September 27, 2002

The Public Forum ... El Foro Publico

Charros Dis-respected at Oceanside City Council Meeting

Mayor Terry Johnson, (Councilmembers) Carol McCauley, Betty Harding are opposed to the support and moral values of Charros as shown by the children and youth present at the Council presentation (Sept. 18) on a training program by Charros for youth.

Accusatory remarks, questions about the compatibility of Charros on an equestrian park at the Mission San Luis Rey, which was founded with Charros, were infuriating to the presenting Councilmember Esther Sanchez. All other council members concurred with the attitude and remarks of Carol McCauley and Betty Harding in the remarks against the fathers and charras in front of children on an event for Hispanic Heritage Proclamation which was designed with the Office of Esther Sanchez. Flowers had been presented, the children and all 76 Charros were in costume to show pride as Oceanside residents, filling the Chambers.

The treatment of the Charros and the questionable failure of the equipment for allowing pictures and presentation materials on the community lienzo, the accessibility for disabled children in a universal park, and the 25 year local history of running a lienzo and charreadas were never considered.

Sharleen Maldonado
PRIDE Board of Directors

Do Not Wage War

I am a parent, a teacher, and a patriotic American! Many people of integrity have joined together to insist that we NOT wage war on Iraq. President Bush and his friends - who have less than hidden ties to the oil industry - feel that they need to expand their oil empires throughout the world. We know that this is the motivation for pursuing a pre-emptive attack. No one is buying that Iraq is a threat to our national security. There are many different responses to resolve differences. Our greatness doesn’t only shine when world affairs are in order. It should shine when our skills, talent, intellect and problem-solving abilities are needed.

Religious leaders from all around the United States and other parts of the world, as well as nearly all of the world leaders and members of the United Nations, are asking for us to stop this foolishness. Certainly we can listen to these people of integrity - and stop this pursuit of oil. Resolve international conflicts with wisdom. We need to grow up.

Laura Kohl
San Marcos

Full Pension for Military Spouses

“Poverty in a Second” refers to the fact that the second a military retiree dies, his pension dies with him. His/Her survivor is left with nothing but Survivor Benefits (SB) and social security. However, if the survivor has attained the age of 62, the SB is reduced from 55 percent of the deceased’s pension to 35 percent. In most cases, this reduces the survivor’s total benefits to about the poverty level; which in the 2000 census was about $16,300. per annum.

When state, federal and other taxes are subtracted, the survivor’s income is greatly reduced from when the military spouse was alive.

My grass-roots efforts are to do away with SB entirely. In lieu of SB, “Poverty in a Second” advocates that Survivors receive the full Pension of the deceased retiree.

It is a national disgrace that the survivors of our military heroes, who, suffering every-thing but actual combat with their hero, was never recognized through any medal(s) or commendations, nor did they ever ask for these tangible rewards for going through: loneliness, serving as mother and father to the children, keeping the home together, etc. We could go on and on about what these survivors did, butl I believe you know.

“Poverty in a Second” has been contacting elected representatives, military associations, political groups, military news-papers, retirees, et al. The retirees are asked to contact their representatives to tell them that SB MUST GO! FULL PENSIONS must be considered as a viable replacement.

Peter J. DiRenza
San Diego

Give the Voters a Chance

Political parties who aspire to lead this nation have an obligation to disclose their agenda before an election so the voters have a chance to consider, discuss and debate their positions. This is why the Democrats’ refusal to say how they would repeal President Bush’s tax cuts is so disappointing. For months, Democrats in the Senate have refused to pass a budget, have balked at taking the necessary measures to cut wasteful spending, and now want to make the American people pay the bill by raising taxes.

Recently, Democrats called for an “economic summit” after the election, but won’t admit that their agenda is liberal tax and spend policies. This is highly irresponsible on their part. What are the Democrats hiding? If they’re planning to raise our taxes by repealing President Bush’s tax cut, then we have a right to know about it before the election.

Gery Contreras
San Diego

Carlsbad Migrants Need Your Help

Ecumenical Migrant Outeach (believes) that the growers themselves should and must provide decent housing for those who work for them. They can do this by themselves or with the aid of the local, state and federal governments. It is not the obligation of church or private agencies to provide this housing, or even temporary shelters.

Having said this, the evictions of migrant farm workers in Carlsbad continues this year as it has every year, conveniently, at the end of the strawberry and flower growing seasons. Because of citizen complaints and health concerns, several makeshift migrant camps are being razed in the Batiquitos Lagoon area of Carlsbad near Car Country Carlsbad and Cannon Rd.

Officer Keith Blackburn of the Carlsbad Police Department has asked Ecumenical Migrant Outreach to come up with a plan for a camp with some permanent as well as temporary structures to house between 150 and 180 workers. We are asking you for your input. What would this village look like to you? How would it accommodate the needs of workers from Mexico as well as fit in with the landscape of Carlsbad? The construction and funding of such a camp is still in the planning stages, but growers, churches, private companies and non-profit agencies have been invited to give their input on this project.

We also need funds. Checks can be made out to the American Friends Service Committee, and earmarked “Ecumenical Migrant Outeach Project.” If you would like to contribute your expertise, ideas, funds or volunteer work to this project, please contact us at (760) 419-7139 .

Mark Day

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