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Great Park Supporters Have Lingering Issues

April 28, 2002

Re "The El Toro Roles of Agran and Correa," Letters, April 14:

The allegation made by Frank Lunding that former Mayor Christina Shea opposed the Great Park initiative is simply wrong. For many weekends, Shea volunteered to gather signatures in order to qualify this initiative. Moreover, the afternoon before the March 5 election, we both passed out literature in front of a supermarket and urged shoppers to vote yes on Measure W.

Paul Willems

Laguna Niguel

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Re "O.C. Supervisors Vote to Give Closed El Toro Base to Irvine," April 17:

It is refreshing to finally see consensus among our county supervisors for the benefit of their residents. After years of wrangling over an airport with pressure to remedy the needs and demands of all the other surrounding counties, the citizens have prevailed and shown that they do not want an international airport in Orange County.

The county can now go to the Navy with well-conceived plans for the last large tract available in Orange County for recreational and educational purposes. An urban park will be a true legacy for all residents.

Mary Schwartz

Santa Ana

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What happened to the Great Park? Only last month the voters defeated the airport proposal and approved a Great Park for El Toro. Now, the county supervisors have approved the transfer of the base to Irvine, which does not plan to create a great park, or even a good park.

Instead, Irvine plans housing (228 acres), a research park (126 acres), a college campus (370 acres), the Orange County Fair (300 acres) and wholesale nurseries (473 acres). An additional 1,700 acres (out of 4,700 total) would be used for two golf courses and sports fields.

Hardly a great park.

The voters first voted for an airport several years ago, but changed their minds in March because the Great Park captured their imagination. Now, the supervisors and Irvine have arrogantly violated the trust of the voters.

We voted for a Great Park, like Central Park in New York, Hyde Park in London or even Balboa Park in San Diego.

We showed our vision by voting for the creation of a unique open space within an urban area. Instead, our vision has been compromised by shortsighted politics. Using only a third of the base for park purposes, and then placing golf courses there, is a mediocre park at best.

Jeff Mayhew

Newport Beach

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