Archive for April, 2013

 

Preserving our resources and the future of our children

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DSC_0112It is Earth Day, and over the past week, many events sought to bring awareness to the local community on what we can do to preserve the endangered natural resources and wildlife. This is one of my favorite events of the year and as much as I love the large event held every year in San Diego, I must say that East County’s Earth Day celebration on Mt. Helix measures up.

It does not draw the thousands of people, East County Earth Day was an intimate way to learn about our local environment. Each booth, presentation, speaker or event gave one-on-one conversation and information that you just cannot receive when fighting the throngs of people at the larger events. Mt. Helix is a beautiful spot in East County with a 360-degree stunning view of our mountains, valleys and coastline and I look forward to many more of these events in the future.

In support of Earth Day, I believe it is important to know what our state legislature is doing right now to help try and solve one of Earth’s largest killers—plastics. Specifically in this case, plastic bags. Senate Bill 405 is a proposal to ban plastic bags from retail statewide, following more than a dozen cities in the state that have already done so.

In the past, this measure failed miserably because our legislatures did not have, well let’s just say that once again the special interest of large corporations (the plastic industry) took precedence over the common sense need to begin protecting our future, because much of the damage already done by the use of plastics is irreversible.

Plastics never go away, and with plastic bags, a mere five percent are recycled. From our ocean to the desert, plastic bags take up precious space in our landfills, litter our environment from city streets to natural preserves, estuary and ocean.

There are more than 400 known dead zones in the world’s oceans, tributaries and estuaries, with one the size of New Jersey sitting off the California/Oregon coast. As plastic only breaks up to very small particles, ocean currents collect these small particles along with many other pollutants we allow to flow into the ocean, leaving a habitat that nothing living can survive in.

Along with dead zones, plastics in general kill wildlife, pollute our land, are eaten and processed through the food chain, right onto our dinner plates.

It is a convenience we can learn to live without. And something that our legislatures need to act upon immediately. This time around, the block, retailers and grocery stores are backing the bill, giving it a chance of success. But, without the support of the people, it is likely we will continue to choose to allow convenience, corporate greed and apathy win.

Another bill, in relationship, will cost us five cents for every plastic bag we use that would go to environmental funds to help solve this seemingly never-ending problem. Hitting our own pockets, might not make using plastic bags so convenient.

Take Earth Day seriously, not once a year, but every day. Support these legislative bills. If you care, call, write and e-mail your legislatures and let your voice be heard.

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Lakeside needs a Skate Park

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In my very short time here at the East County Californian, I am astounded with this community. It’s like eating grits in the morning with the family everywhere I go.

People are friendly and welcoming at every event, meeting or person I have had the privilege to talk with, share their story or get caught up on the latest politics in the area. Nothing is sacred and everything is on the table for us all to digest.

And the EC Cal has the same spirit, which makes me feel right at home immediately. That’s a great thing, because it is allowing me to dive in head first into the work that needs to be done. There is a plethora of things happening in East County right now, and everyday I find more and more that deserves coverage. East County is huge, not only in population, but in public and community service backed by people that want to make a difference in their neighborhood.

This week, there are a lot of things coming up. One of my guilty pleasures, the rodeo is back in town in Lakeside! You’ll find me there Saturday at the parade, then at the rodeo grounds. Try and find me and talk to me. I’ll be obvious–jeans, boots and a cowboy hat (and a camera and press badge). But Lakeside is starting the party this weekend.

“Lakeside’s got Talent” is Saturday and Sunday, and all through the town, businesses and community organizations are planning events every day of the week. (Check out the calendar here on the website or find us on Facebook.)

There should be no one left out, because there are events for every age.

And while we are on the subject of Lakeside, I have to put my two-cents worth in on The Skatepark at Lindo Lake Park. My kids raised in Lakeside, going to school there, the park is special to me. But I am all for the Skate Park. And I’ll tell you why. Lindo Lake is a great place in the daytime, but it is  party haven for all the underaged teens, and the overaged that refuse to grow up. We want to keep our kids off the streets, but where do they go when there is nowhere to go?

Skate parks, just like this one proposed, have change the environment of an entire neighborhoods. Taking a park useful by day, dangerous by night and turning it into a year-round activity ground for the entire community. I stand behind The Lakeside Highway Lions, the County of San Diego, Parks and Recreation and the Lakeside Chamber of Commerce in its efforts to bring something valuable that Lakeside can be proud of for years. Who knows? The next Tony Hawk (who supports this project) just might be waiting in Lakeside for the grid, cushion or vert surface to train on.

If you agree with me, or not, go to the Lindo Lake public meeting at the Lakeside Community Center this Wednesday, April 17 at 6 p.m. and let your voice be heard.

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