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Changes at Laguna Beach

January 24, 1988

Ah, the trivialization of Laguna Beach ("Losing Laguna," Jan. 18). I have lived here eight years, and the changes have been considerable, none of them good. We lost a good art supply store several years ago and in its place got a frozen-yogurt shop, a spectacle boutique and a junk book emporium.

I live here and work here. I don't like it that money-grubbing people who have no personal interest in the town are buying up the business district and driving the community businesses out by raising the rents. They wish to maximize their profits and care about nothing else. Cookie factories, ice cream parlors and T-shirt shops have their place in our society, but a balance must be maintained if we don't want to become another Venice Beach or Balboa Peninsula.

The new landlords are like those timber barons who would buy forest land, clear-cut thousands of acres and then leave, caring not a whit for the environment. So the government had to step in, as a reaction to corporate irresponsibility. Perhaps we need our local government to be more authoritative. Institute rent controls, for one.

It might go against the grain of some, but it's that or submit to the land-rapers.

CLEMENT SALVADORI

Laguna Beach

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