The opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of East County Magazine.
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.
By Miriam Raftery, Editor
April 5, 2012 (San Diego’s East County)--When ENRON schemed to manipulate markets and defraud ratepayers, its executives went to jail. BP faces billions of dolalrs in fines for causing the Gulf Oil spill. When automobile manufacturers sold cars with dangerous defects that killed people, it was their shareholders who paid the price. A lost hunter convicted of accidentally starting the Cedar Fire with a flare gun also spent time in jail.
Why, then, should SDG&E and its publicly traded parent company, Sempra Energy, expect local ratepayers to pay for its uninsured liability costs for the wildfires that it caused, while its executives get off scott free?
By Diane Conklin
Speak out at Thursday’s CPUC hearing on SDG&E scheme to make you pay for wildfires that it caused
April 4, 2012 (San Diego) -- As you are probably by now aware, SDG&E is trying to get the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) to make you pay for their future uninsured wildfire costs for fires they start, and including the past 2007 fires: Witch, Guejito and Rice. For those fires they want $594 million from their customer’s collective pocket, which works out to about $350 a meter.
Why it's time to end subsidies for the wind industry
March 28, 2012 (San Diego’s East County) -- In the first part of this wind industry cover-up story, it was pointed out how California Condors were trapped from the wild in the mid 1980s as an emergency response to save the quickly disappearing population from thousands of turbines that had been placed in the Tehachapi Pass region.
What is not known is that during this same period of time in the 1980s, tens of thousands of other birds also perished at California wind farms. If one chooses not to believe any of this, then knowing how the industry responded in 1989 should convince anybody about the ongoing 28 year mortality cover-up by the wind industry.
Editor’s note: On March 28 at 9 .a.m. the San Diego Board of Supervisors will vote on recommendations made by its Red Tape Reduction Task Force, including potentially eliminating or weakening community planning groups, as well as eliminating the county’s Resource Protection Ordinance.
By Patsy Fritz, Pauma Valley
Dear Chairman Roberts and Honorable Members of the Board:
By Susan Brinchman
March 25, 2012, (San Diego's East County) -- On April 1, 2012, an event called East County Earth Day will be held at Mt. Helix Park, billed as a "free, family-friendly event [that] invites residents of East County to experience a local perspective on Earth-friendly practices". The event underwriter is San Diego Gas & Electric, according to the Mt. Helix Park Foundation website. While I commend those who planned the event, I suggest that an event underwriter should have been found that has a record of being Earth-friendly.
“The next time you decide to write a story like this one, I have a suggestion. Go bite a dog." -- Bill Horn staffer Anita Lightfoot, in an e-mail to Valley Roadrunner editor David Ross
By Miriam Raftery
March 24, 2012 (San Diego) – On Wednesday, March 28 at 9 a.m., Supervisors will vote on whether to abolish community planning groups or radically reduce their powers. Proposals made by developers on a "Red Tape Reduction Task Force: include making planning groups pay for appealing County decision, taking away liability insurance for volunteer community planners, and more.
Editor's note: Assemblyman Brian Jones has issued the following response to Ms. Disenhouse's editorial: “To give a small group of people a monopoly over deciding what is true or false does a great disservice to public debate in this country. Those who believe Lord Monckton has his facts wrong are welcome to continue in that belief, but he is still entitled to participate in this critical debate. As someone who does not blindly accept conclusions arrived at without conclusive evidence, I am more than happy to accommodate Mr. Monckton sharing his point of view.”
By Masada Disenhouse
March 23, 2012 (San Diego)--It is ironic that freshman Assemblyman Brian Jones has chosen this Saturday, March 24 to emcee one of the world’s most egregious actors on the climate denial stage – after a winter of broken heat records. Regardless of your opinions on climate change, sponsoring an inflammatory charlatan such as self-titled Lord Christopher Monckton is offensive to many in San Diego County.
By Monique La Chappa, Chairwoman, Campo band of Mission Indians
March 17, 2012 (Campo)--Wind power is making a difference. As a local source of clean energy, it reduces our dependence on foreign oil while also reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Wind power creates American jobs, and perhaps most important for the Campo Band, it is providing revenue and economic diversification so that members of our Tribe can have a better quality of life.
By Patrick Osio
March 16, 2012 (San Diego County) -- Surely the Republican Party knows that it will be most difficult to occupy the White House without a significant percentage of Hispanic votes. Why then are two of the leading candidates seeking the nomination taking such anti-Hispanic positions, particularly front runner Mitt Romney? Romney must know that his flip-flops on positions affecting the Hispanic community are disconcerting and unsympathetic to the feelings of the great majority of Hispanics throughout the country.
By Connie Frankowiak, candidate, 50th Congressional District
March 14, 2012 (Julian)--The U.S. soldier who had that mental breakdown and killed all those Afghans reveals what happens when men are given long tours of combat duty one after another without enough leave time. The soldier involved already had a serious brain injury and was displaying serious mental problems and should have been in a veterans hospital receiving intensive care instead of a combat zone.
By Jim Wiegand
March 14, 2012 (San Diego’s East County)--A recent study from Spain estimates bird mortality to be 6-18 million birds and bats annually from their 18,000 installed wind turbines with an installed capacity of 20,676 MW. This works out to a staggering total of 333-1000 birds and bats per turbine or 290-871 mortalities per MW for wind energy in Spain. In America, on the AWEA web site the reported bird death rate from wind turbines is 2.9 fatalities per MW.
By Faith Attaguile
Not if Ramona resident Dave Patterson has his way
March 12, 2012 (San Diego’s East County)--A member of Vietnam Veterans for Peace, Mr. Patterson joined about 300 activists yesterday coming up from San Diego, down the coast from Eureka, and across the ocean from Japan. They converged at the San Onofre nuclear power plant for two reasons.
One was to commemorate the one-year anniversary of the March 11, 2011 earthquake, tsunami and Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant disaster.
The other was to demand the permanent shutdown of the San Onofre nuclear power plant.
By Susan Brinchman
Director and Founder, Center for Electrosmog Prevention
March 11, 2012 (San Diego)--What can be done to gain an opt-out from smart meters here in San Diego and Orange Counties? The CPUC is dragging its heels in "granting permission" for one in our region. They may do so by June, our attorney learned recently. That is not good enough. It is not set and it is not definite. Why? Well, for one thing, few people in our county know about the smart meter problem due to lack of media coverage and no activism that is newsworthy here such as protests; even fewer have taken steps to show the CPUC we want an opt-out.
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