Re: "Gawkers" at cohousing communities (FWD)
From: Fred H Olson WB0YQM (
Date: Wed, 11 Jan 95 15:54 CST
David G. Adams   Cornerstone Cohousing DADAMS [at] WORLD.STD.COM
is the author of this message but
due to a listserv problem it was posted by the COHOUSING-L sysop.

Susan Pintus wrote...
> I certainly understand your exasperation with the "gawkers", and was 
> surprised that no one before you mentioned the issue of children's 
> safety.  I think, though, that those of us who are working on Cohousing 
> projects but don't live in one yet may not have thought about issues such
> as this one...
The majority of child molestation involves adults known to the child, unless 
I'm mistaken.  It's popular to fear strangers, but your neighbors (I would 
assume even cohousing neighbors) are statisticly the biggest danger.  But 
this is really not a cohousing topic.  If you must flame, flame me 
personally, not the list.

Back on topic, I was just out in Seattle, had dinner at and slept over at 
Puget Ridge.  Thank you thank you thank you.  Tom and Marci were our 
"hosts", but we spent time in a few houses, and slept where there was the 
best available futon.  We spent time videotaping and wandering without a 
host right next to us.  Folks were very friendly.  We were, of course, 
invited, and I suppose that makes a difference.  

I'd gotten the names of contacts for Winslow and Sharingwood from Rob 
(Thanks, Rob).  He indicated that Winslow only toured on Saturdays.  Both 
Saturdays were travel days for us, so we couldn't make it then.  Had we had 
a car, we probably would have driven to Winslow and walked around briefly, 
uninvited.  A cohousing neighborhood has paths rather than streets,  but 
they are publicish spaces none the less.  Sure, privately held, but a lot 
like a street or sidewalk.  I will be sensitive to folks feeling invaded 
henceforth, but I normally have no qualms about walking on private streets 
here in Arlington, and I think it is unhealthy to be so insular that anyone 
caught walking around your village "has to be taught to be polite", or "is 
like walking in my yard".  It's not yours.  That's why its called a Commons.

I should point out that the private neighborhood or gated community concept 
is practically non-existent in greater Boston.  My reference to "private 
streets" refers to streets for which the residents, not the town, do the 

Dave Adams


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