Editorials

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

READER’S EDITORIAL: BORDER FIRE SURVIVOR ASKS SUPERVISOR JACOB AND AGENCIES TO HOLD TOWN HALL MEETING ON FIRE ISSUES IN THE AREAS THAT BURNED

 

By Jan Hedlun

Potrero Resident and Wildfire Survivor

June 28, 2016 (Potrero) --I have heard that local and government agencies involved in the Border Fire are already patting themselves on the back, saying they handled everything perfectly without having sat down with community members for input.  I notice they are holding meetings to tell each other what a good job they’ve done; meetings that most of us recovering from the wildfire did not hear about and could not get to.

I just saw on a Facebook post that today the San Diego County Board of Supervisors are going to “chat about how to provide assistance to victims of the fire at their meeting today." * Chat? Didn’t they have a multitude of meetings after the Cedar (2003), Harris and Witch Fires (2007) that dealt will these topics?  Didn’t they come out with resolutions back then?

I’ve not heard from anyone that Supervisor Jacobs or other authorities have been out here to ask people face-to-face what happened and what could be improved upon. Don’t you think they would want to know all the facts from the people that were involved before holding all these self-congratulatory meetings?

READER’S EDITORIAL: STAND TOGETHER #WITHREFUGEES ON #WORLDREFUGEEDAY

 

By Elizabeth Lou

June 20, 2016 (San Diego) -- With all the cataclysmic incidences happening around the world, the refugee crisis is one of chief concerns in recent history. Refugees are a population of concern because they are displaced due to unwarranted circumstances including armed conflict and political or religious persecution. According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), there are more than 65 million displaced people in the world. That is approximately the populations of two U.S. states, California and Texas combined. Every year during the month of June, the international community commemorates the plight of refugees, as well as their contributions to their respective host countries.

READER'S EDITORIAL: 2ND AMENDMENT MISINTERPRETATION AND APPLICATION IS CAUSE FOR PROLIFERATION OF GUN VIOLENCE

 

A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed. --2nd Amendment to the United States Constitution

By Dennis Moore (a survivor of gun violence)

June 15, 2016 (San Diego)--The framers of the Constitution did not have in mind that the right to bear arms would result in the countless deaths of ordinary citizens by other ordinary citizens throughout our great country by “Glocks” and other semi-automatic weapons at malls and schools. Nor could they have envisioned the shooting deaths of  nine members of a church in South Carolina at a worship service by a deranged young man, as well as the mass killings by gunfire at a theater in Colorado.

READER'S EDITORIAL: HARVESTING EAGLES - PART TWO

 

How agencies charged with protecting our wildlife continue to betray our trust

By Jim Wiegand

June 13, 2016 (San Diego) - It is difficult to read that word “harvest” without thinking of harvesting crops, grown for the purpose of feeding humanity. In this case, however, we are talking about one of our most iconic species, one of our most magnificent raptors – and the “harvesting” is to be done by “grim reaper” machines: wind turbines.

READER'S EDITORIAL: HARVESTING EAGLES - PART ONE

 

By Jim Wiegand

“…FWS (U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service) announced a plan on 5/6/2016 that would allow wind energy companies to legally kill or injure up to 4200 bald eagles  annually without penalty.  If they can get away with this, the industry would also pocket untold billions while doing it.” —Jim Wiegand 

To comment on this proposed rule change visit : https://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=FWS-R9-MB-2011-0094-1052  and hit comment



June 9, 2016 (San Diego) -- Since 2008, I have been sharing my knowledge of wind industry impacts with the public. Even though I had been studying raptors and wildlife for decades before, that was the year I first became aware of the industry's bogus research and the terrible fate coming to our eagles. Since then, I have written many articles pointing out how the wind industry has been using fake research to hide the slaughter to eagles and other species. I have also made my opinions very clear about the ongoing collusion that has existed for decades between the wind industry and Interior Department.

READER’S EDITORIAL: YOUR NAME IS MUHAMMED ALI

 

By Dr. Arif Ahmad

Reprinted with permission from The Moderate Voice, a San Diego Online News Association member

What’s my name? What’s my name?

Most of us are fine spending our lives going with the flow. Very few if any want to swim against the tide. Even fewer appear comfortable doing it. We are not sure, if at all, how we are going to look coming out on the other side. We are content in our zone, afraid of the consequences, the inherent risks of failing and that of a wasted life.

READER’S EDITORIAL: THE MUNICIPAL BOND MARKET IS A MASSIVE CRIMINAL ENTERPRISE -- GET OUT NOW OR PAY LATER

 

By Richard Lawless

June 2, 2016 (San Diego) -- Senior citizens and savers throughout the fifty states and Puerto Rico have taken tens of billions in municipal bond losses.  It has become clear that the Rating Agencies have been knowingly and intentionally issuing good credit ratings for technically bankrupt municipal entities in exchange for healthy fees. 

READER'S EDITORIAL: DENYING PATIENTS ACCESS TO EMERGENCY MEDICATIONS

 

By Ryan Roper, San Diego

May 7, 2016 (San Diego) -- The triage, treatment and transport emergency medical service practitioners provide can often be the difference between life and death for patients with a medical emergency. The unique nature of emergency medical services is unlike other health care services governed by the Controlled Substances Act.

READER’S EDITORIAL: ASHES OF HATE WILL REIGN ON AMERICA

 

By Daniel J. Smiechowski

May 2, 2016 (San Diego) -- The Treaty of Versailles was signed with almost no German participation on June 28, 1919.  The Great War had ended bringing embarrassment and hard financial times to a once proud nation. German leaders were looking for scapegoats and they were easy to find. Jews, homosexuals, Poles and even the disabled were targeted for extinction during the ensuing 25 years. Sound familiar?

The French have an old saying:“The more things change, the more things stay the same.” The candidacy of presidential contender Donald Trump is not one of assimilation but rather one of annihilation.  It is a furtive movement to maintain America’s white identity. His followers disavow political ideology in favor of a dream of what not America could be but rather what America was several generations ago.

READER'S EDITORIAL: WHERE HAS ALL THE CREAM GONE?

 

By Leon Thompson

May 2, 2016 (East County) – My earliest childhood memories are of my grandfather’s dairy farm in Solway, Minnesota, where I learned to love cows.  The sign on the barn read “Our Cows Are Outstanding In Their Field.”  We moved to Poway in 1959 less than two blocks from the DeJong Dairy.  I naturally got up at 5:00 a.m. to help with chores and was rewarded with a giant breakfast with the DeJong family and bottles of fresh milk to take home. 

READER’S EDITORIAL: TAXPAYER WATCHDOG: "I WON’T SIGN THE CHARGERS’ MEASURE BECAUSE IT IS NOT A GOOD DEAL FOR TAXPAYERS"

 

By April Boling

April 24, 2016 (San Diego's East County) - Voters asked to help qualify the Chargers proposal for the November election should know a few things before deciding to sign.

READER’S EDITORIAL: AN OPEN LETTER TO GILLESPIE FIELD NEIGHBORS REGARDING SENATOR ANDERSON’S DISRESPECT OVER OUR CONCERNS

 

By Sue Strom, ASAP Steering Committee

April 24, 2016 (El Cajon) - A number of residents recently attended a community coffee for State Senator Joel Anderson.  It was hosted by El Cajon Mayor Bill Wells on Thursday, April 14th, 2016.

READER’S EDITORIAL: ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS

 

By Dan Jauregui, aka “Boltman”

On April 4th, selected Chargers fans met with Dean Spanos and other Chargers representatives for an hour and a half to discuss a ballot initiative to fund building a stadium.  Dan Jauregui, better known as “Boltman”, was among the invited guests. Here are his observations.

April 9, 2016 (San Diego) -- The start of the meeting entailed in-depth information regarding the Goldman Sachs finance plan. We fans received a better understanding in layman’s terms of all the players and entities involved.

READERS’ EDITORIAL: OUR CULTURE IS NOT FOR SALE

 

By students at Mount Miguel High School in Spring Valley and East County Youth Coalition members trained as advocates to educate the community about risks of underage drinking and how they can be prevented.

April 5, 2016 (Spring Valley) -- What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you hear Cinco de Mayo?

READER’S EDITORIAL: FLETCHER HILLS RESIDENTS CONCERNED ABOUT BREWERY AND NOISE

 

By Susan Brinchman

March 31, 2016 (La Mesa) - Depot Springs Beer Company is apparently planning an outdoor music venue and brewery/restaurant in Fletcher Hills, La Mesa, at Dallas St and Fletcher Parkway. According to promotional literature, the La Mesa Planning Commission appears to have recently approved an amphitheater with live (outdoor) music until midnight, daily. The promotional literature further portrays this brewery and plan as being "family-friendly," but some nearby residents are upset.

READER’S EDITORIAL: CALIFORNIA VOTING RIGHTS ACT (CVRA)

 

By Jim Stieringer, Member, Governing Board, Grossmont Union High School District

March 31, 2016 (San Diego’s East County)--Like my board colleagues I enthusiastically endorse the concept of the California Voting Rights Act (CVRA) and our unanimous vote to implement it in the Grossmont Union High School District.

I recall that our board members’ decision to implement “area” election precincts was engendered solely by a desire to implement CVRA and to obviate a threatened lawsuit if we failed to do so. I believe that no one was motivated by a desire to deny a colleague an opportunity to compete in the 2016 election. Further I am unaware of any direction to our demographers other than to create a minority district that gave consideration to all communities of interest. Each of the three proposed maps accomplished those goals.

READERS EDITORIAL: STOP GROSSMONT'S GERRYMANDERING! SPEAK OUT AT COUNTY’S ALPINE FORUM APRIL 4

 

 

By George Barnett

March 19, 2016 (Alpine) – Grossmont Union High School District Trustees are in the process of gerrymandering its voter district. Grossmont intends to move from a process of electing trustees on an “at large” basis to a re-districting to a by-trustee basis.  This means that individual communities such as that across Alpine, Blossom Valley, Harbison Canyon – for example – could elect their own chosen representative on the Grossmont board.  Grossmont is being forced into re-districting by threat of separate law suits. 

Fundamentally, it is a sound idea.  However, Grossmont also decided to do this without voter input or approval.  The scheme of re-districting that Grossmont has selected is gerrymandering and results in:

READER'S EDITORIAL: TRIBES ASK SUPPORT FOR SANDERS' BILL TO PROTECT SACRED OAK FLAT FROM DESTRUCTION BY FOREIGN-OWNED MINING GIANTS

 

By Stephen Fox



March 4, 2016 (Oak Flat, Az.) -- Tribes nation-wide and other Americans across the country deeply appreciate Senator Bernie Sanders' efforts in the U.S. Senate to protect tribal sacred land in Arizona known as Oak Flat, located on U.S. Forest Service land, from destruction by foreign-owned mining conglomerates Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton through their U.S. limited liability company Resolution Copper Mining.

READER’S EDITORIAL: BROWN ACT REQUIREMENTS AND TIME LIMITS ON SPEAKING

 

 

An open letter to the Grossmont Union High School District Board regarding its ban on any public citizen speaking over 3 minutes total for all agenda items combined

By Nick Marinovich, former member, Citizens Bond Oversight Committee for the Grossmont Union High School District

February 20, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) -- As a Citizen who actively participates in the governance process, I have indicated at several board meetings my frustration with not being able to adequately make my points when there is a three minute total time any one Citizen can speak at a regular board meeting. Government Code Section 54954.3 states:

(a) Every agenda for regular meetings shall provide an opportunity for members of the public to directly address the legislative body on any item of interest to the public, before or during the legislative body’s consideration of the item, that is within the subject matter jurisdiction of the legislative body, provided that no action shall be taken on any item not appearing on the agenda unless the action is otherwise authorized by subdivision (b) of Section 54954.2.

 (b) The legislative body of a local agency may adopt reasonable regulations to ensure that the intent of subdivision (a) is carried out, including, but not limited to, regulations limiting the total amount of time allocated for public testimony on particular issues and for each individual speaker.

 (c) The legislative body of a local agency shall not prohibit public criticism of the policies, procedures, programs, or services of the agency, or of the acts or omissions of the legislative body. Nothing in this subdivision shall confer any privilege or protection for expression beyond that otherwise provided by law.

READER’S EDITORIAL: WOMEN’S LIVES AT RISK

By Maxine Johnson

January 30, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) — The “pro-life” movement ignores the lives of expectant mothers—and that’s both heartless and dangerous. Nobody should force their religious views onto a woman with a life-threatening pregnancy, or a woman who learns her child has an incurable, debilitating defect such as the thousands of women in Brazil who contracted Zika virus and gave birth to babies with severe brain damage.  In some Latin American countries, women have no choice even if they contract Zika in the first trimester – since abortion is illegal but the disease is rampant.  

READER’S EDITORIAL: OPEN LETTER TO BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT: DO YOUR JOB TO PROTECT OUR PUBLIC LANDS FROM PRIVATE INTERESTS

 

After a takeover of a federal wildlife refuge in Oregon by armed militia members, local wildlife biologist Renée Owens has sent an open letter to Bureau of Land Management directors and staff in Burns, Oregon.

"Your inaction to stop them only emboldens such criminal activity, and makes you vulnerable to a lawsuit by others such as myself whose public land rights and interests have been violated," she writes. 

Below is the full text of her letter:

READER’S EDITORIAL: NOW IS THE TIME TO WELCOME REFUGEES, NOT SHUT THEM OUT

 

By Rebecca Paida

December 13, 2015 (San Diego)--Now is the time to welcome refugees, not shut them out. Given the recent controversy over refugees, I am compelled to write about my refugee story and call on cities to create an inclusive Citizen Commissions on Refugee and Immigrant Affairs.

READER’S EDITORIAL: INNOCENT LIVES LOST DUE TO POLITICS OF HATE

 

 

By Madge Will

 

Photos: Murdered victims of massacre at Planned Parenthood in Colorado include young mother, Iraq War veteran, and police officer

December 1, 2015 (San Diego)—Victims of the latest mass shooting at a Colorado Planned Parenthood clinic weren’t abortion doctors or  patients. Ke’Arre Marcell Stewart, an Iraq War veteran, had just learned he was about be a father for the third time. Jennifer Markovsky, a young mother of two, came to support a friend. Garrett Swasey, a police officer who responded to the attack, also died. Another dozen were injured by bullets fired randomly, some outside the clinic’s walls.

All who have spewed hate under the guise of “pro-life” share blame for the loss of those three innocent lives. 

These young people's futures were snuffed out by a deranged gunman who was likely incited to violence by the hateful rhetoric of politicians, religious zealots and  media personalities vilifying Planned Parenthood and all who work there or come seeking healthcare services.

READER'S EDITORIAL: CHARGERS AND RAIDERS TOSS HAIL MARY

 

By Tony Manolatos

November 11, 2015 (San Diego)--With Mayor Kevin Faulconer in New York speaking to NFL owners about the City & County's stadium plan in Mission Valley, and building on momentum that has been growing in San Diego for months, the Chargers and Raiders have thrown a Hail Mary to try and shift support to their Carson stadium project.

READER’S EDITORIAL: NEW HOUSE SPEAKER PAUL RYAN GOES AFTER POOR PEOPLE’S MONEY

 

By Tommy Tidrow

November 8, 2015 (Washington D. C.) – New House Speaker Paul Ryan and his friends in Congress (most of whom have signed the Republican operative Grover Norquist’s “No New Taxes” pledge) have come up with a plan to fund a highway bill by privatizing the part of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) tasked with collecting back taxes from individuals who owe as little as $200 dollars in unpaid income tax. 

The measure would have private collection agencies act on behalf of the government to collect delinquent taxes.  These are the people who have been sued for predatory practices, harassment and misrepresentation for years.    

These debt collectors will not be going after billionaires and corporations who put $150,000,000,000 Billion dollars in off-shore tax havens like the Cayman Islands.  Nor will there be any reform to the tax code that allows giant corporations like General Electric to pay no taxes at all.

READER’S EDITORIAL: THE STORY OF A FLORIDA COMPANY TAKEOVER OF JACUMBA’S WATER

 

By Howard W Cook, former chair, Jacumba Sponsor Group

Photo: Lake Jacumba

 

November 1, 2015 (Jacumba Hot Springs)--A massive project poses an unprecedented risk to Jacumba Hot Springs' water supply. 

BACKGROUND

Jacumba Hot Springs is an old town going back to 1860 and blessed with a productive hot spring and several other good wells. It is located 70 miles East of San Diego on Old Highway 80 in a valley spread out on both sides of the border. Its high desert transition zone location at 2800 feet just before nearby Interstate 8 plunges to the desert seem an unlikely place for a water takeover by Nextera, a Florida Green Energy developer.

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