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Archive for the ‘Campaign 08’ Category

Ernst Gastreiger (Libertarian), Dana Rohrabacher (Rep.), Tom Lash (Green) and Debbie Cook (Dem.) debated Oct. 21 at Orange Coast College. Photo by John Earl

The four candidates in the 46th Congressional District race debated each other on Oct. 21 at Orange Coast College to an audience of several hundred people. The candidates are Debbie Cook (Democrat), Ernst Gasteiger (Libertarian), Tom Lash (Green Party) and the incumbent, Dana Rohrabacher (Republican). You can hear the candidates’ opening statements and answers to 7 questions. Answers to part of the 7th question and the entire 8th question as well as closing statements are not included because the recorder ran out of disk space. Audio recordings for each question are listed in order below. (more…)

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By John Earl
OC Voice Editor

Based on information taken from a variety of sources, including the H.B. City Council Candidates Forum held on Sept. 18, as well as from Voice news stories, interviews and from campaign literature provided by the candidates.

Desalination plant

Desalination plant

Q. How would you solve the potential water shortage crisis in Huntington Beach and should ocean water be privatized for corporate profit? Is the Poseidon desalination plant (planned for southeast Huntington Beach) a good idea?

Kalmick: Conservation. Encourage but not mandate people to get rid of their lawns. Desalination for Huntington Beach is the wrong solution. The location is wrong and no one has offered to buy the water yet. Poseidon Inc. hasn’t successfully built a plant yet. Its Tampa Bay desalination plant went through two bankruptcies before the municipal water district had to take it over. And the H.B. plant would be twice the size. We don’t need it. Privatized water sets a bad precedent for water wars that are allegedly coming in the next 20 years. A 2007 Coastal Commission report raises questions about the project that Poseidon hasn’t answered. Electricity costs for running the plant are double what Poseidon said. Doesn’t make sense financially to build it.

Fact check: The Poseidon plant will be built with private funds, although the company seeks government subsidies in order to keep a lower price for the water it will sell. (more…)

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Based on information taken from a variety of sources, including the H.B. City Council Candidates Forum held on Sept. 18, as well as from Voice news stories, interviews and from campaign literature provided by the candidates.

Q. How would you speed up construction of the new senior center on 5-acres of land in Central Park?

Pacific City present time. Photo by John Earl

Pacific City present time. Photo by John Earl

Issue background: Makar, the developer that agreed to build the senior center in Central Park in lieu of providing park space in its downtown mixed-use development, Pacific City, is behind schedule in construction of the $22 million structure, according to the city’s interpretation (opa-correspondence1)of the Owner Participation Agreement (OPA). The $22 million construction amount (or fee if the developer backs out) is based on an appraisal of the Fair Market Value the Pacific City site, located downtown at PCH and 1st. The city appraised the land for about twice that amount, but a court ruled that its appraiser was under qualified and Makar’s appraisal technique was more accurate (makar-park-fee-arbitration-award2). (more…)

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By Doug Korthof
OC Voice Columnist

Seldom has a solar proposal drawn such uniform enmity as Proposition 7 that appears on the November

Solar powered mansion in Huntington Beach with near $0.00 in electrical costs.

Solar powered 2,500 sq. foot home in Huntington Beach with near $0.00 in electrical costs.

election ballot. Big utilities, both major political parties, labor unions, solar installers, environmental, business and taxpayer groups all deplore it.

Those responsible for the electric grid must plan for the periods of peak power, which are weekday afternoons, especially in summer. Even one minute of shortage is a brownout, although during off-peak hours demand falls and there’s a surplus of electric. Providing economical power within the daily rise and fall of the electricity usage curve is their problem.

There are two types of electrical power generators: those that run best at constant output (nuclear, natural gas, coal), but require a long time to stop and start, and those that can be easily started when demand rises (hydro). Peak power is so valuable that water is pumped up to reservoirs such as Lake Castaic every night; the next day, the pumps turn into generators to meet daytime peak. (more…)

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The Tipping Point

By Vern Nelson
OC Voice Columnist

Nancy Pelosi

Nancy Pelosi

A strung-out nation Jonesing for justice felt a jolt of hope July 15 when Congress voted 238-180 to send Dennis Kucinich’s Article of Impeachment HR 1345 to the Judiciary Committee for a hearing July 25. This is not his comprehensive 35 Articles of Impeachment from last June, which had been rejected by the leadership, and not his three previous articles against Cheney, but a new one dealing only with Bush lying to the Congress about his reasons for invading Iraq.

It was nice to see nine Republicans finally breaking ranks with their lockstep Party to support this hearing. Three familiar names were among those nine: North Carolina’s Walter Jones, who turned against the war years ago and is embarrassed that he’ll be forever remembered for his renaming the Capitol cafeteria’s French fries as “Freedom Fries;” Maryland’s lame-duck Cong. Wayne Gilchrest, who was against the war from the start and was sadly beaten in the recent primary by a rightwing extremist, continuing the pattern of moderate Republicans as being more endangered than the panda; and of course, Texas’ ineffable Dr. Ron Paul. (more…)

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By Vern Nelson
OC Voice Columnist

“We think our healthcare system is actually pretty good right now.”-State Senator Tom Harman, Sept. 2006.

At the time the senator uttered this astonishing remark to Laguna Beach’s Coastline Pilot, the U.S. was spending nearly twice as much per capita on health care as other developed countries, while rating 37th on most measures of quality of care, and it’s worse now.

Nearly 2 million Americans are driven into bankruptcy each year due to illness, and three-quarters of them had insurance when they got sick. Meanwhile, 22,000 Americans die every year from lack of medical service due to being uninsured-up from 18,000 at the time of Harman’s remark-equivalent to a Sept. 11 attack every 51 days. (more…)

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By Chris Caesar
OC Voice Staff Writer

While Republican Congressman Dana Rohrabacher made repeated assurances that he takes the problem of detainee abuse “very seriously” during an interview with the OC Voice recently, he apparently lacked familiarity with a number of issues associated with the system – including the applicability of the Geneva Conventions to detainees, and a number of widely documented incidents of abuse.

Critics chastised the congressman earlier this month for dismissing mistreatment of detainees in Guantanamo Bay – specifically, an incident in which a pair of women’s underwear was placed on a prisoner’s head – as an act of “humiliation” and “frat boy pranks,” not torture. Rohrabacher made the remarks June 6 as a member of the Human Rights subcommittee of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs.

While both the humiliation and torturing of prisoners is expressly forbade in the Geneva Conventions, Rohrabacher nevertheless stressed the importance of the distinction.

“The whole point is: what is the definition of torture?” he said. “We’ve had people define torture [so broadly] that it has become meaningless – if you tickle someone with a feather, is that torture? That’s certainly a physical tactic, and by the definitions some people have used for ‘torture,’ it would include tickling someone with a feather.”

While maintaining he “spend[s] a lot of time and effort reading…reports” on the issue, the Congressman still expressed disbelief that over 108 detainees had died in US custody, and that over 25 of the incidents are considered acts of homicide by the Pentagon, according to government data obtained by the Associated Press and recent testimony by Lawrence Wilkerson, former chief of staff to Colin Powell, before the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Civil Rights hearing on torture. (more…)

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