A win for farmers and Escondido residents.

There were a couple of interesting items on the agenda at Wednesday’s Escondido City Council meeting. First was item 6:  Authorization to enter into standardized agreements for purchase and sale of recycled water for agricultural use. Basically, this allows those farmers who wish to commit to using the recycled water, once all the systems are in place to provide that water, may sign up now, for three years, and receive potable water at the proposed rate for that recycled water, $2.70 per 1,000 gallons. After Director of Utilities Christopher McKinney made his presentation, Councilwoman Olga Diaz asked him why couldn’t this have been done earlier, as she was sure the farmers would have been more than willing, the Council had always been told that to do so would have violated state law. McKinney explained that until now, they would have been pressed to justify giving the farmers such a significantly lower rate, because, before this time, they would have had some trepidation about claiming the benefit to the city from the proposed project, because the project was too far off—not eminent enough.

The project benefits all the city’s water customers, because it eliminates the need to build an enlarged outfall pipe from the Hale Avenue Resource Recovery Facility (HARRF) out into the Pacific—an expansion that would cost billions. Also, being able to show that the city had guaranteed customers for the recycled water would make it easier to obtain loans to finance the city’s project, loans with lower interest rates, again saving all the city’s customers money.

Diaz put McKinney on the spot when she asked him about the use of the recycled water by the proposed Safari Highlands development, would they be eligible to get the discounted rate? McKinney began by saying the city utility staff was not making this recommendation for the benefit of the farmers, but what would be best for all the ratepayers. He added, that when the system was in place they would have to develop a fee schedule for various users of the recycled water, and Safari Highlands would not qualify for the agricultural rate. The item was approved by the entire council.

The other interesting item was number 7: Undergrounding in lieu fee waiver request for centerpoint 78 project ADM 13-027.  Centerpointe 78 is a project, previously approved by the council, for a supermarket and fast food franchise with a drive-thru (Starbucks, maybe) project to replace the old Toyota of Escondido building, across from Lincoln school. Assistant City Engineer Homi Namdari explained that the city requires projects of over $23,800 in value to put utility lines underground if possible. If the utility lines include a 69kV line (as in this case, along Lincoln Ave.) then such undergrounding is considered infeasible. In such cases the developer is required to pay and “in lieu” fee of $457 per linear foot to the city, or 5 percent of the valuation of the project whichever is lower. In this case, the 5 percent was the lower figure—well, not so low, $240,474. City staff recommended that the council deny the request for the waiver. In their request for the waiver the developer claimed to have been unaware of the fee requirement as it was not separately listed in the city’s conditions for approval. Namdari explained that the conditions did specifically require the payment of “all applicable fees”.

The representative for the developer, Jim Simmons, repeated the complaint that the fee and its size were not known until he had already obtained financing, and though the additional cost of a $240,000 would make additional financing difficult.

Councilman Ed Gallo reasoned (using the term very loosely) that since it was infeasible to bury the 69kV line, and the line would always be above ground, and the in lieu fee would be used by the city to bury utility lines elsewhere, why should the developer have to pay?

Councilman Mike Morasco wondered why this fee wasn’t specified on the requirements, with a specific amount. City Engineer Julie Procopio explained that the city did not traditionally make a comprehensive list of all the fees in a projects requirements because the list of fees was subject to change during the approval process, and the city traditionally referred to the city’s fee schedule.

Councilman John Masson thought he remembered that the city had made some concessions in the transportation mitigation fees when the project first came before the Council. He felt that would have been the time to negotiate for lower fees.

Councilwoman Olga Diaz observed that the above ground utility lines dated the city. She wished it were possible to bury all lines, including the 69kV lines. She pointed out (perhaps for Gallo’s benefit) that burying the lines anywhere in the city, improved the city, and therefore was an ancillary benefit to any development in the city. She did find it hard to believe that a developer would miss such a substantial fee, and hoped the staff would take steps to ensure it did not happen again. She noted that the location had a great deal of traffic, including people waiting to get on the 78 in the morning—sort of a captive audience for a Starbucks.

Mayor Sam Abed was obviously in a quandary. His basic instinct is always to aid the developers, and so he put forth the idea that the council should reduce the fees by the maximum the city had previously waived, $72,500. The new City Manager Jeff Epp (previously City Attorney) pointed out that such arbitrary figures would put the city staff in a difficult position, since it would be a precedent that future developers would refer to. The council, Epp said, needed to give some rationale about why they were waiving the fee.

Morasco said he still didn’t understand how such a substantial fee wouldn’t have been pointed out to the developer. Epp said that the city staff assumed the developer would have checked the current fee schedule, and understand that all the fees so listed would need to be paid.

The staff’s recommendation to not waive the fees was approved three to two, with Gallo and Morasco dissenting. Score one for the citizens over developers, for a change.

 

Fear of Felons or Fear of Change?

I had never paid much attention to State Senator Joel Anderson before his “Community Coffee” last Thursday evening.  I knew that he was a very conservative Republican, but also knew that he and my other state representative, Assemblyperson Marie Waldron, (the ex-Escondido Councilwoman who thought making landlords ICE agents would be a peachy idea,) couldn’t do much damage in the state government.

I arrived early, 5:30 pm (the affair started at 6:00 pm), showed my ticket, and was told I could go right in. There were protestors with signs on both sides of the immigration issue (a dozen or so on each side) outside the VFW post where the town hall took place,  a little loud, but pretty peaceful. The hall was filling up rapidly, but I was able to nab a seat on the aisle—I always like to be able to make a quick getaway, a little paranoid I guess. But, to quote my husband’s favorite saying, “just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they’re not out to get you.” However, as the room filled, it became apparent that the teanderthal types I worry about were definitely outnumbered by progressives.

Councilman Ed Gallo began the proceedings after some difficulties with the mic. I’m afraid my opinion of Anderson dropped a bit when Gallo’s first words of praise for Anderson were that Anderson had supported him from the “beginning”.  Mayor Sam Abed welcomed the audience, saying that he was a proud immigrant, who had known Anderson for years, and was proud to say that Escondido was the largest city in Anderson’s district.

Anderson began with a short review of his background, claiming that he had never any intention of becoming a politician, but only did so out of a sense of serving the community. He then went into the main theme of the evening, Senate Bill 54. He railed against it, stating over and over and over that 11,661 illegal immigrant dangerous felons could be turned loose on society instead of being deported when they finished their terms of imprisonment, or were paroled. He expanded on his theme by avowing that if they could find a country dumb enough to take all of such felons (not just the illegal immigrants) he would like to do that also.

A young woman tried to point out that the bill actually required the notification of the FBI of the release of any violent felons. Anderson cut her off, saying that no, the only violent felons so covered were murderers—rapists, etc., would not be included. I asked him, why, if that was his main concern with SB54, he didn’t try to amend it. He insisted there could be no fix. I pressed, asking why it couldn’t be fixed. He said that would be unnecessary since such a fix would make it the same bill as the 2013 California Trust Act.

Anderson lied. He lied on both issues.

SB54, the California Value Act specifically states that:

3058.11.

(a) Whenever any person confined to county jail is serving a term for the conviction of a misdemeanor offense and has a prior conviction for a violent felony listed in subdivision (c) of Section 667.5 or has a prior felony conviction in another jurisdiction for an offense that has all the elements of a violent felony described in subdivision (c) of Section 667.5, the sheriff may notify the Federal Bureau of Investigation of the scheduled release of that person, provided that no local law or policy prohibits the sharing of that information with either the Federal Bureau of Investigation or federal immigration authorities.

(b) The notification may be made up to 60 days prior to the scheduled release date. The only nonpublicly available personal information that the notification may include is the name of the person who is scheduled to be released and the scheduled date of release. https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billNavClient.xhtml?bill_id=201720180SB54

Section 667.5, subdivision (c) includes murder, manslaughter, mayhem, rape, etc. http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/codes_displaySection.xhtml?lawCode=PEN&sectionNum=667.5.

So, there is nothing to prevent the notification of the feds of the release of such violent criminals.

The California Trust Act prohibits law enforcement official of California cities and counties from detaining individuals solely to turn over to ICE. SB54 extends that prohibition to school police and security departments. https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billNavClient.xhtml?bill_id=201320140AB4

SB54 also goes beyond the California Trust Act by Having the Attorney General

“ within three months after the effective date of the act that added this section, in consultation with the appropriate stakeholders, shall publish model policies limiting assistance with immigration enforcement to the fullest extent possible consistent with federal and state law at public schools, health facilities operated by the state or a political subdivision of the state, courthouses, Division of Labor Standards Enforcement facilities, and shelters, and ensuring that they remain safe and accessible to all California residents, regardless of immigration status. All public schools, health facilities operated by the state or a political subdivision of the state, and courthouses shall implement the model policy, or an equivalent policy. All other organizations and entities that provide services related to physical or mental health and wellness, education, or access to justice, including the University of California, are encouraged to adopt the model policy.”

Anderson’s arguments beg a couple of other questions. Why do our prisons fail so miserably at rehabilitation that such felons who have served their time still represent a danger to society? Why should we be especially worried about these 11,661 when there are around 60,000 prisoners convicted of violent felons in California’s state and federal prisons?[1] Is it morally acceptable to send the prisoners that we have failed to rehabilitate back to their home countries?

Anderson exposed his libertarian leanings when he was asked why he voted against making texting while driving a moving violation. He said his daughter, when a toddler, used to take delight in throwing her cup at him from her car seat in back of him. That he said was distracting—should that be made illegal? Well, not sure how many accidents have occurred due to sippy cup mayhem, but doubt it competes with the number caused by texting while driving. Sure, after an accident, a driver could have been cited for not paying attention to their driving and causing the accident, but, unless it’s a violation, law officers would be unable to ticket someone for texting while driving before the accident occurs—preventing such accidents and their cost to society.

I don’t doubt that Anderson sincerely wants to protect society from dangerous felons. But, there’s more to his motives than that. It was clear in the VFW post Thursday evening the audience was split into two sides on the immigration issue. Those who view undocumented immigrants as people wanting make their lives better, just like my great, great, great, great-grandfather who emigrated from County Donegal to Philadelphia, and then Virginia in 1740. And, those who viewed the undocumented as law breakers who brought down wages, and posed a threat to their way of life and their culture. They represent what Van Jones has called white-lash. http://www.politico.com/story/2016/11/van-jones-trump-2016-presidential-election-231048 You could feel and hear their resentment when Anderson fed their fears.

Anderson, Abed, Gallo, and Waldron are all politicians that have played on this anti-immigrant, xenophobic passion, just has Trump has done. That passion got the vote out in the November election. But there was another passion present in that room Thursday, the passion of people enraged by the display of white-lash with its ugly underbelly of prejudice and lack of compassion, a passion that has brought some hope for the future into my outlook—something that has been missing for a few months.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

[1] https://www.bop.gov/about/statistics/population_statistics.jsp

http://www.cdcr.ca.gov/Reports_Research/Offender_Information_Services_Branch/Annual/ACHAR1/ACHAR1d2013.pdf http://www.cdcr.ca.gov/Reports_Research/Offender_Information_Services_Branch/WeeklyWed/TPOP1A/TPOP1Ad170308.pdf

 

 

From Sewer to Safari

 

I had not attended the February 1, 2016 meeting of the Escondido City Council, where the Council Majority (Councilwoman Olga Diaz voting no) approved an average 5.5% increase in both water and sewage rates for customers of the City of Escondido water and sewage utility department—that is a 5.5% increase for each of the next five years. So, I watched the video of that portion of the meeting.

Director of Utilities, Christopher McKinney explained that one of the “most significant drivers” of the rate increases were proposed capital improvement programs such as the project to deliver recycled water to Escondido farmers  including the Membrane Filtration/Reverse Osmosis plant recently approved on the city’s site at the corner of Washington and Ash. (I wrote about that meeting in my last blog: https://wordpress.com/read/feeds/15361469/posts/1295844079–and, no surprises there, it is now in litigation http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/communities/north-county/sd-no-lawsuit-escondido-20170210-story.html .)

McKinney summarized the various complaints the city had received from residents objecting to the rate increases. However, he did not mention the copy of a letter he had received from the San Pasqual Valley Preservation Alliance (the folks fighting the Safari Highlands Ranch project.) (I have written before about this project: https://ablueviewescondido.com/2015/08/29/201/ .) Well, in fairness to McKinney, that letter did not object to the rate hike so much as the fact that some of that recycled water would be going to the proposed Safari Highlands Ranch project, as specified in the October, 2016 update to the Safari Highlands Specific Plan:

The City of Escondido will secure easements for the extension of the recycled water pipe to the Project boundary, in Rockwood Road. This extension will allow the Project to use recycled water for its non-potable water needs. This system will also make recycled water available to facilities along the pipeline route that do not currently have access to it. This system is expected to provide 100 percent of the Project’s non-potable water needs. https://www.escondido.org/Data/Sites/1/media/PDFs/Planning/SafariRanch/RevisedSpecificPlanNovember2016.pdf

This this letter from Scott R. Graves of the San Pasqual Valley Preservation Alliance was sent to Bryan Cash, Deputy Asst. Secretary for Bonds and Grants of the California Natural Resources Agency. Cash sent a copy of the letter to McKinney. The letter points out that the city had received some $2 million in grant money to help them build the “Easterly Expansion Recycled Water Line for Agricultural Use.” Graves states that the use of the line for a luxury housing development was an “inappropriate use” of grant funds from the Integrated Regional Water Management funds authorized by Prop 84, especially since some of the city’s grants funds were applied for as a Disadvantage Community (DAC status). So, the citizens of Escondido are once again expected to subsidize the development of luxury homes, a development that is the very poster child of ugly urban sprawl, and leapfrog development—Rancho Guejito borders on the development.  A development that obliterates precious habitat for San Diego’s endangered species. A development that certainly will not add to the county’s affordable housing. See https://www.spvpa.org/safari-highlands-ranch/ for more info.

When the council majority first allowed this project to go forward, they argued that not to do so would violate property owners’ rights. There should come a time when the rights of future generations to enjoy the native wildlife of the county trumps the rights of property owners. That time is now.

 

 

 

 

 

Social Injustice Upheld

The councilman doth protest too much, methinks, (with apologies to Shakespeare.) This applies to Councilmen Ed Gallo and Mike Morasco, Deputy Mayor John Masson, and Mayor Sam Abed in their insistence that their decision to deny an appeal made by Councilwoman Olga Diaz and The Springs retirement facility of the Planning Commission’s decision to approve building a water treatment plant at the corner Ash and Washington had nothing to do the with age, affluence or ethnicity of the neighbors to that proposed plant. Those neighbors disagree. A resident of The Springs, Geri Teutsch told J. Harry Jones of the San Diego Union Tribune: “The other place had lawyers and they had money. . . Now (the city is) hitting the lowest level, people in the winter of our lives and you figure we can’t fight this. We don’t have monies left. Our monies are poured into here. Most of us living here just hope our money outlasts our rent.”http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/communities/north-county/sd-no-escondido-protest-20160927-story.html

The “other place” Ms. Teutsch spoke of was the Chaparral Glen development. I wrote about this previous decision in May of last year. https://ablueviewescondido.com/2016/05/25/water-matters/  and https://ablueviewescondido.com/2016/05/18/another-property-rights-dilemma-for-abed/

The discussion began with a presentation by the city staff. I find I tend to zone out a bit during these presentation, as any details I need can be found on the City’s website:  https://www.escondido.org/Data/Sites/1/media/agendas/Council/2017/1-11-17CCAgendaPacket.pdf  But, one thing stated by staff in response to the appeal grabbed my attention. Staff affirmed that Reveal Escondido Creek was not a formal policy document. I suppose this is correct, but it seems a shame to ignore a policy that could dramatically improve Escondido’s quality of life. http://escondidocreek.org/current-projects/reveal-escondido-creek/ Reveal Escondido Creek envisioned a park and open space.

By my count, nineteen people spoke against building the project, and four, for the project.

Russell Nakaoka, manager of The Springs agreed that the plant must be built, but it would be incompatible with the surrounding neighborhood in this location. The city should find another location. He noted that even though the Planning Commission had approved the project without dissent, many of the commissioners had concerns about better landscaping, but had put no requirements for such landscaping in their approval. Once built its possible use to enhance the Escondido Creek project would be gone forever.

Most of the speakers against the project recognized the need for the plant, but felt this location would be inappropriate.

There was concern about the storage of chemicals. A resident of The Springs, Alfred Roebuck reminded the council that only five years before there had been a major spill of sodium hydroxide at the water treatment plant near Dixon Lake. Randal Roberts listed some requirements for workers in such water treatment plants—no beard (so masks can be tightly fitted,) no contact lenses etc.

Springs resident, David Dryden was especially concerned about the storm water pond that was a part of the project—a part that was not always included on plans shown to the residents. “Old people matter” he declared.

Bob Serrano, owner of the Round Table Pizza on Ash across the street from the proposed location opposed the project. The restaurant had been there since 1979, and many youth sports teams were patrons.

Barbara Takahara, Marilyn Gallegos Ramirez, Chris Nava, and Consuelo Martinez all expressed their concern about the lack of public outreach made by the city to all the residents. Takahara had asked the city why notices had not been sent out in Spanish—because there is no law requiring such notices, she was told. “You can do better” Martinez scolded. Martinez noted that the public works storage yard availability in lieu of the Ash/Washington location had been glossed over at the planning commission meeting. She felt the Council should not gloss over that site, all possible sites should be considered by the city.

A surprising opponent of the project is long-time city resident Arie DeJong. He goes swimming at 6:00 am every day, and it was at the pool that he first found out about the project from Barbara Takahara, who also swims at that hour. What is really needed, he insisted, was low cost housing.

Delores McQuiston reminded the Council, that over ten years ago, the Council had received an offer of $2 million from Hi Tech Hi for the property. Had that money been invested it would be worth $5.06 million today, and the city would have a world class charter school. Abed and Gallo had both been on that Council. It was a terrible decision. Abed’s hope that what is now the public works storage yard will be turned into a technology park is a pipe dream. She added the existing technology park now had a hospital, power plant, and brewing company. (Guess that constitutes hi tech in Escondido.)

The sole resident of The Springs in favor of the project Marshal Byer, noted that only 20% of the projects units would have a view of the project, and that any noise from the new facility would be drowned out by the traffic noise. Another neighbor of the project said he felt it was a much better use of the property than more apartments, or liquor stores. His wife spoke next, agreeing with his position. Ed Grangetto, representing Escondido Growers for Agricultural Preservation asked the Council to deny the appeal, stating that the longer it took to get treated water to the farmers, the less likely those farmers would be able to stay in business to buy the water.

Diaz began the council’s discussion. She encouraged he colleagues to seriously consider the public works storage site. An advantage of that site, besides being in an area that is non-residential, is that it is near the confluence of Reidy and Escondido Creeks. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to extend those purple pipes to carry water to the farmland north of Escondido? She responded to Grangetto’s concern by noting that the proposal would probably be held up by litigation—the fastest solution to getting water to the farmers would be to build the plant on the public works storage site.

McQuiston’s comments about Hi Tech Hi evidently got under Gallo’s skin. He insisted the property had been appraised at $5 million at the time and Hi tech Hi’s offer was way under that value, adding that Hi Tech Hi had had spent $5 million to purchase property in San Marcos. I remember now that that was about the time that Marie Waldron (an intellectual equal to Ed Gallo) proposed making landlords I.C.E. agents. http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/sdut-escondido-council-approves-illegal-immigrant-2006oct05-story.html Abed and Gallo both voted for that boondoggle that was struck down by the courts, costing Escondido a ton of money. I remember now that it was rumored that Hi Tech Hi was negatively influenced by that rental ordinance decision. Gallo claimed that the argument that the low-income and Latino nature of the area made it more likely to be chosen was B.S. http://www.cbs8.com/story/34242086/neighbors-fight-water-treatment-plant-plan-in-escondido

Masson said he appreciated the comments that had been made, but, building a Costco or Home Depot would have a much more harmful effect on the neighborhood. The public works storage yard was the most valuable property the city owned he claimed. He too was insistent that the decision had nothing to do with income levels or social injustice. That was “crap”.

Morasco noted that in all of the 49 years he had lived in Escondido, that site had been vacant eyesore, much more deleterious to property values than the plant would be.

Abed said he understood the comments that had been made, but that the residents and council all shared the same goal of doing what would be best for the city. The suggestion that the plant’s location had anything to do with the affluence or ethnicity of the affected residents was just political talk. He pressed City Manager Graham Mitchell to explain how thorough the city had been in its outreach to citizens. An uncomfortable Mitchell responded that they had held two workshops and had met with several residents individually. Abed then insisted that the public works site was much too valuable to be used for the water treatment plant. He insisted that one day there would be a hi tech business park that would provide 1,000 jobs paying an average of $75K per year.

And so the appeal was denied, the four men voting against the appeal, Diaz for the appeal. No surprises there. These four men may actually believe that they aren’t being socially unjust. They would have you believe that the pressure from affluent residents did not influence them any more than pressure from less-affluent and Latino residents, but their actions make it apparent that is not the case.

 

Horrified, Terrified, and Angry

 

The media has been jumping through hoops trying to understand those who voted for Trump. Progressive media like the L.A. Times, http://www.latimes.com/politics/la-na-pol-donald-trump-american-voices-20161113-story.html , the Huffington Post http://www.huffingtonpost.com/adam-kirk-edgerton/why-those-people-are-voti_b_9418568.html and on and on. And I’ve tried to understand. But, maybe it’s time for the Trump voters to try to understand why the majority of voters, http://heavy.com/news/2016/11/popular-vote-clinton-trump-2016-lead-update-2012-vs-electoral-college-definition-meaning-2008-hillary-california-election-results/ are truly horrified by the outcome of this election.

First is the question of electing a racist. I’m quite sure that if Canada were to suddenly have some sort of unprecedented calamity, and millions of Canadians were to suddenly immigrate to the USA, Trump, and Trump voters would have no problem accepting these English-speaking, white immigrants. The same could be said for the Brexit vote, which was fueled in part by the increased immigration of Pakistanis and other brown people from former British colonies. It is a fear of white people becoming a minority. Something Van Jones called white-lash. http://www.cnn.com/2016/11/11/us/obama-trump-white-backlash/ While I think Jones makes some good points, I would agree that the economic plight of some Trump and Brexit voters certainly was a part of their motivation. http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/donald-trump-why-did-he-win-a7414716.html But, I cannot ignore the things that Trump has said about Mexicans and Muslims. Trump voters have said it is okay to be racist.

Second is the question of electing a woman-assaulting, misogynist. I’m sure you’ve all seen the tape recording exposed by the Washington Post on October 7th. Trump voters rationalize this a “boy talk”. Well, sorry, to those of us who had been paying attention, Trump’s attitude, exposed by this tape, has been evident for a long time. His comments about women, Rosie O’Donnell, Megyn Kelly, and many others  http://www.cosmopolitan.com/politics/news/a44629/donald-trump-insults-women/ make it clear he thinks of women as decorative sex toys. His first wife accused him of rape at one time, http://www.independent.co.uk/news/people/donald-trump-ex-wife-claim-he-raped-her-resurfaces-in-new-documentary-a6836151.html . Trump voters have indicated it is okay to be a misogynistic assaulter of women.

Third is his ignorance about global climate change. http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2016/jun/03/hillary-clinton/yes-donald-trump-did-call-climate-change-chinese-h/ The evidence for climate change is overwhelming, http://climate.nasa.gov/evidence/ ; 110 nations have agreed to that overwhelming consensus by signing the Paris Agreement. Rising sea levels with increased flooding, increase in intensity and damage of wildfires, stronger hurricanes, more deadly hot spells, the list of climate change problems goes on and on—far more costly to the world’s economy than the move to green energy would be. http://www.ucsusa.org/our-work/global-warming/science-and-impacts/global-warming-impacts#.WCzvxbIrIYs Maybe when the Trump voters in Florida, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas lose thousands of neighborhoods to flooding, they will see the error of their vote. Trump voters are saying it’s just fine to ignore science.

Fourth is the fact that Trump has bilked hundreds, if not thousands of people out of millions of dollars. Even the Wall Street Journal, hardly a liberal rag, has reported this. http://www.wsj.com/articles/donald-trumps-business-plan-left-a-trail-of-unpaid-bills-1465504454  Also, the relatively moderate USA Today: http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/elections/2016/06/09/donald-trump-unpaid-bills-republican-president-laswuits/85297274/ We don’t know how much the man has paid in taxes, if anything. But, he did tell Hillary Clinton that such tax avoidance made him smart. Guess that means he thinks that we schmos, who feel like paying taxes is a patriotic duty are stupid. Trump voters are saying that cheating people and not paying taxes is just fine.

Fifth is the fact that the man is totally unqualified for the job, and doesn’t seem to be enlisting people who are knowledgeable. http://www.salon.com/2016/11/14/donald-trump-is-unprepared-to-be-president-and-doesnt-even-know-how-the-west-wing-works/ And, the few knowledgeable people he had on board are being let go, evidently as a result of animosity from certain family members. http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/16/us/politics/trump-transition.html  Trump voters have said that experience and knowledge of the job doesn’t matter.

Sixth is the influence on my country’s presidential election by the Russian government. http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/16/us/politics/trump-transition.html If a Democratic candidate had had such a connection the Republicans would have been screaming “traitor”. Trump voters seem to be unworried about having someone heavily influenced and perhaps in debt to the vicious dictator Putin. http://time.com/4433880/donald-trump-ties-to-russia/

This is my short list of objections to Trump. I could go on for another ten pages.

Trump supporters seem to be able to rationalize all the things the majority of voters have found appalling about him. “It’s just hearsay” one claimed. He’ll be much more statesmanlike in office they affirm. “Give him a chance.” Well, it hasn’t started out very well. There’s the aforementioned shake up of his staff. He has said his family will run his businesses, while all other recent presidents have put their assets in a blind trust. http://time.com/4433880/donald-trump-ties-to-russia/ Oh, and, by the way, he would like to have security clearances for those family members. http://www.cnn.com/2016/11/14/politics/donald-trump-children-security-clearance/  I wonder if Trump voters are so naïve as to say “What possible conflict of interest could that create?”

It’s apparent to me that the only thing Trump is concerned about is his empire. His family are already trying to take advantage of their position to sell their products. http://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow/watch/trumps-using-office-to-promote-products-810042435998 .  I guess Trump voters don’t mind a little commercialization of the office.

I know that writing this will not change the minds of most Trump voters. I can hope that it might give the independents and “lesser of two evils” voters some understanding of why so many of us are horrified, terrified, and very, very upset about this election. When G.W. Bush was elected, I was very unhappy, but I did not refuse to recognize him as president. I will never recognize this racist, woman-assaulting misogynist, climate-change denier, business huckster, tax-avoider, political science ignoramus, Putin admiring, exploiter of the presidency, as the leader of my country. He is deplorable. Voting for him is saying that it’s acceptable to be deplorable. I will always find that to be un-American.

ECCHO’s Shills for Developers

 

 

About a year ago, I wrote about the agreement that the city had reached with the current owner of what was the Escondido Country Club. https://ablueviewescondido.com/2015/10/07/ecchos-in-the-council-chamber/

At the time I wondered if the ECCHO folks would “think any better of Olga Diaz who recognized the reality of the no-win situation between the City and Schlesinger, and tried her best to reduce the financial damage to the city? Will they now understand that Abed’s main interest from the start was his campaign for Mayor, and tried to make them feel that he was on their side, while all the time calculating his political situation.” I concluded “No, I think they will continue with their pipe dream of a new golf course, at whatever expense to Escondido it takes. Meanwhile the City will process any application. Bet any such application will include over 250 homes, and no golf course.” Turns out I was correct in my forecast.”

But, I did not think their animosity would continue to the point where they would campaign against Diaz. But that’s what they’re doing: http://sandiegouniontribune.ca.newsmemory.com/publink.php?shareid=352389246 . Why aren’t they just as mad at Mayor Sam Abed—he voted for the agreement after stringing them along for a year or two. It is his handpicked tool, Joe Garcia, who is running against Diaz in district three. Garcia will do whatever Abed and his other crony capitalists on the City Council decide is in the best interests of the building industry, including voting for the awful Safari Highlands Ranch that only Diaz voted against. A development that would destroy unique and rare native habitat, which seems to me much more egregious than building homes on a golf-course gone to weed. https://ablueviewescondido.com/2014/04/29/62/

But, evidently, consistency isn’t important to the ECCHO folks, all they care about is their own pipedream of a restored golf course, regardless of what effect it will have on the entire city. I wrote about the hypocrisy of ECCHO people before, https://ablueviewescondido.com/2014/06/27/ecchos-of-hypocrisy/ .

But, when I learned that Ken Lounsbury who heads the go-to law firm for developers to get their projects passed by the Escondido City Council has been blessing ECCHO’s efforts, it all began to make sense. There’s nothing Lounsbury, the City Council male majority, and all the rest of the good ole boy crony capitalist mob would like better than to get rid of the one voice on the council who objected to waiving developer impact fees by the millions, passing the cost of infrastructure needed for new development onto the taxpayers. That one voice for taxpayers is Olga Diaz.

Members of ECCHO wise up!!!  You are being shills for the developers. If you think getting Garcia elected will somehow return your beloved golf course, you are living in a fantasyland. You have been treated like dirt by a developer, now you’re cleaning up the dirt for other developers.

 

 

A Response to the Reverend Douglas

 

I just read a post on Facebook from someone of whom I would have expected better. It read:

My friend and one time fellow pastor, Dalton Douglas, shares some powerful thoughts concerning Donald Trump: “I’ve heard too many say lately that we, the American people have no choice in this November election!

Do you really think that God would leave us with no choice?

Come on people! Where’s your faith? He has heard our cries!

In defense of Donald Trump: Try to keep
this in mind,

Donald Trump did not steal your money.

Donald Trump did not raise your taxes.

Donald Trump did not quadruple the price of food.

Donald Trump is not starting a race war.

Donald Trump did not leave any US soldiers in Benghazi to be slaughtered and desecrated by Muslims.

Donald Trump did not send the US Navy to fight for Syrian Al-Qaeda.

Donald Trump did not arm ISIS and systematically exterminate Christians throughout the Middle East.

Donald Trump did not betray Israel.

Donald Trump did not provide financing and technology to Iran’s nuclear weapons program.

Donald Trump did not give our military secrets to China.

Donald Trump did not remove our nuclear missile shield in Poland at the behest of Russia.

Donald Trump did not shrivel our military, and betray our veterans.

Donald Trump did not cripple our economy.

Donald Trump did not increase our debt to 20 trillion dollars.

Donald Trump did not ruin our credit, twice.

Donald Trump did not double African American
unem ployment.

Donald Trump did not increase welfare to a record level for eight years.

Donald Trump did not sign a law making it legal to execute and imprison Americans.

Donald Trump did not set free all of terrorists in Guantanamo bay.

Donald Trump did not steal your rights, violate US Constitutional law, or commit treason hundreds of times.

Yet Trump is being ripped apart in the news, nonstop. Barrack Hussein Obama, Hillary Clinton and the criminals occupying our government, are not.

The media is the Democratic Party; save our culture. Stop listening to them!

So, in response to the Reverend Douglas:

Trump has not stolen from me, but he has from countless others: http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/elections/2016/06/09/donald-trump-unpaid-bills-republican-president-laswuits/85297274/

Trump may not have raised my taxes, but his avoidance of paying taxes has increased the need for the middle class to pay taxes. http://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/03/opinion/campaign-stops/trumps-tax-avoidance-plan.html?_r=0

Trump may not have caused the quadrupling of the price of food, but the thing he denies as a hoax, global warming, has definitely contributed. http://www.worldwatch.org/node/5106

And https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2012/sep/05/climate-change-food-oxfam

Donald Trump did not start the race war, but he brought out the underbelly of racism by his extremely racist language, that has appealed to the KKK and other ignorant, racist whites. http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2016/08/the-gop-has-made-its-peace-with-trumps-racism.html

Donald Trump had nothing to do with Benghazi. Clinton did, but to blame her is to blame G.W. Bush for 9/11. http://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/chris-stevenss-family-dont-blame-hillary-clinton-for-benghazi

Trump (being otherwise occupied with reality T.V.) also had nothing to do with the U.S. Navy being sent “to fight for the Syrian  Al-Qaeda.) Well, that was a mess, but “… much of what has gone wrong can be attributed to the Bush decision to invade Iraq, which ranks among the greatest foreign-policy fiascoes in the nation’s history.” http://nationalinterest.org/feature/who-more-responsible-the-rise-isis-bush-or-obama-11296?page=2

No Trump did not arm ISIS and systematically exterminate Christians throughout the Middle East. Neither did the Obama Administration.See previous citations.

Donald Trump did not betray Isreal. Neither did Obama or Clinton, to say otherwise ignores the facts and the personality of the war-monger Netanyahu. http://www.politicususa.com/2015/03/03/bernie-sanders-slams-netanyahus-warmongering-speech-congress.html.

Trump did not provide financing and Technology to Iran’s nuclear weapons program. Well, since he’s often wondered what could be wrong with using nuclear weapons, he probably doesn’t really care that much, but then to accuse the Obama administration of that is nonsense. http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/article/2015/sep/08/politifact-sheet-6-things-know-about-iran-nuclear-/

The Obama administration gave military secrets to China? Can find no conclusive evidence of same.

The Obama administration removed our nuclear missile shield in Poland at the behest of Russia. It was never there to begin with. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2009/sep/17/missile-defence-shield-barack-obama

Trump did not shrivel our military, and betray our veterans??? He did sort of forget that he was going to contribute to veterans. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2016/05/25/how-social-media-helped-crack-the-case-of-donald-trumps-1-million-donation-to-veterans/  But to claim that the military force (we spend more on national defense than most of the rest of the developed nations put together,) is not at all factual. http://www.npr.org/2016/04/29/476048024/fact-check-has-president-obama-depleted-the-military

Donald Trump did not cripple the economy??? No, maybe not individually, but it was the Trump mentality that he has shown over the years—”anyone who can’t make money like me is a loser”—that did the trick. Alan Greenspan summed up this basic error in thinking  “ I made a mistake,” he admitted in a hearing, “ in presuming that the self-interests of organizations, specifically banks and others, were such that they were best capable of protecting their own shareholders and their equity in  the firms.” http://www.forbes.com/sites/robertlenzner/2012/06/02/the-2008-meltdown-and-where-the-blame-falls/#3fa9c8ff6fd0Donald Trump was right there with those “self-interests” who crashed the economy.

Donald Trump did not increase our debt? Yes he did actually. One, by avoiding taxes.  Two, by cheating people out of their due payments, often closing down their small businesses. http://www.cnn.com/2016/09/13/politics/trump-small-business-owners/ It is the insane adherence to trickle-down economics, that Trump promotes, that is the greatest threat to our economy.

Donald Trump did not ruin our credit, twice. No the Republican Congress did that all by themselves.

Donald Trump did not double African American unemployment. Neither did the Obama administration http://money.cnn.com/2016/03/15/news/economy/blacks-trump-obama/

Trump did not increase welfare to a record level for eight years—no the Republican/Bush recession did that job.  They’re now beginning to decline. http://www.usgovernmentspending.com/welfare_spending

Trump did not set free all of the terrorists in Guantanamo Bay. No. Neither did Obama. http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2016/01/released-guantanamo-bay-detainees-160110094618370.html

http://www.cnn.com/2014/06/04/us/gitmo-detainees-history/

Donald Trump did not steal your rights? Yes he did to those he owed money to. Trump did not violate US Constitutional law? He certainly proposes to do so. http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2016/07/14/aclu-several-of-trumps-policy-proposals-violate-constitution/ Even the National Review agrees: http://www.nationalreview.com/article/435296/donald-trump-constitution-end-separation-power Or commit treason? No maybe not, but his praise of Putin begs that question. I’ve looked at the charges against Obama, they are totally specious arguments.

Arguments from people like the Rev. Douglas are that they wish to “save our culture”. Let me interpret. Save our male chauvinist, white supremacist, homophobic, anti-choice, theocratic, WASP culture. A culture that white males cling to. Too late. It’s long gone.