U.S.S. Iowa's Final Battle Pits Vallejo vs. L.A.

If only someone would tow this thing to Des Moines

By Jan. 18, Vallejo must submit a plan for slithering out of bankruptcy. Former banker Merylin Wong, the head of a maritime enthusiast's group there, has a plan for keeping the city on firm financial footing henceforth: Pay millions of dollars yearly to park a decaying 67-year-old warship off the city's shore.

As is so often the case when Northern Californians try to lift themselves by their own bootstraps, Los Angelenos are there to stomp them back down. Wong's plan to park the World War II battleship U.S.S. Iowa at Mare Island as a floating museum may be scuttled in favor of a competing plan, put together by L.A.-area boosters. The U.S. Navy may see the southerners' scheme as more economically viable.

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