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Small Army Speaks to El Toro Closure Plan

March 21, 1993

So far all we're hearing is a one-note band beating the drums for conversion of El Toro Marine Corps Air Station, if and when closed, into another Orange County Airport.

Wait a minute. Didn't we just build a beautiful new facility at John Wayne, larger than the Kennedy terminal in New York? What do we need with another airport?

Second, and even more significant, is the unasked question of what other uses might this land serve? Why isn't anyone exploring other options?

I have one. Affordable housing. What a great solution for those poor souls who now commute from Riverside, San Bernardino and other outlying, long-distance areas to serve such essential businesses as Orange County's hotels, restaurants and a myriad of other businesses. Existing base housing plus new construction could provide entry-level housing for these people, who are presently priced out of our county.

Let's not think there is only one potential use for "to-be-closed" military facilities. We might even consider giving ourselves open space for play, visual aesthetics and even breathing space, i.e. better air quality.

Stop the one-note music! Bring in the orchestra! Let's look at all the instruments, not just the loudest drum beat played by tone-deaf politicians.

JAN YOUNG

Foothill Ranch

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