December 7, 2007

The Public Forum . . . El Foro Publico

How about ‘none of the above’ on the Charger’s issue?

Paper or plastic? Firing squad or lethal injection? East side or bayfront? See? We always have choices. But the one choice we never seem to be given except on multiple choice tests is: “none of the above?” Now I admit that this might not be a viable alternative for the first two questions and, after attending several of the Charger/Chula Vista town hall media events, it seems obvious that we won’t have it on the stadium issue either.

We have been exhorted over and over to just “keep an open mind” but since most of the 5 individuals who have the power to put this on the ballot appear to have closed their minds on this long ago I am not sure it matters what the other 250,000 of us think.

How about a two part ballot question?

A. Should the Chargers move their operation to Chula Vista? Yes or No.

B. The preferred location for a stadium in Chula Vista is:

1. The bayfront?

2. The eastern site with question “B” dependent on the outcome of question “A”. At least that would give the appearance of preserving our “right to choose”.

Ted Kennedy
Chula Vista

Let the voters decide on an elected City Attorney

I must commend the efforts put forth by the proponents of the petition seeking an elected City Attorney for collecting over 20,000 Chula Vistan signatures, again. My only hope is that this time City officials do not attempt to block this voter initiative from reaching the ballot.

Our Mayor and City Council should make sure that we get the right to vote on this issue in June. This topic is worthy of debate and Chula Vista voters, not the Mayor and Council, should ultimately be the ones who decide whether or not an elected city attorney is best for our City. So, I say to our City officials – Let Chula Vista Vote!

Joan Johnson
Chula Vista

“Brownface” is okay with ICE

Wow. I’m not often dumbfounded, but this one was a double whammy. Julie Myers, head of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), hosted (according to CNN) a Halloween fundraising party last month and served as one of the judges for the best costume award. Her choice? Someone dressed as a prisoner with dreadlocks and dark makeup. Myers cited this costume for its “originality” because—as we all know—stereotypes are so new and innovative. (Incidentally, the man with a large sombrero, serape, and dark makeup was not mentioned, but there is a photograph on the web.) An ICE spokesperson attempted to reassure the public by stating that the award-winning costumed person, an employee of the Department of Homeland Security, was not in blackface, but rather merely in makeup that was darker than his skin. As in, brownface. Apparently, brownface is okay in the Department of Homeland Security. In any case, the photograph of the winner and Myers was somehow destroyed. Myers, a recess appointee, has apologized, and Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill has placed a hold on her confirmation, pending further investigation. Now here’s the real shocker. I learned about this incident from Lalo Alcaraz’s LA Cucaracha comic strip in the Los Angeles Times (November 15), but the news story itself was never run in the newspaper. Not so long ago, the Los Angeles Times tried to drop LA Cucaracha—the only comic strip with Latino characters in a city where Latinos make up half the population. It seems we would have lost more than just a few good laughs.

Chon A. Noriega, Director and Professor
Chicano Studies Research Center

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