Return of North Coastal columnist on politics and the environment

By Gordon Clanton


Back in the saddle. Thanks to the Del Mar Times for inviting me once again to write regularly on issues of politics and the environment for Del Mar and the adjacent communities served by San Diego Suburban Newspapers: Solana Beach, Rancho Santa Fe, Carmel Valley and La Jolla. From 1986 to 1995, I wrote similar columns for the Del Mar Citizen, the Blade Citizen papers and the North County Times.

The communities served by Suburban Newspapers have common concerns across multiple jurisdictions: the city councils of Del Mar and Solana Beach, the San Diego City Council (Sherri Lightner of La Jolla) for Del Mar Heights, La Jolla and Carmel Valley, and the county Board of Supervisors (Pam Slater-Price of Del Mar) for Rancho Santa Fe and beyond. And we have San Diego city cops in Del Mar Heights, La Jolla and Carmel Valley, county cops (sheriff’s deputies) in Del Mar, Solana Beach and the Ranch.

The North Coastal quality of life also is influenced by overlapping state and regional bodies including SANDAG, the California Coastal Commission, Caltrans, the Coaster trains, Amtrak, various school districts, fire districts, water districts and the Del Mar Fair Board (22nd Agricultural District).

Wouldn’t we all be concerned if it became likely that the Chargers would build a stadium at the fairgrounds? Or if the Gover-nator were to follow through on his ideas of closing Torrey Pines Park or selling the fairgrounds to private development? Or if someone proposed double-decking Interstate 5?

Preview. So here are some of the stories to be discussed here in coming months: secret trails of Crest Canyon; the possible closing of Del Mar Hills School; big changes proposed for the fairgrounds; historic bridge to be rebuilt; the proposed I-5/CA 56 interchange; handicapping the 2010 San Diego City Council elections; crime watch with the SDPD Northwest Division; the initiative to impose term limits on county supervisors; the 2010 50th District congressional elections, where three Democrats are vying for a chance to run against Republican incumbent Brian Bilbray; and the 74th Assembly District race, where Del Mar Mayor Crystal Crawford, a Democrat, is ready to run against Republican incumbent Martin Garrick.

Help. When I wrote such a column previously, I depended heavily on the input of candidates, elected officials and, especially, friends and community activists working for better schools, more responsive local government and the protection of the natural beauty of our North Coastal region. I welcome your suggestions and look forward to a constructive dialogue with the community I love on the issues of the day. This is the stuff of which grass-roots democracy is made.

Gordon Clanton (gclanton teaches sociology at San Diego State University.