When, oh when, oh when will something be done to soothe the smoldering peat fires that spill noxious smoke and gas from the vicinity of Jefferson and Hauser Streets in the Baldwin Hills? For more than two years the fire has crept inexorably deeper into the peat beds, and now twelve acres are burning just under the topsoil, endangering the health of 200,000 local lungs and the ankles of any local foolish enough to tramp through the booby-trapped fields. Forget the living! What of the mummies?!
Former City Councilman Mallard has issues a plea on behalf of his neighborhood that the City Council take this "rank poison" threat seriously and extinguish the blaze immediately. He even tells them how to do it: through steam shovels that can expose the burning beds, so water can be introduced. Of course, Mallard’s suggestion that the fire be fought in the manner of William Mulholland’s aqueduct project—get it done first, then get the permits—seems in retrospect to be in somewhat less than good taste, but the St. Francis dam disaster is still six months away, and the Mullholland name an untarnished example of Angeleno ingenuity.
In New York City, pioneer developer Gaylord Wilshire has died. In recent years, he devoted himself to promoting an electric "health belt" of his own invention, the “I-ON-A-CO.”