A tale of two cities
The Quarry Creek project on the border between the cities of Oceanside and Carlsbad was bound to cause problems.
The Carlsbad city Council approved the maximum size for this project at 656 housing units. Their justification was that they needed affordable housing and the project wouldn’t be economically feasible for the developer at any lower number. The Oceanside City Council decided to accept traffic failures on College, Lake, Plaza, Vista Way and the state Route 78 ramps. Their justification was Carlsbad gave us what we asked for and if we demand too much they will do the same to us in the future. Is fixing traffic failures demanding too much? Is it not the developer of a project who is supposed to address things like traffic failures? These elected representatives can spin the story any way they choose. The bottom line is that developer profits trumped the people of these two cities. For their projected $70 million in revenues we think McMillin could have afforded to spare the panhandle and fix the traffic. What do you think?
NCTD a municipal transport system? — Only in name
Something occurred to me recently, when the story of brake problems on the Sprinter, caused the North County Transit District to suspend the operation of Sprinter trains. I found out that Sprinter maintenance has been conducted from day one, by a maintenance management firm, just like the drivers of the Breeze buses are now employed by a private firm. Now that the U-T news article of March 29, 2013 (“Records: NCTD Structure Kept Changing”) has informed us, we now know that except for a fraction of executives and the District Board of Directors (from local town councils), the NCTD is only a shell of an organization.
With the revelation that outside private employers and management firms are doing all the maintenance and operation work of NCTD, I can only draw one conclusion: The North County Transit District is the Land of OZ! And the Great Oz is none other than Executive Director Matthew O. Tucker. Perhaps the “O” does stand for “Oz.” Most of us remember when Dorothy of Kansas found the real “Oz” behind the curtain — a fraud, and a little man, who had been keeping everyone fooled. Only our man, “O,” is making a handsome salary by making the transit district a bare-bones organization. Oh, the worker bees are still there, but they are now paid squat and have few benefits, unlike those left on the NCTD payroll.
Now that we know that the shuttle buses replacing the Sprinter, are cheaper to run than the Sprinter, oh, what shall we do now?
G. Lance Johannsen,
In its “Code of Conduct” manual, Waste Management, Inc., proudly introduces itself as a company “where ethical behavior and respect for everyone is the foundation.”
On the contrary, at its Oceanside facility it has become a rude and intrusive bully, ignoring complaints of citizens about intolerable violations of the city noise ordinance and environmental regulations.
At the Oceanside City Council hearing of 27 March, numerous citizens living in the neighborhood adjacent to the facility testified that excessive industrial noises were depriving them of sleep and adversely affecting their health. Three of five Councilmembers pressed the company’s representatives to negotiate with the neighborhood and find ways to resolve the complaints.
In a remarkable display of public arrogance, Waste Management flatly refused to do so. They blatantly disrespected their citizen neighbors, declining to even discuss the possibility of reasonable mitigations that might at least reduce some of the irritation.
Nor were they willing to admit, let alone discuss, obvious environmental violations involved in major changes to the current facility as they convert from diesel to compressed natural gas fueling.
So much for “ethical behavior and respect for everyone.” Waste Management’s conduct is a gross display of mismanagement and civic disrespect.
Dr. William C. Fischer,
Meat and heart disease
The new link between meat consumption and heart disease, discovered by
Dr. Stanley Hazen of the Cleveland Clinic, is just the latest evidence linking meat consumption to killer diseases that cripple, then kill, 1.3 million Americans annually. Hazen’s study showed that carnitine, an amino acid contained in all meat products, is a major factor in heart failure.
Similarly, an Oxford University study of nearly 45,000 adults in last
January’s American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that vegetarians were 32 percent less likely to be suffering from heart disease than people who ate meat and fish. A Harvard University study of 37,698 men and 83,644 women, in last April’s Archives of Internal Medicine, concluded that meat consumption raises the risk of total, heart, and cancer mortality.
We have sacrificed the lives of 10,000 American personnel and trillions of dollars in waging two wars to avenge the deaths of 2,600 Americans in the 9/11 attacks. When will we wage a bloodless, low-cost war on the killer meat-based diet, potentially responsible for as many as 1.3 million American deaths annually?
In the meantime, we have the power to raise our own life expectancy by adopting a meat-free diet. An Internet search provides ample resources.