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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: 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.”

READER’S EDITORIAL: SHOCKWAVES-- MASTERS SHOULD BE FIRED IF INVESTIGATION PROVES J.P. MORGAN ENGAGED IN ENRON-STYLE POWER MARKET MANIPULATION

 
by Tyson Slocum, Director of Public Citizen’s Energy Program
 
July 22, 2012 (San Diego’s East County)--J.P. Morgan Ventures Energy Corporation is under investigation for practices that may have resulted in overcharging consumers $73 million or more on their household utility bills. J.P. Morgan Ventures Energy Corp. operates under the oversight of JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s head of global commodities, Blythe Masters.

READER’S EDITORIAL: TELLING IT LIKE IT IS—A SELF-SUSTAINING FUTURE FOR OUR REGION AND OUR WORLD

A Jim Bell & Common Sense Commentary
 
“My vision is to gracefully transform the San Diego/Tijuana Regional economy, now 98% dependent on imported energy and 90% dependent on imported water and food -- into an economy that is prosperous and completely renewable, energy, water and food self-sufficient. Accomplishing this is our best chance to leave our children and future generations a life-support sustaining future. Becoming renewable energy, water and food self-sufficient in our region will also serve as a model that can be emulated around the world.” –Jim Bell.
  
July 20, 2012 (San Diego) -- We humans are something special and rare.
 
In spite of there being an estimated 5 million to 100 million species of life on our planet -- our species is the only one that lives and makes a living in ways that hurt our local and global life-support systems.

EDITORIAL: DON’T LET GOVERNMENT GROUPS HIDE THEIR AGENDAS

Take these steps to restore Brown Act protections at state and local levels

By Miriam Raftery, Editor, East County Magazine

July 18, 2012 (San Diego’s East County) – Criticism is mounting over the state’s suspension of Brown Act protections, which have long required local government boards to provide at least 72 hours public notice of meeting agendas.

After some agencies submitted inflated bills to the state for reimbursement of notification costs, the Legislature recklessly suspended public notice requirements to save money--giving public agencies a license to hide their agendas.

ECM has invoked the Brown Act to force local boards to postpone meetings and reverse actions after they failed to provide notice required by the Brown Act. Any individual or media outlet that has requested to be notified of a board’s meetings has a right to do the same.

What’s being done to restore open government protections—and how can you help?

WE NEED TO KEEP OPEN MEETING RULES

 

July 17, 2012 (San Diego)--The Brown Act is the state’s open meeting law that requires local governments to prepare and post agendas for public meetings and disclose decisions made in closed meetings. The state will reimburse the entities required to comply with the Brown Act for the costs associated with these requirements because they are considered to be a state mandate.

When the state budget was adopted, the money to reimburse those costs was cut from the budget. Since the requirement to post meeting agendas is considered a mandate, and the mandate was suspended, so was the requirement to continue posting public meeting agendas.

Open meetings would mean little without public notice of where and when they are scheduled and what business is to be addressed, or if actions taken after deliberation in closed session were never to be revealed.

READER’S EDITORIAL: SOHO SUES TO SAVE BALBOA PARK – PUBLIC HELP IS NEEDED

 
By Helen Ofield, President Lemon Grove Historical Society
 
On July 9, in shocking disregard for 100 years of citizens' efforts to preserve Balboa Park and for their constituents' pleas to reject the Jacobs Plan -- pleas made over more than six hours of testimony -- the San Diego City Council voted 6 - 1 in favor of the costly, destructive Jacobs Plan.  The lone holdout and sole voice for the people was Sherri Lightner (sherrilightner@sandiego.gov), who showed leadership in her elected duty to protect and serve the public.  By contrast, her colleagues on the council caved to Jacobs/Sanders machine in an embarrassing display of forelock-tugging toadyism. 

READER’S EDITORIAL: TOO LITTLE, TOO LATE: SDG&E FAILS TO PROVIDE MITIGATION FUNDS FOR FIRE SEASON—AFTER ENERGIZING POWERLINK AND RAISING FIRE DANGER

 

By Catherine Gorka, Lakeside

July 10, 2012 (Lakeside)--Many residents of the East County /back county have received a letter from the Sunrise Powerlink Fire Mitigation Grants Program telling us about the  grant program. 

The funds for  this program should have been given out prior to the line being energized.  Instead, funds if approved will not be given out till work is done, and grant money will not even be approved until the end of August -- well into high fire danger season.  

READERS’ EDITORIAL: SAVE BALBOA PARK: COUNCIL TO VOTE MONDAY ON DESTRUCTIVE PLAN

By Jeanne Brown, Co-president, League of Women Voters of San Diego

July 7, 2012 (San Diego)--Monday afternoon, July 9, the future of Balboa Park may be changed forever. At that time, the City Council will take testimony and debate the merits of the Plaza de Panama proposal. While the central purpose of this proposal is to remove cars from the Plaza de Panama, which has nearly unanimous support, this particular plan is unnecessarily aggressive, disruptive and expensive. How ironic that we would celebrate the centennial  of our beloved park by ruining its historic beauty.

Because of the extravagant public relations effort and pressure from the Mayor’s office to circumvent certain approval procedures, the citizens of San Diego, the owners of this park, have been misled. Most do not realize that:

READER’S EDITORIAL: 10 POINTS FOR DENIAL ON JULY 19 TO SAVE MISSION TRAILS REGIONAL PARK

 

By Stephen Goldfarb

July 4, 2012, 2012 (San Diego’s East County)--Ten points clarify why an initiation to amend the community plan and rezone from open space to industrial should be denied by the San Diego Planning Commission at the July 19th hearing.  Rezoning, if approved, would allow construction of the Quail Brush gas power plant near Mission Trails Regional Park.

READER’S EDITORIAL: TRANS-PACIFIC PARTNERSHIP: GUTTING AMERICAN ENVIRONMENTAL, HEALTH, TRANSPORTATION, COMMUNICATION, LAND USE, COPYRIGHT, AND LABOR LAWS

 
A Better World is Possible co-organizer speaks out
 
By Norrie Robbins
 
July 4, 2012 (San Diego) -- When a democratic country loses its ability to write and enforce environmental, health, transportation, communication, land use, copyright, and labor laws, it loses its sovereignty.  

READER'S EDITORIAL: TAKE ACTION TO STOP INSURANCE RATE HIKES

 By Dave Jones, California Insurance Commissioner

July 2, 2012 (Sacramento) -- The Supreme Court decision regarding the Affordable Care Act was good news for Californians. It means that Californians with health insurance will continue to enjoy the its  benefits. Now we can move forward with reforms to provide health insurance to those without it. 
 
There continues to be a major missing reform in the Affordable Care Act, however. There is still no authority to reject excessive health insurance and HMO rate hikes. And without this reform, rates for individuals, families, and businesses will keep climbing.

 

READER’S EDITORIAL: AB 2109 WILL REQUIRE DOCTOR’S SIGNATURE FOR PARENTS TO REFUSE CHILD VACCINATIONS

 

 
By Joel A. Harrison, PhD, MPH
 
“I see no difference between not vaccinating one’s child, thus putting at risk other children, and leaving a loaded gun lying around the house...”—Joel Harrison
 
July 2, 2012 (San Diego)--Parents and some doctors are up in arms about a law currently being debated in Sacramento. The new law would require "a written statement signed by a health care practitioner that indicates that the practitioner provided the parent with information regarding the benefits and risks of the immunization and the health risks of specified communicable diseases."  Some parents see this as an intrusion into their right to make decisions regarding their children.

 

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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