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Nadya Suleman's neighbors tired of the media and traffic

March 6, 2009 | 10:50 am

Whittier resident Ulyses Guzman protests to show he's fed up with Octo-mom and her brood.

The saga over octuplets mom Nadya Suleman has dramatically changed life in her suburban Whittier neighborhood -- and some say not for the better.

Ever since she gave birth to eight babies in January, reporters and the paparazzi have been camped out on the street. Some residents said they are sick of the traffic, interview requests and notoriety.

For two years, Douglas Reyes and his wife searched for a new family home. Two months ago, they found it on Sunrise Drive, a cul-de-sac in  Whittier. But before making their final decision to purchase the home, the couple parked on the street one afternoon and observed the neighborhood.

“It was like a ghost town,” Reyes said, sitting next to his wife on the couch. “We liked it because it was a nice area, it was tranquil.” That tranquility disappeared when media outlets came looking for "octomom."

Since then, neighbors have been dealing with the paparazzi and news reporters who have camped outside of Suleman’s house. Curious drivers often speed down the street to get a glance or snap a photo of the home. Daily walkers and dog walkers turn into the street in hopes of spotting Suleman or to observe reporters. 

“I’ve thought about starting a sale outside,” Reyes' wife, Doris, said. “Maybe I’ll sell tacos.”

“Or chimichangas,” Reyes said.

But what has been seen as an amusing event in this quiet neighborhood has now become “annoying,” longtime resident Mike Crawford said. 

“Prior to this, I have never seen this amount of vehicles and police traffic. It’s been like zoom, zoom, zoom.” 

Crawford, a 52-year-old construction painter, said his wife, who is recovering from surgery, has been unable to relax because of the cars coming in and out of the street, but most of all, what has been occurring in his street has him on the edge.

“We just want the drama to end.”

The speeding cars on the street have also forced Reyes to place orange cones outside of his home whenever his three children are playing outside.

“The other day my son was playing basketball and a driver ran over it,” Reyes said. “Sometimes they don’t even care if the cones are out there.”

This past week, one nearby neighbor, frustrated with the media, walked out of his home carrying a shotgun and shouting at members of the media lounging outside.

Authorities are continuing their investigation into the matter.

Sweeping cigarette butts outside of her home Thursday afternoon, 87-year-old Thelma Steinweg said she’s mostly fed up with the paparazzi, who often leave trash outside of her house. “This is a pack of rats,” Steinweg said. 

-- Ruben Vives

Whittier resident Ulyses Guzman protests to show he's fed up with Octo-mom and her brood. Damian Dovarganes / AP Photo