Source: Valley Roadrunner

Letter to the editor
People of Julian say no to drone testing

November 26, 2013

On Sept. 24, all 5 of the San Diego County Board of Supervisors unanimously voted to approve a large portion of Southern California, including all of San Diego County, as one of the proposed 6 national Drone Test Sites, to be determined by the FAA in December, 2013.

About a month later, all 5 of San Diego County's Congressional Representatives jumped on board with their unanimous support to offer up our sunny California skies as a drone test zone.

This idea was originally proposed by the San Diego Military Advisory Council, the San Diego Regional Economic Development Corp. and the North County Chamber of Commerce. They cited that there was lots of money to be made by the existing multimillion dollar drone industries in the county, and job growth would be stimulated in this field. They failed to offer any public forums, informational hearings, or opportunities for county residents to ask about the drone test sites, and to express concerns and public input regarding privacy, safety, accountability and the need for more regulations.

Let's take a reality check here. If Southern California is chosen as a drone test site, it is estimated that thousands of drones will be filling our skies testing to be integrated into one of the busiest and most complicated air space areas in the country. Are we willing to

change our reputation as one of the most beautiful places in the country to live and vacation, to one that will be deemed a hazardous test zone of surveillance? Now is the time to look at the direction we are choosing to go as a society, and to let our representatives know that we cherish these beautiful skies of the place we call home. The air above us is a common ground that we all hold sacred, and we all need to raise a voice of protest to protect it. Do we really need all these drones in our lives, after all? Is it the Bill of Rights that defines this nation that we value, or the Bill of Sale? OUR SKIES ARE NOT FOR SALE.

L.B. Johnson

Pauma Valley