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Archive for September, 2009

The Politics of Fire

Tuesday, September 1st, 2009

Time to fight a fire is before the fire is raging out of control

Fires in Los Angeles have grown to the size of Washington, D.C

“We are very fortunate that we have the best and the most aggressive, best trained, most courageous firefighters in the world and that’s why we are able to push back very heavily.”

- California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger

We are all proud of our firefighters. These men are all heroes. But why put them in harms way if we don’t have to? And we don’t- yet we do…why?

It’s a Turf War.

We are fighting more massive fires that ever because of a meltdown of responsibility between the State Fire Marshall, the only one responsible to protect human lives and property under the California Constitution, and resource agencies like the California Coastal Commission, the focus of SINS OF COMMISSION.

By failing to permit the clearance of ESHA in large unbroken swaths, the California Coastal Commission, and other agencies have jeopardized the very resources they are supposed to protect.

Deer Lost

People, wildlife, the environment of California - and the world are all victims of California political in-fighting. No one…certainly not the environment… and definitely not the people benefits.

The other point that invites contemplation is, Fire fighting is big business - probably one of our state’s biggest industries - and perhaps the biggest non tax and fine business in the Golden State.

Fire fighting makes  great photo ops, is big news, and gets lots of federal emergency money.

Trimming a bunch of ESHA does none of that .

Fire: Does ends justifies means?

Fire, is also a deadly political weapon. People don’t always get to rebuild their homes, and if a particular agency or commission desires to reduce population density….it can now use its permitting process to do so and deny people the right to rebuild… Santa Cruz, for instance.

It is high time the Secretary of the Interior steps to clean California’s house - since its obvious California can’t or won’t because of self-interest and completion for funds between agencies.

The state has spent $106.5 million of its $182 million emergency firefighting fund — just two months into the fiscal year

-Department of Finance spokesman H.D. Palmer



 
 
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