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Twisted Logic Seen in Flaherty Column

July 13, 1986

Colin Flaherty's June 29 commentary (" 'Alice in Wonderland, Meet the Sierra Club' ") was most inaccurate, inflammatory and exhibited the most twisted logic of any opinion we've ever been exposed to. Initially, we were prepared to read and contemplate the views of a presumably adult writer. However, when Mr. Flaherty in the very first paragraph of his misrepresentation began to indulge in the very hysterical demagoguery he accuses slow (not no) growth supporters of, we immediately lost respect for him personally, and his opinion lost impact.

Granted, there are obvious differences between the developers and slow growth advocates, but characterizing the latter as "environmental radicals," deniers of "new homes for young families" (how's that for emotionalism?), causing San Diego to "stumble into the future like a lurching drunk" is nothing but counter-productive yellow journalism. The most blatant distortion in the commentary is Mr. Flaherty's assertion that "They (the "liberal demagogue environmentalists") are against growth because of roads and against roads because of growth." Cute, catchy, but incorrect. We personally have reservations about most new or widened roads because of the commonly known and consistently demonstrated fact that traffic on roads increases to beyond the roads' capacity. New highways merely magnify the problem, they don't solve it (as evidenced in Los Angeles).

Whatever one's opinion on this issue, it is important to note that Flaherty states that a public vote--the essence of democracy upon which this nation was founded--is nothing more than "mob rule." Imagine what could be more devastating than if "some of our most complex planning decisions will be made by a vote of the public?" Horrors!

This good-old-boy mentality is a prime example of recent San Diego history, when a handful of money-grubbing developers (pardon the redundancy) felt they knew better than the people what was good for the people and San Diego, cleverly disguising decisions made in self-interest as for the public good. Nobody knows what is better for San Diego than San Diegans, and the most recent city and county elections demonstrated overwhelmingly that we favor slow growth. The developers are running scared.

JOHN and JANE GRIFFITH

San Diego

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