Crowd at Capacity, Jackson Neighbors Shrug

The most patient neighborhood in America

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    Reporters and fans outside of the Jackson estate in Encino.

    Michael Jackson's neighbors have seen this before -- a crowd of fans and reporters camped outside the family's Encino home.

    Many of the neighbors are movie industry executives, and said they fully understood and accepted the apologies offered by news crews in front of their houses. One neighbor, Santos Castillo, looked from his house across the street to the Jackson estate and said he understands the media crush in front of his home.

    "Obviously, they're a little nuisance. But I think we are managing. It's not like it's a big bother," Castillo said. "With the notoriety that Jackson had, there's not a whole lot we can do about it. I guess we could -- let me put it like that. But I think the (Jackson) family deserves the recognition. No doubt he has been an iconic figure to us all.

    "Somebody like that deserves the adulation. I don't mind all of the hoopla."

    But there are limits. Media parking was restricted Sunday night near the home as reporters and fans continued to flock to the area.

    Jackson went into cardiac arrest Thursday at his rented Holmby Hills estate and was pronounced dead two hours later at UCLA Medical Center. He was 50 years old.

    When Jackson's family gathered at their Encino home, so did a growing crowd. On Sunday afternoon, the Los Angeles Police Department announced restrictions.

    After 5 p.m., only essential broadcast vehicles, satellite and microwave, can park on Hayvenhurst Avenue south of Ventura Boulevard, according to the LAPD and the Radio and Television News Association of Southern California.

    All other vehicles must be parked legally off Hayvenhurst Avenue.

    No more vehicles will be allowed, as the media encampment has grown since Friday and is now at capacity, police said.

    To avoid disturbing neighbors, generator use between 10 p.m. and 8 a.m. is limited to on-air time only, and, as a gesture of respect to the residents, media crews were asked to bag and remove their own trash.

    Shimon Shemesh, observing three satellite trucks parked on his front lawn, said Michael Jackson was something special. The hub-bub comes with the territory.

    "He's the same age as me," Shemesh said. "We love him. Don't forget that. He was something special for us."

    At least seven large satellite trucks were stationed in front of houses on Hayvenhurst Avenue just above Ventura Boulevard. Their generators spewed smoke and their undersides were the nexus of thousands of feet of black communications cables draped through gutters and driveways, bringing television live-shots to the world.

    Susan Johnson, who has lived on the block for at least 30 years, said people have to understand how much Jackson's fans loved him.

    "I really don't mind it because you really have to understand if people love somebody that much they need to make that pilgrimage and pay their respects. You have to be really a Scrooge to resent this," Johnson said. "Yes, it's a little bit disorienting because we can't go down our street -- we have to go all the way around and everything -- but ... this is more important than our comfort. It really doesn't bother me."

    According to her husband, Kenny Jackson, the King of Pop wanted to hire his wife as a personal assistant about 29 years ago. She opted instead to spend time with her family and her then 1-year-old girl.

    Film producer Richard Berman, who had four satellite trucks on his front lawn, said the commotion reminded him of a film shoot.

    "I have no problem with it. The helicopters are noisier," said Berman, who lives across the street, about two houses down from the Jackson home. "When we shot in Minnesota, we took over a neighborhood for six weeks. I remember going from house to house and apologizing. I just look at this like it's a location for a movie shoot."

    Berman co-produced "Grumpy Old Men" and its sequel.

    "I'm used to being on a set where there are trucks ... lined up -- but it's never been in my front lawn before."

    Residents of the area have had to deal with the fans and media since 1968, when Motown records founder Berry Gordy bought the house for the Jackson 5. Although Michael and most of the Jacksons left the house after the 1994 Northridge earthquake, the address was easy to find on the Internet and became a tourist attraction.