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On Monday evening, June 4, the Mira Mesa Town Council hosted congressman Brian Bilbray, who fielded questions from residents in attendance for the monthly council meeting.

Bilbray opened the 40-minute Q&A session with an apology to the Mira Mesa community for having to wait so long for the Jonas Salk Elementary School to be built. He said that the system let them down; that the federal government has been putting off approval for completion. He said he is now proposing a bill that will give the feds 90 days to make a decision on the school.

In response to the wide variety of questions posed, Bilbray segued with anecdotes such as, "When I was mayor... When I was county supervisor... When I was a lifeguard... My daughter's battle with cancer... My wife's confrontation with a thief in our condo laundry room..."

At the end of the session, a person in the back of the room commented that Bilbray didn't answer one question with a direct answer — but he actually did answer one, when a woman preceded her question with the insistence that she be provided either a yes or no answer.

Bilbray at some point commented that the only thing that works in D.C. are the meter maids. When Bilbray was asked why he (and others) vote for bills they haven't read, he eventually came to the point that a 2700-page document is impossible to read in its entirety due to time constraints.

Bilbray said that the system just treats symptoms of problems rather than addressing the issues themselves; that the government likes evolutionary change, not radical change.

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Comments

tbrengel June 5, 2012 @ 5:34 p.m.

Were this reporter and I at the same meeting? Congressman Bilbray did, indeed, apologize for the gross bureaucratic sloth and gross indifference to which the people of Mira Mesa were subjected by federal officials as well as the inept use of false science as an excuse to block a vital school project. But the comment regarding an unanswered question pertained to only a single question which the Congressman proceeded to answer forthwith and not to the totality of the questions that had been asked as the reporter implies.

Also, while the report of the question is correct: “Why do you and others vote for bills you haven’t read”—that leaves the reader with the impression that the Congressman voted for the 2,700-page Health Care Bill when, in fact, he voted against it. Perhaps a better question would have been, “Why are you asked to vote on bills so voluminous that you cannot possibly have read them when they come to a vote”. That is actually the question that the Congressman answered.

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Visduh June 5, 2012 @ 8:37 p.m.

This "reporter" engages in the same sort of writing that the Reader so often scores in regard to the late, great UT. She (may I assume that Teri is a female name?) isn't reporting what happened, she's making editorial commentary about it. Heck, maybe she's right about what occurred, but that's still no excuse for turning a "news" report into this stream of opinion. Stick to the news, dear, or label your reports for what they are--politically-motivated--and not news.

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surferdude78 June 6, 2012 @ 2:13 p.m.

I was present at this meeting, and can tell you first hand that this reporter should not be called a reporter. Brian never said anything about it being "impossible to read in its entirety due to time constraints.not having enough time to read through a bill" ..that's complete BS. Teri is a guy, and should be considered an editorial opinion writer. One more blow to the already pathetic accuracy of the SD Reader. If your going to write an article, at least give the facts of the case.

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Robert Mizrachi June 6, 2012 @ 7:13 p.m.

I appreciate your viewpoint surferdude78. It's got merit. A while back, "Neighborhood News" was called "Stringers." Implicit was the fact that we were relying on citizen journalists (we still do), and so a little opinion was (and has been) acceptable. I posted this story because Teri's report had facts (though it seems the context of one was flubbed). The piece seemed a bit biased to me as well. However, without the former "Stringers" moniker, I understand how you and others might feel offended. I will take a harder look at allowing opinion in "Neighborhood News" from now on (and won't allow it in political coverage). So, apologies and congratulations to Congressman Bilbray, and a thank you to you for pointing this out. — Neighborhood News editor Robert Mizrachi

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surferdude78 June 6, 2012 @ 2:17 p.m.

One more thing--the word "Congressman" in the first line should be capitalized when it comes before his name, due to the fact that he is referring to a specific congressman. I'm pretty sure that is grammar 101 for you, Teri.

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Robert Mizrachi June 6, 2012 @ 7:33 p.m.

Duuude...you are sharp. I changed Teri's capitalized "Congressman Brian Bilbray" because I see "congressman" as an adjective — hold on, hold on. You and I know it's established style to bestow that title with a capital "C," 'dude, but I believe it's time to democratize typography — hold on, hold on. You don't see a "Neighborhood News Editor Robert Mizrachi" in my response to your other comment, right? I'm a lower-cased "editor"; it's an adjective. Why should "Congressman Brian Bilbray" (or "U.S. Congressman Brian Bilbray") get a capped "C"? That was the old way of thinking (which we might go back to after my boss sees this post). I'm not so new-school, however: in that reply to your comment, I purposefully typed "Congressman Bilbray." He gets the honorifically capped "C." Just as "Gabardine chef Brian Malarkey" would get the "Chef Malarkey" with the capped "C" on a second reference. I got some respect for old ways. Maybe more info than you'd care to know: My original reasoning for lowercasing is based on the fact that capital letters are more noticeable on the page. The premise arose from the fact that the boss doesn't like seeing acronyms — "alphabet soup," we call that effect when so many acronyms and initials "jump off a page." So, I thought further (too far?) about the necessity of capitalization and came to use this atypical style I'm talking about now. If capitalization helped with clarity in these instances, I'd be faster than a scalded jackrabbit to uphold AP style. But reading something like "president Barack Obama" doesn't hinder one's understanding of who a writer is talking about. Another aspect of modern-day typed language that gave me the gumption to start this so-called democratization of typography: if a Grandma can text "I luv U 2" to her grandkid and all is understood, why can't the newspaper industry change established styles of communication as well, as long as there's clarity? Thanks for writing,' dude. I've been meaning to 'splain myself on this point for some time. Now let the fur fly. I'm gone. — Asst. ed. Robert Mizrachi

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nan shartel June 7, 2012 @ 11:16 a.m.

it shocks me to think that with the way Washington functions anything of importance can be accomplished

Brian Bilbray has much on his mind with his daughter Brianna's Melanoma...we all need to send him as much positive energy as possible to be able to juggle his work and personal life

None

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Duhbya June 7, 2012 @ 12:11 p.m.

While I certainly can empathize with his daughter's travails, and will pray for her speedy and long-lasting recovery, I can muster no such feeling for her father. I observed his antics in his early days in IB, when his stated goal (as a mayoral candidate) was to build a marina in the magnificent estuary/bird sanctuary in the expanse just above the border. His slogan was "We will leave no tern unstoned". Cute.

http://articles.latimes.com/1988-10-10/local/me-2765_1_sea-world-employees

[link text][1]

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nan shartel June 7, 2012 @ 2:33 p.m.

young upwardly mobile men say such stupid things Duhbya....lolol...perhaps it's time to forgive him 4 that blurb

that link didn't take me anywhere

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Duhbya June 7, 2012 @ 3:05 p.m.

Ha! So do older men, I can assure you......my problem is that his behavior when I lived on the ocean's edge in IB has not noticeably improved. He's still power-mad and loose-lipped and does not give a hoot about the environment. I hope this link works. Maybe I need a primer.

http://sergededina.com/2011/02/07/bulldozers-and-estuaries/

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nan shartel June 7, 2012 @ 3:24 p.m.

ya know Dub...i only know him briefly thru family...i took care of his mum 4 a while...and my niece is married to his older brother

my daughter who's now deceased was dreamy mad about him when she was a kid...when he was the mayor of IB many young women were...we lived in IB 2 for a few years (69/70 and 71)...my kids learned to swim in the slough and in season we clammed there

my picture of him has been as a devoted son and father...a sweet and esentially gentle and generous man.....and as i'm not a republican or living in his district his political focus is irrelevant to me

as a thru marriage relative i hope 4 the best 4 him where Brianna is concerned...if i was in his place with a daughter so ill i wouldn't run

just read the link

YIKES!!!

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Duhbya June 8, 2012 @ 9:41 a.m.

Hi, miss nanners......do I recall that you posted quite a story some time back about his mother? She had had quite an interesting life and you were quite fond of her, if memory serves. If you say he's a doting family man, I accept that because (I get the impression that) you definitely know of what you speak regarding these matters. IB was a kick back then, eh? I lived on the Pacific just across the street from the last house on the slough side of Seacoast. That town, somewhat gritty, still brings to mind the gentler times of our younger days in the beach communities a few miles to the north.

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nan shartel June 8, 2012 @ 11:07 a.m.

my best gal pal lived right in the beach where all the businesses (restaurants) are now...she did a gorgeous stained glass pic of a sailboat 4 Bobby on our first anniversary

yes IB was sssooooooooo different then...i lived 2 blocks from the beach...i loved IB...still do ...and have many family and friends associated with it

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Duhbya June 8, 2012 @ 1:08 p.m.

My band played at Baloot's in the Eighties. That was a blast ( I think...)

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nan shartel June 8, 2012 @ 1:53 p.m.

hahahahahahahaha...selective memory eh...hey do u know where that dang twister is???

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Duhbya June 8, 2012 @ 2:17 p.m.

Selectively lurking? No, I haven't a clue. He'll pop up soon, I'm guessing.

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geldner June 8, 2012 @ 5:12 p.m.

The headline here, while grabby, implies that Bilbray is apologizing for some personal gaffe or insult he made to the community of Mira Mesa. A more appropriate head might be "Bilbray to offer bill to speed Salk school approval" or something to that effect. As others have stated, the whole piece smacks of selective reporting and bias. Politics is an area that screams for accuracy in reporting so involved citizens can make truly informed decisions. Sadly, reporters all too often see journalism as an opportunity to effect change as opposed to letting the reader know what really happened.

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