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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: 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.

 

READER’S EDITORIAL: THE SQUAWK OVER BACKYARD CHICKENS

 
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.

SANTEE POWER PLANT: TO BE, OR NOT TO BE

 
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.)

READER'S EDITORIAL: WHY SMART METER OPT-OUTS SHOULD BE FREE

 

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.

READER’S EDITORIAL: NOTHING BOLD, NOTHING NEW

 
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 targetpublic unions.

READER’S EDITORIAL: CHAMBER TAKES OFFICIAL POSITIONS ON KEY STATE LEGISLATION

 
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.

READER’S EDITORIAL: WHO WAS STANDING HIS GROUND? THE CASE OF TRAYVON MARTIN

 
“…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.

READER’S EDITORIAL: COUNCIL MEMBER EMERALD QUESTIONS PROP A IMPACT ON CITY PARKS, PUBLIC SAFETY

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.

EDITORIAL: KEEPING FAITH WITH VIETNAM VETERANS

 

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.

READER’S EDITORIAL: REFLECTIONS ON THE HOMEOWNER’S BILL OF RIGHTS

 

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). 

READER'S EDITORIAL: WE CAN CUT DEFENSE SPENDING WISELY--AND BE SAFER AT HOME


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.

READER’S EDITORIAL: IT’S TIME FOR SAN DIEGANS TO STEP UP AND REJECT DIVISIVE ELECTION YEAR POLITICS

 
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.

READER’S EDITORIAL: PROTECTING OUR NATURAL RESOURCES

 
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. 

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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