The Coast News Group

Letters: Oct. 24, 2008

Vote for economic/environmental progress in Oceanside
When the Sprinter was approved, Oceanside should have created zoning overlays that take advantage of the stations. Transit Oriented Development, or TOD, will work if we let it. The San Diego Business Journal posted an article in June ( asp?aID= 125957&link=perm) about the North County Health Services purchasing 12,000 square feet of office (now under construction) near the Crouch Sprinter Station. Another 14,000 square feet are planned. This Sprinter-induced development will house 104 jobs. It’s a great start.
Councilman Feller talked about job creation in defending his approval of Robertson’s concrete batch mix plant. However, 15 truck drivers and two office workers on that acre of land is a pathetic outcome. The location is an eight-minute walk from the El Camino Sprinter station! Who would want to build a TOD project with a cement plant nearby? Councilwoman Esther Sanchez and Mayor Wood voted no to Robertson’s. Sanchez (Urban Studies, Brown University) was particularly outspoken.
Sanchez and Mayor Wood have earned our support. Charles Lowery was one of the citizen leaders that worked to stop Robertson’s. As a lifelong resident and a business owner, he would be a wonderful upgrade to our council. Jack Feller needs time off the council to learn about land use and transportation.
Mike Bullock
Pro Proposition K
We write in support of the Encinitas Ballot Measure to restore our beaches, Prop. K (the Sand Initiative).
Sand on our beaches provides environmental, recreational and economic benefits for Encinitas residents, tourists and North County as a whole. Wide beaches add to our quality of life and they attract visitors to our region, which helps small businesses at a time when the economy is in dire straits. Proposition K would add short-term vacation rentals to the hotels, motels and bed and breakfast establishments in Encinitas which are contributing funds for beach sand replenishment and shoreline stabilization projects by collecting a 2 percent Transient Occupancy Tax, or TOT.
In 1998, the citizens of Encinitas approved, by more than the required two-thirds vote, a 2 percent special TOT for all guests staying in hotels, motels and bed and breakfast establishments in the city to support sand restoration. The 1998 measure did not include short-term vacation units. A “yes” vote on Prop. K will include them in the city’s beach restoration funding efforts. It is a tax on visitors, not Encinitas residents! It is a fair approach to raising revenue for beach projects.
With the adoption of the 1998 TOT sand measure, the city of Encinitas was able to afford its share of the highly successful 2001 sand replenishment project as well as ongoing shoreline monitoring and sand projects. But another such effort is needed now to combat natural erosion and restore our beaches. By requiring all short-term tourists to pay this special 2 percent TOT, the city will be able to plan and implement future beach sand projects. It will enable tourists to help support the beaches they enjoy. That is why our City Council voted to put Prop K. on the ballot. It requires a two-thirds vote to pass.
Proposition K has been endorsed by a number of businesses, environmental and community groups in Encinitas, including the Downtown Encinitas MainStreet Association (DEMA), Seacoast Preservation Association, the California Coastal Coalition and Citizens for Sand.
Vote yes on Prop. K to have tourists help support sand on our beaches for all to enjoy!
Steve Aceti and Robert Crane, Co Chairs, Citizens for Sand
Sarah Palin and special needs children?
It astonishes me to hear John McCain and others extolling Sarah Palin’s support for special needs children. I was saddened to see all the Down’s syndrome families appearing at her rallies where she was holding her baby, Trig, for special effect. Let’s look at reality. Other than giving birth to a special needs child, what has she really done? She has cut the budget in her state for special needs children. Palin was elected governor in November 2006, and assumed her position in January 2007. Here’s what the State of Alaska FY2008 Governor’s Operating Budget for the Department of Education and Early Development Special Schools Component Budget Summary shows: FY 2006 $7,949.30, the proposed FY 2007 budget $3,173.70, and what the Governor signed for FY 2008 $3,156. The facts show that funding was decreased from a planned budget of $8,265.30 to $3,156. That’s a 62 percent decrease. The actual amount spent went from $7,949.3 to $3,156.00. That’s a 60 percent decrease.
I had a brother with Down’s syndrome. I know the impact it has on a family and the importance of programs and support systems. These children are more than photo ops and campaign props. If Gov. Palin really had a record of doing something, I’d be all for her. Instead, she and her running mate are cynical manipulators of public opinion with no substance to back them, and it disgusts me.
Lisa Shaffer

Voters, beware
On the official ballot for the county of San Diego, three seats in the MiraCosta College District are open. I urge the voters to be take a very close look at the use of the title, “board president,” which one candidate has used. The board presidency passes from one member to another in a designated process, which may have nothing to do with a person’s fitness for the office. At MiraCosta, each board member takes a turn, usually on a yearly basis, at being the president. Therefore to connote any significant importance to one using this title would be an error. The board policy, which I helped write, gives the board president the job of running the board meetings, and, after a board vote has been taken, to be the spokesperson for the board in the event that the press has questions regarding the vote. Never was the title intended to be used for political purposes. Therefore, to connote that the title “president” means anything different than “incumbent” would be erroneous.
Jean Moreno
Trustee Emeritus, MiraCosta College

Follow the money
This is not an endorsement of a particular candidate. If you will please go to your
computer and visit (city Web site) and click on “campaign statements”
you can see who has contributed and the amount of contribution to each candidate. This will tell you just about all you need to know about whom to vote for. There are clear choices between candidates based on this information. Be an informed voter and be sure to cast your vote.
Don Lee

Tri-City healthcare district board election
“I’ve seen the needle and the damage done; a little part of it in everyone; Oh-oh, the damage done.” Tri-City Healthcare District’s needle is board member Kathleen Sterling.
When faced with buildings that failed to meet current earthquake safety standards, Sterling put the lives of patients, doctors, nurses and staff at risk in the event of “The Big One’ by saying, “Postpone … postpone … postpone!”
When faced with transferring the hospital to Sharp, Scripps or Palomar to preserve basic emergency services, Sterling said, “No … no … no!”
Board member Sterling failed to support all three hospital bonds! No more Sterling — vote her out on Nov. 4.
Randy Horton

1 comment

Casey Cummins October 30, 2008 at 12:28 pm

After reading the syndicated column about web rumors and candidates in the October 24th edition, I find no greater irony than a cut and paste of an education outline of “special schools” by a Lynn Shaffer in your letters to the editor. This information was out en mass on the internet on Sept. 4th and debunked within 24 hours, yet it still lives on the web. According to the non-partisan rumor debunking Soledad O’brien made this accusatory statement without explanation on CNN and it followed that inboxes around the world recieved this information. Well first off, Special Schools are not in the same category as “intensive needs students” which is the term that encompasses the developmentally disabled in Alaska’s education system. Secondly, Governor Palin signed a bill in March of 2008 that raised spending on “intensive needs students” from $26,900 to $ 73,840. And lastly the 5 million dollar drop in line item deduction for special schools wasn’t a loss in funding it was transferred into its own budget line, as per its not an academic line, but a special projects line. As to the main point, the rumors on the web that carry some semblance of truth are the ones most damaging to either side without proper investigation. Even when debunked its the process of forwarding and saying something enough it might be true that causes the most harm.

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