Leimert Park makes the news in France

To commemorate the 15th anniversary of the 1992 riots, the AP parachuted in a couple of reporters to do their quick, routine, mandatory story:

"Leimert Park has become a serene enclave in the 15 years since a race riot tore apart its neighborhood in south-central Los Angeles.

Under the surface, things aren't so calm. But today's escalating neighborhood tension has nothing to do with the outrage that boiled into rioting when several white police officers were acquitted in the beating of black motorist Rodney King on April 29, 1992.

This time, it's a fight over the area itself — how it should be defined and who should live and work there."

Jackie Ryan, 70, opened Zambezi Bazaar in 1991. She believe the city is trying to replace black-oriented businesses with businesses catering to wealthier white customers as a means of boosting tax revenue.

"The whole thing is to remove black people," Ryan told the AP.

And then our beloved Councilman Bernard Parks once again says something silly: "So Leimert Park doesn't die on the vine, it needs to attract the type of business that drives them there every night," Parks said. "Normally (people) will not go every night to Leimert Park to buy this unique Afro-centric trinket."

I love the Village, but there are several empty storefronts. And we could really use a small Trader Joe's like market, or how about a bakery. There are a lot of businesses that could co-exist with the shops that kept us coming back to the Village all these years. Progress will happen. We need to make sure it's progress we want.

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