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Observations from the Edge
Robert T. Nanninga
North County Times
November 9, 1998


It is very clear that I am the lone alternative voice within these editorial pages, a token liberal if you will. This was never more evident than during the run up to last week's election. North County Times endorsements were the complete opposite of mine, except for my support of Encinitas's Prop R and Solana Beach's Prop BB.

In regards to the major races, the NCT endorsement of the GOP slate failed. Barbara Boxer has retained her seat in the Senate, and Gray Davis danced past Dan Lungren. Locally, the Pro-development agenda won everywhere except Encinitas, where two pro-growth incumbents were soundly defeated. I live in Encinitas, so you can imagine how happy I am. It seems that my views are not so unique after all. Victory is sweet.

Although I am disappointed in the defeat of Prop B, I am all to aware that history will prove that this proposition was the last chance to save the back country. Obviously, San Diego County voters have no problem with sprawl development. I'm sure East County mountain lions are going to love all the domestic pets that will soon be coming there way. I will say this again, "there is no comfort in I told you so."

I am not conceding the Prop V fight, this is only the beginning. All the November 3rd vote said was that the City of Oceanside may lease three public lots to Manchester Resorts for development, this is far from a done deal. Before us now, is a year of politicizing at City Hall and the California Coastal Commission. There are now miles of environmental hoops the the Manchester people have to jump through, and it is up to the people of Oceanside to make sure that the process is followed to the letter. Environmental Impact Reports will need to be studied if Manchester Resorts is to be defeated.

Elsewhere in the county voters said yes to redevelopment in downtown San Diego, yes to Native American sovereignty, and no to the horrors of animal traps and horse meat. If you listen closely you can hear the sounds of a paradigm shifting. The passing of Propositions K,M, and N are proof of what can be achieved when environmentalists and developers set down and negotiate. It is a shame those of us in North County haven't achieved this level of cooperation...yet.

I find it odd that the gulf between those of us struggling to preserve the natural environment and those seeking to exploit it, is being distinguished as personal rights. I always thought that protecting the environment was about personal rights. You know, the right to clean air, open space, and drinking water that isn't down stream of the toilet. There is not enough water for those already here, traffic is a nightmare, and Native Habitat is disappearing, yet we are continuing to build, how can we justify this? Oh yeah, short-time profit.

I am actually encouraged by the election results, I can only hope that this is just the beginning of a trend that leads towards a more sustainable relationship with the natural environment. The fact that 41% of voters voted for Prop B says something about our changing priorities. Here's to a future that looks beyond the selfishness of property rights.

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