Rosy Words for Supervisor Horn
(The following appeared in the North County Times on April 21, 2008)
The 'Hail the Hall' award
“We have to line up a two-rose presentation after Oceanside City Council's unanimous 5-0 vote Wednesday night to lease a portion of the former police station to the nonprofit Veterans Association of North County. The old cop shop will become a meeting hall at 1617 Mission Ave., just east of Interstate 5. There, 10,000 square feet of the 13,500-square-foot building will house the veterans group, which has incorporated more than two dozen separate veterans groups under its wings representing about 5,000 veterans.
Association President Chuck Atkinson said the group is in the process of raising $5 million to renovate the building to include meeting rooms, a banquet hall with a stage, a lounge, kitchen and offices for staff and veterans-support groups. The ultimate goal is to have a place where veterans can meet today's warriors and have various veterans’ services ---- and camaraderie ---- available to them. To date, the association has raised $170,000, including a $100,000 contribution from County Supervisor Bill Horn's discretionary funds. Horn is a Vietnam veteran.
Thus, the first rose to Oceanside City Council members for making the commitment to a 30-year, rent-free lease to the veterans organization. A second rose to the many veteran volunteers who have worked with Atkinson since the group was founded in 2006, including filing the necessary paperwork for its nonprofit tax status.”
New Veterans Cemetery Expansion
Recently, we received excellent news from the Marine Corps that moves us closer to constructing and operating an annex of Ft. Rosecrans National Veterans’ Cemetery at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar.
The announcement came from the Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Installations and Environment, the Honorable B.J. Penn, and the Undersecretary of Veterans Affairs for National Cemetery Administration, the Honorable W.F. Tuerk, who signed the Record of Decision to establish the facility.
By 2009, the first interments on MCAS Miramar can be conducted by the National Cemetery Administration of the Department of Veterans Affairs. The VA will construct and operate the facility on some 300 acres of MCAS Miramar that is southeast of the intersection of Miramar Road and Nobel Drive, at the farthest western parcel of MCAS Miramar property.
The total site provided by the Marine Corps to the VA will yield a minimum of 50,000 casketed gravesites and 40,000 columbarium niches. It will be built out in a phased development and will exist as a National Veterans Cemetery on U.S. Marine Corps property, under a Land Use Agreement that was finalized this month.
The Ft. Rosecrans cemetery only has room for cremated remains burials in columbarium niches. The closest other National Cemetery is in Riverside County.
The culminating approval at Miramar concludes a five-year partnering endeavor by MCAS Miramar and the Department of Veterans Affairs. Many people in our local community have worked tirelessly to make this happen. They include the late John Ibe, the former Secretary of Veterans Affairs, the Honorable Anthony Principi of Rancho Santa Fe, retired Air Force Brigadier General Robert Cardenas, and Jack Harkins of MCAS Miramar.
For more information: Ft. Rosecrans National Cemetery Director, 619 553-2085.
Signs of the Times for Historic Old Highway 395
The signs are up and all that remains is full approval by the State Assembly and Senate and the Governor’s signature. Old Highway 395 in North County is expected to be officially designated as a “historic route.”
It was my pleasure to request and receive the Board’s approval directing our Public Works crews to finish putting up 31 of the route’s signs between Rainbow and Vista.
The process of getting this done is a story that reflects a spirit of cooperation in North County. Tom Casey of the Fallbrook Chamber asked Assemblyman Kevin Jeffries, who represents part of North County, to see what was needed to give Highway 395 an official state historic designation. Kevin got the ball rolling and now the road from San Diego all the way up to Oregon has the historic distinction. I was pleased to speed up the process and get the signs erected along the North County route.
From left, former professional wrestler Bill Goldberg, Assemblyman Jeffries,
Christi Knight, Tom Casey from the Fallbrook Chamber Government Affairs Committee,
longtime Fallbrook resident Dode Martin
Those of us who drove Highway 395 when it was the only inland link between Riverside and San Diego County, remember it as an adventurous route that sometimes quickened your pulse.
The highway has been changed several times over the decades however, its original design as the main route in and out of Fallbrook is now preserved with signs marking its former path.