Pet Peeves

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Moles & Holes

By Mark Crantz
By Mark Crantz

There was a lot of honking and singular digit waving as I sat in my car on the 133 engrossed in Indy’s digital article, “Laguna Canyon Road Plans Receive Critical Reviews.”  Before the ruckus, I thought what a coincidence that I was stuck in 133 traffic and reading a column about the decongesting of it.  The whole thing could be done by 2023.  It seemed like a long time for me to sit here and wait. That’s when I looked up and realized that the traffic jam in front of me was over and I’d become the traffic jam. And there I was thinking all the waving was from people who recognized me from the “Pet Peeves” column.  Silly me.  Sorry. Sorry.  Finally, I got the car in gear, but to maintain my right to drive like a Susi Q senior citizen, I retreated with my left hand turn signal on doing head fake lefties all the way down to Coast Highway.

Boy oh boy there sure is a lot of talk about what to do to improve Route 133 traffic. I went back into the newspaper archives and found out that the first complainant was a Wells Fargo bank robber in 1927. He couldn’t make a clean getaway either. Ironically, years later, his descendants worked for Wells Fargo and learned there was no need to make getaways.

Caltrans has been making plans for road improvements over the last 12 years. It’s been time consuming because employees keep retiring with full pensions before the traffic plans can be approved. There have been 15 retirement cakes, 15 watches presented and 15 un-kept retiree promises to keep in touch and help the next guy make the transition.  Fifteen unreturned retiree calls shared the recorded message, “Gone Droning. Riparian Habitats Be Dammed.”

I was unfamiliar with riparian habitats.  So, I asked Siri.  She said, “You shouldn’t have dropped out of school after sixth grade.  Here’s your answer. Relating to wetlands adjacent to rivers and streams.  Go bug Alexa next time.”  Geez, sorry I asked.  I get it now. Environmental groups are concerned about the displacement of wetlands with concrete and the additional road kill it will create.  I’m all for avoiding tire-realignments.

Caltrans agrees to underground 19 utility poles north of El Toro road, while relocating 14 poles to the south to a secret location, thereby relieving Laguna taxpayers of the decision to bury them on the November ballot.  Many taxpayers were elated that Caltrans has agreed to foot the $30 million costs.  But some city employees remain skeptical and suggest Caltrans hold on to their dough to see if voters prefer paying for the undergrounding and relocation themselves.

What? Someone else wants to pay and we say wait.  Reminds me of when I was a kid and my best friend and I tried to catch a mole to make it our pet.  My friend got bit.  Fourteen rabies shots later we learned a lesson.  Leave it to the professionals.  Let the Navy train dolphins for mine clearing work and let the Army train moles for wire burying.  And let Caltrans handle roads.  Especially, when the professionals agree to not send us a bill.


Crantz tells the Indy that when he was a boy he tried to catch a bee, as well.  He was stung and got his revenge by never eating honey, again.  Crantz was relieved it wasn’t a hops incident.  He could never give up beer.




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  1. Pet Peeve,
    Why do UPS trucks ‘WAKE UP THE DEAD?” Have you noticed their vehicles are old, huge, and loud. The drivers speed down our narrow streets and are always in a hurry. FedEX drivers are quieter, their trucks are not loud and overall more considerate of the Laguna neighborhoods.

    Steve Parks
    Ocean Vista Dr.

  2. Good pet peeves observation, Steve. UPS trucks do make a lot more racket. I think they speed through our neighborhoods because the drivers are embarrassed to be seen in those brown uniforms. If I had to dress like that nobody would be getting packages. Just driving through.


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