February 22, 2008

The Public Forum . . . El Foro Publico

National City Boxing gym getting screwed in court

A judge threw out the Community Youth Athletic Center’s lawsuit against the city of National City based on a technicality. The suit was originally filed last November contesting the city’s eminent domain powers, it’s our only hope of survival. Here’s what happened:

By law, before the suit is filed, the public has to be given at least 10 days to express concerns, comments or questions. You “call” or issue a “summons” for public comment by publishing your intentions in a newspaper for example. The gym’s lawyers chose the Union Tribune.

The U-T was approached about publishing the “summons” for public opinion on Tuesday November 6th to allow for 10 days of public comment before the suit was filed on the 16th. The chosen publication date would not work because the newspaper no longer publishes summonses on Tuesdays. The U-T only published these notices on Thursdays.

Our attorneys and their counterparts for the City of National City agreed to allow the “summons” to be published Thursday the 8th, extending the date of the lawsuit to the 19th, complying with the public comment requirements.

But when the notice went out in the newspaper on Thursday November 8th it still mistakenly carried November 16th as the date of the suit, NOT the 19th, which technically didn’t give enough time to meet the public comment period of 10 days. Turns out one of the gym’s lawyers, who is working pro-bono, made a mistake and gave the wrong date to the newspaper.

The city’s lawyers now maintain they never agreed to anything and used the lack of the 10-day public notification period as a way to get the judge to throw out our case.

Based on this technicality, the court, in a tentative ruling, IS agreeing with the city. This will open the door for the city to shut down the gym and turn over the property to developers who want to put in a large condo tower. The gym’s ability to service at risk youth in National City is now at risk.

A lot of kids depend on the gym for mentoring, tutoring and supervision to keep them out of trouble. This facility CANNOT shut down. We need your support.

Salvador Rivera
CYAC Board member

New Poll in Chula Vista Lies and Misleads

There is one of the ugliest polls I have ever heard of being conducted in Chula Vista. It is believed to be commissioned by a group of business people (developer/real estate/Chamber of Commerce members). Well and good - we are a land of free speech. The problem is the lies and misleading statements that seem to be put forth as facts to persuade people how to vote.

What this threatens to do is tear this community apart and divide it even more than it is if that is possible. I did not think things could get any worse than when Steve Padilla was voted out of office but as I listen to a growing number of people telling me I was wrong I must begin to agree.

While the recent poll is a character assassination of Earl Jentz and fiction it is being put forth to defeat the General Plan Protection Initiative put on the ballot by the people. Meanwhile, the Mayor and City Council seem to be twisting themselves into pretzels trying to put an “overlay” on the General Plan which “will make the vote on the initiative unnecessary”. Of course, they can remove the “overlay” any time they want. Not only that but they are also working feverishly on a companion proposition which I suspect will only purposely result in enough confusion to possibly defeat the initiative.

I am thoroughly sickened, saddened and disgusted by these outrageous excursions into the mire of politics currently being practiced here in Chula Vista. Trust is a precious commodity and becoming rarer every day!

Susan Watry
Chula Vista

Budget saving ideas for San Diego Unified

I am a former San Diego Unified Schools teacher. I have several ideas on trimming the budget without sacrificing the very important arts and music programs (or what’s left of them!)

1) Sell the old Mission Beach Elementary site. This property is worth millions and is currently in a state of ill repair. It is only recently that I noticed vehicles parked in the lots — for what purpose? This sale alone would generate much needed funds for other more important school needs throughout the district. I am sure that there are other school sites which need to be evaluated for use and sale. Mission Beach is never going to be an area needing a separate school for young children.

2) Eliminate some of the so-called “administrative” advisors. Ten years ago when I taught with the school district there was a “top heaviness” of administrators with exorbitant salaries. I am sure that the problem has only progressively increased. These are not principals. Principals are sorely needed in every school. Examine every position at the District Office to evaluate the true worth and value!

3) Re-evaluate the bus and “bussing” use. This is a very big expenditure. With the price of fuel rising, does it make sense to provide transportation to all children with a variety of needs? Perhaps a service organization could pick up the tab for smaller transportation vans. Use some creativity here.

4) Keep music and art programs in the schools. Here is the only opportunity for some children, possibly handicapped, limited in sports ability or interest, or those students with limited English proficiency to excel. And, what a wonderful way to integrate and assimilate students of differing ethnicities through these two media which they can enjoy all their lives.

I could continue indefinitely. I hope that some of these ideas have merit for your evaluation.

Genie Brown
via email

Una correción de su artículo

Disculpe, pero le quiero corregir un artículo que está escrito en su sitio. El artículo “Las mujeres grandes, bellas, son bienvenidas” dice que solamente hay un club para mujeres grandes en San Diego. Por favor corrija este error. San Diego tiene un club para mujeres grandes desde Marzo del 2004. Es más, el 4avo aniversario del club viene este 14 de Marzo. El Club se llama Club Venus y el sitio donde puede encontrarlo es www.sdclubvenus.com

Por favor tome un momento para visitarnos. Gracias por su atención.

Rosi Mejia
Club Venus Founder

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