Letter: Something Prettier Somewhere Else

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Recently I revisited my old haunts. I drove through every small city that defined my early years.  A child of a father who bought a house with the assistance of the GI Bill.

Those cities that I remembered; Encino, Sherman Oaks, Toluca Lake, Chatsworth are not as they were. The large lots, the gas station/candy stores, the lawns and swimming pools that lured folks “over the hill” to the valley, are gone. Gone.

Now there are parked cars everywhere, sometimes four to a driveway, and a motor home at the curb. The schools are wrapped in chain link, strip malls lurk on every corner, there are block long motels and every manner of bad-taste billboards. Signs of things to come? Perhaps.

The orange groves and the massive oaks that lined Reseda’s White Oak Avenue are also gone.  It’s as though a desire for things practical and easy and efficient has replaced the comfort of grass and shade. Each town has become a town where the residents cannot wait to get out. That motor home idling, waiting on the weekend. 

I go back regularly because I believe one should know from where one comes. But I leave each time with more than just sadness, because the valley didn’t need to unravel. Folks just lost interest, and like me, they hoped there was something prettier somewhere else.

Many of you are nearing that point in Laguna. There are these new folks making decisions for us that are not reflective of our personal values, nor of our local history.  They are planting the seeds of parking lots and motels and watering them with corporate dollars. And you know who they are, if only by their loud and blatant desires. And were it not for the attention they get from this, they are nothing. And irrespective of how they may pretend to be, they are not friends of Laguna Beach.

Care to save Laguna?  Then vote carefully in this coming election. Unless we vote for those that care deeply for what makes Laguna different, what makes it a place where one hopes to stay as opposed to leave, we may end up with a well-scrubbed Reseda. 

We’re that close  Vote for those that love Laguna as it is. You know who they are. And you are not a friend of Laguna Beach if you vote to erase its beauty.

Mace Morse, Laguna Beach

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  1. I am so tired of locals insisting that any local who doesn’t agree with them hates Laguna. By insisting on doctrinal purity, by attacking the motives of your opponents, and by insisting that the sky is falling, you make it next to impossible to have a rational conversation about the pros and cons of local issues. Try the art of persuasion instead and your candidates might start winning elections. No need to name names. “You know who you are.”

  2. In rebut, the sky isn’t failing. It already has.
    The locals.. are going to put it back up.
    We have lost our home town.
    It is past time to put it back in place.
    Look around, how many hometowns do you see in Southern California, with a Main Street that is the center of town?
    With a post office, pharmacy, barber shop, grocery story and library, banks, all within walking distance ? We would give anything to have our theater back.
    It is these things that give us the rhythmic days of life, and afford us the lost concept of community. A place where we live to commune and walk the sidewalks greeting one another.
    It’s called again, a “ Hometown “.
    Once they are gone, then gone is a great level of roots and grounding which the structure of family so badly need.


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