Letter: Hiking with the Candidate

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Letter to the Editor

We are residents of Winding Way and Via Escondido and we spent a very pleasant recent Sunday hiking through Winding Way to the Escondido Falls, then back through Via Escondido to the beach access and up to Winding Way again.

Laureen is a dedicated hiker and has trekked through all the trails in Malibu as she has trained for her Machu Pichu and Kilimanjaro treks over the past several years. She loves these trails.

We were so pleased to have a candidate witness firsthand the degradation and overuse of Winding Way to the falls. Seeing the results of spraying of herbicides on native flowers and plants is shocking for all of us who value the natural trails. However, nothing can prepare any of us for the realization that these trails are not properly maintained or protected, despite the thousands of people who come here annually. Laureen saw dozens of hikers trying to make their way to the top of the falls where so many people are seriously injured and rescued each year by helicopter. She is well aware that there are no signs to indicate the dangers, let alone the fact that the upper falls are outside of the park boundary. How would anyone know that?  What is the cost to taxpayers to rescue all the hikers who get hurt because they are not made aware that the upper falls are not within the park? We also saw so much litter: Cigarette butts, plastic water bottles and used toilet paper in the tinder dry brush.

We are voting for Laureen because we know that she has first hand knowledge and love for our trails and will do all she can to preserve what we feel are the most beautiful trails in Southern California.

Lori Gray

Dale Schafe