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VENTURA COUNTY PERSPECTIVE

'Our' Future Is That of People With a Better Vision

Opposition to Oxnard Airport comes from many quarters, all sharing a belief that its burdens outweigh benefits.

October 01, 2000|TIMOTHY CLIFFORD RILEY | Attorney Timothy Clifford Riley represents Oxnard Shores on the Oxnard Airport Mission Statement Committee that voted to close the airport by 2005

After a Times article about the Oxnard Airport controversy quoted me as saying "that airport has no business in our present or future," a letter to the editor inquired whom, exactly, I meant by "our."

A partial list would include:

* The vast majority of the residents of the city of Oxnard--the longtime as well as the new.

* The people of Ventura County who realize that the airport is a money pit that publicly subsidizes a few private special interests at the expense of all county taxpayers and will lose the county $350,000 this fiscal year.

* People who realize that Oxnard had to pay $2.24 million this year to bus children around primarily because schools can't be built where they are needed because the airport has a two nautical mile restrictive zone around it.

* The Oxnard School District, which passed a resolution in September 1999 calling for closing the airport.

* The Oxnard Airport Authority's mission statement committee, which recently recommended closing the airport. Members in favor of that action represent neighborhoods and the school board--hence tens of thousands of residents and their children.

* Oxnard Mayor Manuel Lopez, the only city or county politician who has had the courage to stand up against special-interest groups promoting the airport and for the precious interests--children and quality of life.

* Homeowners restoring homes in the city's historic district, which predated the airport, who are increasingly exposed to noise, danger and threats of encroachment by the airport.

* Homeowners who realize that their property taxes contribute more to the county general fund than does the airport and that their residential property value is diminished by the airport's existence.

* Taxpayers who realize that airport revenue can only go back into the airport and cannot go into the county's general fund.

* People who are tired of being scared in their own homes, waiting for a plane to crash on them.

* People who can't sleep at night and are awakened too early in the morning by aircraft noise.

* People who care about fairness and dislike the disparity in treatment by Ventura County Supervisors, who protect Camarillo from commercial flights but dump them on Oxnard.

* Oxnard Shores property owners who fear scheduled commercial jet traffic is coming and will destroy the beautiful beach area and its residential property values.

* People who moved from the San Fernando Valley and Los Angeles to escape from the noise, congestion and pollution created by Van Nuys, Burbank and Los Angeles International airports.

* People with enough foresight to realize the area's chief asset is its beauty and tranquillity, which are being eroded by the airport.

* The businessmen and women who believe the airport hurts their businesses.

* People who believe that county supervisors are mismanaging another county resource and who realize that the airport property is extremely valuable and should be redeveloped into something beautiful, compatible and profitable for the entire county.

* People sick and tired of subsidizing an airport that continually loses money while destroying the area's quality of life.

* People sick and tired of listening to the 150 hobby fliers who endlessly circle and buzz homes and neighborhoods for their selfish enjoyment, while those below cannot enjoy the peace and safety of their homes and backyards.

* People who realize we don't need three airports in such a small area because airports, unlike train stations, need not be within 25 minutes of the one another.

* People who realize that closing an airport is not extraordinary and that on average one airport closes every week somewhere in the United States.

* People who don't believe you need to take an airplane to get to an airport.

* People who realize that the pro-airport groups are spinning economic myths while ruining the economy and the environment for their own profit.

* People who realize that it is pure myth that the airport is good for business and tourism.

* People who realize the airport's burdens far outweigh any benefits.

*

Simply put, "our" includes all the people who see something better for Ventura County. The public is losing. It's time for the airport to close and for the community to create something wonderful, compatible and profitable in its place.

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