Editorials

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

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.

READER’S EDITORIAL: CITIZENS’ INITIATIVE TO FUND JULIAN-CUYAMACA FIRE DISTRICT

 

By Pat Landis, PhD

September 14, 2018 (Julian) - Proposition QQ will be on the November 6, 2018, ballot in San Diego County. This is a Citizens' Initiative to raise the benefit fee for Julian-Cuyamaca Fire Protection District. Proponents believe that a simple majority vote is required to pass this measure.

READER’S EDITORIAL: FUTURE OF WOMEN’S REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH ON THE LINE IN NEXT ELECTION

 

By Ellen Holzman, Julian, California

August 27, 2018 (San Diego) - With the November election on the near horizon, it’s vital that we all understand why we must vote for Ammar Campa-Najjar for Congress: Ammar believes “women are capable of making their own choices regarding their bodies and reproduction.”

READER’S EDITORIAL: KALASHO’S CANDIDATE STATEMENT SLURS EL CAJON AS UNAMERICAN

 

By Jamie Freitas

Councilman Kalasho is running in District 1 in El Cajon, a city with a high population of immigrants and refugees, and which celebrates its diversity and patriotism with an annual “America on Main Street celebration (photo). Last year, that event included a citizenship ceremony for people from 54 different countries.

August 15, 2018 (El Cajon) – Councilman Ben Kalasho thinks El Cajon is dirty,unsafe and does not resemble America. Per his Candidate Statement he submitted he states, "I know that most Fletcher Hills and Grossmont area residents shop in Santee or La Mesa. Why? Because it's safer, cleaner & still feels like you're in America."

READER'S EDITORIAL: WHILE ROME (AND MOST EVERYWHERE ELSE) BURNS

 

The Trump administration is taking action, but in precisely the wrong direction.

By

The sky above Soda Bay, Calif. is seen on July 30, 2018 as the River Fire burns. (Photo:  Bob Schoenherr/flickr/cc)

August 5, 2018 (San Diego's East County) -- By now we’re accustomed to learning that every year brings record high temperatures around the world. Extreme weather, says Prof. Michael Mann of Pennsylvania State University, “is the face of climate change. We literally would not have seen these extremes in the absence of climate change. The impacts of climate change are no longer subtle. We are seeing them play out in real time and what is happening this summer is a perfect example of that. We are seeing our predictions come true. As a scientist that is reassuring, but as a citizen of planet Earth, it is very distressing to see that as it means we have not taken the necessary action.”

READER’S EDITORIAL: REVEALED—HERE’S WHAT RUSSIA `HAS’ ON TRUMP

 

By Ricken Patel, Avaaz

July 21, 2018 (San Diego) - It’s now shockingly clear that Donald Trump is Putin’s poodle.

But we need the world to understand why, before it’s too late…

Trump's businesses went bankrupt so many times in the 1990s that many legitimate banks wouldn’t lend to him anymore. He turned to Russian oligarchs -- Putin’s ruling clique -- to bankroll his projects, and launder their dirty money for them. This was, and continues to be, a huge part of his business. He’s a Russian money launderer.

READER’S EDITORIAL: DOES HONESTY MATTER ANYMORE?

 

By Susan Conrad

May 31, 2018 (San Diego’s East County) — I had one of those great moments as a parent watching my child earn a milestone achievement as he made Life rank in Boy Scouts the other night. I reflected on what I appreciate most about this fine organization.  While I’m sure the best parts for him are the hiking and camping trips, I value most the ethics and values he has learned through the years. Sadly, though, I feel like we live in such a dishonest time right now, and I feel like the adults really need to do something about it so our kids aren’t left thinking that honesty and doing the right thing when no one is looking doesn’t really matter. So as parents and role models to our youth, what can we do?

READER’S EDITORIAL: A PLEA TO GOVERNOR BROWN – PROTECT US FROM THE WILDFIRES THAT THREATEN US MOST. IT’S NOT ABOUT THE FORESTS.

 

Twelve recommendations to protect communities from wildfire, based on science and needs of our families and greatest risk

By the Chaparral Institute

Photo: Devastation of the Fountaingrove II community in Santa Barbara during the 2017 Tubbs fire was predictable. The area had burned in 1964 and the city was warned by its own planning department that the area was too dangerous to build homes in, but development was approved despite not following general plan guidelines.

May 17, 2018 (Escondido) -- The lead purpose of Governor Brown’s Executive Order of May 10, 2018 is to “Protect Communities from Wildfire.” The order emphasizes that “eight of the state’s 20 most destructive fires have occurred in the past four years.”

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