August 13, 2020 Your Source for Brentwood News

Brentwood Life: Beginning to Return to Normal

There is more and more local traffic these days, a sure sign things are opening up.  

Traffic still hasn’t returned to pre-coronavirus levels – thank goodness – and the horn-honking remains less than it was before (hooray!).

Perhaps the surest sign of all that things are settling down is that our local stores are nicely stocked with paper towels and toilet paper.  Panic buying has been replaced by kind of a big ho-hum.

The pandemic isn’t over, but we can’t shut down the economy forever.  I think masks and social distancing are about as good as it gets for now.  If it’s our time to go, it’s our time to go.

People keep wondering if things will really change as we go forward from here – or if we will fall back into our self-made traps from the past.  Here are some personal hopes for the future.  

I think government officials and businesses and other organizations should actively promote more working from home.  Studies show productivity actually goes UP.  Many of us work on computers.  Why drive to some office to do there what we can readily do from home?  

If overall traffic goes down as a result, that’s a win for gardeners, construction workers and others who NEED to work at a specific location.  If they can all save half an hour a day in their commutes, that’s a good thing.

We’ve all seen the tents alongside the VA where homeless individuals are now camped.  The tents look pretty good, really, and I spent some time over there recently, taking some pictures.  The residents of these tents seemed reasonably happy.  

I keep thinking that while officials working on homeless issues try to figure out what to do, erecting tent cities for homeless individuals on the outskirts of LA offers an interim, bridge, solution.  

I think non-homeless individuals would appreciate getting homeless off the streets, and if we could set them up in wide open areas – think of the Grapevine as you pass through Tejon Ranch, or some place like that – that might be healthier for all, especially in an era of COVID-19 mandated social distancing.  

Tents like these – in healthy, outdoor places – could provide a temporary solution for the homeless.

All the needed services – bathrooms, showers, food, healthcare, mental healthcare, job training, entertainment, community-building, etc. – could be set up in these locations.  

When the housing is actually ready – and when the individuals are ready – we can reintegrate them into city life.  

I know many homeless individuals don’t like to be “forced” into situations; let’s make these tent cities so appealing and so well run that homeless individuals everywhere will WANT to go there. I can’t imagine they would really prefer to remain on the streets “as is.”

For many years, I promoted the idea of a retirement village at the Charlie Munger property.  I always received positive feedback on that proposal, but maybe that idea no longer flies in the time of coronavirus.  Retirement homes, as we all know, got hit particularly hard.  

But the Barry Building, where Duttons Bookstore was, is looking sadder and sadder all the time.  

It’s time to knock it down, open up the land as a community garden – and then start working on a way to turn the property into a community center, complete with an indoor/outdoor theater and a public swimming pool.  

And finally, for now, let’s hope our society can figure out how to properly integrate our society, once and for all, so scenes like this can remain in the history books:

Boarding up stores in preparation for the worst.

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