Letter: Standing Up To A Profiteering Landlord

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Three blind men and the elephant: the moral is that humans have a tendency to claim absolute truth based on their limited subjective experiences.

Such appears to be the case with Mr. Boyd, who ensured the Indy publish a subjective, vitriolic, petty article, without claiming the absolute truth. Mr. Boyd’s petulant piece is quite limited. The total picture is not presented.

Ruben Flores, who has not succumbed to his profiteering and exploitive landlord, Mr. Honarkar, presents an example other businesspeople and residents will relate to.

During this COVID-19 pandemic, our city council approved the investment of taxpayer dollars to improve one street in our downtown, excluding businesses in north and south Laguna. Merchants on Forest Avenue were permitted to use city sidewalks for displays to draw foot  traffic into their shops. Not so in other areas, and an inequitable vote.

What about businesspeople who have spent lifetimes, falling victims to profiteering landlords, forcing closure of their unique shops due to unfairly high rents, constantly raised? Is this a common goal to shutter these welcoming doors to ensure big development?

Mr. Flores has offered visitors and residents alike a touch of wonderment with his boutique nursery, previously located on Coast Highway. That space afforded residents an opportunity to buy lovely plants, and to listen to the sweet sounds of the birds in a terrain filled with beauty and quietude. But another rent hike forced Ruben to move and create a smaller magical space, rented from big developer Mr. Honarkar, a landlord who has been absent when it comes to repairs of the lovely nursery.

A businessman who has stood up to his profiteering landlord and managed to struggle through during the decimating effects of a pandemic, business still intact, should be praised and supported. Yes, in my opinion Ruben Flores, a creative and artistic businessman, belongs on our City Council. All of us have experienced loss. Let’s vote in a survivor who can speak for all of us.

Jahn Levitt, Laguna Beach

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