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Last week, San Diego residents learned that Blackwater Worldwide has rented a large warehouse in Otay Mesa , allegedly for the purpose of training military and police officers.

The controversial company received a permit in March for a training site in Otay Mesa when it became apparent that Potrero was not going to allow them to build a facility in East County. They were able to gain a business permit from the Development Services Department by using the name of a subsidiary, Raven Development Group , and describing their business as a vocational training facility. (Raven has been in the business of designing and constructing facilities for Blackwater since 1997.) The permit was awarded without public hearings, in spite of the recent evidence of public resistance to such a facility.

Chuck from Escondido, CA
May 02, 2008 at 08:52 PM
In my nine years with the State Department's Diplomatic Security Service (all before Blackwater existed) I participated in many contractor training programs, most of which were valuable. The use of contract training gives federal agencies the ability to offer expertise when it might not be be cost-effective to maintain full-time employees or facilities in-house. While I can understand Hueso and Peters being confused and wanting more information, and certainly welcome Peters' views about whether allowing this government contractor to provide these jobs in San Diego is appropriate for the character of the community, if Filner truly believes this is a threat to our country and not just an opportunity to grandstand it would be helpful if he would use his position as a member of Congress to propose and pass legislation to improve the situation, not just contribute to global warming.

The Potreroist from Potrero, CA
May 23, 2008 at 12:14 AM
As a resident of Potrero, CA, where Blackwater was recently given the boot, I can tell you that we were told many versions of the "truth" by Brian Bonfiglio, Blackwater spokesperson for the Blackwater West project...all delivered with a sense of entitlement, thinly veiled by a forced sincerity. They want the huge revenue generated by the fear surrounding border security. He has publicly admitted to wanting to swallow the Border Patrol into the bowels of Blackwater, and does so with a self-righteous, nationalistic fervor.

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