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Tuesday, February 15, 2005 | The Kettner Blvd. College of Turkey Surgeons and Airport Relocation Committee is encouraged by the appearance online of Voice of San Diego.

“I am very excited to be returning to journalism and starting the next chapter of my life as the CEO and Editor-in-Chief of Voice of San Diego,” said Barbara Bry in her e-mail announcing VoSD’s debut at www.voiceofsandiego.com and describing it as “a non-profit, independent and interactive web news and information source for San Diego. It does seem like a good moment for a fresh point of view in San Diego, doesn’t it?”

Yes it does, and we at KBCTSARC (“We may not get anything done, but we’re serious about it”), welcome them to the fray. We might point out, though no doubt they know it already, that they are in for a long haul. KBCTSARC, or ARC for short, was created in 1978 in the back room at the Waterfront Grill and in its bylaws dedicated itself to two propositions: devising a means to infuse moisture into roast turkey, and chronicling and commenting on efforts by San Diego leaders going back to the chief of the Diegueno tribe to move Lindbergh Field. We chose these two because of the challenge. Neither seemed likely to be achieved in our lifetime.

We have had some success on the turkey front (you use a veterinary syringe), but airport relocation rests against the same brick wall it hit five decades ago. ARC ceased active participation in that effort after recommending, in 1985, that city leaders consider moving not the airport, but downtown, just a mile or so south, to get the towers of power out of the flight path.

It was a perfectly reasonable solution. By 1985, after 35 years of talking, the airport relocation story had become just that: A story used to fill the news hole in the Union-Tribune on a slow news day, which were so plentiful there. The last such story to appear was just last Sunday, and finally in the story could be found a glimmer of hope: People are starting to think maybe we should leave the airport just where it is.

We at ARC agree. Location, location, location. Visitors arriving in San Diego by air arrive in the middle of a classic picture postcard. As my ARC associate and business expert Karen pointed out, “Why would we want to dump these people into Brown Field?” We are well aware that Lindbergh Field will soon reach its capacity. But so will San Diego, and if capping Lindbergh capacity helps maintain a lower equilibrium region-wide, we are all for it.

So we are glad to see a glimmer of leave-it-alone momentum building. ARC was tempted to submit an op-ed piece dusting off the old “move downtown” solution, which remains as viable as it was in 1985. San Diego leaders have moved downtown twice in the city’s history. It is something they should know how to do. Where is Alonzo Horton when we need him?

But submitting op-ed pieces to the San Diego Union-Tribune just isn’t fun anymore. We are happy now to welcome, as an alternative, Voice of San Diego, which states its mission: “To provide our readers with an independent and credible source for relevant news and information that: Serves as a vital resource center to help readers make better choices about everyday topics; encourages civic participation through an interactive forum that offers diverse perspectives; provides courageous reporting on a region not fully understood or reported by existing media.”

The publication is non-partisan and non-profit and already has assembled a cadre of “Contributing Voices” that reads like a list of anyone who ever had lunch with Neil Morgan.

And it promises, as Editor Bry said, “a fresh point of view.” On the airport, of course, there has been no fresh point of view since 1935, and there is no reason to look for one now. But there are plenty of other San Diego views that could use freshness, not to mention, as the mission statement suggests, knowledgeable and complete reporting. In the back room at the Waterfront, we are tired of getting our breaking City Hall news from the inside pages of The New York Times.

Journalist, author and educator Michael Grant has been putting his spin on San Diego, and the city putting its spin on him, since 1972.

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