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Santa Cruz, California, United States
I cannot remember life without GHOSTS/SPIRITS... My interest began in the paranormal when I was 2...that's when my mom told me I first started talking about GHOSTS/SPIRITS. I grew up like most of you, learning that one shouldn't talk about the things they can see, hear and feel. Now, after years of ignoring these abilities and senses, I can no longer deny it. The TIME has come...

Sunday, January 20, 2008


Amid Renovations, A History of Negligence Haunts Brookdale Lodge
Sentinel Staff Report

BROOKDALE -- The new owner of the fabled Brookdale Lodge -- where the "River Runs Through It" dining room is still a marvel -- says only time will judge whether he is capable of returning the fatigued $5.3 million landmark to its former splendor by remaking it into a destination spa.

Despite his investment in new roofing and what he described as sustainable decor for the lodge's 46 guest suites, Sanjiv Kakkar has not gotten off on the right foot with county officials and the former owners. During the past month, agents from the health and building departments say they have warned Kakkar about mounting garbage and construction debris, as well as his failure to secure the proper permits for reconstruction.

A Sentinel investigation also uncovered a similar history concerning a hotel Kakkar owns in San Francisco. The San Francisco environmental health agency has recorded at least a dozen uncollected garbage violations stemming from unpaid disposal bills at the Abigail Hotel since Kakkar bought the Tenderloin District property seven years ago. The building inspector has forwarded to code enforcement officials a March 2007 permit violation that hasn't been resolved.

Kakkar said he doesn't believe the ongoing problems with the Abigail should reflect on the work he is undertaking at the Brookdale, which he renamed the Brookdale Inn & Spa after buying it in October from a retired Bay Area police officer who had owned it for 17 years. Santa Cruz County officials said Kakkar has been responsive to the garbage and permitting problems they've documented in the past month, but said they are monitoring the property -- which includes a historically significant 117-year-old original lodge -- to make sure he follows through with his promises.

In the meantime, Kakkar and the former owners agree their one-time congenial relationship has soured amid accusations of unresolved debts and other conflicts related to the transfer of ownership, such as the garbage gaffe, as well as allegations that property belonging to the former owners was stolen by one of Kakkar's workers -- a charge Kakkar denies.

Jennifer Gilbert, daughter of the former owner, Bill Gilbert, said her family has long loved the lodge and feel as though they are "giving up a kid to a bad family."

Letting go of a legacy

The lodge is one of the most well known sites in Santa Cruz County -- certainly a landmark on Highway 9, where local folks still come for dinner and weekend brunch in the famed 1920s-era Brookdale Dining Room, where Clear Creek runs through the middle of the 200-seat eatery. The niece of a former owner drowned in the creek decades ago, and her spirit -- as well as those of dead loggers and gangsters that inhabited the lodge through the years -- are said to haunt the property, where paranormal investigators and psychics still visit to capture ghosts.


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