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Grabbing El Toro Airport by the Horns

June 12, 2003

Re "El Toro Airport Fight Begins Anew," June 7: L.A. Mayor James Hahn's offer to lease and operate an airport at the former El Toro Marine base should be applauded as a bold act of a genuine leader and planner of Southern California. Orange County is one of the state's fastest-growing areas, and many there consider air travel very close to a basic necessity.

With all the security measures implemented since 9/11, the problem of overcrowding at LAX has reached the high annoyance level and will continue to worsen. The need for another airport in the Orange County area is no longer an Orange County backyard problem but a serious regional planning crisis that affects businesses and citizens in all the surrounding counties.

If Orange County continues to insist on NIMBY, then the state should support the lease and airport operation as proposed by Hahn or create another agency to run the airport at El Toro.

Frank Bajinting

Whittier

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It was quite unsettling to read about L.A. leaders and their allies in Orange County secretly trying to take over El Toro and create an airport that voters overwhelmingly defeated not once but twice. If they failed this time, what makes us believe that they will not try again?

L.A. government officials need to stay out of our affairs here in Orange County. What makes it so scandalous is that they did it in secret, totally against the will of the people who would be affected by this selfish decision.

If they choose to fight, we will show our strength here in South County, as we did before. We will not stand by and let our quality of life be affected by some selfish people who want their way. Elected officials need to listen to the wishes of their people. We elected them; we can throw them out of office.

Kathy Courtney

Laguna Niguel

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