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Compton: A River Runs Through It

We were as shocked as LA Weekly writer Judith Lewis was to learn that there is a flowing creek in Compton. Who knew there is room for both gangster rap and a riparian habitat? Lewis describes her guided visit to the creek like this:

It's as if we had stumbled upon a diorama of the Emerald City in the middle of the Nevada Test Site. Behind the fence, there is a creek. A wetland, even. A bona fide riparian marsh. There are cattails and thick, green aquatic grasses, killdeer and red-winged blackbirds. The largely forgotten creek is threatened by Gateway Towne Center, a proposed 48-acre power center that would cover a critical part of the watershed and relegate the creek to a trash ditch. At loggerheads: the promise of economic development in a town with a soaring murder rate, 25% poverty rate, and a per capita income under $12,000, versus perhaps naïve notions of a preserved natural habitat in the midst of the country's second-largest metropolis. Our bet is that BestBuy KO's the red-winged blackbirds in the second round.
· A Creek Flows in Compton[LA Weeekly]