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It's Time for El Morro Tenants to Say Goodbye

June 08, 2003

Re "El Morro Seeks to Stave Off Eviction," May 13:

The lengths to which the El Morro trailer park tenants will go in order to continue to live on public property knows no end.

They have had the rare privilege of staying on this prime beachfront for 24 years since Crystal Cove State Park was purchased by the people of California as a campground and day-use beach. When the tenants got their most recent lease extension, which expires at the end of 2004, they agreed to leave. Instead, they file a lawsuit and hire a high-priced public relations company to fight eviction.

Bonds fund the conversion to a public campground, so there is no problem with the state budget crisis. The people of California should be enraged at the idea that Laguna Beach would take over land that does not belong to that city for its own benefit -- low-cost housing.

Assemblywoman Patricia Bates' contention that it would endanger children in the nearby elementary school is not based on facts. The facts are that Concordia Elementary School in San Clemente is next to a state campground and there has never been a problem there in the many years they have been next to each other. Bates does a real disservice to her constituents, many of whom, I'm sure, are campers and would love to be able to spend several nights staying at the proposed new beachfront campsite.

So, trailer tenants, stop spending your money trying to convince Californians, with ridiculous reasons, why you should be allowed to stay on our land. Be thankful for the 24 years you've had and go graciously.

Fern Pickle

President, Friends of Newport Coast Corona del Mar

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