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To swap or not to swap at Orange Coast College

January 15, 2003

A reduction in size and changes in parking and traffic management

have already began to yield positive results at the Orange Coast

College swap meet. I think everybody will notice more changes in the

next two months or so, but we will never be able to change some

community members' minds about our swap meet. They are the hard-core

ones who try to hide their hatred behind parking, traffic, trash and

other superficial issues. These people are willing to put up with

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traffic and noise on Bear Street or Bristol Street or 17th Street,

and motorcycle racing at the fair grounds, etc. They love to enjoy

some of the OCC Performing Arts programs or community education that

the swap meet revenue helps to support, but they don't like the way

OCC gets revenue to support these programs.

Our hard-line critics don't like Mexicans, and that's the bottom

line. I know because I have spoken to many of them and when they say

"we don't need that element in our community" I know they are not

referring to Norwegians or Scotsmen.

Our swap meet serves many different members of our local and

extended community. People who like the swap meet really love it, and

people who do not like it really hate it. That's life. Orange Coast

College gives more to Costa Mesa and the surrounding communities than

any other community organization and it does many of these things

with revenue it earns from the swap meet. No organization is more

concerned about this community than OCC.

OCC is determined to do everything required to be a good neighbor.

Respectable members of our community need to know how much the

college gives back to the community and what really is motivating our

critics. All the residents of our community benefit from the OCC swap

meet and we all need it to continue.

WILLIAM PEZZULLO

Costa Mesa

I can sympathize with the people of Costa Mesa who live around the

swap meet, but I think they have made it a bigger problem than it

really is. My son and I have operated at the swap meet for the last

six or seven years and we never noticed what all the complaints are

about.

And yet I don't deny it. It could possibly be happening but, by

and large, most of the swap meet people who work there are pretty

conscientious about cleaning up the mess after it's over with. We do.

In our case, we're selling clothing that's brand new, but maybe had a

fault or two and allowed poor people in the area to have some decent

clothing for a change.

I'm awfully sorry if some of the swap meet people got out of hand

and did something wrong, because I thought it was an excellent swap

meet and well controlled, both by the police and by the people who

ran the swap meet. Parking, yeah, it was a problem, but I never saw

it as an insurmountable problem.

LEO ARRANAGA

Newport Beach

I feel that they should have it. I seldom ever go, but I know

people that do. I think people go as families and I enjoyed it the

few times I ever went and I think everybody does. As long as it's

carefully handled and properly regulated, it should be all right.

MRS. EARL SCHAFER

Newport Beach

I do think we should continue the OCC swap meet and that we should

all live and let live.

CHARMAINE LAURIE

Costa Mesa

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