Ten years ago I moved to a small town in the middle of a National Park.
When I first got here I thought I had found Heaven on Earth.
The locals are nice and a hearty breed. Plentiful nature trails and so on an so forth....slow pace...nothing really extraordinary to bother
about...then Hollywood found out about the place. I have nothing against Hollywood mind you...I just dislike some of the attendant "hangers on" on
the outskirts of that community that tend to be outlandishly spoiled, reckless and irresponsible. They tend to descend like locusts.
First it was simple....one of the local bakeries was invited to feature on "Cupcake Wars". They didn't win. Walking by the shop now, there is a
handmade paint job on the window proclaiming "as featured on Food Network" to lure tourists in. They really don't need that. Their cupcakes are
delicious and they're the only game in town when it comes to that particular delicacy. But they went ahead and did it anyway.
I've been trying to warn the locals about the dangers of opening themselves up to that type of tourist demographic. I've seen how the tourism grab
can destroy the peaceful and idyllic town within less than a decade. Austin is a good example of how the sudden influx of certain parties can
drastically overwhelm the natural ecosystem.
So now they're doing construction outside my house....a new road to help mitigate the sudden interest in the region. That's fine by me, the city
planners had the foresight to create the road in a manner that steers travelers away from residential areas. But I still have concerns.
We have a racetrack in town. Horses. It's big business. They've been pushing it as a tourist attraction for some time now. The parking lot has
grown and they've added additional structures for the casino type gambling inside that goes year round. No problem right? The money goes back into
the community and everyone benefits in the long run, right?
Just got back from checking my mail. The newspaper stand held a paper with the caption:
INCREASED TRAFFIC FLOW RESULTS IN INCREASED ACCIDENTS.
No freaking kidding. Really guys?
They've been changing the landscape to attract the type of tourist who - without the media blitz campaign - would have absolutely no interest in
visiting a National Park with an extensive history behind it. Most of these newcomers don't even bother to get out of their cars. They just drive
through town and look at things before moving on to the next place on their list. If they buy anything - it's fast food. Not local cuisine or
anything that benefits the small business owner. Just fast food. Grab and go. Oh yeah. They also litter the roadways and parking lots like
So my warnings have gone unheeded - and now the Historical Buildings downtown are being "inspected" by interested parties who wish to develop and
modify them for their own personal financial interest. When they did that in Seattle, they tore down and demolished many historical residential
buildings in order to put up nice, neat and new bland "boxes" with no character to their design. Lower income residents and disabled individuals were
forced out of their residences because the new owners raised the rates to outlandish amounts.
On the bright side they're in the process of constructing a brand new state-of-the-art jail and detention center to handle everything from litterbugs
to murderers, so that's somewhat of a consolation I suppose. It helps balance the equation somewhat, but I'm still a little miffed about the whole
And now I see the signs of that type of External Overthrow going on all around me. I feel powerless to stop it, because the Greed Machine seems to
have no end to it's lust for the Almighty Dollar. I've tried warning them they're going to lose everything that makes this town even remotely
interesting, but no one seems to listen.
So here I am...facing a moral and ethical imperative as a rational member of the Human Race and Citizen of this small town.
Thanks for reading.
edit on 2/11/15 by GENERAL EYES because: wrong freaking image - whoops