Re: Security at cohousing (FWD)
From: Fred H Olson WB0YQM (
Date: Sat, 14 Jan 95 17:00 CST
Martin Tracy MTRACY [at] IX.NETCOM.COM is the author of this message but
due to a listserv problem it was posted by the COHOUSING-L sysop.
Rob Sandelin writes:

>I bring up these two examples to give the viewpoint that when neighbors 
>know each other well, know each others lives, and care about each 
>other, strangers are going to get noticed and talked to.  Not because I 
>have any particular fear of any particular stranger but because I care 
>about my neighbors and I want to look out after them.

>I would also point out that, in my opinion,  this is the highest and 
>best form of personal security.  Given the state of American Society, I 
>personally view this as progress.  If every place in America had the 
>same sense of ownership, contact with the neighbors, and caring about 
>each other that exists in  cohousing groups, it would make it almost 
>impossible for much of the criminal activity which thrives in anonymity 
>to occur.

Yes, I quite agree with Rob.  I am fortunate to live in a neighborhood 
where we know each other and look after each other's property.  I gives 
me a warm feeling to know that my neighbors would notice, question, and 
report to the police any goings on around my house when I'm not there.  
It feels good that I can return the favor whenever I'm home.

>I agree it is too bad, but in my view of American Society, it is 
>seriously in trouble, violent crazy people have few restrictions on 
>terrorizing people, and random acts of violence seem to be escalating 
>exponentially.  Two kids got shot at school yesterday in Seattle.  At 
>school!  Ten years ago this was unheard of.  Ten years from now will it 
>be so common that we are desensitized to it?  I will freely admit I am 
>very afraid of violence to my family, especially my daughters,  and 
>that is one of many reasons I live where I do.  I am not comfortable 
>with strangers in my community and my neighbors are not either. 
>(although there are new members since we last talked about this so it 
>may not be totally a community wide thing).

Times are crazy, but they always were.  The murder rate in America, for 
example, has not changed significantly in 150 years.  Kids shooting kids 
in school is new!  Kids being sold to sweat shops, starved, and beaten 
to death is old.  New violence replaces old violence, and there are 
still bad apples in the world.

What has changed is widespread television and sensationalism in the news 
media.  Almost every act of murder and mayhem is widely reported, 
leading you to believe that there is more of it than before.  Some 
organizations, like those that purport to help parents locate missing 
children, widely exaggerate the figures to earn your dollars, sometimes 
by two orders of magnitude!

In fact, the rate of violent crime in both Los Angeles and the nation 
declined last year.  So have hope.  And throw away your TV set.

Martin Tracy
mtracy [at]

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