By Sue Strohm, Advocates for Safe Airport Policies (ASAP) Steering Committee
October 24, 2012 (El Cajon)--Over the next year or so (over the objection of large numbers of County residents) the County Airports system will initially be digging up the former El Cajon Speedway and turning 21.5 acres (of the approved 70 acre parcel) of County airport land into the Cajon Flight Center.
By David Secor, candidate, 50th Congressional District
October 12, 2012 (San Diego’s East County)--For women, and men who love them, their choice for Congress in District 50 could not be more important. Our Congressman, Duncan D. Hunter, is committed to denying basic rights to women, our daughters and granddaughters. Rights won after over a century of struggle.
This “Duncan Hunter” is the son of Duncan Hunter, well-known former Congressman. Unlike his father, this Duncan Hunter is not a real Republican, but an extremist ideologue bent on making his very personal religious views into federal law.
By Jim Pelley
Editor’s note: For months, ECM award-winning photographer and Ocotillo resident Jim Pelley has been documenting clouds of choking dust at Pattern Energy’s construction site for Ocotillo Express wind energy, where citizen monitors have routinely reported construction without water trucks present and twice resulted in fines on the developer for dust violations. In this editorial, Pelley asks why the problem continues, raising serious questions for public officials who are supposed to protect public health. The closest turbine is just 1500 feet from Pelley’s home.
October 9, 2012 --I have been told that they can make dust on this project site as long it is not over 20% opacity for three minutes. If there are a hundred trucks making 15% opacity dust all long day long I don’t understand why this is acceptable, because at the end of the day there are large amounts of dust in the air, it’s very easy to see.
By Rick Alexander
October 11, 2012 (San Diego’s East County)--As a vet I’m ticked. This great nation has vowed, rightfully so, to never again treat its veterans the way we were treated during the Vietnam Era. But now it seems that if a special interest group wants anything from government or the electorate they simply attach the “veteran” label to the request, whether it is a significant part of the program or not. As vets, we have gone from being abused to used. Better, but still not good.
"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.
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!
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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”:
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 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
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?
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: 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.
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 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