Editorials

The opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of East County Magazine.

READER’S EDITORIAL: OUT WITH THE OLD--NEW BOARD OF SUPES SHOULD SCRAP ALPINE PLAN

By Duncan McFetridge

 

Photo:  Duncan McFetridge is a climate activist and artist.  He carved this sculpture to honor the mountain lion, a keystone species in the Cleveland National Forest ecosystem.  The Alpine Plan is a threat to the lion, symbol of the forest, under consideration for threatened species status in Southern California.”

 

April 28, 2021 (Alpine) -- With a new and improved Board of Supervisors now at the helm of our county government, San Diegans finally have hope that we may make progress on the housing and environmental crisis gripping our region. San Diego County continues to fall far short of its state-mandated housing production goals, especially when it comes to affordable housing. Rents in the area are some of the most expensive in the country, and it takes eight to ten years for applicants to secure federal housing subsidies due to high demand and long waiting lists. It’s clear that San Diego County’s approach to affordable housing is failing.

 


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READER’S EDITORIAL: CONGRESS SHOULD TAKE ACTION TO HELP SPOUSES OF CITIZENS

By Kristin Rangel, La Mesa

 

Photo: U.S. Capitol; cc via Bing

 

April 18, 2021 (La Mesa) -- I am a U.S. citizen struggling to overcome immigration issues for my spouse, the highest priority for legal immigration. Both myself working as an RN on the Covid frontlines and my husband are essential workers as well. 


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READER'S EDITORIAL: GETTING HEALTHY IN 2021 SHOULD INCLUDE REDUCING EXPOSURE TO SECONDHAND SMOKE

By Dana Stevens
 
Photo authorized for use to CASA
 
March 24, 2021 (San Diego’s East County) -- After a long difficult year that forced us all to alter our daily lives just to stay well, our priority for 2021 should be to continue protecting our health. As we look to improve our diets, start exercise routines, wear our masks, and get vaccinated, let’s make sure we also give equal attention to the air we breathe.
 
Tobacco and marijuana smoke and the aerosol expelled from electronic smoking devices damage the lungs and other organs of users as well as everyone around them. 
 
In 2006, the U.S. Surgeon General reported that there is  “no safe level of exposure to  secondhand smoke.” That same year, the California Air Resources Board designated secondhand smoke as a  “toxic air contaminant.”

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READER’S EDITORIAL: HUNDREDS PROTEST AS COUNTY PLANS $28 MILLION SPORTS COMPLEX ON ENVIRONMENTALLY SENSITIVE LAND IN ALPINE

By Alanna Light, 25-year Alpine resident

 

Photo montage, left to right:  Dianne Jacob, George Barnett and Travis Lyon

 

March 7, 2021 (Alpine) - For decades, Wright’s Field in Alpine has been a target for development.  Because of its rich natural resources and quality and diversity of plant and animal life, the land has long been protected from turning into a housing development, golf course, high school and an active sports park.  But now a controversial proposal would allow a $28 million, 26-acre sports complex to be built adjacent to land preserved by the Back County Land Trust. (BCLT) 


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READER'S EDITORIAL: WHY WE NEED A CARBON TAX, NOT CAP AND TRADE

By Carol Slater
 
March 1, 2021 (San Diego) - I write with deep concern regarding the climate emergency in which we find ourselves, one that President Biden appears to be taking seriously, although most Americans remain dangerously uninformed concerning the critical natureof risk to the planet.

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READER'S EDITORIAL: SAN DIEGO CONGRESSIONAL LEADERS SHOULD SUPPORT CARBON PRICING LEGISLATION

By Larry Peranich, San Diego

Photo: CC via Bing

Feb. 13, 2021 (San Diego) -- The US Chamber of Commerce updated its Position on Climate Change last month, adding their support for a "market-based approach to accelerate greenhouse gas emissions reductions." 

More than 3500 US economists from across the political spectrum have signed a statement saying a market-based approach, requiring fossil fuel companies to pay a fee that is proportional to the amount of carbon pollution the fuels will emit when burned, is the most cost-effective and economically efficient way to fight climate change.


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READER’S EDITORIAL: SENATE MUST CONVICT DONALD TRUMP

By Emily Sapp

Photo, left: Capitol attack by Tyler Merbler, CC via Wikipedia

February 10, 2021 (San Diego) -- Donald Trump must be convicted and disqualified from running for office ever again.

The House impeached Trump for his incitement of an armed insurrection against the U.S. government to throw out the results of the presidential election. Now, it’s time for the Senate to act.


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READER’S EDITORIAL: COVID TESTS SHOULD NOT BE FASTER FOR THOSE WHO PAY MORE

By Spencer Powell
 
January 7, 2021 (San Diego) - So I decided to test the COVID-19 testing system here in East County. I require my employees to test often in order for them to work. Yesterday I went and got a rapid test at great expense, I was in and out in no time. Today I’m here trying to get a free rapid test and I’m still here in a parking lot waiting to be tested let alone results. 

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READER’S EDITORIAL: WILL DONALD TRUMP RUN FOR REELECTION IN 2024?

By Greg Dunne
 
Photo: Creative Commons by SA via Bing
 
December 11, 2020 (Alpine) --  Will Donald Trump run for re-election in 2020? He has so many “tremendous” reasons to run again in 2024. He needs to pardon himself, again, if this first pardon does not work. He needs to show the Country the 2020 election was rigged and that in 2024 he can beat Joe Biden in a “legitimate” election. He loves rallies and he can start them on January 21st, 2021, the day after the presidential inauguration. What is more, he does not have to burn any brain cells by coming up with a new campaign slogan, he will just use the same one “Make America Great Again” which was successful in his 2016 presidential campaign.
 
On the serious side, I think he will run because he has a competitive nature and he definitely does not like to lose. He will run again because he has got plenty of energy to do so (at 78 years of age in 2024 he will still be going strong). He will run again to avoid any financial troubles he would be facing if he is not running for a second term as President of the United Sates. He will run again because it is a fight to run for office and being of a competitive nature, he is good at a fight. He will run again because he will long to boast about “how nobody thought it could be done”; a lot like Muhammad Ali boasting about himself winning the heavy weight title again and again (but not nearly as well-spoken as Ali). 
 

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READER’S EDITORIAL: CALIFORNIA SMALL BUSINESSESES NEED HELP

An open letter to Governor Gavin Newsom and state legislators signed by 81 Chambers of commerce and other business groups

Source:  Save Small Business Coalition

December 14, 2020 (San Diego) - Dear Governor Newsom, State Senators, Assemblymembers and All California Elected Officials:

As leaders of organizations serving businesses of California, we are deeply concerned about State policies that are severely impacting our local businesses.


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READER’S EDITORIAL: BACKCOUNTRY RESIDENTS NEED SOLAR SYSTEMS TO ASSURE SAFETY WHEN SDG&E SHUTS OFF POWER

By Kiki Skagen Munshi, Julian

November 26, 2020 (Julian) – Regarding your article, SDG&E warns 2,700 customers of potential public power shutoffs after Thanksgiving: The real story is why SDG&E is doing this when the Santa Ana Wind Threat Index (SAWTI) forecast is only for “Moderate” fire danger in San Diego County and only for Friday.  This is a pattern that has become almost normal with SDG&E, threatening to shut off power the conditions aren’t very bad.  It was annoying in summer but it’s now winter and cold….and not all of us have wood stoves.


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READER’S EDITORIAL: PARDON ME

By Dr. Juan Andrade, Jr.

 

Photo via the White House

November 25, 2020 (Washington D.C.) -- Well, it’s that time of year, “I beg your pardon.” Just not sure which turkey should be pardoning which. Of course, Trump will try to pardon both the Feathered One AND the self-anointed “Chosen One,” if he can. There is no consensus among constitutional experts as to whether Trump could actually pardon himself, so don’t be surprised if he does. After all, the question would obviously be decided by a trumped up Supreme Court, so what would he have to lose?


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READER'S EDITORIAL: LESSONS FROM A SUPERCLUSTER IN OUR PAST

By Kristin Kjaero
 
November 19, 2020 (La Mesa) -- Our family was a “supercluster“ for an earlier airborne disease: tuberculosis. Seven caught it and three died, but that was the least of it.

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READER’S EDITORIAL: FOR WHOSE VISION DO WE VOTE?

By Patrick Osio

October 30, 2020 (San Diego) -- Conventional political wisdom dictates there are two main factors that propel a sitting president to reelection victory – positive economy and low unemployment.  Arguments can be made that President Trump inherited these two factors from the Obama years. But those arguments make no difference, simply because under Trump economy growth, rising new employment and decreasing unemployment continued.


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READER’S EDITORIAL: LA MESA CANNOT TRUST COLIN PARENT

By Aaron Amerling

 

October 29, 2020 (La Mesa) -- Over the past four years, it has become apparent that the citizens of La Mesa can not trust Colin Parent to do what is in the community's best interest, and only what’s in his personal or donor’s best interests.


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READER’S EDITORIAL: PROP 15 WLL HURT COMMUNITY THEATRES, NON-PROFITS AND SMALL BUSINESSES

By Lamplighters Theatre, La Mesa

Local theaters already shut down by COVID-19 may be further negatively  impacted if Prop 15 becomes law.

October 23, 2020 (La Mesa) -- In the upcoming November ballot there is one proposition that will impact our theatre and most community theaters, as well as most non-profits and small businesses.  Proposition 15, if passed, will raise taxes on commercial and industrial properties while exempting properties and residences worth less than $3 million. 


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READER'S EDITORIAL: WHY DO OUTSIDERS CARE SO MUCH ABOUT MEASURE AA?

By David Ross

Reprinted with permission from the Valley Roadrunner

October 18, 2020 (San Diego) - The campaign surrounding Measure AA is a bitter, deeply divisive battle. Fortunately, almost none of the people publicly or even secretly opposing it are from around here. Isn’t that funny? 


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READER'S EDITORIAL: STEVE VAUS WILL PUT COMMUNITIES FIRST AS YOUR NEXT SUPERVISOR

By Dianne Jacob, Supervisor, Second District

I’ve had the honor of serving the people of the Second District for 28 years.  For seven terms, voters trusted that I would fight on their behalf, make County government work for them and provide substantial improvements to their community.  I’m asking you to place your trust in me one last time by supporting Mayor Steve Vaus for my seat. 

This election is a critical decision for East County.  It’s a decision based on character, record of service and the future of the District, and Steve is the clear choice on all three.  As Mayor, Steve has consistently been accessible and responsive to his constituents and has made Poway a model city for maintaining roads and infrastructure, improving parks and trails, taking care of seniors and families and protecting public safety.


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READER’S EDITORIAL: MAYOR RACQUEL VASQUEZ MAKING LEMON GROVE THE BEST PLACE TO LIVE

By Chris Ernest Nelson

Retired Mount Miguel High School Teacher

October 1, 2020 (Lemon Grove) -- Lemon Grove has the “Best Climate on Earth.”  Yes, that’s true enough, but we should not stop there. Mayor Racquel Vasquez is committed to making Lemon Grove also the Best Place to Live.  Since her election in 2016, she has brought to city government a new energy and a commitment to improving the environment for all the residents of Lemon Grove. She is determined to make city government more modern, efficient, fiscally prudent and responsive to public interests.


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READER’S EDITORIAL: MUCH NEEDED PEDESTRIAN CROSSWALK FOR KID’S SAFETY CREATED AT JOHNSON ELEMENTARY SCHOOL IN EL CAJON

By Robert Gehr

September 22, 2020 (El Cajon) -- Finally, a new crosswalk has been added to Madison Ave. at the west entrance to Johnson Elementary School (Cajon Valley School district), thus creating a safer environment for children and adults to cross a very busy street. In this writer’s opinion, it’s long overdue.


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READER'S EDITORIAL: ACTION NEEDED TO CUT CARBON USE, ADDRESS WILDFIRES FUELED BY CLIMATE CHANGE

By Susan Tamura, San Diego
 
September 15, 2020 (San Diego) -- With California wildfires in the forefront, it is readily apparent that climate scientists' predictions of drier conditions in the West are coming to pass.  Wildfires and their smoke are not new to us; it's their ever-increasing magnitude that will test our resilience.

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READER’S EDITORIAL: ROAD MAP FOR LA MESA

An open letter to La Mesa’s Mayor and City Council

By Dave Myers

August 24, 2020 (La Mesa) --  I am a 27-year resident of La Mesa and also a retired San Diego County Sheriff’s Commander with 35 years in local law enforcement. In May of this year, all of us saw and experienced the horrific scenario that started out as a peaceful BLM demonstration taken over by criminals without police intervention and rapidly devolved into a nightmare of looting, violence, and the burning of downtown La Mesa.


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READER’S EDITORIAL: FROM PROTECTING VOTING RIGHTS TO HONORING VETERANS, THE POST OFFICE IS AN ESSENTIAL SERVICE

By Brian Trautman

August 21, 2020 (San Diego) -- The capacity of the United States Postal Service (USPS) to provide mail services that generations of Americans have relied on has been severely weakened by the Trump administration. The assault on the Postal Service has only grown stronger and more brazen in recent weeks. We know by Trump’s own admission that his targeting of the agency is by design and is intended to interfere with the federal election that is less than three months away. Due to the ongoing health risks associated with COVID-19, a record number of Americans are expected to vote absentee this November rather than in-person. Knowing this, Trump has weaponized the pandemic to obstruct mail services and suppress the people’s vote, particularly in battleground states. By making it more difficult for Americans to exercise their right to vote, he is disenfranchising tens of millions of voters. The other part of Trump’s calculation is that by stripping the Post Office of much-needed resources to receive and process absentee ballots, he can exploit any hint of trouble with vote tallying this November to try and cast doubt on, and perhaps even dismiss, the election results should he lose. It has all the makings of an authoritarian power grab.


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ARAB AMERICANS ARE AN INVISIBLE ETHNIC GROUP WHEN IT COMES TO HEALTH CARE DISPARITIES

By Raed Al-Naser, MD

Dr. Al-Naser is President, San Diego Chapter, National Arab American Medical Association. He is also a pulmonary and critical care physician practicing in San Diego’s East County.

July 31, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) -- Race and ethnicity are becoming forefront conversations in our media, academic debates, and daily life discussions here in the United States. Each of us has an identity that defines how we see ourselves and others. Arab Americans are a historically understudied minority group in the U.S. and their health needs and risks have been poorly documented. As a physician and healthcare provider who belongs to this group, I see that Arab American identity is largely absent from national and academic conversations about race and ethnicity especially when it comes to health care disparities. The emergence of COVID-19 as a pandemic and public health crisis has exposed this reality and made it more visible and undeniable. 


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READER’S EDITORIAL: DEPUTY SHERIFFS ASSOCIATION RESPONDS TO “DEFUND THE POLICE” CALLS

By David Leonhardi

 

President, Deputy Sheriffs Association of San Diego County (DSASD.org)

 

July 23, 2020 (San Diego) -- The past six weeks have brought a major change in public safety discussions across the country. The rise of the “defund the police” movement has dominated national attention, sparking a debate over the nature of law enforcement and the scope of their duties. Criminal justice activists throughout the nation have pressured their local cities and counties to cut funding from their respective law enforcement departments due to perceived systemic problems, most notably, that of alleged racial bias in policing.1 Supporters of this movement seek to reallocate this funding to social services surrounding issues related to substance abuse, domestic violence, and homelessness, to name a few.2 


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READER’S EDITORIAL: HORSE RACING VS. DOGFIGHTING -- DOUBLE STANDARD FOR ANIMAL CRUELTY

Over 2,000 racehorses die in the U.S. every year, often after suffering drugging, abuse and injuries. Horse racing has long had ties to organized crime. So why is it still legal?

By Martha Sullivan 

Photo: Creative Commons image via FreePhoto on Bing

July 9, 2020 (San Diego) -- People are rightly outraged by brutal dogfighting, on which spectators gamble.  The media’s coverage of dogfighting is dominated by images of Black and Latino men fighting dogs for bets, and there is a pattern of demonization:  


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READER’S EDITORIAL: BORDER WALL IN JACUMBA WILDERNESS THREATENS GROUNDWATER FOR COMMUNITIES AND AN ENDANGERED SPECIES, THE CRUCIFIXION THORN

By Craig Deutsche

July 5, 2020 (Jacumba) - There have been a number of articles in large newspapers about the border wall and legal challenges. Most probably the story in California is only a detail in the big picture, although there might be several unique concerns here. One concern is that the Congressional designation of the Jacumba Wilderness in 1994 is very explicit and very restrictive in what is permitted within the boundaries.

More recently in 2019, the Department of Homeland Security waived seventeen federal environmental laws where border security was involved in Imperial County. These included the Wilderness Act of 1964, the National Environmental Protection Act, the Clean Waters Act, and the Antiquities Act of 1906. It is under this umbrella that the work proceeds. What is less clear, is whether it is possible to set aside state and county regulations that may otherwise apply.

The pipe shown in the photo runs five or six miles from several wells outside the Jacumba Wilderness Area to the construction area at the border. The pipe is 12 inches in diameter and is intended to provide water for concrete. [Aggregate for the concrete is visible in the second photo beside the equipment.] This water is drawn from a rather limited aquifer underlying several small communities in western Imperial County.


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READER’S EDITORIAL: REFLECTIONS ON RECENT EVENTS AND CHALLENGES TO PRESERVE CULTURAL HISTORY IN LA MESA

By Jim Newland, President, La Mesa Historical Society

June 23, 2020 (La Mesa) - The past few weeks’ events and experiences, including those in our local community, can only remind us of our nation’s challenging history of discrimination, violence and racism.  This is a very personal history for many that sadly continues into the present. 


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A BITTERSWEET REOPENING OF THE ICONIC JACUMBA SPA, NOW FOR SALE

By Daniel Smiechowski

June 19, 2020 (Jacumba Hot Springs) -- The East County Jacumba Resort and Spa has fallen victim to uncertain times. Owned for many years by Dave Landman, an affable character who coincidentally owns most of Jacumba and about 800 acres east to Yuma, Arizona, the Spa is currently listed for sale by Coldwell Banker. 


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READER’S EDITORIAL: WHY IS WATER SHUT OFF AT CAMPGROUNDS IN MCCAIN VALLEY?

By Ken Danielson

 

Photo, left: Google Earth image of water systems

 

Photo, right by Miriam Raftery:  Lark campground, before construction of Tule Wind

 

June 18, 2020 (McCain Valley) -- Many of you have probably visited the Cottonwood campground at the end of McCain Valley road. (Identical conditions exist at the Lark Canyon Off Highway Vehicle (OHV) park midway to Cottonwood). I’ve been camping there for more than 40 years. Even with the industrialization of the valley. it has remained a gem. 


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