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EAST OF THE LINE: A TALE OF TWO PLANNING GROUPS—FROM LEADERSHIP TO LOST IN THE WILDERNESS

 

Plus how the County creates its own poster children for “red tape reduction”

By Billie Jo Jannen

February 8, 2012 (San Diego’s East County)--The San Diego County Board of Supervisors is due to vote later this month on a series of initiatives entitled “Red Tape Reduction Task Force Recommendations.” The idea behind it is to make it simpler and cheaper to get projects through the permitting process. The document includes giving staff members rewards for moving projects through faster and shifting more projects to entitlement or ministerial approval.

Also among the suggestions is the elimination of community planning and sponsor groups, or alternatively, imposing term limits and terminating indemnification for members.

EAST OF THE LINE: FIRE FEE SLAPPED ON POLITICALLY IMPOTENT MINORITY IS A SLIPPERY SLOPE FOR ALL

 By Billie Jo Jannen

July 13, 2011 (Campo)--I can vividly describe every one of the four fires that has burned through my property over the past 25 years. Notably, every one was started by someone who doesn’t live here. Causes include burning objects thrown from passing cars and trains, illegal fireworks by drunk Navy men, and border smugglers intent on their own agendas.

 

Also notable is that my family’s home survived every fire because of our personal efforts -- both costly and time-consuming -- to plan and execute our own defenses. Not a single fire department, including CalFire, has ever managed to arrive at my house before the fires did; the distances are simply too great and the fires too unpredictable.

EAST OF THE LINE: IF YOU CAN’T BEAT ‘EM, DENIGRATE ‘EM

 

Planners seek ouster of wind farm's project manager 

 

A column written for East County Magazine

 

By Billie Jo Jannen

April 16, 2011 (Boulevard)--The manager of Enel Green Power Jewel Valley made the claim that the Boulevard Planning Group scares her--and that she’s not going back without law enforcement protection.

EAST OF THE LINE: THE NUMBERS DON’T LIE


‘Downzoning’ is actually ‘upzoning’ when it comes to property values

 

By Billie Jo Jannen

 

October 15, 2010 (San Diego’s East County) -- The debate over the “downzoning” provisions of the general plan update that is about to be voted on by the board of supervisors has heated up. At issue is quality of life and property values in the backcountry versus the “rights” of developers to build where, when and how much they please. We have been told again and again that our “property rights” are being taken away and our land values are going to tank.

There is abundant proof that there is almost no truth to this claim. We have only to read the studies done in communities that have opted for open space preservation of their rural lands.

EAST OF THE LINE: FIRING BACK AT BORDER FIRE, ROOTING OUT WILD PIGS, & A GARDEN PARTY IN POTRERO

By Billie Jo Jannen

 

Firefighters shoot back at border fire

 

September 29, 2010 (San Diego’s East County) -- A Mexican fire that threatened the border area between Castle Rock and Bell Valley over the weekend was turned back handily at the border fence Sunday night by a line of firefighters armed with a variety of ignition devices.

 

That’s right—I said ignition devices.

EAST OF THE LINE: PARTISAN POLITICS ARE THE POISON PILL OF DEMOCRACY—EVEN IN THE BACKCOUNTRY

 

By Billie Jo Jannen

September 6, 2009 (San Diego’s East County)--Which is more important to the health of a region or a nation: a government that responds to the voice of the people or one that responds to the drive for partisan dominance?

EAST OF THE LINE: Local economy gets a shot in the arm from border operations

By Billie Jo Jannen

Victor Leon of Potrero and Rudolfo Reyes of Campo put
a raked finish on the drying concrete at the base of the border fence in
the far western portion of Campo. They are working on the south side of
the fence, which is constructed a short distance north of the border inside
the border "buffer zone." Workers on the fence have been harassed
by suspected smugglers on the Mexican side and there was at least one incident
of rock-throwing toward U.S. workers.

February 16, 2009 (Campo) — Of the 670 miles of infrastructure
built along the Southwest border as of January '09, about 10.5 miles of primary
fencing was in San Diego County and most of that, about 9.75 miles, was in
rural East County. An additional 2.6 miles in Marron Valley, south of Dulzura,
is funded and expected to be completed this year.

The fence, itself, stands 18 feet above the ground, according Agent Jerry
Conlin of U.S. Customs and Border Protection. It is sunk into a footing of
concrete - six feet deep and two feet wide - and made up of steel tubes filled
with concrete, called bollards. The bollards stand upright in steel framework
with their feet buried in the concrete.

EAST OF THE LINE: NEW PLANNING GROUP CHAIRMEN HAVE THEIR WORK CUT OUT

BillieJoJannen.jpg

By Billie Jo Jannen

Planning groups countywide have seated their newly elected members since the first of the year and Campo's changing of the guard does nothing to dispel its image as among the most contentious in the rural East County (along with the now-legendary Ramona, Potrero and Alpine groups).

The short description of the meeting might well be summed up as "Lions 0, Christians 2, after a lively clash," and bodes another exhausting year for planning group watchers in Campo.

'East of the Line' debuts this week

A
new column by award-winning rural journalist Billie Jo Jannen makes its exclusive
debut this week in East County Magazine.

The column, dubbed East of the Line, will deal with backcountry land
use, border and political affairs, topics in which Jannen has 21 years of experience
as journalist, newspaper editor and resident of Alpine and Campo.

East of the Line - 50 PERCENT OF MY SDG&E BILL IS SUPPOSED TO GO FOR INFRASTRUCTURE MAINTENANCE -- SO WHAT AM I GETTING FOR MY MONEY?

By Billie Jo Jannen

Once upon a time, our power in many parts east of the line, was provided by
a cooperative formed, as many were in the wake of the New Deal, using both
local resources and a loan from the Rural Electrification Administration.

Between 1935 and the early 1970s, Mountain Empire Rural Electric Cooperative
built over 1,000 miles of power lines to serve remote places east of populated
areas then served by the growing for-profit company, San Diego Gas and Electric.

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