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LETTERS TO THE TIMES

Laguna Slide Victims: Risks and Priorities

June 15, 2005

In "Laguna Slide Is 'a Solvable Problem,' Says a Survivor," June 13: A homeowner says, "We have a history in America of helping those in need." Maybe we need to define "those in need." There are people in our society living in their cars, and not because their million-dollar home slid down a hill. Taxpayers should not have to subsidize a handful of homeowners who perched their property on the side of a hill in one of the most expensive areas in the country just so they could have "a view."

A few weeks ago, after the slide, one article quoted a girl who said she brought clothing to a friend so she "wouldn't look like a landslide victim." Ironically, on the same page was an article and pictures of starving, emaciated children in Africa. I hope somebody gave a copy of the paper to the girls. Priorities need to be put in order in Laguna.

Helen Freeman

Anaheim

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It is time property owners who build their dream houses on hillsides and other locations subject to landslide or other earth movement do so at their own peril. Why must taxpayers subsidize, even partially, rebuilding lost or damaged property? It is almost like taking money from the poor to let the moneyed continue to enjoy their "dream homes with a view."

Carlos F. Cuyugan

Lake Forest

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Although I share Laguna Beach officials' concern for victims of our recent landslide, the proposal to utilize empty El Morro trailers for temporary housing is the wrong solution at the wrong time (June 10). The long and tortuous process to turn El Morro into a public park is finally coming to an end; we should not take any action that would again delay or thwart it. There are other ways to help the victims, and Laguna, as a united and caring community, will find them -- just as we have done in similar disasters in the past.

Bette Anderson

Laguna Beach

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