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View Diary: Seeking Thoughts and Questions for Wildfire Hearing (93 comments)

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  •  both comments above (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    great questions.

    •  LA Times Article (6+ / 0-)

      There was an article in the Times last weekend about the fire breaks they built around Lake Arrowhead that really helped save that area. The downside was the people in town who didn't take advantage and remove dead trees. There was another community near San Diego that designed the entire subdivision to be burn resistant, from the architecture to the landscaping. They didn't lose a single home. If you want to spend the money it can be safer.

      The problem in San Diego vs LA is that no one wants to pay for anything. They think the state or the Feds should pay for everything and the locals are so burdened by taxes that they shouldn't have to pay another dime. The per capita fire dept. expenditure in LA vs SD is obscene and the San Diegans cry because no one is there within half a second of the first whisp of smoke to come save them. The Fire Chief after the last set of fires in 2004 quit after the bond measure that was put out to increase fire protection was voted down in 2005.

      These are Republican strongholds with a lot of the usual Republican thinking. Taxes are bad and we won't pay them, well... Sorry. Stupidity is often its own reward. I feel very sorry for the folks who lost their homes but in a lot of instances they made bad choices that had to be lived with in the end. Living on the edge of a brush filled canyon can be very scenic but it is inherently risky.

      •  One wingnut I know in the S.D. area (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        inclusiveheart, A Siegel, SeekCa

        thinks homeowners should get tax credits for installing fire suppression systems in homes (as if they're not already getting enough of a tax break by paying low property taxes.)

        My Karma just ran over your Dogma

        by FoundingFatherDAR on Wed Oct 31, 2007 at 09:05:33 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Ha! (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          A Siegel, SeekCa

          What about that free market anyway?  The nerve.

        •  Tax credits? (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          marsalt, A Siegel, SeekCa

          When I first read your comment, I was appalled that someone would ask for such a thing.  

          But then it occurred to me that it might not be a bad idea. (Don't TR me yet!)

          Homes with fire suppression systems might dampen the 'wildfire' effect and save other homes by possibly breaking the fire line.  If there were systems that pumped swimming pool water onto/into the house, then the municipal supply would not be affected by the 'drain' on the pressure.  The cost/risk to firefighters and emergency response would be lessened as well.  

          The tax credit could somehow apply to new homes as well as the older ones -- encouraging whole communities to be equipped with such (especially rebuilding in places that are high risk).

          BUT, this could be (carefully) written into any legislation that would be designed to decrease the burden on the middle class.

          The tax credit could be expanded to cover other eco-friendly improvements as well.

          Special note with qualifier:

          I am not an insurance expert.  But after the CA earthquakes in the 80's, there were reports that insurance rates were going to go up across the country to cover the losses.  I would rather award these people a tax break for prevention instead of paying for their possible neglect afterwards.

          Investigate! Impeach! Indict! Incarcerate!

          by Cato come back on Wed Oct 31, 2007 at 09:48:04 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Why does everyone love to hate CA? (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            bronte17, A Siegel, SeekCa

            How much did insurance rates go up for everyone after 9/11, Katrina/Rita, tornadoes, and other natural disasters?  Why does everyone think it's always CA's fault (no pun intended) when insurance rates increase?

            My Karma just ran over your Dogma

            by FoundingFatherDAR on Wed Oct 31, 2007 at 10:10:02 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Did I say that I hated CA? (1+ / 0-)
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              A Siegel

              Really, I don't see even an implication of that in my post.  I was trying to keep the post to a minimum and not go on and on explaining every detail.  I usually assume that a reader here at Dkos can use critical thinking to put the ideas together.

              The fires happened in CA -- it's what we are discussing here.  The earthquakes happened in CA and that is where I heard the remark about insurance rates.  They had no control over the earthquake, but, there may have been things (like fire suppression systems) that could have limited the damages from the fire -- especially in expensive homes.

              In my opinion, the government has a role in moving us forward as a civilization:  building roads that link us and our commerce; enforcing laws that keep us safe; supplying education for our youth, etc. (Do I really need to list them all or can you get the idea?)

              If our 'civilization' is threatened by global warming, wildfires, floods, hurricanes, etc., it seems to me that the federal government has a role in encouraging minimization of the devastation -- if not total prevention of such -- on both the individual and the macro level.

              Since much of what the government does is based on a 'risk' to the communities' tax dollars, it would make sense to also include the costs of what citizens have to pay when those tax dollars (or tax breaks) are not spent on prevention:  higher insurance rates, emergency crews, evacuation and recovery costs, etc.

              I'm sorry that I didn't go into more detail in my above post.  Are we clear now -- or should I go into more detail about how I don't hate CA?

              Investigate! Impeach! Indict! Incarcerate!

              by Cato come back on Wed Oct 31, 2007 at 10:35:38 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  In the context of your comment one has to really (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        A Siegel, Granny Doc, SeekCa, The House

        be asking what the liabilities are of political policy that discourages banding together and investing as communities in our infrastructure and planning.

        •  Agree (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          xaxnar, A Siegel, The House

          All fire departments have a reciprocity aspect to them but it is unnerving how the San Diego area "relies on the kindness of strangers". Cal Fire and the Forest Service are supposed to come running down out of the Mtns to come save the City and County at the drop of a hat and sometimes that works and sometimes it doesn't. The part that I find particularly galling is how the paper and other traditional media squawk about "Where was the help when we were desperate?" Well, in process. Had they been like LA and invested in their own aircraft and boosted their own fire department they might have had them in the air before the fires got bad. I was listening to a report out of LA about how they had gotten the Malibu fire put down so rapidly because their pilots were familiar with the area and flew in conditions that someone unfamiliar with the area would have found too dangerous. Sound familiar San Diegans? This fire may cost the local economy upwards of $1B. So what was so wrong about increasing taxes to pay for more protection... oh yeah it cost too much, more than this? I doubt it and what happens on Thursday when the winds are scheduled to pick up again? Stupid and short-sighted.

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