Reader's Editorials

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. 

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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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.”

READER’S EDITORIAL: COUNTY READIES TO DISRESPECT THE VOTERS—BIG TIME

 

Reprinted with permission from the Valley Roadrunner

By David Ross

May 10, 2018 (Valley Center) -- Anyone who knows me knows I generally turn up my nose at conspiracy theories. But there is something going on at the County’s planning department that is worthy of the word “conspiracy,” one that involves the ultimate disrespecting of the voters.

Unless I’m missing something, it also has the unspoken complicity of the lame duck members of the Board of Supervisors who will exit the board at the end of 2018.    Something this big could not be carried forward by the staff of County Planning and Development Services without their knowledge and tacit approval.

READER’S EDITORIAL: SETTING THE RECORD STRAIGHT ON CAJON VALLEY SCHOOL BOARD MEETING

 

By Michael Schwartz, Executive Director, San Diego County Gun Owners PAC

May 7, 2018 (El Cajon) -- While reading a recent  reader’s editorial in East County Magazine about a school board meeting, I was surprised the author grossly misrepresented what happened at the school board meeting. I thought about ignoring the ridiculous claims, but when misinformation gets published in a media outlet, it is important that the truth is heard. 

READER’S EDITORIAL: JIM MILLER MUST RESIGN

 

By Kilian Colin

“Mr. Miller is nothing but a bully, mocking people who want to oppose his political views.” –Kilian Colin, who has launched a Recall Jim Miller page on Facebook.

May 5, 2018 (El Cajon) -- I was just starting my breakfast before heading to school. I like to check news and social media while eating breakfast, and I noticed an article about a counseling intern at Hillsdale Middle School who had her contract revoked because she spoke to the press about the fact that the students who participated in the March 14 school walk out for Parkland were given detention. I was upset to learn that the intern’s First Amendment right to freedom of speech was violated. I decided to attend the next board meeting to speak to the board about this unfair action against the intern, who lost her job and was banned from applying to any future position in the district.

READER’S EDITORIAL: SAFETY CONCERNS REGARDING BUS ROUTES AGREEMENT BETWEEN GROSSMONT AND ALPINE UNION SCHOOL DISTRICTS

 

An open letter to the Grossmont-Union High School District governing board asserts changes led to “very late buses, lost children” and other serious problems

By Holly Hernandez, California School Employees Association President, Chapter 607 Alpine

April 30, 2018 (Alpine) -- CSEA has concerns with transportation issues that have been reoccurring since last Tuesday April 10th, 2018.

During Bargaining on April 12th, 2018, it was voiced by Holly Hernandez that GUHSD would not be able to go to four routes in Alpine. After four days of drastically failing at the attempt to comply with only four bus routes, the following occurred; very late buses, lost children, routes getting to bus stops in the mornings very early because of last minute route changes, parents not being notified of changes, incorrect student rosters, kindergartners being on the bus for up to 1 hr. 45 minutes, and very worried and frustrated students and parents.

READER’S EDITORIAL: HOW DANCE HELPED ME OVERCOME SM

 

By Jaxie Russell

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!

READER’S EDITORIAL: WHEN IS ENOUGH, ENOUGH?

 

By Mary England, Councilmember 2000-2012 retired

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.

READER’S EDITORIAL: LA MESA CITY COUNCIL ADOPTS STRONG CLIMATE ACTION PLAN—SD350 VOLUNTEERS LEARN WHAT GRASSROOTS ORGANIZING CAN ACCOMPLISH

 

By Angela Deegan, SanDiego350

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.

READER’S EDITORIAL: THE SO-CALLED VACCINE DEBATE, FALSE BALANCE IN THE MASS MEDIA & THE RISK TO PUBLIC HEALTH

 

An example from the San Diego Union-Tribune

By Joel A. Harrison, PhD, MPH

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

READER’S EDITORIAL: PLANNERS SHOULD OPPOSE LA MESA SUMMIT, PROPOSED LUXURY HOMES ON CITY’S HIGHEST WESTERN HILLTOP

 

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.  

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