An Editorial By Miriam Raftery Editor, East County Magazine
June 3, 2009 (San Diego’s East County)—If California ever needed an action hero at the helm, it’s now. Instead, Arnold has taken the “girlie man” way out –balancing the budget on the backs of the poor by proposing to eliminate healthcare for children and welfare-to-work programs. He also wants to close 80% of state parks, release prisoners, and slash school spending.
By Bill Weaver, Alpine High School Citizens Committee (AHSCC) Chairperson June 1, 2009 (Alpine)--There is so much happening so quickly it seems that the carriage is very much leading the horses towards the finish of this very important race to get our new 12th local Grossmont Union High School District (GUHSD) high school built, and built right!
As most political junkies are aware, California just held a special election two days ago in which voters were asked to approve measures to close our enormous budget deficit by borrowing against the lottery, stealing from children's education and mental health services programs, and agreeing to a painful spending cap in exchange for moderate, regressive tax increases. Voters overwhelmingly rejected those measures, approving only one proposition denying legislators the ability to raise their own salaries during bad budget years.
By Assemblyman Joel Anderson “California is about to increase taxes on businesses. If you would like information about moving your business to Texas, press 1.” This was an automated phone call I received in February during budget negotiations. Slick recruiting methods used by other states should be a wake-up call to the State Legislature that increasing taxes on Californians only drives jobs and companies out of state, or worse, out of business.
Water, water everywhere: How San Diego Can Become Water Self-Sufficient—And Even Be a Water Exporter
A Commentary By Jim Bell
May 10, 2009 (San Diego)--Many experts are projecting doom and gloom, scenarios of decreasing water supplies and increasing cost, yet the San Diego/Tijuana Region can easily become renewable water self-sufficient and even become a net water exporter. Yes, that’s right. We can have plenty of water for drinking, showering, growing food and even swimming—with liquid assets to spare.
By Tracy Emblem (Democratic candidate, 50th Congressional District)
March 27, 2009 (San Diego)--The Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA) is vital to rebuild America’s economy. But the right-wing media is disseminating false information and scare tactics aimed at duping the public regarding EFCA.
We are losing the middle class. Wages are spiraling downward, workers are losing healthcare, yet CEOs are earning hundreds of times more than the average employee and pocketing billions in bonuses for failing companies. This is wrong.
March 1, 2009 (San Diego) — On February 12, the U.S. Court of Federal Claims in Washington, D.C. rendered its decision finding no link between autism and vaccines. While researchers, doctors, and public health officials feel vindicated, hoping that vaccination rates will increase, many parents of autistic children are distraught. Autism devastates families both emotionally and financially. People seek answers as to why, both to lay blame and to prevent future cases, and to obtain necessary resources. There are three interconnected issues surrounding the autism-vaccine controversy: 1) the science, 2) vaccination rates, and 3) helping families.
February 26, 2009 (Lakeside)--Last night SDG&E had all of its easels up and tables placed so that folks could mozy around the large Lakeside community room and inform themselves about the Sunrise PowerLink. There were approximately 30 black pants and white shirted people there to help. As soon as a person stopped to read, they were surrounded by these cheerful minders, er, messengers. It was like entering Circuit City.
But even with all these smooooth operators inside, there was trouble brewing outside in the hall. It was "The Battle of the Tables."
February 25, 2009--I was reading the article on your site this morning, where SDG&E plans to turn off power to remote residences during high wind, low humidity days.
This is nothing more than part of their cover-up to prevent a system ground fault on a high windy days from arcing at down guy anchors and starting fires. What they don't get is that depending on where a ground fault occurs, it could still catch the grass on fire, if not corrected.
Additionally, SDG&E has several alternatives other than turning power off to customers who are in need.
As a Campo property owner and native San Diegan I just can't fathom how 120
miles of transmission lines with 150 ft. high steel towers buzzing and crackling their way into San Diego fits with "America's Finest City" image.
February 6, 2009 (San Diego) — In a 20-year saga that
never ends, according to an article in the Union-Tribune on January 8, "opponents of the
cross atop Mount Soledad urged a U.S. appeals court yesterday to overturn a
federal judge's ruling in July that said the controversial La Jolla landmark
could remain." A similar controversy in East County several years ago
was resolved when a cross atop Mt. Helix was transferred from public ownership
to a private group of area homeowners.(Privatization is not
an appropriate option for Soledad, since the site is a U.S. military memorial.)Instead
of rehashing the Constitutional pros and cons, I would like to reflect a moment
on my view of the meaning of Christianity - and the most appropriate monuments
to faith and humanity.
January 19, 2009 (Lakeside) — The election that wouldn't
end is over; all the parties have cranked down their intensity level notch
by notch. The
victors have quietly settled into a new kind of peace, as if committed to demonstrating
in hyperbole the open minds and hearts that they promised would be - the harmony
that comes from choosing peace not war, or even bipartisan sparring.
Questions Regarding the Tragic Death of Nataline Sarkisyan
By Joel A. Harrison, PhD, MPH
6, 2008 — Few people who read about the Nataline Sarkisyan
case last year could have avoided being touched by her tragic death. Recently
her family filed a lawsuit against her insurer, Cigna and is trying to get
criminal charges brought against them as well for refusing to cover a
liver transplant for Nataline, a young leukemia patient. Unfortunately, I
believe media coverage of the story left out a number of crucial points/questions.
Put Americans to work providing fire protection infrastructure and
energy independence for San Diego's fire-ravaged East County region
By Miriam Raftery, Editor, East County Magazine
7, 2008 (San Diego's East County) —President-Elect Barack
Obama is expected to propose the largest infrastructure-rebuilding program
since Franklin Delano Roosevelt initiated the Works Progress Administration
(WPA) during the Great Depression. The goal is to put Americans back
to work and revitalize the economy while also repairing roads, bridges, levees
and other public projects.
While fiscal conservatives may oppose massive spending on public works projects,
the reality is that with a Democratic-controlled Congress, the President's
proposed infusion of capital into infrastructure rebuilding is guaranteed to
pass. "So why not have San Diego County's bipartisan Congressional delegation
propose that a portion of those infrastructure dollars be spent to improve
fire safety right here in East County, where the worst wildfires in California
history struck in 2003 and again in 2007?"
Prop 8 Opponents at November 15th March.
Photo credit: Rick Greenblatt.
Updated December 4, 2008 — Though heterosexual,
I was both saddened and angered at the passage of Prop 8. In California it
takes a two-thirds majority to pass a tax law, i.e. the state taking personal
material property from an individual; but it takes a mere majority to deprive
someone of a civil liberty. Supporters of Prop 8 were angered by the State
Supreme Courts "thwarting the will of the people" in
overturning a previous anti-gay marriage proposition. In Federalist Paper 10,
James Madison, considered the Father of Our Constitution and author of our
Bill of Rights, writes that one of the key purposes of our Constitution was
to [restrain the ability of] "a majority or minority of the whole, who are
united and actuated by some common impulse or passion, or of interest, adverse
to the rights of other citizens." When all else fails, it is the role of our
courts to protect the rights of individuals.
Early voting at the San Diego Registrar of Voters, where
some people waited up to six hours in line.
December 1, 2008 (El Cajon) — I cannot understand why it is so easy to change
the California Constitution. "All it takes is an initiative with 50% of
the vote plus one voter and voila a new amendment to the Constitution." Yes,
it takes 8% to qualify the proposition instead of the usual 5% but does that
bring mature reflection to the process? "I would say not." Especially
since the process is now dominated by moneyed interests who hire paid signature
gatherers -- We've created a slam dunk process for those with money.
Editor’s Note: Proposition 8 seeks to overturn the legality of same-sex
marriages in California.
believe that Proposition 8 is a perfect example of an important fault line
dividing the conservative movement in America today. On one side of this
line are people like me, fiscal conservatives who prefer a government
that does not seek to legislate private morality. On the other side are
those who seek, whether they admit this or not, to turn this republic into
California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) is poised to take action any
day now on Sempra Energy’s proposed Sunrise Powerlink project, which
the CPUC’s own ratepayers’ advocate division has concluded is unnecessary.
In this editorial, Martha Sullivan, former CPUC staffer, lays out a plan of
action for consumers interested in halting the Powerlink project. Sullivan,
now a San Diego resident, also reveals why major environmental groups are opposing
ballot propositions 7 and 10, which she describes as “seriously flawed.”
“School Boards have become a dangerous institution,” warns
Doug Dean, Chair of the East County Chamber of Commerce Business Education
Committee. “One of the poster children in San Diego County for problematic
school boards is the Grossmont Union High School District Governing Board.
Many years ago, one of our political parties made school boards the target
for social change, and the GUHSD was one of the victims. Although it has improved
lately, that board has been contentious and non-collaborative for decades,
resulting in a district that is rotting from the inside out. Current new candidates
threaten to throw it back into the past.”
(Editor’s note: The name of this author has been withheld
upon request, due to privacy concerns. All details have been fact-checked
Proposition 4 would outlaw abortion for minors unless parental notification
or a judicial order is obtained.
What's wrong with restricting abortion access for teens? We already
require girls to obtain a parent's permission for piercings or other
medical procedures, right?
The answer is not so simple. If you are pro life, be aware that voting "yes" on
Prop 4 could jeopardize the health or even the life of your daughter and other
teens. As a reporter for nearly 30 years, I've interviewed countless
women, girls, fathers, counselors and medical professionals on this issue. What
I've learned is that there are many grey areas where moral clarity is
Any registered voter may vote by vote-by-mail ballot.
Rather than go to the polls to cast a ballot on election-day, you may apply
for a vote-by-mail ballot, which you will need to complete and return to your
-The California Secretary of State
According to results from recent elections
in San Diego County, we can expect as many as half a million citizens to vote-by-mail
this November. What we don't
know is how many of the ballots are actually counted by the registrar of voters.
Or more specifically, how many are invalidated because they arrive too late
to be included in the election results. Not surprisingly, Registrars of
Voters don't publish those facts.
not surprising that the American people are against the $700 billion financial
rescue plan, which was rejected by Congress on Monday. We’ve
seen this movie before, where the government steps in with taxpayer funds to
rescue those who overdosed on greed, and we’re not interested in seeing
it again. After our government lied and mismanaged its way into a
quagmire in Iraq that has increased the burden for taxpayers by trillions,
why should we trust them now? They say we must fork over another $700
billion to stabilize the financial system, the same financial system that allowed
banks and mortgage companies to knowingly issue bad mortgages and convert them
to risky investments that were sold to investors as safe. At the same
time, too many of our political leaders in Washington seem more concerned about
the next election than solving the financial crisis, which leaves us disinclined
to trust them either.
Governor Vetoes Health Reforms, Terminates Consumer Protection Bills
By Senator Sheila Kuehl
September 30, the Governor finished wielding his veto pen and, in one sweeping
move, eliminated virtually every health reform measure that would have regulated
the health insurance company monopoly.
Health reform was not alone,
bill after bill that would have benefited consumers, drivers, people
who breathe, people who drink water, and just people who rely on their state
government to protect them, had its throat cut.