October 31, 2016 (Santee)--Analysis shows 98% of Santee City Council candidate Mason Herron's donors are from outside of Santee; much of these contributors are easily identified as being traffic gridlock producing development interests. (CA Form 460’s are required disclosures.)
In contrast, Stephen Houlahan has not taken any developer dollars and 76% of his contributors are Santee residents.
By Billie Jo Jannen, Chairman, Campo Lake Morena Community Planning Group
October 27, 2016 (Campo) -- The Campo Lake Morena Community Planning Group has voted unanimously to formally oppose Proposition B – a developer-proposed initiative that would allow over 1,700 homes to be built on what is currently farmland, and does so in opposition to both the county general plan and the wishes of community planners and residents.
Photo: Sand mining in Wisconsin; Wisconsin Watch creative commons image
October 18, 2016 (Lakeside) -- This November election will be interesting.
Two Charger stadium initiatives are on the ballot and one EIR for El Monte Valley Sand Mining remains pending. Am I looking at a coincidence, that the EIR might be coming out after the Sand Miners see how elections go and whether or not they will be selling sand to build a new stadium?
By Mark Jackson, former Valley Center Community Planning Group member
Map by Tristan Loper and Maya Srikrishnan
October 11, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) - The Lilac Hills Ranch development put forward by San Diego County Measure B claims to be good for the region’s housing needs. In fact, it would not make a dent in the county’s affordable housing shortage. It would also endanger the very people who purchase homes in the development in the event of a wildfire. For these and many other reasons, I urge all county residents to vote No on B.
By Michael Peddecord, Member, California People of Faith Working Against the Death Penalty
October 3, 2016 (San Diego) -- Discernment is the ability to judge well. In Judaic and Christian traditions, it can be understood as seeking spiritual direction and understanding prior to making a decision. Discernment can also be regarded as a spiritual gift allowing us to judge or appraise a person, statement, situation or proposal. To achieve this gift, one can be aided by reading scripture and informed texts, prayer, contemplation and discussion of the issue. Trusted spiritual advisors and religious leaders are also useful in discernment.
September 22, 2016 (Lemon Grove) - -Measure V on our November 8 ballot would bring up to 15 marijuana storefronts to Lemon Grove, according to Mayor Mary Sessom, serving about 4,000 pot smokers apiece, yielding a mob scene of some 60,000 addicts (more than twice the size of Lemon Grove's population).
By Ryan Alexander, president, Taxpayers for Common Sense
September 19, 2016 (Washington D.C.) -- The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is expected to release its Wind and Solar Leasing Rule in the next few weeks. The rule would create a system for competitive solar and wind energy development on federal lands. It would also establish megawatt (MW) capacity fees for wind and solar energy projects in order to capture a fair market value (FMV) and a fair return for taxpayers. View the BLM proposal here.
Note: Hedlun sent this on Sept. 14 to San Diego Sheriff’s Deputy Chad Boudreau, with copies to Supervisor Dianne Jacob and ECM. She’s granted permission to run this as an open letter/reader’s editorial.
Re: Regional Fire Safe Council Meeting/Potrero
September 16, 2016 (Potrero) -- My name is Jan Hedlun and I am a Potrero resident and an elected member of the Potrero Community Planning Group. I was speaking to Bob Buerer who attended the recent Regional Fire Safe Council meeting on Thursday, September 8th who told me something deeply disturbing.
September 15,2016 (La Mesa) – After receiving a reader’s editorial and a call from another local businessperson critical of the new La Mesa Village Association (LMVA), which ECM recently profiled, ECM reached out to Aaron Dean, LMVA Chair, to respond.
Regarding your article "new La Mesa Village Association has big ideas for revitalizing city's historic heart"
By Peter Carzis, Owner, Peter’s Gentlemen’s Apparel
Editor's note: Aaron Dean, chair of the new LMVA, spoke with ECM and provided his responses to concerns raised by Carzis and others. You can read his remarkshere.
October 14,2016 (La Mesa)--I attended the first meeting of this new group. They said they want this group to be a "fresh start" in the village, but yet they boast four Founding Members who are officers and directors of the "old" group that owes the taxpayers and the City of La Mesa $47,900.50. (Per the city clerk, this amount was turned over to collection and none of the debt has been repaid as of today.)
September 15, 2016 (Detroit) -- The Ford Foundation made history last year when it announced it was focusing its grant making on equality. Now one of the nation’s wealthiest and oldest foundations is making history in a new way: It acknowledged in big, bold fashion that inclusion means focusing on disability as well as race, gender, and class. Indeed, according to the U.S. Census, people with disabilities are the poorest of the poor in America.
September 12, 2016 (San Diego's East County) - News of bird and bat deaths at wind farms have reduced to a trickle. Does that mean that a solution has been found? Yes, it has, but it's not what you think. Wind turbines are every year more numerous and the massacre they cause is ever increasing. What has changed is that the cover up is now effective at 100%, or just about.
The following news sheds light on the latest technique for making mortality data unavailable to the public (and the media):
September 11, 2016 (El Cajon) -- After attending this year’s emotionally moving 9/11 remembrance ceremony in El Cajon at Centennial Plaza, I decided to share a few thoughts, facts and photos to awaken memories in all of us so we never forget.
September 2, 2016 (San Diego's East County) - One negative factor from this week’s fire on Skyline Truck Trail.
I personally called my neighbors at work to let them know that a fire had broken out close to their homes and that the should head home to take care of their homes, horses and pets. Most of them had a difficult time getting home because so many by-standers were parked on the shoulders of Skyline taking pictures with their phones that also included several Border Patrol cars, REALLY! If anything they should have been going from car to car getting them to move on and clear the road.
August 11, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) -- Here in California, adjunct teachers are like the comedian, Rodney Dangerfield, in the community college world. They get some respect, but not a lot, despite being the backbone of the system.
August 11, 2016 (San Diego) — Memo to taxpayers: If voters approve the Chargers billion-dollar-plus stadium tax in November San Diego taxpayers would pay for the new facility in a variety of ways.
Do not believe Dean Spanos, Mark Fabiani and their surrogates. The cost would NOT be born solely by hotel guests. San Diego taxpayers would pay. The total amount is unknown, which is why Dean Spanos’ plan to raise our taxes by more than $1 billion is so risky.
In this open memo to taxpayers, the “No Downtown Stadium – Jobs and Streets First” coalition outlines several examples of costs San Diego taxpayers would incur. The following are in addition to the costs found in the Chargers $1.8 billion measure:
July 24, 2016 (San Diego) -- So, let’s channel the cranky ghost of George Wallace as he justified his 1968 run for the presidency when he noted, “There's not a dime's worth of difference between the Democrat and Republican parties.” What do we know about that in our day, in this election season?
At the presidential level, we might conclude that:
Photo: Cabin with former lakefront view now overlooks a barren wasteland.
July 13, 2016 (Lake Morena) -- East County Magazine did a recent piece on Lake Morena and whether water levels were maintained too low to be a viable source of water for fire-fighting. In the article, Billie Jo Jannen is quoted as saying if there’s a safety issue it needs to be examined. Billie Jo is quite right.
Click here for a list of La Mesa smoke-free restaurants.
By Dani Womack
Pastor Dani Womack is the Community Life Pastor at Crosspointe Life Church and Chairperson of the La Mesa Collaborative.
July 11, 2016 (La Mesa)--Summer is finally here and what better place to enjoy being outdoors than San Diego County! La Mesa has invested millions to renovate their Downtown Village, putting a priority on outdoor seating in public spaces and local restaurants have joined in by growing their outdoor dining patios. Many cities throughout San Diego County and the state have passed local laws restricting smoking in outdoor areas such as parks, beaches, farmer’s markets, and outdoor dining patios.
July 9,2016 (San Diego's East County) --Charlene Ayers, founder of the Ranters Roost discussion forum, offers pithy analysis and barbed views on the San Miguel Fire Protection District board meeting July 6th, at which the board voted 4-3 to end its partnership with Cal Fire and return to being a free-standing district. Below are parts 1 and 2 of her posts, reprinted with permission. Part I includes other agenda items Part II focuses on the decision to break off from Cal Fire.
To be or not to be…
The meeting was to start at 5:30 p.m. I got there at 5 p.m. because Cal Fire likes to fill the seats with their employees. There were only 10 seats left. There was not the usual sea of dark blue taking up the room, just lots of folks, families, in plain attire.
Board member responds to Robert Perry's editorial: Discussion and possible vote July 6
Photo: Large crowd at a prior SMF meeting on financial issues prior to the contract with Cal Fire
By Theresa McKenna, Board Member, San Miguel Fire Protection District
As I relayed in my phone conversation with Mr. Perry recently, I personally believe there has been a great deal of notification to the public on this specific topic. In fact, significantly more notice has been given to the Community than was ever made by the prior Board that voted to contract out fire suppression services.
Update: San Miguel Fire Protection District board member Theresa McKenna has responded to Robert Perry's editorial to detail how much notice and discussion has been held on this issue. Read her remarks here.
By Robert Perry, community resident
Photo: Protest at station closed due to budget gaps back when San Miguel was a stand-alone station, before contracting with Cal Fire. Opinions ran hot on both sides of the partnership deal at that time.
July 2, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) --With zero public input and zero community discussion (thus far) the San Miguel Fire Protection District has an action item on the agenda for the board meeting of July 6, 2016 to "discuss and may approve returning to a stand alone District". View agenda.
The district has contracted with CAL FIRE the past four years after facing a structural deficit of their own making. There is one more year of the contract.
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?
June 23, 2016 (San Diego) -- There are approximately 78 million Catholics in America. Fifty percent of them voted for President Obama in 2012. Donald J. Trump has a problem, if history is a window to this election.
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 than65 million displaced people in the world. That is approximately the populations of two U.S. states,CaliforniaandTexascombined. 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.
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.
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.
“…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
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.
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.
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.