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San Juan Council Clearly Supports JSerra

October 26, 2003

Re "Arguments Against JSerra Are Off the Mark," Oct. 12:

It is somewhat disconcerting for David M. Swerdlin to ask that "facts prevail" concerning the JSerra high school project in San Juan Capistrano.

JSerra's backers have contributed heavily to the election of a council majority, including Swerdlin, in favor of the project.

JSerra backers did not use the "ballot initiative to bring the issue to the people." In fact, the council was led to adopt the zoning change sought by JSerra in order to avoid a special election it seemed sure to lose.

JSerra demanded that the council either adopt the zoning change without a vote of the people or else pay for an expensive special election. The council took the easier, developer-friendly course.

The part of the project that's in question is the athletic fields, planned on a site declared sacred by the Native American Heritage Commission. The school itself isn't in question, just the location of the gymnasium, etc., which would be on top of the ancient village of Putiidhem.

There are five numbered archaeological sites and an unknown number of graves on Putiidhem, which was occupied for many centuries before 1769.

The school could locate the athletic fields elsewhere but chooses not to do so. Putiidhem itself is not owned by Jserra; it is leased.

Putiidhem, as a restored village and memorial park, can be a precious resource not duplicated anywhere else in California.

There are pictures of the proposed memorial on www.Putiidhem.org and www.ThisLand.org.

Doug Korthof

Seal Beach

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