I’m back from a quick business trip and wanted to chime in on the fire coverage a bit.Ã‚Â News gathering resources, always stretched to the limit on emergencies like this, are even thinner when the website you’re looking to lead coverage on keeps going down because of too much traffic. Note to our friends at the Register; upgrade your Internet hardware to handle more traffic.Ã‚Â
The smoke and extremely poor air quality are a major hazard.Ã‚Â My family out of state is overnighting a supply of surgical masks to us so short trips outside are doable.Ã‚Â There seems to be a run on these materials in Irvine.Ã‚Â The phone won’t stop ringing from friends asking if we’re OK.Ã‚Â
Fox News couldn’t wait to praise President Bush’s or the Governator’s response to the Wildfire, even thought my my count they are 48 hours late to act at least.Ã‚Â And Fix News was quick to blast Democrats who complained that we lack national guard troops to help due to deployments in Iraq.Ã‚Â Just remember, when all these Republican operatives start praising the bravery of the first responders, they are also the same people voting to reduce or restrict the pay and beneits these same first responders fight for during contract negotiations.Ã‚Â It’s just pitiful that in the Fox News world, only Republicans are saviors and only Democrats warrant blame.Ã‚Â No matter what.
And while the fire raged this week, State Rep Chuck DeVore blogs on OCBlog about his chief of staff being a champion barrel-racer and about the his own appearance on PBS to discuss nuclear power.Ã‚Â There was also a comment to a Jon Fleischman post about candidates holding fundraisers while the fires are raging and how unseemly it is; and Chuck responded that life goes on and that he and his wife and going to Jim Bieber’s Halloween Party (but no mention of costumes?).Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Jim will be passing the hat for charities, which is noble of him.Ã‚Â There is a time and place for this sort of self promotion; now is not the time.Ã‚Â And with photos of orange skies surrounding the reactors in San Onofre, I’m glad DeVore’s attempt to revive a reactor at San Onofre died in committee.
What I want to hear about is how theÃ‚Â assemblyman is helping those he represents and others in the fire zone.Ã‚Â Might I suggest he look into ways weÃ‚Â acquire surplus surgical masks from state hospital inventory or gas masks from the military to help so many people afflicted with respiratory ailments breath easier.Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Or he could look into why hotel rooms in San Diego suddenly shot up to $400 a night.
Where I did see some leadership was from IUSD superintendent Gwen Gross.Ã‚Â After cancelling classes Monday at Northwood and CanyonView, she opened schools Tuesaday which told us in Northwood Pointe that the fire was no longer a serious danger.Ã‚Â And as the air quality got progressively worse, she closed schools again to keep students and staff home.Ã‚Â I’m sure theÃ‚Â move will costÃ‚Â IUSD in state funds, but its common sense and good leadership.
I also saw leadership from the Irvine PD and the OCFA.Ã‚Â The people answering the phone from anxious homeowners were informed, courteous and respectful.Ã‚Â In a word, reassuring.Ã‚Â
Leadership also came in the form ofÃ‚Â neighbors, sharing solid information and suggestions about where to go and offering help.Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â
I think the Governor showed leadership; he was late to get her, but seemed to move gasy once he got here.Ã‚Â But leadership from President Bush?Ã‚Â Seemed like his dusted off his speech from Hurricane Katrina.Ã‚Â I thought I heard all those promises two years ago; the ones still unfulfilled in Louisiana.Ã‚Â I doubt they will be kept here.