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Observations from the Edge
Robert T. Nanninga
North County Times
October 26, 1998


We are a week away from a very important election, one in which the shape of environmental policy will be decided. State wide, from the highest office in Sacramento down to city councils here in San Diego's North County, Californians are being asked to choose between two agendas. Grey or Green?

Consider the implications of Matt Fong as Senator. On his web site he refers to himself as an Environmentalist, while calling for a weakened Endangered Species Act. He also reminds voters that Barbra Boxer has a 0 % voting record from the League of Property Rights Voters. Which is a good thing. I followed a fiber-optic trail that led to web sites for the Cato Institute and the Heritage Foundation. Isn't it ironic that Mr. Fong, like the conservative movement he represents, has no intention of conserving precious natural resources.

Why does it seem that the duopoly that is currently controlling state politics can't, or won't, acknowledge that our environment is in jeopardy? The thought of Dan Lungren as governor scares me, and Gray Davis doesn't inspire me to vote.

Being out of touch is not restricted to state officials. Local incumbents are facing important issues that should bring people to the polls. Supervisor Bill Horn is campaigning against Prop B, The Rural Heritage and Watershed Initiative, because it reduces the development potential on 600,000 acres in San Diego's back country. Did I mention that Mr. Horn is running for re-election on the property rights ticket?

In Encinitas the city council election is between the pro-development incumbents who are touting a Home Depot and the monstrous Ecke Ranch as proof of their vision for the City of Encinitas. Incumbent John Davis has said that there is nothing to be done about the traffic on El Camino Real, and that residents have got to get use to it. Incumbent Lou Aspell states that she supports property rights at every opportunity. What about the community's right to a healthy environment?

Also on the November ballot are coastal initiatives. Encinitans are being asked to decide about the allocation of tax money to help bring sand back to the beach. Sand is a big issue in Encinitas because homes are falling into the ocean. Encinitas is not alone in this battle. Solana Beach and Del Mar are also facing the eroding coast problem.

Meanwhile up in Oceanside, the city council is endorsing the Manchester Resorts proposal that will take away deeded parkland, not to mention the coastal bluffs, to facilitate their need for an ice skating rink. I kid you not. When cities to the south are struggling to keep their bluffs, Oceanside's elected officials are supporting the removal of theirs. Out of sight, out of mind.

As you can tell, a line has been drawn in the rapidly receding sand. The question is are the people of California going to allow the pro-development junkies to continue to bury our quality of life under the asphalt of a shortsighted agenda? Let's face it folks the environment is under siege, and the quick fix growth mentality only perpetuates our addiction to stripmalls and other temples of consumption.

It is important that everyone of us vote on November 3rd. We have a chance to secure a livable future here in the overcrowded Golden State. It is now or never. For Governor, I am voting for former congressman Dan Hamburg of the California Green Party. Experience and vision, now there's a concept.

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