Being confronted daily by numerous issues of global and national scale, we sometimes find ourselves defaulting to disengagement because the levers of power are so distant. But when we face issues within reach of concerted local/regional activism, paralysis is not an acceptable option.
Del Mar has a long tradition of mobilizing citizen energy and know-how to tackle big issues. It is vital that we citizens not shrink from action on threats that lie closer to home and stare us in the face.
At the top of the list are two local issues of monumental fallout and gridlock for our community: San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS) - the most dangerous nuclear power plant in the country; and One Paseo - the mammoth commercial and residential proposed complex on Del Mar Heights Road.
A nuclear accident at SONGS would put 8.4 million residents in our area at risk, including the possible evacuation of homes within a 50-mile radius. The list of repercussions is long including personal health risks, home safety, environmental damage, and even home value devaluation. All this risk in an area of earthquake faults to achieve about 700 megawatts of electricity that is not needed. Other communities, along with newspapers in LA and San Diego have editorialized that this plant should not be restarted.
One Paseo, three times the allowed zoning, will generate enormous increases in traffic and gridlock that will cascade onto the freeways and into Del Mar and other nearby communities. Our ability to drive in this area will be seriously compromised. This is egregiously poor planning that will adversely affect the quality of lives in all of our communities. San Diego Mayor Bob Filner and Supervisor Dave Roberts have already spoken forcefully against the project.
Our City Council needs to keep these issues at the top of their priority list, and individual citizen action on vital issues like this can make a crucial difference. Letters, petitions, phone calls to all elected officials and media outlets will keep the pressure on. We urge Del Mar citizens to commit to action on these escalating developments that are on our doorstep by staying informed and connecting with the key advocacy groups that are tracking and challenging these problems: SONGS - Friends of the Earth (www.foe.org) and One Paseo - What Price Main Street (www.whatpricemainstreet.com).
Of all of the world’s challenges facing us as citizens, these are two that Del Mar can do something about.