‘20/20' and Palisades Parties

As a Pacific Palisades resident and alumna of Pacific Palisades High School, I read with interest Howard Rosenberg’s Feb. 27 article, “In the Matter of Palisades High and ’20/20'. . . .” It centered on a TV camera crew at a party of young people; although drugs allegedly were present, the crew did not call authorities.

I need more than two hands on which to count the people I’ve known since I was 15 who have had substance-related deaths. I am now 21.

During my three years at Palisades High School, every weekend there were parties that the police broke up. But they did little more than break them up. I never saw a person arrested, and there were many times when people high as kites were simply told by the officers to get in their cars and leave.

When I read Mr. Rosenberg’s article, the issue that raised fire within me was not that the “20/20" camera crew did not summon authorities but that the camera crew was there, period. Have the tragic and epidemic-like consequences of partying by Palisades youth become such tabloid fodder that they inspire voyeuristic activity among the journalists? What were the TV people waiting for to happen that night at “The Top of the World”?


The alcohol and drug abuse problem deserves attention, but not that kind of attention.

I grew up with many kids who lived in fine homes and had the trappings of a good life but who lived in a detached world; they lacked guidance from their parents, too busy making money. They seemed to be starving emotionally.

Once when I questioned a friend of my brother’s about his excesses, I said: “Why? You have everything!” and he said to me “No.” I said, “What don’t you have then?” and he replied, “I don’t have anything to lose.”



Pacific Palisades

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