Lower Topanga residents threatened

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    Last Thursday, June 28, State Park officials met with all the [Lower Topanga] tenants at Topanga Elementary School. In a shocking display of force, Mark Schrader, Warren Westrup, et al. showed up with almost 20 armed park rangers. They told tenants that they had about 12 months to get out.

    They also talked about relocation benefits. But, when asked why they were in such a hurry to evict everybody and bulldoze their houses, their answers were evasive at best.

    From looking at past DPR land acquisitions, we know that it may take them years to come up with a new land use plan, then years more to get it approved by all agencies and then some more years to get funding for the work. Why they want to kick us out before any of this gets underway is a mystery to us.

    DPR treats us every bit as squatters, but you know that we are artists, filmmakers, actors, kids in grade school, teachers, carpenters, retired people, newborn babies. We have protected and maintained this land better than anyone through floods and fires. All we have asked for from the beginning is to openly discuss the terms of our departure. But what we got so far from our state government is threats and intimidation.

    Please come to the hearing and see for yourself on Monday, July 9, 7 p.m. at Topanga Elementary School.

    Bernt Capra