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We are all in this together

Observations from the Edge
Robert T. Nanninga
Coast News
October 9, 2008


I was raised to believe historic preservation to be a form of cultural preservation. Reminders from the past become teachers of a sort, offering lessons of where we came from and how we lived. I also believe historic preservation is a form of environmental conservation.

My parents, life long readers, taught me to look for lessons in the wisdom of others and value of things best left alone. History buffs, they also encouraged my appreciation for cool old buildings. As an environmental advocate it was easy to recognize the link between historic conservation and ecological restoration.

In the upcoming election decisions will be made regarding many issues, some big, some small, all important to the quality of life of Southern Californians, regardless of their intellect, age, race, or political orientation.

Animal cruelty is on the ballot, as are civil rights, environmental restraint, energy innovation , ecological efficiency and a larcenous sand tax. Candidates, of every imaginable perspective, seeking offices at every level of government are also on the ballot. Federal state, municipal and local elections are studies of conflict between the need for change and the safety of the failing status quo.

Representational democracy is what brings all these things together, just as history is the tether that gives it all meaning. Knowing where we came from is as important as knowing where you're going, as is an appreciation of how they are connected.

In the October 1978 edition of American Preservation Jane Holtz Kay wrote: "Historic preservationists must make common cause with general environmentalists if we are to save the cultural as well as the physical environment–both as integral parts of our rich heritage. Such collaboration, hopefully wise, but necessarily aggressive, will do much constructively to influence our civilization for the future."

In the spirit of Jane Holtz Kay's call for common cause, this seasoned environmentalist has found an unexpected ally in the fight for environmental conservation, and historic preservation of the oldest building in Encinitas, in a school board race.

Maureen Muir is running for one of two open seats on the governing board of the Encinitas Union School District. This is important because the governing board of the Encinitas Union School District is currently pursuing an agenda of overdevelopment and historic eradication of a prime piece of Encinitas history. Maureen Muir is challenging the status quo, which is currently seeking short-term profit using shortsighted perspective.

Muir has stated she is not in favor of trading the Pacific View elementary school grounds to a developer for high- density development. The other two candidates are actively advocating for the redevelopment of Pacific View Elementary.

As an historic preservationist and environmental realist I believe it is in the best interest of everyone who values education, and the wisdom of restraint in times of trying economic times, to support the candidacy of Maureen Muir and her efforts to bring much needed balance to the Governing Board of Encinitas Union School District.

A vote for Maureen Muir is a vote for Historic Preservation.

A vote for historic preservation is a vote for environmental conservation.

Thank you for voting.

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