By James Brasuell
Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa took to a backhoe yesterday to help demolish the former site of Ross Swiss Dairy in Lincoln Heights. The demolition and the photo op were a chance to remind the public that there is still a Los Angeles River Revitalization Master Plan, approved in 2007, but largely unfunded in 2011. The city bought the ten acre Ross Swiss site in 2009, for instance, using $17.5 million in Proposition O funds (a bond measure for clean water projects), and has plans for a riverfront park at the site that will include baseball fields, landscaping, and an underground irrigation system. For now, however, the demolition will have to do, because there isn't any money to actually build the park. The Daily News talked to Lewis McAdams, founder of the nonprofit Friends of LA River, who summed up the current condition of basically everyone in the development game these days: "In times of no money, you plan," adding, "When you get money, you start the plans." There are attempts to buy and parkify riverside land in many places along the river, including in Studio City, where a nonprofit is trying get Prop O funds to help purchase the Weddington Golf & Tennis Club and turn it into open space.