Editorials

The opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of East County Magazine.

READER’S EDITORIAL: MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL: THE PERFECT PLATFORM FOR PROTESTING RACIAL INJUSTICE

 

The national anthem protests demonstrated by players using their platform on the NFL gridiron are protests against racial injustice, not the flag or military. I'd argue that if civil rights activists, including athletes like Muhammad Ali and Jackie Robinson, watched the NFL now, they'd applaud these patriotic men.

By Vinny Lavalsiti

Editor, The Summit newspaper, Grossmont College

Photo: Washington Redskins players kneeling in game against Oakland Raiders; cc by Keith Allison

October 11, 2017 (San Diego) -- When sports collide with politics, it's a beautiful thing to see. Well, for me at least. I do realize that there are the average Joes out there with their beer helmets who like to sit in their recliner for eight hours and watch nothing but football. I’ve been there! But please keep an open mind when reading the following.

READER’S EDITORIAL: HUNTER’S RECKLESS DISREGARD FOR LIFE

 

By Tom Iarossi

October 8, 2017 (San Diego) -- As an Army veteran and constituent of Rep. Duncan Hunter (CA-50), I was shocked by Hunter’s recent calls for preemptive war with North Korea. I spent twenty-seven years in uniformed service to my country, and I expect a combat veteran like him to be far more cautious about committing us to actions that we all know would result in the death of hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of innocent civilians. It would also put tens of thousands of Americans in uniform in mortal danger.

READER’S EDITORIAL: GUN CONTROL IS NEEDED

 

By Joe Bialek

October 8, 2017 (San Diego's East County) - This letter is in response to the articles covering the recent shooting in Las Vegas.

The second amendment of the United States Constitution states: "A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed." Obviously the need for a state militia has been replaced by the National Guard and Coast Guard whereby trained military personnel are entrusted with the defense of this country against domestic enemies. Their weapons are tightly controlled and safeguarded.

READER'S EDITORIAL: FIREARMS POLICY COALITION OPPOSES PROPOSED BANS ON SEMI-AUTOMATIC FIREARMS AND ACCESORIES, INCLUDING "BUMP FIRE" STOCKS

 

Source:  Firearms Policy Coalition

October 7, 2017 (San Diego) — Firearms Policy Coalition (FPC) has issued the following statement concerning calls for new bans and regulations on firearms and firearm accessories: 

In depraved acts of self-centered posturing, politicians who do not respect our Constitution are leveraging the recent tragedy in Las Vegas to push for more unconstitutional bans and restrictions on common, semi-automatic firearms, ammunition, and accessories.

READER’S EDITORIAL: WHY AN EMPLOYER SHOULD NOT BE ALLOWED TO EXCLUDE BIRTH CONTROL FROM HEALTH INSURANCE PLANS BASED ON RELIGIOUS BELIEFS

 

By Joel A. Harrison, PhD, MPH

October 7, 2017 (San Diego) - According to an article in the San Diego Union-Tribune, “The Trump administration on Friday moved to roll back the federal requirement for employers to include birth control coverage in their health insurance plans, vastly expanding exemptions for those that cite moral or religious objections (Robert Pear. “Birth Control Mandate Rolled Back”, October 7, 2017, page A1). People believe that health insurance is a bonus offered by employers. Not true! To understand this, one has to understand both the history of employer-based health insurance and what a pay/wage packet is.

READER’S EDITORIAL: UNMASKING CAL FIRE -- ILLUMINATING THE SAN DIEGO COUNTY/CAL FIRE PLAN FOR JCFPD

 

By Patricia Landis, former board member, Julian-Cuyamaca Fire Protection District

October 7, 2017 (Julian) -- I am a retired psychologist and not a journalist or investigative reporter. As a psychologist, my job was to listen. Maybe that is why so many individuals come and tell me “what’s going on.” I have become a repository of information about our fire department and I believe I need to share what I am hearing because it affects the lives of all of us living in the Julian-Cuyamaca fire district.

READER’S EDITORIAL: WHY WOULD LA MESA SCAPEGOAT ITS OWN DESIGN REVIEW BOARD?

 

By Dr. Anthony D. McIvor

September 28, 2017 (La Mesa) --The City Council is understandably embarrassed by its serial fumbles on Little Flower Haven’s future. Having the four lawyers who sit on the dais (three Councilmembers and the City Attorney) publicly schooled by a lone attorney from Silvergate Development must have hurt. Most folks can understand that.

But the peevish attempt to shift culpability for the Little Flower fiasco by discrediting and then threatening to abolish the Design Review Board (DRB) resists all understanding. Burying the DRB in the Planning Commission would be a significant loss for residents. Here’s why.

READER’S EDITORIAL: LAWSUIT AGAINST COUNTY OVER JULIAN HOUSING APPROVED ON PROTECTED AGRICULTURAL LAND SHOWS CORRUPTION OF LAND USE POLICIES IN SAN DIEGO

 

By Duncan McFetridge, Director, Cleveland National Forest Foundation

September 21, 2017 (San Diego’s East County) - Cleveland National Forest Foundation’s lawsuit against the county’s attempt to subdivide the Hoskings ranch near Julian brings out three extremely important points:   

READER’S EDITORIAL: CONGRESS SHOULDN’T LET FLOOD INSURANCE PROGRAM EXPIRE

 

By Sarah Heck, 2017 Pacific Southwest Association of Realtors President

Photo by Miriam Raftery:  Flooded apartment in San Diego’s City Heights after a storm drain backed up

September 7, 2017 (San Diego’s East County) -- Unless Congress takes action, the government’s National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) will expire on Sept. 30. While NFIP isn’t a household name, it’s often the only flood insurance available in a given market. That’s important, because if a property is in a 100-year floodplain, lenders will typically require flood insurance as part of the mortgage approval process.

READER’S EDITORIAL: ALPINE COUNTY PARK CAN BECOME A REALITY. HERE’S HOW YOU CAN HELP

 

By C. Bonsignore, Alpine

September 4, 2017 (Alpine) -- Imagine a picnic under a shade tree in a cool grassy park, relaxing with friends and the whole family, while the kids play on swings and slides, the teens on the skateboard ramps, there are fire pits, barbecues, restrooms, fountains, dog frisbee, seniors playing bocce ball and 24/7 access, right here in Alpine..

READER’ S EDITORIAL: LEMON GROVE RESIDENTS, BEWARE OF PETITION SOLICITORS REGARDING CHANGES TO RECENT MEDICAL MARIJUANA DISPENSARY ORDINANCE

 

By Jennifer Mendoza, Mayor Pro Tem, City of Lemon Grove

August 18, 2017 (Lemon Grove) -- Less than a year ago, the voters of Lemon Grove narrowly approved an ordinance to allow Medical Marijuana Dispensaries (MMD) to operate in our city. This ordinance was written by a coalition of MMD businesses and proponents. This same coalition is now unhappy with some of the language and restrictions they wrote into the ordinance. They wish to force the city to hold a special election in 2017, so that they can change the language.

READER’S EDITORIAL: WHITE SUPREMACIST VIOLENCE IS NOT FREE SPEECH

 

 

Statement by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of California

 August 17, 2017 (San Diego) -- Our country’s greatest strengths are the diversity of its people and the principles of equal dignity and inclusion that unite us all. There are troubling events planned in our state in the coming weeks. This is an incredibly painful and difficult time for millions of Californians. 

For those who are wondering where we stand – the ACLU of California fully supports the freedom of speech and expression, as well as the freedom to peacefully assemble. We review each request for help on a case-by-case basis, but take the clear position that the First Amendment does not protect people who incite or engage in violence.

READER’S EDITORIAL: THE INTERNET, OUR ESSENTIAL INFORMATION SUPERHIGHWAY

 

Government, not a corporate cartel, should control the Internet

By Joel A. Harrison, PhD, MPH

August 3,  2017 (San Diego) -- I think the print edition title of a recent article in the San Diego Union-Tribune by Jennifer Van Grove says it all: “Lack of Choice” (July 30, 2017).   

An analogy can be drawn between the Internet, our online superhighway, and our highway system.

READER’S EDITORIAL: THE ELEPHANTS OF AUGUST

 

By Jack and Helen Ofield, https://www.newpacificproductions.com

July 31, 2017 (Lemon Grove) -- Once upon a time in America, the circus came to town with the elephants everyone loved. Those midsummer days are gone. After 146 years as a circus -- older than baseball and Coca-Cola -- Ringling Brothers Barnum & Bailey Circus closed this year after retiring its five huge stars in 2016 to join 27 others at the Ringling Brothers Center for Elephant Conservation in Florida. The oldest is 70; the youngest, three; many were born in captivity. Ringling spends about $65,000 a year on each elephant. No such luck in the smaller circuses still roaming the country. No such luck for those still in "the wild," where poaching, disease and deforestation spell death for the endangered elephant.

READER’S EDITORIAL: SDG&E SHOULD UNDERGROUND HIGH-VOLTAGE LINES ALONG HIGHWAY 76

 

By Jerry Fisher, Santa Ysabel

Photo: Power poles stacked in Pauma Valley

July 20, 2017 (Pauma Valley) -- Living in the peace and quiet of San Diego County rural lands has been a great joy since our retirement in 1997. It certainly is a different world from Point Loma. It is like being in heaven having 3-4 deer, within a flock of 20 wild turkeys, greet my wife, myself, our cat and dog in our yard.

In my first summer after high school, my introduction to our forest lands was with the Laguna Hotshots, fighting forest fires in the 1950's. We were re-introduced to fire in the 2003 and 2007 fires near our home.

Seeing the SDG&E steel poles, stacked in a field in Pauma Valley, caused me to reflect. Those wires are potentially dangerous and lethal; similar wires have caused ignition in other places including the 2007 firestorms.

READER’S EDITORIAL: CHANGE THE CHEMISTRY ON THE ALPINE COMMUNITY PLANNING GROUP

 

By M. Harris

Photo: Creative commons image by Amin Eshaiker, via Wikipedia

June 24, 2017 (Alpine) -- I am an Alpine resident who attended the Alpine Community Planning Group meetings in September 2016 and again in May 2017. What follows are some of my thoughts about both meetings.

READER’S EDITORIAL: JULIAN-CUYAMACA FIRE--TO BE OR NOT TO BE?

 

By Pat Landis

June 21, 2017 (Julian) -- Julian-Cuyamaca Fire Protection District is at risk. Choices appear to be (1) Do nothing and persevere until finances force it to dissolve; (2) Voluntarily dissolve and allow the Fire Authority to take over; (3) Increase the Benefit Fee to cover the rising costs and remain viable as an independent/volunteer fire department.

READER’S EDITORIAL: THE BIG MEDIA LIE ABOUT SINGLE-PAYER HEALTHCARE

 

It won't cost taxpayers $400 billion. We have to pay that much for health care anyway. Single-payer would save us all a lot of money.

By Tim Redmond, originally published at 48.Hills.org

June 9, 2017 (San Diego) -- The headlines were so consistent, so predictably bad, that I almost couldn’t read them. “Single-payer will cost $400 billion.” “Single-payer costs dwarf entire state budget.”

SINGLE-PAYER: JUST ANOTHER FORM OF BUREAUCRATIC CONTROL

 

By Dr. James Veltmeyer

Dr. Veltmeyer is Chief of the Department of Family Medicine at Sharp Grossmont Hospital, La Mesa.  In 2016 he was a Republican candidate in the 53rd Congressional District.

June 8, 2017 (La Mesa) -- Have you or a loved one ever been refused medical treatment because your insurance company refused to pay? Would you feel better if it was a government bureaucrat refusing to pay for your treatment, instead of an insurance company commissar? Of course not. Yet, this is the alternative that the misguided advocates of “single-payer” health care are offering Americans.

READER’S EDITORIAL: THE RUSSIA SCANDAL PUZZLE IS FINALLY FITTING TOGETHER; IT’S EVEN WORSE THAN WE THOUGHT

 

By Shaun Mullen

Originally published in The Moderate Voice, a member of the San Diego Online News Association

June 1, 2017 (Washington D.C.) -- If you think of the Russia scandal as a big jigsaw puzzle with lots of seemingly unconnected pieces when they are first spread out before you, several things become apparent as the pieces begin to fit together.

READER’S EDITORIAL: A RENEWED, REFRESHED EL CAJON – HAPPENING NOW

 

By Councilman Steve Goble

May 27, 2017 (El Cajon) -- Renewal (noun). The act of making new again or state of being renewed.  It’s what is happening in El Cajon right now.

For the past few years, the City has been diligently working on creating a new atmosphere, a new vibe, a welcoming spirit for businesses, visitors, and our residents.

READER’S EDITORIAL: SHARP GROSSMONT HOSPITAL’S NEW ENERGY PLANT IS EXCELLENT EXAMPLE OF OUTSTANDING PUBLIC-PRIVATE PARTNERSHIP

 

By Barry Jantz, CEO, Grossmont Healthcare District

May 24, 2017 (San Diego's East County) – Late last year, the Grossmont Healthcare District (GHD) and Sharp HealthCare celebrated a new Central Energy Plant that we completed in partnership at Grossmont Hospital. I’m proud to say that we were named a finalist for this year’s Golden Watchdog Awards in the public-private partnership category, presented by the San Diego County Taxpayers Association.

READER’S EDITORIAL: ON 63RD ANNIVERSARY OF BROWN V. BOARD OF EDUCATION DECISION, A STATEMENT ON ELIMINATING EDUCATIONAL INJUSTICES

 

By Ryan J. Smith, Executive Director of the Education Trust-West

May 17, 2017 (Washington D.C.) -- Today we rightly celebrate the milestone Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court decision issued on May 17th, 1954 striking down school segregation. Yet today also marks another anniversary – the annual issuing of statements reminding us that, decades later, we still have not closed the gaps in access and opportunity that segregate our students and limit their ability to learn.

When asked about William Faulkner’s essay urging the nation to “go slow” on integration, Brown v. Board attorney and future Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall pointed out “They don’t mean go slow. They mean don’t go.”

EDITORIAL: STOP THE SANDAG POWER GRAB! EAST COUNTY LEADERS URGE OPPOSITION TO AB 805

 

 

 

By Jerry Jones, Council Member, Lemon Grove; Jennifer Mendoza, Council Member, Lemon Grove; Bill Baber, Council Member,  La Mesa; Kristine Alessio, Council Member,  La Mesa;  Bill Wells, Mayor , El Cajon, and Ben Kalasho, El Cajon Council Member

May 2, 2017 (San Diego’s East County)--Assembly Bill AB 805 is moving through the legislature and threatens our quality of life, self-determination and identity in East County.  Among other things this bill would restructure the voting system at SANDAG and give a weighted super majority veto, as well as the Chair, to the cities of San Diego and Chula Vista.

“So what does that mean to me,” you say?

READER'S EDITORIAL: BLM SHOULD TURN OVER DEED FOR TRANSFER OF SAN DIEGO'S LAST WILD HORSES

 

Editor’s note:  We first wrote about Kathleen Hayden’s efforts to restore the Coyote Canyon heritage herd of wild horses locally in January 2013. Read article. But in July 2013, she was served with an eviction notice and forced to  give up the last descendants of San Diego’s wild horses. Despite a 2012  support  letter from Congressman Darrell Issa and a 2014 letter from a genetics expert confirming that the horses are rare and of historic significance as descendants of Spanish Colonial horses,  the U.S. Bureau of Land Management has done nothing to protect or return them--and now is not turning over the deed of transfer, Hayden says  Now she has penned an open letter to  the House Committee on Natural Resources Chairman Rob Bishop questioning the legality of the transfer.

Dear Chairman Bishop,

Please investigate the transfer of the BLM Federal CA Coyote Canyon Wild Horse Herd area (20,000 acres)  to CA Anza Borrego Desert State Park.  In response to Ca State Senator Joel Anderson's request for the deed, Parks claim it doesn't exist.

READER’S EDITORIAL: HOW THE CITY OF LA MESA GAMES THE SYSTEM—PART 3

 

How the City of La Mesa games the system--even when it is not necessaary

By Joseph Glidden

April 12, 2017 (La Mesa) -- Prop. 218 will make it difficult for La Mesa’s ratepayers to reject the pending sewer rate increase. If the city has its way, it will be impossible.

In order for residents to defeat this proposal, the law requires that 50% (plus one) of the ratepayers submit a written “protest” letter. This is not likely to happen. La Mesans have not rejected a rate increase in recent history. In fact, the last two sewer rate increases have passed with 99.9% of the ratepayers not filing a protest letter. This should have been a red flag at City Hall. It is nearly impossible to get 99.9% of our community to agree on anything, let alone on a sewer rate increase. So how did the city manage such a feat? By gaming the system, of course.

HOW THE CITY OF LA MESA GAMES THE SYSTEM - PART 2



By Joseph Glidden

 

How the City Games the System to Keep Its Residents Uninformed, Unengaged, and Uninspired.

April 11, 2017 (La Mesa)--The Strategic Planning Workshop is arguably the city council’s most important public meeting of the year. Police, Fire and city employees are always well represented, but few residents are in attendance. The city does little to promote civic engagement. If anything, it actively discourages community involvement in the following ways:

HOW THE CITY OF LA MESA GAMES THE SYSTEM—PART 1



 

How the City Games the System Through Sampling Bias

By Joseph Glidden

April 10, 2017 (La Mesa) --At its annual Town Hall Meetings, the City of La Mesa gathers skewed data that is then uses to make important decisions at the Strategic Planning Session held later in the year. While the town hall meetings might give the illusion of civic engagement, the data collected is misleading at best. Once again the City Council is busy with the irrelevant, at the expense of the essential.  

La Mesa has been holding annual town hall meetings for the past 10 years. One on the east side of town and the other on the west. Over the years and at both locations, the concerns voiced by residents have been conspicuously similar. Why would this be so?

READER’S EDITORIAL: AN OPEN LETTER TO SAN DIEGO MAYOR FAULCONER--NO ON SOCCER FIELD PROPOSAL

 

By Barry A. Treahy, Lakeside

Dear Mayor Faulconer:

March 25, 2017 (Lakeside) -- I am a native San Diego senior, who began my sport exposures at "Lane Field."  I know you were never there and probably can't even relate to that ball field.

READER’S EDITORIAL: REP. HUNTER’S “CLOWN HALL” MEETING

 

By Patrick Malloy, candidate, 50th Congressional District

March 18, 2017 (Ramona) -- I was inside at the Ramona "town hall" but that's not an accurate depiction. It started off with prayer, and then led into the Congressman's adoration of our President, skipping over the checks and balances that we elected him for. My name is Patrick Malloy, I'm running in 2018 or sooner if we have a special election, which we deserve. I ran for this seat in the last election.

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