April 15, 2024 Breaking News, Latest News, and Videos

Mexican-American War Hero Tops Buffer Park Name List:

Following a month of garnering suggestions from the community, Santa Monica’s Recreation & Parks Commission voted on war hero Joe Gandara to be honored in namesake at the nicknamed Buffer Park.

Narrowing the naming list down to three, the commission voted 5-1 Thursday, Nov. 20, to submit Joe Gandarda Park to City Council as their prime pick.

“In this case, I believe we want to reflect a salient point in the history of the Pico neighborhood,” explained Commissioner Phil Brock. “The soldier whose name we chose is a native of Santa Monica who grew up on Frank Street, a few blocks away from the new park, at the start of WWII. He was private who fought for America and died saving his comrades in battle.”

Gandara went unrecognized for his bravery and devotion to the country because of racial prejudice at the time. He served with Company D, 2nd Battalion, 507th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 17th Airborne Division.

President Obama posthumously presented Pvt. Gandara with the Medal of Honor earlier this year. He was recognized for his actions during combat operations in Amfreville, France, on June 9, 1944.

“His story will provide inspiration to children in the Pico area. His history will instill pride in a mostly ethnic neighborhood of our city and the late recognition of his bravery will serve as a lesson in the prejudice that existed in our country,” Brock said.

Coming in second place in the name game was Heroes Park, suggested as a general honor to all in the city who have lost their lives in the line of duty, followed by Ishahara Park in third, honoring George H. Ishihara, a distinguished past Santa Monica resident and WWII hero.

“There was a spirited debate and place names were discussed as well as joining the park to Stewart St Park,” Brock said. “The names of early Santa Monica Mexican ranchero owners, Reyes and Marquez families, and other local historical figures were also brought up. Ultimately, Joe Gandara represents the working class-can do spirit that has always existed in the Pico Neighborhood. It is fitting that Buffer Park become Gandara Park.”

The standard practice of naming Santa Monica parks as per their geographical location was ruled out in this instance, as there already is Exposition Park in the city and Stewart Street Park is close by.

Buffer Park is a 2.35 acre park that will be developed on Exposition Boulevard between Stewart Street and Dorchester Avenue. The community submitted a total of 135 name suggestions to be selected from, with 88 being distinct, according to the City.

Name suggestions were collected via online surveys, paper surveys at local library branches, a table at Pico Farmers’ Market each Saturday in October, and emails to Pico Neighborhood churches and schools.

The name of Joe Gandara Park will now be presented to Santa Monica City Council for a final vote.

in News
Related Posts

Registration Now Open for Summer at New Roads

April 12, 2024

April 12, 2024

New Roads School is accepting registration for its summer program, a vibrant selection of classes and camps curated to meet...

CodeREV Inspires Kids to Code

April 12, 2024

April 12, 2024

Budding coders, robotics engineers, game developers, animators and STEM campers are invited to join CodeREV this summer for a memorable...

YMCA Santa Monica: When School Is Out, Camp Is In

April 12, 2024

April 12, 2024

As the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District nears its end,  YMCA Santa Monica is setting up for its popular Summer...

Top 4 Party Boat Rentals in San Diego

April 12, 2024

April 12, 2024

Here’s a rundown of the top 4 party boat rentals that will elevate any event to an unforgettable experience: Alana...

Venice Shorts: Media Trucks Scour Canals After Saturday’s Violent Assaults

April 12, 2024

April 12, 2024

Just How Safe Is Venice? By Nick Antonicello Car vandalism, tool theft, break-ins, property theft, pick-pocketing at the beach, rampant...

Accents Owner Steven Hanna Reflects on Decades Long Legacy

April 12, 2024

April 12, 2024

For 37 years, Accents Jewelry has transcended mere commerce, evolving into a vibrant community, a crucible of creativity, and a...

Santa Monica Breakfast Club Hosts 8th Annual Mad Hatter Tea Party

April 12, 2024

April 12, 2024

Whimsical Event Raises Funds for Local Families’ Dental Care Needs The Santa Monica Breakfast Club is gearing up for its...

Council Advances Plans for 120+ Affordable Apartments

April 11, 2024

April 11, 2024

The Development Aims to Serve Individuals and Families Earning Between 30 to 80% of the Area Median Income The City...

(Video) The New Menu Experience at Cassia Restaurant in Santa Monica is Delicious

April 11, 2024

April 11, 2024

The Southeast Asian dishes satisfy. Friendly ambiance, flavorful food, subtle cocktails, beer and wine, and scrumptious desserts. @smmirrornews The New...

Lyft Driver Charged with Sexual Assault Following Investigation

April 10, 2024

April 10, 2024

The Incident Occured in September By Zach Armstrong A Lyft driver who allegedly sexually assaulted a woman last year has...

SB 1509 Advances: Malibu Officials Rally Behind Negligent Operator Treatment Bill

April 10, 2024

April 10, 2024

Senator Stern’s Legislation Gains Momentum in Effort to Curb Reckless Driving SB 1509, the Negligent Operator Treatment bill spearheaded by...

“New Girl” Actor Sells Palisades Abode for $3.1M

April 10, 2024

April 10, 2024

He and His Wife Undertook a Renovation of the Unique, Two-Story Abode, Transforming It Into a Picturesque Beachfront Dwelling Actor...

Nationwide Retail Theft Scheme Leads to Five-Year Prison Sentence for Santa Monica Man

April 10, 2024

April 10, 2024

The Man Led a Group That Hoodwinked Department Stores Across 23 States By Zach Armstrong A Santa Monica man was...

Two Women Assaulted and Injured Near Venice Canals, LAPD Initiates Investigation

April 10, 2024

April 10, 2024

The Venice Community Will See an Increase in Patrols Along With Black and White Police Vehicles By Zach Armstrong An...

Report: State Farm’s California Policy Shakeup to Hit Palisades the Hardest

April 10, 2024

April 10, 2024

Customers Affected Will Receive Notifications Starting July 3 for Property Holders and August 20 for Commercial Apartment Holders The San...