Scott Barnett, Del Mar's precocious city councilman, thinks life on the august governing body is turning distinctly Orwellian. Brooke Eisenberg, Barnett's antagonist on this matter, thinks her honorable colleague is waxing a tad hyperbolic.
The bone of contention is Proposition A, which would raise the county sales tax to pay for transportation improvements. The council unanimously endorsed the effort Aug. 17 while dispensing en masse with half a dozen seemingly uncontroversial items.
Two weeks later, Eisenberg quietly reversed her vote, asking that the minutes of the previous meeting be altered. She says the original vote occurred late at night and she inadvertently neglected to single out Proposition A and register her opposition.
But Barnett, a proposition backer, balked. Realizing what had happened, he dredged up the revised minutes at the next meeting. Barnett, who accuses Eisenberg of currying "countywide notoriety," persuaded the council to vote to reinstate the original minutes.
Eisenberg then brought up the proposition again. The council agreed to reconsider it, and she voted against endorsing it. But then the majority refused to alter the original resolution to show that the proposition no longer had unanimous support.
"Fortunately, we are not yet at the Orwellian stage where we can go and rewrite history," Barnett, 24, opined. To which Eisenberg sniffed back: "Barnett is very prone to rhetoric. That's my only comment on that."
As Barnett put it Monday: "You see, we obviously deal with very high-minded matters here at the Del Mar council."
For a Quick Getaway
It's a frequent flyer's answer to Fotomat, a travel service for the Type A personality--the country's first, full-service, drive-through airline ticket counter, peculiarly adapted to a metropolis that has outgrown its airport.
Fastickets for Flights opened this summer on India Street--beneath the flight pattern, in case you forget where you're headed. Inside the 4-by-9-foot booth can be found a woman at a computer, churning out tickets for flights on the major airlines.
The business' bread and butter are seasoned travelers--people who order their own tickets but want to avoid terminal ticket-counter lines. But the company will also place ticket orders and even price-shop, like a conventional travel agency.
"We are the first in the United States that can actually issue tickets for all airlines," said Robert Sefton, a 24-year-old former hairdresser who co-founded the firm. He said there are booths in Dallas and Atlanta, but they offer tickets for only one airline.
Fastickets makes its profit like any other travel agency, off the 10% commission airlines give agents on all ticket sales. But because of its low overhead, the company will return one-fifth of that to the customer upon completion of the flight.
Boarding passes, seat assignments--Sefton has everything covered at no extra cost. He even boasts that he gives coupons for "free curbside baggage check-in"--a service Sefton acknowledges is free anyway. But his company springs for the tip.
If you think life in the Groves of Academe is easy, think again. Ponder these tidbits from the "Campus Casualties" column of the bimonthly organ of the UC San Diego environmental health and safety office:
- Dog bites staff member returning it to kennel after surgery.
- Hostile patient hits medical center staff member in groin in elevator.
- Small child bites nurse while awaiting an injection.
- Food service worker receives electric shock while cleaning an energized orange juice machine.
- "Jammed little toe into heavy boxes while reaching for paperback book."
Purveyors of Pesticides
"We're all environmentalists," declared Lisa Zetterberg, public affairs director for the Western Agricultural Chemicals Assn., the proud but beleaguered band of 180 pesticide and herbicide producers conferring today at the Hotel del Coronado.
On hand for the annual conference are the people who bring us Dursban, malathion, Alachlor and good old 2,4-D. On their minds, said Zetterberg, are "the regulatory crunch," the public's fear of pesticides, and perhaps a little golf and tennis.
Today the pesticide people will be hearing from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on a touchy subject, the Endangered Species Act. Without changes in implementation, Zetterberg said, the act "could put agriculture out of business."
Other topics on the agenda include the future of agriculture--square tomatoes and that sort of thing. There will be grumbling about unfounded fears and talk of overregulation: Zetterberg calls pesticides "the most restricted substances in the country."
"It is the safest industry," she insisted. " . . . I think people in the pesticide industry are more concerned (than other people) about the environment because we deal with the environment every day!"