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Aug 17, 2006 - 07:00 PM

Not So Open House

by Carmen Balber
 
We dropped by Fred Sands' huge apricot-colored Italianate villa this morning to see if we could get in to his sale of the gov, or at least check out the people bidding.  But Sands' double-gated Brentwood manse wasn't the open house we'd hoped.

We were surprised when security shooed us through the first gate.  At the second, where pink-shirted valets handed out roses in exchange for the keys of a line of Hummers, Bentleys, Alfa Romeos and a stream of common Mercedes, our ride didn't get a second glance. 
I only managed to snap a few photos over the fence before a private security guard threatened to have me arrested for trespassing.  (Is it trespassing if you gave them your name and destination and they ask you to come in?)

Threatening as I am [really, really big], the guard decided it was necessary to grab the back of my neck and push me most of the way out once I'd agreed to leave.

Outside the gate we encountered (an) Arnold (impersonator) on the public sidewalk holding his own for sale sign and watching donors' cars as they entered the gate.  Apparently, even the air in Brentwood is rarefied.  As "Arnold" turned his camera towards the security booth a guard approached: "You can't turn your camera this way. Everything past this line is private."

And that's where the gov spent his morning, in a double-gated villa, breathing private air, collecting money and giving ear to the California elite.  Maybe tomorrow he'll start learning about the hundreds of bills that will reach his desk in the next two weeks.




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