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Thursday, Oct. 25, 2007 | It seems to me that by building further out into the back country, we’re putting the entire city and county at increased risk of fires. Exposed power lines, longer commute times over twisting two-lane roads and questionable water pressure and access in many areas are a recipe for continuing disaster in the years ahead and as seems clear now, we can’t adequately defend ourselves against firestorms driven by 80 mph winds in the dead of night.

Maybe we ought to reconsider the idea of making the city more densely populated to ease the impact on the outlying areas. San Diego will only burn again — needlessly — and cost more money, lives and impacts on health too if we keep going as we are.

If we’re going to add to our defenses, we should have our own materials, too. No more relying on the merry-go-round of stumblebum bureaucracy in getting the aircraft in time. If we need trucks and men, we have to pay for them, create and train them, and requisition them, when necessary.

And lastly, as a media element, it is becoming clearer that many non-English speakers were left out of the loop when it came to disaster notification and developments. This should change. Vietnamese, Tagalog, Spanish and the rest of the languages that make up San Diego’s public ought to be added to the non-stop coverage mix to update everyone on what they need to know, when they need to know it.

And for God’s sake, simplify the city’s website.

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