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CURVE:With the Costa Mesa council, jokes write themselves

THE BELL

March 15, 2007|By JOSEPH N. BELL

On Friday night, I left home early to thwart the traffic and arrived in Anaheim at 5 p.m. for a 6:30 game, in time for a relaxing martini at a nearby hotel to contemplate the night's action. That vision was shattered when I found the parking lot blocked to incoming traffic and had to spend my drinking time looking for a place to park. When I finally got inside and asked why in God's name the lot was closed on game night, I was told it was to prevent people who weren't going to the game from taking up space needed for the basketball crowd.

There were other matters — like juicing up the price of each new session as the tournament progressed and little or no checking to see if tickets matched seats — that I suppose would have been less irritating if we had won. But we didn't, and so I hope Long Beach State will defend the honor of our modest Big West conference by knocking off some of the hot shots in the big tourney starting tonight. And that the conference will seek a venue next year that doesn't add to the irritation level of losers.

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In the midst of splendid new homes and ambitious add-ons in our Santa Ana Heights (newly Bayshore Heights) neighborhood, we've also had a dash of reality. A few houses down from me, an already splendid home changed hands about a year ago and quickly sprouted a new paint job and impressive landscaping. The new owners didn't join in many of the neighborhood activities which have often been described here, but they were congenial and offered an attractive addition.

Then, several months ago, the for-sale signs appeared. They came and they went, and they came again, along with the open houses. And the landscaping began to wilt and fray. And finally came the rumors of foreclosure, garnished with all sorts of details that may or may not be accurate. And then the message that even in our sanctified neighborhood, the party might be over, temporarily, at least. The million-dollar scores that follow in 24 hours after putting one of our houses on the market are no longer a given.

The house down the street is a daily reminder of another old chestnut: that death and taxes are the only things we can ever be sure of in perpetuity. But instead of bits of evidence to the contrary, it isn't necessary, yet, to add declining real estate prices to that list, especially in this chosen corner of the world.


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