Editorials

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

READER’S EDITORIAL: MISSING PERSONS REPORTS AND ENTRY INTO NAMUS DNA DATABASE SHOULD BE STANDARD PROTOCOL

By June A. Sortore

 

Photo: Shawn Lone Wolf Cristman

 

June 3, 2019 (Santa Ysabel) -- The sheer volume of missing and unidentified person cases poses one of the greatest challenges to agencies tasked with resolving these type of cases. Over 600,000 individuals go missing in the United States every year.

 

Many missing children and adults are quickly found alive and well. However, tens of thousands of individuals remain missing for more than one year. These are what most "agencies" consider "cold cases."

 

READER'S EDITORIAL: SANDAG MISUSE OF OUR TAXES

By James Rue, El Cajon

June 2, 2019 (San Diego’s East County) – Hello, SANDAG.  I'm in fear of misuse of our tax dollars by SANDAG, and I would like my opinion heard.

For more than 30 years I commuted to/from downtown San Diego. I drove, I carpooled, and commuted using public transportation (bus & trolley).

And your system still stinks. Originally, I'm from one of those very large cities where public transportation was accessible on every corner, and the fare was reasonable.  San Diego, and metro area is NOT accessible.  I remember leaving home two and half hours to three hours early to get to work, using public transportation and always getting home several hours late. When I carpooled I left about an hour earlier and if I drove myself and left 30 minutes earlier I could be at work in less than 25 minutes.  I have some suggestions for you to consider.

READER’S EDITORIAL: CALL TO ACTION IN LEMON GROVE – SIDEWALKS ARE NEEDED TO PROTECT PUBLIC SAFETY

 

 

By Elenna Hernandez, Helix Charter High School student

May 24, 2019 (Lemon Grove) -- Dear citizens of Lemon Grove:  the city of Lemon Grove is in desperate need of sidewalks all around the neighborhood. In the main streets, there are sidewalks, but in some blocks, we do not have any kind of sidewalks. All of Washington Street, Cypress Street, Bonita Street and others do not contain a sidewalk other than the corners in which the main streets are connected to. Due to no sidewalks around the city, citizens of Lemon Grove at any age can be in danger when they have to walk, either on a run, walk home or to get to places they need to go. 

READER’S EDITORIAL: SAN DIEGO SUPERVISORS SHOULD JUST SAY NO TO FIRE-TRAP DEVELOPMENTS



By Peter A. Andersen, PhD, and Daniel H. Silver, MD

Photos by Miriam Raftery:  State Route 94, the primary evacuation route for Proctor Valley and communities from Jamul south to Barrett Junction, has been previously shut down for hours or even days by the Harris Wildfire, flooding, and serious accidents.  A Border Patrol station, casino and high school along the highway (not shown) all add to traffic back-ups and congestion at peak times, drawing frequent complaints from residents in recent years.

May 23, 2019 (Jamul/Proctor Valley) -- Deadly fires scorched California in 2017 and 2018, destroying thousands of homes and killing 44 people in wine country and 86 in Paradise. Emergency warning and evacuation systems failed. People burned in their cars trying to escape the flames. Homes built to new fire-safe building codes burned anyway in the intense heat. Rapidly moving fires overwhelmed safety systems and careful planning.

The County Board of Supervisors will vote in June whether to approve a major housing development in Jamul, a community already ranked in the bottom 1% of hard-to-evacuate locations in the state. What will convince the Board to apply the lessons of the massive northern California fires to local land-use decisions? At what point does willful ignorance of the risks become negligence?

READER'S EDITORIAL: FORMER JULIAN FIRE & MEDICAL SERVICES CHIEF SPEAKS OUT

 

 

By Mike Van Bibber

April 14, 2019 (Julian) -- A message to our family, friends, and neighbors in the Julian-Cuyamaca community, throughout California, and across the United States:

The men and women of the Julian-Cuyamaca Fire Protection District are facing an illegal government takeover of our volunteer fire department — San Diego County’s last volunteer department — and that’s putting the public at risk. 

Throughout our history, JCFPD has been responding to emergency calls in our community: heart attacks, car crashes, wildfires, you name it. More than 60 members strong, we proudly serve everyone in the community — whether local or visitor, young or old, rich or poor, regardless of culture or creed. We are woven into the community’s fabric and remain in the station ready to serve in the event of an emergency. 

Legal documents and bureaucrats call this place a “special district.” We call it “home.”

Normally we’d be waiting here in the station until someone calls in need of help. Our history has always been responding to calls for help. But today is different. 

Today we are asking you for help. Today we are the ones who desperately need your help.

READER'S EDITORIAL: AN OPEN LETTER TO THE BOARD OF SUPERVISORS--AN UNACCEPTABLE REDUCTION IN FIREFIGHTERS UNDER THE COUNTY FIRE AUTHORITY

 
 
By Ben Franklin

April 16, 2019 (Julian) - Since the beginning of the dissolving of local volunteer fire departments the number of firefighters and emergency first responders available in an emergency has gone through a drastic and unacceptable reduction. At the beginning of the process there were over 600 volunteers available in the rural areas of San Diego County. While I'm certain that it's possible to improve any system, no attempt was made to improve, instead, decimation has been the goal in rural San Diego County.

MISINFORMATION ABOUT SINGLE-PAYER/MEDICARE-FOR-ALL: A REBUTTAL TO DAVID BROOKS “UNDO THE REVOLUTION”

 

 

By Joel A. Harrison, PhD, MPH

 

March 30, 2019 (San Diego) - Unfortunately, our media is dominated by misinformation designed to protect our private for-profit health insurance industry. One of the latest, by syndicated columnist David Brooks, was published in the San Diego Union-Tribune on March 6th.  Since that newspaper reaches over 1 million San Diegans, I hope those reading this article will agree and share it with others. At the bottom I list several articles/papers that give a more comprehensive detailed discussion of why a single-payer system designed to benefit people trumps a for-profit health insurance industry designed first and foremost to enrich corporations.

READER’S EDITORIAL: WHY I AM AGAINST THE DEATH PENALTY

 

 

By Joel A. Harrison, PhD, MPH

 

March 20, 2019 (San Diego) -- On Wednesday, March 13th, Governor Gavin Newsom imposed a moratorium on the death penalty. The reactions, both supporting the governor and condemning his action, have come swift and furious. When I read stories of families whose members, especially children have been murdered, even more so by serial killers, families who have attended death penalty appeal after appeal, cases where the evidence of guilt is overwhelming, I find little sympathy for the defendant and if I were a lawyer would find it near impossible to represent them. However, as I will try to explain below, my personal reactions aside, I am against the death penalty, partly because of the risk of executing an innocent person; but even the execution of someone overwhelmingly guilty of some truly horrendous act. This is not about them; but about us as a society. For a good summary of the history of the death penalty and current status around the world, see Wikipedia. Capital Punishment.

READER’S EDITORIAL: LAKESIDE SAND MINE FACES PROSPECT OF LITIGATION AND LOSSES

 

 

“If Supervisors approve it, there will be a lawsuit by citizens and environmental groups to stop it … Perhaps Bill Adams will engage in good faith negotiations with anyone interested in buying this 400+ acre property. It might be better to get out now while there is some profit to be made.” – Catherine Tancredi Clothey

 

By Catherine Trancredi Clothey

Photo by Billy Ortiz

 

March 19, 2019 (Lakeside) -- What is the status of the sand mine project proposed by Bill Adams and his El Monte Nature Preserve partners and money lenders?

 

I write this as a Lakeside resident (as Catherine Clothey) and as an attorney (as Catherine Tancredi). In the mid 1990s, I represented a local group who sued to stop the Fashion Valley trolley extension due to CEQA violations. We lost and the appeal was denied. I also set up the 501(c)3 Iron Mountain Conservancy in Ramona. 

 

Public comments on the EIR were due October 29, 2018. It is now March, 2019. The City, County, environmental organizations and citizens wrote very detailed comments regarding the effects the sand mine would have on the community and its people. Hundreds of people showed up for the County’s public hearing and the Lakeside Planning Commission meeting last year to voice concerns. 

RESPONSE TO EDITORIAL ON MEASURE A FROM CAL-FIRE FIREFIGHTERS LOCAL 2881 VICE-PRESIDENT PATRICK WALKER

By William T. Everett, Board Member, Julian-Cuyamaca Fire Protection District

March 14, 2019 (Julian) -- Union Vice-President Patrick Walker believes that the Julian Cuyamaca "volunteer fire station is inefficient and unable to provide adequate fire and life safety services in comparison to full time." He goes on to tout his experience and career as the reason he is credible. Yet, numerous Fire Chiefs and career firefighters throughout California, with far more experience than Walker, strongly disagree with his conclusion. What is the difference between Walker and the others? It is simple. Walker works for the Cal-Fire union and his primary responsibility is to promote the union and help create more union jobs. 

It appears that Walker's primary argument in favor of dissolving the Julian Cuyamaca Fire Protection District is his claim that full-time firefighters are better for the community than part-time (i.e., volunteers). What Mr. Walker either doesn't know or doesn't want the public to know is that the Julian fire station is now staffed full-time with 60  firefighters (volunteers) that are as highly trained and qualified as any "professional" firefighters in the United States.

READER’S EDITORIAL: MEASURE A AND THE FUTURE OF FIRE SERVICES IN JULIAN AND CUYAMACA

By Patrick Walker, Vice President, CAL FIRE Firefighters Local #2881 – San Diego District

"It is my belief that the volunteer only fire station is inefficient and unable to provide adequate fire and life safety services in comparison to full time."

March 12, 2019 (Julian-Cuyamaca) -- I want to start by clarifying my comments within this editorial are not representative of CAL FIRE, but of my position as the 10th District Vice President within CAL FIRE Firefighters Local #2881, the labor organization that represents the Professional Firefighters of CAL FIRE in San Diego County. 

I will begin with information about my Fire Department and Labor background, as I believe in absolute transparency.  At 16 years old I began as a Fire Explorer with the San Pasqual Fire Department as well as the Ramona Fire Department.  I graduated High School in Ramona, went into the US Army and upon return became a firefighter with CAL FIRE in 1997.  I have worked in the counties of:  San Diego, Riverside, Santa Clara, Amador and El Dorado in my 20-year employment with CAL FIRE.  I have held the ranks for Volunteer Firefighter, Volunteer Fire Engine Operator, Volunteer Fire Captain, and with CAL FIRE I have worked as Firefighter I, Firefighter II, Engineer, Fire Captain and currently hold the rank of Battalion Chief working in South San Diego County.  I am married with children and reside in the City of San Diego.

SAN DIEGO SPJ ASKS SEN. BEN HUESO, CITY ATTORNEY MARA ELLIOTT TO RETHINK PROPOSED CHANGES TO STATE RECORDS ACT

 

 

Source:  Society of Professional Journalists

March 7, 2019 (San Diego) - The San Diego Pro Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists is deeply troubled by proposed state legislation that would make it more difficult for journalists and the public to understand how government works and hold officials accountable.

READER'S EDITORIAL: 18 GRADUATES FROM FIRE ACADEMY JOIN JULIAN-CUYAMACA FIREFIGHTERS

 
 
By Patricia Landis
 
March 4, 2019 (Julian) — Today was a good day.  Eighteen men and women graduated from the JCFPD Academy and will join JCFPD as Firefighters. One more will be added after he completes the last few classes, but he could not graduate today because he sustained a broken elbow, slipping on the ice while training. Chief Mike Van Bibber orchestrated the graduation ceremony and pinned each firefighter with their new badge. 

READER’S EDITORIAL: EAST COUNTY CALL TO ACTION—STOP 5G MINI-CELL TOWERS FROM BEING PLACED IN FRONT OF YOUR HOMES

 

 

Supervisors have 180 days to amend ordinance and could consider legal action—if you speak out

By Susan Brinchman

March 1, 2019 (San Diego’s East County) -- This week the County Board of Supervisors (BOS) unanimously voted to allow hazardous high-radiation-emitting 5G "small cells", the same as are on cell towers, to be placed on street poles very close to homes in the unincorporated area of the County. This approval occurred despite receiving at least a thousand pages of information about the dangers to health, wildlife, insects, trees, plant life, andproperty values for the past month, and meeting with a number of concerned constituents. Property values may plummet as much as 30% near these "small cells", according to a local realtor, because people don't want to live near cell tower radiation. She was one of 24 speakers. Two Verizon employees spoke in favor of the ordinance, which is very industry-friendly. In September, the FCC issued orders which became effective on Jan. 14th, 2019, forcing local governments to have less control over this process. Meanwhile, 5G industry leaders admitted in a Senate hearing that no safety testing had been conducted.

READER’S EDITORIAL: HOW NOT TO DEAL WITH THE HOUSING CRISIS AND SOME SUGGESTIONS

 

 

 

By Joel A. Harrison

 

Photo: Swedish bike lane, creative commons

 

February 18, 2019 (San Diego) -- While the following editorial uses my neighborhood as an example, other cities in San Diego County face similar housing problems and the currently proposed one for the city of San Diego will NOT solve them.

 

My family has been in North Park since 1936. My mother graduated from Hoover High, class of 1941. Currently there are 17 two-story apartments and seven houses on my block. At 5 a.m. every morning I walk my dog about a mile, where I often count between 25 and 30 cars parked at the North Park public library. Sometimes I don’t see a single empty space within several blocks. If not for the library, where would they park? And now the push is to build multiple story apartments with NO parking space requirement. So, let’s look at the issues:

READER’S EDITORIAL: DON’T BE FOOLED

By E.A. Barrera

Photo by E.A. Barrera:  Property in Lakeside saved from development by CEQA

February 16, 2019 (San Diego) --- There is a false and very dangerous idea being advanced that somehow the crises of affordable housing can be solved by weakening or gutting the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and other zoning and environmental protections. 

Groups calling themselves "Yimby" (Yes in my backyard) have formed across the state. At first glance their intentions seem great - organize and advance the development of greater densities within existing neighborhoods to provide more housing for low income residents. 

But these organizations have swiftly become fronts for development, real estate and banking interests who seek to eliminate all rules regarding development. These interests push a tired and flatly deceptive line that if only they could be allowed to develop more supply, the trickle down effect would be lower prices across the board in housing.

READER’S EDITORIAL: SCAPEGOATING SAN DIEGO’S TRANSPORTATION WOES

 

 

By Daniel Smiechowski

January 18, 2019 (San Diego) - Having just returned from my second home in France, a city of 180,000 residents with a state of the art tram and ultra-modern fast buses, I am again reminded of San Diego’s real dilemma in promoting public transportation. Home to Edouard Philippe, former Mayor and now French Prime Minister, the City of Le Havre has been transformed through a network of mass transit that is the envy of the world. What is their secret?

READER'S EDITORIAL: SHOULD WE RETHINK PRESIDENTIAL POWERS?

 

By Wim Laven

December 22, 2018 (San Diego) - On Dec. 18th, it was agreed that Donald Trump’s charitable foundation would be dissolved. The decision was reached as a result of findings that Donald Trump and his family abused the tax exempt status and abused campaign finance laws

 

READER’S EDITORIAL: ALARMING NEW PAROLE OFFICE INFORMATION REVEALED

 

Update December 20, 2018:  The State has sent a letter to La Mesa's city manager advising that it has dropped plans for a parole office at this location, at this time, but will seek an alternative site elsewhere in East County.



By Susan Nichols, President, Grossmont-Mt. Helix Improvement Association (GMIA)

December 19, 2018 (La Mesa) -- The Grossmont-Mt. Helix Improvement Association (GMIA), along with the greater community, continues to gather information to oppose the leasing of a building by the Department of Corrections for a Parole Operations Center amidst of their residential community. GMIA and the greater community have sought help from elected state officials, who are aware of the community plea to stop the parole office but have yet to provide substantive action.

READER'S EDITORIAL: KEEP THE BOY IN BOY SCOUTS: AN OPINION FROM A 14-YEAR-OLD BOY

 

By Alan W. Cole, San Diego

December 21, 2018 (San Diego) -- It’s hard to have your voice heard when you’re a teenager. I’m a 14-year old boy and it seems no one wants to listen. What I want to say is, “Keep the Boy in Boy Scouts!” Girls want and are now allowed to join Boy Scouts. I’m not against girls, I’m just pro boys in Boy Scouts. In our world today boys have little opportunity to be with other boys. Girls being allowed to join Boy Scouts is resulting in a name change. Girl Scouts is suing Boy Scouts to keep the Boy in! If the suit is not successful, next February the 108-year old tradition will be broken and Boy Scouts of America will be changed to Scouts of America. This change leaves out the boy and our voice.

READER’S EDITORIAL: FOOD FOR THOUGHT--ALPINE ELECTIONS

 

 

By Mary Harris

December 11, 2018 (Alpine) -- Running for a seat on the Alpine Community Planning Group taught me a lot. It was like a crash course on local politics. I’ve been attending the group for over three years and I can tell you this: if you have views that are nota carbon copy of the group majority, don’t expect to be warmly welcomed. When I was campaigning, lies sprouted up like weeds from long term group members, and their friendson Alpine’s social media sites. Some made little sense. One individual said that I had called Cal Trans and asked them to remove a church banner. This had nothing to do with the election. It was coming from a person grasping at straws, looking to put me in a bad light.

READER'S EDITORIAL: DEVELOPERS BUYING SANTEE CITY COUNCIL SEATS THROUGH PAC'S DARK MONEY

 

By Santee City Councilman Stephen Houlahan and Preserve Wild Santee Director Van Collinsworth

November 1, 2018 (Santee) - A flood of developer dollars are backing incumbents/status-quo candidates (McNelis, Hall & Koval) in this city council election. The dark money backing for these candidates show that this election is about resident versus developer control of city government and the ability to approve the massive Fanita Ranch project.

READER’S EDITORIAL: SAVE THE ENDANGERED SPECIES ACT

 

By Cheryl A. Reiff, rancher and business owner

October 26, 2018 (San Diego’s East County) -- I am greatly concerned by The Administration's attempts to weaken the Endangered Species Act (ESA) thru nine currently proposed regulatory changes.  The proposed changes to the ESA, presented by Secretary Zinke and his Deputy Secretary Bernhardt, will make it very difficult to protect the wild animals that are already threatened with extinction (This is why they are listed as “endangered”). 

READER’S EDITORIAL: TO SAVE THE GOP, WE MUST FIRST CLEANSE IT

 

By Patrick Osio, Jr., San Diego

October 22, 2018 (San Diego) -- Finding myself voting against Republican Party candidates in the November 2018 mid-term election is one of my life’s saddest decisions.

I became a Republican at heart at the age of 12, on finding that my dad was supporting Dwight Eisenhower for President. Since he had never spoken on the subject, the obvious question was – Why hadn’t you said something? He answered, because Democrats had held the Presidency since before he was able to vote. 

READER’S EDITORIAL: LA MESA’S CHOICE

 

By Dr. Anthony Mc Ivor

October 21, 2018 (La Mesa) -- This year’s City Council election offers La Mesa an exciting and encouraging choice. Exciting, because for the first time in many years the challengers present a bright contrast to the incumbents. And encouraging, because La Mesa surely needs the integrity, fresh ideas, community insights, and sheer energy the challengers are bringing to the contest.

EDITORIAL: TOO POOR OR TOO RICH, SOME CANDIDATES HAVE NO BALLOT STATEMENTS. THAT’S A DISSERVICE TO VOTERS THAT SHOULD BE CHANGED

 

By Miriam Raftery

October 13, 2018 (San Diego) – Why doesn’t Gavin Newsom, the Democratic nominee for Governor, have a ballot statement?  Why do some candidates for local offices have them, and others don’t?

READER’S EDITORIAL: WHY THIS TRANSGENDER WOMAN WILL BE VOTING FOR AMMAR

 

By Meredith Vezina, Julian

October 5, 2018 (Julian) - First, let me say that I’m voting for Ammar Campa-Najjar for Congress because I’m a life-long progressive Democrat and because of Ammar’s positions on issues such as healthcare, the environment, immigration and education.  

READER’S EDITORIAL: MIRAMAR AIR SHOW GLORIFIES WAR

 

 

By Dave Patterson, Ramona

September 19, 2018 (Ramona) -- The US war spending, now approaching $1 Trillion annually, (1) directly impacts how we pay for schools, Medicare, Medicaid, social services and our poor and elderly (7).  We at the San Diego Veterans For Peace take the position that the resultant $22 Trillion national debt (2) created by lavish spending on war making is pitched as a good thing at the Miramar Air Show.  War made palatable with glorious pageantry and emotional thrills that can’t be topped.  This is why we ask the public to just stay home.

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