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Voice: Charge a fee to play in the dunes

January 11, 2002

Over the last several editorials and letters from readers, I've read about the apparent problems from those using the sand dunes, both at Buttercup and Glamis.

Although the dunes offer a family a great opportunity to recreate, it also allows certain undesirables who for whatever reason cause problems. I for one feel that it is becoming too expensive and dangerous to allow thousands of visitors in the dunes areas without holding them responsible for the extra enforcement and resources required to protect them.

I propose charging a fee per vehicle to use the dunes, as well as having visitors register. The people of Imperial Valley have wasted too much money breaking up fights, rescuing accident victims and arresting those who commit crimes ranging between drunken driving, assault and murder.

It's time to support law enforcement by giving them the resources to be able to keep the peace and ensure the safety of others. Make the visitors pay for it. They are the ones using the services. Maybe a monetary charge will keep the "troublemakers" out of the area, too.

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I know some of you "free range" people will be upset about what I've said, but there has to be some way to take care of the problems we are having with the crowds. Beginning a dialog about it may help to address the problem.

DAVID COLE

El Centro

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