The opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of East County Magazine.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
By Gretchen Anderson
June 29, 2012 (El Cajon )--Three cheers to the El Cajon City Council for its recent decision to give backyard hen keeping a try. El Cajon residents spoke and the city listened. The fight to keep backyard chickens began in 2004, when the people of Madison, Wisconsin took on the city for the right to legally keep hens.
So what’s the big deal? Why are so many people keen on backyard hen keeping? Aside from the superior eggs, natural pest control and nitrogen rich fertilizer, people keep backyard poultry for three main reasons: economics, property rights and food security.
By David Secor, Candidate, 50th Congressional District
June 19, 2012 (Santee) -- Oh, NO! Shakespeare? No, this isn’t Hamlet’s question, it’s ours.
Will the people, the businesses, and the local governments who all know it’s the right thing to do, stand up and take the actions necessary to stop the proposed Quail Brush power plant. (In what follows, I borrowed the italicized words from Bill.)
By Susan Brinchman
June 15, 2012 (La Mesa)--It has been one month since the opt-out officially began for SDG&E customers. The beginning appeared "rocky", with misinformation and long waits on the phone reported by customers wishing to opt-out. People who decry smart meters are understandably upset with the costs, and this has led to many not wishing to opt-out. Those who don't know why an opt-out might be desirable become very disinterested when they hear of the costs. It is important to know that an email has surfaced (through FOIA submitted by another party) from the CPUC to CA utility contacts that suggested fixing a penalty-type fee for opting out, in order to discourage people from opting out. PG&E reportedly conducted surveys to determine how many might opt-out if there was such a fee, at varying amounts. If free, 40% would opt-out.
By Dave Patterson, Ramona
June 10, 2012 (Ramona)--The seminal message delivered at the Ramona School board meeting on June 7 was that the problem is the unions. While concessions from the unions will certainly be part of it, the real solution is much more complex. Too bad that the administration and all but one of the school board members were willing to turn away from the reality, and instead cast a stone at a politically reliable target: public unions.
By Scott Alevy, President & CEO, San Diego East County Chamber of Commerce
June 6, 2012 (San Diego’s East County)--One of the most important services the San Diego East County Chamber of Commerce offers to our members (and the entire business community) is our advocacy on local, state and federal legislative issues. We are proud to serve as the voice of the business community in East County, and take that responsibility seriously.
“…The Florida Stand-Your-Ground law should be applied such that any injuries sustained by Zimmerman were the result of Martin’s standing his ground, not the reverse. However, Americans in general should question the very premise of such laws”.—Joel A. Harrison
By Joel A. Harrison, PhD, MPH
June 3, 2012 (San Diego) -- By now most people know the basic facts of the Trayvon Martin case. On February 26, George Zimmerman, member of a neighborhood watch, spotted Martin entering a gated community where Martin and his father were visiting the father’s fiancée. Martin was returning from purchasing Skittles at a local convenience store and was talking with his girlfriend on his cell phone.
June 1, 2012 (San Diego) – “San Diegans do love their parks, but our parks could be at risk if Prop A passes,” begins District 7 Councilmember Marti Emerald in a taped statement released today by the No on Proposition A campaign. Emerald cautions San Diego voters against voting for the measure, which State Controller John Chiang, State Treasurer Bill Lockyer, San Diego’s Independent Budget Analyst and Fitch Ratings Company have all stated will cost the City of San Diego hundreds of millions of dollars each year.
By President Barack Obama
May 28, 2012 (Washington D.C.) -- Today, all across America, we’re coming together to remember our men and women in uniform who gave their lives so that we could live free. In town squares and national cemeteries, in moments of quiet reflection and parades down city streets, we’ll pay tribute to all those who gave the last full measure of their devotion, from Lexington and Concord to Iraq and Afghanistan.
This Memorial Day also holds special significance because it marks the beginning of the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War.
By Grey Feathers
May 24, 2012 (San Diego)--Antonio and Africa have lived in this house for twelve years. It is the only home their four children have ever known. Antonio bought the house from Africa’s father in 2005. When faced with difficult financial hardship due to the crashed economy and medical bills, they went to their lender to negotiate in good faith.
Antonio works in construction and Africa has a business she runs from her home office. They were late on just one mortgage payment by 60 days, and ultimately made the payment. They learned there were government programs like the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) and the Principal Reduction Alternative (PRA).
By Michael Benoit, Libertarian candidate for Congress, 50th District
May 25, 2012 (San Diego's East County)--Most Americans know we have to cut government spending, but how to do that is a difficult question. Some say we can’t cut any military spending, but is that true? Most ex-service men and women I know say there is more than ten percent waste in that budget.
Let’s start with the fundamentals. We must keep our citizens safe from external attacks. And we must have a military that fits the purpose of the USA.
By Pat Zaharopoulos, President of the Middle-Class Tax Payers Association
May 24, 2012 (San Diego) -- Not long ago the public praised San Diego firefighters and other first-responders for protecting our lives and property from the wildfires that raged across our county. Today the taxpaying public stands to lose as all of our city employees are being pushed aside by politicians attempting to further their own ambitions with ballot Proposition B.
By Dave Roberts, Supervisorial Candidate, Third District
May 21, 2012 (San Diego)--I understand the importance of preserving our environment, coastline, lagoons, and open spaces while fostering an economic climate that puts people to work. As a candidate for County Supervisor in the Third District and as the Deputy Mayor of the City of Solana Beach, it has been one of my top priorities to protect our precious natural resources and do so in a balanced way. For those reasons I have been endorsed by the Sierra Club, U.S. Green Chamber of Commerce, the League of Conservation Voters and the friends of the San Dieguito River Valley.
By Scott Alevy
President & CEO, East County Chamber of Commerce
May 17, 2012 (San Diego’s East County)--One of the most important services the San Diego East County Chamber of Commerce offers to the entire business community is our ongoing advocacy, including ballot initiatives and legislative issues. We are proud to serve as the voice of the business community in East County, and take that responsibility seriously.
East County Chamber opposes Prop 29, which would increase taxes on cigarettes
How did the number of homes powered by the Ocotillo wind project get reduced to just one-fifth of what Pattern has been promising?
By Jim Pelley
May 12, 2012 (Ocotillo)--Pattern Energy does a very good job deceiving the people. For example, all throughout the Ocotillo Wind Energy Project process Pattern Energy has been making statements deceiving the press, public and officials about the number of homes this facility will produce power for. Pattern’s website states: “The project will produce enough clean and renewable wind energy to serve more than 130,000 households a year. http://www.patternenergy.com/media/news/announcements/ocotillo_011312
County gets zero benefits for putting residents at risk
By Joe Asciutto
The approval for the projected Coyote Wells / Wind Zero Para-Military training facility, in the Nomirage area of Ocotillo, CA, has now been rescinded. Along with that goes the false hope that this facility would create a large number of jobs for the residents of Imperial County. Some people are elated about the rescinding and some are not, but whichever side you are on, almost everyone lost in this ordeal.
By Joseph Asciutto, El Cajon
“If the current City retirement system is allowed to change, and the politicians then rape the retirement fund (like they did to Social Security) the citizens of San Diego will be in for massive financial problems in the form of unfunded liabilities.”
May 7, 2012 (San Diego)--I am a retired San Diego City firefighter and have followed the City's "retirement problem" since its genesis in the early 2000's. Very little of what is currently being disseminated is factual, and hopefully this letter will enlighten you so that others can also learn from your knowledge.
By Hugh Moore, El Cajon
San Diego County Green Party Treasurer
May 7, 2012 (San Diego)--In the case of the city against the six gay rights activists who were arrested in August of 2010 for “blocking access” to the office where people get marriage licenses I cannot understand how you can justify the expense of continuing to attempt prosecution.
By Jonathan Goetz, Karen Marie Otter, Bonnie B. Price, Ph.D. , Registered Principals of NO ON D
Prop D opens the door for corruption and reduces wages in a community with the highest poverty in San Diego County, opponents warn
May 7, 2012 (El Cajon)--Proponents of Proposition D have set forth an argument that identifies key provisions of the proposed charter. All purportedly seem to be beneficial to the citizens of El Cajon, especially when it comes to financial affairs.
By David Secor, candidate, 50th Congressional District
May 2, 2012 (San Diego’s East County)--When it comes to the current gridlock in Washington, average citizens are justifiably outraged as machine politicians refuse to take any meaningful actions. They ignore the voters who sent them to Washington, yet work day and night for the special-interests who funnel big money to their campaigns.
By Mary Moran
April 25, 2012 (Spring Valley)—Tonight at 6 p.m. the Board of Directors of the San Miguel Consolidated Fire District will vote on a Request for Proposal (RFP) for Cal-Fire to operate the fire district, which includes the communities of Rancho San Diego, Spring Valley, Jamul, Crest and parts of unincorporated La Mesa and El Cajon.
Fired-up San Miguel Fire District residents are urging the fire district to remain independent. Cal Fire is operated by the State of California. Residents have expressed deep concern over the nearly bankrupt State of California operating its fire district with its purported poor quality and lack of modern technology.
By Bonnie B. Price, PhD, and John Martes
April 24, 2012 (El Cajon) -- El Cajon is a city of 99,478, with 37,157 registered voters (4/6/12 SDROV). Democrats number 12,453, Republicans 14,416, and No Party Preference (NPP) 8,294. El Cajon is the poorest city in the county, with 30% of its population living at or below the poverty line. It is a multi-ethnic, multicultural city having this composition: 57% white, 28% Hispanic, 4% Asian & Pacific Islander, 6% Black, and 5% other. El Cajon’s population is 51% female and 49% male. (All population data are from the 2010 Census available at SANDAG.org.)
By Miriam Raftery, Editor, East County Magazine
April 23, 2012 (Ocotillo) – In San Diego earlier this month, the county's planning commission heeded concerns of residents, environmentalists, tribes and health experts who voiced alarm over harmful impacts of industrial wind turbines. Planners voted to postpone enacting a wind ordinance and more fully study the issues. Their remarks made clear that most planners had serious reservations about potential impacts on human health, wildlife, cultural resources, environment, character of rural communities and public lands. http://eastcountymagazine.org/node/9354
This was not the case with planners in Imperial County, who ignored a mountain of evidence as well as legitimate community concerns. Their zeal to rubberstamp a project that promises tax revenues and temporary jobs, along with renewable power, clearly came at the expense of public health and safety, protection of resources on public lands, and the long-held rights of Native Americans. http://eastcountymagazine.org/node/9173
Imperial Valley Supervisors should reverse their planning commission’s decision and reject Pattern Energy’s proposed Ocotillo Express wind project. Here are compelling reasons why.
By Art Lane
April 14, 2012 (El Cajon)--So just how independent will the San Diego Union-Tribune (now reincarnated as the “San Diego U-T”) be when it comes to covering news stories involving local real estate project developers? This whole question may be borne out in El Cajon in coming months, when the city council considers a proposal by Lakeside developer Neal Arthur to raze the historically management-and-fiscally troubled East County Performing Arts Center (ECPAC) and in its place build a four story, 107 room “luxury” (business class) hotel managed by Courtyard by Marriott.
By Bill Pape
April 12, 2012 (Jacumba)--I have lived in Jacumba for over twenty years. The Jacumba area has been economically depressed since interstate 8 was built approximately 45 years ago. What this area needs is JOBS. These projects will bring temporary and permanent JOBS. We need any and all JOBS created by these projects and all future projects.
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 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