Many have urged me to write and correct the various mischaracterizations, misleading juxtapositions and other inaccuracies in Susan Woodward's May 5 cover story regarding the recent preservation of the 28 1/2-acre Chandler Trusts property. Indeed, the reporter in question seems, unfortunately, to have either: a) been duped by a small group of longtime area naysayers into believing that there actually is a controversy surrounding the preservation of this land (something which is not the case, except perhaps in the all-too-imaginative minds of a few); or b) has chosen to ignore focusing on the far more important but perhaps less salacious news of the preservation of this land in favor of the easy appeal of a manufactured "controversy" (a temptation to which I hope Ms. Woodward did not succumb but one to which, sadly, many may, given her article, feel she did).
Yet, to focus on the article in question, even if merely to correct it, would take many words and risk missing that which is most profoundly important: the fact that dozens of people directly, and hundreds of others indirectly, worked long and hard to preserve many acres of valuable land as natural open space, something to be enjoyed by all forever. Thus, rather than criticize (the reporter), I hope everyone will instead both see and appreciate one of those rare and happy times when a group of people didn't just sit on the sidelines and complain or criticize but, instead, set out to do--and actually did--something constructive for the entire community.
It is this active handful, a relative few in any walk of life, who, with the support of the quiet majority, actually achieve positive results for everyone. And it is these people--in this case the Chandler grandchildren and individuals at the city of Rolling Hills Estates and the Palos Verdes Land Conservancy--who deserve both our accolades and those of the press.
I, for one, am both thankful for that relative minority of "doers" and am honored, in the case of the creation of the Linden H. Chandler Preserve, to have worked with them.
MICHAEL J. KILROY
\o7 Redondo Beach\f7
I want to express our organization's disappointment with the recent article on the preservation of the Chandler Trust property in Rolling Hills Estates (May 5).
We were disappointed for two reasons: First, our organization is run by 15 well-known and respected members of the community--volunteers who dedicate considerable time and talent to preserving open space. To imply, as your article did, that because one of our board members happens to be a developer, our organization is somehow planning an under-the-table deal to sell or trade the very land we have worked hard to preserve impugns the integrity of our organization and the individual involved.
Second, many volunteers worked for years to make this happen. Beginning with Sally Kinsey's effort in 1989, we worked hard to create the opportunity, we worked hard to raise the money and we worked hard to close the deal which finally preserved this beautiful site. We were hoping that The Times would print an article celebrating our community's accomplishment, an article congratulating all of the volunteers who made it possible, an article we would be proud to show our friends and relatives. Instead, based on incorrect information, you suggested a conspiracy to benefit a developer. Actually, the easement which is key to your conspiracy theory is not owned by the developer at all; it was acquired in 1991 by a neighbor who has restricted access to pedestrians and equestrians only.
The article made little mention of the preserve's dedication ceremony and the accolades the conservancy and the city received from elected officials including Rep. Jane Harman and Assemblywoman Betty Karnette. We dedicated a plaque that day which reads: "The Linden H. Chandler Preserve; preserved in perpetuity by the City of Rolling Hills Estates, the Palos Verdes Peninsula Land Conservancy, and the Eight Grandchildren of Linden H. Chandler." That plaque states the complete intentions of all involved in the transaction.
We and the City of Rolling Hills Estates have done our best to insure that the Chandler Preserve will remain natural forever. We have established a special committee to develop a long-range management plan for the preserve, and a number of community leaders and environmentalists have agreed to help us make this a very special natural area.
We hope that members of our community who share the fears expressed in your article will become active in helping us to manage the preserve. We invite The Times to re-look at the issues involved and help us celebrate what our community has accomplished.
WILLIAM H. AILOR, III
\o7 Ailor is president of the board of directors, Palos Verdes Peninsula Land Conservancy.\f7