Editorials

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

EDITORIAL: “VOTE 1A TO SEND YOUR JOB TO TEXAS”

By Assemblyman Joel Anderson “California is about to increase taxes on businesses. If you would like information about moving your business to Texas, press 1.” This was an automated phone call I received in February during budget negotiations. Slick recruiting methods used by other states should be a wake-up call to the State Legislature that increasing taxes on Californians only drives jobs and companies out of state, or worse, out of business.

PROBLEMS? WHAT WATER PROBLEMS?

Water, water everywhere: How San Diego Can Become Water Self-Sufficient—And Even Be a Water Exporter

A Commentary By Jim Bell

May 10, 2009 (San Diego)--Many experts are projecting doom and gloom, scenarios of decreasing water supplies and increasing cost, yet the San Diego/Tijuana Region can easily become renewable water self-sufficient and even become a net water exporter. Yes, that’s right. We can have plenty of water for drinking, showering, growing food and even swimming—with liquid assets to spare.

EDITORIAL: EMPLOYEE FREE CHOICE ACT IS VITAL TO REBUILD OUR ECONOMY

By Tracy Emblem (Democratic candidate, 50th Congressional District)

March 27, 2009 (San Diego)--The Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA) is vital to rebuild America’s economy. But the right-wing media is disseminating false information and scare tactics aimed at duping the public regarding EFCA.

We are losing the middle class. Wages are spiraling downward, workers are losing healthcare, yet CEOs are earning hundreds of times more than the average employee and pocketing billions in bonuses for failing companies. This is wrong.

EDITORIAL: VACCINES AND AUTISM: THE CONTROVERSY AND THE SCIENCE

By Dr. Joel A. Harrison

March 1, 2009 (San Diego) — On February 12, the U.S. Court of Federal Claims in Washington, D.C. rendered its decision finding no link between autism and vaccines. While researchers, doctors, and public health officials feel vindicated, hoping that vaccination rates will increase, many parents of autistic children are distraught. Autism devastates families both emotionally and financially. People seek answers as to why, both to lay blame and to prevent future cases, and to obtain necessary resources. There are three interconnected issues surrounding the autism-vaccine controversy: 1) the science, 2) vaccination rates, and 3) helping families.

EDITORIAL: SDG&E'S SUNRISE POWERLINK PRESENTATION AND THE PROTESTORS NEXT DOOR, ER, TABLE

By Charlene Ayers

February 26, 2009 (Lakeside)--Last night SDG&E had all of its easels up and tables placed so that folks could mozy around the large Lakeside community room and inform themselves about the Sunrise PowerLink. There were approximately 30 black pants and white shirted people there to help. As soon as a person stopped to read, they were surrounded by these cheerful minders, er, messengers. It was like entering Circuit City.

But even with all these smooooth operators inside, there was trouble brewing outside in the hall. It was "The Battle of the Tables."

EDITORIAL: WHY SDG&E PLAN TO SHUT OFF POWER MAY NOT PREVENT FIRES - AND WHAT SHOULD BE DONE INSTEAD

By Ed Clark

February 25, 2009--I was reading the article on your site this morning, where SDG&E plans to turn off power to remote residences during high wind, low humidity days.

This is nothing more than part of their cover-up to prevent a system ground fault on a high windy days from arcing at down guy anchors and starting fires. What they don't get is that depending on where a ground fault occurs, it could still catch the grass on fire, if not corrected.

Additionally, SDG&E has several alternatives other than turning power off to customers who are in need.

Reflections on the Meaning of Christianity and Religious Symbols: A Reaction to the Mt Soledad Cross Controversy

By Joel A. Harrison

February 6, 2009 (San Diego) — In a 20-year saga that
never ends, according to an article in the Union-Tribune on January 8, "opponents of the
cross atop Mount Soledad urged a U.S. appeals court yesterday to overturn a
federal judge's ruling in July that said the controversial La Jolla landmark
could remain." A similar controversy in East County several years ago
was resolved when a cross atop Mt. Helix was transferred from public ownership
to a private group of area homeowners. (Privatization is not
an appropriate option for Soledad, since the site is a U.S. military memorial.) Instead
of rehashing the Constitutional pros and cons, I would like to reflect a moment
on my view of the meaning of Christianity - and the most appropriate monuments
to faith and humanity.

Editorial: ELECTION REFLECTION

By Mary Handfelt

January 19, 2009 (Lakeside) — The election that wouldn't
end is over; all the parties have cranked down their intensity level notch
by notch. The
victors have quietly settled into a new kind of peace, as if committed to demonstrating
in hyperbole the open minds and hearts that they promised would be - the harmony
that comes from choosing peace not war, or even bipartisan sparring.

EDITORIAL - WHO DESERVES AN ORGAN TRANSPLANT-AND WHO SHOULD DECIDE?

Questions Regarding the Tragic Death of Nataline Sarkisyan

By Joel A. Harrison, PhD, MPH

January
6, 2008 —
Few people who read about the Nataline Sarkisyan
case last year could have avoided being touched by her tragic death. Recently
her family filed a lawsuit against her insurer, Cigna and is trying to get
criminal charges brought against them as well for refusing to cover a
liver transplant for Nataline, a young leukemia patient. Unfortunately, I
believe media coverage of the story left out a number of crucial points/questions.

EDITORIAL - A PROPOSAL FOR PRESIDENT-ELECT BARACK OBAMA

Put Americans to work providing fire protection infrastructure and
energy independence for San Diego's fire-ravaged East County region

By Miriam Raftery, Editor, East County Magazine

December
7, 2008 (San Diego's East County) —
President-Elect Barack
Obama is expected to propose the largest infrastructure-rebuilding program
since Franklin Delano Roosevelt initiated the Works Progress Administration
(WPA) during the Great Depression.  The goal is to put Americans back
to work and revitalize the economy while also repairing roads, bridges, levees
and other public projects.

While fiscal conservatives may oppose massive spending on public works projects,
the reality is that with a Democratic-controlled Congress, the President's
proposed infusion of capital into infrastructure rebuilding is guaranteed to
pass. "So why not have San Diego County's bipartisan Congressional delegation
propose that a portion of those infrastructure dollars be spent to improve
fire safety right here in East County, where the worst wildfires in California
history struck in 2003 and again in 2007?"

Editorial - Proposition 8: An Irrational Assault on Civil Liberties, the 1st Amendment, and Gays

By Joel A. Harrison

Prop 8 Opponents at November 15th March.
Photo credit: Rick Greenblatt.

Updated December 4, 2008 — Though heterosexual,
I was both saddened and angered at the passage of Prop 8. In California it
takes a two-thirds majority to pass a tax law, i.e. the state taking personal
material property from an individual; but it takes a mere majority to deprive
someone of a civil liberty. Supporters of Prop 8 were angered by the State
Supreme Courts "thwarting the will of the people" in
overturning a previous anti-gay marriage proposition. In Federalist Paper 10,
James Madison, considered the Father of Our Constitution and author of our
Bill of Rights, writes that one of the key purposes of our Constitution was
to [restrain the ability of] "a majority or minority of the whole, who are
united and actuated by some common impulse or passion, or of interest, adverse
to the rights of other citizens." When all else fails, it is the role of our
courts to protect the rights of individuals.

EDITORIAL - CHANGE NEEDED IN INITIATIVE PROCESS AND VOTING HOURS

By Wren Osborn

Early voting at the San Diego Registrar of Voters, where
some people waited up to six hours in line.

December 1, 2008 (El Cajon) — I cannot understand why it is so easy to change
the California Constitution. "All it takes is an initiative with 50% of
the vote plus one voter and voila a new amendment to the Constitution." Yes,
it takes 8% to qualify the proposition instead of the usual 5% but does that
bring mature reflection to the process? "I would say not." Especially
since the process is now dominated by moneyed interests who hire paid signature
gatherers -- We've created a slam dunk process for those with money.

A CONSERVATIVE AGAINST PROP. 8!

By the Rev. Michael C. Boblett

Editor’s Note: Proposition 8 seeks to overturn the legality of same-sex
marriages in California.

I
believe that Proposition 8 is a perfect example of an important fault line
dividing the conservative movement in America today.  On one side of this
line are people like me, fiscal conservatives who prefer a government
that does not seek to legislate private morality.  On the other side are
those who seek, whether they admit this or not, to turn this republic into
a theocracy. 

Editorial - Seizing the Moment

San Diego County’s Green Energy Future

By Martha Sullivan

The
California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) is poised to take action any
day now on Sempra Energy’s proposed Sunrise Powerlink project, which
the CPUC’s own ratepayers’ advocate division has concluded is unnecessary.
In this editorial, Martha Sullivan, former CPUC staffer, lays out a plan of
action for consumers interested in halting the Powerlink project. Sullivan,
now a San Diego resident, also reveals why major environmental groups are opposing
ballot propositions 7 and 10, which she describes as “seriously flawed.”

EDITORIAL - SCHOOL BOARDS HAVE FAILED US

“School Boards have become a dangerous institution,” warns
Doug Dean, Chair of the East County Chamber of Commerce Business Education
Committee. “One of the poster children in San Diego County for problematic
school boards is the Grossmont Union High School District Governing Board.
Many years ago, one of our political parties made school boards the target
for social change, and the GUHSD was one of the victims. Although it has improved
lately, that board has been contentious and non-collaborative for decades,
resulting in a district that is rotting from the inside out. Current new candidates
threaten to throw it back into the past.”

EDITORIAL - PROPOSITION 4:   WHAT YOU DON'T KNOW CAN HURT YOU -- AND YOUR DAUGHTER

(Editor’s note:  The name of this author has been withheld
upon request, due to privacy concerns. All details have been fact-checked
for accuracy.)

Proposition 4 would outlaw abortion for minors unless parental notification
or a judicial order is obtained.

What's wrong with restricting abortion access for teens? We already
require girls to obtain a parent's permission for piercings or other
medical procedures, right?

The answer is not so simple. If you are pro life, be aware that voting "yes" on
Prop 4 could jeopardize the health or even the life of your daughter and other
teens. As a reporter for nearly 30 years, I've interviewed countless
women, girls, fathers, counselors and medical professionals on this issue. What
I've learned is that there are many grey areas where moral clarity is
murky.

Editorial - Voting by Mail: Enhances Democracy? Not if Votes Aren't Counted

By
Assemblyman Joel Anderson

Any registered voter may vote by vote-by-mail ballot.
Rather than go to the polls to cast a ballot on election-day, you may apply
for a vote-by-mail ballot, which you will need to complete and return to your
elections official.

-The California Secretary of State

According to results from recent elections
in San Diego County, we can expect as many as half a million citizens to vote-by-mail
this November. What we don't
know is how many of the ballots are actually counted by the registrar of voters.
Or more specifically, how many are invalidated because they arrive too late
to be included in the election results. Not surprisingly, Registrars of
Voters don't publish those facts.

Editorial - My Position on the Financial Crisis

By Bob Hamilton

It’s
not surprising that the American people are against the $700 billion financial
rescue plan, which was rejected by Congress on Monday.  We’ve
seen this movie before, where the government steps in with taxpayer funds to
rescue those who overdosed on greed, and we’re not interested in seeing
it again.
After our government lied and mismanaged its way into a
quagmire in Iraq that has increased the burden for taxpayers by trillions,
why should we trust them now?  They say we must fork over another $700
billion to stabilize the financial system, the same financial system that allowed
banks and mortgage companies to knowingly issue bad mortgages and convert them
to risky investments that were sold to investors as safe.  At the same
time, too many of our political leaders in Washington seem more concerned about
the next election than solving the financial crisis, which leaves us disinclined
to trust them either.

EDITORIAL - ARNOLD "SWEENEY TODD" Schwarzenegger:

Governor Vetoes Health Reforms, Terminates Consumer Protection Bills

By Senator Sheila Kuehl

On
September 30, the Governor finished wielding his veto pen and, in one sweeping
move, eliminated virtually every health reform measure that would have regulated
the health insurance company monopoly.

Health reform was not alone,
bill after bill that would have benefited consumers, drivers, people
who breathe, people who drink water, and just people who rely on their state
government to protect them, had its throat cut.

EDITORIAL - PICKIN' ON PICKENS' PLAN

By Ken Sobel

It’s impossible to turn on the TV or radio lately without being barraged
by T. Boone Pickens presenting his ambitious plan to save the world from global
warming and wean us off foreign oil. But the decision we need to make in the
days and weeks to come is between creating the energy we need locally—or
leaving control of solar and wind power production in the hands of big utility
companies that aim to sell us back our energy after we build the transmission
lines with our tax money.

EDITORIAL - STICK-EM UP AMERICA!

by Jeeni Criscenzo

October 1, 2008 (San Diego) - Once again, our president is
badgering Congress to hurry up and approve his plan or something terrible will
happen-this time, he's not threatening us with a mushroom cloud, this time
it's a more ambiguous "distressing
scenario." His solution was an unfettered, unaccountable bailout of Wall
Street with $700 Billion dollars of taxpayer money.

EDITORIAL - FOLLOW THE MONEY

Who would spend $14,300 to win a little rural election?
Big dollars can drown out the voices of Campo community members

By Billie Jo Jannen

When was the last time you donated $2,000 to control the
selection of members for an advisory body in a tiny little rural town? This
may hardly seem worthwhile to you and I, but it clearly is to a number of Star
Ranch development proponents, some of whom have spent much more than $2,000.

Editorial: Where is the Liberty Going?

The Loss of Freedom and the Slide towards Tyranny

By Michael Benoit

What is tyranny?

October 1, 2008 (San Diego's East County) - It is the taking control of your body, mind or property without your consent. Freedom
comes to us naturally and tyranny is a stripping away of that freedom. Our
freedom can be classified into two categories -- the first being personal,
and the second being economic.

These freedoms, of course, are joined, so a loss of one equates to a loss
of the other. I don't believe that there can ever be a consistent
level of freedom from one person to the next. For example, if the politicians
make it mandatory to wear a seatbelt, this is an infringement on our personal
liberty; if we are punished by the state for not wearing the belt, which usually
comes in the form of a fine which diminishes our economic freedom. To the wealthy
the loss of freedom is likely not to be perceived at all.

Pages