The Morning Report
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Thursday, Oct. 25, 2007 | Some interesting things have surfaced out of this fire when put in the perspective of the 2003 Ceder Fire:
(1) We have a lot of well-to-do people who lack common sense. People were permitted and went right back in after 2003 and rebuilt in risky areas.
(2) We have developers and the city’s Development Services Department that don’t give a “tinkers” about public safety as long as they can turn a buck.
(3) Permitting houses to be built too close together allows developers to increase homes per acre and substantially increases the losses in the event of a fire. It also places our firefighters at greater risk in trying to save homes.
(4) We live in what was a desert and have over built with homes, trees and fauna that are nothing more than fuel for a run-away fire. As we have learned in this fire a fireproof roof (tile) won’t save a home too close to another home that is on fire.
(5) We have many retirement and assisted living facilities spread around the county that need to be evacuated well in advance of advancing fires or other natural disasters. How quickly we forget those seniors that drowned in the Katrina disaster.
(6) Now take a look at the insurance scenario. Remember 2003 how many insurers drug their feet. How many people had outdated policies that were based upon the original purchase price not the replacement cost.
Then look at who finally picks up the tab for all those multi-million dollar homes built and destroyed in highly fire prone areas — you and I will see it in our next home insurance bill.
(7) Then we need to look at the biggest terrorist threat to our country, none other than “Mother Nature.” Earthquakes, fires and floods are all in her arsenal. We need to bring our firefighters and police officers serving in foreign countries in the military back home to serve where they are needed most.
(8) In our upcoming council elections and ballot propositions we need to make sure that our council members have not been bought by developers. Then we need to toss out the strong mayor (owned by developers) concept. We don’t need more bureaucracy in increasing the number of council members.
(9) Our revenue needs to go toward infrastructure (repairing water lines), additional fire protection equipment, and competitive salaries for our on the line firefighters.
(10) Our local military aircraft that can be used for water drops on fires need to be emergency accessible within hours not days.