Letters to the editor
Girls water polo team makes HERstory, earns first CIF championship
We would like to congratulate the Ramona varsity girls water polo team for their hard-earned CIF Championship win against Valhalla last Saturday night. This team is the first water polo team for boys or girls to have ever made it to the CIF Finals and win CIF Finals.
We would also like to congratulate Coach Donnie Williams for his first CIF win and for all of the hard work he has put into the Ramona water polo program. Three-year varsity players Jocelyn Schwegler, Cassie Bernas, Paulina Bernd, and Holly Smith have all been playing for Coach Williams and his water polo program since the seventh grade.
The team had so many accomplishments this year and they should all be extremely proud. As you girls say, “You’ve made HERstory! Not History!”
Congratulations again on your CIF win!
Katie Schwegler, for the Schwegler Family
Some considerations in teacher negotiations
Over the past few months there have been several articles regarding the negotiations with the Teachers Association of Ramona Unified School District. That’s one problem, public unions are pretty much useless in this state, but I digress.
The parents of students in the district received a letter from Superintendent Bob Graeff laying out what steps have been taken to alleviate the budget constraints and what further steps and choices are on the table. Apparently several great programs have been eliminated, one of which the GATE (Gifted and Talented Education) program from which my children benefited attending.
What Graeff didn’t mention was the raise he received to his nauseatingly high salary. I personally don’t think that was appropriate under the circumstances, but I also don’t believe the teachers are being fair in their negotiations and fail to see the big picture. According to the letter, the average teacher’s salary in the RUSD is $78,122. I may be wrong, and I’m SURE I’ll be corrected if I am, but that is for working nine months of the year, actually probably closer to eight when you take out all of the holidays, etc. Using nine months, that rounds off to $105K a year, plus all of their benefits are paid, and a pension. Seems more than reasonable to me.
I and most other people have to work the full year to receive a salary. Last time I checked, that was 12 months. Virtually everyone in the private sector has had to suffer some kind of hardship since 2008. The district classified and management employees agreed to compensation cuts (according to the letter). Why not give up a little?
Most of the rest of us pay for our benefits and have to contribute to our own retirement plans. A good number of those people make far less than the teachers and still pay for their benefits.
The teachers need to realize they have a pretty good thing going, much better than the average U.S. citizen. It’s unfortunate cutbacks, etc. have to happen, but realistically they have in most areas throughout the country.
The teachers my children had in Barnett Elementary and Ramona High School I feel did a great job. As with most things you get what you put into it, so others may not feel the same. I’m only speaking from personal experience. I’ve never been a big fan of the school board or almost any other Ramona board for that matter, but the teachers in my experience care. It does take parent participation to get the greatest benefit as well it should.
Until the State of California gets it’s s*** together, we are all going to have to feel the pain. Granted, it may never do that, but we can always hope for the best.
Thomas W Cook
Anyone seen Mediation Matters sign?
Dear Ramona Community Members,
I am hoping that someone can help me by returning some stolen property. I run a mediation business called Mediation Matters where I try to help people resolve their problems, disputes, grievances, etc. through a peaceful process to avoid broken relationships, bad feelings, attorney fees, and court proceedings.
Most people do not know the benefits of mediation, so I decided to have a banner made a placed on Highway 67 where people would notice it and consider mediation first. My graphics artist decided to get attention by printing, “use mediation, not an attorney, I get results fast.” And even though this is entirely true, I have a feeling that it caused some people to be upset.
The banner was stolen off private property a week after it was put up. I would really like to have my banner back. It may be in the trash by now, but if you have any information on who took it or may have seen it in the trash somewhere, please contact me at 619-820-8973.
If you have my banner and would like to return it, please drop it off at the Ramona Library and I will pick it up with no questions asked.
And on a personal note, everyone is going through tough times and all businesses compete, so please consider your integrity and good will. Though I believe in mediation to solve problems, I also believe that attorneys are needed in certain situations and hope that you would share the business and be professional in your behaviors.
Thank you, Ramona community, for any help that you may be able to offer. I may be reached at www.mediationmatterssd.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Solar land rush
The land rush going on in our farming and ranch regions has nothing to do with crops. It is a rush to grow solar farms. Couled with other renewables, 100 percent of California’s power needs will be met — three times more than the 33 percent mandated by 2020.
The bureaucracy wants solar projects on farmland, so new applications for projects keep arriving. Sadly, there is no official accounting of how much Calidornia farmland is being taken out of productivity. Four of California’s largest farm counties show about 100 solar generation plants proposed on roughly 40,000 acres.
Why farmland, you ask? Simply, land that has been tilled has fewer issues with endangered species.
California produces more than 400 crops that pump $30 billion into the economy and help sustain U.S. food security. Nationwide, we need 13 million more acres of farmland to give our citizens a balanced diet. Yet no plan or policy exists to direct solar projects to areas where land is unsustainable for farm use.
There’s no county to county approach in deciding what gets approved, but all agree that more must go into deciding the location. No agency has an official accounting of how much farm or ranch land is being taken out of production in California. We do know, nationwide, that we continue to lose this precious resource at a rate of over one million acres a year.
San Diego County has no large-scale solar development policy. On Oct. 19, 2012, the San Diego County Planning Commission requested staff to return to the commission with information regarding strategies in formulating a policy to address the siting of large-scale solar energy facilities within the county. This is a step in the right direction.
CFARR (Citizens for a Rural Ramona) asked the commission to delay Sol Orchard’s Ramona project until a policy was in place, The commissioners refused to do so.
Supervisor Dianne Jacob on Feb. 6, 2013, asked for a 90-day moratorium on Ramona’s project due to land use policy issues. The four other supervisors outvoted her.
Solar has become a lucrative business, and so the land rush continues. Follow the money, and then determin who the winners are and who the losers are.
(Sources: American Farmland Trust and California Farm Bureau Federation)
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