Friday, June 27, 2008

An "I'm Really Pissed Off" Post

To all of you supporters of Bob's plans for OUR community.

You have too much gall. You are so smug and arrogant to even try and begin to attempt to criticize me and folks like me, thinking we don't know about change in OUR community.


Before you continue to flap your traps about how I might be against further change along Western Avenue, then you had better be able to come at least somewhere close to my experiences living five houses up from Western Avenue, beginning on May 4, 1955.

You have NO CLUE!!!

Even you old-timers who support Bob's plans to change MY Avenue, those of you who live further south in San Pedro, or have lived here longer than my 53 years, 1 month, and 24 days.

If you don't think I have lived through some changes along Western, or in San Pedro, or in OUR community, you need to shut up because you are wearing your ignorance on you sleeve as a patch of dishonor to San Pedro.

Here are some questions I have for all of you:

Did you ever eat at the Harbor Lites Restaurant?

Were you there, in the water of Peck Park Pool the day it opened? I was.

Were you there, in the water of Peck Park Pool some 2,288 Saturdays later, just this past Saturday? I was.

How many times did you pet the calves?

How many times did you watch milk being processed from utter to bottle at the dairy on Western?

Did YOUR father have the keys to the gates of the Standard Oil Tank Farm?

Did you ever finish your meal at the lunch counter at W.T. Grant's and then walk through the indoor passage into Food Giant?

Did you ever get handed a wiener whistle for Little Oscar while he was standing in the doorway of the original Wiener Mobile, and then have the opportunity to take a ride in a tethered helicopter in the same parking lot?

How many times did you beg a parent to allow you to get to play on the wooden landing craft?

Were you in Von's the day it opened and then again the day it finally closed?

How many times have you taken a swim at the Y.M.C.A. when it was in a tall building along Harbor Blvd.?

How many laps have you run on the indoor track, above the gym floor, that was across the street from the Y.?

How many bricks of ice did you buy from the Union Ice Company in order to slide down the hill at Averill Park?

Were YOU there the day the taxicab arrival scene was shot for "It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World?

Where were you on December 17, 1976? (Ka-boom!!!!!!!)

Have you been shocked when an explosion rocked the Union Oil refinery and you were able to run out and watch the amazing orange glow from the blast?

Should I continue or do you have as many experiences of the changes found along Western Avenue as I have LIVED THROUGH?

If you moved into a brand new home in Rolling Hills Riviera, Rolling Hills Highlands, Westmont, Palo de Encino, Strathmore, The Cape, and Tarragona, you moved into that home at least years AFTER I had been already living in my home.

Note: The last tract of single-family, detached houses built on lots of not less than 5,000 square feet was in 1971.

Since then we have seen just about every type of housing being developed in OUR community.

Just because people believe the misstatement that no R1 housing is being built in L.A. doesn't mean OUR community must have condos like Bob wants, doesn't mean OUR community can't fight and win that type of housing on the last large piece of land that will ever be available in San Pedro.

I think those of us who have seen changes along Western Avenue for at least as long as I have been alive realize that change occurs, no matter what.

Did you ride your bike down the fun hills where The Courtyards now stands?

Don't come to me and even try to suggest that I haven't seen or haven't lived through so many dramatic changes along Western or that I am reluctant to change.

Where was the Flying A gas station?

What was on the site of the Sizzler's before it was that steakhouse.

What was the first thing built where Marie Calendar's now stands?

How many free birthday single scoop ice cream cones did you enjoy at 31 flavors?

What shape, for many years, was served on cones at Thrifty's?

What was the concrete building along Western, next to Lochmann's used for, in the 1960's?

How many times did you hear the air raid siren on the last Friday of every month, at 10:00 AM?

People who claim support for Bob's plans for Ponte Vista, you do know jack sh** about the real changes that have occurred, are occurring now, or will occur in the future, along Western Avenue.

How many storm drains have NOT been relined under Western Avenue?

Where was the original opening gate for Green Hills located?

I have lived these changes. I will live the near future changes. I will deal with the future changes along Western Avenue.

What I don't intend on dealing with are the morons who suggest that opponents of Bob's plans are resistant to change. If you were not born prior to May 3, 1955, you have no real concept of the changes that have occurred along Western Avenue!

If you grew up close to Gaffey and Pacific, you probably rarely traveled up to little Western Avenue when it was not much of a road, compared to those two streets.

How many cartoons have you watched at the Pacific Drive In?

Where was Mr. Lochmann's second dairy store in San Pedro?

Heck, I don't believe many of you supporters of Bob's plans even know where the original end of the Harbor Freeway was.

How many trips on the Islander did you take?

What make of vehicles were sold at Soderstrom's?

Let's compare notes. I'll take my experiences of changes along Western Avenue and the rest of San Pedro and stack them up against yours.

You may be somewhat close if you are over 53-years old and have grown up in this area.

But most of the good members of OUR community that could have come closer to comparing notes with me now can be found at Green Hills or spread under the Pacific Ocean.

I have seen change on Western Avenue and in San Pedro. I appreciate change when it offers true benefits to all of OUR community.

Ponte Vista, as currently planned will not offer enough positive change to offset the incredible negative impacts it will have to OUR community and I think I have enough of a history of experiences to back my statement up.

So to all of you supporters who think "change" in the form of a massive development along Western Avenue in San Pedro being built, your truly don't know what I know and haven't lived the experiences I and others have lived.

As the truth was demonstrated very well at the hearing, more individuals of advanced age oppose Bob's plans than do persons of advanced ages that support his current plans.

Even many of Bob's supporters who are of ages greater than 55 stated, in testimony to the hearing officer that they WOULD NOT buy units anywhere at Ponte Vista.

We had their statements broad casted over life T.V. and they are on tape.

As I have repeated at least several times on my blogs, change is the only constant.

We all MUST deal with change. But the changes Bob wishes to make to OUR community and especially those of us who have lived through the changes that have been made along Western need to be recognized as the real experts concerning Western Avenue and change along it, in OUR community.

I don't like writing about being pissed, but I am just so very tired of having to listen to folks like Rachel Viramontes who support Bob's plans, especially when I was living in my home before hers was even built!

I also find repulsion in all those other folks who claim they know what is best for Western Avenue and OUR community, when they clearly don't have comparable histories of the changes I have witnessed, enjoyed, and dealt with, for so many years.

John Olguin doesn't like Bob's plans, He is someone who betters me by far with his experiences in living through all the changes in OUR community. We need to listen to more people like our Man of the Century who have cared, loved, and experienced OUR community much longer than I have.

Maybe Angie, her son John, and her grandson Taso have had different experiences than I have in living through changes along Western. But I don't remember any Papadakis family member having the similar or different experiences I have had along Western.

Louis and Suzanne love San Pedro. They have given and given of themselves to the betterment of us all and if it hadn't been for Louis, the lights on the bridge would have never been installed.

These five true San Pedrans are a credit to OUR community and I don't place them in the category of folks I am pissed with.

Even though I strongly disagree with the stances taken by these good members of OUR community, they are the best that I can find of Bob's supporters.

Too many of Bob's supporters stand to profit in their businesses from increased numbers of residents in our community. That may be the American way, but that doesn't mean it should be the way of members of OUR community.

We live on a peninsula, at the southern of the second largest city in the nation. That city is located within the Great Basin of the Mojave Desert. These are thing we cannot change.

What we can and should change is our belief that we need to be like the rest of the L.A. area and embrace a dramatic increase in population just because some folks tell us that it is necessary, demanded, and/or wanted.

What in the hell do they know, compared to me. I have lived the changes, they have NOT.

OUR community is too special to become like Santa Monica, which is NOT part of a peninsula.

OUR community has too many really good people already living in it to force on them something they don't want or need.

OUR community has been badly divided by Bob and his project.

OUR community has witnessed a developer spend more than too much money for property such that he needs to build lots and lots and lots of units to cover his costs and make a huge profit.

OUR community should come back from the division created by the entrance of Bob and his group and state that we are a unique community that cannot, should not, and will not do what too many other communities have been forced to live with.

Our community knows that change continues. We do not have to stand silently while OUR community's livability is being challenged and attacked by folks who continue to have no real clue or interest in preserving what we have all come to love, even when change is occurring.

Bob and Bob's supporters, the current plans supported by you for Ponte Vista at San Pedro are just too big. A change of this magnitude will severely and for generations to come, diminish the quality of life in OUR community.

We don't have the space, will, or need to become like so many other communities have become in places like the west side, San Fernando Valley, the Inland Empire, Central L.A., and other areas where over development has changed the very nature of those communities.

Seniors need housing. They have needed it since many of them have arrived from Ischia and Komiza. In those two communities, seniors live with other members of their families, just like what has been done for generations in OUR community.

In OUR community, when our parents and grandparents leave us, there are opportunities that are unlike the other communities mentioned in this post.

OUR community has in its nature, ways to assist our seniors and keep families together, longer than in any of those other cities mentioned.

We have a choice to make. Do we continue to support what we have done for generation after generation, or do we change to succumb like so many other communities have chosen to do and almost completely change the very nature of what it is we love so much about OUR community?

I contend, along with a pretty good background living in OUR community, that we MUST NOT change our very nature and we MUST CERTAINLY NOT make such a dramatic change by allowing Ponte Vista to be built out that would provide too much change in OUR community.

Change is good Too much change is very bad, and almost completely impossible to correct, once it has been accomplished.

Why should we place the very nature of OUR community into the hands of Bob Bisno and the few real supporters he has that actually live in OUR community?

San Pedro is too great to lose.

This "ranting elitist" is done with this post.


Wolfzone said...

Your experiences - and incredibly spectacular ones at that - underscore so many different points as to WHY we must not permit the Ponte Vista monster to rear its ugly head.

and take a read of Steve Marconi's column in the July edition - San Pedro Magazine. NOTHING short of "right on and power to the people" A fantabulous "rant".

Keep spreadin' that love

LDominguez said...

I have been asked by John Olguin to request of anyone using his name to imply an endorsement of any side in the Ponte Vista debate to cease and desist immediately. He has maintained strict neutrality on this matter and is offended by anyone using his name. He has signed a letter to this effect.

M Richards said...

Thanks for the information, Louis.

I will refrain for posting the fact that Mr. Olguin did indeed sign the R1 petition, from now on.