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

READER’S EDITORIAL: CHOOSING A PRESIDENT IN 2012 –STANDING WITH OBAMA TO PROTECT EQUAL ACCESS TO HUMAN NEEDS AND CIVIL RIGHTS

By Sylvia Hampton

November 1, 2012 (San Diego)--This election is a battle between two very different philosophies of government, especially as it relates to domestic affairs. One that embraces “united we stand” and a role of federal government that is being played out at this moment in the Northeast in the aftermath of hurricane Sandy. The Governors of thirteen states are desperate for the coordination skills of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the support of President Obama as they face this horrendous disaster.

This is the Democratic Party philosophy that government is necessary for the enforcement of laws, civil order and preserving equal access to basic human needs and civil rights.

READER’S EDITORIAL: WHY THIS REGISTERED INDEPENDENT VOTER (AND WOMAN) IS VOTING FOR ROMNEY

By Danielle Cook

November 1, 2012 (Jacumba)--Much talk is being bandied about especially by conservatives on how there could possibly be undecided voters out there. After all, there hasn’t been such a clear choice between the two parties in years (goes their argument).  The implication is that we are stupid or uninformed. In reality, it isn’t as simple as that.

Like many Independents, I have a love/hate relationship with election years.  As someone who isn’t tied to either major political party, I am like the un-attached and solo guest at a Valentine party, relegated to the sidelines and watching the enthusiastic bonding of committed couples with envy.

READER’S EDITORIAL: JIM KELLY IS A BLUE RIBBON FIBBER

A Rebuttal to Jim Kelly's guest editorial in ECM

By Bill Weaver, candidate, Grossmont Union High School Board

November 2, 2012 (San Diego’s East County)--Jim Kelly is a blue ribbon fibber. Jim Kelly says, "It is time to answer these misleading, politically-motivated attacks."

I'll say it is--there is only one politically motivated attack agent. It is Jim Kelly who for years has been officially the recruiter for the out of touch extremist right local party that is in charge of ruining the conservative name with its radical right agenda. There is zero validity to Jim Kelly's rebuttal.

READER'S EDITORIAL: RESPONSE TO ATTACKS ON THE GUHSD OVER BOND MONIES AND ALPINE HIGH SCHOOL

By Jim Kelly, Grossmont Union High School District Governing Board Member

October 30, 2012 (San Diego’s East County)--I appreciate the East County Magazine’s coverage of the Grossmont Union High School election and a Grand Jury investigation into the issue of using bond money for a new high school in Alpine. As a GUHSD Governing Board Member for the last 10 years, I have crucial information regarding these subjects.

READER’S EDITORIAL: WHY IS THE 12TH HIGH SCHOOL PROJECT STILL AN ISSUE IN THE GROSSMONT UNION HIGH SCHOOL DISTRICT?

By Bill Weaver, candidate for the GUHSD board

October 28, 2012 (Alpine) – Why is building a 12th high school for the Grossmont Union High School District in Alpine still an issue?

Because it was twice funded by public initiative bond measures, Prop H ($274 M) and Prop U ($417 M), Further, HS12 is a money maker for the GUHSD, the one and ONLY bond project predicted to make money, and attract new students and California Average Daily Attendance (ADA) funding, per GUHSD Demographer Mr. Vince O'Hara. There are over 1200 students that would attend, and this would alleviate overcrowding at Granite Hills HS, now populated at around 2800 students (and SAVE money by reducing physical campus needed added classrooms using up bond money because 600 fewer students would be at GHHS).

READER'S EDITORIAL: SDG&E BYPASSES FOREST SERVICE; PERMIT REQUEST COULD SIGNAL A CLANDESTINE EXPANSION OF SUNRISE POWERLINK

Stealth project in Cleveland National Forest could cost taxpayers $1 billion; public has just 30 days to comment

By Cindy Buxton, Chair of the Forest Committee, Sierra Club San Diego Chapter

October 23, 2012 (San Diego’s East County)--Late last week, SDG&E filed a permit request with the California  Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) and  sent an announcement to several local residents of a replacement project for five 69 kV lines which currently circle the county at the end of last week and filed the project with the CPUC.  http://www.sdge.com/regulatory-filing/3792/application-sdge-permit-construct-cleveland-national-forest-power-line

These lines traverse miles of Cleveland National Forest. Unlike the switching out of wood to steel poles that we have heard about for some time, oddly, they did not tell the Cleveland National Forest about their plans.

PLEASE review the link above and send comments to the CPUC. We have a scant 30 days to turn this around and expose SDG&E for not only gaffing off environmental quality, but probably far more important this time they are side stepping basic civil rights. Tell the CPUC they must respect the US Forest Service planning!

READER'S EDITORIAL: UNION-TRIBUNE CROSSES THE LINE

By Joel A. Harrision, PhD, MPH

October 25, 2012 (San Diego)--In June, during the Primaries, I was appalled to see on the front page of the U-T San Diego both op-eds supporting Carl DeMaio for mayor and a list of voting recommendations. Historically, American newspapers, at least over the past century, have kept separate their news and editorial departments as well as their respective pages.

READER’S EDITORIAL: STOP EXPANSION OF FLIGHT SCHOOLS AT GILLESPIE FIELD

By Sue Strohm, Advocates for Safe Airport Policies (ASAP) Steering Committee

October 24, 2012 (El Cajon)--Over the next year or so (over the objection of large numbers of County residents) the County Airports system will initially be digging up the former El Cajon Speedway and turning 21.5 acres (of the approved 70 acre parcel) of County airport land into the Cajon Flight Center. 

READER’S EDITORIAL: DUNCAN HUNTER BELIEVES CORPORATIONS ARE PEOPLE—WOMEN ARE NOT

By David Secor, candidate, 50th Congressional District

October 12, 2012 (San Diego’s East County)--For women, and men who love them, their choice for Congress in District 50 could not be more important.  Our Congressman, Duncan D. Hunter, is committed to denying basic rights to women, our daughters and granddaughters.  Rights won after over a century of struggle.

 This “Duncan Hunter” is the son of Duncan Hunter, well-known former Congressman.  Unlike his father, this Duncan Hunter is not a real Republican, but an extremist ideologue bent on making his very personal religious views into federal law.

READER'S EDITORIAL: WHY ISN'T OUR GOVERNMENT PROTECTING US FROM DUST AT OCOTILLO WIND SITE?

By Jim Pelley

Editor’s note: For months,  ECM award-winning photographer and Ocotillo resident Jim Pelley has been documenting clouds of choking dust at  Pattern Energy’s construction site for Ocotillo Express wind energy, where citizen monitors have routinely reported construction without water trucks present and twice resulted in fines on the developer for dust violations.  In this editorial, Pelley asks why the problem continues, raising serious questions for public officials who are supposed to protect public health.  The closest turbine is just 1500 feet from Pelley’s home.

October 9, 2012 --I have been told that they can make dust on this project site as long it is not over 20% opacity for three minutes. If there are a hundred trucks making 15% opacity dust all long day long I don’t understand why this is acceptable, because at the end of the day there are large amounts of dust in the air, it’s very easy to see.

READER'S EDITORIAL: IS SUPPORT FOR VETERANS A FALSE PROMISE TO VOTERS IN EXCHANGE FOR BONDS?

 

By Rick Alexander

October 11, 2012 (San Diego’s East County)--As a vet I’m ticked. This great nation has vowed, rightfully so, to never again treat its veterans the way we were treated during the Vietnam Era. But now it seems that if a special interest group wants anything from government or the electorate they simply attach the “veteran” label to the request, whether it is a significant part of the program or not. As vets, we have gone from being abused to used. Better, but still not good.

READER’S EDITORIAL: GUSHD BOARD’S SHORT-SIGHTED POLICIES ARE DRIVING STUDENTS OUT OF DISTRICT

"Alpine could be the first of a district-wide peel off! This GUHSD Governing Board needs a wake-up call." -- Bill Weaver

By Bill Weaver, GUHSD Governor Board candidate and parent

The current Grossmont Union High School District (GUHSD) Board majority, which includes up for re-election incumbent Dr. Gary Woods, has shot themselves in the foot with recent bad policy decisions. They claim declining enrollment, and loss of Average Daily Attendance (ADA) funds as the justifying basis.

The GUHSD Board has passed a resolution to not move ahead with the 12th High School, until California State ADA funding returns to the higher 2007/08 levels. This has the Alpine Union School District, and the Alpine High School Citizens Committee, currently mounting an effort to pull out of the GUHSD.

READER’S EDITORIAL: THE WONDERLAND OF EL CAJON CITY CAMPAIGN POLITICS

By Bonnie B. Price

October 2, 2012 (El Cajon)--As campaign season draws nearer to the November 6 election, contenders for the three city council seats are having a strange type of conflict in the wonderland of El Cajon campaign politics.  Issues such as the highest sales tax in the county and high sewer taxes* in the poorest city in the county are not being discussed. 

Instead, people have been distracted from these significant issues with a battle over political sign locations! 

READER’S EDITORIAL: FIRE CAPTAIN FLAMES RURAL FIREFIGHTERS

By Claudia Millebragg

October 2, 2012 (San Diego’s East County) – It saddened me to read the comments of San Diego Fire Captain Frank DeClercq which followed an article in the U-T San Diego September 24 titled Supervisor Jacob: Heed Authorities in Fire Area.

Captain DeClercq wrote, “Once again, Supevisor Jacob is in denial. The County of San Diego spends a mere $15 million dollars on fire protection while Orange and Los Angeles Counties spend $250 and $500 million dollars protecting their citizens. The City of San Diego taxpayers foot the bill to send City of San Diego firefighting crews to unincorporated  East County to extinguish their fire. Unbelievable!” He added, ““Having and showing off a patch does not make a fire department.”

READER'S EDITORIAL: SHOCK, CONDOLENCES, AND PRAISE FOR EVENTS AND EFFORTS DURING THE SHOCKEY FIRE

By Ed and Donna Tisdale, Morning Star Ranch, Tierra Del Sol (Boulevard)

September 25, 2012 (Boulevard)-- As long-term residents of the Tierra Del Sol area of Boulevard (not Campo as so many reported), our family is shocked and saddened at the loss of life, homes, treasured possessions and memories, historic Hi Pass, pets, wildlife, ancient oaks, and fragrant old growth chaparral that will take years to recover.

Our condolences and prayers for strength go out to our friends and neighbors who have suffered during the swift and horrific events surrounding and following the Shockey Fire.

EDITORIAL: SUPERVISORS SEEK TO SQUELCH NOTICE OF PLANNING GROUP MEETINGS, HIDE AGENDAS FROM PUBLIC

By Miriam Raftery

September 15, 2012 (San Diego) – Thanks to Valley Roadrunner editor David Ross for giving us a heads up on County Supervisors’ latest attempt to hide their actions from public scrutiny.  The newest scheme to keep the public in the dark is a proposal that would limit publication of community planning group meetings to a tiny two-by-two inch square ad in print publications—with no agenda included.

READER'S EDITORIAL: ROMNEY -- THE MEXICAN-AMERICAN CANDIDATE

By Patrick Osio

“By virtue of his father’s birth in Mexico where he was automatically a Mexican citizen by birth, makes US born Mitt Romney a second generation Mexican American. His actions against the Hispanic immigrant community reflect a loss of gratitude for Mexico granting the Romney family refuge from religious persecution they suffered in the U.S.” – Patrick Osio

September 14, 2012 (San Diego) -- Anyone born in the United Sates is a native-born citizen. Also, anyone who is born of American parents visiting or living in a foreign country, and is registered by those parents with the nearest U.S. consulate or Embassy, becomes a “native-born” citizen, though not born in U.S. territory. The child thus enjoys dual citizenship as a native-born in both the country of birth and the U.S.

READER’S EDITORIAL: TIME FOR OVERSIGHT OF PREDATOR DRONES

Unmaned predator drones are now used for surveillance here in the U.S. and abroad

By Dave Patterson

September 12, 2012 (Poway)--Every Thursday afternoon one can see a demonstration at the General Atomics plant in Poway, home of the Predator drone.  The demonstrators are from the San Diego Veterans For Peace and their supporters, with the goal of enlightening the public on the desperate need for oversight regarding drone technology.

The Predator drone is flying over 16 countries now, loosing weapons over Yemen, Somalia and Pakistan.  The kill statistics would be unacceptable in any conflict but are somehow overlooked because we are at war with terrorism. 

READER’S EDITORIAL: DIVORCE? YES. FROM GUHSD? NO.

By Lou Russo

September 11, 2012 (Alpine) -- East County has recently been treated to columns by Bill Weaver and Sal Casamassima on the need for a “divorce” from the Grossmont Union High School District (GUHSD) by the citizens who desire a new high school be built in Alpine. While I agree a “divorce” is necessary, those who truly desire a high school be built in Alpine should file divorce papers against the Alpine High School Citizens Committee (AHSCC) and the past/present chairs, e.g. Bill and Sal. Thinking it a good idea to follow the recommendations of the AHSCC is akin to trusting Sacramento’s work on your household budget. 

READER’S EDITORIAL: IT’S TIME FOR A DIVORCE FROM GROSSMONT

By Sal Casamassima, Chair of the Alpine High School Citizens Committee

September 3, 2012 (Alpine)--Divorce is a traumatic and difficult subject that many folks have to deal with in their lives.  However, it is often the only path that can be taken when one spouse becomes abusive and deceitful to the other. 

There is no better metaphor than divorce to describe what must be done by the Alpine Union School District (AUSD) to escape the abusive and deceitful relationship it has with the Grossmont Union High School District (GUHSD).

READER’S EDITORIAL: ALPINE & BLOSSOM VALLEY HIGH SCHOOL— HS 12 – FIVE FOCUS AREAS

By  Bill Weaver Alpine Blossom Valley High

September 4,2012 (Alpine)--Let's help to dispel ill-fated news on a 12th high school in Alpine (HS12) by a "Focus", on the "Top Five HS12 Myths", Let's demystify the most commonly tossed-about HS12 less-than-honest rumors;

#1) We [GUHSD] are in declining enrollment.

>> Irrelevant; The high schools directly affected by the HS12, have now been, "De-Mythed" by a GUHSD Boundary Committee. BC reports, charts & demographic data show that the entire GUHSD will benefit by HS12, which will bring hundreds of new students back to the GUHSD, and several million($) in new CA ADA funding back.

EDITORIAL: WHEN “GREEN” IS ONLY GREENWASHING

 

 
By Nadin Abbott
 
August 25, 2012 (San Diego's East County) -- Watching activists defend "green wind energy" as if it was the only solution turns my stomach. It is like talking to a wall. Facts, and there are facts, make little difference. Green energy is nice and green energy is good, go blindly hug a wind turbine, seems to be the message.
 
So let me ask these same activists: should Pattern Energy, a division of the Carlyle group, target the Rosecrans National Cemetery for development? How dare I suggest this? Well, it's windy there, in fact, probably more so than Ocotillo.

 

EDITORIAL: RESIDENTS COUNTYWIDE SHOULD URGE SUPERVISORS TO BAN WIND TURBINES IN FIRE-PRONE REGIONS

 

County Democrats gut fire protection resolution, while Republican supervisors also fail to protect County residents from wind turbine fires

By Miriam Raftery

August 24, 2012 (San Diego's East County)--The San Diego Democratic Central Committee this week passed a measure calling on County Supervisors to increase firefighting resources-- but removed a key provision that would have urged lawmakers to ban wind turbines in fire-prone East County.  

Wind turbines have been responsible for starting hundreds of fires around the world, including wildfires, but firefighters cannot fight a fire burning in a 500-foot-tall wind turbine whirling off burning debris. With Supervisors poised to approve a wind ordinance opening the door to numerous turbines in the backcountry, the vote was a major disappointment to residents concerned about the clear threat to public safety posed by wind turbines in our fire-prone region.

READER’S EDITORIAL: COUNTY FIRE POLICY: LET IT BURN

 

 
San Diego County will unnecessarily lose hundreds of homes to wildfires this fall: An open letter to Cities' Councilmen, Supervisors, local State legislators, and activist groups
 
By John Scanlon
 
August 13, 2012 (San Diego)-- The Problem – We are past due for a repeat of the major fires in 2003 and 2007. There is an abundance of fuel in the back country after five years w/o a major fire. We are now in a very active fire season. July was the hottest it has been in the lower 48 since 1895. We continue to be grossly underfunded and under-prepared at all levels to handle another catastrophic fire season.

 

READER'S EDITORIAL: CALIFORNIA TO BUSINESSES - 'HERE'S YOUR HAT, WHAT'S YOUR HURRY?'

By Assemblyman Brian Jones
 
 
August 10, 2012 (San Diego’s East County)--Have you ever sat down with friends to enjoy a meal at a restaurant, only to be handed the bill before you have even taken your first bite? Maybe the server mentioned you could pay at your convenience, but still signaled that it was “time to go?”
 
In other words: “Here’s your hat, what’s your hurry?”

EDITORIAL: TELL SUPERVISORS TO JUST SAY “NO” TOMORROW TO TULE WIND & OTHER DESTRUCTIVE ENERGY PROJECTS

 

Contact all supervisors through the links below

Supervisors' hearing 9 am Wed., 1600 Pacific Coast Highway downtown

By Miriam Raftery, Editor

August 7, 2012 (San Diego’s East County)--Please join me today in taking action to preserve the character of our communities, the beauty of our region, and the safety of people across San Diego County who may be imperiled by another horrific wildfire.

READER'S EDITORIAL: SDG&E EXCLUDES FIRE SURVIVORS AND LOW-INCOME PEOPLE FROM FIRE MITIGATION GRANTS

Meeting August 7 in Deerhorn Valley on fire mitigation funds

By Kim Hamilton, Editor, Deerhorn Valley Antler

August 6, 2012 (Deerhorn Valley)--We are now well into a perilous fire season. SDG&E, in its guise as the “Sunrise Powerlink Fire Mitigation Group,” has notified some 1,300 at-risk homeowners along the Powerlink that they are “potentially qualified to receive grant funds for the creation of defensible space or structure hardening...” Up to $2,000 per parcel is being made available on a yearly basis. Make no mistake: this is not done out of the goodness of their hearts. Nor will it eliminate the increased danger we now face from Powerlink. It was simply a requirement for approval. A “partial mitigation.”

We, the at-risk and soon-to-be-crushed (as our Governor threatened last week), need answers to some serious questions about these “grants”:

READER’S EDITORIAL: FLUSH THE WATER BOARD! CANDIDATES NEEDED TO CLEAN UP HELIX DISTRICT

By Kristin Kjaero

August 1, 2012 (La Mesa)--The deadline to run for Helix Water District Board is August 10 and no challengers have returned papers. We need good candidates to replace incumbents!

This is the Board that CalAware forced to redo a rate hike for Brown Act violations.

The bright spot on this rubberstamp board, Kathleen Hedberg, is the only director to ask questions or appear to understand materials. The others exude paternalistic arrogance and dismiss anyone speaking at public meetings. Their vindictiveness towards Hedberg for not being “their kind” of team player led them to muzzle requests for information, skip her turn as board vice president and remove her from outside boards.

READER'S EDITORIAL: JOIN PETITION DRIVE FOR ALPINE HIGH SCHOOL TO BE BUILT THROUGH UNIFICATION OF AUSD

By Bill Weaver
 
July 30, 2012 (Alpine) -- An Alpine School District Unification Drive Has Begun. It is predicted that if the Grossmont Union High School District (GUHSD) itself builds an Alpine High School, there will be millions of dollars that will be gained by the GUHSD, via a recovery of current LOST students, and some gained new students. If the GUHSD does not build it, and the Alpine Unified School District does, these millions from new student revenues will flow into the Alpine Unified School District (AUSD).

EDITORIAL: THE PEOPLE OUR GOVERNOR WANTS TO “CRUSH”

 

By Miriam Raftery, Editor

July 27, 2012 (San Diego’s East County)--Standing on a former mountaintop blasted away to build the new Suncrest Substation, Governor Jerry Brown yesterday  praised completion of  the 117-mile Sunrise Powerlink high voltage lines—and denigrated 79,000 citizens who have fought against destroying our communities and scenic vistas.

“You have to crush the opposition,”  the Governor said forcefully, after joking that there were more dignitaries inside the celebration than people protesting down the street.

His words are unbecoming of our state’s highest official and an insult to the hard-working people of our region, most of whom couldn’t afford to take off work and attend a protest rally during the work day in this remote spot.  But their concerns are valid, heartfelt and deserve serious consideration, not hate or derision.

Let me tell you about some of those people our Governor wants to “crush.”

Recent Editorials

Electricity Supply and Price Security, Solving Global Warming and Why the Proposed Sunrise Power Link is Not Part of the Answer

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 ratepayer’s dollars into SDG&E/SEMPRA’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

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