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 Laurie Baker
December 4, 2012 (McCain Valley) -- This is a warning for those who escape to Cottonwood Campground in McCain Valley for a tranquil and refreshing experience to explore the Great Outdoors: Your days of enjoyment are numbered. Wind turbines will soon be invading the area just like the ones in Ocotillo. The Sunrise Powerlink already obliterates the natural beauty along parts of the 13-mile dirt road to the remote campground. Building 450-foot tall wind turbines a little more than 1,000 feet away from it will completely destroy its appeal altogether.
By Daniel J. Smiechowski
December 3, 2012 (San Diego)--Locally in San Diego, as well as nationally, the Republican Party is on its way to the Land of Oz. We're not in Kansas anymore, says Dorothy to Toto. Federalists and Whigs and Republicans, oh my! Yes Wizard, demographics do count and America's GOP better not hide behind the curtain.
By Patrick Osio
December 1, 2012 (San Diego)--The election of Bob Filner as Mayor of San Diego can have positive trans-border economic growth with his plan of San Diego’s opening an office in Tijuana for direct and timely communications with that city’s mayor, other city and state officials and business and community leaders. It's long overdue.
To be sure, the idea of closer cooperation between the cities of San Diego and Tijuana have been important with former San Diego mayors as most recently exemplified by Mayor Jerry Sanders who had a strong and amicable relationship with the former and present Tijuana mayors. Going back to Pete Wilson who worked closely with Tijuana city, state and federal agencies on the location of the Otay Mesa Port of Entry, and Susan Golding establishing a direct telephone (Red Line) between her office and then Mayor of Tijuana, Hector Osuna Jaime, after the devastating El Niño storms that crippled Tijuana’s economy.
By Miriam Raftery, Editor
December 1, 2012 (San Diego’s East County)--I looked forward to a debut last night of the Far East Project, which promised to showcase photos, art, poetry and essays telling the stories of East County. Sadly, the resulting book, The Far East Project: Everything Just as it is, fails to live up to its promises to show the "soul" of East County. While some of the writers clearly have talent, the book's slanted approach overall is offensive.
Our assistant editor, Mayan Avitable, a retired educator, was equally aghast when she first saw the book and photos displayed at last night's event. “I’ve lived in East County for over 50 years and this is not the East County that I know,” she stated.
The project was funded by San Diego Foundation, an organization that in the past has done great good, including helping firestorm victims in East County. The project claims to capture the “uneasy beauty” of East County. But instead, the book published under direction of Justin Hudnall, Editor Mindy Solis and So Say We All fails to live up to its expectations. It highlights overwhelmingly the seamiest elements of our region, reinforcing seemingly every negative stereotype that East County residents have long strived to overcome.
By Terry Weiner, Desert Protective Council
November 23, 2012 (San Diego)—There is a real danger that Production Tax Credits (PTCs) for industrial wind projects will be extended. They are due to expire at year’s end, but Congress may vote soon on a proposal to extend those credits. Extension of PTCs could be surreptitiously attached as a rider to the upcoming congressional budget bill.
If you want to protect our mountains, deserts, scenic and rural areas, wildlife and Native American cultural sites, please join me immediately in asking your members of Congress not to renew tax credits for these large-scale projects remote from places where the energy will be used.
There are much cleaner, less destructive, more efficient ways to meet our nation’s energy needs!
By Lynne Jennings, Board President, San Diego Guild of Puppetry
November 5, 2012 (San Diego)--To our dismay, we discovered last week that our small, hard working, non-profit has been unjustly portrayed for months in Steve Danon's campaign for SD County Board of Supervisors Seat #3. Although it is clear that he does not feel the arts are worthy of funding(as is his right), he has for some reason made our small arts organization a prime target on his website and in the media. A refrain he has repeated over and over again has been: "No more $10,000 taxpayer paid funds to the San Diego Guild of Puppetry”. Since we were mentioned specifically in E.A.Barrera's May 23, 2012 article, “Danon Seeks to Shake Up a Stagnant Board of Supervisors” We hope you will help us set the record straight and let your readers know who we really are, what we actually do, why we were worthy of the one time $10,000 grant we received from the Board of Supervisors in 2004, and why we are worthy of continued funding.
By Eleanora Robbins
“This is where Doug Manchester has decided to build high rise buildings, right on liquefiable soils.”
November 3, 2012 (San Diego)--Italy isn’t the only place making dumb decisions over earthquake prediction. Here in San Diego, never-ending broken utility lines and stinky sewers are occurring because our local and state government officials have suspended their responsibility for oversight of development on known and suspected faults downtown. Surprisingly, the City and Port of San Diego actually funded studies of downtown faults but refuse to release them. The reason? They probably don't want to turn down potential development money and the resulting property taxes.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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