Some last thankful thoughts on writing for the Transcript

Over the past nine years, I have enjoyed the opportunity to share thoughts and perspectives with a well-educated and thoughtful community striving to better itself and the world around us.

During that time so many things have changed, ranging from the effects of financial upheaval to global warming, drought, war and local political havoc, always with the tension between various shades of good and evil playing out each day, ebbing and flowing like the tides subject to the moon’s gravitational tug.

I want to say a few words of thanks to the good people in San Diego who supported honest political dialogue, sound accounting, decent morality and kindness toward those who now have and will likely always have less by way of material wealth.

I must count among them the members of the Revelle-Scripps family, owners of The Daily Transcript, and especially William Revelle, who sought to make San Diego a place where greatness could exist and flourish. They consistently provided access for an enormous range of voices to speak from their pages. They did this even where the expressed views were different from what they might hold personally.

This tolerant model of free speech is both laudable and increasingly more difficult to find.

Thanks, too, for the Transcript’s wonderful readership that found fun and knowledge in facts, science, numbers and some pretty fancy words. San Diego is blessed with both a remarkable climate and a culture that supports education and knowledge, a combination that makes life in San Diego all that much better and attractive.

With the Transcript closing its doors, a space long filled will open. What will fill that space only time will tell.

Thanks to those who helped and informed me with interviews, studies, tours and discussions in order to assist me in my effort to develop and communicate a better informed perspective on a number of topics. Your assistance is and was deeply appreciated.

Thanks to the staff and editors of The Daily Transcript who produced and sold a quality product every day. Collectively, you accomplished something for which you can always be very proud.

It was a rare and exceptional privilege to be a tiny part of that process.

None of us knows the future with absolute precision, but we can know what centuries of science and knowledge tell us about the physical world. One of the remarkable strengths of the San Diego Daily Transcript was its melding of science, medicine, economics, business, philosophy, law, development, politics and human perspective into both news and opinion pieces that pulled together many threads that are often otherwise separated and do not inform one another. That is a remarkable achievement.

Without such a perspective, it would be difficult to talk about the peculiar connections between a decline in Lake Mead’s water level reaching its half-empty point and actions by environmental groups delaying SDG&E from implementing renewable energy projects and transmission line construction intended to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. What might seem entirely disconnected can be sensibly discussed in the Transcript.

That merger and amalgam of diverse ideas is a rare accomplishment, something for which owners of the Transcript should be both deeply thanked and roundly congratulated. Without such interlocking discussions otherwise sensible paths may be entirely overlooked and opportunities missed, something we can ill afford.

This may not be my last column, but I did not wish to pass over an opportunity to convey my heartfelt thanks for The Daily Transcript and for the education I have obtained as a consequence of our relationship.

Thank you.

Coffey is an attorney based in San Diego. He can be reached at

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