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Anaheim's Problem Is Bigger Than a Garage

November 02, 2003

Re "Anaheim's Colony of Unhappy Neighbors," Sept. 19:

There's more than what may meet the eye on North Pine Street, where Gary Masciel wants to build a garage on the front of his property.

I was born and raised in Anaheim. Gary and I were classmates at St. Boniface Catholic School. I just moved off of North Pine Street in July after raising my children for 20 years just a few houses down from the disputed lot. I have lived through Anaheim's shameful "redevelopment" since the mid '70s. When Gary and I were kids, we were able to ride our bikes downtown. We bought candy at the Center Drug Store, watched Elvis movies at the Fox Anaheim and bought our school shoes at the SQR Store. Anaheim had history and tradition. Anaheim had a sense of place.

That is, until bulldozers and redevelopers razed every downtown landmark to make way for a strip center, bank buildings and empty lots that sat for years resembling a war zone. Redevelopment tore the heart out of Anaheim. For those of us who remember, the pain of losing downtown is still an issue. There is a deep suspicion and lack of trust in our hearts where developers are concerned because of the betrayal we have felt as we have watched our hometown become a wasteland of concrete structures lacking any sense of aesthetics or scale.

Gary's a friend of mine. We go way back. He's as mild a guy as you'd ever want to meet. I just think his garage is probably a reminder to the neighbors on North Pine Street that developers in Anaheim have ruined the city.

I'm moving to Fullerton. Hey, Gary, put the garage on the back of the house ... for old time's sake.

Amy Luskey-Barth

Anaheim

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