Mailbag: Seniors will enjoy SoBeCa

As president of the USA Properties Fund, I want to take this opportunity to respond to Friday's article, "Housing project protested."

To be clear, we have never worked for the U.S. military. USA Properties Fund is a privately owned, award-winning real estate development company founded in 1981 and headquartered in Roseville.

We specialize in the creation of outstanding senior and family communities and have developed nearly 9,000 units in more than 70 communities throughout California and Nevada.

We have spent months following the required steps and processes to work with planners and win approval to build Harper's Pointe, a much-needed senior housing community in Costa Mesa.

This project will not only provide a secure, affordable housing choice for area seniors, it will also help the city meet a state mandate to provide adequate housing and, as a mixed-use development, it will be a valued asset to the local community. Perhaps most importantly, this project is ready to go and will provide new construction jobs to a region and state hard hit by unemployment.

We have played by the rules and done everything asked to ensure that this project complies with the SoBeCa plan, the City Planning staff and the City Council. Thus, I am at a loss as to why this new opposition seems intent on keeping senior citizens from moving into the neighborhood?

Trust me, they are hip enough to live, support and enjoy SoBeCa.

Geoff Brown, President

USA Properties Fund

Roseville

Illegal immigration costs the state billions

Deborah Marcus's Saturday opinion piece ("Sounding Off: 'Rule' echoes of racist 1992 incident") points out the fear that many have regarding enforcing the "Rule of Law." No one wants to see someone harassed or abused because of his or her skin color, but my understanding of the "Rule of Law" simply means that the police will investigate an individual's legal right to be in the U.S. after that individual already has been arrested. That is very similar to the new 1070 bill in Arizona.

The headline of a Saturday article in the Daily Pilot was "ICE holds driver in fatal collision." An illegal immigrant was involved in a fatal collision with a bicyclist from Santa Ana. This particular illegal immigrant had a long history of being ticketed for driving without a license and had been deported at least once. Here is one more American who would still be alive today if our government had done its job.

The illegal immigration problem must be solved. The Federation for American Immigration Reform estimates that illegal aliens immigrants cost California $21.8 billion dollars a year. That alone would settle our current state deficit with several billion to spare.

Between 1970 and 2008 the share of California's population, made up of immigrants (both legal and illegal) tripled, from 9% to 27%.

In 1970, California had the 7th most educated work force in our nation. California now ranks 50th of the states in terms of dropouts in the work force. The four states that border Mexico, plus Nevada, are the five states with the highest dropout rates in the nation.

Then there is the crime factor. Deborah Schurman-Kauflin of the Violent Crimes Institute in Atlanta estimates, after a one-year in-depth study, that there are about 240,000 illegal immigrant sex offenders in the United States who have had an average of four victims each. They say this is a conservative estimate.

The illegal alien criminal factor is huge. Thirty percent of all federal prison inmates are illegal aliens.

Clearly we must solve the problem of illegal immigration or it could destroy our country. I completely agree with Deborah Marcus that we don't want to single out individuals based on race, but at the same time our federal, state and local governments must all do their parts in enforcing the immigration laws.

One of the core principles of our democratic system is the "rule of law." Americans have traditionally respected and obeyed the laws of our country, which is one of the reasons we have become such a great nation. Let us hope we continue to be a nation where the rule of law remains a cornerstone of our principles.

Bill Cool

Corona del Mar

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