Matthew Lickona 4 p.m., May 26
- Community Blog
Imperial Beach, the Good/the Bad
I love I.B. Been here for almost 15 years -- owned a condo, then a small house, now a bigger house. Moved here after a divorce, and met dozens of great guys at The Plank, the best bar in town -- just what I needed at the time to quell my loneliness. The first week I moved to I.B., I saw a woman walking a pig on a leash and a seal (animal type) crossing Palm Avenue (seriously!). I.B. has a small town atmosphere, and isn't nearly as crowded as most San Diego beach areas. Homes are still almost affordable.
But, as PeeWee said, "But ... but ... but ... everyone I know has a big but!" The small house I owned was squeezed between two Neighbors from Hell. On one side, there was an obese ignoramus who owned five huge untrained mutts that barked constantly and existed in the corner of his huge back yard closest to my bedroom window. He'd come home from work around 11pm or so, they'd start barking all at once even louder than usual as he pulled up, he'd sit out in the car for 15 or 20 minutes (probably jerking off) while they barked then take them into the back yard, play with them, feed them, yell at them, all of the monster dogs barking the entire time. When I'd complain to the sheriff's office, the guy'd come over at 11:30 or 12:00 pm and pound on my door, yelling my name along with not-so-thinly disguised obscenities. Over a period of about four years that I was forced to tolerate this this, I recorded probably a dozen tapes of the noise, made dozens of calls, sent dozens of e-mails, wrote letters, etc. to the sheriff's office, Code Enforcement, Noise Abatement, the City Attorney (who never responded to one attempted contact), and every city, county and district official I could think of who might be able to to stop the noise. I wasted SO many hours of time that I don't even like to think about it. I filed a citizen's arrest -- I could go on and on describing my attempts ad nauseum to resolve the problem. Well, finally, despite what many people seem to think about Bonnie Dumanis, out of desperation, I eventually contacted her office, and magically -- I have no idea how they did it and they never told me -- within a few days, the noise problem stopped almost completely. Unfortunately, by that time I was losing my mind from the constant noise and lack of sleep, and had put my house up for sale because it had become obvious the problem would never go away. So when I received an excellent offer on the house, I decided to accept it and move on.
Neighbor from Hell #2: The guy on the other side had a dog or two, and decided he had to replace the old wooden fence between our yards when it started falling down. I told him I couldn't afford to pay for half of replacing it but would try to pay him some money toward it as I was able. I also told him I preferred a block wall rather than a wood fence so we would not have future maintenance issues. He proceeded to begin replacing the entire fence with a new wood fence with the help of some friends, and then sent me a bill for half the cost. When I reminded him that I had told him I was financially unable to pay half the cost of the fence, he altered one end of the fence so that it encroached approximately a foot and a half onto my property. Of course I would be unable to sell the home with this encroachment. After making him aware of the problem and asking a number of times that he correct, and of course him refusing, again along with not-so-thinly disguised obscenities, it became necessary for me to hire a lawyer and have a professional land survey conducted. To make an extremely long and frustrating story short, he eventually corrected the problem, and I ended up about $1,000 out of pocket. So the lawyers got money from both of us and the fence problem was corrected, whereas if the ass had been reasonable and had had the brains to figure out that I was a sincere person who would do what I could to be a good neighbor if treated reasonably, I would have paid him some money over the next year and we both would have benefited.
The latest annoyance: The City is currently narrowing Palm Avenue, the main artery into I.B., down into two lanes where it approaches the beach, and WIDENING the sidewalks! Have you driven down Garnet to the beach in P.B. lately? Does this sound like a logical move to you? Unbelievable, I know -- yet true! They're trying to develop I.B. and bring in more people, more businesses, etc., and then they make this move! Please check out the status of Seacoast Drive and Palm Avenue in a few years, and remember my comments -- you heard it first from me!
Now I'm living close to a school, so all I have to put up with is the teeny-boppers screaming at football games and the principal yelling over the loudspeaker so that it can be heard from a mile away. What happened to making announcements over the intercom while students were in the classrooms, or at school assemblies? And of course the students make a point of dropping their cigarette butts in my driveway and distributing their junk food wrappers, cups, empty cigarette boxes, etc. along the curb in front of my home on their way to and from school. I've also found in the easement next to my home a hypodermic needle, empty lingerie boxes, and a copy of a black-and-white photo of a young girl with a penis superimposed onto her body. What do you suppose is next?
Yeah, I love I.B. -- it's just some of the people I can't tolerate!