Huell Howser, “California Gold’s” founder and host, sells out on redevelopment

Exactly one year ago this past week I spoke to Huell Howser, producer of the very popular, nonpolitical, “California Gold” public access TV Series regarding an upcoming series he was about to commence. You can see that July 29, 2008, blog post, and the 30 reader comments, on the Orange Juice.
This follow up is based on today’s LA Times where they report Huell appearing at a redevelopment sight in the Signal Hill area of LA.

Our July 2008 discussion was triggered by discovering that Huell was hired by the state Redevelopment Agency to visit a group of projects around the state to promote the alleged benefits and success of same. This 14 segment series was to be named “California’s Communities.”

In my phone discussion I asked if he planned to cover redevelopment projects that were about to commence or those that were not “success stories.” To illustrate my point I mentioned the city of Baldwin Park where hundreds of homes and businesses will shortly be visited by Bisno Development’s bulldozer(s).

In that discussion Huell told me he has “no political agenda” and that he “keeps politics out of it,” a reference to his multiple TV series. He did provide a list of projects that will be visited. When I asked him to include redevelopment stories that were not successful, or to mention that they were not all a success story as defined by CRA, Huell stated “they (CRA) are underwriting the series…they are paying me.”

So much for fair and balanced topic coverage. As he said “the series will not be pro-redevelopment,” and as a full year has passed, I will now divulge some of the 14 project sites mentioned by Huell in that call. Temecula, Clovis, railroad bridge and the Alameda Naval Station.

Let me close by stating that we enjoy his traditional KCET reports and are saddened that he has decided to accept one side of the redevelopment story as hundreds or thousands of Californians have become victims to redevelopment bulldozers when they do not wish to sell their homes and businesses.


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