Airport-Use Petition for El Toro Marine Base Draws Opposition

* In "Letting the Public Join El Toro Debate," (Letters, May 22), I feel sorry that Buck Johns and George Argyros are hurting their reputations as smart businessmen on an impossible situation.

First, they decry and put down your Times editorial of May 8 and declare they have faith in the public's intelligence by pushing for the initiative on El Toro.

This is not so, since reports from all over the county are that their people are approaching voters to sign their petitions by saying, "Sign this for 21,000 jobs or you'll have a prison there."

This, even though El Toro will not lend itself to become a seventh regional or international airport because of serious physical restrictions. Also, some of the other airports are starting to report less passenger use. Your editorial was "right on the money."

Their letter proves that Johns and Argyros are masters of double talk but "they still don't get it."

AARON SPEVAK

Laguna Hills

* Re the letter from George Argyros and William Buck Johns:

Regarding the current controversy concerning the planning for the closure of the El Toro Marine Corps Air Station, I find myself appalled by their concept that the El Toro Reuse Planning Authority (ETRPA) is "parochial."

As I understand it, ETRPA is studying the problem from three different perspectives, including the possible use as a commercial airport. It is a large parcel of land and could accommodate a number of different uses.

The petition Argyros and friends are circulating proposes a single-issue concept that the base should be a commercial airport and, if the petition is successful and passed, will preclude consideration of any other possibilities.

Judge for yourself who has the "narrow perspective."

JUDITH ODLUM

Irvine

* The recent letter from the two allied, well-intentioned (?) and benevolent Newport Beach financial gurus, George Argyros and William Buck Johns, poses some interesting contradictions.

On the one hand, they are touting the unrestricted use of the El Toro base as a commercial airport, including 24-hour freight flights and demeaning the concerns of the boundary residents as parochial and myopic.

On the other hand, they, I am sure, were active or sympathetic participants in imposing severe flight restrictions on John Wayne flights as they approach Newport Beach, grandfathered without the benefit of the public discussion petitions from all of Orange County that they are now pushing for.

Maybe we should have a countywide petition for the Newport Beach area restrictions.

We have a well-represented planning group, the El Toro Reuse Planning Authority, established to find out the best use for the base with much more creditability than either of these two gentlemen. Let's let (the planning authority) do its job without some flack from these coercing and strong-arm dissidents.

With the energy they have demonstrated, I suggest that they attack and spend their money for our surface rapid transit problems.

To you well-intentioned and thoughtful Orange County residents, do not be misled by this evil and destructive petition and movement.

DICK OSTERLIND

Laguna Hills

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