EDITORIAL: AN ILL WIND BLOWING: SUPERVISORS SHOULD JUST SAY “NO” TO INDUSTRIAL WIND AT WEDNESDAY’S WIND ORDINANCE VOTE
By Miriam Raftery, Editor, East County Magazine
May 3, 2013 (San Diego’s East County) Updated May 7, 2013 – On Wednesday, May 8, San Diego County Supervisors will vote on legislation that could have devastating impacts across East County and the entire San Diego region.
At stake is a proposed wind ordinance that could open wide vast tracts of East County for industrial wind development, putting residents across our County at risk of a catastrophic wildfire or deadly Valley Fever spores that can blow 70 miles or more. There are many more reasons to oppose this ordinance, as well as the proposed gutting of Boulevard’s community plan, but these are two of the most compelling. These and other disturbing facts are detailed below.
If you share these concerns, it's important to contact all five Supervisors. It's especially important for San Diego residents to tell their Supervisors that you care about what happens to East County, since some Supervisors have shown an arrogant disregard for public health and safety outside of their own districts. Of course, a wildfire that originates in East County and burns into San Diego, or deadly Valley Fever spores that blow into urban areas, should clearly be of concern to all County residents and their representatives. You can contact Supervisors here and scroll down to learn more. It's also important to show up and speak out at Wednesday morning's meeting at 9 a.m. at 1600 Pacific Coast Highway, Room 402.
EDITORIAL: TIME FOR LEADING PLAYERS TO TAKE ACTION TOWARD REOPENING EAST COUNTY PERFORMING ARTS CENTER
By Miriam Raftery, Editor, East County Magazine
April 23, 2013 (El Cajon) – This afternoon, the spotlight will shine on the El Cajon City Council as it considers whether to enter into discussions with the Grossmont Union High School District on a potential partnership to reopen the East County Performing Arts Center (ECPAC). The plan potentially could also including building a state-of-the-art, multi-use facility adjacent to ECPAC, filling a community need for meeting space as well as an additional entertainment venue to create a broader cultural hub for the community.
It’s time for city leaders to take center stage and provide leadership to reopen ECPAC, the jewel of East County’s cultural community. Shuttered in disrepair for several years, the darkened theater has negatively impacted businesses downtown as well as arts lovers across our region.
A partnership with the school district could be a win-win situation, though there are challenges that must be explored and overcome.
By Dorothea Boughdadly, Director, Hoofs and Woofs Animal Rescue, Valley Center
April 18, 2013 (Valley Center) – It’s so sad that people die and it's so preventable. Valley Center Road looks like it goes straight ahead, but it does not.
Vesper Road goes straight and Valley Center Road curves to the right. Very confusing to those new to the area. And sadly, very deadly.
4 Million Senior Meals to be Cut Nationwide, 100,000 meals in San Diego Alone
By Paul Downey, President/CEO, Senior Community Centers
March 28, 2013 (San Diego)--Sometimes I am really glad to live almost 3,000 miles from Washington DC. The latest “raging” chest-thumping, finger-pointing debate is whether President Obama cancelling tours of the White House are politically motivated or a true result of sequestration. This is a bit of Nero fiddling while Rome burned.
Court rules that CA Public Records Act applies to public officials’ private e-mail accounts
By Lou Russo
March 24, 2013 (Alpine)--In a Superior Court in California on March 19, 2013, a decision was filed which should make every Californian happy. The Honorable James P. Kleinberg decided that you, a citizen of California, have the right to view the records of public servants concerning the public’s business, in any form, regardless of where they are stored. Let me quote from the decision:
“[It is] unlikely the Legislature intended to render documents confidential based on their location, rather than their content.”
By Assemblyman Brian Jones
March 20, 2013 (San Diego’s East County)--Did you know that Cal Fire bureaucrats have joined the ranks of state agencies hiding taxpayer dollars? It’s sad, but true – recent Cal Fire headlines are less about the brave duty of firefighters and more about secreting taxpayer dollars away in a non-profit association.
Not only did Cal Fire hide $3.5 million, but they did so while Governor Brown and the Democrat-controlled Legislature slapped a $150 fire tax on rural residents from San Diego to the Northern California border.
MEDIA WATCH: OPPOSE PROPAGANDISTS AS MEDIA OWNERS; SIGN A PETITION ASKING THE L.A. TIMES NOT TO SELL TO THE KOCH BROTHERS
Sign petition: http://act.couragecampaign.org/sign/latimeskoch/#1
By Miriam Raftery
March 18, 2013 (San Diego) – For weeks, rumors have abounded that the respected Los Angeles Times newspaper and its parent Tribune Company may sell to would-be buyers whose goal is not journalism, but propaganda. On March 17, U-T San Diego owner Doug Manchester told MSNBC news that the billionaire Koch Brothers, major financial backers of the TEA Party, are interested in buying the Times empire, which includes the Chicago Tribune as well as the L.A. Times.
By Fred Griesbach
American Association of Retired Persons (AARP)
March 19, 2013 (Washington D.C)--In a matter of hours, the Senate could vote to cut your Social Security benefits.
President Obama is pushing a budget deal that would include a proposal called "chained CPI", a benefit cut that would take money straight out of your pocket – and some Senators want to take it.
Their vote could happen at any moment, so your Senators need to hear from you right now. Tell your Senators to keep your hard-earned benefits safe and say no to chained CPI.
By Jim Lissner
March 9, 2013 (El Cajon)--Anyone who watches the crash videos circulated by the red light camera Industry will notice that most of the crashes occur many seconds into the red. The Texas Transportation Institute (TTI), with sponsorship by the Texas DOT, studied 41 crash videos obtained from red light cameras and confirmed what the public has been noticing: "With one exception, all of the right-angle crashes occurred after 5 seconds or more of red." They also reported that the average was 8.9 seconds into the red. (Link to the study: http://thenewspaper.com/rlc/docs/04-alternatives.pdf. See pages 5-15 and 5-16.)
By Congressman Scott Peters (D-San Diego)
March 12, 2013 -- Two weeks before the sequester took effect, House leadership called a recess and sent us home. As a former Port Commissioner and City Council president, that was foreign to me. I could not believe, with the amount of work still to be done, we were sent home. And, even more frustrating, that we were sent home without being allowed to vote on a single alternative to the sequester, because leadership didn’t agree with the legislation. This, in my opinion, is not representative of the democratic process that the United States is regarded for.
I used my time at home to send a message back to Washington. I worked with our port commissioners, scientific research community and maritime workers to tell Congress that the negative effects of the sequester will be felt in San Diego through layoffs, furloughs, stifled research and decreased GDP.
READER’S EDITORIAL: SMOKING BLUNDERBUSS—ILLEGAL FAILURE TO CONSULT WITH TRIBAL PEOPLES DOOMS GIANT SOLAR AND WIND PLANTS ACROSS WEST
By Robert Lundahl
March 10, 2013 (Solana Beach) — Chris Clarke's recent article deconstructs a video clip from the film, "Who Are My People?" http://www.kcet.org/news/rewire/solar/filmmaker-blm-lax-on-native-consultation-over-solar-projects.html It is important for the public (us) to get our heads around the idea that the federal government is legally responsible to Native people.
In this case to uphold processes involving consultation when construction projects impact historic grounds, where there was a village, burials, where there is an area historically, or in the present day used by Native peoples, in spiritual or traditional practices.
By Jake Christie
March 2, 2013 (San Diego’s East County)--I could’ve called it a “bomb” or a “fiasco”, but I prefer to call the mess that is the American private and public student loan system a “freight train” because the light at the end of the tunnel is an oncoming high-speed double diesel pulling 25 cars full of heavy loads. The numbers surrounding the student loan mess are horrifying; the total student loan debt out is one trillion dollars, which is the entire US government budget in a year. Of that amount, $76 billion is in default, though Allan College of StudentLoanJustice.org put out a press release* doubting that figure because even defaulted loans have interest piled on top of them.
By Jake Christie
February 20, 2013 (San Diego’s East County)--I could’ve called it a “bomb” or a “fiasco”, but I prefer to call the mess that is the American private and public student loan system a “freight train” because the light at the end of the tunnel is an oncoming high-speed double diesel pulling 25 cars full of heavy loads. The numbers surrounding the student loan mess are horrifying; the total student loan debt out is one trillion dollars, which is the entire US government budget in a year. Of that amount, $76 billion is in default, though Allan College of StudentLoanJustice.org put out a press release* doubting that figure because even defaulted loans have interest piled on top of them.
“…Killing rare protected species was a crime at both the state and federal level. So with the help of government agencies, the industry went to work stripping and changing environmental laws…”—Jim Wiegand
By Jim Wiegand
February 25, 2013 (San Diego's East County)-- In 1984 the California Energy Commission made the following statement in their Wind Energy Program Progress Report., "The development of wind energy in California has been very rapid, and the foundations for a significant new domestic energy industry are in place. As should be expected however, with any fast growing industry using a new technology, there are many institutional, engineering, environmental, and economic issues which must be resolved before the industry is secure and it growth assured."
By Roy Hales
February 9, 2013 (San Diego)--An editorial, written in defense of the proposed Gregory Landfill, recently complained that, “…the Pala decided to claim the entire mountain is a sacred site.” I sometimes wonder how much the people who do, or say, things like that know of their own ancestry? Without resorting to a genealogist, can they tell us where their paternal great, great grandfather lived? How about their maternal great, great, grandmother?
February 8, 2013 (San Diego's East County)--As problems with the large wind and solar projects in East County continue to surface, I suspect there will be a tendency to say Big = Bad. I’ve been doing that myself the last few weeks. I think we need to isolate the problems and deal with them one at a time.
The wind farm at Ocotillo appears to lack the necessary wind, but am also aware that one of the problems with wind farms in East Germany has been too much wind. The Czech and Polish governments are said to have flipped the switches, to cut off the flow of surplus energy into their countries. The alleged lack of wind at Ocotillo could be an insurmountable problem, which raises serious questions about how the facility came to be built in the first place. The alleged surplus in East Germany will cease to be a problem once we develop a method of storing the excess energy for months rather than minutes.
By Jay Gee
February 4, 2013 (Boulevard)--I recently became aware of the numerous industrial size green energy projects being planned for the Boulevard area after looking at properties for sale. I have since changed my mind about purchasing property in the area as it will forever be changed in a negative way.
Having just read about the cumulative effects of the projects apparent "socioeconomic impact" to local residents the official response is that the impact will "diminish over time due to diminished sensitivity to the features". In other words, the local residents will get used to the beatings once they become numb to the pain.
A summary of the latest news on bird/bat mortality at wind farms
By Mark Duchamp, Chairman, World Council for Nature
"New studies reveal ... that in the United States alone ... wind turbines kill an estimated 13 million to 39 million birds and bats every year” (there are about 39,000 wind turbines in the US)
January 31, 2013--The worldwide slaughter of birds and bats by wind farms has been confirmed by biologist Clive Hambler, who teaches at Oxford University:
By Lou Russo
January 19, 2013 (Alpine)--Thursday night, January 17th, I attended the Alpine Union School Board meeting. At that meeting I spoke regarding this article (which I had sent to the superintendent and board members a number of days ago):
By Alfred Waddell
January 17, 2013 (San Diego’s East County)--The second amendment needs to be re-defined for the modern times.
It is my notion that the right to bear arms is very similar to the right to smoke; they both have a cancerous effect that contributes to the decay in modern society. We as a society can continue to ignore and look the other way with temporary fixes that give the appearance of seriousness; however, the reality is: there are too many guns in the US; and our too-many-guns are being turned on us.
By David Smichowski
January 13, 2013 (San Diego)--Regarding the saga of the Filner foibles as per our Mayor's temperament in being a political leader: So our Mayor is again dusting it up in San Diego's local arena, this time with the City Attorney and fellow Democratic Councilman Todd Gloria. In philosophical parlance, the hysterical personality being those stigmatized souls overcome with emotion, are most often viewed as being associated with truth. Not to mention the so-called myth of control so hypocritically misunderstood in our society. Mayor Filner's emotions with regard to governing our fine city ought to be judged in context to all of our moral and ethical contradictions.
Mr. Filner saved my home from foreclosure, saved my Father's VA pension, called me at home to offer help when he was in Congress and got me elected to the local Democratic County Committee.
By Adrienne Niver, Lakeside
January 11, 2012--(San Diego’s East County)-- I keep reading about the industrial solar projects and keep thinking about how much better (greener) it would be if our state would put "a very tall roof" over many miles of our highways and freeways and then cover them with solar panels (tall enough for the absolute tallest vehicle that would ever go on the freeway.)
Most people think of freeways as utilitarian structures, and nothing more. But for Swedish architect and urban strategist Mans Tham, freeways are majestic structures that could serve another important purpose. (from http://www.autointhenews.com)
By Joel A. Harrison, PhD, MPH
January 2, 2013 (San Diego)--Since the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut the news and internet has been abuzz with some variant of “Freedom vs Gun Control,” as if no reasonable rational alternative exists beyond this absolute dichotomy. In the mix is always the 2nd Amendment: “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.” The 2nd Amendment has been interpreted both as a right to individual self-defense and, by some, as a check on government, i.e. a right to use force to overthrow a “tyrannical” government.
GUHSD Board Member Jim Kelly led the last 8 years by controlling the Board’s majority; now with a new member, Jim Stieringer, elected, let's review progress of a 12th high school
By Bill Weaver
December 2, 2012 (San Diego's East County)--There is an endless trail of disingenuous acts on behalf the majority on the Grossmont Union High School District (GUHSD) Governing Board; this editorial touches on a few. Let’s reflect on years past. Prop H passed in 2004, authorizing $274 million; the Superintendent and the Board put a 12th new high school in the main summarizing Ballot statement headlining the bond explanation. There was a GUHSD Long Range Facilities Master Plan (LRFMP) dated 2003 that stipulated a 12th high school for "Safety and Overcrowding" reasons.
By Senator Dianne Feinstein
December 20, 2012 (Washington D.C.)--Enough is enough. Of the 11 deadliest shootings in American history, five have happened since 2007.¹ My heart breaks for the grieving families in Newtown and across the country. They deserve our deepest condolences, but also our determined action to end these atrocities.
I sponsored the original ban on assault weapons back in 1994 -- which expired in 2004 -- and last weekend I announced that I will introduce legislation to renew the ban on the first day of the new Congress. I would be honored if you would join me as a citizen co-sponsor of the new bill. Will you?
I was heartened when I found out that more than 11,000 of you share my vision and have already expressed support for a similar approach. Please take the next step and join me as a citizen co-sponsor so we can work together.
By Nadin Abbott
December 18, 2012 (San Diego’s East County)--It's not easy to speak of what happened last week at Sandy Hook elementary school in Connecticut, where a gunman opened fire. It is harder because this is not the first mass shooting, and probably will not be the last. But with the slaughter of 20 innocent children and 6 adults, we might finally hit a tipping point in how we look at guns and our culture.
I come at this not just as a gun owner, but also as a former first responder who saw firsthand what a NATO round or a Warsaw round can do to the human body. Mexico, where I worked with the Red Cross, is a place where these weapons are used regularly by the cartels.
By Councilman Gary Kendrick
I have been very saddened by the discovery that my fellow El Cajon City Council Member, Jillian Hanson-Cox, was not the person I thought she was. I had always seen Jillian as a very warm-hearted, caring and honest individual. The documents now on file in the federal district court convincingly show that she is just the opposite.
By Tom Myers
December 17, 2012 (Alpine)--Are you opposed to 7-Eleven selling beer, wine and spirits in the heart of Alpine? Do you think three liquor stores within walking distance of each other are too many? You can do something about it!
On December 3 the applicant, 7-Eleven, Inc., posted the required ABC notice on the fence at the corner of West Victoria and Alpine Blvd. This started the 30-day public comment period for transferring the liquor license from the Ranch Market to the proposed 7-Eleven at this new location. We believe moving this license will cause an undue concentration of licenses in the center of Alpine by clustering three off-sale license establishments within 600 feet of each other.
READER’S EDITORIAL: HAS THE TIME COME FOR ALPINE TO DECLARE INDEPENDENCE FROM THE COUNTY BY INCORPORATING?
By Lou Russo
“We in Alpine …seem to be saddled with governments that cannot or will not serve us, but instead seem to serve everyone else but us.”—Lou Russo
“When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
Moonshot for Green Job Creation Within Reach of New San Diego Leaders, Community
By Kathleen Connell
December 8, 2012 (San Diego)--As the post-election celebrations end and 2013 approaches, new leaders have been elected in San Diego in what many consider a historic moment in the region. At the same time, San Diegans, the nation, and the globe are struggling to come out of a recession so deep, it is often referred to as the second Great Depression. Meanwhile profound challenges - climate change and Hurricane Sandy - have swept through the East Coast and the consciousness of Americans as Sandy pushed the detritus of climate denial aside in its terrible force, damage and cost.
By Jim Bell
My goal in releasing this commentary is to introduce the Net-Meter Option to the public as a cost-effective way to increase local electricity supply and price security instead of investing ratepayerâ€™s dollars into SDG&E/SEMPRAâ€™s Sunrise Power Link, a proposed 16-story tall transmission line that SDG&E and its parent Company, SEMPRA, are pitching to the California Public Utility Commission (CPUC). If built, the Power Link transmission line would run 150 miles from San Diego to Mexicali, Mexico, running through numerous state parks, wild life habitat areas and private properties. Read More