"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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
By Crystal Page, Center for Policy initiatives
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.
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.
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.
By Jane Hartley, U.S. Ambassador to France
Photo: Je Suis Charlie rally in support of slain French journalists, by Claude Truong NGOC, creative commons
Editorial originally published in Le Monde January 8, 2015 and on the U.S. Embassy website in Paris
January 9, 2015 (Paris)--Wednesday’s barbaric attack on the journalists and staff of Charlie Hebdo, as well as on policemen guarding them, shocked and saddened the entire world. As we pause to mourn the loss of life, I am reminded of how the people of France showed their support to us in the aftermath of 9/11. On September 11, Americans were in a state of shock as we tried to come to grips with that terrible loss and our own grief and a growing sense that our world would be different from that moment on. I remember seeing Le Monde’s headline that day: “We are all Americans”, and how much those words meant to me that day as an American, a New Yorker and a friend of France.
By Connie Frankowiak, Julian
December 15, 2014 (Julian) -- For 6 years the U.S. Congress creates a tome that would challenge a weight lifter at a cost of millions to come to a conclusion that most Americans knew already that Bush, Cheney, Powell, Tenet, Rice, Rumsfeld and CIA agents and their contractors were involved in war crimes for years and the U.S. Congress knew it; so much for the rule of law and checks and balances.
By Sylvia Sullivan, Santee
November 26, 2014 (Santee) -- An explosion shook the country when Obama unconstitutionally decreed amnesty for millions of illegals. Untold millions more await to join the invasion since Obama refuses to secure the borders. Obama also claims our immigration system is broken. It is now. He has broken it by his lawlessness in refusing to enforce the immigration laws. As generations of legal immigrants can attest the system did work. It still could within the legal process of securing the borders and updating the regulations where needed.
By Miriam Raftery, Editor
University of California's Regents just voted to hike tuitions 25% over the next five years. As a graduate of the UC system and a parent of two recent UC graduates, I have seen first-hand the negative impacts of recent tuition hikes. I fear the latest hikes will make college an impossible dream for many students and an onerous burden for many more.
As a student decades ago, I was able to graduate from UC by working during the summers, with some help from my parents.My husband, whose father died young, also managed to afford a UC education with help from family and later, I worked to help put him through law school at UC Davis.
Later, as parents ourselves, we saved for over 20 years to set money aside for our children’s college funds, based on what financial experts advised would be enough when they were born.
But it wasn’t even close, due to the staggering tuition increases at the UC campuses that have already occurred in recent years. Our piggy bank, so to speak, was soon empty.
by David Ragland with Wayne Adams, Mahdis Azarmandi and Mark Lance
Photo by Jamelle Bouie, Creative Commons on FlickR
November 14, 2014 (Ferguson MO) -- It’s been over 100 days since Darren Wilson killed unarmed young African American Michael Brown and the world is watching and waiting to hear the forgone conclusion of white officer Wilson’s non-indictment. Many expect a violent reaction from an angry community when there is no indictment.
Photo from San Diego's Changing Climate: A Regional Wake-Up Call
By Jeffrey Meyer, Poway, SanDiego350 volunteer
November 13, 2014 (San Diego)--With the recent release of a new United Nations report on the global impact of climate change, we are given still another chilling warning that we are facing catastrophe unless we accelerate efforts to confront this crisis. The release of this report comes on the heels of a court decision rejecting the San Diego County climate action plan and the ongoing development of this state-mandated plan by the City of San Diego. It raises the stakes for everyone and compels us to reach higher and dig deeper for community solutions to this crisis.
By Roger Coppock
November 6, 2014 (San Diego's East County)--Now that the Republicans have won the Senate, we can expect different outcomes from different fragments of the party.
The tea and fruitcake wings of the GOP will want to stage some meaningless dramatic gestures, like another government shutdown or even a presidential impeachment. Other, smarter, GOP splinter groups will try to stop this, citing the near disastrous ratings dip the party got for the last government shutdown.
By Jason Jackson
November 3, 2014 (San Diego's East County) - Special District Board elections may not be sexy and certainly don’t get the press of federal races or even that of some of our municipal elections, but they are nonetheless extremely important for setting policy in the San Diego region. If anything the lack of attention paid to these districts adds to the importance of these elections. If the “sunlight” of media attention is the best disinfectant for a democracy, than it is easy to see why special districts can be breeding grounds for nepotism and corruption. The lack of public attention increases the importance of electing to these boards people of high integrity who will act as independent advocates for rate payers.
Update Nov. 8, 2014 -- Prior to publishing this editorial we contacted Mayor Wells for comment. He did not respond at the time but today contacted us to state that he did not estimate the renovations at $5.5 million. He clarified, "The renovations will actually be closer to $2.5 Million. If we are to lease space to the Rock their costs would only be what is above and beyond what we would normally do for the renovations. The costs associated with running the theater have roughly been $600,000/year. The expected negotiation with the Rock could bring in approximately $250,000 per year."
By Robert Clark
October 27, 2014 (El Cajon) -- The October 7 interview with Bill Wells, Mayor of El Cajon, contained a real bombshell. He said that renovations to re-open the East County Performing Arts Center would cost $5.5 million, with the Rock Church paying "much" of the cost.
“The claim of the administration and teachers' union that an Alpine separation would result in insolvency is a Halloween season scare tactic.” – Michael Waterman
By Michael Waterman, an East County attorney and writer
October 29, 2014 (La Mesa)--The state of the Grossmont School Board is not good. It's abysmal. Last year the County Grand Jury essentially charged the board majority with duping voters over the promised Alpine High School. In August the County Board of Education voted 5-0 to recommend to the State Board of Education that Alpine be allowed to break away from the District and build its own high school. This month a lawsuit was filed against the District which aims to stop bond spending on new projects until the State Board weighs in on the Alpine secession petition and a concomitant division of assets between Grossmont and Alpine.
By George Barnett, Alpine
October 27, 2014 (Alpine)--Alpine’s Steve Hunyar has been staking-out positions this week on “dirty politics coming to “little old, sleepy Alpine”, and has been attacking AUSD board members Eric Wray and Glenn Dickey.
By Ben Locke, Alpine
October 24, 2014 (Alpine) - With the election nearing, even in Alpine, I have seen some negative campaigning. I would like to provide my opinion on Lou Russo.
By Marcia Tolin
Editor’s note: La Mesa Today reports that Guy McWhirter has admitted to funding the negative mailers targeting his opponent, Mary England, and funneling the money through the non-local “Public Safety Advocates” PAC. England in fact has the endorsement of La Mesa’s police, fire and public employees’ associations. The same PAC sent a negative mailer on an Alpine candidate. The mailer was similar in style to a second mailer sent anonymously, which listed endorsements for other candidates by 115 Alpine residents, some of whom have denied making the endorsements.
October 24, 2014 (La Mesa)--For the first time that I can remember, defamatory mailers or “hit pieces” have been delivered in La Mesa from big money and outside interests. Mary England who has the only endorsement by the La Mesa Police Officers’ Association is being attacked by a “PAC”, or Political Action Committee calling itself “Public Safety Advocates” out of Encinitas. The PAC is specifically targeting just one candidate, the only woman and the one with the most experience running in a field of five for the two open seats on the La Mesa City Council. Why now and for this position? Who is really behind this?
If we follow the money, we don’t have to look very far. Public records (Form 496) shows a contribution from Guy McWhirter, who donated $5,000 on 10/13/2014. The “Public Safety Advocates” who have thus far put out three hit pieces on Mary have received their money not only from Guy McWhirter, but from many builders and developers, and a local Diamond dealer, CK Diamonds who is owned by Charles “Chuck” Kaderabek from El Cajon.
By Kristin Kjaero
October 20, 2014 (La Mesa) -- Don’t be fooled by Prop K. La Mesa voters have a term limits proposal for City Council on their ballots, but it’s unnecessary, undemocratic, and won’t work as advertised.
This election we'll have a majority with two years or less experience on our City Council. Yes, you read that correctly: no matter who wins, there will be two new people, plus a third half way through a first term - all without term limits in place.
And although it’s called the “three consecutive terms limit,” Prop K would actually allow candidates to run again after sitting out one 4-year cycle. The only thing it would limit is voters’ choices.
By: Ernie Susi, President, San Diego County Probation Officers Association;
Ben Kelso, President, San Diego Black Police Officers Association;
Alan R. Alvarez, President, National Non-Partisan Latino Peace Officers Association for Law and Order; and
Kevin McQuillen, President Fraternal Order of Police (San Diego Lodge #10)
October 11, 2014 (San Diego)--We expect judges to understand public safety issues. We hope they come to the bench with a track record of experience and supporting law enforcement and the community. In the November election there’s only one contested Superior Court Judge race, seat #25. The obvious choice is clear: Deputy Attorney General Brad Weinreb.
By Jeffrey Meyer
Photo: State Senator Joel Anderson
October 9, 2014 (San Diego's East County) - The upcoming November election for Senate District 38 has become both an electoral and ethical quagmire. It is a situation with few solutions but one that demands to be understood.
The ethical morass is rooted in the recent reports about the involvement of our district’s State Senator Joel Anderson with a shadowy lobby group that has corporations like Google and Microsoft scrambling to separate themselves from its membership.
By Barbara Nigro
October 3, 2014 (Julian)--PROPOSITION “P” will be on the November 4th ballot. Resident-voters will have an opportunity to staff the Julian-Cuyamaca Fire Protection District with paid Firefighter-Paramedics. This would ensure that a Paramedic is always in the District and able to respond within minutes.
The first in a series of essays from No Term Limits in La Mesa to examine the underlying assumptions and principles around term limits, whether they are “needed” or work as claimed, and just what side effects they may bring with them.
By No Term Limits in La Mesa
September 24, 2014 (La Mesa)--Proponents of term limits claim that term limits are needed because incumbent advantage makes it impossible for a challenger to win. But is this assumption really the case?
Originally published in La Mesa Today
By Anthony D. Mc Ivor
September 19, 2014 (La Mesa)-- In November, La Mesa voters will decide whether to change the Municipal Code and put into law a significant new ordinance. The ordinance will tell us – and future generations of La Mesa voters – who we can vote for, who we can’t and when.
READER'S EDITORIAL: AN OPEN LETTER TO THE U.S. FISH & WILDLIFE SERVICE: NO "TAKE" PERMITS FOR EAGLES IN EAST COUNTY
By Charles and Laurie Baker, Santee
Photo: Bald eagle at Lake Cuyamaca
September 6, 2014 (San Diego’s East County)--We are writing this letter because we are opposed to the United States Fish and Wildlife Service possibly granting 30-year Bald and Golden Eagle Permits to companies who build wind and solar farms. NO permits, especially those for 30 years, should be granted to these so-called "green" energy farms. They harm eagles, didn't study the impacts, and violate Federal laws.
READER'S EDITORIAL: MUNICIPALITIES HAVE NO BUSINESS ENGAGING IN BUSINESS WITH RELIGIOUS ORGANIZATIONS
By Tom Comeau
August 30, 2014 (El Cajon)--There's always been a steady assault by religious groups of all stripes, on the separation of church and state, but what El Cajon doesn't need is for the City Council to initiate such activity as in its proposed contract with the "Rock Church" (do they worship rocks?) for the utilization of the East County Performing Arts Center (ECPAC) for religious purposes. The Council cannot dodge the issue of the church/state violation when it agrees to allow a church to utilize 'public property' for what is clearly religious purposes. Included in this agreement is the proposed erection of an additional building on 'public property' to serve the needs of this religious group, with the generous proviso that the building would revert to the city at the end of its use by the religious group.
By Jim Bell
My goal in releasing this commentary is to introduce the Net-Meter Option to the public as a cost-effective way to increase local electricity supply and price security instead of investing ratepayerâ€™s dollars into SDG&E/SEMPRAâ€™s Sunrise Power Link, a proposed 16-story tall transmission line that SDG&E and its parent Company, SEMPRA, are pitching to the California Public Utility Commission (CPUC). If built, the Power Link transmission line would run 150 miles from San Diego to Mexicali, Mexico, running through numerous state parks, wild life habitat areas and private properties. Read More