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Business: Plan for R&D Automobile Park and Test Track

August 18, 1994

Edmund Newton's story about Christopher R. Pook (Times, Aug. 11) was an interesting account of a clever entrepreneur. However, the description of Mr. Pook's proposed research and development park and test track was incomplete. For example, only four major events per year were mentioned when, in fact, there will be 40 additional so-called "noise-restricted" events.

Mr. Pook's slick slide presentation, which I have seen, promised jobs, beautification of a blighted area and economic revitalization. He conveniently omits or glosses over any discussion of the potential for deafening noise, traffic snarls and environmental degradation, simply saying these threats will be "managed." He is similarly vague about the project's financing, neatly sidestepping questions about who will be left holding the bag if the project is a lemon.

Mr. Pook is correct when he states that the area proposed for the racetrack needs an economic overhaul. However, Long Beach and Signal Hill residents must seriously consider whether a noisy racetrack in their neighborhood is the sole alternative for boosting the area's economy.

According to the article, Mr. Pook may not be telling the whole story about his marketing degree from the University of London. He is clearly not telling the whole story about his proposed "research and development park," which is really a euphemism for a raucous hangout for fans of a fringe sport. He is adroitly marketing the high-priced public fulfillment of his personal dream. As the citizens of Long Beach and Signal Hill will foot the bill, \o7 caveat emptor.\f7

DAVID J. DINGMAN

\o7 Long Beach\f7

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