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Letters to the Editor: Aug. 10, 2018

Freedom reminder for Fourth of July

In our Nextdoor web page, in 2017, I wished my neighbors a happy Fourth of July and addressed the freedom of our country and the liberties that our people enjoy. I encouraged [them] to remind [their] children about the high cost of the privileges that we enjoy today and tell them that history repeats itself. Those of us who have been there, done that and seen that, have frequent lingering reminders.

In that post, I mentioned that I was in WWII and the Dachau Concentration Camp in Germany a few days after it was liberated. I mentioned that we saw the mound of human ashes and 22 traincar loads of dead people, and looked into the windows of the souls of the very few survivors and saw a slight glimmer of hope that reminded us why we were there. There were many kind responses to that Nextdoor post and all were appreciated.

However, not too long after that post, I was denied the opportunity of contributing to the Nextdoor web because, I think I was politically incorrect about something. The post offended someone who may have doubted my sincerity in sharing something that they don’t believe, like the landing on the moon, or maybe it was something I said about the Commoner in Chief of our Armed Forces criticizing one of our pilots for being captured and living in a cell about the size of our refrigerators for five and a half years. Because of whatever, I was denied the opportunity to share the following this Fourth of July:

A few miles from the Dachau Concentration Camp, we detected smoke and an odor that was not too foreign to our recent memory. Investigation revealed that this was a Dachau satellite. About 75 prisoners (not American) had been machine-gunned, stacked one on top of the other about three deep, saturated with fuel and set on fire.

Outside of the barbed wire enclosure were a few bodies and body parts, including a man’s severed head. It is a sight that lingers in the corridors of my mind. For no reason, the image of that man’s head will appear. I see that unshaven, distorted face. Some of his teeth were missing and there was what looked like a bayonet gash on the side of his face. This is indelibly inscribed in my mind.

Every day, I am reminded how fortunate we are to live in a land of freedom. In our country, you can be whatever you want to be before American and still call it home and feel safe knowing that there is someone stepping up to the plate. That’s what freedom is all about and I would fight for those rights, yours and mine, again if called to the plate. Our ancestors had the same feeling after our Declaration of Independence. Again, remember history repeats itself.

On or about the next Fourth of July, if granted the life extension and opportunity to do so, I will continue to share.

—Ed Henry, Allied Gardens

MAD history

Years ago, when I was in college, two of my professors, Dr. Shannon, and Dr. Vertanin, would open their lectures at the beginning of the year with: “Those who do not study history are doomed to repeat its failures.”

With that said, I would like to direct your attention to some recent history about Maintenance Assessment Districts (MAD) in the city of San Diego. At this writing, two Superior Court judges have now ruled that MADs within the city be dissolved in the communities of Golden Hill and South Park. In a third case, the La Jolla MAD, Superior Court judge Rhonda Trapp initially ruled in favor of the plaintiffs suing the city that their MAD be dissolved and what a specific benefit to those property owners in La Jolla would be receiving. The plaintiffs’ attorney argued that the city has a fiduciary duty and responsibility for providing basic services to maintain the infrastructure of the city. Additionally, in the ruling, “city failed to show that MAD could provide enhanced benefits.”

Upon request, the city was granted oral arguments when the final ruling was published. It merely stated that the plaintiffs had no standing.

Unfortunately, the only way homeowners can get out of a MAD is to have a Superior Court judge’s ruling that the MAD be dissolved. But once you’re forced to go into court, it is a roll of the dice as to whether you will prevail or not. In the meantime, the property owners in the La Jolla MAD will keep paying fees, and the question is: will they ever see the benefits they were promised when they voted in favor of the MAD? I have been informed that motions have been filed by the plaintiffs’ attorney.

Now we have a group here, The Friends of Del Cerro, who are and have been actively engaged in establishing a MAD, here in our community of Del Cerro.

I feel fairly sure in hypothesizing that the promoters of the MAD in Del Cerro will pontificate that the MAD, once established in Del Cerro, will be a success and thereby will create a better quality of life in our community.

First, there is an old cliché: History repeats itself! Second, those advocating for the MAD in Del Cerro claim that once a MAD is established that the entire community will have a better quality of life is just not acceptable and, in my opinion, not in any way true.

I would point out that “quality of life” is in the home with family — not having the community’s property owners incur an additional tax burden to improve neighborhoods that city government officials have willfully chosen to neglect.

—Joe Ney, Del Cerro

Above the fold failure

Your recent above the fold, headline, in-your face cannabis advertisement is incongruous to the frequent articles you publish concerning youth/family activities in the neighborhood and at Patrick Henry High School.

It is shortsighted to think promoting the local pot shop for advertisement revenue is not without negative consequences to the community — and your other advertisers. Even the mostly cannabis-funded San Diego Reader has a more thoughtful approach by placing marijuana ads in the back pages of its publication.

While I am not overly opposed to the legalization of marijuana, I am opposed to its promotion and efforts to mainstream its use while mostly ignoring its negative health effects. Cannabis use should be treated and discouraged the same as tobacco — and not made into gummy bears, brownies, cookies, ice cream and alleged to cure every disease known to mankind.

Your cannabis advertiser may already be in violation of the law by placing advertisements along Interstate 15, which crosses the California border.

—Carl Schonfeld.

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