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Petitions May Be for Cottonwood ... or Not

July 07, 2002

Re "Cypress Petitions Seek Vote on Church," June 28:

I live in Cypress. Over the last few days I've noticed a group of assertive volunteers gathering signatures for two petitions outside supermarkets. One petition is publicized as "Parks for Our Kids." When I Iooked at the details of the petition, it appeared to me to be directly related to the land-use issue involving the city of Cypress and Cottonwood.

I asked the volunteer about that and he said that the petition had "nothing to do with Cottonwood," but that he couldn't tell me any details. If this volunteer group is the same one identified in your article, I would have to think they are being deceitful with the public about their intentions. I wonder if they are afraid to state they are gathering signatures for a petition related to the Cottonwood issue because they fear they might get less support?

Kimberly Magee

Cypress

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First let me be upfront and tell everyone that I'm a Cypress resident, a retired police officer and a member of Cottonwood Church, an average citizen, raising an average family, like most here in Cypress. There have been a lot of hate letters against Cottonwood. This comes as no surprise because there are those out there who just don't like churches and churchgoing people, or successful ministries that have grown large. This has been the case for over 2,000 years and will always be the case.

Cottonwood has been criticized for fighting for their land and for using Nazi Germany as an example of the potentially abusive power of the government. I've toured the Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles. One of the first things the Nazis did was take Jewish synagogues and Christian churches through eminent domain, claiming it was for the public good. Then they came for Jewish and Christian businesses and homes.

The Cypress City Council says it isn't taking people's homes--just a vacant lot. But if you give them an inch, they'll take a mile. Just look at how Garden Grove's City Council tried to take nearly 1,000 homes to make way for an amusement park that would generate tax dollars. A vacant lot may be a stepping stone to your home.

Whether Cypress is for or against Cottonwood is not the issue. The issue is, should government decide who gets to progress and who doesn't? Should government have the power to take privately owed land as it pleases so it can bring in a private business it likes?

I think we all agree that eminent domain is an allowable government action when it comes to making freeways. But kicking out a church for a Costco, or someone's home for an amusement park, is an abuse of government power.

Bill Sinko

Cypress

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