January 21, 2005

The Public Forum . . . El Foro Público

The Logan Library

My wife, Francisca and I are strongly against the proposed library site for Logan Heights. We are homeowers just a block from the school. We also have five daughters of which all at some point in their academic career will attend Logan Elementary. We have been lied to by many individuals regarding the conceptual development and subsequent construction of this library. Frankly, as a homeowner, opposing the construction of a library would be considered to be absurd because it would definitely increase the value of my home. So to raise a voice of opposition was signal to you that there is more here than meets the eye. ... I read the 300 plus pages of the library and the justification and rational provided to the community for this library. It is filled with some interesting points, one of which is the following:

It says the library will have a vast array of children’s books in Spanish for the children to supplement their learning. Well,it is interesting that Spanish is not part of the Blueprint. As a matter of fact being involved with Head Start for 15 years, providing Spanish Parenting Classes to the community and being actively involved in removing not one but two principals from Logan Elementary, my wife and I have perhaps more knowledge regarding the real benefits of a library to the children and families of this community. It should be a library that benefits all members of its community. It should be a library that reflects the ethnic composition of families. It should invoke strong ethnic pride to its residents. This library has done nothing more than divide us. Sadly the division has come at the cost of lots and lots of lies. 

Why no Library at Logan Elementary? First the school is one that has been around for a long, long time and deserves to be renovated to reflect and preserve its history. Second the library is taking up both park and school land. Parks are few and far in-between, especially here in this area. Why not renovate the Park. Third, the design of the library quite frankly is not reflected of the Latino community. Yes I have heard that this and that, but it is not reflected of the community residents and its strong Latino Heritage. Finally, the report sites 400 surveys that said they would love to have the library at this site. No one seems to be able to find those 400 surveys and why were the rest of the residents not surveyed. I personnally polled all of my neighbors down Valle Ave two blocks down to block north and south and no one got a survey. What happened? 

Ramiro (Ray) Rojas.
San Diego


Support Schwarzenegger’s Budget Plan

Governor Schwarzenegger released his 2005 budget plan, which is balanced, does not raise taxes, increases education spending, and calls for action on his Spending Control Plan.  California’s spending crisis is forcing Governor Schwarzenegger to bring badly needed reform to the budget process. The special interests have controlled Sacramento for too long. 

Spending is out of control with no end in sight unless the legislature gives the governor the freedom he needs to fix a broken system. Finally we have a Governor who understands that doing what’s best for California means putting an end to chronic overspending.

Robert Clay
Jamul


La catástrofe como reflexión

Las imágenes de la catástrofe están aún presentes en todos nosotros. Cuando aún nos resulta difícil comprender cómo pudieron en sólo unas horas morir cientos de miles de personas, escuchamos en los medios las primeras reflexiones: cómo se podría haber evitado, cómo hay que actuar y qué sistemas de prevención han de instalarse para combatir en el futuro un suceso similar. Nuestras reflexiones deberían ir sin embargo más allá. Si reconocemos como especie que el ser humano se ha convertido en una amenaza para el planeta, deberíamos entonces comprender que la naturaleza esté tomando sus propias medidas para defenderse de nosotros. El planeta Tierra dista mucho de ser un trozo de roca inerte dando vueltas por el universo, siendo más bien un organismo superior, con vida propia, que durante millones de años se ha mantenido en un perfecto equilibrio gracias a las leyes de la naturaleza, que vuelven a restaurar el orden allí donde se ha perdido.

Precisamente nuestra civilización representa hoy día la amenaza más grande para el planeta, con la contaminación del aire, de las aguas y de la tierra, el calentamiento de la atmósfera, la devastación de las selvas del planeta, la basura atómica, el trato cruel y sanguinario a los animales en granjas de explotación masiva y en laboratorios, y un largo etc. Si los seres humanos nos hemos convertido en un virus peligroso para el planeta, no debería sorprendernos que la naturaleza ponga en marcha sus propios mecanismos, y desate sus increíbles fuerzas contra el “intruso”. En las noticias pudimos comprobarlo: en el escenario dantesco de la muerte, la mayoría de los árboles seguían ahí, indemnes, al igual que los animales salvajes de la zona, que pudieron sobrevivir al suceso. Sólo las personas fueron, literalmente, diezmadas.

Mientras el hombre no consiga vivir en armonía con los reinos de la naturaleza, debería contar con nuevas cosechas indeseadas, que no son sino el efecto lógico de lo sembrado por nosotros mismos. No es la venganza del planeta Tierra, sino su esfuerzo por restablecer el equilibrio perdido.

La reflexión final sobre las advertencias que nos está dando nuestro planeta la ha de hacer cada uno. Así como el dar los pasos hacia una convivencia pacífica con nuestro medio ambiente.

Manuel Cobo Pérez
Alemania


Bush victory no mandate

I wanted to write as a loyal reader to let you know how I feel about Republican attempts to characterize George Bush’s election victory as a “mandate.” The truth of the matter is that the election illustrated exactly the opposite—that the nation is bitterly divided and that no mandate exists for an extreme conservative agenda.

When Richard Nixon won reelection over George McGovern in 1972, he carried 61 percent of the popular vote and captured the Electoral College 520-17. In 1984, when the incumbent Ronald Reagan defeated Walter Mondale, he took 59 percent of the popular vote and carried the Electoral College 525-13. Those elections, it is fair to say, produced mandates for Republican Presidents.

But with 51 percent of the popular vote and a 286-252 win in the Electoral College—in which President Bush won the decisive state, Ohio, so narrowly that the result was not yet clear on election night—the Republicans are claiming an obviously non-existent mandate.  This is, of course, a political ploy intended to exaggerate the nation’s level of support for the President’s policies and proposals.

Eric Gaby
San Diego

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