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Letters to the Editor: The COVID-19 pandemic sickens NIMBYs with heartlessness

Ayres Hotel protest
A Laguna Woods resident protests a plan to use the nearby Ayres Hotel as a facility to house homeless people with COVID-19 on April 4.
(Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: Let me add my voice to those who are ashamed of our fellow retirement community residents for their panicked NIMBY reaction to the humanitarian plan to house homeless COVID-19 patients at a nearby hotel.

I’ve lived in Laguna Woods for 18 years, and I cannot remember the powers-that-be taking the high road and trying to provide low-income housing for struggling residents, much less housing for homeless people. Several years ago, the response to a few homeless individuals coming over our walls and sleeping in our community was met by the installation of shepherd’s crooks on our perimeter fences. It might as well have been barbed wire.

Looking out my window recently, I saw an unmasked grandfather pushing a baby carriage with a toddler inside (also unmasked). How safe — or stupid — is that?

We have a YIMBY — or “yes in my backyard” — chapter right here in the village. Perhaps this disgraceful event will help their numbers grow.

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Linda Nearing, Laguna Woods

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To the editor: I am afraid The Times Editorial Board is suffering from NIMBY derangement syndrome.

NIMBYs are homeowners and renters throughout Los Angeles and the rest of the country who feel that establishing housing for homeless people — and in this case, homeless COVID-19 patients — “in their backyards” will have a significant negative impact on their lives. So they stand their ground and fight it.

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Most probably, a significant percentage of Times readers are NIMBYs. Yet The Times’ editorial directs this dismissive and disdainful closing comment at them: “We don’t have the luxury of tolerating them now.”

Gene Pomerantz, Marina del Rey

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To the editor: I agree wholeheartedly with your editorial about the ugly face of NIMBYism in Laguna Woods.

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As a resident of Laguna Woods Village, I am ashamed of my neighbors for their heartless actions that contributed to trashing this plan.

Scriptures of all major religions call for compassion, welcome and justice for the marginalized. Who are more maginalized today than homeless persons with COVID-19?

Michael Moran, Laguna Woods


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