Dispute with neighbor prevents Venice high school baseball program from hosting home games on their new million dollar baseball diamonds
VENICE (CBSLA) – The student-athletes of the Venice High School baseball team are currently unable to use the new million-dollar pitches, recently renovated by the Los Angeles Unified School District, due to security concerns communicated by a neighbor.
The parents of the team members are now upset. Brandon Halverson’s son is a junior on the varsity baseball team and said that while the students are still in distance learning, the baseball program has been allowed to return to the field.
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It was supposed to be the first season high school athletes could play on the new softball and baseball fields.
“Without it a lot of these kids are going to have that experience stolen a second time,” Halverson told CBSLA’s Rick Montanez, adding that once the baseball program started he saw his son’s grades go up. and noticed an improvement. his mental health and behavior.
That all changed when LAUSD announced that teams at Venice High School could no longer host home games on the field and limited the practice of hitting inside batting cages.
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Parents say it started when a new home owner in the neighborhood, whose property borders the grounds, complained to the district about security concerns. This specific neighbor didn’t want to speak to CBSLA, but while surrounding neighbors say they understand the concerns aside from a few broken windows each season, they don’t care about games or practices. According to longtime residents of the area, LAUSD has always covered repair costs whenever there is property damage.
âNow a new neighbor comes in and threatens to file a lawsuit against LAUSD, and LAUSD, I think, wasn’t backing us,â Halverson said. âIt was supposed to be the year we all got it right and put it back on the pitch. And they could have a somewhat normal baseball season.
The district sent letters to nearby owners on Saturday outlining a potential short-term solution to spending the remainder of the season in the field. The offer is to pitch tents during home games or to give any family living in the affected area $ 1,200 as an incentive to leave their homes during games, which can alleviate security concerns.
It remains to be seen whether the offer will work or not. A Zoom meeting is scheduled for Monday night where parents hope to learn more about the fate of their children’s baseball season.
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