Opinion Editorial About The Oxnard Airport

As Appeared in the 

LOS ANGELES TIMES

Sunday, October 1, 2000

 

'Our' Future Is That of 

People With a Better Vision

Opposition to Oxnard Airport comes from many quarters, all sharing a belief that its burdens outweigh benefits.

By TIMOTHY CLIFFORD RILEY

       After a Times article about the Oxnard Airport controversy quoted me as saying "that airport has no business in our present or future," a letter to the editor inquired whom, exactly, I meant by "our."
     A partial list would include:
     * The vast majority of the residents of the city of Oxnard--the longtime as well as the new.
     * The people of Ventura County who realize that the airport is a money pit that publicly subsidizes a few private special interests at the expense of all county taxpayers and will lose the county $350,000 this fiscal year.
     * People who realize that Oxnard had to pay $2.24 million this year to bus children around primarily because schools can't be built where they are needed because the airport has a two nautical mile restrictive zone around it.
     * The Oxnard School District, which passed a resolution in September 1999 calling for closing the airport.
     * The Oxnard Airport Authority's mission statement committee, which recently recommended closing the airport. Members in favor of that action represent neighborhoods and the school board--hence tens of thousands of residents and their children.
     * Oxnard Mayor Manuel Lopez, the only city or county politician who has had the courage to stand up against special-interest groups promoting the airport and for the precious interests--children and quality of life.
     * Homeowners restoring homes in the city's historic district, which predated the airport, who are increasingly exposed to noise, danger and threats of encroachment by the airport.
     * Homeowners who realize that their property taxes contribute more to the county general fund than does the airport and that their residential property value is diminished by the airport's existence.
     * Taxpayers who realize that airport revenue can only go back into the airport and cannot go into the county's general fund.
     * People who are tired of being scared in their own homes, waiting for a plane to crash on them.
     * People who can't sleep at night and are awakened too early in the morning by aircraft noise.
     * People who care about fairness and dislike the disparity in treatment by Ventura County Supervisors, who protect Camarillo from commercial flights but dump them on Oxnard.
     * Oxnard Shores property owners who fear scheduled commercial jet traffic is coming and will destroy the beautiful beach area and its residential property values.
     * People who moved from the San Fernando Valley and Los Angeles to escape from the noise, congestion and pollution created by Van Nuys, Burbank and Los Angeles International airports.
     * People with enough foresight to realize the area's chief asset is its beauty and tranquility, which are being eroded by the airport.
     * The businessmen and women who believe the airport hurts their businesses.
     * People who believe that county supervisors are mismanaging another county resource and who realize that the airport property is extremely valuable and should be redeveloped into something beautiful, compatible and profitable for the entire county.
     * People sick and tired of subsidizing an airport that continually loses money while destroying the area's quality of life.
     * People sick and tired of listening to the 150 hobby fliers who endlessly circle and buzz homes and neighborhoods for their selfish enjoyment, while those below cannot enjoy the peace and safety of their homes and backyards.
     * People who realize we don't need three airports in such a small area because airports, unlike train stations, need not be within 25 minutes of the one another.
     * People who realize that closing an airport is not extraordinary and that on average one airport closes every week somewhere in the United States.
     * People who don't believe you need to take an airplane to get to an airport.
     * People who realize that the pro-airport groups are spinning economic myths while ruining the economy and the environment for their own profit.
     * People who realize that it is pure myth that the airport is good for business and tourism.
     * People who realize the airport's burdens far outweigh any benefits.

* * *

     Simply put, "our" includes all the people who see something better for Ventura County. The public is losing. It's time for the airport to close and for the community to create something wonderful, compatible and profitable in its place.

- - -

Attorney Timothy Clifford Riley Represents Oxnard Shores on the Oxnard Airport Mission Statement Committee That Voted to Close the Airport by 2005 

Copyright 2000 Los Angeles Times

 About the Author

TIMOTHY CLIFFORD RILEY of the Oxnard Shores

Is A Consumer Protection Attorney

    Attorney Timothy Clifford Riley is a former Adjunct Professor of Law at Pepperdine University School of Law, and is a Certified Member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum. Attorney Riley and his litigation assistant - wife Hayden reside at the Oxnard Shores. 

    A Consumer Protection Attorney licensed in both New York and California, Riley has won multimillion dollar jury verdicts for his clients, and for the past eighteen years, represented people that have been taken advantage of, and those with very serious physical and emotional injuries, catastrophic automobile accidents, wrongful death claims, medical malpractice claims, product defect injuries, insurance claims and disputes, injury to property value, business disputes, civil litigation and civil appeals. 

    His office Phone Number is 805-984-2350. 

   Click to go to Attorney Timothy Clifford Riley's Home Page

Letters To the Editor Submitted By Your Neighbors That Appeared in the 

LOS ANGELES TIMES

Subsequent To Attorney Riley’s Editorial

'Our' Future Is That of People With a Better Vision,"

 

LA TIMES

Wednesday, October 4, 2000

Oxnard Airport 

     * Re " 'Our' Future Is That of People With a Better Vision," Ventura County Perspective, Oct. 1.
     Timothy Clifford Riley is 110% correct.
     As a 20-year homeowner and taxpayer of Oxnard, I have often wondered about the purpose of the Oxnard airport. In all that time I have known of only one person using the shuttle flight to Los Angeles International Airport. Most people use the shuttle bus.
     The airport seems to be more a storage unit for automobiles from Asia. Is the city getting some benefit from the income raised or is some private owner pocketing the money?
     Instead of having my taxes support the airport, I would certainly much rather have the land put to better use, commercial or residential. The taxes raised thus might even allow the city to repave my street.
     As for tourists, I suspect most people vacationing in Southern California visit Disneyland, Magic Mountain, Knott's Berry Farm, etc. Our draw for filling hotel rooms seems to be San Fernando Valley and Los Angeles people who prefer to drive up to the area.
     CHARLOTTE KENDIG, Former School Teacher
     Oxnard Shores 

 ***

LA TIMES

Wednesday, October 4, 2000

Oxnard Airport 
   

     * Re " 'Our' Future Is That of People With a Better Vision," Ventura County Perspective, Oct. 1.
          The problems of the Oxnard airport were well itemized in this article. There seems to be a multitude of reasons to close the airport and only marginal benefits to its expansion. This is a matter of utmost importance to Oxnard. As the airport goes so will the city.
     Expanding to a regional commercial jet airport in the heart of this city would result in a blighted future for the city. The Burbank Airport is in constant conflict with the surrounding community, which has deteriorated in its shadow. Playa del Rey's beautiful beaches are wasted because of the roar of the overflying jets out of LAX.
     Oxnard pays a heavy price for its airport through taxpayer subsidy, obstruction of school sites, decreasing surrounding property values and impacting the serenity of the beautiful beach community in its flight pattern.
     The idea that this is justified by virtue of the tourists it brings is false. Potential tourists drive through Oxnard by the millions on the Ventura Freeway and Pacific Coast Highway. There is not much to make them stop here, and they don't. Is Oxnard to be condemned to be a servant to the surrounding upscale communities? And to pay for the privilege?
     The mayor of Oxnard has pleaded for the airport's closure because the city, especially the school system, are restricted by its presence. The inability to build schools within a two-mile radius of the airport puts polluting buses on the street, adding to the traffic crunch and decimating the school funds available for books and supplies, and condemning the children to hours and hours of wasted time.
     Why aren't the officials listening? Our children need us all to advocate for them (as well as ourselves) in this matter. Close the airport!
     SEYMOUR ZEMLYN, MD
     Oxnard Shores

***

LA TIMES

Wednesday, October 11, 2000

Oxnard Airport

     * Re " 'Our' Future Is That of People With a Better Vision," Ventura County Perspective, Oct. 1.
     Timothy Clifford Riley's argument for closing the Oxnard Airport is logical and points out the dangers inherent [in] its continued operation.
     Our beautiful pastoral community does not need the noise, congestion and pollution found around other nearby airports. Near-misses between airplanes and accidents from overshooting the runway are news stories that we are all familiar with.
     A cursory review of the area surrounding the Burbank and Van Nuys airports shows that real estate prices are low because the area is unsightly. Nobody wants to invest in a nice home or in upscale commercial stores near an airport. Neighbors complain about noise, and there is inevitably prolonged litigation, petitions and complaints.
     The Oxnard Airport truly benefits the few at the expense of many. The negatives of having this airport are obvious to all of us who live in this beautiful area.
     MITCHELL W. EGERS, Attorney

Oxnard Shores

***

LA TIMES

Sunday, October 8, 2000

Oxnard Airport
     It is obvious that the county should not control the Oxnard Airport as the majority of supervisors appear to care nothing about the health, welfare and safety of the people in Oxnard.
     The board paid no attention to my request that it at least delay the approval of expanded air service until it could examine the school problems in Oxnard caused by the airport. Most of the board seemed to think that the problem is new development. Most of the affected areas are the oldest neighborhoods in Oxnard, predating the Oxnard Airport.
     In addition, the airport is destroying the education opportunities for our children to walk to a neighborhood school. The county should pay for the busing that is required because of the airport. Much of the busing is related to not being able to place schools where they are needed in the central city where most of the families with children can afford the older homes.
     The best plan would be for the Oxnard Redevelopment Agency to buy the 216 acres of the airport that is in the city and owned by the county with a plan to move or eliminate the airport. The agency can borrow the money without a vote of the people and repay the loan with increment tax derived from the new private use of the upgraded land.
     JANE TOLMACH, Former Oxnard Mayor and City Council Member
     Oxnard