District Weekly writer Steve Lowery grew up in Downey and revisits the home turf for a piece pegged to the city apparently beating out much-bigger Long Beach for the new Tesla electric car plant — and being able to "resurrect from literal rubble the Googie classic that was Johnie’s Broiler." He likes what he sees:
To me, it was unfathomable. It wasn’t that I considered Downey feckless. I would defend my city’s ability to feck with the best of them...what I had missed on those numerous trips back to Downey to visit, what had changed and why? What I found was that the nexus of everything is at the corner of Lakewood and Stewart and Gray, so that’s where we’re headed. It’s there that we’ll find the reason Downey had to become what it has become and how it bore fruit. So here we go. Please stop humming.
I’m not saying everything about Downey is great, nor am I saying that everything they’ve done to attract business or the businesses they attract are great. I came back to Downey just to see what had changed and what I found was that it was how Downey saw itself.
Of course, his piece lands the same month that AlterNet runs one headlined "How an L.A. suburb became one of the most toxic towns." Subhed: "Downey illustrates the potential harm when old industrial sites, in this case a NASA plant, are redeveloped before toxic chemicals are removed." Compare and contrast.