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That could be the title of my time with Pismo Beach. The only reason it wouldn't be correct is that I came here radical. But what I've seen here in my four years has increased my awareness of the widening gap between the rich and the poor, and of the influence of the rich as opposed to the poor.

All this because today I went out to do a landscape inspection. Of a huge house, "remodeled" but really rebuilt, for a single couple. The house is on the blufftop, has a large lap pool and is walled in by a tall masonry wall that is within the city's right-of-way. The wall blocks any views of the ocean from the street (side yards are required to be kept open for views), is taller than allowed by the city's fence height regulations, but was okayed by our director because of a casual comment at a city council meeting. And pressure, of course, by the arrogant and incredibly wealthy owner. The house is closer to the ocean than it would be allowed to be if built new, but by presenting the project as an addition, the owner and architect finessed the rules and got to keep everything within the blufftop setback...and to essentially rebuild that portion as well, by lowering the floor and putting on a new roof.

It is hard for me to look at these castles by the ocean and not feel anger. I try to put it behind me, to let it go, but it's here, so I'm writing about it here rather than taking my anger out somewhere less appropriate.


( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
Dec. 21st, 2003 02:54 pm (UTC)
Why do we hate the rich?
I have often thought about it. Because I do. I was jealous of the entitlement, but I am also conscious of the poor...that the story of being poor is no different now than it was when I was young. I often think if good plans were really in place to help the poor when I was 25, then there would not be any poor when I am now 59. Prime Witness by Steve Martini speaks to the very adept sleazy power some people obviously have in the system. There is a show going on on one of the cable channels about a young spoiled brat of a man who is building his own house (well, having it built) . This house is being bankrolled by the young man's father. The mother clearly is in love with the son and probably had a lot of influence in making it happen. He is getting a 2,200 square feet one-bedroom custom house. His view of what he deserves goes beyond anything I have every dreamed of owning. Well I suppose most of us have had a lot of lost opportunities.
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )


Judith Lautner
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