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Webb first came up with the idea to build the training facility in 2006, after years of conducting sniper training for the Navy. The Point Loma resident, who recently coauthored his first book, The 21st-Century Sniper: A Complete Practical Guide, says that after the Naval Training Center in Point Loma closed, the Navy began sending sailors to the East Coast for training.

“I found that there was an opportunity to put everything that [law enforcement and the military] need to train all on one location. I wanted the desert,” says Webb. “I wanted a place that could offer year-round training.”

Webb found desert land for sale adjacent to Nomirage. “To the north of the property is Interstate 8, to the south is Highway 98, and the east is owned by Bureau of Land Management. To the west you have that little section of Nomirage. To be honest, I don’t consider it a sprawling residential community.” The Wind Zero property has “a highway on one side and an interstate on the other side. That’s why I chose the land,” Webb says.

He presented his plan to the Imperial County Planning Department in late 2006. “I told them our plans, and they said that they didn’t see any problem with it.”

Webb says that his company has mitigated concerns about noise by moving the indoor and semi-enclosed shooting ranges one-half mile away from Nomirage. And Wind Zero has agreed to contribute to road improvements along Highway 98, which would minimize traffic impacts to the community.

“After meeting with residents, we’ve made a lot of changes. We are going to develop an environmentally responsible project,” he says.

Webb is looking for additional funding to develop the site. He predicts construction crews will break ground in early 2012.

During that time, Edie Harmon will continue to look for flaws in the environmental impact report in order to defeat the project. And others such as Ginny Chandlee will live in fear that they might have to move away.

“I will leave if I want to keep my sanity,” Chandlee says. “I didn’t move here for that. I thought I'd cried my last tears. I guess I haven’t.”

On Tuesday, the Sierra Club and Desert Protection Council filed suit against Wind Zero, Imperial County, and the Imperial County Board of Supervisors. Citing violations of state environmental law, the suit asks the court to direct Imperial County to set aside its approval of the Wind Zero project.

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Comments

Robert Hagen Jan. 27, 2011 @ 11:47 a.m.

Excellent report, Mr. Hargrove. Thanks for the heads up.

With Wind Zero, as with Blackwater, what we have is a couple former Navy SEALs that have a problem understanding James Bond movies.

So lets go over this apparent bump in the road of consciousness thats at play here.

The hero in James Bond movies is James Bond, it is not,

REPEAT

IT IS NOT

the kooky focker that wants to build a compound with helipads and take over the world. That would be the villain. Look that up, don't take my word for it.

Additional themes in this latest misbegotten adventure include

Chain of Command.

Lets lick our finger, place it in the air, check the wind, and see if we can determine, as best we can, what is the chain of command. Having done so, we can determine whether or not to bivouac two miles outside the San Diego County limits, or whether prevailing wind conditions favor decamping said location in favor of Alaska.

Because San Diego already has all of the military capacity necessary to conduct its affairs. Were Wind Zeros training ability so great, its directors, whomever they are, would appreciate that before a shot is fired in training, anger or

BY MISTAKE

its advisable to observe the chain of command.

Intelligence GENIUSES may also be tantalized to examine, hopefully not over the course of decades, hint hint, that permitting scads of unknown individuals who listen to former SEALs and favor walrus mustaches to scurry about, hither and yon, heavily armed and questionably trained is a security sieve.

Finally, bringing already well trained peace officers into this boiling cauldron of mercenary activity for- what?

Advanced training? The fact is Brandon Webb would benefit from training by actual police, not the other way around.

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brittlebush Jan. 27, 2011 @ 9:07 p.m.

The approval of this project was a knife in the heart not just to the people who live next to the proposed site but for everyone in the Imperial Valley who loves this part of the desert. The Ocotillo Nomirage area is stunningly beautiful with wide expanses of desert backed by the mountains. In the spring the yellow brittlebush are mixed in with the red ocotillo flowers and it's spectacular. And it's wonderfully quiet and peaceful. San Diegans might want to come down and explore the area while the weather is good and before the peace is disturbed by 20 shooting ranges and a racetrack.

Thanks Mr. Hargrove for the excellent story. One detail--Webb says that they moved the firing ranges a half mile from the residential neighborhood. At the Planning Commission meeting in August, his chief engineer, Jeff Lyon, stated that the semi-enclosed (read semi-open!) shooting ranges were 660 feet from the nearest house. That is 1/8 of a mile!

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Robert Hagen Jan. 28, 2011 @ 6:03 p.m.

I want to apologize to Mr. Webb and his associates for an above post that is intemperate, sarcastic in an insulting way, and largely devoid of substance.

The appropriate way to discuss important issues is politely, and reasonably. The remarks reflect poorly on me, not on anyone else.

An apology is warranted, along with a commitment to amend my actions in the future. Regardless of what the issue is, when people are personally attacked verbally, it just adds to the contention, and doesn't serve the debate at all.

Once again, my sincere apologies to Mr. Webb et al.

Sincerely,

Robert Hagen aka Diegonomics

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