Thursday, Nov. 1, 2007 | Kelly Cunningham’s gushing article extolling the merits of the tourist industry to San Diego reminds me of the one-sided treatment of the homeporting of naval nuclear vessels in the middle of one of the largest metropolitan areas in the United States. It both cases, they are the “golden geese” that foul their own nest.

In the case of the nuclear Navy, the manufacturing, processing, safety procedures, and disposal of nuclear fuel costs the taxpayers billions of dollars that are not mentioned when the supposed merits of nuclear carrier and submarine homeporting is discussed.

In the case of the proponents of the expansion of the tourist industry, the increased traffic, trash generation, proliferation of low-wage jobs that do not support families above the poverty level, dedication of more prime water-front property to the tourist industry (instead of a major expansion of access to water-front park land to benefit our local residents), and re-direction of the primacy of civic attention from improvements of the quality of life for those who live here, all speak to an ethos that is indifferent to what is in the long term best interest of all of the people of San Diego.

Taxes on the industry should be increased and specifically directed to the mitigation and remediation of the negative affects of its impact on our environment and quality of life of all San Diegans. Tourists will still come to San Diego, particularly Europeans and Canadians who have seen the 25 percent drop in the value of the U.S. dollar against the Euro and Canadian dollar during the past five years. For many, the United States has become an attractive shopping and vacation home destination on par with many third world and developing countries.

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