October 8, 2004

The Public Forum . . . El Foro Publico

Carlsbad could not have a better candidate for City Council than Ofelia “Ofie” Escobedo

Ofie has served our City in so many ways there is not enough room here to list them all, though her website (OfieforCarlsbad.org) can give readers the full picture. The City was so impressed with her dedication and work throughout the community, the Council honored her as Carlsbad Citizen of the Year in 1995.

  Ofie is the only candidate who can truly demonstrate her passion and service to all the citizens of Carlsbad. Her family has been in Carlsbad since the 1940s and there is nothing about Carlsbad that she does not know. She is a hardworking businesswoman and has served on the Carlsbad Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors. She has served on many city Boards and Committees, including the Master Plan Advisory Committee, and has served tirelessly as a volunteers for almost every non-profit organization in the North County.

Ofie truly represents and works for all of Carlsbad, from the Village to the 4 quadrants, from business to arts and culture, and will continue to work tirelessly for the Citizens of Carlsbad as their Councilwoman.

S. Elaine Lyttleton, EA

Kerry Playing Politics with Military Service

On Tuesday Republicans in the House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly against legislation that called for reinstating the draft, and the bill was soundly defeated.  This was an important moment in today’s political climate because both Senator John Kerry and Senator John Edwards have falsely claimed that it is Republicans, and President Bush, who support draft reinstatement.

While this vote should put the issue to rest, it is necessary to point out that it is another Democrat—South Carolina’s Ernest Hollings—who has introduced similar legislation in the Senate.  No Republican in Congress has introduced any draft legislation.

John Kerry is on record saying he might be open to the idea of a draft, and President Bush, in his closing statement in the first debate, made it clear that under him America’s military will remain all-volunteer.

President Bush understands that the men and women who volunteered to defend America, and who serve in our military today, deserve our greatest appreciation and respect. As a candidate to be Commander-in-Chief, John Kerry should know better than to play politics with military service.

Yvonne Blair

A Report on the Design Review of the Espanada Project in Chula Vista

Over a dozen Crossroaders joined other citizens to voice our concerns about this project. No citizen spoke in favor of the project. Developer Jim Pieri was there with his cadre of an architect, a landscape designer and the person who wrote the Specific Plan. The Staff presented a report that could fairly be called a sales pitch for the project.

Four of the five members of the Commission were present. They did their best to get a handle on the project but there simply was not enough information forthcoming from the developer nor the Community Development Staff for them to make an informed decision.

A motion was made to continue the matter until they might be provided more information but before the motion could be seconded Jim Pieri bounded to the mike and told them a continuation was NOT ACCEPTABLE  and proceeded to direct them to deny the project if they couldn’t approve it at this meeting.

Members of the Commission were taken aback by this outburst - one remarked that she didn’t like to be bullied. Others voiced dismay at this turn of events. But Pieri prevailed and they voted 4 - 0 to deny the project. Therefore it remains on its fast track for approval.

The next step for this project will be before the Planning Commission.when they act on the project itself. This was scheduled to be on Oct. 27 (tentatively).

Susan Watry
Membership Coordinator, Crossroads II

A Perspective from over seas

For the past year I have had the incredible experience of teaching English to students in Barcelona. I have been lucky to meet people from all parts of Europe.

Interacting with the Spanish people and other Europeans, I have come to learn a great deal about them, as I hope they have from me. I love telling my students and new friends stories about the San Diego I know: the bonfires at PB, tailgating at the Q, Lobster in Puerto Nuevo and of course our love for carne asada burritos. I realize that in a small way, Americans like myself, are ambassadors to the people we interact with on a daily basis, and I’ve done my best to show them that San Diegans are good, honest, and fair people.

Perhaps not unexpectedly I have been asked what once would have seemed a strange question to me: “because I’m European will Americans hate me?”

I tell my new found Spanish friends! that the San Diegans I know are generally fair people who also treat others with the respect they would like afforded to them.

The fact is too few San Diegans are getting the truth, and that is that the world beyond our oceans isn’t jealous of our lifestyle, and they don’t “hate” us. They are disappointed. Disappointed that like too many great powers before us, we also seem to dictate what we want by sheer force. To them America was supposed to be different.

In less than five weeks, San Diegans will have the opportunity to show that America is different. We have a choice between two radically differing visions: one of a world that is either literally “with us or against us” or a world that respects us and sees in us the hope that America has represented to the world for so long.

On November 2 I urge my fellow San Diegans to do what we know is right and choose hope over fear. We should never be scared into voting for what we know is wrong, and ! right now it is clear that our leadership is wrong. Unlike the rest of the world, only we have the power to change that.

Ricardo Flores
Barcelona, Spain via Jamul, CA

The Republican’s fixation with the rule of law

The “Presidential Debate on Foreign Policy.” President Bush and Senator Kerry made their case for and against the war in Iraq. What remains transparent and hypocritical however, is the Republican Party’s fixation with the rule of law. Within the confines of law and order, there exist both Domestic and International domains. There are also associated Individual and National acts of morality. The United States has violated International Law, according to the World Court at the Hague. But by ignoring the rule of law in an international sense, The Bush Administration has flexed their muscles with regard to National Morality. This sets a dangerous precedent. China, the worlds largest Communist Nation has already dispensed Police Troops to Haiti. Despite being under United Nations command, this move could prove  problematic for America’s Foreign Policy Interests. It could however, be argued that the Chinese are acting out of National Morality much like our own actions in the Middle East. With regard to our occupation of Iraq, the sum is less than the whole. Our Democratic Ideals do not exist in a vacuum, they are predicated on restraint, diplomacy, common sense, continuity and most of all an honest, open and truthful Government. Democracies throughout the world are now ironically at risk by the arrogant, unprovoked and unilateral decision by the Bush Administration  to invade Iraq.

Daniel J. Smiechowski
San Diego

The Men and Women the Price for Bush’s failures

President Bush says “freedom is on the march” when his own national intelligence estimate fears outright civil war in Iraq and General Abizaid, the commander of US troops, asserts that more troops are needed.

The Bush administration has had a year to train Iraqi’s to assist our troops in Iraq. Bush mislead the American people in a national debate when he said 100,000 Iraqi security forces have been trained. Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage testified to a House Appropriations subcommittee that many trainees have received nothing more than a three-week course in police procedures — what Armitage referred to as ”shake-and-bake” forces. Only 8,000 of the total are police who have received a full eight-week course of training.

Now, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld told senators it might not be possible to conduct elections in some places of Iraq.  In a more shocking assessment, Jordan’s King Abdullah has said it will be impossible to hold fair elections in the current state of chaos.

President Bush has failed to acknowledge the realities in Iraq and our service men and women are paying the ultimate price.

Major Robert Tormey, USAF Ret.

Filner voted No protecting the Pledge

I was absolutely appalled to read last week that Congressman Bob Filner voted NO on protecting the Pledge of Allegiance. I have read several articles that stated that Congressman Filner does not vote the way his constituents wish him to. The Pledge of Allegiance is a sensitive issue with me and I take the pledge seriously.  It’s now crystal clear to me that Filner does not honor the Pledge of Allegiance as I do and does not really care if the Pledge remains intact. I guess it is true what I heard about Filner votes - it’s all about what he wants and not about what his constituents want.

David Lutz

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