Reader's Editorials

READER’S EDITORIAL: LA MESA CITY COUNCIL SET TO APPROVE HAZARDOUS 5G SMALL CELLS TUESDAY

La Mesa City Council meeting October 22 at 6 p.m. needs your input to keep ugly, dangerous small cell towers off your street

By Susan Brinchman

Photo:  Small Cells on pole in Topanga, CA (Dafna Tachover)

October 20, 2019 (La Mesa) -- URGENT ALERT! The La Mesa City Council will vote on a policy to allow thousands of  very hazardous 4G and 5G small cells (cell towers on poles) to blanket La Mesa's streets, at their public meeting on Tues. 10/22/19, at La Mesa City Council Chambers, 8130 Allison Ave. La Mesa, CA 91942. It starts at 6 PM and  agenda item #7 (see below) will occur sometime later. Note that  scheduling it late in the meeting is a typical ploy used to reduce community input on controversial or harmful agenda items, and oversight. This certainly falls under all of those categories.

READER'S EDITORIAL: CALIFORNIA MUST ACT TO PROTECT MOUNTAIN LIONS

By J.P. Ross and Tiffany Yap | CALmatters

CALmatters is an independent public interest journalism venture covering California state politics and government.

Photo:  Mountain lion P-61 was struck and killed on the 405 Freeway in the Sepulveda Pass after being chased by another male cougar on Sept. 7, 2019. National Park Service photo

October 12, 2019 (San Diego's East County) - These are deadly times for California mountain lions.

READER’S EDITORIAL: AREN’T WE WORTH THE INVESTMENT?

By Jerry Jones, Lemon Grove Councilman

“Let’s first save the city, and then deal with the leadership and trust issues.” – Councilman Jerry Jones

October 4, 2019 (Lemon Grove) -- While I am supporting a city sales tax for Lemon Grove I did oppose the one proposed for last year for a number of reasons. I was very clear in my 11-page PowerPoint that the 1/2 cent was not enough and what I felt next steps should be. At no time did I advocate for disincorporation, though I did call for a discussion on what that would look like. For some people transparency is just a word, not me. I was very clear about the steps needed to address our problem with the end result being a 1 cent tax measure placed on the 2020 ballot. Yes, one cent is a heavy lift but by my calculations and forecast that is what it will take to make us sustainable. I am not a tax kind of guy in principle. For some the word tax is an immutable principle and to be avoided at all cost. The good people of Lemon Grove expect me to protect their asset, that is the city, not force my principles on them. If the facts support a tax that will sustain, benefit the community and improve my home then I will fight as hard as I can to make that happen under the right circumstances. The Citizens initiative, circulating a petition currently, is only 3/4 versus the one cent I proposed but my calculations say that it will work. It just leaves us less to invest than I would have wanted and will require a larger reserve. 

READER’S EDITORIAL: IT’S TIME TO STOP THE MARKETING AND SALES OF VAPING DEVICES AND FLAVORED PRODUCTS USED IN THEM

We applaud the 26 California jurisdictions that have taken these steps and encourage El Cajon to join them.” – Dana Stevens

By Dana Stevens, Community Action Service & Advocacy (CASA)

Photo: Chance Ammirata shared these photos on Twitter of his collapsed lung and lung spots, which doctors attributed to vaping. The 18-year-old Florida student underwent emergency surgery and was told he can no longer do cross country running or scuba diving.

September 20, 2019 (San Diego’s East County) -- Hundreds of people have been hospitalized across the country, including 12 here in San Diego, by a respiratory illness linked to vaping that has claimed eight lives – sadly this number seems to increase daily. If emergency rooms were facing this rush of illness from any other source, it would have been pulled from the shelves within days. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the government agency that regulates tobacco products, describes an outbreak as when two or more people get the same illness from the same food or drink contaminant. Food producers recall their product from the marketplace when the products are mislabeled or causes illness. Vaping devices, the flavored liquid used in those devices, and the liquid form of THC are not regulated by the FDA.  

READER'S EDITORIAL: RECENT VAPING DEATH MAKES FDA THREE-YEAR PLAN FOR YOUTH RESTRICTIONS FEEL LIKE A MILLENIUM

How much more damage will be done before the fix is in?

 

By Joshua Mansour, M.D.

 

Photo via Creative Commons

August 27, 2019 (San Diego) - Despite the recent vaping death, the FDA is still allowing e-cigarette makers until 2022 to submit their plans for preventing underage access to their products.  But is that too late?  While e-cigarettes and vaping were initially intended to help adults quit smoking traditional cigarettes, they have managed to entice younger individuals to pick up this dangerous habit.  The colorful packaging, different flavors, and seemingly harmless. 

READER’S EDITORIAL: SUPERVISORS’ APPROVAL OF 4G / 5G ORDINANCE WITH NO SETBACK FROM HOMES FAVORS INDUSTRY OVER RESIDENTS

By Susan Brinchman, Director, Center for Electrosmog Prevention

Photo: Creative Commons

August 13, 2019 (San Diego) -- San Diego County Supervisors voted unanimously on Wed., Aug. 7th, in "done deal fashion", for a  4G / 5G "Small Cell Wireless Ordinance" for the unincorporated areas of San Diego County that favors industry over residents. 

READER’S EDITORIAL: “SOME ARE DOWN MEMORY LANE, SOME ARE ON FIRE.”

By Preston Brown

 

Photo: Preston Brown, copyright (c) 2019

 

July 23, 2019, (San Diego’s East County) -- Recently at the Board of Supervisors hearing on the Otay Ranch V14 Project, “Adara," all the issues of land use in the wildland urban interface (WUI), environmental protection, conservation, urban planning, housing sprawl, fire safety and the County process for granting approval came together in this one project proposal for Proctor Valley in the Jamul Dulzura Sub Area Plan jurisdiction. 

 

Some people have a knack for hitting the bull’s eye. That would be our Supervisor Dianne Jacob of the 2nd District. Dianne spoke first and her first question was this. ‘Do you folks have any fire insurance?’ ‘Have you been able to get fire insurance?’ This was a memorable moment. The room just froze. A proposal for 1,119 new high-density housing sprawl in a very high fire prone area in California and no one had thought about fire insurance.

READER’S EDITORIAL: MISSING PERSONS REPORTS AND ENTRY INTO NAMUS DNA DATABASE SHOULD BE STANDARD PROTOCOL

By June A. Sortore

 

Photo: Shawn Lone Wolf Cristman

 

June 3, 2019 (Santa Ysabel) -- The sheer volume of missing and unidentified person cases poses one of the greatest challenges to agencies tasked with resolving these type of cases. Over 600,000 individuals go missing in the United States every year.

 

Many missing children and adults are quickly found alive and well. However, tens of thousands of individuals remain missing for more than one year. These are what most "agencies" consider "cold cases."

 

READER'S EDITORIAL: SANDAG MISUSE OF OUR TAXES

By James Rue, El Cajon

June 2, 2019 (San Diego’s East County) – Hello, SANDAG.  I'm in fear of misuse of our tax dollars by SANDAG, and I would like my opinion heard.

For more than 30 years I commuted to/from downtown San Diego. I drove, I carpooled, and commuted using public transportation (bus & trolley).

And your system still stinks. Originally, I'm from one of those very large cities where public transportation was accessible on every corner, and the fare was reasonable.  San Diego, and metro area is NOT accessible.  I remember leaving home two and half hours to three hours early to get to work, using public transportation and always getting home several hours late. When I carpooled I left about an hour earlier and if I drove myself and left 30 minutes earlier I could be at work in less than 25 minutes.  I have some suggestions for you to consider.

READER'S EDITORIAL: FORMER JULIAN FIRE & MEDICAL SERVICES CHIEF SPEAKS OUT

 

 

By Mike Van Bibber

April 14, 2019 (Julian) -- A message to our family, friends, and neighbors in the Julian-Cuyamaca community, throughout California, and across the United States:

The men and women of the Julian-Cuyamaca Fire Protection District are facing an illegal government takeover of our volunteer fire department — San Diego County’s last volunteer department — and that’s putting the public at risk. 

Throughout our history, JCFPD has been responding to emergency calls in our community: heart attacks, car crashes, wildfires, you name it. More than 60 members strong, we proudly serve everyone in the community — whether local or visitor, young or old, rich or poor, regardless of culture or creed. We are woven into the community’s fabric and remain in the station ready to serve in the event of an emergency. 

Legal documents and bureaucrats call this place a “special district.” We call it “home.”

Normally we’d be waiting here in the station until someone calls in need of help. Our history has always been responding to calls for help. But today is different. 

Today we are asking you for help. Today we are the ones who desperately need your help.

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.”

Pages