I have been watching with great interest how Idyllwild has become the Winter Wonderland, as well as the reactions of our community to this new realization. Our little hamlet has been discovered and forever changed for better or for worse. 

Go to any social media site today and you will see post after post about, “I never realized that any place this beautiful existed in Southern California.” I take great pride in that fact until I realize there are 11 million people living within two hours of our little secret and then it scares the hell out of me. 

With the good always comes some bad. We are a community in change. We love the expanded restaurant options, we hate the traffic. We value the increased revenue at our retailers and businesses, we detest the day-trippers and the refuse they leave behind. 

We love our sense of self-rule and the “I can take care of myself” attitude, then we feel ignored by our county government when we need them desperately when it snows. 

We all need to realize our little town, which we all love and cherish, is growing up. We have to take more ownership for where our town is going and we are all responsible for how that will evolve. 

Our county leaders also need to understand we are no longer just that stop sign on Highway 243. We all have a stake in this; we all need to get involved.

Jeff Chojnacki

Idyllwild/Los Angeles