In response to CSU Chancellor W. Ann Reynolds' ultimatum that we must accept Taylor Ranch as the site for the new CSU campus, I say No! Taylor Ranch is a lousy location from a geographic standpoint. Why put a university at the northern tip of the easternmost city in the county? Reynolds claims that "80% to 90% of the students come from a 25- or 30-mile radius, and with Taylor Ranch as its center, what do you get? A circle with half its area in the Pacific Ocean and another fourth in the uninhabited coastal range north of Ventura! Not exactly in the center of the county, chancellor.
Now draw a straight line from the Taylor Ranch to the Ventura-Los Angeles County line in Thousand Oaks. Measure this line and you'll find that it's almost 40 miles long. Almost all 700,000 county residents live west of the ranch site. I just can't understand the chancellor's logic at all.
The chancellor said, "the people here are very concerned about . . . smog." Obviously, she doesn't share our concerns. At a time when Ventura County is already the third smoggiest county in the state, I'm incredulous that a state official would tacitly condone a 25- or 30-mile one-way commute to college as acceptable. Round trip, that's 50 to 60 miles a day, 250 to 300 miles a week, 1,000 to 1,200 miles a month of commuting per student! Multiply that by the eventual 15,000 students the chancellor envisions, and you have a major new source of smog.
It doesn't take much imagination to see what another 15,000 students converging on the Taylor Ranch every day will do to air quality on the Oxnard Plain. Laughably, the chancellor threw us a bone and said, "we could have a very interesting program here on environmental management. . . ." Indeed. Perhaps she should be one of its first students.