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REAL WORLD EVENT DISCUSSIONS
Monday, May 14, 2012 4:31 PM
"We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false." -- William Casey, Reagan's presidential campaign manager & CIA Director (from first staff meeting in 1981)
Quote:George Lucas Does Something Likeable For a Change: Revenge on Rich Neighbors
George Lucas' rich neighbors don't want him building a movie studio in their backyard. His response is the best thing he's done in years.
According to the San Francisco Chronicle, for four decades Lucas has owned a large swath of land in Marin County in the North San Francisco Bay and has spent the past few years trying to transform the ranch on it into a massive, nearly 300,000 square foot, state-of-the-art movie studio complete with day care center, restaurant, gym and a 200-car garage. His neighbors, however, have rejected it every step of the way. Despite the promise of bringing $300 million worth of economic activity to the area, the already-well off neighbors are worried about years' worth of construction activity and the additional foot traffic it will bring into their neighborhood once completed.
The local homeowners association has been such a thorn in Lucas' side that he's decided to abandon the studio construction entirely, issuing this official statement about Lucasfilm's withdrawal of the new studio:
The level of bitterness and anger expressed by the homeowners in Lucas Valley has convinced us that, even if we were to spend more time and acquire the necessary approvals, we would not be able to maintain a constructive relationship with our neighbors.
We love working and living in Marin, but the residents of Lucas Valley have fought this project for 25 years, and enough is enough. Marin is a bedroom community and is committed to building subdivisions, not business. Many years ago, we tried to stop the Lucas Valley Estates project from being built, but we failed, and we now have a subdivision on our doorstep.
So what is George Lucas going to do with his property now that he's tired of his rich neighbors putting up a not-in-my-backyard stink? He wants to transform the property into low-income housing, naturally, ending their official statement with this zinger, "If everyone feels that housing is less impactful on the land, then we are hoping that people who need it the most will benefit."
He's working with the Marin Community Foundation to instead construct affordable housing for either low-income families or seniors living on small, fixed incomes. In order to smooth along the development, he's already given them all of the pricey technical studies and land surveys Lucasfilm spent years conducting. And we think that's just great. Because if there's one thing rich people will hate more than having movie magic made in their backyard, it's poor people moving in.
Mr. Lucas, we may hate you for turning your back on the original trilogy, but our hat is off to you on this one. Well played.
Monday, May 14, 2012 5:31 PM
America loves a winner!
Monday, May 14, 2012 5:33 PM
John Lee, executive producer of Hollywood award-winning Pirate News TV at PirateNew.org
Monday, May 14, 2012 6:05 PM
Thursday, May 24, 2012 11:40 AM
Friday, May 25, 2012 6:17 AM
Gettin' old, but still a hippie at heart...
Quote:Thomas Peters, president and CEO of the Marin Community Foundation, can vouch for the plan's seriousness. The foundation is one of the largest in the country for investing money in philanthropic projects, so Peters immediately put a call into Lucasfilm after reading the statement.
"Was this just an edgy comment or does it have something to it? I was pleasantly surprised that Mr. Lucas and his top company folks responded immediately that he was quite sincere about it," Peters said.
Peters has known Lucas, 68, for more than 20 years and Lucas has now made the land exclusively available to the foundation for development.
"[The proposal] was entirely focused on that positive outcome. It was not, as many people have speculated, 'This is how I'll show them,'" Peters said. "[Lucas] doesn't need, and doesn't have, any energy whatsoever for looking over his shoulder."
The land in question is about 1,000 acres of "gorgeous, roaming land filled with oaks, eucalyptus trees and creeks," Peters said. Like Lucas' other two ranches, he builds on 3 percent of the land and preserves the rest.
That leaves the foundation with about 200 acres for the proposed housing project, which he says is more than enough. Early plans are looking at building about 300 apartments and condos on the land, most likely for senior citizens in need. Peters estimates the project will take about two years to complete.
"[Lucas has] been an extraordinarily good steward of the land and neighbor and planner and job creator," Peters said. "Most communities would bend over backwards to welcome him."
Lucas' projects in the county have created hundreds of jobs and brought in hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue, Peters said.
As for the neighbors, it's unclear what they think.
"The immediate neighbors, the ones that have been in a jostling match with Mr. Lucas, gave the reporter nightmare response, 'No comment,'" Peters said.
He plans to sit down with each neighbor to talk about the benefits of the project and joked that he might be the one that comes out "with a stick in my eye."
Lucasfilm has already shared the costs -- millions of dollars -- for the two decades' worth of studies on the land's grading, topography, water and power sources.
"It's an enormous head start both in time and money," Peters said. http://abcnews.go.com/US/defiant-george-lucas-california-housing-proposal-reality/story?id=16367341
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