Soulvine columnist Betty Pleasant says that Councilman Bernard Parks and former mayor Richard Riordan are trying to stave off the closing of Daniel Murphy High School, Parks' alma mater. The Archdiocese of Los Angeles announced in October that the campus, opened in 1954, would shut down at the end of the school year. Enrollment has dwindled to 231 students, but the archdiocese also blamed "increased operating costs and serious financial challenges faced by the archdiocese." (In other words, settlement of the clergy abuse lawsuits.) Pleasant reports in this week's column in The Wave:
Riordan, a generous and influential philanthropist to educational and Catholic institutions, is wholeheartedly in support of maintaining the inner-city Catholic boys high school and is exploring the means of doing so. Riordan reportedly told the group that he will try to line up major Catholic donors and put together a group of financiers to form a board of directors and operate the school themselves. If anybody can do it, Riordan can.
The archdiocese is dead set on closing Daniel Murphy and is making the boysí last year miserable in the process. The school is still open, but the budget has been cut to the point where it might as well be closed. No money has been allotted for the transportation of student athletes to their competitive games....
I also heard that the school is not putting money up for the boysí annual prom and it has canceled the traditional winter formal, which would have been held this month. All of this is just wrong. Pray that our inner-city Catholic school boys can be delivered from this evil.
Changing subjects, the irrepressible Pleasant also says, "Iím hearing grumbling that racism is rife in city government. Iím hearing people in four or five different city departments complaining about racism and Iím hearing that employees are holding meetings on the subject. Somethingís about to break loose and I want in on it. Call me. Let me come to your meetings!!"
On Steve Grayson: Pleasant writes of the late Herald Examiner photographer, who died recently, "In addition to being a fine photojournalist, Steve was a wonderful human being ó always upbeat, positive, sensitive and kind to everybody. I hired Steve when I was the Sentinelís managing editor....I really loved Steve. Everybody loved Steve. Rest in peace, my little brother."
Last add Betty: "Najee Ali and I have been invited and vetted to attend the CNN Democratic Presidential Debate in the Kodak Theatre Thursday evening. Iím driving."