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'Shortsighted' View of Sewers

December 07, 1986

If I were to assess people of the canyon based on (Al Martinez) as an example, I would presume they were prejudiced, narrow-minded, selfish, jealous and make many tasteless and unsuccessful attempts to be clever at the expense of an entire community's reputation.

Had you invested as much time researching and understanding the pros and cons surrounding the efficacy of installing sewers in Malibu as you did in striving for literary cuteness, you might have discovered that the end hardly justifies the means. You would have realized that Malibu is split on the sewer issue. Those opposed are the more vocal.

Yes, it would be wonderful to have sewers if it would mean no further septic tank overflows. However, if each individual property owner would keep septic units in good repair with regular pumping, these problems could be greatly alleviated.

You point out a rare occurrence that took place in 1983 when "God arbitrarily sent waves crashing against Malibu, wiping out 239 septic systems." But, Al, it is man, not God, who daily dumps toxic industrial waste in our oceans and allows smokestacks to spew deadly fumes into our air. Why are you not addressing this issue?

In referring to the septic problems from the storms you stated: "Ducks died in their ponds, starlings dropped from the sky, sophisticated stereo sound equipment ceased to function and the fuel-injection systems of Lamborghinis and Porsche Targas were clogged by odor pollution."

But, Al, your credibility really went the way of Richard Nixon's and Ronald Reagan's when you blatantly accused Malibu residents of not minding "the ducks dying and starlings perishing in mid-tweet," and that, to Malibu, "life without quadraphonic sound and high-speed cars is hardly worth living."

Well, Al, until moving two months ago, I joyously lived in Malibu for nine years, after leaving the noxious Valley pollutants to enjoy relatively clean ocean air and a small, rustic community. I did so quite well, driving a 5 1/2-year-old Honda and listening to a 15-year-old stereo. I don't know anyone there who has a Lamborghini or quad system. I also don't have blue eyes and am neither tall nor blonde and have never set foot on a surfboard.

Your logic about the physical and mental attributes of Malibu residents makes the same amount of sense as assuming all Scots are stingy, all Irish are alcoholics, all Jews are wealthy or that all Germans are Nazis. I nominate you for the first annual Ku Klux Kan award for humanitarianism.

If you were into reality, you would be aware that most Malibu residents are hard-working people, many of whom are elderly retirees living on fixed incomes. Most would be unable to come up with the $20,000-plus assessment that would be imposed, causing the loss of the homes they have worked for and owned for so many years. To impose this edict without a vote by the community is blatant taxation without representation.

The already unstable Pacific Coast Highway would again be torn up and further congested by lane closures during the many months of work that would ensue. Then the money-monger land owners who never seem to have enough would evict their tenants to make way for expensive hotels and condos, obliterating and crowding our coast, forcing countless people from their apartments and mobile homes.

Whether or not you believe sewers should be mandatory in Malibu is really not the issue here. The issue is bigotry and misguided assumptions indicting the many, based on the truths of a few.

You claim to not live in Malibu because you are not ". . . tall and blond and do not have empty blue eyes." Al, you are shortsighted and blackhearted. It is not your eyes that are empty, but your head. Your eyes do seem tinged with a jealous shade of green. I strongly suggest you learn principles of fairness in reporting and curb your prejudice!

BARBARA SCHILL

Santa Monica

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