(Los Alamitos, 5/16/2013) Our Thursday columnist hits the nail on the head once again! by Highlands Guy:
- Possible, as opposed to actual: the potential uses of nuclear energy.
- Capable of being or becoming: a potential danger to safety.
- Grammar . expressing possibility: the potential subjunctive in Latin; the potential use of can in I can go
I hate to say it, but Los Alamitos just isn’t there yet. By that I mean it has not yet reached its potential.
Think about it. With all its natural, cultural, and man-made resources it should be one of the best places to live in this little corner of the world.
At 33°48′8″N 118°3′52″W , it doesn’t get as hot as just little father in-land and it doesn’t suffer from the overcast days like the nearby coastal communities. The temperature rarely gets up to, or down to, any extreme number.
Coyote Creek keeps us safe from historical flooding. Freeway access in any directions is just a few of minutes away. Less than 5 miles to the sand. And although we’re in the middle of a concrete jungle, most neighborhoods are lined with trees.
First responders can be at your door within 5 minutes. The school experience is rewarding for students at the highest levels as well as those needing a little extra push. And we now have intelligent, forward thinking, leadership in place.
But somehow it just seems as there are some things missing that could take us to a new, mo’ bettah, place to live.
We have pretty nice, but separated, neighborhoods.Unless a Highlands resident has a friend in Carrier Row, they may not really have a feel for those folks’ latest concerns. How many people in Parkewood have ever stepped foot in Suburbia Estates? And how has their inability to easily and safely ride their bikes to visit one another affected the process of knowing thy neighbor?
All this talk about a developing downtown does have a few teeth in it. But after more than 50 years of cityhood, we have little more than a few temporary events centered around the old church.
Don’t get me wrong, the transitioning of St Isadore to a public venue is laudable and those responsible have done a great job. But a downtown needs more than a food truck night and a Christmas tree lighting. It needs to be a destination where you can feed your face, walk around, sit on a bench, buy quality products, maybe listen to some music, and feel comfortable at night.
The restaurant scene is coming along, slowly, but we still seem to suffer from locations that are too isolated from each other and nothing close by to walk to after eating. This leads to the point that the buildings housing the eateries and the surrounding areas are just not that compelling.
With just a little more thought on architecture and the city making good on its “talk” about trees along the major thoroughfares, the whole area could be made to be more inviting, for locals, as well as guests.
Drive or die?
Since most of the city is off of one of two major thoroughfares, and since any hope of a bike lane was gone with the building of the center dividers, the only realistic way to get around is in a car. County buses don’t work within the city because of their limited routes and schedules. We need a way for those without a license or a car, or who just want to make a quick trip to the market, to get around. I’ll bet we could come up with a public/private partnership to operate a couple of small (10 passenger) buses that could certainly help out local businesses as well as the rider ship.
Our most visible historical icon
I’m not picking on anybody, but I have to mention our most visible, historical, icon, the Los Alamitos Museum.
It needs help. It has suffered the same kind of inattention, deferred maintenance and non-development as the rest of the city. It needs structural attention. It needs signage attention. And it needs the touch of professional curator.
Obviously the location is a problem. So, move it. There’s a big ‘ol empty, weed-cover space just a few block north that would even provide for parking. And its present location could be sold to a tax paying tenant. A definite win-win solution.
Odds and ends:
- We need a book store.
- We need to do something about our primary intersection. As it is now we are known for a gas station, a giant tennis shoe, and a really ugly bank building.
- We can only hope that the city council stands firm on aesthetically pleasing and size appropriate structures for the greatly expanded, hospital owned, medical offices.
- How is it that the Seal Beach In-N-Out looks so much better than the new McDonald’s box?
- Finally, the “Rossmoor corner” is not the Rossmoor corner. It is unincorporated Orange County land. Seems reasonable that it should be incorporated with its closest neighbor.
I guess what I’m getting at, is that the substrata is there to support so much more. But we need folks with vision, passion and an intelligent perspective to make more effective decisions.
“The trouble with paternalists is that they want to make impossibly profound changes, and they choose impossibly superficial means for doing so.”
― Jane Jacobs, (1916-2006) Author and urban studies activist. (The Death and Life of Great American Cities)