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Our View: We love you, Google, now commit to us

Posted: March 6, 2010 11:37 p.m.
Updated: March 7, 2010 4:55 a.m.
Dearest Google,

We love you, we want you and we'll do just about anything to have you.

There. We said it.

You've already made yourself a vital part of our lives. Heck, you've even made yourself a verb.

We want more. We're ready to commit.

So why do you tease us?

You say you're scouring the nation for a "small number of trial locations" to test your latest, greatest innovation - an experimental fiber-optic network that promises Internet speeds more than 100 times faster than the fastest consumer broadband service - as if there might be some community out there that's better suited for you than Santa Clarita.

Get real. We're not asking for exclusivity. We just want a place in your future.

Besides, you know us. We have a relationship. We're both Californians. You see us every day. You watch TV, don't you? Where do you think all of those TV shows and movies are made? At least, the ones that aren't chasing cheaper labor in Canada and Australia?

That's right. Right here in the 30-mile zone.

Why do you suppose that is? It's not only because we've got a bunch of great locations. It's because we work with people to help them be successful. It's the way we are.

Go ahead. Ask CBS. Ask NBC. Ask ABC. Ask Fox. Ask Disney. Many of your favorite Disney productions were shot on the 600-acre studio they have here. Disney is also making its own multimillion-dollar investment in our community with a new, expanded production studio.

Ask Steven Spielberg. He waged the "War of the Worlds" on one of our hillsides. When we turned the other cheek, Fox's "24" exploded a dirty bomb on us. We smiled and asked for more.

Now, we're asking for more bandwidth.

It's not just the entertainment industry, either. We were named the most business-friendly city in Los Angeles County because business is important to us and we try harder.

You need legislation to clear the way for a new initiative that improves the quality of life for our people? Our community and local leaders will assist you to get it.

You say you're looking for communities of 50,000 to 500,000 people. That's us. We're at 240,000, maybe 250,000, and growing. We're not dying like so many comparably sized communities across this great nation.

We're strategically poised just north of Los Angeles. We're cradled by some of the busiest freeways in the country.

We're close enough to Los Angeles to be part of everything, yet physically separated by a narrow mountain range that creates as much a psychological barrier as a physical one. It makes us see ourselves as something different from the rest of Los Angeles County. It helps to create a sense of oneness, of community, where people care about each other.

We elect community leaders to serve on a city council that sets the tone for our local government. Our City Hall is staffed by financially savvy number-crunchers who have been so adept at keeping our city in the black that they've actually been building bridges and opening new parks when other cities are struggling for mere solvency.

While crime is up in other parts of the county, state and nation, ours went down last year. Again. We've always been one of the safest places on the map.

Meanwhile, community satisfaction rates are sky high.

Let our sense of community, our highly educated population and our topography work for you. Those mountains that encircle us make us like hamsters in a cage. We're eagerly waiting for you to lace our salt lick with your newest magic potion. Just don't feed us soylent green and we'll spin our little hamster wheels for you for life.

You've asked us to "imagine sitting in a rural health clinic, streaming three-dimensional medical imaging over the Web, and discussing a unique condition with a specialist in New York. Or downloading a high-definition, full-length feature film in less than five minutes. Or collaborating with classmates around the world while watching live 3-D video of a university lecture."

Great. We've got a few for you.

Imagine not just downloading and watching, but actually capturing and editing video on a computer thousands of miles away from its source and zapping the rushes back to the crew in New York or New Delhi and cutting an extra production day from the budget. You want Google in the credit roll?

Picture our 600-plus NASA employees who live here and work at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. You don't suppose any of them take their work home with them, do you? Now imagine them being able to work at home in Santa Clarita, in real time on a computer in Pasadena, when something goes wrong with a rover in Gusev Crater.

You could save a $500 million U.S. space mission - and unclog the freeways while you're at it, with more people working from home.

You created Google Mars at your home in Mountain View. How would you like to have Google's flag planted on the actual Martian surface? No promises, but we'll see what we can do.

We have long known the day would come when the world's most powerful man or woman won't be the president of the United States, but the president of Google.

You hold the cards.

You've shuffled the deck.

Now deal us in.


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