Len's letter: Great Park, great airport, great waste

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Hanna
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Len's letter: Great Park, great airport, great waste

Postby Hanna » Sat Apr 25, 2015 8:55 am

Forgotten in the discussion over Great Park spending is the huge expected cost of the El Toro Airport that the park concept replaced. Until 2002, the county planned an international airport at the former base at a cost once estimated at billions of dollars. Building it could have led to Orange County’s second great bankruptcy because there never was enough air travel to pay back the debt.

The airport was promoted using unrealistic estimates of air travel demand. When confronted with the reality that there was no need for two O.C. airports seven miles apart and that JWA would close, proponents proposed connecting them with a much ridiculed “people mover.”

Plans took twists and turns. A “Global Town Center” concept was replaced by a “Green Airport” surrounded by a park. That morphed into an unlikely “community friendly” airport. The design of the airport kept changing but never the realities of its cost and the absence of need.

Eventually, voters killed the project but not before the county had spent $62 million. In the end, we were left with the cold comfort of not spending billions more on what opponents branded as an “unsafe, unneeded and unwanted” airport.

Great Park spending was audited but the great airport spending was quietly forgotten. How can the stewards of our public funds pursue such projects with such unwarranted zeal? In both cases, concerned voters finally had to step in and elect new stewards. Voters make a difference.

Len Kranser

Dana Point

editor, El Toro Info Site

http://www.ocregister.com/letters/airpo ... anton.html

=====

Can't wait for the rebuts from NPB crowd..



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Troglodyte
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Re: Len's letter: Great Park, great airport, great waste

Postby Troglodyte » Sun Apr 26, 2015 9:14 am

First of all, John Wayne hated that damned airport. The take off path was directly over his house. He is probably spinning in his grave now that it has been named after him.
You can thank William Lyon, the Irvine company and the OC board of supervisors back in 1985 for turning the small private, charter, and small business Martin field into a mini LAX.
Finally El Toro MAS had been established in the middle of bean fields back in the early '40s. No one forced people to buy houses surrounding it. They all knew it was there, but the idiots bought anyway, then started sniveling about the noise.
The Great Park was a con job solely to prevent an airport, increase property values in El Toro, and enrich certain connected individuals and their pals. The whole premise was flawed from the beginning. It took three separate votes to pass it. The last on an off year primary where it only passed because of a push by said interested parties to South County residents to come out in force to approve it.

El Toro would be a fine location to take the place of SNA's private and small business aviation, which would have made both airports much safer and easier to manage. Meanwhile, Agrin and friends pocketed over $200Million for changing plans and giving glowing proposals every once in a while.. The people in South County got their own version of a Florida swamp land scam. .
I don't suffer from any mental illnesses.. I enjoy them..

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Parrotpaul
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Re: Len's letter: Great Park, great airport, great waste

Postby Parrotpaul » Sun Apr 26, 2015 9:30 am

Sorry you lost, Trog.

We of the grassroots persuasion did a damned good job against all that NPB money and clout. :cheers:

Let it go...an airport at EL Toro would have been disastrous to the quality of life in OC. The scam is the Great Park, but that's an entirely different issue from making an airport at El Toro.
"I think I may say that of all the men we meet with, nine parts of ten are what they are, good or evil, useful or not, by their education." John Locke

Luca
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Re: Len's letter: Great Park, great airport, great waste

Postby Luca » Sun Apr 26, 2015 9:40 am

I'm missing something here.

First, what does it matter whether John Wayne hated that airport or not? (I was going to say "what difference does it make", but that phrase now nauseates me)

Second, Orange County needs an airport. We already had one in Newport Beach. I still don't see why we needed to have a second one in El Toro.

There was no complaining about the noise of an airport in El Toro until there was talk of exchanging it for an international airport. There's quite a bit difference. People had not bought into that.

You're saying that the Great Park was a con job pushed by elitist to make money for wealthy friends........ but the second airport a few miles away from John Wayne was not? People are going to cash in from a public park but not from an international airport?

I used to live right next to USMCAS El Toro and I moved out the second they started talking about changing it to an international airport. And it is not at all my recollection that the idea of the great park was pushed through by political subterfuge against the will of the majority. My recollection is that the idea of putting in a second airport was never a very popular idea outside of Newport Beach itself.

The whole concept of changing the air station into a park is been bungled horribly, but I still see it as a better outcome than turning it into a national airport for the benefit of those Newport Beach denizens who feel inconvenienced by the noise of their own airport............Luca

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Parrotpaul
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Re: Len's letter: Great Park, great airport, great waste

Postby Parrotpaul » Sun Apr 26, 2015 9:48 am

There was no complaining about the noise of an airport in El Toro until there was talk of exchanging it for an international airport.

The real turn around with the El Toro situation was when the county decided to do the demonstration. I remember standing on a hill here in LWV and actually looking through the windows of one side of a jet passenger plane and seeing through the other side windows...that was all I needed. I joined forces with Kranser and JQP, and all the other folks who fought to keep an airport out of El Toro. We won, and there doesn't appear to have been great and catastrophic losses of much of anything as a result.
"I think I may say that of all the men we meet with, nine parts of ten are what they are, good or evil, useful or not, by their education." John Locke

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John Q. Public
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Re: Len's letter: Great Park, great airport, great waste

Postby John Q. Public » Sun Apr 26, 2015 9:50 am

Trog wrote:...it only passed because of a push by said interested parties to South County residents to come out in force to approve it.

You're welcome.

I never had any confidence in mall-centric Irvine to pull off a real park but it sure beats the alternative.



Bonus points - Can anybody name the 4 businesses in Irvine that aren't in a mall? (half credit if you only know the location)
Don't look at me, I just work here.

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Parrotpaul
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Re: Len's letter: Great Park, great airport, great waste

Postby Parrotpaul » Sun Apr 26, 2015 11:29 am

And the Irvine Company is now building another mall on Moulton to service their brand new community, Los Olivos (the former Lion Country Safari).....just before the overpass headed north....so much for those gorgeous mountain views and the sweeping strawberry field vistas. More of the same stuff you run into every other quarter mile in Irvine....and those freaking drivers!!!
"I think I may say that of all the men we meet with, nine parts of ten are what they are, good or evil, useful or not, by their education." John Locke

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Wabash
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Re: Len's letter: Great Park, great airport, great waste

Postby Wabash » Sun Apr 26, 2015 1:48 pm

The pro-airport continually tried to sell it as a turnkey operation. The soundbite was that it was airport already.


It wasn't. It was a military installation. The function, purpose, and operation aren't even remotely the same.
They told me if I voted for Hillary Clinton the president would be emotional, impulsive, and unpredictable. They were right. I voted for Hillary Clinton and got a president that is emotional, impulsive, and unpredictable.

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