Archive for January, 2014

 

El Cajon Police Department will be conducting a specialized Motorcycle Safety Enforcement Operation on 2-21-14

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Lt Randy Soulard

The El Cajon Police Department will be conducting a specialized Motorcycle Safety Enforcement Operation on 2-21-14 in an effort to lower deaths and injuries.  Extra officers will be on duty patrolling areas frequented by motorcyclists and where motorcycle crashes occur.  Officers will be looking for violations made by drivers and riders alike that can lead to motorcycle crashes.  They will be cracking down on both those operating regular vehicles and motorcycles that are under the influence of drugs or alcohol, speeding, making illegal turns, or any other dangerous violation.

Motorcycle fatalities saw a phenomenal drop of 37 percent from 2008 to 2010, but rose nearly 18 percent in 2011. Operations like this are aimed at curbing any more rises in motorcycle deaths and sending the numbers back downward.

In the City of El Cajon, during 2011 there were 11 motorcycle collisions that resulted in 2 fatalities and 12 motorcyclists injured.  During 2012 there were 19 motorcycle collisions that resulted in 21 motorcyclists injured.  During 2013 there were 25 motorcycle collisions, resulting in 1 fatality and 23 motorcyclists injured.  Already in 2014 there have been 2 motorcyclist fatalities.

California collision data reveals that primary causes of motorcycle-involved crashes include speeding, unsafe turning, and impairment due to alcohol and other drugs.  The El Cajon Police Department is also reminding all motorists to always be alert and watch out for motorcycles, especially when turning and changing lanes.

As the economy turns upward, there will likely be more miles driven by all vehicles, plus more novice motorcycle riders who are untrained and unable to handle the power of today’s motorcycles.  The message to all drivers and motorcyclists is: share in the responsibility and do your part by safely “sharing the road.”  Riders can get training through the California Motorcyclist Safety Program. Information and training locations are available at www.CA-msp.org or 1-877 RIDE 411 or 1-877-743-3411.

Funding for this program is provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

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With rising prices, how are we supposed to keep healthy food on our tables?

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Congress did not agree on a new five-year Farm Bill by the New Year, and milk in the grocery stores are expected to skyrocket, making the dairy industry sell more to the government and less at a much higher rate to us the consumer.

Gasoline and natural gas prices are expected to flux in rates throughout the year, with some heavy spikes upward but tapering down toward the end of the year. This is something that many Americans believe can be cured by local drilling and fracking for energy sources, but this market is controlled globally and we have no control over the worldwide price of a barrel of oil.

We already pay anywhere between $2 and $5 for a 12 ounce box of cereal, the price of bread, eggs, meat, you name it, just keeps spiraling upwards while the content we buy shrinks. I for one am tired of being gouged every day for what are necessities of life.

Though the economy is slated for a slight recovery in some areas there are many of us out there that are now making wages that we made in the early 90s (at an entry level position). This is something that needs addressing from the local to the national level.

It is understandable for the outlandish prices for the luxuries of life, but is a sad state and nation when we have to live paycheck to paycheck just to pay for a place to live, gas to get to work and to keep food on the table. And if you want to eat better, healthy does not come cheap. It does not help that we live in an area that is prone to high home costs, some of the highest gas prices in the nation and with many of our cities taxing us every time we turn around.

By the way, whose stupid idea was it to have property taxes due during the holidays and at tax time? (Sorry, I wandered)

There are ways around the price gouging, but it comes at a cost. Creative shopping usually means shopping for the best deals at the right time and right place. Collecting coupons that normally bring a product down to its original price makes you feel better at the register when the receipt states that you have saved so much money on your purchases, but in reality it is all a rouse. We are still overpaying for the necessities of life, and we are spending more time, energy and gas trolling from store to store to get the best deal. And the best deal usually means a lower end product, gadgets made in third world countries and seafood from places that we have no control or there are no regulations to protect our safety. It is a dim reality and it does not look as if the powers that be care enough about its own citizens to ensure that the people have affordable access to healthier products.

So we start at the bottom, which is easy because we are already there. with our city governments. We continuously hear about expansion, bringing jobs in, drawing in tourism to bring dollars to the cities, but the money rarely increases in the pockets of the average American. What is needed is a government that looks at the big picture, and that includes the daily lives of constituents. When it comes to a roof over my head, gas to get to work, the ability to stay warm in winter and keeping food on my table, there is very little I see in city halls to the congressional floor that make it through our labyrinth of current politics that addresses these basic needs in life.

Only we the people can change this. Over the past few years we have seen countries in uproar because of the disparity and suppression of the people. This might work for a quick change, but not a better one, because chaos begets chaos. We need to find a common way to make sense of how our dollars and cents dictate our lives.

As another election year is ready at the gate, the one question that I want every politician to answer is how will your representation for me in government help me keep my family sheltered, clothed and fed in such a volatile economy, broken by the greedy and the inability of bipartisanship for the good of all?

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