This week on public radio 97.5 KBU and select websites everywhere, some musings after returning from family and friends on the always engaging east coast
There, among others things, I saw my youngest, a proud Malibu High alum, as is his brother, enter into a welcoming post graduate Harvard. Go sharks!
Then it was on to New York, to attend the dedication of a new international think tank, a partnership of my alma mater Cornell University and Israel’s Technion Institute, heralded as the birthplace of what’s next.
This made me feel like the problem solver I once posed as, challenged by a promising intellectual future, albeit now set against the grain of a dysfunctional America floundering under a deranged president. Sad and scary.
Then it was back to mellow Malibu, with the persevering wife, the comforting views and sounds of the ocean, my faithful furry and feathered pets, a demanding landscape, and a certain solitude not found elsewhere.
So, at least this week there will be no philosophizing about, or defining, what constitutes “neighborhood character, “ as some followers had requested, no crafting a magical formula our planning challenged Malibu can apply in reviewing the parade projects coming through its front, and back doors.
After several decades of serving on various committees and commissions, writing letters and articles, in effect volunteering what beyond my Malibu would have been some remunerative consultant assignments, I have to observe that our self aggrandizing city leaders don’t really like listening to anyone with whom they or their friends and advisors might disagree.
There have been exceptions, of course, and they should be congratulated for their efforts. Yes, Malibu is a city of misanthropes, and quite frankly being one myself I tend to embrace the collective eccentricities.
It makes thinking about eventually moving away difficult, if not impossible, despite at times being tempted. But it would be daunting to pay the anticipated capital gains, as well cleaning out the study and the garage, and giving away thousands of books accumulated in a lifetime of reviewing, And what about my exotic plants? Who will nurture them?
More difficult would be leaving friends, relocating pets and saying goodbye to our singular refuge on Point Dume, which my wife had lovingly refurbished, raised several children hosted countless Thanksgivings, and where I have lived longer than anywhere else in my life. And where would we move to?
How does one weigh these considerations in defining neighborhood character? Think about it, perhaps best when walking to the Point Nature Preserve and the beach beyond.
As for Malibu, the Planning Commission already has boldly approved the concept as integral to the city’s vision statement. Next up is a review by the conflicted City Council, which, as its wont, may decline and just request our costly city attorney and ever-avaricious consultants to consider it.