Commentary

Think About It

By George Hawkins

A veteran remembers the fallen

My last official day as an active duty member of the United States Navy was March 1, 1971. I was reminded of that as I was sifting through various documents looking for a specific piece of material I needed.

Perfidy among elected officials

Perfidy is defined in several ways. One definition is “an act or an instance of disloyalty.” Another is a “deliberate breach of faith; calculated violation of trust; treachery.” Both definitions apply to Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid and to the Chula Vista Elementary School District Board of Trustees.

Spring, mothers and babies

Spring has arrived and the word from the San Diego Zoo and Safari Park, as well as the backyard, is new babies. They are arriving one after another and they are cute. Little baby birds, big baby hippos — size does not matter. Cute is what counts.

Water-use fines and dictatorships

The 2011 movie “Fast Five” is the fifth in the “Fast & Furious” movie franchise that, until number five, was more street racing than anything else.

Water lessons from 2,000 years ago

Petra is an ancient city in Jordan. It is located in one of the driest places on earth. This inhospitable site for a city was chosen because it is on a trade route, about halfway between people who had something to sell and people who were interested in buying. It seemed an ideal place for a way station. Citizens prospered.

The small return of plastic-bottle redemption

Trash collection days in the San Diego area vary from community to community. The people whose full- or part-time business is rifling through the blue recycle containers must plan their days, or at least their mornings, according to the schedule set by the refuse-collection companies.

The drought — and legal dispute — continue

The drought continues, as does the legal dispute between the Metropolitan Water District and the San Diego County Water Authority. The current dry spell is about three years old. The lawsuit is five years of age. Each continues and there is at least some question as to which will end first.

A trend against PLAs

Eight years ago, while I was the chief executive officer, the San Diego Chapter of Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) decided to step up its opposition to any requirement that project labor agreements (PLAs) apply to taxpayer funded public construction. We intended to use the initiative process.

Time to change the People's Ordinance

Periodically someone or some watchdog group suggests San Diego’s City Council change the People’s Ordinance. The most recent organization to recommend a change to this part of the city’s governing structure is the San Diego County Taxpayers Association, of which I am a member. I agree with the position of the taxpayers.

California school assessment program is broken

Some people see the decision by the California Board of Education to suspend the Academic Performance Index for the second consecutive year as a step backward. It could just as easily be seen as a move to correct a problem. The API testing system has been abused.

Scott Walker and unions

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s confrontation with public employee unions a few years ago has propelled Walker to a political center stage. At Walker’s urging, Wisconsin now limits the bargaining authority of public employee unions.

Baseball season to start with stats, stats and more stats

If you read U-T San Diego or pay attention to sports shows, you’re probably aware that Major League Baseball games will be starting soon. The pre-season fuss has nearly drowned out the cacophony about where the Chargers may eventually play football. Baseball hype is ratcheting up with roster changes, coaching changes, predictions and an ever-expanding flood of statistics.

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