Praise for VanderKolk

For 30 of my 44 years I have been attending public hearings on planning issues. There never has been a more heartfelt and sincere plea from the dais than Maria VanderKolk's call to save 17 square miles of wilderness in our very back yard ("County OKs Ahmanson Plan," Dec. 16).

A small gaggle of critics sat in the audience as Ventura County's supervisors took the historic step of guaranteeing this open space. As I looked up at the map of the largest park acquisition in California for decades, and then looked down at the snickerers, I could only think of Belshazzar's feast. The handwriting was on the wall: Mene, Mene, Tekel, Upharsin.

For critics of the Ahmanson project and the 17 square miles of open space, the message is clear: "Thou art weighed in the balances, and art found wanting."

JOSEPH T. EDMISTON, AICP

Santa Monica Mountains

Conservancy

Executive Director

Malibu

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