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Parkland or University?

There is substantial public support for Soka University. At the Nov. 17 Ventura County hearing where the Board of Supervisors voted to authorize condemnation, 42 people spoke against the condemnation and 22 people spoke in favor of it.

Significantly, a large proportion of those 22 pro-condemnation speakers were either park service employees or grant recipients from the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy or its agencies. This is a matter of public record.

At the Dec. 22 hearing at which the parks voted to condemn the property, 44 people spoke against condemnation and 27 people spoke in favor of it. These figures, documented and quite different from neighborhood gossip or hearsay, are reliable markers of support and opposition.

Some people believe that Soka’s property would be a nice National Park headquarters and commercial recreational center. But a lot of other people, facing reality, realize that there are more important public policies, such as fiscal responsibility and higher education.

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How much traffic would a park headquarters cause? Who would maintain it? Who would make sure it doesn’t become a center for gangs?

It is a tragedy for the taxpayers of this state that Joe Edmiston and his renegade park agencies have already allocated $750,000 for lawyers and consultants to seize Soka’s land.

DEBORAH BRENNER

Calabasas

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