Author Archive
Stories written by sulrd

Now Is the Time to Prepare

  Property owners typically start thinking about the wildfire season in
the fall, when dry Santa Ana winds kick up the fire threat a notch or

   In reality, fire is a year-round threat in San Diego County, a point
driven home last week with a handful of lightning-started brush fires in
San Diego County’s backcountry and a 3,000-acre, weapon-started blaze
aboard Camp Pendleton.

   Local fire officials are saying that the past wet winter helped
germinate a whole new generation of grass and weeds over land that has
previously burned in the Cedar and Witch Creek wildfires. This thin,
low-growing vegetation accelerates a fire’s progress, the experts say.

Rants & Raves

  Rant:    Last week Congress
gave final approval to a massive financial reform bill which places more
authority on federal regulators to spot problems in the financial
system to prevent another crisis. This goes right along with the health
care reform bill that will create bigger and more intrusive government
and does not guarantee there won’t be any future bailouts using taxpayer
money. The ultimate outcome will undermine competiveness, stifle growth
and cause more job loss. Case in point, several years ago, Sweden was
one of the wealthiest countries in Europe. It experienced a financial
crisis after which the government took more control of the banking and
investment industries and the country is still struggling with slow
growth and high unemployment.

Lack of Leadership

   Here we go again. It’s time for leadership. Someone to guide, to
direct, to take charge of the state Legislature. In the past 24 years,
the Legislature has passed only one state budget within the mandated
July 15 date. Lack of a budget costs the state $52 million a day! Three
proposed budget plans are before the Legislature, one from the
Democratic caucus in the Assembly, one from the Democratic caucus in the
Senate and one from the governor; the Democrats can’t even agree on one
plan and the Republicans have offered no detailed plan. Where’s the

Congrats to the Graduates; Now Save the World

 Congratulations! You’re officially part of a generation that will be
counted on like no other to help save our world. You will need to use
all of your brain power, tenacity, business sense, knowledge,
creativeness and sheer willpower to survive. The previous generations
have left one heck of a mess for you to clean up. You will not be able
to just exist, there will be no handouts, no free lunch, you will need
to be fully engaged and involved. There will be no burying your head in
the sand; it doesn’t matter if your dreams come true if you spend your
time sleeping.

Exercise Your Right To Vote

 Even though it’s just a primary, there are several propositions which
will or won’t implement change along with the finalization of
candidates who will face off in November that will ultimately decide
the direction of our state for the next four years. Bigger government,
less government, more taxes, less taxes, reduced spending, provide more
jobs, tighter immigration controls are all campaign buzz words. And now
after all of the advertising, debates and town hall meetings, the time
to vote is here. Major changes are needed for California to pull itself
out of a multi-billion dollar deficit along with San Diego County that
needs a solid plan for its future growth as well.

Ups and Downs

   Thumbs Down! To both BP and
the White House in regards to the broken oil pipe in the Gulf of Mexico
that continues to gush oil and is causing untold economic and
ecological damage to Louisiana and surrounding areas. How was BP
granted rights to drill without a safeguard plan that could be
implemented immediately in case of a major disaster?  Everyone
continues to point fingers and no one is solving the problem. On May
12, a House subcommittee investigating the disaster discovered the
possibility that BP had finished work for the day on the oil rig even
though a seal at the top of the well had a failed a pressure test a few
hours before the explosion and that a hydraulic leak may have disabled
the blowout preventer.

Money Can’t Buy You Love, But It Could Buy You A Governor

   It’s all about the money, and Meg Whitman is a billionaire who’s
looking to buy the top spot. The Whitman campaign spent $27 million in
the first 11 weeks of the year. Add this to the $19 million the
campaign spent last year along with current spending and we’re at $50
million and counting, of which at least $39 million is from her own
bank account, and the general election is still five months away. “Our
campaign’s budget is designed for victory,” said Whitman spokesman
Tucker Bounds. “And we’re seeing positive results.” In contrast,
Poizner (Whitman’s opponent) has contributed over $19 million of his
own money to his campaign.

Winery Ordinance is a Must for Ramona

   Carol Fowler said it best: “It will have a huge economic impact
right now for our community.” The “it” is the passing of the new winery
zoning ordinance that the county supervisors are expected to be voting
on this summer. The on-again, off-again ordinance to allow bonded
wineries in the Ramona Valley to have onsite tasting rooms along with
onsite retail sales has been a vision for the local wineries for
several years. Currently there is only one legal tasting room in Ramona
and that’s Schwaesdall Winery located just off Highway 67 as you head
out of town.    John Schwaesdall officially opened the winery in July
of 1996 and said he averages anywhere from 15 to 25 visitors on the
weekends when the tasting room is open.

Immigration: One Hot Topic

   Damned if you do, damned if you don’t.
   Whether it’s Duncan D. Hunter’s response on immigration at a recent
tea-party meeting, or the passing of Arizona’s new state immigration
law (basically enforcing the federal law), you definitely know where
they stand on the issue.  Which isn’t a bad thing. In fact, in this
case it’s a good thing. It doesn’t matter if you agree or disagree with
either or both; the important part is that immigration reform is now at
the forefront of conversation.
   Hunter’s statement and Arizona’s new state law that empowers police
to detain suspected undocumented immigrants are the result of total
frustration with the federal government for not enforcing the law
(being in the country illegally) in the first place. And the current
Congress doesn’t want to have anything to do with immigration reform
before the November elections.

Health Care Costs Will Keep Getting Higher

   The latest report on the Health Care Reform Bill from Richard
Foster, chief Medicare actuary, points out that health care costs will
not decline but increase by a total of $311 billion during the next 10
years, even though there are provisions for competitive insurance
markets for individuals and small businesses to be opened up along with
tax credits come the year 2014. Surprised? Don’t be. The real problem
with health care has been and always will be high rates (and until cost
controls come into play, rates will continue to go up) and overcharging
for services rendered and sometimes not rendered.