Letters to the Editor

A response to Mr. Ralph PeckIn that letter published Feb. 22, Mr. Peck opined that President Obama’s “actions have been to destroy the greatest nation on the face of the Earth.”

So that, and his statement that he wanted to “fundamentally change” the country, should be determined to be an impeachable offense.

I believe Mr. Peck is probably a decent human being. But I also believe him to be wrong.

I love my country too, Mr. Peck, but I do believe that the country does need a fundamental change, and I believe the President is trying to get the country back in the hands of its citizens, not destroy it.

Consider: Right now just 10 percent of our population holds around 80 percent of financial wealth in the country. And CEOs stipends far exceed their worth; while many workers receive pay far below their contribution to the success of the companies they work for, some even earning wages below the national poverty level.

The President is accused of wanting to redistribute wealth by taking it away from the super rich. He may be, and — in my view — it should be. But the real redistribution being asked for is the introduction of responsibility into the veins of the super wealthy, and a concurrent reduction in greed.

The Supreme Court has decided that corporations and unions are people, allowing huge contributions by both entities. The average American can’t possibly match them and can’t get the attention of their representatives that the corporations and unions can. So elections have become contests over who can raise the most money to produce campaign lies, instead of who has the best ideas.

Violence pervades our society. Guns are killing people everywhere, in the hands of people in rage and wing nuts. Mentally disturbed people roam the streets in need of help. Television, computer games, and films glorify violence and amplify it.

And Congress isn’t congressional (as in the definition: “the act of coming together.”) They aren’t, they don’t. They act like spoiled brats who pout over not having everything their way.

Finally, our nation is not “One nation, indivisible…” We are divided, terribly so. You want to impeach someone? Impeach Congress and the Supremes. Neither represents the average American anymore.

In truth, we don’t have a democracy any more — we have a plutocracy. We do need a fundamental change.

John Lynn,

Carlsbad

 

Uncivil Conduct

In a 22 February Union-Tribune article mainly focussing on Gary Felien’s disingenuous opinions about conflict and power on the Oceanside City Council, the reporter also recorded Felien’s mean-spirited views about Martin Luther King Day.

Felien is irritated because MLK Day is a paid city holiday for Oceanside city workers, while Presidents Day honoring Washington and Lincoln is only a “floating holiday.” How could such an obvious injustice have occurred? How could this possibly be the case?

“It’s an issue of culture here,” Felien insists. “Nobody’s going to tell me that Martin Luther King did more for this country than President Washington and President Lincoln combined.” What wonderfully simple math for measuring the great complexity of history and the full value of contributions made by such grand historical figures.

Felien’s ill-tempered rationale disrespects all three of these Americans, each a unique hero in his own particular and different historical time.

In retrospect, Washington is no doubt amused, Lincoln is turning over in his grave, and King is simply turning the other cheek. Imagine taking Felien’s unbalanced sense of “culture” and historical disproportion into an elementary school classroom on American History.

This is not the first time Felien has behaved badly toward those who are clearly not of his “culture.”

In the last election campaign during a one-on-one TV debate with Latina attorney Lorena Gonzoles, he treated her with outright disrespect and disdain. Now he’s at it again.

It’s a shame Felien seems to know so little about culture and history, and that he represents such a terrible example of incivility, indeed of bigotry, in the political discourse of North County San Diego.

Bill Fischer,

Oceanside

 

Things we have learned from the Streetscape process

No matter how open a process, some people will still complain the residents weren’t consulted.

No matter how long a public hearing process (2 years) someone will still claim it was rushed.

No matter how well the public’s wishes were incorporated into designs, and how experts on the various subjects were consulted. (e.g., on traffic flow), there will inevitably be those who think they know better.

No matter how popular the final choice (70 percent of those who bothered to come to the meetings to learn about the project), someone will still claim that it’s not what the public wants.

“Concerns” that have been thoroughly and factually answered by experts will continue to be given as objections, and no doubt used to alarm neighbors.

No matter how many times that factual errors in letters are corrected, those erroneous claims will continue to be made.

Judy Miller,

Encinitas

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  1. No matter says:

    No matter how incorrectly the process for prematurely eliminating a lane on N101 through Leucadia was carried out, some people who attended the workshops. which were NOT official “public hearings” know the local residents’ concerns were not given equal weight; the facts were skewed; and that a true, unbiased and independent needs assessment was never performed.

    No matter how long a few prejudiced parties complain that a “public hearing process of 2 years” was implemented, those who participated know that it wasn’t an open public hearing process before Council or any Commissions, either Planning, Traffic or the Environmental Commissions. We know that the “workshops” were held by paid lobbyist consultants/lobbyists/contractors, Peltz & Associates. The data collected was massaged and tweaked to fit pre-formed conclusions.

    Those who attended all the workshops and went to the open houses know that at the initial “survey” workshop held at City Hall nearly two thirds of the people who answered the questionnaire distributed then (with no controls) said we didn’t favor five roundabouts and lane elimination for motorists relative to the “North 101 Streetscape Project.” Those results should have been honored, rather than waiting another year to do another survey where those who said we didn’t want Stop Lights OR five roundabouts and traffic circles were counted as NO RESPONSE. No option was given for “none of the above,” at the Community Center workshop “survey,” contrary to the methodology for the first City Hall survey, when the most roundabout/lane elimination opposition was noticed, and present to participate.

    At this first “workshop” at City Hall, “time ran out for public speakers to contribute our comments at all. The two “open houses” that followed provided NO opportunity for public input, not even a suggestion box. The “cartoons” drawn up by Peltz and Associates were unfurled on conference tables; they were NOT engineered drawings and were NOT official, nor drawn to scale. Yet Council was fooled by or wanted to fool those who oppose lane elimination and five roundabouts into believing those cartoon drawings were “legit.” They were merely propaganda.

    At the second, Community Center workshop “survey” there was no real “control” over the weighting or quantification and qualification of the questions. Public speakers were only allowed two minutes, each, at the end of the meeting, which was much more heavily noticed to what Peltz and Associates described as official “Stakeholders” with Leucadia 101 Mainstreet Association at the top of the list. Residents LIVING ADJACENT to North 101, who don’t include Leucadia Town Council, with the exception of Fred Caldwell, who is on both LTC and L101MA, are less well organized, and not subsidized by the City, as is L101MA. They were less aware that this final Community Center “workshop” was going to be the deciding “survey,” after the questions had been unfairly weighted, disallowing opponents comments in the questions’ quantification.

    L101MA has openly used its City subsidized funding to act as another lobbying force, rallying bicyclists, who originally were ONLY asking for Sharrows, NOT lane elimination, before Encinitas Traffic Commission on 6/11/12, and before City Council on 7/18/12. The ONLY person requesting the “lane diet” on July 18, with Mayor Stocks absent, was a realtor (development interests) associated with L101MA and at a later date, a paid employee of L101MA, Paula Kirpalani.

    If the proponents of lane elimination and 5 roundabouts insist these are what the public wants and needs, then they should encourage Council to put the question on the special election ballot along with the Right to Vote on Upzoning Initiative! The roundabouts actually would lead to more density along North 101, as they would count toward enabling “negative environmental impact declarations.

    It is an incontrovertible fact that the studies are not yet in with a finding that “operational characteristic adequacy” would not be compromised by our 4 lane No. 101 major roadway’s being reduced to a 3 lane configuration before completion of further traffic analysis contracted out on 6/27/12 for an additional $75,000 to answer questions pending the City’s getting a Coastal Development Permit, questions put to the City of Encinitas by the City of Carlsbad and Caltrans, as part of environmental review of lane elimination for motorists.

    The City of Encinitas is being hypocritical in not following it’s own rules. Encinitas doesn’t have the legal right to force an experiment on local commuters and adjacent residents, by shortcutting due process. Just as the Plaza de Panama had to be stopped in Balboa Park because SD was not following its own rules, there, the City of Encinitas will be held accountable through the Coastal Commission, and the Coastal Act.

    It is so obvious that the City has bypassed its own documented process, that two Commissioners are directly appealing the City’s decision to go ahead with lane eliminations without first completing the coastal development and design review process through our Local Coastal Program.

    The fact is, we would all like to encourage bicyclists, and bicycle safety. Judy Miller shares her opinion that “factual errors” have been included in letters to the editor without substantiating her own unverified claims. She is free to submit her opinions, but her letter is merely a repetition of illogical and misleading statements from her slanted perspective.

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