April 16, 2018 (Eastlake) -- When I was four years old, I was diagnosed with Selective Mutism. It is an anxiety disorder that made me very shy, nervous and not want to speak in front of other people. It prevented me from enjoying my life and one of the most important things to me; dance!
April 13, 2018 (San Diego’s East County) -- My buddy David, my son Kyle and I always enjoy doing long and unusual urban hikes. On this past Friday, April 8th, we did what we dubbed the “Cross to Cross” hike. We hiked from the top of Mt. Soledad in La Jolla to the top of Mt. Helix in La Mesa.
March 25, 2018 (Lemon Grove) -- It seems that several of the current Lemon Grove Council members and the City Manager do not believe in “leading by example.” The recent lawsuits, one that was settled for thousands and thousands of dollars, as well as the recent one just filed against a Councilmember and the City, with the Mayor being a person of interest, will undoubtedly cost more money.
Photo: SanDiego350 volunteers with Sophie Wolfram of CAC in celebratory mood March 13th after adoption of La Mesa CAP. Photo courtesy of Cody Klatt
March 21, 2018 (La Mesa) -- On March 13th, the City Council of La Mesa unanimously adopted a strong Climate Action Plan (CAP), with a goal of 100% clean energy. This victory came after three years of persistent advocacy and organizing efforts by SanDiego350 La Mesa volunteers and allied organizations.
March 19, 2018 (San Diego) -- As a retired epidemiologist, especially interested in public health, I have been following the so-called “vaccine controversy” for many years. Recently I wrote a rather long paper that was published on a popular blog,Science-Based Medicine. I wrote this Reader’s OpEd for East County Magazine because the False Balance in this case was in our own local newspaper, The San Diego Union-Tribune, and the opinion piece by Terry Roark that my paper refutes point by point concerns California Senate Bill 277 which limits exemptions for vaccinations, clearly a topic that many East County Magazine readers will be interested in. My hope is that this short Reader’s OpEd will interest East County Magazine readers to go to the longer article, which can be accessed by clicking here. Note that the longer article allows one to link to a downloadable pdf version
An open letter to La Mesa Planning Commission Chair James D. Newland
By Dr. Anthony D. McIvor
March 18, 2018 (La Mesa) -- As 60-year residents of La Mesa, our family objects to The Phair Company’s La Mesa Summit housing proposal. Luxury houses (at $1million+) usually offer green energy and amenities, but the sum of them, for just a handful of buyers, cannot begin to offset the loss to the larger community, if the plan were approved as is.
March 12, 2018 (Alpine) - The next meeting of the Alpine Community Plan Update is around the corner. Look for information that will be posted soon here on ACN. People living in Alpine need to attend and let their county representatives know what is on their mind. Let your voices be heard loud and clear ! Tell them what YOU want and what you don't want.Some say that in the next twenty years, Alpine's population may double. Development is on the rise. What do you want to see preserved in Alpine ? What do you value here enough to fight for?
March 10, 2018 (Washington D.C.) -- Donald Trump’s extraordinary decision to meet with Kim Jong-un has taken all the policy hawks by surprise—and led them to issue all kinds of warnings of impending disaster. Trump’s decision is extraordinary because until now the common refrain from him and all other US policy makers was that the North Koreans would have to provide evidence of moving toward denuclearization before any talks could take place. To do otherwise, as Trump once said, would be to follow the ruinous path of previous presidents, who were supposedly suckered into sitting down with North Korea and making unilateral concessions.
February 27, 2018 (La Mesa) -- Tonight the City Council agenda includes a returning item: engagement of an urban planning firm to update feasibility tests for the Civic Center site. Included are the introduction of market-rate housing, as well as office and/or governmental use, park and parking uses in combination with another civic building.
And once again we see a baffling omission. Surrounding cities – from Alpine to IB – are proudly opening – and winning awards with – new town libraries. Just yesterday, San Diego Mayor Faulconer lauded libraries as “…hubs for inspiration, discovery and opportunity.” But in La Mesa, the long-delayed new library continues to get the crickets treatment at City Hall.
By Sue Strom, Advocates of Safe Airport Policies (ASAP)
January 21, 2018 (El Cajon) -- We hope your year is off to a happy and healthy start. However, for those of us concerned about heavy local traffic, safety, noise, toxic air and lead overhead, with protections for homeowners few and far between, the new year is already daunting.
FAA approval for an increase in air traffic... a state of the art flight training center... the lengthening of the 27L training runway...the redesign and enlargement of the Bradley Street interchange off hwy 67... and the development of 9 five acre parcels of land for aviation usage called the Cajon Air Center are all coming together step by step over the next several years to form the perfect storm.
January 21, 2018 (Alpine) -- I don't want future development projects in Alpine to include designs that are not consistent with keeping the small town charm of Alpine. We have already seen many developments in Alpine that make our town resemble our nearest city, El Cajon. I do not want to see conformity in designs that lack character. Examples of this that we have already been forced to accept are the Albertson's shopping center.Albertson's design shows no attempt to fit in to our towns historic rural feel, but instead looks like a typical store one would see in El Cajon. No effort was made to include creative facades, water features, or shade bearing trees.
January 19, 2018 (San Diego’s East County) – A new report by humanitarian organizations reveals that Border Patrol agentshave been systemically destroying water bottles left in desert areas for undocumented immigrants in the Arizona desert, condemning people to die of thirst.While its unknown if this is occurring in California, this article in Britain’s The Guardian hit home for me in a visceral way, reminding me of an experience that brought me to tears.
On the 4th of July In 2008, I rode alongwith Border Angels founder Enrique Morones. We discovered sabotage of water bottles his group had left in rugged locations--all slashed open, empty. My article, Dying to Come to America, was published in our very first edition of East County Magazine. Morones vividly described what it is like for people to die of dehydration – hallucinating, throwing off clothes and shoes. We saw the signs of this torment – a woman’s high-heeled shoe cast aside, a man’s crumpled shirt. The heat was triple digits.
I went along to learn about experiences faced by people so desperate to come to America that they rely on water left by benevolent strangers to survive.I learned that coyotes, or human traffickers, often lie to the migrants, telling them it's just a short walk to freedom; some women dressed up to meet their husbands are unaware of the dangers. I choked up, imagining their pain. My story included photos of those slashed water bottles and graves of people--some so very young--who died crossing East County's rugged border mountains in their failed quest to find freedom.
December 15, 2017 (San Diego’s East County) -- To the GOP: after this week's stunning defeat of Roy Moore in Alabama, the Republican Party of San Diego must take a closer look at itself. It must remind itself what it's true principles are and what it is fighting for. It cannot become so wrapped up with an unwavering support of a candidate that no matter what that candidate might do wrong, they are still willing to support them. A politician is accountable to the people. It's time the Republican Party of San Diego follows the people's lead and holds a candidate responsible for their actions. In Alabama, the GOP had a weak candidate embroiled in controversy and lost a seat that couldn't have been safer for a Republican candidate. Sound familiar?
By Shaun Mullen, with credit to the Moderate Voice, a member of the San Diego online news network)
December 11, 2017 (San Diego) - Will Donald Trump fire Robert Mueller? In an era when the unthinkable occurs with numbing regularity, it looks increasingly likely that he will. But will he get away with it?
December 8, 2017 (San Diego) - Large, high-intensity wildfires are an inevitable and natural part of life in California. The destruction of our communities is not. But many of the political leaders we elect and planning agencies we depend upon to create safe communities have failed us. They have allowed developers to build in harm’s way, and left firefighters holding the bag.
By Steve Goble, Councilmember in the City of El Cajon
November 21, 2017(El Cajon) -- Some voices, especially from outside the City of El Cajon, have mischaracterized the City’s temporary prohibition on feeding the public in public spaces. I thought I’d address here why I voted for the temporary ordinance and attempt to clear up any misunderstandings which have been distributed on social media and spoken in public forums.
November 20, 2017 (Sacramento) -- This Thanksgiving, too many American families will have empty seats at their tables due to the Trump Administration’s cruel and indiscriminate deportations. Thousands of other families will be giving thanks while worrying if their loved ones, who are facing imminent threats of deportation, will be around to celebrate with them at the next holiday. These stories, all too common across America, include:
November 10, 2017 (Julian) -- Citizens residing within the boundaries of the Julian-Cuyamaca Fire Protection District (JCFPD) are proposing for adoption the repeal of the existing annual benefit fee approved in 1984, to be replaced with an annual benefit fee more consistent with current expenses, and to raise the level of service for emergency medical response, fire suppression and related services within the boundaries of JCFPD.
November 6, 2017 (Lemon Grove) -- I have lived in Lemon Grove since 2005. I appreciate the small town feel of the folks who live here.
We have seen a controversy recently, as medical marijuana retailers have attempted to locate their businesses in Lemon Grove wherever they desire – whether that be near a daycare facility or a school or the like.
November 3, 2017 (El Cajon) -- I am speaking on behalf of thousands of Chaldean's in and around the San Diego community that all agree that Ben Kalasho DOES NOT and SHOULD NOT be allowed, by any media outlet, to speak on behalf of the Chaldean community. We do not like the type of person, who he is or the values that he holds.
After President Donald Trump drew criticism for not calling families of U.S. soldiers killed in Niger, he accused former presidents of not calling fallen soldiers’ families to offer condolences, though all other presidents did so. Trump then insulted the widow of Army Sgt. La David Johnson, saying he “knew what he was signing up for," failed to praise Johnson as a hero, and left her crying after his call. Trump called the Congresswoman who reported his remarks a liar, even after the slain soldier’s mother confirmed the Congresswoman told the truth. Other families of soldiers killed confirm Trump never called them. Now Gold Star mother Candie Glisson has penned this open letter to the President, originally published by Common Defense PAC:
October 19, 2017 (Washington D.C.) -- My son was killed in Iraq. Here’s my message to Trump: On October 4th, 2017, four of our troops were killed in an ambush in Niger. For twelve long days, we didn’t hear a word from this Commander in Chief. Twelve days. Total silence.
The national anthem protests demonstrated by players using their platform on the NFL gridiron are protests against racial injustice, not the flag or military. I'd argue that if civil rights activists, including athletes like Muhammad Ali and Jackie Robinson, watched the NFL now, they'd applaud these patriotic men.
By Vinny Lavalsiti
Editor, The Summit newspaper, Grossmont College
Photo: Washington Redskins players kneeling in game against Oakland Raiders; cc by Keith Allison
October 11, 2017 (San Diego) -- When sports collide with politics, it's a beautiful thing to see. Well, for me at least. I do realize that there are the average Joes out there with their beer helmets who like to sit in their recliner for eight hours and watch nothing but football. I’ve been there! But please keep an open mind when reading the following.
October 8, 2017 (San Diego) -- As an Army veteran and constituent of Rep. Duncan Hunter (CA-50), I was shocked by Hunter’s recent calls for preemptive war with North Korea. I spent twenty-seven years in uniformed service to my country, and I expect a combat veteran like him to be far more cautious about committing us to actions that we all know would result in the death of hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of innocent civilians. It would also put tens of thousands of Americans in uniform in mortal danger.
October 8, 2017 (San Diego's East County) - This letter is in response to the articles covering the recent shooting in Las Vegas.
The second amendment of the United States Constitution states: "A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed." Obviously the need for a state militia has been replaced by the National Guard and Coast Guard whereby trained military personnel are entrusted with the defense of this country against domestic enemies. Their weapons are tightly controlled and safeguarded.
October 7, 2017 (San Diego) — Firearms Policy Coalition (FPC) has issued the following statement concerning calls for new bans and regulations on firearms and firearm accessories:
In depraved acts of self-centered posturing, politicians who do not respect our Constitution are leveraging the recent tragedy in Las Vegas to push for more unconstitutional bans and restrictions on common, semi-automatic firearms, ammunition, and accessories.
October 7, 2017 (San Diego) - According to an article in the San Diego Union-Tribune, “The Trump administration on Friday moved to roll back the federal requirement for employers to include birth control coverage in their health insurance plans, vastly expanding exemptions for those that cite moral or religious objections (Robert Pear. “Birth Control Mandate Rolled Back”, October 7, 2017, page A1). People believe that health insurance is a bonus offered by employers. Not true! To understand this, one has to understand both the history of employer-based health insurance and what a pay/wage packet is.
By Patricia Landis, former board member, Julian-Cuyamaca Fire Protection District
October 7, 2017 (Julian) -- I am a retired psychologist and not a journalist or investigative reporter. As a psychologist, my job was to listen. Maybe that is why so many individuals come and tell me “what’s going on.” I have become a repository of information about our fire department and I believe I need to share what I am hearing because it affects the lives of all of us living in the Julian-Cuyamaca fire district.
September 28, 2017 (La Mesa) --The City Council is understandably embarrassed by its serial fumbles on Little Flower Haven’s future. Having the four lawyers who sit on the dais (three Councilmembers and the City Attorney) publicly schooled by a lone attorney from Silvergate Development must have hurt. Most folks can understand that.
But the peevish attempt to shift culpability for the Little Flower fiasco by discrediting and then threatening to abolish the Design Review Board (DRB) resists all understanding. Burying the DRB in the Planning Commission would be a significant loss for residents. Here’s why.