News reports say the Hollywood sign is endangered by that big land auction surrounding it. And I’m calling on this town’s movie and TV moguls to do something about it. Fox River Financial Resources, the Chicago investment group that owns the 138 sage-covered acres on Cahuenga Peak above and to the left of the “H” of the Hollywood sign, put the land up for sale for $22 million last month after quietly purchasing the parcel from Howard Hughes’ estate for $1.7 million in 2002. Since Hughes secured the right to build a hillside road on land owned by the city Department of Water and Power, the hill could become home to new residential construction which would ruin the bucolic setting of the sign. Councilman Tom LaBonge told the AP that he wants the city, which owns the ground that the sign stands on plus the land on three sides of it, to acquire the property. But the city cannot legally pay more than $6 million. So the councilman is hoping for a replay of the last time the Hollywood sign was in trouble – when a bunch of celebrities paid $28,000 each to replace the sign’s nine crumbling letters back in the 1970s. This time, I think the Hollywood CEOs should band together (hell, they collude on everything else) and save the single most recognizable promotional landmark for their industry.
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