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Letters to the Editor/Opinion July 2022

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(File)

July 15 issue:

Guest Commentary:

Change is upon us. New county budget helps Encinitas prepare

BY COUNTY SUPERVISOR TERRA LAWSON-REMER

If you told me three years ago I would spend weeks on end isolated at home, gas would cost $6 a gallon, I’d be watching a war in Europe, and reproductive freedom would be illegal or close to it in a majority of the nation, I wouldn’t have believed you.

But the reality is that our world has changed — and this change is being thrust upon us from all directions. With the right planning and investments we can weather that change — and create a stronger, more resilient San Diego County.

This was my goal when I voted last month to approve the County of San Diego’s new $7.35 billion budget. It’s a resiliency budget — an investment plan to make sure that San Diego is ready not only to respond to the change we’re experiencing but to enact the change we need. It furthers the work we’ve done, and continue to do, to make County government more equitable, sustainable, responsive, and representative of our communities.

As we feel the heat from rising temperatures, this budget invests $100 million to fight climate change, expand County parks and community gardens, acquire land for the preservation of natural habitats, plant trees, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and set up “cool zones” around our region for you to enjoy air conditioning for free.

As we grow more concerned about sewage in our oceans, this budget invests $40 million in improving our stormwater infrastructure to keep pollution from our cities from flowing onto our beaches.

As we see people struggling on the street, perhaps talking to themselves, this budget pays for new Mobile Crisis Response Teams staffed with trained psychiatric clinicians to respond quickly — allowing our sheriffs and police officers to focus on fighting crime.

As we are squeezed by inflation and need a little extra help to make ends meet, this budget will fund new resources to help residents access food and healthcare through programs like CalFresh and Medi-Cal.

As we witness wildfires more frequently threaten our homes, this budget bolsters our firefighting fleet with a new dual-engine helicopter with the ability to fly at night and carry more water and emergency responders. But we’re not waiting for danger to arrive at our doorsteps — we’re also investing $2 million to reduce the risk of wildfire through vegetation management, improved evacuation routes, and fire breaks.

And as we venture out more to reconnect with our neighbors, you can experience the millions of dollars in grant funding set aside in this budget to support vital programs. This is in addition to last year when my office championed $1 million for design and environmental review for the Encinitas Landfill Park conversion project, $1.25 million to complete the Pacific Promenade and Bamboo Garden at the San Diego Botanic Garden, and more.

If you know an organization that is doing important work that should receive funding, please have them reach out to me at terra.lawson-remer@sdcounty.ca.gov.

We are a resilient region — and this budget reflects that spirit. We can’t always control what comes our way. But we will continue to work hard locally to be prepared for winds of change, no matter where they come from, so we can chart a better future for us all.

Supervisor Terra Lawson-Remer represents San Diego County’s Third Supervisorial District, which includes Encinitas.

July 29 issue:

Cardiff School rebuild: A different perspective

Reflecting on the winners and losers of the Cardiff School rebuild, I’d like to offer a different perspective than that offered by Save The (View).

Winners: The children of Cardiff who will have a safe and modern school. The Cardiff School District board who did not sacrifice either student safety or student learning experience because of a small group of litigious neighbors.* (*We have to assume the plural “neighbors” instead of simply “neighbor” as the membership of Save The (View) is unknown, and it is likely that several early members distanced themselves from this lawsuit-at-all-costs group long ago.) The taxpayers of Cardiff who will finally get the school they overwhelmingly voted for years ago when they passed the bond measure with a near super majority approval.

Loser: Save The (View)

Rather than waste any more energy, or newspaper print, on Save The (View), the group who attempted to gaslight everyone into thinking that this was about saving a park (and without whom the project would have been completed on time and within budget long ago), I instead prefer to focus on Cardiff School and the amazing Cardiff community. The community that was involved in the process and overwhelmingly supported the project; the community that has sent and will send their children to this amazing school; the community that will enjoy a contiguous ball field and modern playground; the community that will enjoy Ice Cream Socials and Boos-by-the-Sea in a multi-purpose room deserving of such a great community; and, finally, the community that knows “Lawsuits Are For Kooks”.

Scott Platenberg

Encinitas

My thoughts

Re: “Cardiff School resolves land grant issues, construction to resume.”

The article frames the Cardiff School Board “ceremoniously” cutting the plastic off the new multipurpose room on campus. I couldn’t help but muse if the celebrants also celebrated the: defamation, vandalism, and outright disregard for the letter of the law that took place in “resolving” the grant issue. Also, a hearty congratulations to the School Board President in her attempt in the article to somehow tie the recent Texas school massacre to our local issue. Clearly with adept political skills such as this she has a wonderful career ahead of her.

James G. Carroll

MA LMFT

Gas ban is hot air

The Encinitas City Council has recently banned the use of natural gas in all new construction. Why? What does this “climate legislation” accomplish? At .34 per kWh, Encinitans already pay higher than the state electricity average and more than double the U.S. average. Reducing access to natural gas, the state’s primary source of power, reduces choice and will result in even higher energy costs. California already imports 30% of our energy consumption. By increasing electricity use in lieu of lower emission natural gas, we are forced to import more high-polluting coal and biomass energy from other states – at least 10% of energy imports, along with another 5% of in-state coal and biomass, according to the California Energy Commission. Brilliant.

And since it only affects new construction, why pass it at all? Is it just cynical virtue-signaling? It’s certainly elitist, as it will mostly affect future residents of lower income housing to be built. Our mansions can continue to enjoy their grills, fire pits and BBQs. It also discourages new business formation in our city. Future residents can request an exception, but those are narrow in scope and subject to the whims of the City’s permitting generosity.

Since “global” warming is global, two inconvenient facts loom large. First, consider that Encinitas’ 24,000 or so households require 30-50 MW to run, depending on the type of fuel. In 2020, China alone built new coal plants generating a thousand times the amount of energy Encinitas uses, with another 100 coal plants under construction or in planning stages. Today, fossil fuels are unfortunately still 84% of global fuel consumption, and demand is rising about 4-5% annually, mostly in Asia and Africa, where people want the same access to electricity we take for granted. The impact of Encinitas’ gas ban on global emissions is not even measurable. Power for USA reports that, to get to zero emissions in the U.S. by 2050, the buildout of solar and wind power would have to be 6 ½ times everything that has been built since 2000 – each and every single year to 2050. The footprint needed to do this would take vast amounts of open land, and the transmission, storage and waste issues have not yet been resolved.

If we’re serious about taking on global warming and running a modern economy, we need reliable baseload power with minimal CO2 emissions to complement our renewables. For the foreseeable future, this includes natural gas. No matter how you look at it, the City Council’s restriction on natural gas fails on every front imaginable. It should be repealed, and the Council should refrain from its pious posturing and refocus its efforts where they can have a meaningful impact on the lives of Encinitas residents.

Neil Hokanson

Cardiff

Editor’s Note: The gas ban was approved last fall.


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