Border Moguls

I was reading your Neighborhood News article, “Border Bounty: Federal government settles border land lawsuit with county and state,” concerning Border Field State Park. That land that they’re disputing — in 1984 I was working as a park aide and I witnessed the park officials acting as real estate agents. They were making reports that Herman Smart, who owned that ranch, had an eyesore on his property because he had a tractor sitting there, and a couple of old cars. They were cutting the barbed-wire fence and letting his cattle through. They basically railroaded the poor man out of his property. I witnessed all of this.

My concern is that it’s a conflict of interest for a state park official to act as a real estate agent or land mogul, land-grabbing in the interest of California state parks and railroading the public out of their property, and then making these multimillion-dollar land deals with the government.

via voicemail

Uniting the Country

Regarding Ron Harris’s letter (December 13) on Don Bauder’s November 21 article, “Hispanic Vote Calls the Shots in San Diego,” City Lights. He writes, “The Republicans have become old and boring, and most people are aware of their true intentions.” Well, unfortunately most people are deceived and they think Democrats are wonderful.

Look at Clinton. He took so much stuff from the White House that they had to actually bring in moving vans. Obama promises to unite the country, yet he invites Black Panthers in the White House. How is that uniting the country? You want excitement? You’ll get it when the dollar drops out because he’s printing up too much money and it becomes worthless. And then people start starving to death. You’ll get plenty of excitement there.

Name Withheld
via voicemail

Molding Minds

Fantastic piece by attorney Joan Jackson (“Still Fat,” December 6 cover story). As an African-American female who has fought the battle of the bulge half of my adult life, it brought tears to my eyes how cruel people can be to their fellow men and women. Losing weight has become one of the most difficult battles I have ever fought.

As a 41-year veteran of the classroom, I was infuriated by the racism, insensitivity, and negativity of the teachers she wrote about. This Ms. Hooten, Ms. Lundquist, and the administration at Pershing Junior High School are hopefully no longer in the business of supposedly molding young minds. I realize there are prejudiced, bigoted, and right-wing teachers in my business, but when you read the toll it has taken on students of color, it makes one sick.

Mrs. Peggy M. Spates-Johnson
Valencia Park

Defending Belching Beaver

Re: “My Beer Radar — ¡Dos!

May writers such as Brandon Hernandez realize that when critiquing establishments, one should strive to remain within one’s profession. The gentleman’s critical opinion of the name of Belching Beaver Brewery is not at all true. They enjoy a rapidly growing following with the general public and industry insiders — myself humbly included in the latter.

Timothy Clacton
via email

A Universal Bay?

RE: “Bay Dreams,” November 29 cover story

San Diego Bay can’t be everything to everyone. It’s already mostly committed to the U.S. Navy and commercial interests. Furthermore, there are just too many governmental entities asking for a piece of the pie. In my opinion, the Port District has essentially done no meaningful coordination of these interests and done no worthwhile planning.

A Manchester-style plan for downtown’s waterfront — a football stadium, sports arena, and park where the Tenth Avenue Marine Terminal now sits — do not belong along the bay. If the bay “quacks like a duck,” I’m sure you know the rest.

Why do so many persons want to remake the bay everything for everybody? A universal bay? I doubt it.

How about cries to “do something”? I don’t like to be a defeatist and rain on your parade but, in my opinion, it’s too late. Look at what the Port has permitted to happen over the past years. There is a wall of large buildings around the edge of the bay and more to come, at least on the San Diego side. A great opportunity to make something of the bay edge has been ignored by land developers, investors, greedy builders, and the stupid Port District. It’s gone; it’s too late, folks. And a stadium, sports arena, and park (big or little)? Where? Access? More walling off the bay? These very large users of large pieces of land and generators of traffic jams, not to mention many other issues, should be located where there is sufficient space and relatively easy access. Not downtown.

It’s a joke to start planning now! You missed your opportunity, San Diego. Perhaps Chula Vista and the other cities around the bay can do better. Let’s hope so.

When the U-T starts planning for the bay we’re all in trouble. Doug Manchester has nothing else on his mind other than to develop the bay line and make direct or indirect money. That’s his track record. Don’t be fooled by his interest to do something big for San Diego. How about doing something big for Papa Doug?

As far as the “unsightly industrial property” is concerned, I say leave it and let the normal process of change take place. Let’s call it “evolution planning.” Probably just as good as people mucking around with maps and such. There is some truth in the opinion that the bay should be for marine use, especially when one looks into the future. The edge of the bay may not change in the next 50 years, but if it does, it couldn’t be much worse than what’s happened so far. An interesting approach, keep it a working waterfront!

As for the Navy property, Papa Doug has had a long-term strong connection to that property and the U.S. Navy. He’s got plans, just like he had plans when he bought the U-T and North County Times. Beware San Diegans, I say.

There is too much greed in this city and in the power structure. And the shame of it all is that once a building is built, it’s probably there for at least a hundred years or more. Architect Moran has some interesting ideas, but it’s too late and it won’t happen. There is the power structure and then there is everyone else. Who has the upper hand? If this land is so valuable then why aren’t the decision-makers setting it aside for future generations?


Letter to the Editor Dec. 31, 2012 @ 9:17 a.m.

"Uniting the Country" was a rather strange title to the letter commenting about my 12/13 letter (voting demographics per Don Bauder). After reading this letter and reviewing my letter, I must conclude that both were inappropriate. Each focused on generalities without mentioning pertinent specifics.

To begin with, I want to make it clear that I had no intention to imply that the Democrats are angels, as they have made mistakes. To begin with, President Lyndon Johnson's decision to go to war in Vietnam leads the list of Democratic blunders. Others include Representative William J. Jefferson's stashing bribery money in his freezer.

On the other hand, let's consider George W. Bush's decision to invade Iraq based upon false information that he presented to Congress. About 3,500 Americans were killed and 35,000 were wounded. Over 100,000 Iraqis were killed. Bush started 2 wars and simultaneously reduced taxes. At the same time, he also suppressed financial regulation. Could these acts have had anything to do with the Great Recession?

In light of the above, the Republicans continue to try to link Democrats to spending excesses, while the facts seem to point to the Republicans as big spenders. In San Diego, Republican Mayor Jerry Sanders, portrayed himself as a fiscal conservative. During his term in office he spent as follows: 1) Helped build a new central library for $180 Mil that very few residents will ever use. 2) Attempted to rebuild City Hall for $300 Mil when much less expensive alternatives were available.

3) Attempted to divert $500 Mil in redevelopment funds to the Chargers. 4) Succeeded in allocating over $100 Mil in City funds for the Convention Center expansion. Note that the economic value of this expansion is debatable.

Upon leaving office, Jerry Sanders has claimed that he will be leaving the people of San Diego with a surplus. I leave you with a comparison of Jerry Sanders' projections compared to the projections supplied by the City of San Diego Independent Budget Analyst (IBA).

             Jerry Sanders    San Diego IBA
             --------------   -----------------    
FY 2014      $4.9 m surplus   ($84.2 m) deficit  
FY 2016     $32.2 m surplus   ($75.8 m) deficit
FY 2018     $94.2 m surplus   ($43.1 m) deficit

Ron Harris, Scripps Ranch


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