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LETTERS TO THE TIMES

CenterLine: Shouldn't OCTA Give Both Sides?

May 04, 2003

Re "CenterLine Could Be a Fiscal Black Hole, Critics Say," April 12:

The cavemen of Orange County are at it again. A group of 21 government leaders asked the Orange County Transportation Authority to cancel the CenterLine project.

I have great respect for most of these people and have voted for some of them many times. But we are definitely at odds when it comes to CenterLine.

I wonder if they would have said the same thing about building the California Aqueduct. It takes vision and courage to step out and see where our county will and can be in 20 to 30 years. We have widened the Santa Ana and San Diego freeways, but they still come to a grinding halt every morning and afternoon. Should we take more taxpayer money to buy more property and businesses, to make an even bigger parking lot?

We need to think about how to move people without cars and eliminate pollution. Come on, guys and gals, let's move into the 21st century.

Paul Bostwick

Anaheim

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Re "CenterLine Mailer Violates Law, Critics Say," April 24:

The Orange County Transportation Authority deserves legal consequences for using public funds to promote the CenterLine train in Irvine so soon before an election.

OCTA's media focus on the June 3 polling date is a cover for its efforts to influence absentee voters. Since Measures A and B are the only questions in Irvine's election, OCTA knows absentee votes may dominate the results. Orange County recently experienced the power of the absentee ballot when a new supervisor was selected with more votes cast by absentees than at the polls.

OCTA directors can't claim ignorance. The use of public funds to influence the election was a hot topic at an Irvine council meeting in February. Irvine Councilman Michael Ward, an OCTA director, was present at the meeting with OCTA executives and public relations consultants.

If we CenterLine opponents had access to public funds for consultants, open houses and fancy color brochures, CenterLine would be dead. Our lethal weapon would be the truth.

John Kleinpeter

Irvine

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It is sad and frustrating that OCTA has seen fit to deceive the public and make them pay for it. If OCTA is so sure that the CenterLine is the right thing to do, they should be willing to present both sides of the story. It is underhanded to send what amounts to a CenterLine brochure just weeks before voting on CenterLine measures happens, and I hope the public sees through the colorful brochure to the trickery behind it.

Brian Hooger

Irvine

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With our overtaxed highways, choking air pollution and strangling overpopulation here in Southern California, we desperately need many more transportation options and alternatives than we currently have, before we start to make Calcutta look like a wide-open prairie town.

The great unwashed masses of us look forward to the day when we will have many more alternatives to mind-numbingly long commutes behind the tailpipes of 18-wheelers.

No one single form of transportation can or should be all things to all people, but the initial segment of CenterLine is a vitally needed first segment in an eventual countywide rapid and comfortable (mostly elevated) light-rail system.

The initial segment of CenterLine is rather short but is a vitally needed first step toward a truly viable countywide transportation alternative.

Ross R. Moore Jr.

Villa Park

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