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Will Measure A Fly? It Depends on Your View From the Ground

October 23, 1994

Re: Articles by Mark Leyes and Eugene Moriarty (Oct. 16):

It seemed that both these gentlemen are having a love affair with airport runways and their utilization. May I suggest that these gentlemen go to Victorville, Palmdale and Mojave and hug the runways there! There is land space, no congestion, and accessibility to all of these airports.

There would be no threat to economic security in El Toro, as Leyes suggests, because if the property is utilized properly there would be increased employment for the developed area. Those of us that live in the El Toro corridors did so voluntarily. We knew it would be noisy at times because it was a military establishment. We also knew the flights were limited to the training mission. A commercial airport is unacceptable for those that will be affected by its constant use. We would have no choice in the matter since we are already here.

It is nice to live in Garden Grove, Mr. Leyes, and discuss the effect on lifestyle in another community. Moriarty's article smells of special interest rather then what is good for El Toro and its surrounding communities. If (he) thinks another airport is necessary, why not work for an "offshore airport" similar to he one completed in Japan?

SOL J. FRIEDMAN

Laguna Niguel

* For the first time in my life, I've become a one-issue voter.

I will cross party lines in a minute just as long as a candidate, from city to federal level, unequivocally opposes an airport for El Toro.

I understand our economy is weak, but how will lowering the quality of life for South County help us all out in the long run?

SALLY GOLD

Lake Forest

* Your argument ("A Rush to Judgment on El Toro Airport," Oct. 16) that Measure A is a hasty and poorly drawn proposition may be true. However, to say that Orange County and its nine-person commission can fairly decide on an airport at El Toro is complete fiction. Two supervisors and the other four ad-hoc members from neighboring cities have as much as said, "No airport!" That comes to a 6-to-3 vote against an airport, at best. The real reason you and South Countians are against an El Toro commercial airport is noise. After what (Supervisor Thomas F.) Riley did to Newport Beach who can blame them. Here are the facts:

* John Wayne is nearly at capacity. It will take about 10 years to get El Toro operational. By then, it will be badly needed.

* Airports pay their own way. If El Toro can't, it won't be built, regardless of the vote on A.

* Noise is the real issue. If El Toro can't be feasible by using only the east-facing runways, which will impact zero homes, it won't be built. No one wants another John Wayne, with the accompanying lawsuits.

What needs to be done is more testing to see if the above points are feasible. Measure A will do the testing for feasibility at El Toro. If it can't be built without county funds and without negatively affecting surrounding homeowners, it won't be built. Passing Measure A will only give an airport a fair hearing, something Riley, et al., will never give it.

MICHAEL STEINER

Newport Beach

* If El Toro is not converted to a civilian airport, how many hundreds of years and millions of dollars will it take to "detoxify" the land for other uses?

We need El Toro as a civilian airport.

MARY ANN O'CONNOR

Corona del Mar

* When all is said and done, all the letters written and all the reasons given, The Times has really made some good sense in a recent editorial urging a "no" vote on Measure A regarding reuse of the El Toro Marine Corps air base.

Initiative backers are asking the general population to vote on a vitally important matter without expert knowledge or study.

Measure A, if passed, could back us into a corner if the site is unusable under FAA standards, and if it is built, into county financial disaster if not economically sound.

Like the unthinking speeder on the highway should slow down and consider the consequences, we too should slow down, let the studies be made, the experts advise and only then a decision be made.

HERBERT L. FRANKLIN

Laguna Niguel

* Surprise! Surprise! The Los Angeles Times has done it again, coming out against Measure A, doing what it can to keep Orange County down on the farm and economically dependent upon Los Angeles.

There is no question about it, the Los Angeles Times cares little of the 135,000 jobs lost throughout Orange County and its effect on the people of Orange County. The Los Angeles Times cares about Los Angeles.

After all, 60% or some 8 million air passengers from Orange County will drive this year to Los Angeles International Airport or some other airport to travel.

The failure to capture the El Toro Airport opportunity will place a cap on economic growth in Orange County while Los Angeles International Airport prospers.

The Times says we have time. Sure, let's wait another 20 years and let Orange County lose out on access to the Pacific Rim and NAFTA while Los Angeles prospers.

Never mind the Orange County Board of Supervisors Resolution 85-1231: John Wayne Airport "is incapable of meeting the full level of air travel demand in Orange County."

Never mind that every land-use planning decision in the last 50 plus years has been based upon the fact that El Toro is an airport.

Well, what do you expect, more studies? El Toro has been studied 18 times in 30 years. The FAA says that El Toro Marine Corps Air Station offers an opportunity, and unless timely action is taken, economic interaction between Orange County and the rest of the nation will be seriously impeded.

That's right L.A. Times, let's take more time to study the issue, while Orange County drifts and stagnates economically. I guess the L.A. Times feels about Orange County the way Martin Bernheimer feels about the Orange County Performing Arts Center: Don't try to compete with Los Angeles.

Vote "yes" on A--it's the right choice for Orange County.

THOMAS C. EDWARDS

Newport Beach

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