July 23 2004

Editorial

U.S. Navy Stonewalled by San Diego Leadership

In the rush to cater to the hotel industry, the Chamber of Commerce, the football and baseball interests, the Eastern corporate interest, the entertainment interests, etc, etc, the Leadership of San Diego has ignored our most important commitment to our city, state and country: The nation’s Naval and Marine forces.

The Leadership in San Diego has succumbed to the siren song of the moneymakers, the corporate entities that have swarmed to our State, County and City like locusts. No demand from corporate America has gone unheeded. Corporate America has only one allegiance; PROFITS. They have only one interest and loyalty: to maximize their PROFITS not matter what cost to the City, County, State and/or Nation. In the process, San Diego has overlooked the most important entity in our midst the Marine & Naval armed forces.

Since the first Galleons arrived off the coast of California, San Diego became the main Naval Port. Our wharfs and protected bays became the refuge of our most important asset: the ships of the mightiest fleet in the world. San Diego was their protective heaven to repair, refuel, and restock our western seaboard ships.

Then as now, the homes overlooking the bay were the refuge for the sailors and Marines and their families. Come what may, when the fleet sailed those who manned the rail knew that their wives and children were in a safe heaven. San Diego was a Fleet Town. Can we say that now?

By the time you read this editorial, the mighty Aircraft Carrier, the U.S.S. Ronald Reagan will have dropped its anchor in the Port of San Diego. It will loom high over the San Diego skyline. Aside from the military armament (weapons, planes etc), it will bring with it over 3,000 officers, enlisted men and women. When the squadrons are assigned and their personnel are on board, there will be over 5,000 personnel on board! Many of these sailors and Marines will be married and have families. Can we honestly say that we have affordable housing for their wives and children? Wouldn’t it be nice that instead of the City turning over the Naval Training Center to Developers to build high-end homes and using the land for business, that affordable Naval Housing had been built at N.T.C., along with other needed facilities, to assist the Naval/Marine families?

Really, was a Baseball park really necessary to be built on the bay front? That whole area could have been developed to care for our military families. The bay front is clobbered with boating slips for the wealthy/leisure class. Sorry no room anymore for ferry boats to and from North Island. Tourist is more important to the Chamber and the City than to provide a support structure to maintain our ships, house our sailors. Of course you can’t gauge Naval families for room rent like the tourist (currently over $500 per night!). The Eastern conglomerates that own all the hotels care only about one thing: How much money can they get out of San Diego.

It’s time that the San Diego Establishment drops the pretence that it is a Navy town. Our leadership are pawns of the Corporations, and the wealthy, they care little for the sailors and Marines that put their lives on the line for America. The almighty dollar rules in San Diego!

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