Thursday, Oct. 24, 2007 | A few terrible ironies during this disastrous week in San Diego County:

1) Many fires were said to have started Sunday with wind-driven, fallen, above-ground power lines. In Monday’s mail, I received an ill-timed appeal from the “Community Alliance for the Sunrise Powerlink” supporting a new above-ground, high-powered electrical transmission line through San Diego County backcountry. The letter noted the need for this risky venture because “San Diego County’s population has grown nearly 60% over the past 25 years.” The letter was signed by representatives of the pro-growth Chamber of Commerce and big labor and the San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation, as well as the Downtown San Diego Partnership whose president is former pro-growth City Councilwoman Barbara Warden, who reportedly lost her home in this week’s conflagration.

2) A glossy 66-page booklet of “Masterpiece Homes” for sale by Prudential Realty was included in the sooty home-delivered Tuesday edition of the San Diego Union-Tribune. There were color photos of million-dollar mansions for sale all over the greater San Diego County map — the same locales now featured on fire maps of formerly backcountry places where unrestrained building has been permitted and inadequate green space has been preserved — Chula Vista, Eastlake, Bonita, Scripps Ranch, Carmel Valley, Poway, Ramona, Rancho Bernardo, Escondido, San Marcos, Bonsall, Temecula, Murrieta.

3) Finally, one wonders if the tragic incineration of tiny Potrero will put an end to the plans of unwelcome Blackwater mercenaries to set up a training base out there.

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