Letters to the editor: Jan. 21 issue


Be careful what you wish for

Is anybody else concerned about the three or four telecommunication cell sites that are proposed for Rancho Santa Fe Covenant? I know everyone wants coverage, but in order to saturate the sort of rolling topography characteristic of Rancho Santa Fe, a tremendous amount of microwave radiation is called for. Perhaps the adage, “Be careful what you wish for” is apropos at this time as the Board considers approval of faux palm cell towers that are aimed at providing extensive coverage.

Peer-reviewed studies show people living within 500 meters of a cell site are more likely to have insomnia, cognitive impairment, inability to focus, reproductive problems, dementia, and certain kinds of cancer. A Brazilian study in the city of Belo Horizonte found that 80 percent of those who succumbed to cancers of the prostate, breast, lungs, kidneys, and liver lived no further than one-third of a mile away from one of the hundreds of cell phone antennae throughout the city. Outside of this area, a decrease in the number of deaths by neoplasia occurred.

With the Brazilian study and others like it in mind, it is important to consider options for coverage. I support fiber optics installation throughout the Ranch. Every home will have internet access and thus the capability to increase their cell phone coverage by hooking up a “microcell” (provided by your carrier) with their router. A microcell does not need to communicate with a cell tower. The bottom line is that you do not need additional cell sites to increase your coverage.

Before the Association goes ahead with these cell sites, I strongly recommend you hire Cindy Sage, head of an environmental consulting firm located in Santa Barbara. Sage is co-author of the BioInitiative Reports (2007 and 2012) where over 30 scientists from around the world reviewed 3,800 studies on the effects of RF radiation. Ms. Sage could address the environmental effects of RF radiation on the most vulnerable among us -- the unborn, children, the elderly, and those with existing health problems.

It is important for the Association to avail itself of the latest scientific evidence reviewed by the cancer committee (IARC) of the World Health Organization. IARC voted in May 2011 to classify RF radiation as a 2B or “possible human” carcinogen. This puts RF radiation in the same category as DDT, Chlordane and diesel fumes.

Do not be misled by those who say you cannot discuss health. Your RSF Association is a private homeowners association, not a government forum. Now is the time to protect your rights, your health and your children.

Susan Foster,

Medical Writer,

US Adviser, Radiation Research Trust (UK)

Rancho Santa Fe

An open letter to Grandson Johnson

Dear Grandson Johnson,

I read a tall tale your grandpa wrote recently. Papa Bear is quite a storyteller, isn’t he?

Let me fill in the gaps in his story.

The Covenant Club is a fun place for friends to gather and play. It has adult things like exercise equipment, yoga, steam rooms, and coffee, but Papa Bear must have forgotten the fun kid stuff: pool, splash pad, your own Jacuzzi, play area and snack bar. It’s for all ages.

Last year, our neighbors voted that the best spot for this fun club was between the Tennis and Golf Clubs. So, when you’re done playing at the fun club you can just walk over and see Papa Bear at the Golf Club. That would be fun, wouldn’t it? Well, that’s what most neighbors thought. Now, we can all play together.

Papa Bear must have been confused again when he wrote about who pays for things. Let me help with a story about “Phony Bear.”

Once upon a time, Phony Bear used all his neighbors’ money to buy a very expensive horse playground without asking them. He just did it. This playground was owned by Phony Bear’s friends and it made them very rich because Phony Bear paid twice its value. But he didn’t care because he used somebody else’s money. The horse playground is nice, but not many neighbors use it and it’s not close to other playthings. What Phony Bear did wasn’t fair.

Years later, you and just a few friends were at your neighborhood playground. It only had two games – tag and hide-and-seek — but not all your friends liked to play those games. One day everyone realized there were other playgrounds further away that not only had your games, they had jungle gyms, swings, slides and lots more. Those playgrounds were fun and made their neighborhoods better. Everyone wanted to play there, but you weren’t allowed because you didn’t live there.

Then, you had a great idea. You and your neighbors would make your playground better. You’d use some new neighborhood money collected mostly from newer neighbors to make it a Cool Club. The whole neighborhood could play there. But just when you started work, Phony Bear said he didn’t want to pay his share. He used all the old neighborhood money on the horse playground and wanted to use the new money for his friends again. He wanted the benefits of the club, but didn’t want to pay.

Well, you are a smart kid. You got all your neighbors together and voted to make the Cool Club anyway.

Guess who was first at the club? Yep, Phony Bear. It wasn’t fair, but you just smiled with your friends and laughed. That silly Phony Bear.

The End

So, Grandson Johnson, read this to Papa Bear in between his naps and ask him to tell you more Phony Bear stories. He surely know lots of them.

JJ (James Joseph) Nealy

Let’s try harder to elevate the dialogue, set a better example

I moved here with my family nearly two years ago and we treasure our new community and its unique qualities as much as any long-term resident. Since our arrival, we have been consistently impressed by the level of commitment all residents seem to have to The Ranch and preserving its many treasures. Rare is the Rancho Santa Fe resident who does not happily volunteer time or contribute funds to the many good causes that are well-supported here.

Unfortunately, this spirit is not to be found on the opinion pages of our local newspapers. I find the level of discourse there disappointing and inconsistent with the quality of the individuals I have encountered.

The reality is that many of the subjects currently under debate in our community are the product of several individuals volunteering their time, energy and finances in furtherance of a goal they sincerely believe will improve life for all of us. Some of these folks have literally spent years in pursuit of their initiatives. Their leadership and goodwill should be appreciated whether or not one agrees with the result.

While civil society certainly thrives in an environment of thoughtful, constructive debate, it should be just that...civil. Sniping at fellow residents who are sincere in their efforts to foster progress erodes the debate and discourages others who might take up the cause of bettering our community.

If you disagree with a proposal or project, by all means voice your opposition or better yet, offer a thoughtful alternative. But before you blithely dismiss something as a “3 ring circus,” “Disneyland” or a “monstrosity,” you might stop to consider that the subject of your ire is likely the product of someone who worked tirelessly in support of something they truly thought would improve the community. Let’s try harder to elevate the dialogue, offer solutions and set a better example for our younger residents.


Lea Clay Park,

Rancho Santa Fe

Rancho Santa Fe: A three-ring circus?

In a recent letter to this newspaper, Mr. Kendall had some disparaging words to say about the RSF Board of Directors’ attempt to try and bring some life back to the village with a farmers’ market. There are many other residents of the Ranch that don’t share his sentiments about these kinds of efforts to bring something to the village other then banks and brokerage offices. My wife and I walked to the village vibe on a recent Saturday, and it was so popular that the food truck had sold out and we listened to an incredible musician, Joshua Randle, who one day may be a star.

Some people don’t like change and that is why we don’t have better cell service, high-speed internet and, up until recently, accurate financial accounting of our reserves. Based on Mr. Kendall’s comments he must think that cars and coffee on Saturday mornings along with the village vibe make the Ranch a low class, three-ring-circus. I think it is fun and great for the community and applaud the RSF Board of Directors for exploring everything they can to enhance our lives in the Ranch whether they last long term or not.

Terry Peay

Unfair that voting rights of condo owners not be granted at this time

We are trying to figure out how the arrogance of Washington and a

disregard for what the people want has trickled down to local politics here

in RSF.

As condo owners who have paid dues and assessments for 25 years I am

outraged and would like to start a recall movement to get rid of those board

members who so cavalierly withdrew giving condo owners the right to vote.

As stated in the RSF Review by Fred Wasserman, quote “that the committee

determined there is not enough information to make the condo owner change to

the bylaws and articles of incorporation right now.” What on earth does

that mean? Granting condo owners their right to vote has been discussed

for over 25 years that I know of — how much more information do they need

to make the proposed changes? Last year we were told it was going to be

granted as it should have been. One has to wonder why the board wants to

disenfranchise a group of 79 voters, and have them continue with taxation

without representation.

What is on the board’s agenda? Why do they want to keep more people from

voting, is it “the Covenant Club” or Mrs. Woolley’s project or both? Why

are they putting 79 voters on the shelf?

Our property values are already being adversely affected by the loss of the

market and lack of retail in town, this will reduce the values even more.

It certainly does not seem fair or right that the voting rights of the

condo owners not be granted at this crucial time.

If you agree please contact the R S F Association board.

Connie McNally,


The ‘Vibe’ should close

I would like to thank the Rancho Santa Fe Association board members for

their desire to try and stimulate interest and business in the village.

However, as a long-time retailer and resident I wonder where I am each time

I see the rag-tag camp that is called the “Vibe.” It certainly does

not represent Rancho Santa Fe!

People fought long and hard to stop a farmers’ market from invading the

ranch only to have “the Vibe” instead. If possible, an even tackier venue

than a farmers’ market.

Not only is it not representative of RSF, but we also are paying thousands

of dollars for it to be here, The Vibe does absolutely nothing to stimulate

business in town. In fact, it does just the opposite. I fail to see how

bringing in a food truck to compete against Thyme on the Ranch, The

Bistro and The Inn helps their business or any other business. The already

problematic parking situation is not helped by the Vibe, we have had

people parking in front of our gallery and walking to the park. How does

this help our business?

Rancho Santa Fe’s real “vibe” since inception has always been

conservative, quiet, understated, private, and beautiful urban

elegance. Not one of those qualities is projected by the Vibe. In fact, it is

loud, ugly and tacky, starting with the sign followed by the music and

food truck.

From what I have seen it is also poorly attended and does not warrant

spending any more of our Association money to keep it

alive. This is a program that should be left to die a quick and natural


I have questioned several of the other retailers left in town and they agree

that the “Vibe” has done nothing to help their business.

I am not sure what might work to stimulate more business and interest in

town other than more retail stores.

If you agree please let the board know so we can close it down before we

spend any more of our funds.

Thank You,

Bill McNally