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Letters to the editor – Aug. 12

Posted: August 12th, 2016 | Featured, Letters to the Editor, Opinion | 2 Comments

Praise for KTU+A

Re: “Hillcrest firm leaves its mark on America’s Finest City,” Volume 8, Issue 15 or bit.ly/2aJMcsi.

Thank you so much for recognizing the contributions of KTU+A Planning and Landscape Architecture.

On behalf of San Diego Canyonlands, a nonprofit working to restore and enhance our city’s wonderful urban canyons, I’d like to add yet another project to the long list of incredible philanthropic contributions KTU+A has made to better our communities over the years. 

KTU+A’s design work and tenacious/steadfast support during a two-year environmental review and permitting process will result in an exciting, five-mile “loop trail” system connecting four urban canyons in the under-served community of City Heights. Seven planned trail segments will help link neighborhoods, schools, transit stops, and businesses, and provide several, multi-canyon loop trail opportunities for joggers, hikers and youth programs using the canyons as nature classrooms!

KTU+A has already integrated this new trail system within a Green Street/Mobility plan for City Heights, making pedestrian trips for residents far safer and much more convenient.

Many thanks to KTU+A for their help in making this unique urban amenity a reality.

Because sometimes it takes a village, we would also like to thank Quality Infrastructure, RECON Environmental, Allied Geotechnical Engineers and biologist Dave Flietner for donating their fabulous consultant services to this City Heights Canyon Loop Trails Project.

—Eric Bowlby, executive director of San Diego Canyonlands

This praise for Mike and Sharon Singleton is well deserved. I’ve know them for 15 years because of their community involvement. When Mike represented Mission Hills on the Uptown Planners board, he held monthly community meetings in Mission Hills to get input on local matters coming before the board. He also organized things like entry monument design, tree surveys and tree plantings.

More recently I’ve served on the Hillcrest Community Development Corporation with Mike. He and Sharon and members of their firm have created temporary demonstration parks on Normal Street for cycling events, organized bike-to-work events, and donated thousands of dollars’ worth of time and effort to work with the community to develop a park plan for Normal Street.

KTU+A Planning and Landscape Architecture and everyone who works there are as wonderful as you say they are.

—Sharon Gehl via our website

Chargers’ stadium proposal

Re: Guest Editorial by Omar Passons, “A few truths about Chargers’ stadium proposal Downtown,” Volume 8, Issue 16 or at bit.ly/2aKNzpG.

Excellent points, Omar. Nicely done. But there is one critical point missing here — and in most other analysis that I’ve seen: No independent study ever done by any unbiased observer has ever shown a football stadium to be good economic investment. In fact, it’s a lousy one.

—David Ogul via our website, sduptownnews.com

As we know, government has three main jobs:

(1) INFRASTRUCTURE: Build and maintain our roads and bridges, which they have neglected for over 20 years. (They don’t build buildings for small businesses, why would they do so for billionaires like Spanos)? Build and maintain public schools, libraries, public parks, etc.

(2) SAFETY: Police Department, Fire Department, military. Safety also includes helping the homeless get back on their feet by providing shelters for them … and building public mental health facilities (shut down by Ronald Reagan!) for those having serious mental illnesses. Creating jobs for the unemployed.

All of this is what provides safety to the American people because, as research tells us, when people are destitute (starving, freezing, in pain from sleeping on concrete and sickness, ignored by society … some even kicked and abused just for “being”), humans turn into animals. Many will steal, attack, threaten and trespass just to survive. And when humans lose all sense of pride, they throw their garbage wherever it lands, set up their survival quarters wherever they can (streets, alleys, parking lots, etc.) steal shopping carts and then leave them abandoned when finished, etc.

(3) TAXES: Government’s job is to collect taxes in order to provide the above services. NOTE: Not only from the middle-class, but also from the wealthy … many of them pay less taxes than the middle-class and poor because they can afford to hire accountants who finds ways to write off everything … even their private expenditures, not to mention their enormous corporate waste.

The government’s three main jobs have been ignored for many years due to campaign-funding bribes by the mega-corporation-owned billionaires who in turn get their way when bills are passed, but America belongs to 320,000,000 people, not just 403 GREEDY billionaires.

—Ginger Sarmento via our website

I might want to add that having a NFL team in town, or having a Super Bowl every few years, does not add significant revenue to a city’s income. If you see those figures that one Super Bowl event adds $400 million to the revenue, take those numbers with a lot of caution. The actual figure might be a lot lower, but strangely enough, no one seems to be able to provide accurate numbers —which of course raises this flag!

However, the extension of the Convention Center is a must. Not only for Comic-Con but to attract larger conventions. San Diego is No. 19 on the list of who can host large conventions. This extension has to be continuous to the existing Convention Center.

The existing plans to not put that into considerations and are actually planning for an “annex” not an “extension.” This has to change and have to call out the engineers and architects to get this planned stadium closer to the Convention Center. How? Start ignoring streets; tunnel them. Think outside the box of a stadium but in terms of maybe a coliseum that is close enough to the waterfront, can be flooded for boat shows, and is a natural extension of the existing space. If you want to do it and want to get the votes, think big and address the real needs.

Disclosure to those revenues generated by Super Bowls, NFL games, and conventions. Somebody has to be able to come up with real revenue figures that includes costs and benefits. Not just some inflated or deflated figure to float someone’s boat.

—Bjorn Steller via our website

Irresponsible bicyclists

Re: “Pershing Bikeway moving forward,” Volume 8, Issue 14 or at bit.ly/2aphTHU.

Right after reading your excellent article regarding the new Pershing Bikeway plan, my wife and I took the dogs down to Bird Park for a walk.

We were talking about the give-and-take between bikes and cars when suddenly five bicyclists blew threw the intersection of Pershing, Upas and 28th Street. They laughingly dodged the cars that had right of way and shot down Pershing in the middle of the street.

I’ve lived on 28th Street in North Park for 20 years and have rarely paid any attention to bikes, but after a SANDAG meeting at a neighbor’s house a couple of months ago, I did. Once I started looking for them, I noticed that few, if any, obey the traffic laws. The only time a bicyclist stops at a stop sign or stop light is because if they don’t, they’ll be hit by a car. They ride on the road, then on the sidewalk, then on the road again, whichever is faster.

Once I started paying attention, I’ve been appalled. This, and other bikeway plans, seems to me to be rewarding rude, scofflaw behavior. If they won’t stop at stop signs and stop lights, let’s give them bikeways that don’t have any.

Why aren’t the existing traffic laws for bicycles enforced? Just recently I saw a police car with bike racks, in Kensington, stop a bike, and when the rider couldn’t produce ID, they put his bike on the bike rack and told him he could claim his bike and his ticket with his ID. When did rewarding bad behavior become city policy?

On a side note, Mr. Carterette was at the neighbor’s SANDAG meeting. When I asked if the planner, who designed this and other lane closers around the city, lived here and would enjoy his own plan, Mr. Carterette told me he lived in Carlsbad. It’s sad to change the traffic patterns so much and not have to live with the consequences. No one in San Diego could have designed these plans?

—Michael Garrison of North Park

More trash cans

Re: “Letters to the editor: July 15,” Volume 8, Issue 15 or at bit.ly/2aKQMoL.

I agree with you Olivia! Excellent argument. You used very compelling examples of why trash and litter is a problem.

Do you know what city agency is responsible for trash cans in parks? It would be great if you sent this letter to them.

—Katherine Carter via our website

Yes, revitalize Hillcrest

Re: “Gilman talks about his property and Pernicano’s,” Volume 7, Issue 19 or at bit.ly/1OcQ690.

I live within a few blocks of Pernicano’s and support the development of this block to revitalize Hillcrest and to bring in a development that will help support the local businesses that cannot survive and thrive under the current conditions. Bankers Hill is going to be the place to go in the future while Hillcrest erodes away!

—Brent Butler via our website

Stop air pollution

Imagine having to live in a place where there is air pollution. You can’t stop coughing, your eyes are itchy, your throat is dry, and it’s hard to even breathe.

If humans make too much air pollution by smoking or making smoke-bellowing factories, we could all end up getting hurt. Here are some reasons why air pollution is bad for living things, and why we should stop producing smoke.

One reason air pollution is bad for living things is that humans can get hurt. One example shows that it damages human bodies, their liver, brain, nerves or kidneys. Also, from this, more than 30 million people die every year; in addition to this, more than 42,000 people die each DAY.

If you smoke, you can get a sickness called cancer, which is a very bad disease that can kill you. If you smoke, there is a high chance of getting cancer. Also, if you are around air pollution too long, you can get asthma, which is a condition that can make it difficult to breathe. Asthma is the inflammation of your airways, and your airways get clogged and block air from getting out.

Another reason is not only do we get sick from air pollution, animals and pets can get hurt by air pollution too! If a house pet is around smoke too long, they have a risk of getting a tumor — a swelling of a part of the body, and caused by an abnormal growth of tissue. If a pet owner smokes, it has two times the chance of getting a disease like cancer. Animals dying can be bad because if pets die, some people might not be able to have company or help to do things. I once heard that pets can be best friends, they can give you company, help you do certain things, guard you, and more. But if you smoke, it can make animals die, which could put some people at risk.

You know how you go to the zoo and there is an animal you love? For instance, I love monkeys. If you smoke, animals can get sick from it and die. Once, a monkey had cancer and died. So please don’t smoke. This is a message to warn people of all the animals that have died from cancer and air pollution. No smoke is equal to having more furry animals around us.

Most of all, the Earth is damaged by air pollution because of global warming. If too much smoke comes up, it is trapped and will heat the Earth. When global warming gets too hot, the Arctic melts, especially in the summer. If all the ice melts, the world might not have balanced heat and something could happen to Earth.

All we have to do is stop creating smoke. It’s a very simple thing to do. Here are some solutions: People can stop creating factories that make smoke and find better ways to create things. Another solution is to help people stop smoking, which is another source of air pollution. Another thing we could do is increase the cost of cigs so less people might buy them. Less cigarettes leads to less sick people and less air pollution. If humans make too much air pollution, who knows what the world will become?

—Rowen Kin, a student from University Heights

2 Comments

  1. Paul Jamason says:

    Michael Garrison (“Irresponsible bicyclists”, 8/12), says that safe bike facilities like the proposed Pershing Bikeway “reward rude, scofflaw behavior”. Has he witnessed the behavior of motorists? I’m also “appalled”, but by the tens of thousands of people killed (and hundreds of thousands injured) every year by drunk, distracted and aggressive driving in this country.

    Let me get this straight: because some bicyclists run stop signs, none deserve safe infrastructure? No protection from motorists like the Encinitas hit-and-run driver who intentionally drove into a bike lane and hit a bicyclist last week. No safety from the Pacific Beach hit-and-run driver who mowed down three pedestrians while speeding in the oncoming traffic lane earlier this month. Under Mr. Garrison’s logic, aren’t we rewarding the deadly behavior of drivers whenever we build or widen a road?

    With no parking losses to complain about, Pershing Bikeway opponents have been reduced to double standards and scapegoating bicyclists. In their view, no auto lane can ever be removed anywhere, no matter how short the increase in travel time. The Bikeway’s health and safety benefits are irrelevant, along with the city’s Climate Action Plan bike mode share goals. Mr. Garrison even demands a San Diego residency requirement for the Bikeway’s engineers.

    Let’s move beyond the minority of residents who want this downtown connector to remain a dangerous, high-speed road – one that has seriously injured many bicyclists. The Bikeway will finally create a safer Pershing Avenue for all users.

  2. […] of the project say that no bicyclists deserve safe facilities, because some of them run stop signs; meanwhile, fatalities caused by inattentive drivers are at an all-time high, yet we keep […]

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