Red Phone: Get to know your neighbors first

Red Phone: Safety needed on 6th Street

I am writing to respond to a Red Phone question published Sept.
6, titled

Too Many Cars.

“I am writing to respond to a Red Phone question published Sept. 6, titled “Too Many Cars.” I suspect that this may have been posted by one of my neighbors since they seem to have issues with our cars as evidenced by the comments and rude behavior toward my family. It is interesting and sad how people can be unfair and judgmental even in this day and age.

Instead of getting to know and understand one’s neighbor, people chose instead to criticize and look down upon them. For the first time ever, I am writing in to this newspaper in hopes that I may present an alternative view and remind people not to judge a book by it’s cover as they say.

First, most everyone on our cul-de-sac has been very nice and welcoming which we appreciate very much. As such, we have tried to be good neighbors, keeping a clean home, helping our older neighbors with yard work and taking their garbage cans in on trash days.

We do have more than two cars but they are registered, functional, fairly new and used for work and school. It is a cul-de-sac, with limited parking, but we have mentioned many times to our neighbors that we are more than happy to move our cars if they expect visitors or are having a special event (By the way, said complaining neighbors have only two cars, which fit, comfortably in their two-car driveway).

I come from a fairly modern thinking Latino family that chooses to hold on to certain traditions. Only one of us kids is married and so until married we continue to live, invest and build together as a united family. A few years ago, as the oldest of five children, I purchased another five-bedroom home with my parents and moved in our family. We own 10 residential properties, interest in a restaurant (by marriage), and interest in a long-standing family ranch/farm. Eight of the 12 properties are paid for and we hold no debt aside from the mortgage on these remaining properties.

On the whole, we have one doctorate degree, three B.S. degrees, one B.A. degree. A minor and the two youngest kids are working on their own four-year degree. Aside from my youngest sister who is away at college, we all work and contribute to our community and society as a whole. Although we are very unassuming, last year we grossed just over half a million dollars as a group (unfortunately, this doesn’t go far in this state but not bad for first- and second-generation Mexican Americans).

I’m guessing that because we do have significant others and they do visit, these neighbors figure we all live together. This is not the case, and last I checked it was OK to have visitors.

Besides, if we don’t have our significant others visit and build upon our relationship, we may never get married, move out and free up these oh, so coveted parking spaces, right?

Well, maybe my next comment will make you, my dear neighbors feel better. My sister plans to marry next year so if you’re lucky, they will move into a new home as my middle sister recently did.

But be prepared, they will still visit daily since we are not losing a daughter/sister but gaining a son/brother and plan on staying very close. By the way, complaining to the landlord might not work in this instance. I don’t think they mind. Love thy neighbor and show patience and understanding. It will serve our community better in the long run. Peace, love and happiness to all.”

Red Phone: Dear Get To Know Us, Thanks for your reminder. So often we get caught up in our life and our own problems and forget to get to know the people who are around us.

Problems are inevitable between neighbors, but if you get to know them first, it will make it easier to approach them when they do arise. Getting to know your neighbors can also have other benefits such as helping to keep the neighborhood safe.

Many disputes can be solved by going to your neighbors in a nonconfrontational manner and talking to them. This only works if you at least know who they are.

But there are times when they refuse to talk or are openly hostile toward you. When you can’t for one reason or another talk to your neighbor, you’ll want to get a third party involved in trying to find a solution.

You may want to check out the Santa Clara County Dispute Resolution Program in which third-party community members volunteer their time to help neighbors solve their disputes. For more information, call 792-2327, and let the Red Phone know how it goes.

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