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The Brawl Over El Toro's Future and Those 'Other 7 Deadly Sins'

August 15, 1993

* The El Toro Marine Corps Air Station closure has sparked a neighborhood brawl. What most of those persons who live in homes around the base want to know is, why those who are much farther away (Anaheim and Newport) want to have a say about this base closure.

El Toro did not have a say in the establishment of more lands of imagination in North County.

Environmentally, the new Disneyland impact is a disaster to their community. They should locate Mickey and his friends at El Toro. But no! The local bureaucracy wants all the revenue; and they want an international airport at El Toro to feed their coffers.

The Newport Beach bureaucracy wants their air traffic lessened, and hopefully limited to just luxury jets. And I don't blame them. No one wants dumps, the riffraff, jails, or any other deleterious (as they see it) environment in their community. Put it in their neighbor's back yard. Just send tanned tourists with dollars.

Well, as long as greed, avarice, and (whatever the other seven deadly sins are) captivate mankind, this love-thy-neighbor stuff is just another spin doctor's tool to lull the neighborhood into submission. So frankly, in "love," I'll keep driving by Walt's fantasy, and in "love," I'll keep flying over the Balboa Fun Zone. What also is a poor homeboy to do? Maybe I should move to Adelanto. They know all about such foolishness.

THOMAS M. WHALING

Costa Mesa

* What kind of county government do we have here in Orange County that stacks a conversion committee with advocates of a commercial airport in El Toro and denies the South County cities of Laguna Niguel, Laguna Beach, Dana Point, Mission Viejo and others a significant voice and voting position on that committee ("Neighbor Cities Demand a Say In El Toro Plan." July 29)?

Perhaps Supervisor (Thomas F.) Riley should consider stepping down as chairman of that committee since he has an inherent conflict of interest in fairly representing both Newport Beach (where he lives) and the cities of South County who don't want a commercial airport at El Toro.

Why not expand the operation of the underutilized $80-million-dollar new John Wayne Airport rather than expend millions more to build another airport six miles away in El Toro? Why should Newport Beach and John Wayne Airport's problems be dumped in the South County's back yard?

ANN BRIGGEMAN

Dana Point

* Is it a "fait accompli"?

Has the use of the El Toro Marine Corps Air Station already been decided behind closed doors? Might not the exclusion of a Laguna Beach representative on the County Advisory Committee, which is chaired by Supervisor (Thomas F.) Riley, mean that he will lead the support for continued and, perhaps, expanded airport usage of the base after its closure? Will the air patterns be directed across the considerable length of Laguna Beach and out to sea?

Will those who are concerned about the loss of property values because of view loss from trees really have something to worry about when air traffic continually blasts its way across their coast?

When one lives in Laguna Canyon as I do, you become particularly aware of the reverberation of sound from air traffic which often drowns out that of Laguna Canyon Highway. In fact, to quiet the noise, all the windows and doors on the highway side have to be kept closed, even from a distance of at least 400 feet with trees and houses between.

I wonder if the Riley/Vasquez committee will seriously consider alternative uses, and will a significant number of concerned residents be willing to do battle to prevent it from happening? Time will tell!

ANDY WING

Laguna Beach

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