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El Morro

April 27, 2005
Lauren Vane and Alicia Robinson In the wake of Assemblyman Chuck DeVore's decision to scrap two bills that could have extended the leases of El Morro tenants for decades, residents are hanging on to rumors that the Irvine Co. may have a buy-back option on the property -- rumors both state and Irvine Co. officials said are just not true. In separate accounts, two residents said that the neighborhood was buzzing with talk that the Irvine Co. could buy the land if the parks department did not take action on plans to turn the land into a state park within a certain time frame.
February 19, 2005
Assemblyman Chuck Devore says his El Morro bills are about money and hopes others will follow in his footsteps ("El Morro plan makes more fiscal sense"). This makes me very afraid. Heaven forbid we find other Assembly members with this kind of "innovative plan." We can't afford it. If a resident pays $1,000 per month for 30 years and we use a 6% discount rate to find the present value, that resident is paying only $167,000 in today's dollars for 30 years of ocean living.
June 4, 2006
Though an agreement has been reached concerning the vandalism that happened at El Morro after residents there left the park, it doesn't seem as though the bad feelings are gone. The attorney for the park's community association and management company referred to the $60,000 settlement, reached last month, as "extortion." "This vandalism was a red herring ? those units are going to be destroyed in place," Gerald Klein also told the Daily Pilot, adding that the agreement was by no means an admission of guilt by the residents, who left the park on March 1. So much for the closing of El Morro ever ending on a positive note.
February 20, 2005
TONY DODERO One of the first lessons I teach my introduction to newswriting students at Orange Coast College is that plagiarism is the poison apple of journalism. Take one taste of it and it could mean curtains for your career. There are lots of recent and past examples of plagiarists, and I tell them about the worst offenders with the warning that if I find them plagiarizing, I may not be able to end their career, but I can give them a failing grade.
By Lauren Vane | March 17, 2006
Destruction and vandalism at the recently vacated El Morro trailer park could prompt the California state parks department to take legal action against the former tenants, who moved out March 1, officials said Thursday. In some of the trailers, the destruction is staggering. Graffiti covers the outside and inside of many of the beachfront homes. Inside one of the trailers, everything glass ? including the floor-to-ceiling front windows and the shower door ? is shattered, leaving a layer of shards, some two inches thick, across the floor.
March 6, 2005
Central to the continuing debate about the future of El Morro and the residents now happily ensconced there is the gray area of difference between perception and fact. There is a perceived lack of public accessibility to the beach at the south end of Crystal Cove, those residents say. No, it's a fact that there are signs and purposeful barriers to keep nonresidents out, others say. Residents there have had it too good, for too long, for too cheap, outsiders say. That's just a misperception, residents say. El Morro is one of the last true beachfront communities left in California is the truth, they counter.
October 21, 2002
A year ago July, after the last of the Crystal Cove cottage dwellers packed their bags, I wrote that there were two options for that beach that would best suit the taxpaying public who truly owns the land. Those options were to turn the cottages into rustic getaway retreats for $100 a night, or tear down the cottage save for one or two for historic value and turn the place into a campground. After my column ran, I got a rather sarcastic message from a former Crystal Cove cottage resident who scoffed at the idea that anyone would ever be able to stay at the cottages for $100 a night.
February 13, 2005
History is replete with people like the El Morro tenants, whose greed and selfishness moves them to hold on to their privileges at the expense of the public who paid for the land they refuse to give up, despite the law and their contractual obligations. What is incredulous however, is that in a democracy, we have elected two representatives like Assemblymen Chuck Devore and Kevin McCarthy, who ignore the rights of the vast numbers who elected them, and who show no regard for the trust the public has placed in them nor the public interest.
May 15, 2005
The public has waited a long time for the day when the cottages at Crystal Cove will be open to be enjoyed as the previous tenants did for so many years. And state parks officials need to ensure that day is not off, even as squabbles over this oceanfront parkland continue. Former Crystal Cove residents -- like those at El Morro today, where mobile-home tenants are fighting to stay on state lands -- clung on to all hope that they could live forever in their historic bungalows perched on beachfront paradise.
May 10, 2005
Andrew Edwards Sen. John Campbell has scaled back his proposal to have the state hire a nonprofit group to manage Crystal Cove State Park. Following a tour of the park Sunday, Campbell said a nonprofit's role should be limited to the park's historic cottage district and the El Morro area. A bill to place park land under private management would not contain provisions to extend the leases of tenants living at El Morro Village, said Campbell, who represents Newport Beach and Costa Mesa in the state Senate.
By Carrie Luger Slayback | November 14, 2013
My first trek with the Monday Hiking Ladies felt like childhood misery during long grueling vacation trips: "This was supposed to be fun, but when will it be over?" Before that morning, I considered my husband and I experienced hikers. We'd leave our Green Valley Lake cabin, climb the old ski hill and walk the winding trail through Jeffrey pines, cedars, manzanita and wild roses. We'd marvel at towering rock sculptures and sudden views of Big Bear Lake. Feeling superior to other vacationers, we'd say, "Nobody else hikes these ridge trails.
By Jonathan Oyama | May 7, 2010
The new superintendent of Crystal Cove State Park is striving to complete the RV park by spring of next year. Todd Lewis, who most recently worked for the park system in Northern California, said he is busy but so far hasn’t had any difficulty in handling everything that is going on in the park. According to him, the transition to his new job has been smooth. “I’m from San Diego County,” Lewis said. “Lived down there for many years. And so I knew what I was getting into.
By Joseph Serna | April 23, 2009
First-responders speculate that a surfer found floating face down in the water Thursday morning off Crystal Cove State Beach likely crashed into the sea floor while trying to catch a wave. Newport Beach Battalion Chief Steve Bunting said the man, whose name and age were not immediately available, was surfing with friends Thursday morning when he injured himself and couldn’t swim to shore on his own. The group was surfing on the southern tip of Crystal Cove, also known as El Morro, about 8 a.m. when one of them called 911 about their fellow surfer.
August 16, 2006
Sorry to say it, but we told you so Yes, it's the end for El Morro. After 30 years of summertime memories, our family mourned its death last March. So much more was destroyed than just 300 trailers.   But let's look at the upside now. In trade for the demolition of an entire community, we get 60 dirt campsites and 200 parking spaces. During the residents' court battle, the state was offered $50 million in bond money. The El Morro footprint occupied 1% of the Crystal Cove State Park purchase of 1979.
By Eric Sanders | August 11, 2006
After sitting empty for more than six months, the mobile homes of the former El Morro Village at Crystal Cove State Park are being removed, beginning the process of turning the property into a state beach. The salvage operation taking place on the coastline side is expected to be completed by today. The remainder of the mobile-home park is expected to be removed by Sept. 13. To clear away the trailers, a private contractor was hired by the state. Some of the trailers are being sold to private mobile-home-park owners in Southern California, and some are being moved out of the country, said Steven Wuo, owner of Wuo Investments, the private contractor hired by the state.
August 10, 2006
The Costa Mesa City Council has given the owners of an aging but renovated mobile home 120 days to move it from an Eastside property. The council voted 4-1 Tuesday to reverse a June 26 Planning Commission decision to allow the owners, Jim and Susan Bollinger, to legalize the installation of the mobile home at 2333 Elden Ave. Councilwoman Katrina Foley was the dissenting vote. The 36-year-old mobile home was moved from El Morro Village to the present site in March. The couple moved their home out of El Morro as a result of the state's plans to turn the historic village into a public campground.
By Alicia Robinson | July 28, 2006
EL MORRO VILLAGE ? The noise of crashing waves was the backdrop for the sounds of creaking metal and splintering wood as workers demolished beachfront trailers Thursday at the now-deserted El Morro Village. The work began Tuesday, and by 5 p.m. Thursday 40 of the 72 units by the ocean had been wrecked and much of the debris removed. On the inland side of the park, which straddles Pacific Coast Highway, work is underway to remove about 125 remaining trailers, California State Parks spokesman Roy Stearns said.
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