A businessman who set up a joint venture with Michael Jackson to take ownership of Neverland Ranch has written an an open letter to Santa Barbara residents warning them that mourners are about to converge on their community, according to press reports. Thomas J. BarrackJr. told residents that they must “prepare to accommodate Michael’s family’s wishes asthey contemplate the location of his final resting place and their ownreturn to the tranquil grounds of the Michael Jackson family compound.” A viewing of Jackson’s body is set to occur Friday at the 2,500-acre ranch within the Santa Barbara County limits.
Reports also indicate that the California Highway Patrol is anticipating dire traffic conditions on the Southern California highways when the Jackson caravan begins its long sojourn from Los Angeles to the Santa Barbara area. Says Sgt. Mark Garrett, “It’s just like when the president comes to town,” Garrett said. “Wewant to ensure people are not putting themselves in danger.”