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The Democratic nominee
for California's 67th Assembly District
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May 8, 2002
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Bill Orton at (562) 598-9630
COUNTY COMMISSIONERS APPROVE CONTROVERSIAL HOUSING PLAN FOR BOLSA CHICA      (SANTA ANA) -- People practicing politics are partly responsible for saving the Bolsa Chica wetlands so far, said Assembly candidate William R. "Bill" Orton (D-Seal Beach) to county officials on Wednesday, but votes by county planning commissioners to approve the building of 388 homes on the upper mesa shows that not every fight ends in victory.
"The Bolsa Chica involves a whole range of environmental details and EIRs, but saving the Bolsa Chica also involves the realm of politics," Orton told members of the County of Orange Planning Commission, who heard Wednesday from more than 30 speakers who argued against approval for a 388-home development project by Hearthside Homes that would be built on nearly 80 acres of the upper mesa of the Bolsa Chica wetlands.
Speaking against the proposal were Bolsa Chica Land Trust President Evan Henry, Amigos de Bolsa Chica co-founder and president Linda Moon, geologist Robert Winchell, ocean cleanup activist Doug Korthof and representatives of the Sierra Club, the AARP and other groups.
Despite countless examples cited by speakers of questions that were posed but went unanswered during the EIR process on the rushed proposal, commissioners unanimously adopted a supplemental EIR for the upscale homes -- some up to 4,000 square feet.
Speaking outside the meeting afterward, envirorepresentatives outlined a series of options to fight Wednesday's decision, ranging from court challenges to a final purchase of Bolsa Chica lands through private and public funding.
The Bolsa Chica Land Trust has thus far raised nearly half a million dollars in private donations, to be used to purchase the property. An additional block of state money is being proposed by state lawmakers, although the money is uncertain in the face of what seems certain to be a difficult state budget process.
Orton harkened back to the last member of his party to hold the region's Assembly seat when he called himself a "Dennis Mangers Democrat." Mangers served in the Assembly from 1976 to 1980, exactly the period when Orton was a student at Edison High School, in Huntington Beach. Orton covered Mangers for the school paper and recalled that Mangers worked alongside many of the nonpartisan political activists who spoke to commissioners on Wednesday.
Orton, the Democrat, will face incumbent Assemblyman Tom Harman (R-Huntington Beach) in the November 5th general election. The 67th district includes all of Huntington Beach.
For more information on Orton's campaign for state Assembly, visit his website, at http://billyorton.com, or call (562) 598-9630.
TIDBITS: Orton has the endorsement of Joan Greenwood, a leading regional environmentalist who sits on the board of the FRIENDS OF THE LOS ANGELES RIVER and is active in Long Beach area politics.
Other environmentalists backing Orton include SEAL BEACH CITY COUNCILMAN Dr. Paul Yost, SAN GABRIEL MOUNTAINS CONSERVANCY executive director Ann Croissant, and ROSSMOOR SEWER BOARD Trustee Jack Rosenthal, who represents eco-friendly independent energy producers.
Also working with Orton on environmental issues is Doug Korthof, who has led the charge to have the OCSD provide both primary and secondary treatment for allsewage.
"I'm pleased to hear that Bill Orton is against extending the sewage waiver which allows us to be the largest discharger still avoiding full secondary treatment of all sewage," said Korthof.
Orton also supports the "Old Growth Forest" initiative being proposed for the November ballot. Also supporting the proposal is Julia "Butterfly" Hill, who gained notoriety for climbing into a 1000-year old redwood tree and staying in it for nearly two years, as a protest of the clearing of the state's ancient forests.
BILL ORTON is the Democratic candidate for State Assembly in the 67th District, which covers Cypress, Huntington Beach, La Palma, Los Alamitos, Rossmoor, Seal Beach, and portions of Anaheim, Garden Grove, Stanton and Westminster.
FPPC ID# 1240194