Commentary

George Hawkins

George Hawkins is retired after 35 years as a construction industry association manager. He was broadcast reporter and news anchor in Denver. As a Navy officer, he saw action in Vietnam in the River Assault Squadrons and is the recipient of a Silver Star and Purple Heart.

Think About It

When a commentator described a basketball player as a 6-foot-10, 265-pound small forward I had to wonder just what a large forward would measure. There is nothing small about a 6-foot-10, 265-pound human being.

Water is free. Even the salty kind that Poseidon Resources Group will make drinkable is there for the taking. In the case of the desalination plant under construction in Carlsbad, the cost is in building the desalination facility and the mechanical processes that will convert saltwater into about 50 million gallons of potable water each day. For most of the rest of the water we would like to use, cost is a matter of getting it to our homes and businesses.

“I hate computers.” Those are the words with which my wife greeted me the other day when I came home after running a few errands. It was no surprise.

Every year the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California hosts several inspection tours of some of its water facilities, including pumping stations and aqueducts. The southern tour, which I just enjoyed, is offered in conjunction with the San Diego County Water Authority.

A few days before Veterans Day, my wife and I took a San Diego Harbor cruise. We’ve done this several times over the years, taking advantage of the reduced ticket prices for retired military personnel. Each trip we learn something new.

The midterm election campaign is over. Some vote counting may continue, but the robocalls, radio and television advertisements and the canvassing that had people annoying other people on an almost daily basis is finished, at least for several months.

Voters in Chula Vista, Oceanside, San Diego County and the city of San Diego decided to join several other California cities by banning government-mandated project labor agreements. Organized labor responded quickly and persuaded its cohorts in the state Legislature to pass a law that prohibits state funding for any public construction project if the local unit of government has a PLA ban.

It’s been years since my last visit to the California Department of Motor Vehicles. In the past I’ve able to complete California driver’s license renewals by mail. This year I have to appear in person.

Critics of big government charge there are so many laws that citizens commit three felonies a day. An attorney friend says that since 9/11, more than 5,000 new types of felonies have been created. Fortunately, most of us are not arrested for these new crimes.

When ardent supporters of an idea, issue or measure seem to win the day, opponents holler foul. It is as inevitable as a politician breaking a promise.

My wife and I recently spent a few days in Vancouver, British Columbia. The city proper is about half the size of the city of San Diego, but it seems to be dealing with issues similar to ours.

A new courthouse is under construction across the street from the Hall of Justice in downtown San Diego. Because I am in the Hall four days a week, I have been able to watch the building process from windows overlooking the site.

More George Hawkins Columns
Subscribe Today!