Editorials

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

READER’S EDITORIAL: THE FUTURE OF EL MONTE VALLEY

 

 

Editor’s note: This essay paints a picture of what El Monte Valley could look like in the future; Sunrise Power Link has been built; solar and sand-mining projects are planned or proposed.

By Rob Foster 

August 26, 2015 (Lakeside)--Early mornings, I like to walk outside with coffee in hand and sit down facing the morning sun. Gazing northeast the scar left from the Sunrise project are clearly seen. Sun lit power towers draped with wires and ten acres of stripped land below scenic El Capitan Mtn. SDG&E promised the ten acre site would be returned to its original undisturbed state. SDG&E destroys the ecosystem leaving an ugly scare in a matter of months. Thank you for the reminder of a broken promise.

 As I look east,  a glare catches my eyes.

READER'S EDITORIAL: THE TRAGIC DEATH OF KATHRYN STEINLE IN SAN FRANCISCO: WHAT IS MISSING FROM THE NARRATIVE?

 

By Joel A. Harrison, PhD, MPH

Photo: Creative Commons image by Rama

Updated August 6, 2015 (San Diego's East County) --As the narrative goes, Juan Francisco López-Sánchez, an illegal immigrant with a long criminal history in the United States, who had been deported several times, was to be deported again; but San Francisco’s sanctuary law delayed handing him over to the Immigration and Nationalization Service. López-Sánchez claims he found the gun and was shooting at sea lions, not Ms. Steinle. There is no evidence that he was trying to rob Ms Steinle, nor even confronted her, so his claim may be true. However, an investigation found that the gun was stolen from a federal agent’s car. Whether López-Sánchez actually was the person who stole the gun from the car or how he obtained the gun is unclear at this time. In either case, he is still guilty of manslaughter, whether shooting at sea lions, at tin cans, or in the air, his actions, together with his previous criminal history, should get the maximum sentence.

However, what is missing from the narrative is why it was so easy for López-Sánchez to get a gun.

READER'S EDITORIAL: WHERE'S THE LEAPFROG LEAPING NEXT?

 

Hearing set August 7 at Planning Commission on Controversial Precedent-Setting Project

By Patsy Fritz

August 2, 2015 (Valley Center)--The current controversy over “Lilac Hills Ranch,” a proposed development planned on rugged farmland in Valley Center, focuses on its request to the County to increase the number of homes it could build on its 608 acres. The County General Plan allows 110 and the developer is asking for “entitlements” to build 1,746.

READER'S EDITORIAL: WHICH IS THE SLOWEST? MOLASSES, GLACIERS----OR THE CITY OF EL CAJON?

 

By Robert Clark

July 21, 2015 (El Cajon)--The City of El Cajon has been stalling for many years on two major projects: the reopening of the East County Performing Arts Center, and the building of a new animal shelter. Major developments regarding the animal shelter were revealed  at the July 14 Council Meeting, but in a bizarre, stunning manner.

READER'S EDITORIAL: YOUR HELP NEEDED TO SAVE REDWOODS FROM POACHING

 

By Jennifer Nickel, Legislative & Public Policy State Chairman, California Federation of Women’s Clubs

July 14, 2015 (San Diego's East County) - Thanks to early conservation efforts, vast areas of prehistoric redwoods have been protected from logging where they survive in our State despite generations of an industrial economy.  These redwood forests are now under threat and help is needed if we want these ancient trees to continue into the future.

READER'S EDITORIAL: WILL SUPREME COURT OVERTURN 200 YEARS OF AMERICAN PRINCIPLES BY ESTABLISHING TAXATION WITHOUT REPRESENTATION?

 

READER’S EDITORIAL:  WILL SUPREME COURT OVERTURN 200 YEARS OF AMERICAN PRINCIPLES BY ESTABLISHING TAXATION WITHOUT REPRESENTATION?

By Joel A. Harrison, PhD, MPH

READER'S EDITORIAL: STRONGER ALCOHOL LAW PREVENTS PROBLEMS IN EL CAJON

 

By Pastor Rolland Slade, Meridian Baptist Church

June 26, 2015 (El Cajon)--For some time now, alcohol retailers in the City of El Cajon have been under pressure to conduct their businesses more responsibly. But despite all their efforts, irresponsible business practices such as selling to minors and already intoxicated homeless people have continued to be a problem.

READER’S EDITORIAL: WHY DIDN’T EL CAJON HOLD A BUDGET WORKSHOP BEFORE ITS JUNE 23 BUDGET PRESENTATION, AS IT HAS IN THE PAST?

 

By Robert Clark  

 The El Cajon City Council meeting of June 9 was notable for what  happened--and for what did not happen.

As reported in "East County Magazine" on  June 12  ("Smoking Hot Debate"), the Council voted 3-1 to support Senate Bill 151, which would increase the legal age to buy tobacco in California from 18 to 21.

 What did not happen was a "budget workshop." The City Council meets on the second and fourth Tuesday of each month. For the last four years (2011 through 2014), I have attended the workshops on the first meeting in June, at which time information would be provided to the public regarding the estimated financial results for the current fiscal year, and numbers were available for the proposed budget for the fiscal year commencing the following July 1. The Council would then vote to adopt the budget at the second June meeting.

READER'S EDITORIAL: EX-SMOKER TELLS TOBACCO'S TOLL - AND ASKS FOR A BAN

 

By Robert Gehr

Photo: U.S. Health & Human Services

June 13, 2015 (El Cajon)  In response to your article, Smoking hot debate: El Cajon Council votes to support raising age for tobacco use, I ask: 

  • Why are tobacco companies seemingly allowed by our government to produce a highly adulterated, toxic product which is very addictive that can maim and kill people?
  • Why do they contribute heavily to political campaigns?
  • Why are they allowed to be in business at all?

READERS' EDITORIAL: HOW EAST COUNTY WILL PAY FOR SAN DIEGO'S WASTE WATER

 

By Bonnie Gendron, Coordinator and George Courser,  Director,  Back Country Coalition

As the Salton Sea is siphoned off, toxic dust storms pose health hazards for East County

Photo: Dead fish at Salton Sea; Wikipedia creative commons image by Gentle

June 12, 2015 (San Diego’s East County)--Ignoring Governor Jerry Brown's threats of hefty fines, several San Diego water districts have actually surpassed their previous years' monthly water use. Lip service by water districts has been tolerated at state level, excuses abound, water waste is evident yet the faucets still flow and massive non-irrigation continues undiminished.

The water use numbers are in - and they are not pretty, or healthy for East County.

READER'S EDITORIAL: PETITION TO CHARGERS TO REMOVE MARK FABIANI FROM NEGOTIATIONS

READER’S EDITORIAL: PRESIDENT OBAMA, IF TPP IS GOOD FOR HARD WORKING MEN AND WOMEN, WHY CAN’T WE READ IT?

 

By Mickey Kasparian, President, United Food and Commercial Workers Local 135

Mickey Kasparian, President of United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 135 released the following statement after President Obama’s local news interview regarding Fast Track Authority for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

June 7, 2015 (San Diego) --Instead of talking into a satellite camera, President Obama should listen to the hard-working families of California who overwhelmingly oppose fast track. He says that the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) is different than past trade agreements that failed a majority of Americans, but thanks to leaked drafts and a negotiation process that included 600 corporate lawyers, it’s apparent that this deal will be a disaster for everyone but the wealthiest corporations.

The level of secrecy that surrounds TPP is deeply troubling. If this deal is truly good for hard-working men and women, then why can’t we read it? If the President believes this is a great deal, why can’t he prove it to us? American workers deserve to see the uncensored truth of this agreement.

READER'S EDITORIAL: ARE SAN DIEGO COUNTY YMCA'S GRADUALLY LOSING THEIR HISTORICAL MISSION?

 

"Why did San Diego County YMCA's board vote in 2013 to have all branches in our region stop issuing affordable youth memberships? Under the new policy, instead of paying just $80 to $100 a year for a child 12 or younger to use the Y’s facilities, users must purchase a family membership at a cost of about $1,000 per year. Are they really saying that if kids' parents aren't interested or can't afford to join, then the Y isn't interested in the kids?" -- Joel Harrison, PhD, MPH

By Joel A. Harrison, PhD, MPH

June 4, 2015 (San Diego) — The following can be found on the website of the U.S. National YMCA Headquarters:

READER'S EDITORIAL: UNCERTAIN TIMES IN AND OUT OF SAN DIEGO

 

By Joe Gandelman, Editor-In-Chief , The Moderate Voice

Reprinted with permission from The Moderate Voice

http://themoderatevoice.com/205076/uncertain-times-in-and-out-of-san-diego/

May 16, 2015 (San Diego) — Uncertainty, thy name is San Diego.

California’s jewel-like second largest city, with its 70 miles of sparkling beaches, is now facing two cliff hangers in a century rife with uncertainty.

READER’S EDITORIAL: HARRIET TUBMAN A FITTING CHOICE FOR $20 BILL

 

By Leon Thompson

May 14, 2015 (Washington D.C.) – A group that wants to kick Andrew Jackson off the $20 bill and replace him with a woman has, after months of collecting votes, chosen a successor: Harriet Tubman.

Tubman was the choice of hundreds of thousands of voters in an online poll by Women on 20s  that started with 15 worthy candidates.  Any of the final four would have been wonderful choices. The other three finalists were former first lady Eleanor Roosevelt, civil rights activist Rosa Parks, and Wilma Mankiller, Chief of the Cherokee Nation.

Tubman is certainly an excellent choice and risked her life many times for others.  Tubman is an especially good choice because with every $20 dollar bill with her likeness on it, we will be reminded about the good that came out of the Civil War. 

READER'S EDITORIAL: NEW REPORT SHOWS SAN DIEGO URGENTLY NEEDS MAJOR INVESTMENT IN PUBLIC TRANSIT

 

By Cleveland National Forest Foundation

April 23, 2015 (San Diego’s East County)--As San Diego’s population grows, a new report finds that the region’s shifting demographics are driving an urgent need for major public transit investments and a halt to highway expansions. A move toward investments in transit would protect air quality, prevent suburban sprawl and support demographic and land use trends toward pedestrian-friendly communities.

READER'S EDITORIAL: THOUGHTS ON AMBULANCE SERVICE FROM DEERHORN AND "OUTER JAMUL"

 

By Kim Hamilton, Editor, Deerhorn Valley Antler

Editor’s note: A similar version of this letter was also sent to Supervisor Dianne Jacob’s office.

April 12, 2015 (Deerhorn Valley) -- In the outer rural areas we are spread out over a very large area. We have only two paved roads (Honey Springs and Deerhorn Valley Rd.), and from that intersection it is 15 miles and 20 minutes to reach the fire station in Jamul. Most of us live off of secondary roads like Mother Grundy Truck Trail, Bratton Valley, and Sierra Cielo. These are dirt roads that are privately maintained (or not).  The additional distance on rutted roads can add another 20-plus minutes of drive.  And that's when you know where you're going. Some roads are almost impassable for a large vehicle.

READER’S EDITORIAL: SEX AND THE CITY (OF EL CAJON)

 

By Robert Clark

March 23, 2015 (El Cajon)-- The headline in the San Diego Union-Tribune reads "Women's sex-harassment suit accuses El Cajon cop." 

 The story, however, is not about the sexual harassment suit just filed against Sergeant Richard Gonsalves of the El Cajon PD. (That suit is described  in Miriam Raftery's ECM posting of March 10, 2015.)  The U-T story was published on March 6, 2004, about a suit filed against El Cajon Sergeant Gary Ryno for sexual harassment by four current or former women employees of the Department. The suit also claimed that "Ryno conspicuously wore female undergarments to work . . ."  As of today, I have been unable to determine the outcome of the suit, but will keep searching.

 In another incident reported in the Los Angeles Times on May 22, 2007, former El Cajon police officer William Taylor was sentenced to five years in prison "for demanding sexual favors from women he had arrested."

READER'S EDITORIAL: ROY COOK FAREWELL

 

By Grey Feathers

March 12th, 2015 (Viejas) - A huge throng of people from all over came to say goodbye to Roy Cook in the gym at the heart of the Viejas Reservation on Saturday.  Roy died suddenly and we are overwhelmed with a sense of loss.  It was comforting to hear from so many friends how they were touched by his magic.  The prayers, the songs, the Honor Guard, the Soaring Eagles, the drums building up to heaven and the wailing releasing our anguish.  We cried in each other's arms.

The first day I met Roy Cook was at the groundbreaking ceremony for the Jamul Casino in 2005.  I was proud and happy for the Jamul Indian Village and perplexed by the angry faces marching with signs on the street.  Roy sensed the vicious opposition would eventually delay the project and he was right.  He told me some of the history of the Jamul Band.  He said they were the poorest of the poor.  Their little village had dirt roads, their homes had dirt floors.

That encounter changed my life because Roy spoke with such certainty and compassion I began reading everything he wrote.  The words lifted off the pages like they were written in my heart.  Being indigenous became more than a card I carried in my wallet.

READER’S EDITORIAL: AN OPEN LETTER TO CHALDEANS, ASSYRIANS AND SYRIACS WORLWIDE

 

By Ben Kalasho, Founder and President, San Diego East County Chaldean American Chamber of Commerce

March 1, 2015 (El Cajon)--When news broke six days ago of more than 200 Assyrians kidnapped by (Da’ash) ISIS, I was on a telephone conference with my high profile contacts on the ground in Kurdish Controlled Areas of Northern Iraq discussing the destruction of Iraqi antiquities dating from the 9th Century BC by ISIS thugs. The report came to me that over 200 Assyrians were kidnapped in the town of Tal Tamr in the Hasaka Province, and other villages in Syria including Tal Hurmoz, Tal Shamiram, Tal Rumman, Tal Nasra which are home to many Assyrians and Syriacs.

READER'S EDITORIAL: H.R.493 - IS MORE THAN AMNESTY FOR THE INDUSTRY'S EAGLE SLAUGHTER

"When you can no longer hide and you have not obeyed the law, just ask your friends in Congress to bail you out. This is what this Bill represents."


By Jim Wiegand

February 16, 2015 (San Diego’s East County) --For those that do not believe America has lost its way, all one has to do is look at the relationship between the wind industry and Washington D.C. Unbiased observers will see a shell game democracy funneling out untold billions for a highly destructive and inefficient "energy strategy". One of the primary benefactors of this arrangement is a Washington based group of panhandlers know as the wind industry. But this industry's windfall set up with Washington is threatened because word of this industry's undisclosed impacts is reaching the public.

READER'S EDITORIAL: THREE STRIKES AND YOU'RE OUT!

 

Another stinging defeat for Grossmont.  Court orders $42M to be set aside for Alpine High School.

By Sal Casamassima, Chair – Alpine High School Citizens Committee

February 17, 2015 (San Diego’s East County) - On January 22 Judge Joel Pressman of the California Superior Court, delivered a huge victory to the supporters of a high school in Alpine.  Judge Pressman issued a preliminary injunction that requires the Grossmont Union School District (GUHSD) to set aside $42 Million of Prop U bond money that would be used toward the construction of the long-overdue Alpine High School.  GUHSD must set aside $14 Million immediately and another $28 Million on January 15, 2016.  Although the $42M is less than the $70M needed to build a school on the Lazy A site it nevertheless represents a major victory for Alpine.  This article will discuss why the court issued this injunction and its importance in preserving our ability to fund construction of the high school.

READER’S EDITORIAL: DAVE ROBERT’S EDITORIAL, “A VOTE FOR RENEWABLE ENERGY," IGNORES REALITY

 

Response by Donna Tisdale to Supervisor Dave Roberts’ opinion published in East County Magazine

“In defense of rural residents and non-renewable resources, our non-profit group Backcountry Against Dumps is preparing to file suit challenging the County’s misguided and ethically challenged Soitec approvals.” – Donna Tisdale

February 12, 2015 (Boulevard)--When Dave Roberts was elected to replace retiring Supervisor Pam Slater-Price, I had hoped he would live up to his campaign claims of being community oriented and environmentally aware. Instead, Roberts has voted several times against Supervisor Dianne Jacob, over her well-reasoned objections to harmful projects in her District 2, and over well-documented community concerns, in order to support the financially biased and factually challenged claims made by vested interests and politically-pressured-County Staff, that these massive wind, solar, and transmission line projects are actually needed, are sustainable, and are compatible with rural community character and existing uses.

READER'S EDITORIAL: A VOTE FOR RENEWABLE ENERGY

 

By Dave Roberts

February 10, 2015 (San Diego)--The directive from Sacramento to policy-makers across California is unambiguous: to meet strict state mandates, we must allow for more renewable energy projects within our county.

READER'S EDITORIAL: THE VANISHING ACT

 

By Laurie Baker

February 2, 2015 (San Diego’s East County)--There's a Vanishing Act that's been going on in East County for decades.   Critics say it's a bad show because the actors don't reappear.   They just disappear . . . Forever.

READER'S EDITORIAL: "HEY! I'M WALKING HERE--CAN'T YOU SEE ME?"

 

By Robert Gehr © 2015

January 21, 2015 (El Cajon)--I’m the pedestrian you nearly hit with your vehicle. - I’m the person you injured with your vehicle. - I’m the one you killed with your vehicle.

READER'S EDITORIAL: MARTIN LUTHER KING JR.'S ECONOMIC DREAM AND THE SAN DIEGO REALITY

 

By Crystal Page, Center for Policy initiatives



January 19, 2015 (San Diego) --  Dr. King painted his vision of economic justice with clear visuals:

Silhouette_MLK.jpg

In San Diego County 300,000 families lack economic security. Many of these families may technically have access to education, food and housing but in very real terms their wages do not afford them the ability to truly attain the American dream.

READER'S EDITORIAL: PACE OF INFRASTRUCTURE PLANNING FOR COASTAL FLOODING A COUNTDOWN TO DISASTER

 

By Jeffrey Meyer, San Diego 350 Volunteer,  #HighWaterLine#ChalkSD

“In 2050, if current trends continue, sea level will be 12-18 inches higher. Beaches will shrink and some will disappear completely. Fragile sea cliffs will collapse. Coastal properties will be flooded with increasing regularity. More frequent high waves and rough surf will increase the potential for significant damage…The military, port and airport may also be affected.” – San Diego’s Changing Climate: A Regional Wakeup Call (San Diego Foundation report)

January 17, 2015 (San Diego)--A few weeks ago, San Diego coastal cities were given a stark reminder of the threat to public safety and our $15 billion a year tourism industry by increasing tides and coastal flooding.  With this problem becoming more severe, year after year, the lack of substantive coastal infrastructure planning can become a countdown to disaster.

READER'S EDITORIAL: HOW CAN WE PREVENT RADICALIZATION?

 

By Patricia Bennett

January 14, 2015 (San Diego’s East County)--The headlines make our hearts ache and our minds race. What can we do?

Alienated youth are joining radical groups for meaning and identity in the face of social instability and lack of opportunity. When their sense of self is not developed because they lack attention and understanding from stressed parents, they are even more vulnerable. Parents struggle increasingly to spend time with their kids when they must work extra hours and jobs at low wages to barely meet expenses. Such stress can also lead to addictive escapes, abuse, and ruptured marriages, leaving kids without the kind of emotional support they need.

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