Tuesday, August 14, 2012

The latest news about Los Angeles City Department of Recreation and Parks cleanup of the Korean Bell of Friendship, said cleaning occurring yesterday.

A late addition on 8/22/2012. See my latest post on this which occurred one
week after I wrote this very post:
A big thank you shout out to Los Angeles City Department of Recreation and Parks for the cleanup effort so far at the Korean Bell of Friendship! Plus a photographic interpretation of last night’s visit there.

I recommend that you read that post after finishing this one as you will see what I did on my return visit. Hint- it’s a very “messy” situation.

First, a couple of emails to set up the story. These emails are in response to
my email sent to members of the L.A. government. First is the response from the Mayor’s office:

Mayor Villaraigosa mayor@lacity.org

Aug 10 (4 days ago)

to me

Thank you for taking the time to contact Mayor Antonio R. Villaraigosa.
Your thoughts and concerns are greatly appreciated and although you
may not receive a return message, your comments will be shared with
the Mayor and appropriate staff member(s) or city department, and
considered in all related matters.
•       If further action is required, we suggest contacting 311 “One Call
to City Hall” or the appropriate city department directly to resolve
your issue.
•       If this is a Scheduling Request please contact (213) 922-9747 for
instructions on how to request the Mayor’s participation at your
•       If you would like to request a Certificate of Recognition from the
Mayor’s Office please email your request to
mayor.certificate@lacity.org (please note that you will need to
request your certificate at least 20 business days in advance of your
event, at this time certificates cannot be back dated for your event.)
Please contact Constituent Services at 213-978-0721 if you have any
further questions or comments.  Thank you again for your thoughts and
Very truly yours,
Constituent Services Department,
Office of the Mayor”

As expected a typical canned, one size fits all response. Next is the response
from the gentleman who evidently is responsible for the Korean Bell of Friend-
ship at L.A. Parks and Recreation Department:

Mark Mariscal mark.mariscal@lacity.org

Aug 10 (4 days ago)

to me, jacob.haik, Mike, David, Juan

Images are not displayed. Display images below - Always display images from mark.mariscal@lacity.org

Mr. McDonald

Thanks for your email. There has been some discussion as to different approaches to the cleaning. I will speak with our Environmental Section about the process.

Now his email told me that they are in the talking stage of how to cleanup the memorial.

Then I received this email today from the Chief of Staff to the City Councilman whose district the bell lies within:

Doane Liu doane.liu@lacity.org

10:54 AM (7 hours ago)

to me, jacob

Hi Bill - 

Thanks for letting us know about the conditions at the Korean Bell.  We wanted to let you know that we notified the Department of Recreation and Parks (RAP) and forwarded your photographs and video. 

RAP contacted us yesterday to let us know that they power-washed the pavillion yesterday and will return every 2 weeks from now on.  By the way, the bird droppings you documented happened recently.  The councilman was at the site on the 4th of July and said the facility was in very good condition. 

Thanks again for contacting our office. 


Doane Liu | Chief of Staff | Councilman Joe Buscaino

15th Council District | City of Los Angeles | 213.473.7015

www.LA15th.com | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube

Now this email really was great news to me, especially the part that said that the memorial would be on an every two weeks cleaning cycle from now on. Bravo!

But as President Ronald Wilson Reagan once said to Secretary Mikhail
Gorbachev in the 1980’s-“trust but verify”- I decided to go back to the
memorial to see for myself how well the cleanup went. But before I show you the results of my visit in picture form, I wish to thank Mr’s Mariscal and Liu for taking the time to get back to me and for starting the whole ball rolling. I do not hold them responsible for the quality or
lack thereof, in the cleaning effort, as these photographs taken today, on the eve of the Korean Liberation Day ceremony to be held at the bell, indicate.

To my admittedly untrained eye, the floor was power washed and not very thoroughly at that, and the eaves and rafters above the bell as well
as the striking log were ignored. A typical bureaucratic response to a problem in other words. To the cleanup crew: I am sure that you were told that the bell would be rung soon at a ceremony, don’t you think that cleaning the striking log might have been a good idea? Heck, even if you just took Windex and a sponge to it, that
would have made a difference, a big difference.
08142012kfb_cleanup 011

Same old pigeon crap on the striking log as last visit.
08142012kfb_cleanup 012
08142012kfb_cleanup 009

08142012kfb_cleanup 013
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But the real scandal besides the condition of the striking log are the eaves overhead. This part of the monument was absolutely left untouched as the following photographs will attest. This sickens and disgusts me. I sure hope that the dignitaries in attendance at the ceremony tomorrow, held at the bell, do not lookup.
08142012kfb_cleanup 042
No way did this much crap build up overnight! This area was not cleaned up, I guarantee it!
08142012kfb_cleanup 040
Did the bird nest in the pic below get built overnight?
08142012kfb_cleanup 034
08142012kfb_cleanup 030
08142012kfb_cleanup 026
I have many more of images like these, taken today, the day after the  cleanup by the L.A. Parks and
Recreation crew but these make the point.
08142012kfb_cleanup 022

Lying is something that I don’t like, and I don’t believe that Mr. Mariscal or Mr. Liu lied to me; but someone may have lied to them. In no way, was this memorial given a proper cleanup. No way. The photographs taken the day  after the alleged cleanup prove it.

I really don’t like telling people their business either, but I will make an exception here. Somebody’s head needs to roll over this. An important
political block is about to be insulted tomorrow at this ceremony, by this half assed joke of a cleanup, and in an election year, that cannot be ignored or go unpunished. Besides that reason, it is the right thing to do. Do not reward bad behavior, that has always been my belief, and I see no reason why that shouldn’t apply to this situation as well. As I have written here several times recently, this memorial, a gift from one people to another, has been the recipient of dishonorable neglect and this affront is an example of that.

It needs to stop now. The cleanup is incomplete and if the department heads have to come out from behind their desks and be on hand to supervise the operation, fine. It might do the cleanup crew some good to see that the big boss is standing there watching, and motivate them to refocus their efforts and do a better job.

Folks, I have done all that I can do with this. Except for one more thing. Perhaps I can bring this to the attention of the Korean- American media.There may be a language issue but  I might find a way around that. I can try to help ensure that somebody shines a light upon this situation, someone with a larger readership than I have, and perhaps their viewers can call and get this job done right, once and for all.

A late addition at 1921 pm. This is the email that I just sent to Mr. Liu, the Chief of Staff, for the city councilman, Joseph Buscaino, who represents this area of San Pedro that is home of the Korean Bell of

William Mcdonald

7:20 PM (0 minutes ago)

to Doane, bcc: me

Thank you sir for the reply. I went to the Korean Bell of Friendship
at once and am saddened and angered to say that
the cleanup crew did not do a good job at all.
You would think that they would at least have cleaned the striking log
used to ring the bell , but they obviously didn't.
I sure hope that you receive this email before the ceremony and that
someone gets right over first thing in the morning to clean the log,
or else have rubber gloves available for the dignitaries, it is that
I have taken the time to write up a followup post with photos
regarding this cleanup effort which can be read here:
As I say in the post, I do not think that either you or Mr. Mariscal
lied to me about this cleanup, but someone has sure done so to both of
you. The photos prove it. It is extremely apparent that the only thing
power washed was the concrete floor and possibly a couple of columns.
The ignored cleaning of the striking log actually reaches a level of
willful insubordination almost, and for sure fails the common sense
This effort is unacceptable and will definitely be a source of
embarrassment to the people involved in the ceremony tomorrow, and by
proxy to the city government.
As to my further participation with this, there is not much more that
I can do, except for what I promise in my post.
Thank you for attempting to settle this matter.
Bill McDonald aka Morongobill

I know, tilting at windmills again, but at least I have tried to help.

Bill McDonald aka Morongobill