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Thursday, October 25, 2007

Home Again and Bush's Wildfire Visits '03 and '07

Thank you all for your concern and encouraging messages. We came home last night after spending two nights down in the city. Harbison Canyon was spared the raging inferno this time around, at least so far...

We evacuated right after I posted the update on Monday afternoon. The winds were more powerful than we had ever experienced during the 22 years we have lived here. It was bending the China Berry trees almost in half and whipping the Pepper tree branches in all different directions. The air was filled with dust and debris, our windows were rattling, and we had to shout to be heard while we were loading the cars. It was then that the reverse 911 call came. We were urged strongly to leave on a voluntary basis. Given the wind and a fire down the road we were ready to go!

Did I mention that we no longer have a fire department in the Canyon? It burned down in the last fire. Our fire station and 50 of the 287 houses that burned have yet to be rebuilt. This is what was left of the station. We also lost two engines.

The wildfire situation here in San Diego County is as ripe with blogging material as it was in ' 03. Since I wasn't a blogger back then I'll blog about both. The politicians are on the radio and the television talking about the lessons learned and the improvements that have been put into practice since the Cedar Fire in 2003. Although there have been some improvements, I think they are busy framing their arguments to cover their asses because once this crisis is over and the ash settles, their unfilled promises will float before the public eye like a bevy of bloviating blimps.


Bush's last wildfire visit ( November of 2003) was several weeks after the flames had subsided but was just as disruptive to the recovery effort as his '07 wildfire visit today was to the fire fighting effort. Earlier this morning, while the usual flock of Bush supporters were bleating and baaing "Hail to the King" in anticipation of his hiney's stopover, the much needed fire fighting planes and helicopters were grounded. The fires were STILL BURNING and allowed to continue to burn for four hours without air cover to keep the sky clear for the president to do flyovers, speeches, and photo ops! Four hou
rs during a wildfire is an eternity! WTF???

I am not the only Californian who wishes the Presiding Asshole would have stayed at home. We are sick to death of this president and all of the rest of the politicians with their attending entourages who have thrust themselves upon us during this difficult time.

The school in Harbison Canyon remained closed for three weeks after the 2003 Cedar firestorm. Finally the day came for the students to return to school. Since the homes of many of the children had been destroyed in the fire, parents accompanied them t
o speak with the teachers and change the addresses in their children's paper work.

Minutes after their arrival, the school buzzer went off and a voice commanded that everyone remain in the classrooms with the shades drawn - the school was in lockdown. So the parents, teachers, and already traumatized children hunkered down and trembled. Several minutes later the principal explained over the intercom loudspeakers that two helicopters had landed on the playground. President Bush had come to assess the destruction in Harbison Canyon. They were then told not to look out of the windows.

Meanwhile, at our house in the canyon, my daughter and I prepared to wa
lk down the block. We woke up that morning to the sounds of helicopters. The choppers were in the air back and forth for several hours. There were snipers on the tops of all of the hills. The secret service had ordered the two main roads in the Canyon closed so that the president's convoy of vehicles filled with his entourage could pass unmolested.

Once down the stairs that lead up the hill to our house we noticed a shiny new Mercedes parked across the street next to the burned hulk of car that had been left behind when the fire rushed through. Four or five young people dressed in power suits and ties got out of the car and noisily walked down the block in hopes of catching a glimpse of their Republican hero, George W. Bush. They either drove over the top of the hill just before it was cordoned off or they knew somebody BIG.

The fledgling suits soon disappeared from sight. They went a lot faster than we did because I use a cane. We arrived at the street corner just as a steady stream of limos, Hum
mers, and vans raced by at dangerous rates of speed on our narrow two lane winding road. The continual swoosh of air almost knocked us over as the VIPs blurred by. The Canyonites who lined both sides of the road shook their heads at the dangerous devil-may-care style of driving. It was dangerous for us, that is, as there are no sidewalks or curbs here. The president treats local speed limits like he does The Constitution.

We hung around for about 10 minutes and talked with neighbors who were equally unimpressed by the presidential drive-by. The driving performance was soon repeated on the return trip to the school after the President's photo op with "a carefully selected stricken family" ended. My daughter and I walked back up the road towards our house. We were just about home when we looked across the street. The Mercedes was gone. This is what we saw...

The Young Republicans had enjoyed a fast food picnic and used my neighbor's burned car as a table (not wanting to dirty their Mercedes). Then the well dressed youthful bunch (future leaders?) exhibited the indifferent lack of consideration so often displayed by their party members - they left behind their garbage for someone else to clean up! Amid so much destruction this was unthinkably rude and hurtful!

Once back at the school where the kids were still under lockdown, the Presider and his keepers boarded the helicopters and left. The snipers, secret service, drivers, limos, Hummers, and vans all disappeared as swiftly as they had come. Finally the children, staff, and parents were freed. George W. Bush DID NOT STOP TO VISIT with those kids - many of whom were fire victims. He could have done a little speech for them and let them see his helicopters. They would have been thrilled. Instead he chose to terrorize them with a lockdown!

One grandmother was so outraged she wrote a very angry letter to the White House and to the paper. Months later the children who were fire victims each got a glossy publicity photo complete with a simulated signature of the man who had no time for them. Recently Bush again turned his back on America's children by vetoing the SCHIP.
We are all very tired probably because it has been so stressful especially after the last fire. This time we were threatened by two fires. We live between where the Harris and the Witch fires were burning. I hope all of our friends in San Diego County are OK and made it through this without loss. My heart goes out to those who have lost their homes or been injured. We will all pull together here like we did before to help those who need it. Many will need help and support for many months if not a year or two. The insurance companies do not make it easy, rebuilding is difficult, and finding an affordable place to rent in San Diego is nearly impossible.

*Note - I will answer the comment on the previous post (FIRE) tomorrow - my computer turn is over.

...........Kitchen Window Woman..........

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Blogger WeezieLou said...

what an awful experience, then and now. i hope all the jr republicans needed rescuing by some down-to-earth blue collar workers. thank god bush didn't pay you a visit this time. we know his motorcade is the only thing in town to pay attention to.

6:31 PM  
Blogger Mary said...

Just glad your home safe and sound.

5:27 AM  
Blogger redpill8 said...

Glad to hear you are well KWW! What a terrible experience to have to live through twice in just five years.

I just posted on my blog some interesting emails that I got regarding the fires. It seem up in Northern California authorities were seeing some strange men hanging around and taking pictures.

What for?

Also, there is an interesting story about Potrero and how residents described not being able to get out or receive reverse 9/11 warning calls.



6:31 PM  
Anonymous Brian said...

Glad you're home safe Sis! I wasn't sure what was going on. I'm kinda out of the loop on this side.

6:38 PM  
Blogger Jane said...

I'm so happy that you are safe. I live in Pasadena, untouched by the infernal except the air conditions. I love your balls to speak the truth. Stay strong knowing that there are vast numbers of us who can't write it all down as articulately as you....doesn't mean we aren't fighting the fight with you. xx to you dear woman.

7:17 PM  
Blogger Anon-Paranoid said...

Glad your finally home safe and sound.

God Bless.

10:00 PM  
Blogger Kitchen Window Woman said...

It was an awful experience. I feel for those who have suffered the loss of their homes. I know well the struggle that lies ahead. Lying politicians show up, pose, and leave. They don't do much else.

Thank you. We are glad, too but ever watchful.

Thanks. It wasn't pleasant to have to go through the evacuation experience again - if anything its made everyone in the Canyon a little more anxious.

I'll get over to read what you've posted soon - sounds interesting.

I'm glad you got in touch. I lost my main address book during a crisis two months ago and have had to wait for everyone to call one of our cell phones, or now that we are back, our home phone. I did find your address on an old envelope but I still don't have your phone or e-mail.

Give a call here or if you have my e-mail send your phone #. We are gong down to town for some groceries but the kids are here otherwise we'll be home all day tomorrow.

We are fine but tired and still haven't unpacked - just in case. Maybe we'll finally unpack tomorrow.

Thank you. I am glad to know that you are out there fighting, too. It is going to take all of us to save this country from the wanna be tyrants who occupy our nation's capitol.

We are glad too but remain vigilant.

2:46 PM  
Anonymous Tom Harper said...

Sorry you went through all this. Glad you're safe and sound.

At least Bush learned a valuable lesson from Katrinagate -- get better photo ops. 2 years ago his only photo op was when he was staring out the window of Air Force One looking down on New Orleans. This time he actually appeared in person for a photo op with a carefully selected family. See, he's making progress.

11:48 AM  
Blogger Janice said...


Thank you for many things, for your comments, and for letting me know everyone is back safely. My email is jmhackney@gmail.com :-)


2:00 PM  

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