Friday, April 06, 2007

Blackwater scoping meeting

Check out this guy's chin, isn't it great? He's got that classic manly natural born killer profile and I knew when I first saw him at the meeting that he was a Blackwater kind of guy. He said he wasn't there to represent Blackwater, only to speak in favor of them because he was a "former" Blackwater employee and he felt that the proposed training facility in Potrero is just what San Diego County and the USA needs! He was in fact the only supporter present other than the Chairman of the Potrero Planning Group, who was quite perturbed with the turnout of close to 200 people because as he stated....." most of YOU PEOPLE aren't even from Potrero!"
As we arrived on the scene last night, we were amazed by the sight of protestors on the street corner. And the cops, dozens of them blocking streets and access to the main parking lot. Everyone including the disabled were forced to park in a remote lot and made to walk several hundred yards to reach the Planning Commision hall.
After the meeting I spoke to a Deputy and expressed my regret that a such large group of people practicing democracy could be perceived as intimidating and warranted such a large police presence. She said they were there to protect people and when I asked who she said "there had been threats made."
The proposed project will include a driver training course, multiple shooting ranges, a heliopad, a mockup urban warfare site and barracks to house trainees. Note that the original Blackwater site in North Carolina proposed the same uses and was expanded later to include an airport that was involved in the traffic of jet aircraft associated with the CIA rendition program. The proximity to the border also calls into question the likelyhood that Blackwaters surveillance blimps will be housed there.
This project will destroy the valley it will be located in and will present an extreme fire danger to the residents of the area.
The project can be stopped based on environmental and quality of life concerns. The Planning Commision is not in the business of judging the applicants morality so it is un-wise to focus on Blackwater's record of providing mercenaries and it's association with the radical christian right ,as unsavory as they may be. Lets keep to the issues and beat these guys. They don't belong here for many reasons but there are only a few specific ones that can be successfully addressed in land use hearings.
It is critical that anyone who wishes to stop the Blackwater camp to understand the process in Planning and Land Use.

Our anti war rhetoric is NOT going to be considered as a viable argument in the process. It is not under consideration. In fact, It will cause the Board of Supervisors to approve based on no evidence of

1. incompatibility with the General Plan 2020, and the zoning matrix of A-72
2. non mitigable effects on community character, public facilities or the environment.

As this is an application to change an agricultural preserve overlay of the zoning matrix, it requires a major use permit. This is a discretionary decision under the control of the Board of Supervisors of San Diego County.


Issues that are germane.

1. Purpose of the Williamson Act, and the Agricultural preserve overlays. This act was intended to preserve agricultural lands for production of food and fiber for the populations near by. As fuel prices are rising, agricultural zones adjacent to population centers such as San Diego are important to the people of the County.This use of the preserve is incompatible as it will include the grading of, and the laying of congrete placed on topsoil from a meadow. The reliance on foreign sources for food and fiber is not compatible with the intentions of the General Plan and the Williamson act to preserve agricultural land for agriculture.

2. Sheriff's protection. There is only 1 Sheriff assigned to Potrero

3. Multiple Dwelling units. The Zoning matrix allows for 1 dwelling unit for 40 acres.

4. Mitigation of environmental effects. Conditions for approval are commonly granted with discretionary decisions. In order for a negative environmental impact to be found, the County must accept responsibility for enforcement. The County has a dismal record of enforcement as funding for enforcement is not well regarded. No amount of developer's fees account for all of the costs of processing. Yesterday, "dozen's" of Sheriff's deputies were present. The funding for their manhours came from the County General Fund, the taxpayers. Blackwater pays NO property taxes. The owner(s) pays a reduced property tax because of the Williamson Preserve overlay.

This hearing was only the first of many. There are enough people opposed to this to put the brakes on it. Write to the planning commision and let them know how you feel.
Greg Krzys
County of San Diego
Department of Planning and Land Use

Officials answer questions about Blackwater plan



At 4/06/2007 11:42 AM, Blogger donniezudt said...

As an x-NAVY SEAL and a East County resident I speak... Not only would Potrero benifit from a BLACKWATER outpost our Nation and our southern border would would also.

If you people don't already know, our milatary is stretched thin. Without these private firms the country would be in a much bigger mess. The need is there for a private force, BLACKWATER fills the void.

The men and women of BLACKWATER put their lifes on the line daily not for the glory or money but for COUNTRY!

WAKE UP PEOPLE, before it's too late! GOOD LUCK TEAMMATES!

At 4/06/2007 12:20 PM, Blogger Paul said...

Hi Donnie! I appreciate the input but you really couldn't be farther from the truth. The reason our military is stretched thin is because it is spread out too far fighting conflicts where they don't belong, fighting wars for the corporations that don't represent US citizens. Also, the US enlists and trains soldiers and then as soon as they can leave, they join up with companies like Blackwater who make a "killing" using these taxpayer trained soldiers to carry out contracts from the US government. Seems like a bit of a double standard there doesn't it?
No, it is you Donnie who needs to wake up. You are an anachronism, a thing of the past. People are waking up to the fact that the military-industrial complex is sucking this country dry and they slowly but surely reaching a point of enough is enough.

At 4/06/2007 3:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Your comments are irrelevant.

The only issues involved here are related to planning and land use.

The return of the investment of reduced property taxes because of the Williamson Act.

The placement of a large population of people placed in a Zone of 1 dwelling unit per acre.

And the environment constraints on the property.

Sorry, the war in Iraq has nothing to do with this. PERIOD!

At 4/06/2007 5:54 PM, Blogger Ziem said...

Paul, anon! Standing ovation ensues! I was taking notes... you both beat me to it, and did a wonderful job, I might add.

Listen to them donnie, they are not blinded, they are not afraid. They speak the truth. A little bit of old fashioned research can prove what they are saying.

At 4/06/2007 6:30 PM, Blogger Peacechick Mary said...

So, because Bush destroyed our military, we should allow our land to be destroyed? If we fight them over there, we will have to fight destruction here. Pullleeeze!

Good post, Paul. Please keep us posted.

At 4/07/2007 7:05 AM, Anonymous ThomPaine said...

If this were virgin, pristine land chock full o' nature, anonymous and others who are screaming environment might be right. But it's currently a chicken farm. You ever been around a chicken farm? It departed from pristine long, long ago. Preserving our wildlands is critical, but when play the environment card on every single project that comes up, it gets a little ridiculous.
Now, that doesn't mean this outfit should be allowed to roll in without debate, but the debate ougth to be based on some facts, eh?

At 4/07/2007 7:18 AM, Anonymous veteran said...

Paul and Ziem:

I'm all for "old-fashioned research" but that practice does not consist of checking one or two like-minded blogs and calling it a day or citing to something written by an extremist with an agenda. The GAO reported on the issue and found that the private security companies are not draining talent from USG.
As far as the standard soundbite about the MIC, Walmart alone (or Microsoft, or any similar) has a bigger market cap than the entire defense industry. People carp about this Blackwater outfit "having a $300M contract" Egad! Do you realize the current supplemental is for $100BILLION to the military? Call 'em private security or call 'em mercs, they're a sideshow.

At 4/07/2007 7:57 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am the same anonymous one as before

The zoning is even more restrictive

It is 1 dwelling unit for 40 acres

At 4/07/2007 9:20 AM, Blogger Paul said...

Thom, the "environmental card" gets played every time an applicant asks for a zoning variance or any change from the original county general plan.
It's all part of the process.
They have to prove that there will be no negative effects from their development on neighboring property owners, watersources and wildlife. They certainly are free to purchase the property and do what they wish as long as it complies with current zoning crtieria, but that is not the case with Blackwater's plans.

At 4/07/2007 9:38 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous again,

Most habitat everywhere has been affected by human presence. That does not mean that things that are present should not be preserved. The chicken ranch was in agricultural preserve because the use was compatible with the nearby National Forest, and the rural area in which it was present. The impacts of chicken ranching on the surrounding area were minimal. The impacts on what is proposed is significant. As for property rights, the OWNER applied for and allowed the land to be placed in agricultural reserve, in exchange for allowing the land to be preserved for agricultural uses. The owner paid significantly LESS taxes because of the status as a preserve. The State of California has a set of criteria for the abandonment of the preserve status, BUT it still excludes any and ALL uses other than agricultural. It is the law. And the owner made a contract, that is now being proposed to be broken with the people of San Diego County.

At 4/07/2007 12:39 PM, Blogger Paul said...

Vet, you insult Ziem and myself over the use of ....mmmm how shall we call it? Incredible sources? And then you cite without a link a study by the GAO, whose chief Lurita Doan is under investigation for using her office for partisan political activity?
Try again.
You can't equate Walmart and Microsoft with the government. I can boycott those companies if I choose, but I don't have that option with the government. If they're going to take my tax money, I'm going to have a say in how they use it. They do work for us, remember?

At 4/07/2007 2:49 PM, Anonymous veteran said...

Paul: Thought I was more civil than you guys to Donnie, but if not, my apologies. Would be glad to find a cite to the GAO report, but you're sort of missing the point in citing to a blog again. I'm noting it's not so much research. Finally, I wasn't cheering on the MIC, I was just saying look at the numbers, this outfit is a microscopic part of the problem---they're a sideshow. Anyway, best of luck with this.

At 4/07/2007 3:39 PM, Blogger Paul said...

hey vet! The Truthout article was just a reprint, the source was ABC News

At 4/07/2007 3:45 PM, Blogger Paul said...

At 4/07/2007 3:52 PM, Blogger Paul said...

OK one more try,

At 4/08/2007 5:46 AM, Blogger bluegrrrrl said...

Nice job, really turned up the heat!

Sounds like a great turnout for this demonstration. I heard the police presence was noteworthy! Threats, huh? Interesting.

I have friends in Potrero, and they report that none of their neighbors, not a single one, wants this militia zone in their back yard. Some of those opposed to this project are enthusiastic supporters of the sitting president/warmonger; others are apolitical and don't give a shit about anything happening beyond the serene confines of their corner of the world; some are peace activists opposed to this project on the basis of morality as well as the destruction of their environment and personal peace of mind.

You cite excellent reasons that this project should not be approved. We need to keep the pressure on.

At 4/08/2007 7:35 AM, Blogger wishblog said...

Carry on Hippie dude... good work..

At 4/08/2007 9:15 AM, Blogger dusty said...

We need a corporate militia in San Diego? I don't think so..we already have the navy and marines. The money changers that would have us believe that Blackwater is GOOD for SD are only thinking of their own wallets. This is the same mercenary group that cut corners in Fallujah and signed a contract that removed armor from the vehicles just to save a couple million?

Fark them and their mercenary arses! Let them go overseas like Halliburton is doing.

If we love our country we will not allow this private army with no alligience to our government to claim one more acre of land in the name of profit for Erik Prince and his crony's.

Donnie mentions the men and women that put their lives on the line for our country. Blackwater put money ahead of their lives.

At 4/08/2007 6:19 PM, Blogger Demon Princess said...

Wow! Disturbing, really disturbing! Like we need Blackwater on the West Coast.

The fact that they're trying to do this sez to me that they know something about the expansion of the GWOT the rest of us don't ~ er, "officially," anyway.

You're completely right to focus on the issues that local authorities will be addressing.

However, keep in mind that even petty local politcos on zoning boards can't fail to be aware of the strength of the "No More Walmarts in our town" phenom, & the advance of highly unpopular outfits such as "Mercenaries 'R Us" should benefit your cause, too. In the background.

The force be with you!

(Hi Dusty~!)

At 4/09/2007 6:34 AM, Blogger Paul said...

Ziem, Peacechick,Anon, Blue, Wish Dusty and Princess,Donnie, Vet and Thom thanks for stopping by and adding your comments to this very interesting discussion. We'll see what happens next eh?

At 4/09/2007 9:27 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Global War on Terror is REAL. And one reason we are winning this war is our training. BLACKWATER trains our Warriors. Weather you agree with the war or not this point is a fact, we are best trained fighting force in the world! SOCOM LEADS!

To deny the West Coast a state of the art facility is absurd. Law enforcement as well as the military would benifit as will every AMERICAN.

Erik Prince, x-Navy SEAL. The President and Executive VP, x-Navy SEALs. These people know there business, and know it well.

And as far as the zoneing goes...
the world is a different place today and we need to evolve.


At 4/09/2007 10:23 AM, Blogger Paul said...

Ah phooey! The "war on terror" is as phoney as the president himself. As fictitious as the "war on communism" or the "war on drugs" or the "war on whatever the fuck it takes to scare people into giving up their morals and tax monies".
Oh, and by the way in case you havn't noticed......we're losing!
Eric Prince is meglomaniacal religious whacko and if you truly do believe in evolution, you should get as far away from chump as possible.
And I hope to put you and your pals out of business asap, so you should start training for a real job in the real world before evolution runs you right over.
Thanks, and have a nice day.

At 4/09/2007 10:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Paul your head is so far up your ass you can't think... Don't want to be too critical, "but we are winning".

You and the Clintons should rack out for a week. Have him tell you some war stories. He is the scumbag that that was getting blow jobs in the oval office when he should have killing bad guys,
bottom line.

I don't agree with everything this administration does, however, I do believe in AMERICA, and BLACKWATER.

And Paul, war will never end. I would much rather sleep with ERIC PRINCE than a dozen virgins.

Get your head out of your ass and smell the roses. All we want to do is kill bad guys! What's wrong with that?

GOD DAMN...........

At 4/10/2007 7:35 AM, Anonymous Old religion said...

You know guys, Revelations says that you will know the anti christ by the destruction that he brings about. So without saying, YOUR WARS, your destruction and your murderous ways indicate who you really are...amen, and amen!

At 4/19/2007 7:38 PM, Blogger bornfamous said...

Paul, thanks for posting this. I'm been planning to move a few miles away from Potrero next fall, specifically FOR THE CLEAN AIR and my health. After reading what happened to Moyock, N.C., I'm really worried about our beautiful East County.


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