A sweeping ballot initiative is being circulated in San Diego. It’s called The Citizens’ Plan for the Responsible Management of Major Tourism and Entertainment Resources, or simply the “Citizens Plan” ballot initiative. The initiative is a joint effort by public interest attorney Cory Briggs and real estate developer John Moores. There have been a number of opinions issued in the media lately about whether the initiative is legal and if it is, whether it requires 2/3 voter passage or merely a majority. However, these opinions did little to explain the legal issues. This article will seek to provide greater insight into the first issue – or at least one aspect of it. A later article will examine the voter percentage required for passage.
Over 120 cities and counties in California have a climate action plan either completed or in the pipeline. As cities develop these plans and initiatives to address climate change, it is important to emphasize that social equity is integrated within environmental policies. The vulnerabilities, resilience and sustainability of the human ecosystem are as much determined by diversity and inter-dependence as its natural counterpart. As Pope Francis said in Laudato Sí, “a true ecological approach always becomes a social approach; it must integrate questions of justice in debates on the environment, so as to hear both the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor.” [Read more…] about Why climate change action cannot succeed without social equity
California’s Bay Area housing disaster tells Southern Californians that our housing crisis will only get worse and doing nothing is both an irrational and irresponsible response. We are faced with deciding to have more neighbors or pay more taxes as we desperately need money to fix our city’s crumbling infrastructure. The conundrum is that we despise taxes and the mere mention of ‘density’ polarizes any discussion into either demands for no new growth or building tall towers.
I believe answers to meet San Diego’s housing demand are found in the following two-tier approach: [Read more…] about Its not Smart Growth… It’s Called Avoiding a Housing Crisis
People know that air pollution is bad for their health, that auto exhaust emissions contribute to air pollution, and that certain cities suffer worse air pollution than others. Some people pay attention to smog reports and even avoid strenuous activities on smoggy days. What most people don’t know is that there is a certain type of auto emission pollutant that discriminates in a most predictable but unfair way. It’s also a pretty safe assumption that people aren’t fully aware of the severity of the health impacts from this pollutant. [Read more…] about Could this little-known pollutant finally change our transportation priorities?
On June 2, 2015, San Diego’s independent TV station KUSI set aside a segment of their weather report to editorialize about climate change. The message: climate change is minimal and natural – not man made. The message was delivered by Mark Mathis, KUSI’s weather reporter who has an A.S. degree in meteorology. Mr. Mathis based his argument primarily on the two following assumptions: [Read more…] about How TV weather reporters are aiding and abetting climate change
The justifications for the use of native plants in landscapes usually center on environmental reasons. The reasons run the gamut from water conservation to supporting local fauna. Rarely are aesthetic reasons given. Perhaps that circumstance is the result of the subjective nature of aesthetics. However, there are aesthetic reasons for choosing native plant landscapes that are fairly objective. The following are a few: [Read more…] about Four aesthetic reasons to landscape with native plants
A nearby roadway may be putting your household’s health at risk. The same is true of workplaces, schools, and other places where people spend significant time. This health risk is from the elevated auto emissions near high traffic roadways. It’s a health risk separate and in addition to the regional air pollution from auto emissions.
We have come to draw a false sense of security from our collective sharing of regional air pollution and, perhaps, the belief that regulatory agencies protect us. However, research continues to show that air pollution, particularly from auto emissions, has profound effects on health. Moreover, such impacts are unequally distributed among local populations, largely based on nearness to major roadways.
[Read more…] about What is a safe distance to live or work near high auto emission roads?
There is an age old war in the global economy. It’s a war that always has the same winner but continues nevertheless. It’s a war between Old and New. Old wins some battles but New always wins the the war. Nevertheless the war is waged again and again. Ironically, when Old wins a battle, New is not the loser. The battlefield is the loser. That is, in countries in which Old industry fights off New innovative industries, those countries fall behind the countries in which New industries have been embraced and supported. [Read more…] about Who will win the carbon reduction economy?
The City of La Mesa has cut down all the shade trees along its commercial mainstreet. This occurred as construction began on the La Mesa Downtown Streetscape “enhancement” project. Some of these trees were tattered, unhealthy, or buckling the sidewalks. However, the city removed nearly all the trees, problematic or not. Rather than replacing these trees with environmentally and pedestrian friendly shade trees (e.g. native varieties like Western Sycamores, Live Oak, or Black Oak), the replacements tree choice is being guided primarily by maintenance concerns, leaving a limited selection of relatively small non-native and non-shade trees. Additionally, the Streetscape Masterplan shows an abundance of the grossly overused fan palm, sparing only La Mesa Boulevard between Acacia and 4th, and a few other blocks. [Read more…] about Who Hijacked La Mesa’s Trees?
Everyone loves trees in urban settings. At least they love the concept of urban trees.
[Read more…] about Are Trees to Blame for the Lack of Shade in Southern California?