The Free Press, Mankato, MN

State, national news

October 31, 2013

Man who bombed Los Angeles Aqueduct reveals his story

(Continued)

Berry returned to Lone Pine in 2000. By then, 24 years had passed and his exploits had faded among the locals, so much so that Berry landed a good job in Owens Valley.

He works for the DWP.

His job? To make sure the aqueduct is safe and is properly diverting water to the metropolitan region to the south.

Berry says he regrets his actions of 37 years ago.

“There was a time when the DWP did whatever it wanted to around here,” he said. “But times have changed, and so have I. The DWP has done heroic work on behalf of the Owens Valley.”

He credited the DWP with preventing development that would have turned the wide-open, rugged land into a distant suburb of Los Angeles.

DWP officials in Los Angeles were unaware that one of their workers had bombed the aqueduct until told by the Los Angeles Times.

After considering the situation for several days, Jim Yannotta, manager of the aqueduct, issued a statement, saying Berry’s juvenile record has since been expunged and the city would have had no way of knowing about his involvement.

“It’s clear that this was a wrongheaded act of vandalism … by a youth who had been drinking and that he and his accomplice were rightly held accountable by the law,” Yannotta said.

The bombing was “a reflection of a period of much more tense relations between people in the Owens Valley and L.A.,” he said. “We are grateful that relations have improved.”

As Berry wrapped up his tale, the conversation turned to a loose end.

The day after the bombing, someone strapped a stick of dynamite to an arrow and shot it at a memorial fountain for William Mulholland, the aqueduct’s chief engineer, in the Los Feliz neighborhood of Los Angeles.

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