Monday, April 14, 2008
Don't Lose your Temper, Call Kemper
Eddie Cortez's old home at Alvarado and Gibbs was boarded up last week. For those who don't know, Cortez was the mayor of Pomona from the early 1900's until he died in 2006 (I think). The home had fallen into foreclosure, which was made obvious to all passers-by with the trademark "no trespassing signs" being placed in the window. In case you missed the signs, someone went out of their way to make sure the home look as unlived in as possible: overgrown yard, removing the window furnishings on the bottom floor so you could see right in, etc. Of late, the City has even been parking their construction equipment for the alley work there at night.
So now, after announcing to the world that the property is vacant, the powers-that-be have decided it is necessary to board up all the windows. Rather than find responsible people to live there and caretake, or keep it looking lived-in in the first place (which also might have gotten the property sold), the solution is to make the house - and the neighborhood - look as blighted as possible. Oh, and by the way, there are three households of Cal Poly students living nearby who I bet would have jumped at the opportunity to be responsible caretakers of the house, and would have left a beautiful garden there when they left.
Look closely at the For Sale sign out front as you drive by, it says: "Don't lose your temper, call Kemper." I think I will, even though my temper is already MIA.
A boarded-up house is sad enough, combined with the symbolic value of this being Eddie's old house, well, it makes this goddess very bummed out.
Here's a blurb on NPR about how some cities have been enacting laws to make banks more accountable for maintaining property, so the vacant properties don't blight the community. THE END