“The elements for the perfect storm are falling into place.” – Ron Logan, ECM photographer, following recent arrests, support from labor, and a City Council protest that have fortified resolve in the Occupy San Diego movement
Story and photos by Ron Logan
October 30, 2011 (San Diego) – I've been following the Occupy Wall Street protests since they started – basically through the independent media since the corporate media didn't start covering it for about two weeks. So when Occupy came to San Diego, I was very interested in being there with my camera, shooting the early groundwork of what could be a major revolution—a nonviolent uprising to overthrow the status quo in American politics.
I promised myself early on that I would only be working as a photojournalist for this movement and that I would not be writing anything. What you are reading is the result of a broken promise. One cannot help being affected by attending the protests, feeling empathy with what is going on and the sheer frustration that the 99% feel.
Wal-Mart’s assault on its employees’ health is symptomatic of what ails America
By Bonnie Price, PhD
October 29, 2011 (La Mesa)--What’s happening to our nation? Why are thousands of demonstrators gathering in hundreds of parks and public places with signs and slogans proclaiming everything from, “I AM THE 99%!” to “They got bailed out; we got sold out!”
At Nov. 4 hearing, county planners should reject cell phone tower in heart of our small town
By Lisa Rene Anderson
October 27, 2011 (Julian)--On November 4th, 2011, the San Diego County Planning Commission will render their decision on whether to approve a proposed cell tower to be placed in the center of residential-zoned Shelter Valley, Julian- the tiny, dark sky-designated rural town at the edge of the Anza Borrego Desert State Park that I and my husband live in.
By Deanna Gullo, Secretary, Fair Trade San Diego
October 27, 2011 (La Mesa)--Even though the Tuesday October 11 vote before the La Mesa City Council did not result in the passage of a Fair Trade Town resolution, La Mesa Fair Trade and Fair Trade San Diego welcome this opportunity to further educate La Mesans and the larger San Diego community on what Fair Trade is as well as what it means it means to be a Fair Trade Town.
By Joel A. Harrison, PhD, MPH
By Kit-Bacon Gressitt
October 24, 2011 (San Diego)--On October 17, a group of Cal State University San Marcos (CSUSM) students, faculty, staff and community members sent an unusual letter to CSUSM President Karen Haynes and the Cal State system board of trustees. The letter requested that Haynes and the trustees break their silence and take action to ameliorate the hostile educational and work environment created by The Koala, a private, for-profit hate tabloid distributed at CSUSM since January 2011, at San Diego State University since 2004/2005, and at UC San Diego since 1982.
By Bobbi Brink
Lions, Tigers and Bears in Alpine
October 20, 2011 (Alpine)--Yesterday's tragedy at an exotic wild life farm in Zanesville, Ohio should serve as an urgent alarm for all of us that we need stronger regulations and a national data bank for all wild animals living in captivity. Nearly fifty animals - Bengal tigers, black bears, lions, wolves and others - were killed by police after a distraught private owner opened their cages, setting them loose.... and then killed himself.
By Connie Frankowiak
They are Americans who have lost their Republic, jobs, homes, businesses, health insurance and all hope because of the greed and corruption of the Robber Barons and their Stooges that have taken over their country.
Editor's Note: ECM received many complaints from readers in Alpine and Lakeside who are irate over Sunday helicopter flights for Sunrise Powerlink construction and say they were not informed. SDG&E says flights were authorized by the County for Sundays through November as well as on the Friday after Thanksgiving. Alpine Planning Group member Lou Russo and others have asked the County to revoke permission.
By Tom and Judy Myers
October 17, 2011 (Alpine)--Sunday should be a day of relaxation, a chance to regenerate our spirit and our psyche. Now more than ever, Alpiners need this. We have had our nerves jangled since the beginning of the year with all the construction banging and clanging in our once quiet and peaceful mountain town.
By Bonnie Burns Price, Ph.D.
By Assemblyman Brian Jones
"In this realignment, which I strongly opposed, inmates convicted of certain crimes that would have sent them to state prison will instead be housed in county correctional facilities. What the Governor and those who voted for his plan failed to realize is the fact that many of the county facilities are already dangerously over-crowded, thus many of these “low-level” offenders will be receiving a “get out of jail free” card. "
October 13, 2011 (Sacramento) -- There are many reasons people enter into public service. For some, it is to gain power and influence. For others it is to make a profound difference for their community. As a lifelong resident of Santee, I put myself firmly into the second category. And since my early days on the Santee City Council, public safety has been a top priority.
READER'S EDITORIAL: THE SHAME OF LA MESA--COUNCIL VOTES AGAINST FAIR TRADE, BOWS TO CORPORATE INTERESTS OVER HELPING PEOPLE
“The City, on its own website, already supports many initiatives that show preference to some businesses over others—and rightly so, to promote the public good… Where were the so-called pro-life members of the council last night? Why, casting their votes on behalf of companies represented by an out-of-town Chamber of Commerce instead of showing compassion for unborn babies, children and families.”
By Meg Jensen
October 13, 2011 (La Mesa) – La Mesa’s City Council fell one vote short last night of joining major cities and small towns across America in becoming a “Fair Trade Towns USA” city. The resolution would not have cost the city a penny. It would, however, have enabled consumers to have information on retailers in La Mesa who have voluntarily agreed to carry at least two fair trade products certified to have been made without the use of child labor, slavery, or use of dangerous chemicals that harm workers and their unborn children.
By Paul Gonya
Editor’s note: In an article on Alpine Planning Group Member George Barnett’s resignation, Mr. Barnett stated that he considered his greatest accomplishment to be getting two developers off the planning group's board: http://www.eastcountymagazine.org/node/7330 . He did not identify those planners by name.(Mr. Barnett later rescinded his resignation: http://www.eastcountymagazine.org/node/7362). Now one of the individuals he referenced, Paul Gonya, claims that his circumstances were portrayed inaccurately by Mr. Barnett. Mr. Gonya states that it's not true that he was found guilty in a civil trial. While true, he did plead guilty in a criminal (not civil) trial to grand theft embezzlement charges, as the Alpine Sun and Union-Tribune reported: http://www.thealpinesun.com/archive%202009/May%207/as%20inside.html and http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/2009/may/01/bn01plea18624/?metro. A settlement was reached in a civil trial:
http://www.thealpinesun.com/archive%202007/December%2020/as%20inside%202.html However Mr. Gonya states that there is more to the story. Below is his statement.
October 9, 2011 (Alpine)--Mr. Barnett’s statement regarding “two former Alpine Planning Group members being found guilty in a civil trial involving fraud and embezzlement” is emphatically untrue. More important, Mr. Barnett fails to mention that the defendants in the case filed a cross complaint for fraud and misappropriation of funds against the plaintiffs when the business partnership fell apart in 2006.
By Nikki Symington
The Planning Commission then passed it on to the La Mesa City Council. Apparently, the church decided that with or without permission from the City Council it would enroll as many students as it wanted and that it would not follow law as outlined in the CUP. At the City Council meeting, Pastor Troy Wagner asked, "What are we supposed to do? Send 80 students home, 60 of which are La Mesa residents?" He indicated that they want to enroll 259 students next year.
READER’S EDITORIAL: HATE TABLOIDS AT LOCAL UNIVERSITIES MOCK VICTIMS OF VIOLENCE WITH RAPE “JOKES” AND RACISM
By Kit-Bacon Gressitt
By Bill Weaver
By Bonnie Burns Price, Ph.D.
September 16, 2011 (Spring Valley) -- President Obama has addressed the public's concern about the lack of jobs by a proposal that addresses public needs, such as infrastructure repair, as well as jobs for the unemployed. Several elements of his proposal had bipartisan origins.
Unfortunately, Congressman Hunter (R-52CD) often puts his party ahead of both public and individual needs.
By Supervisor Dianne Jacob
September 13, 2011 (Jacumba)--Like the residents of Jacumba, I’m frustrated by the lack of progress on the eye gnat infestation and disappointed that the plan to remedy the situation hasn’t been executed properly. As I see it, the problem has three layers:
September 12, 2011 (Alpine)--I would like to thank our Alpine Union School District for its pursuit of 21st century education reforms it seeks in serving our East County's local youngest students. On the AUSD website (www.alpineschooldistrict.net) they describe this in detail.
What the AUSD calls its "revisioning", is a process for managing its innovation. Experts state that fewer than 2% of all organizations actually have systems in place to successfully manage innovation processes. This buzzword is found in many strategic plans, however the 2% factor highlights the large percentage of these organizations that will fail at innovation leadership, because they lack a proper management plan. The Grossmont Union HS Districts’ recent decision to delay building the Alpine and Blossom Valley area new high school (HS12) is a prime example.
For three years, the Alpine Community Planning Group (ACPG) had a SRPL Ad Hoc Subcommittee...No one is quite sure what it did, since it never had agendas or minutes.
By Lou Russo
September 4, 2011 (Alpine) -- Alpine is suffering especially hard in this recession. This is due to having Alpine Blvd. dug up for Sunrise PowerLink (SRPL). While the entire county and state struggle to overcome hard economic times, businesses in Alpine find themselves not only having to deal with a poor economy, but also with daily traffic jams/delays, noise, dirt, etc. from a power line being placed underground through the business district.
By Billy Ortiz
View video of eagle chick shot April 21, 2011 in Lakeside's El Monte Valley: http://youtu.be/G__OAP57RW4
I am sending this in hope of raising awareness of our Golden eagles here in San Diego County. Recently these magnificent eagles have come under attack by the construction of the Sunrise Powerlink. This could be the last time we see footage like this video of an eagle chick here in Lakeside, California and in many other parts of the San Diego's East County.
By Vince Wallgren
August 20, 2011 (La Mesa)--Well, well, well ... the fat-cats are out of the bag, big time!
Apoplectic, neurotic and panic are but a few of the manifestations of the neocon state of mind. Their cold, calculating indifference to the plight of the ordinary American is about to be exposed, big time!
Their vision of an empirical America in a new world order is fading fast; and search as they might, they just can’t seem to find that critical but elusive “easy button.”
By Joel A. Harrison, PhD, MPH
August 15, 2011 (San Diego)--According to an article in Friday’s Union-Tribune (Aug 12), “State to reduce supply of free flu vaccines,” San Diego County will receive 30,000 “fewer free flu vaccines available for low-income adults than in previous years.”
During an average flu season between 5 and 20% of the population gets the flu. According to one study, if none of these 30,000 low-income adults manage to get vaccinated, on average 10 – 15 will be hospitalized for pneumonia and 27- 30 for respiratory and circulatory conditions. Those above 60 will have higher rates of hospitalization.
By Scott Kidwell, La Mesa
August 8, 2011 (La Mesa)--Anyone who has ever been to a convention for business purposes, and I have, will likely agree that they can be loaded with seminar after seminar of presentations that will bore you to sleep faster than a handful of tranquilizers. While there can be worthwhile educational purposes I have always suspected, given that the seminar attendance rarely actually totals the overall numbers at the event, attendees go and get a vacation under the banner of legitimate business expense.
If it is your company then that is your business to make that decision. However, when public funds are involved should there not be a little more scrutiny?
by Jason Jones, J.D.
August 4, 2011 (San Diego)--As a bankruptcy attorney, I meet with clients everyday who struggle to make mortgage payments on their homes. Most of these clients participate in their bank’s loan modification program. But despite government pressure on banks to offer loan modifications, the sad truth is that most clients will never actually receive a modification.
Despite this fact, the bank’s programs will “consider” every applicant; no matter how likely they are to ultimately qualify. While it seems like this over-inclusiveness would be good, or at least neutral, it is in fact harmful to the struggling homeowner.
READER’S EDITORIAL: AUGUST 4 DEADLINE FOR COMMENTS ON U.S. WIND ENERGY GUIDELINES: ASK THE USFS TO PROTECT EAGLES
August 2, 2011 (Washington D.C.)--The US Fish and Wildlife Service is asking the public to send in their comments regarding its revised draft Land-based Wind Energy Guidelines. The deadline for sending your comments is August 4, 2011.
This concerns people from anywhere in the world, as these guidelines may inspire other countries and be used as justification for killing protected species.
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