ahmanson_thumbnail-161x117AHMANSON RANCH GALLERY
This expanded gallery shows the re-christened “Upper Las Virgenes Open Space Reserve” in all its glory. Our investigation into pollution emanating off neighboring Rocketdyne onto the ranch did not address open-space issues but questioned the safety of building thousands of homes on this otherwise pristine property.

This collection of key documents includes stories from a number of different media that shed light on this historic fight over thousands of acres of pristine ranch land sitting in the shadow of the Santa Susana Field Laboratory, site of this nation’s worst nuclear meltdown.

kuipers_and_collins-150x111AHMANSON RANCH ENDGAME
Los Angeles CityBeat/ValleyBeat – December 31, 2003
CityBeat contributor Michael Collins wins a 2003 Los Angeles Press Club award for coverage of toxics issues that lead to a new state park at Ahmanson Ranch.
By Dean Kuipers

Los Angeles CityBeat/ValleyBeat – December 31, 2003
How investigative reporting stopped a public health disaster
By Dean Kuipers

MICHAEL COLLINS PRINT ARTICLES (from oldest to newest):

LA Weekly – June 12, 2002
Ahmanson foes want ground-water tests. “They must analyze the ground water for pollution since they plan to use 660,000 gallons of it every day to water playgrounds, golf courses, common areas and lawns,” says environmentalist Mary Wiesbrock.

rocketdyneranchcroppedROCKETDYNE RANCH
Ventura County Reporter – December 12, 2002
The battle over the massive Ahmanson Ranch housing development heats up amid growing concerns about possible water and soil contamination from nearby Rocketdyne.

Ventura County Reporter – December 12, 2002
On day one, pro and anti-development forces face off in Ventura.

nuclear_radiation_monitorROCKETDYNE – IT’S THE PITS
Ventura County Reporter – December 19, 2002
Lots of questions, few answers at the latest meeting on Rocketdyne cleanup. Collins discovers radiation in a SSFL reactor that was being decommissioned that Boeing and government inspectors had missed.

dontbankonitDON’T BANK ON IT
Ventura County Reporter – December 26, 2002
WaMu will forge ahead on Ahmanson despite massive litigation. Collins interviews Tim McGarry of Washington Mutual regarding the controversial development.

Ventura County Reporter – January 23, 2003
Anti-Ahmanson forces contest Ventura County’s decision to approve the massive 3,050 housing project on the eastern border of the county. “This is a horrible project,” says Los Angeles Sup. Zev Yaroslavsky. “We should join in protecting our interests as a county.”

Ventura County Reporter – February 6, 2003
Calabasas City Council member, pollution-hater, hell-on-heels. Lee was a Calabasas community leader, businesswoman and long-time environmental advocate. “When I say ‘no’ on Ahmanson Ranch,” she said, “I mean business.”

Ventura County Reporter – February 13, 2003
Deadly Rocketdyne vapor threatens Ventura and Los Angeles Counties. “It will take 50,000 years to clean up the TCE at the 10 gallon per year rate of removal of the solvent,” said nuclear watchdog Dan Hirsch. “(Rocketdyne) should test its buildings.”

The Feeling is MutualTHE FEELING IS MUTUAL
Los Angeles ValleyBeat – July 10, 2003
“I am very pleased to see that the media exposure about the pollution and contamination up at Rocketdyne has really made Washington Mutual take a second look and do the right thing, which is sell the land to the State,” said an environmentalist.

Los Angeles CityBeat – September 18, 2003
“There is something to be said for the benefit of being a corporate citizen on your bottom line,” said Ventura County Sup. Linda Parks. “People are going to appreciate you and will become clients of your bank.”

Ventura County Reporter – May 20, 2004
“That was good stuff that the (Reporter) suggested, the perchlorate, and actually did help us,” said Rob Reiner at the Ahmanson Ranch victory celebration.

Victory TrailheadWIDE OPEN SPACES
Los Angeles CityBeat/ValleyBeat – August 3, 2006
It’s been nearly three years since CityBeat’s and its sister papers’ reports on toxic issues plaguing Ahmanson Ranch helped force would-be developer Washington Mutual to sell the gorgeous land to the state for public open space.