Irwin Jacobs and Jerry Sanders: Billionaires and bullies create a false picture of public support for Plaza de Panama

The "Long Arm Of Wealth" becomes almost dictatorial in nature when members of The Wealth Club work together. If it is one thing they do not like it is anyone who opposes them or stands in their way. If you are a politician, and you stand in the way of wealth, those who hold the power of wealth will bear down on you to evict you from office. If you are in business and are not wealthy, your job, your business will become a target. If you are a charity, you best not bite, or ignore the hand that feeds you (money). Donating a few hundred dollars is commendable. Donating millions gives you the ability to control people, be they in the public, private, or charitable sectors. We see this very clearly happening in the Plaza de Panama Project. Control people and you run the city. If you are a person in authority, an authority figure yourself, someone with influence, and you spoke out against the Plaza de Panama project, watch your back. It seems the unwritten word has already circulated around The Wealth Club and an editorial in the Union Tribune is attacking Sherri Lightner for voting FOR the people, and against the project. She is the first victim of the smoking gun of wealth, who will be next? Make a list of all people and organizations who opposed the project and wait and watch. The power of The Wealth Club will be aimed and sooner than later start picking them off like sitting ducks. What we see going on in San Diego is philanthropy turned wicked. It is money using the most basic of principles; reward and punishment. It is money smiling all the way to the bank, and smiling as it gets its revenge against those who stand in its way. It is a very powerful force. It is like a black hole. Get too near and you get sucked in and are unable to exit without causing your own self destruction.
— July 17, 2012 5:05 a.m.

In Borrego, Prices Are Low, Anyway

We have owned a residence in Rams Hill since 1988. It was a retreat residence until last year when we made it our primary residence. Never was a golfer so don't miss that. However, I would re-invent desert golf so that it did not require so much grass and water (artificial turf, painted fairways, or something). Borrego Springs has all the essentials, water, sewer, electricity, phone, cell phone, wireless internet, cable TV, cable internet. It is only 1.5 hours from San Diego via a lovely back country drive. And if you feel like it there are a few Indian Casinos on the path to break up the drive. Borrego Springs is also only 1.5 hours from Indio (a nice Costco) via uncrowded 2 lane and 4 lane divided highways. In just 40 minutes you can be in the cooler pine scented air of Julian. Since buying the Prius, the cost of gas for occasional trips is minimal. The Borrego Springs resorts are pleasant and peaceful. Sure, it gets hot. Hot in Las Vegas, Phoenix, too. Lots of people live there. Eventually, when necessary, water will be piped in from the East. Of course, jobs are not plentiful. Although the new solar power farm is providing some employment now. And don't forget the airport for private planes, operated by the County of San Diego. Borrego Springs, like many places, has had its ups and downs. But through it all, as a part time mid-life retreat, or full time retirement haven away from the hustle and bustle of the city, it has a lot to offer.
— May 31, 2012 4:05 p.m.

Fabled Borrego Springs Resort, Development May Close Nov. 30

The Vision for Montesoro Country Club homes and Borrego Ranch Resort and Spa has been spectacular and very upscale. But it had a few things going against success, even before the worst economy since the Great Depression: Location, Location, Location. And sinking tens of millions of dollars into re-doing a perfectly good existing golf course and making it private didn't help. The vision, and the products (homes, golf course, and resort) are top drawer, upscale, classy, quality, desirable, and in any upscale location, in good times, would be very marketable. But Borrego Springs, the town and valley, isn't an upscale classy location. Surrounded by the Anza Borrego State Park, and about two hours drive from major population centers (over winding roads) it is a focal point for desert denizens who hike, bike, sightsee, birdwatch, dunebuggy, photograph, walk, or just sit in an isolated place and enjoy peace-quiet-solitude. The town can supply the visitor and resident with ample conveniences and necessities including cell phone, high speed cable internet, wireless wide-area internet and cable TV services (and there is still plenty of water for a couple of generations) but it is not an upscale shopping mecca that would appeal to very upscale resort visitors or a lot of upscale homeowners. The original Rams Hill Country Club and homes built by DiGiorgio were marketed to the middle class and slightly above. Those with higher net worth bought lots and acreage and had custom homes designed and built. Instead of following this development model the current developer tried to build and sell homes in the $800k to $1.2mil range in a non-upscale relatively isolated location, and virtually eliminated the custom home market. For that much money most people, who don't like to live in relative isolation, would go to La Quinta, Rancho Mirage, Palm Springs, but not Borrego Springs. Borrego Springs isn't "funky" or "bohemian", it is just a simple mix of American and international tourists, local working people, second home working people, retired local one home people and retired second home people. With a summer population of around 3,000 and a winter population of around 6,000 it is small, yet very active. With millions of "baby boomers" on the (delayed) verge of retirement, many of whom don't like snow or Florida, it is quite probable that the population of the winter mecca of Borrego Springs could easily double in the next few years; but it will be a population of budget conscious retirees and middle class working people to support that population. For a resort and home sales plan to succeed it needs to appeal to volume, more clients, and to achieve that in Borrego Springs one needs to be more mid-scale than up-scale.
— October 19, 2009 8:04 a.m.

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