Editorials

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

READER’S EDITORIAL: BIDEN MUST URGE THE SENATE TO END THE FILIBUSTER

By Staley Pitts

October 20, 2021 (La Mesa) -- Biden has a choice to make: Does he want to establish his legacy as a president who fought for voting rights, or not?

In order to be remembered as a president who fought for voting rights, Biden must do more than ask the Senate to pass voting rights legislation. He knows as well as we do that bills like the Freedom to Vote Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act won’t make it through the Senate unless we abolish the filibuster.


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READER’S EDITORIAL: THE LAST CHANCE FOR CLIMATE POLICY THIS DECADE

By Brian Schrader

Photo: CCC by SA via Bing

October 1, 2021 (San Diego) -- The Senate’s still-in-progress budget bill is probably the last meaningful chance we have to seriously mitigate climate change. This is it! Call your representatives and tell them to support the reconciliation bill.


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READER’s EDITORIAL: SANTEE CITY COUNCIL IS CONSIDERING LEGALIZING MARIJUANA: VOICE YOUR CONCERNS AT NEXT WORKSHOP OCTOBER 13

By Erik Wiese, President, Wiese & Associates

September 26, 2021 (Santee) -- The city Councilmembers and staff of Santee should be congratulated on their historical opposition to allowing cannabis dispensaries to open up in our city. For years, they have maintained the health and safety of our citizens as their primary concerns.


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READER'S EDITORIAL: BEAUCRACY IN THE WORLD'S MOST EXPENSIVE HEALTHCARE SYSTEM: KAISER PERMANENTE MEDICARE ADVANTAGE AS AN EXAMPLE

By Joel A. Harrison, PhD, MPH

September 2, 2021 (San Diego) - As in many other technologically advanced democracies, the U.S. is blessed with highly trained medical personnel and superb facilities. However, we are also by far the most expensive healthcare system in the world. Our taxes fund 65% of the total costs of our healthcare system (Harrison, 2008). More than 30 cents on every dollar goes to large partly unaccountable administrative bureaucracies that, on the whole, do not make a positive contribution to actual health care (Harrison, 2018).


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READER’S EDITORIAL: WE ARE ALL AT RISK

By Joel A. Harrison, PhD, MPH

Photo: Creative Commons by SA-NC via Bing

August 29, 2021 (San Diego) -- I could write an entire paper just documenting numerous cases where people who thought they were well-insured, discovered all too late they weren’t. The following are just a few examples:


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READER’S EDITORIAL: JACUMBA HOT SPRINGS PUTTING OUT SOS: LEARN ABOUT SOLAR PROJECT TRYING TO “SWALLOW THE TOWN” AT ICE CREAM SOCIAL AUG. 7

By Jeffery Osborne

August 5, 2021 (Jacumba Hot Springs) -- The Jacumba Hot Springs community is getting together Saturday, August 7th at 11 a.m. for an Ice Cream Social and swim at Jacumba Lake to raise awareness about the mega solar project that is trying to swallow up the community. Nothing like this project has ever been proposed in San Diego County.


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READER'S EDITORIAL: THANK YOU TO GOV. NEWSOM AND CALIFORNIA FROM ALS ASSOCIATION FOR `WRAPAROUND FUNDING’

East County News Service

By Steve Becvar

July 20, 2021 (San Diego) – Thank you, California.

Thank you for your empathy and your commitment to patients and families in the Golden State suffering with ALS, or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, a progressive neurological disease often called Lou Gehrig’s Disease.


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WITH CHALLENGE COMES CHANGE: FIRST PRIZE IN EAST COUNTY LEADERSHIP COUNCIL'S COVID-19 ESSAY CONTEST

This essay won first prize ($1,000) in the East County Leadership Council (ECLC) 2021 COVID-19 essay contest. Prize money has been provided through the generosity of ECLC donors and a grant from the Foundation for Economic Justice.

By Anonymous Grossmont Union High School District (GUHSD) student in East County Leadership Council’s (ECLC) COVID-19 Essay Contest (First Prize)

“The struggle you’re in today is developing the strength you need for tomorrow.” —Robert Tew.

July 15, 2021 (San Diego's East County) -- Throughout our lifetime, we pass through so many different situations, some that make us smile and others that make us cry. We get rewarded by some, and we get challenged by others. What is interesting though is that we get to pick the way we react. We get to choose our life and shape it the way we want, despite our struggles, and if we do that right, we develop our strengths. When the COVID-19 pandemic broke out in the United States, it was a struggle for everyone, and only the people who overcame their struggles came out of it stronger than ever. Personally, I had to overcome challenges academically since online school was extremely difficult, physically since my health was deteriorating as my weight increased, and mentally, since my mental health was worsening as well. However, although there were many challenges and struggles that came with COVID-19, there were also gains.  


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FAMILY LIFE DURING COVID'S YEAR-AND-A-HALF: SECOND PRIZE IN EAST COUNTY LEADERSHIP COUNCIL'S ESSAY CONTEST

This essay won second prize in the East County Leadership Council (ECLC) 2021 COVID-19 essay contest. Prize money has been provided through the generosity of ECLC donors and a grant from the Foundation for Economic Justice.

By Anonymous Grossmont Union High School District (GUHSD) student in East County Leadership Council’s (ECLC) COVID-19 Essay Contest (Second Prize)

July 14, 2021 (San Diego's East County) -- Every single one of us has been affected by the current COVID-19 virus whether it was in a positive or negative way. However, the pandemic has affected people differently depending on our social status and our income. While some are adapting to school online and staying home for quarantine others are adapting to losing their jobs. COVID-19 has caused many businesses to go out of business, resulting in an overall of 25% of U.S. adults being laid off or losing their job. This doesn’t only have an effect on the adults but even on the children. From personal experience, I constantly think and stress about bills being paid because the idea of being homeless again is terrifying. The COVID-19 outbreak has caused low-income families to struggle to put food on the table and struggle with paying household bills as well as medical bills. It has been proven that the pandemic has hit low-income families the hardest, specifically African American and Hispanic households. 


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TELL ME HOW YOU REALLY FEEL - A CANDID ACCOUNT OF COVID-19

This essay shared third prize in the East County Leadership Council (ECLC) 2021 COVID-19 essay contest. Prize money has been provided through the generosity of ECLC donors and a grant from the Foundation for Economic Justice.

By Maryam Hashimi

El Cajon Valley High School student

July 13, 2021 (San Diego's East County) -- I was glad that schools were closing when Covid hit, but I was unaware of the difficult portion that lay ahead.

One of the most difficult aspects of COVID-19 was being at home the entire time. Throughout the academic year, I was heavily involved in school events. I would leave for school at 7 a.m. and return at 7 p.m.

Moving from a full schedule to an empty one was a significant adjustment. I simply didn’t know what to do with myself at home. My track and field, volleyball, and fashion show were all canceled, which made me very sad. Those were the only things that could keep me motivated and joyful on a daily basis. I grew depressed and had sporadic moments that I simply cried because I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to achieve my goals.


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NEW NORMAL

This essay shared third prize in the East County Leadership Council (ECLC) 2021 COVID-19 essay contest. Prize money has been provided through the generosity of ECLC donors and a grant from the Foundation for Economic Justice.

By Merna Poulis

El Cajon Valley High School student

July 12, 2021 (San Diego's East County) -- The COVID-19 pandemic has affected numerous aspects of our society today. Hand sanitizing stations have been installed in every corner. Physical touch has been frowned upon for the past year, and distance is the new normal. Masks have become a substantial part of our everyday look. Going to school, or receiving an education has easily been one of the biggest challenges that everyone has had to face. Overall, COVID-19 has strongly impacted each and every one of us, but the classrooms have changed the way students view school physically, mentally, and emotionally. 


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COVID AFFECTED US ALL

This essay shared third prize in the East County Leadership Council (ECLC) 2021 COVID-19 essay contest. Prize money has been provided through the generosity of ECLC donors and a grant from the Foundation for Economic Justice.

By Julia Baxter

West Hills High School student

July 11, 2021 (San Diego's East County) -- Even if you were not infected by COVID-19, no person escaped being impacted by it. The virus infiltrated every aspect of life, from having to instinctively grab a mask before leaving the house to causing national lockdowns. Life revolving around the coronavirus is starting to feel like the new normal. Students are one particular group that’s accustomed to persisting in the face of adversity, but the latest challenge has been difficult to adjust to for many, and it’s sink or swim. 

After experiencing almost a full school year in the midst of a pandemic, the unpredictability of life is beginning to grow old. Upperclassmen deal with colleges changing their requirements for applications on a monthly basis. They’re anxious about tests like the SAT and ACT being canceled and rescheduled constantly, and fight to get in extracurriculars to make up for lost time during the lockdown. Underclassmen are either freshmen who didn’t finish their last semester of middle school and began their first year of high school without seeing their teachers in person until September, or they are sophomores who did not get the chance to finish adjusting to high school expectations due to having their school year cut short.


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READER'S EDITORIAL: WHY EVERYONE SHOULD CELEBRATE JUNETEENTH, THE NEW FEDERAL HOLIDAY

By Donald H. Harrison, Editor, San Diego Jewish World, a member of the San Diego Online News Association 

Photo:  President Joe Biden on Thursday signed a bill making Juneteenth a federal holiday.

June 17, 2021 (San Diego) - I was delighted to learn that Congress, by an overwhelming vote, has decided that Juneteenth should be a federal holiday. President Joe Biden subsequently signed the Juneteenth bill into law.


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READER’S EDITORIAL: IT’S TIME TO ABOLISH THE FILIBUSTER

By Patrick Cameron

Image: Creative Commons image by SA via Bing

Senate filibusters have been part of the U.S. Senate rules since 1806, used as a procedure for a minority party to block legislation

June 3, 2021 (San Diego) -- There’s so much being written about the filibuster these days, but in all the articles I read I feel like this important point gets lost: The filibuster isn’t mentioned in our Constitution. Not even one time.


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READER'S EDITORIAL: WARTIME CHAOS AND SPECULATION

By Ira Sharkansky, Ph.D., San Diego Jewish World, a member of the San Diego Online News Association.

May 18, 2021 (Jerusalem) - Lots of missiles coming from Gaza to Israel.

Lots of damage in Gaza.

And something close to civil war within Israel, with Arab mobs attacking Jews and their property in what had been peaceful settings with two communities; plus Jewish mobs doing the same to Arabs and their property.


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READER'S EDITORIAL: THE PEOPLE VS. SEXUALLY VIOLENT PREDATORS: THE COUNTY NEEDS TO DO ITS JOB

By Kathleen Hedberg, PE, MPH

May 17, 2021 (San Diego) - Whenever there’s a news report that a sexually violent predator is proposed to be placed in a community, the neighbors are always outraged – even though a Superior Court judge has heard the evidence and determined the person is safe to be conditionally released. Then why are the neighbors so upset?


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THE ISRAELI-PALESTINIAN WAR: A PERSONAL REFLECTION

By Don Harrison, San Diego Jewish World, a member of the San Diego Online News Association

May 15, 2021 (San Diego) - A friend asked what is my reaction to the current war between Israeli Jews and Palestinian and Israeli Arabs.

It’s painful to watch.  I imagine every other Jew and every Arab feels exactly the same way.


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READER’S EDITORIAL: COVID-19 TAKES ITS TOLL ON TEENS

By Branson Bajoua
 
May 13, 2021 (Rancho San Diego) -- Jogging down a stretch of sidewalk, edged with vibrant sprouts of grass as a breath of air gently passes by. Soaking in the summer sun floating just above the horizon before settling a match of volleyball. Or perhaps you’re eyeing an empty row of seats in a packed theater, popcorn in one hand with a slushy resting in the other, as you signal to your friends. Admittedly, we have all imagined ourselves in any one of these scenarios. Being in quarantine for over a year, who could blame us?

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READER'S EDITORIAL: LEGISLATORS MUST FUND 988 CRISIS HELP LINE

By Emily Miller, Alpine

Photo: cc via Bing

May 10, 2021 (Alpine) -- May is Mental Health Month. By urging my public officials to prioritize suicide prevention, mental health, and crisis care, I am hoping to influence collective change to support #MentalHealth4All.

Right now, individuals in crisis are able to call 1-800-273-8255 to reach the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. The Lifeline provides 24/7, free and confidential support for people in distress and those that care for them. Soon, it will be much easier to remember how to reach the Lifeline as the number will be changing to "988" nationwide by July 2022.


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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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