The following letter was sent to the Del Mar City Council and to this newspaper for publication.
Lane plan should be further analyzed
Dear Mayor and City Council,
Regarding the removal of the northbound traffic lane on Camino Del Mar from Carmel Valley Road to Del Mar Heights Road: I am concerned that the evening rush hour traffic loads using just one lane will cause severe congestion and should be further analyzed prior to implementation of the plan.
Although the traffic analysis indicates that the single lane can accommodate the traffic, I do believe that traffic control cones imitating just one lane should be placed along the entire distance for a period of one week so that the real-time traffic impacts can be observed prior to approval by your body. From what I have read in the staff analysis, I now know that during the Anderson Canyon street repair there was a single lane created northbound for a short distance and it was thereafter determined that one lane of traffic would be sufficient for the entire distance. If that was the case, I believe that was an insufficient analysis and conclusion.
Given that fact that once the entire distance is reduced to one lane, it will be in place for many years into the future – for better or for worse – shouldn’t you take just a little more time to make sure you are making the right decision for the future of our community by implementing this suggestion?
Schools should be made safe for all
On Jan. 20, during a Torrey Pines/Canyon Crest Academy basketball game, a group of students began chanting “Build that Wall.” When I heard about this, I contacted the school administrators, who confirmed the incident occurred. As this was the second time a San Dieguito Unified High School District (SDUHSD) athletic event featured a group of students chanting “Build that Wall,” I also asked the administration to send out a public notice indicating they were aware of the incident and reaffirming the district’s commitment to a safe and supportive school environment for all students. Unfortunately, school administrators chose to remain silent. And not only silent, but somewhat disingenuous. When Marsha Sutton wrote her article after the election titled “Stop the Hate,” she indicated she had asked school administrators if there were any issues that had occurred on any of the SDUHSD school campuses involving harassment or hate speech. She was told that there were none. This despite the fact that at the last board meeting it was acknowledged that before the election the administration was aware of an incident at a Torrey Pines football game in which students also chanted “Build that wall.”
Fast forward to Feb. 2 when students at Canyon Crest Academy coordinated an event on campus protesting the President’s travel ban. Parents were aware of the event before it even happened. How and why? Because the principal at CCA sent out an e-mail to the parents notifying them of the “peaceful, silent march” – and those are his words, not mine. Furthermore, in addition to notifying parents, he assured us that he had “met with the students involved and discussed appropriate parameters” for their activity. This doesn’t make sense to me. A peaceful event supporting a safe, supportive, and inclusive school environment regardless of ethnicity mandates an email in advance warning parents? And even offering students who might be offended by the protest an alternate location to eat lunch? But chant “Build that wall” – there is no email, no notification, no affirmation that SDUHSD schools are safe for all, and no public acknowledgment of the event or that administration even met with the students who yelled this form of hateful speech. But, apparently (and for which they want us to be thankful), our administration is concerned enough about our children that when a peaceful event occurs, they make sure to talk to the students involved ahead of time and warn the parents via e-mail. It appears that if they are truly concerned about making schools safe they are doing so only for some -- but not for all.
County vote on clean energy
The County Board of Supervisors is scheduled to vote next Wednesday on a staff recommendation to authorize a feasibility study for a county-wide Community Choice Energy (CCE) program. The City of Del Mar has sent a letter to the board supporting the CCE study. A CCE (also known as Community Choice Aggregation) has been used in other California communities to procure cleaner energy and offer customers more choices in the cost of the energy they use. A CCE allows local control of electricity procurement, while the existing utility handles distribution and billing. The savings in a CCE program can be reinvested in local energy generation and energy efficiency. The Del Mar Climate Action Plan has a goal of 100 percent clean energy by 2035, and joining a CCE is key to reaching that goal. Cleaner energy translates to cleaner air, and that has major health benefits. Diseases linked to air pollution include cancer, heart disease, asthma, and even Alzheimer’s disease. Building more local sources of clean energy contributes to the economy by creating jobs and saves money in avoided health care costs. Please support Del Mar’s position on this issue, and urge your supervisor to vote yes on the CCE feasibility study.
Donald Mosier, MD, PhD
Bruce Bekkar, MD
Media and government failure
The community spoke loud and clear against One Paseo, collecting more signatures than necessary to put it on the ballot. Then the Community Planning Board members, the media and the City Council conspired against the community by taking action so that the project could not be stopped or substantially reduced to the existing community plan limits. The project will permanently alter the fabric of the community by introducing high density housing (608 units) into an area already notorious for its inadequate roads and excessive traffic without requiring that permanent governmental mass transportation be put in place before the project is built. This is a massive media and government failure.
In the weeks following the presidential election, I held out a desperate hope that checks and balances would prevail and that our representatives would uphold a sense of decency, balance, and commonly held Californian ideals. Alas, in one short week, Darrell Issa destroyed my hopes by voting successfully to implement two extreme measures that affect the health and safety of the American public.
First, Issa voted to overturn regulations that prohibit the dumping of coal mining waste into streams. Issa bragged to Wolf Blitzer, on CNN, that he was returning coal mining to the “status quo.” When Blitzer responded that, “that status quo was not very good, a lot of debris was going into rivers and nice waterways,” Issa went on to say, “People in West Virginia drink that water. They are acutely aware that they do have clean drinking water.” A quick Google search will convince you that they do not have clean drinking water. In common West Virginia practice, polluted coal wastewater is pumped into the ground where it can leech into the water table, turning water orange and sometimes black. What was West Virginia’s “solution” to the problem? Legislate a change to the way pollution is measured to make it easier to say the water is clean.
Second, Issa voted to scrap a rule meant to keep guns from the severely mentally ill. This was a rule prompted by the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting that left 20 little children dead. Three quarters of California’s representatives wisely voted to keep this common sense rule in place, not Issa.
So where do these actions come from? How is it that Issa is so far out of step with the rest of California? Big special interest lobbies pushed these rollbacks. Energy companies were behind the stream pollution initiative and the NRA was behind the guns for the mentally ill initiative. If you look at Issa’s donor base, you see that Sempra Energy is a top donor, while The San Diego Union Tribune reports that Issa is the 7th largest recipient of NRA funds in all of California.
If we are to have any hope of pulling together as a nation, we need to find a middle ground on at least those issues that are simple common sense, particularly those that protect the health and safety of our children. If our representative chooses to do the opposite, to push forward extremist agendas promoted by special interests, then we need to change our representative.