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El Toro Debate

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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 13, 1999
A statesman does what's good for his country and a politician does what's good for himself. The El Toro airport is about what some politicians are doing for themselves and their cronies. Do we not have an obligation to preserve the only things we can't create: clean air and water, wildlife, and space to live? Two high-volume airports in one small area--nowhere in the world does that occur except here, where we have such a warped perception about value. SAM WHITNEY Fullerton
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 18, 2005 | Kimi Yoshino, Times Staff Writer
In the heyday of the debate to turn the former El Toro Marine Corps Air Station into a commercial airport, Stan Oftelie bookmarked a pertinent website under his Internet favorites. Not anymore, said Oftelie, president of the Orange County Business Council: "I've lost the website. I've reorganized it out of my life." But even after voters rejected the airport plan, and the federal government opened the auction Jan.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 14, 1997
Your editorial ("Some Ominous Signs on Airport Funding Front," Sept. 7) is on the money with one glaring exception: The $1.7-billion county bankruptcy was not mentioned. Possibly The Times couldn't in good conscience mention it since your reporting was so sorely lacking as a precursor to the largest default in this country's history. If things happen in threes, [after] the San Joaquin Hills toll road and the bankruptcy, El Toro surely is next. If current El Toro planning and expenditures are any indication of the future, this boondoggle will be the "mother" of all county financial disasters.
OPINION
March 16, 2003
Re "Rancho Is a Treasure That's Worth Preserving," March 9: So Charles E. Griffen, president of the New Millennium Group, laments the "imminent removal of the irreplaceable practical north-south oriented runway" at the Great Park. He might have been correct if that runway didn't battle crosswinds, didn't throw departing aircraft up into arriving John Wayne and Los Angeles International air traffic, and didn't have that silly hill in the way. This argument sounds like the drive from the last millennium.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 3, 1998
What business problem is the country trying to solve with the proposed airport at El Toro? Cargo? Our cargo transport needs are being met by current air courier services. The dollar savings and timing advantages that we would experience by shipping goods out of El Toro versus Los Angeles International Airport or Ontario are not material--which is to say that most firms would not notice the difference. Business travel? Our employees who travel internationally make flight choices based upon schedules, pricing and convenience of connections.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 30, 1998
South County activists and city officials, as well as Supervisors Thomas Wilson and Todd Spitzer, have continually bad-mouthed the El Toro airport planning process. The county grand jury, composed of 19 unbiased and highly qualified individuals, investigated their complaints and studied the process for seven months. Their conclusion: "County executives are doing a good job in planning and explaining the conversion of the Marine Corps Air Station into an international airport." Not wanting to accept that verdict, Wilson and Spitzer have now added the entire grand jury to the list of people they discredit (Aug.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 20, 1997
I am a proponent of the El Toro airport. Until today, I've tried the "mediation through moderation" approach to bringing the parties to the table--the same approach espoused by the Board of Supervisors in their 4-1 vote in December. But when I read the July 1 Times article on Measure A being upheld, I realize nothing short of a 2-by-4 is going to wake up people like Lake Forest Councilman Richard T. Dixon and that I've been patient long enough. We are not dealing with what Dixon calls ballot-box planning here.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 21, 1996
Much of the noisy debate over the future of the El Toro Marine Corps Air Station has taken place in a vacuum and, for all its fervor, been short on specifics. For that reason, perhaps, the April 12 release of three preliminary proposals ought to provide some much-needed focus and clarity to the discussion.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 13, 1996
The Orange County Board of Supervisors is expected to vote in December on one of the most controversial issues in county history--what to do with the 4,700-acre El Toro Marine Corps Air Station once it closes by 1999. A county environmental impact report portrays an international airport as the best reuse option. Should El Toro become an international airport? We'd like to know your opinion. A sampling will be reported on Sunday.
OPINION
September 29, 2002
Re "Vote to Zone El Toro as Park Upheld," Sept. 19: It's time for El Toro airport activists to give up the ghost. The court decision on Measure W was clear: The people have a right to rezone via the initiative process, and Measure W's wording was not misleading. The El Toro wars have always and only been about shifting the burden of an airport from Newport Beach to the communities around El Toro. The issue of a need for a second Orange County airport is a joke. Four countywide votes have been taken.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 21, 2002 | DAVID REYES, TIMES STAFF WRITER
With the March 5 election just days away, Bruce Nestande and Irvine Mayor Larry Agran, the two foremost speakers on either side of Measure W--the countywide initiative that would replace an El Toro airport with zoning for a park--faced off Wednesday in a debate in Newport Beach. Agran, aware he was in pro-El Toro airport country, joked about how his supporters wondered whether he needed a bodyguard.
NEWS
January 6, 2002
Re "Health Issues Cloud El Toro," editorial, Dec. 30: Your Dec. 30 editorial strongly suggests that the entire base is loaded with so many contaminated waste products that the land has been designated one of the most polluted in the nation. It concludes that the base is so contaminated that public health and safety will require any development to be put on hold. This impression is utterly false. Here's the truth from the public record: The base is more than 4,700 acres, fewer than 60 have been identified as toxically dangerous and fewer than 700 are still being examined as potentially, but not necessarily, contaminated.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 8, 2001 | JEAN O. PASCO, TIMES STAFF WRITER
A San Diego court Friday barred Orange County from spending any money to oppose a March ballot measure that would end plans for an airport at El Toro. But what that means exactly depends on which side of the El Toro airport debate you're on. Airport opponents interpreted the tentative ruling by Superior Court Judge Charles R. Hayes as ordering an end to the county's "Just the Facts" information program on its El Toro airport plan.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 11, 2001
Re "Mayor Sides With Foes of El Toro Airport Plan," Nov. 1: As the light slowly begins to dawn in Huntington Beach, where the adverse impact of an El Toro airport would certainly be minimal, I can only wonder when the folks in Newport Beach will awaken. Newport stands to lose big time if the new airport were to be built. The reality is (as it has been from the beginning) that they will be "losing" 115 daily flights from John Wayne Airport, but will "gain" the bulk of the 400-plus daily (and nightly)
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 28, 2001
Re "Supervisors: 'Yes' on El Toro Airport," Oct. 24: The vote by the Orange County Board of Supervisors' pro-airport majority to move forward with the largely unwanted and unpopular international El Toro airport is not surprising. It is really a pity that hard-working and peace-loving Americans are not only terrorized by selfish foreign agents, but also by their duly elected officials who apparently are unwilling or incapable of listening to the people that elected them. I am certain that terrorism, in any form, is totally unacceptable to Americans.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 18, 2001 | JEAN O. PASCO, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Opponents in the feud over the fate of the former El Toro Marine base faced off Tuesday in a debate over whether to build an international airport or an urban park. The themes emerged during a live radio debate at UC Irvine's Barclay Theater sponsored by KCRW-FM, which has 450,000 listeners across Southern California. It was the first time the public radio station has broadcast its public affairs show "Which Way L.A.?" from Orange County.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 16, 2001 | JEAN O. PASCO, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Friends and foes of plans for a new commercial airport at the now-closed El Toro Marine Corps Air Station will meet Tuesday in Irvine for a debate sponsored by a Santa Monica radio station, evidence of growing interest outside Orange County in the property's fate. Seven hundred free tickets for the event were snapped up in less than a week, fueled by Web site postings promoting the debate. Audience members will be allowed to ask on-air questions of panelists.
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