Riddle Me This

Though the March 11 Point Loma Community Park and Recreation Council meeting was scheduled to start at 6:00 p.m., it began at 5:30 p.m.

The first item on the agenda turned out to not be on anyone’s agenda: it was discovered during the meeting that the item was on a revised agenda not in the possession of council members. What was that first item? An action/adoption item for T-Mobile’s Presidio Park Project. T-Mobile spokesperson Debra Gardner was in attendance.

I posed two questions to Gardner: "Will the community be notified of this proposed telecommunications site at Presidio Park and allowed to vote as to whether or not they want this site at their park?" And, "Has T-Mobile or any other entity or organization addressed or made the public aware of the health risks associated with the increased number of telecommunication sites T-Mobile is planning to install throughout densely populated neighborhoods in both Presidio Park and Kate Sessions Park in La Jolla?"

Gardner's response was, "The amount of EMFs that comes out of a tower is less than what comes out of a cordless phone. We're not allowed to discuss health and safety issues...the public was noticed."

Point Loma Community Park and Recreation president Steve Riddle repressed further questioning, stating, “This isn’t the time or place to banter. She [Gardner] is just here to present her item, and we approve or disapprove it."

“Yes, sir," I responded.

The council went on to approve the item.

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Well, what you could have done was spoken to the Chair after the meeting to follow up on this information and action. Or you could have spoken to the City planner, who was there at the meeting, I presume. Or you could have talked to the Park and Rec staff who had to have been there, either the Area Manager or the Center Director. Or you could have called the Planning Department to get more information. Instead, this piece reads like an inflammatory piece of propaganda, and very little objective or investigative reporting done to support your position re harmful emissions from cel towers which may or may not be valid.

My guess, without knowing more, is that this item came before the Council previously, either as an informational item or before their Projects committee, and then came to the Council as an action item with the consent of the Council as allowed by their bylaws. Further, the Council is only an advisory group of citizens to the Park and Recreation staff and there are still possibilities to intervene in this action if citizens in the area so choose, such as speaking at the next Community Parks I meeting, or before the Park and Recreation Board, or even speaking before City Council to oppose the action.

You could have done a lot more than what you chose to do, which makes me wonder how you identified yourself; are you still calling yourself a Reader stringer when you talk to people?

And by the way, it's not "repressed." Unless this is very funny.:

Point Loma Community Park and Recreation president Steve Riddle repressed further questioning, stating, “This isn’t the time or place to banter. She [Gardner] is just here to present her item, and we approve or disapprove it."

Well, I have spoken to the acting Center Director at Cabrillo Recreation Center. Ron Agustin informed me that he was not there at the meeting that night, but that he was responsible for the problems that occurred at the meeting. Apparently, the Council decided to begin meeting at 5:30 two meetings ago, but the website information was not updated to reflect that until today when I called to ask about it, although Agustin informed me that the Council members knew, and the information is part of the information mailed and/or emailed to those who get the minutes and agenda.

As for the item discussed, Agustin stated that he forgot to put that item on the Agenda, and that when the Area Manager noticed it was not on the agenda, directed Augustin to add it to a revised Agenda, which Augustin did, but the revised Agenda was posted under the 72 hour notice as required, and so the action taken that evening is invalid and will have to come back to the Council next month.

Agustin says that he is new to the job and not familiar with the way Councils work. He also said that the Council there is very "casual" and "informal." He did say that the President of the Council discussed what had happened at the meeting with him the following day and that he was aware there had been a problem.

This is of course regrettable and, in my opinion, unprofessional and unacceptable, conduct. My understanding is Monica Honore, the Area Manager, and Agustin's boss, was there, representing the Park and Rec Department. As the one ultimately responsible, it is unfortunate this action was allowed to take place as it did.

Anyone interested in obtaining more information can reach them at the address and phone number listed on their website:



Your reporting is inaccurate. You stated that as of yesterday, the time on the website you provided had been changed to reflect an accurate starting time of 5:30 but it still reads 6:00 pm. Makes me wonder what other "facts" you got wrong, Sloppy? Talk about propaganda...

LOL The acting Center Director told me he was changing it as we spoke. I knew it hadn't changed when I looked at it last, but wasn't going to wait to post my comments for it to happen.

In any case, I am not the one responsible for the website, nor am I a member of the Park and Rec staff, who are responsible for what happened at the meeting.

What is it that you think I am propagandizing for, exactly?

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