Does the Wet Suit You


A Modest Proposal

By JJ Gaspaarotti
By JJ Gaspaarotti

We live in a zip code where it is easy for marketing experts to mistake most of us for the rich people we aren’t. Cadillac and Maserati are always sending offers for free test-drive events held at fancy country club locations. Not so long ago a glossy magazine came in the mail selling expensive housing in New York City, the salsa capital of the world. One ad summed up the housing situation in Laguna Beach to a “T”.

“Original Greenwich Village artist loft for sale: 20-foot ceilings, north facing windows with a large entertainment area. $5,295,000.” Just like the situation in Laguna; there aren’t a lot of artist’s left, only expensive artistic housing selling at inflated prices based on a branding concept that no longer has any basis in reality.

We’re all sitting here marveling at how our ever-increasing home values are making our heirs rich. Half the homes up on the hill are multi-million dollar homes paid for with cash and occupied part time, if at all. Laguna morphed from a safe small town community to a home for absentee owners looking for a safe place to house their money. Most of us are tempted to sell if only we knew what to do about the tax bill and could find a place to move to that we love as much as Laguna.

But there is good news on the horizon for the poorest of us all. A solution to the problem of housing the homeless is close at hand. Let’s put them up at the Hotel Uguna. That’s the new name for the Hotel Laguna where some sore loser scraped off the letter L on the gold sign over the door.

Judging from the speeding inertia of nothing going on at the old movie theater, the Hotel Uguna could be vacant for several years at least. The County of Orange should rent the hotel on a month-to-month basis and house the homeless there. It shouldn’t be too expensive for a county that just spent $35 million on a new dog pound, just like a dead friend who insisted on spending more on vet bills for his dog than he spent on his own health care.

We need to value human life more than the comfort of our pets.

We could house a lot of people in the old hotel. There’s even room for a blood bank in the art store on the corner and a campground for broken RVs in the parking lot. Judge Carter would be proud.


JJ Gasparotti moved to Laguna Beach with his family when he was 11yrs old. He has loved it ever since.


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