the Valley, but defeated by the rest of city voters due to a heavily-funded campaign against it led by Los Angeles Mayor James Hahn. Assemblyman Keith Richman was voted in as mayor of the stillborn city.
Movies In The Valley
Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982), Valley Girl (1983), Safe (1995) Boogie Nights (1997), Magnolia (1999), Punch-Drunk Love (2002), Two Days In The Valley (1996), The Karate Kid (1984), and its sequels were all filmed and set in the Valley. (See also: List of movies set in Los Angeles). The alleged lifestyles of Valley teens in the 1980s, and their alleged slang (Valspeak ), were satirized in the Moon Unit Zappa (daughter of Frank Zappa) song "Valley Girl" (Example: "Like, grody to the max!") Bing Crosby had a #1 hit in 1944 called "The San Fernando Valley" written by Gordon Jenkins.
Glossary of Valspeak
|Airhead||An intellectual lightweight (e.g. a Valley Girl).|
|Awesome||Not quite "tubular"|
|Gag me with a spoon!||That's disgusting.|
|Grody||Disgusting (e.g. "grody to the max")|
|I'm so sure!||I don't believe you.|
|Joanie||Unhip girl (from the Joanie Cunningham character on Happy Days)|
|Like, Omigod!||I'm surprised.|
|To the max||More of the preceding adjective (e.g. "grody to the max")|
|UVs||Sunshine. ("I'm heading down to the beach to get some UVs.")|
|Veg (out)||To rest.|
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