Walter Mencken 11 a.m., May 24
Mitt Romney's La Jolla Neighborhood News Warns Neighbors About Talking to Reporters
There is the New York Times, published since 1891, the nation's influential bastion of liberalism, winner of 108 Pulitzer prizes.
Its motto: "All the News That's Fit to Print."
And there is the Barber Tract Times, published by La Jolla's Barber Tract Neighborhood Association since 1989.
Its mission: "To band together to identify, discuss, and deal effectively with neighborhood concerns."
When one Times tangles with the other, the results aren't pretty.
The big New York paper started it earlier this month by running a lengthy piece about the tidy tract--where Mitt Romney owns a house on the beach — citing worries by a gay couple and others about the presumptive GOP presidential nominee's negative impact on the wealthy, heretofore obscure neighborhood.
The Easterners' take didn't sit well with the self-styled "Barberians."
"Recently our little neighborhood hit the big time with an article in the New York Times," notes the June edition of the Barber Tract Times.
"The article suggested with lines such as, 'On Dunemere Drive, it seems as if just about everyone has a gripe against the owners of No. 311,' that our whole neighborhood is up in arms about the Romney's building project and desire to live in the Barber Tract.
"While there may be a few people who have connections in high places and want to be vocal about building and development in this neighborhood, they certainly do not speak for the neighborhood as a whole, and the Barber Tract welcomes people from all races, religions, professions, political parties, and personal lifestyles."
Regarding Romney's controversial expansion plans, the Tract's Times says:
"Certainly, a two bedroom oceanfront home will eventually be remodeled, if not by the Romney's [sic], by someone who wants to make good functional use of the space.
"New construction of homes in the Barber Tract fall within the guidelines of the City of San Diego. Views are not protected, unless of course, you bought on the oceanfront.
"While it may be fun for one to banter with their neighbor about their construction, if the construction is inside the 'envelope' it is legal, and the property owner has the right to proceed."
The Times advises fellow residents to watch what they say to any other reporters who might come snooping around the exclusive residential district where Cliff Robertson, the late movie star, once lived on a sprawling but tasteful oceanfront estate.
"In summary, while you may have different political beliefs or feel inconvenienced by the secret service, protecting a man and his family who has decided to run for the most difficult job on the planet, please think before you make statements nationally that may reflect on our neighborhood as a whole."
"Would the person who initiated the article in the New York Times have done the same if it was their political candidate sitting in 311 Dunemere?
"If they would say yes, please remember all those who have put their life on the line as the President of the United States of America, the most powerful nation on earth, and suffered a great personal consequence because they were not protected well enough."
"Remember the ultimate sacrafices of: Abraham Lincoln, James A. Garfield, William McKinley, and John F. Kennedy; and the attempted assassinations of: Andrew Jackson, Theodore Roosevelt, Herbert Hoover, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry S. Truman, Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama; and finally lets not forget George Wallace, who spent the rest of his life in a wheel chair.
"Yes, Republicans and Democrats alike make this list, so Governor Romney and his family can not be too careful, and as neighbors, we should respect his need for security and allow him the peace and tranquility he seeks while visiting his home in our beautiful neighborhood.
"After all, when asked by his neighbors, he did move the motor home [used for security] off of the public street to a private drive."
More like this:
- Romney's La Jolla teardown not priceless — Sept. 1, 2014
- Romney's neighbors go for broke — July 3, 2013
- Union-Tribune Owner's Family Members Climb Aboard Romney Presidential Bandwagon — June 7, 2012
- July 4th Parade in Mitt Romney's Barber Tract May Be Cancelled — Feb. 16, 2012
- Mitt Romney's La Jolla Ties Attract Increasing Notice — June 17, 2011