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Roundtable Tackles Iraq Dilemma, Incentives For Businesses, Escondido Golf Course

KPBS Roundtable

Roundtable Tackles Iraq Dilemma, Incentives For Businesses, Escondido Golf Course

Audio

Aired 8/15/14

Hagel in San Diego, Incentives For Businesses, Escondido Golf Course

HOST:

Mark Sauer

GUESTS:

Tony Perry, Los Angeles Times

Lisa Halverstadt, Voice Of San Diego

Alison St. John, KPBS News

Hagel Addresses Iraq Dilemma

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel visited Camp Pendleton this week. He told the Marines that the 130 additional military advisers — making a total of 380 U.S. troops — that arrived in Iraq on Tuesday did not mean the U.S. was sending American “boots on the ground.”

Hagel said they were there to assess the increasingly critical situation caused by the rapid advance of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL.

From 2003 to 2011, 345 Marines and sailors from Camp Pendleton were killed in Iraq. The U.S. believed the country to be mostly stabilized and essentially withdrew beginning in 2009. Hagel attributed the disintegration of the Iraqi military and the rapid advance of ISIL to Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's government.

In addition to sending advisers, the U.S. has begun air strikes against ISIL militants and are providing weapons to the Kurds and relief supplies to trapped Yasidis.

Business in San Diego -- Coming or Going?

Buck Knives, Illumina, Kashi and Ballast Point. Are these and other San Diego businesses staying or leaving for greener (tax) pastures?

A survey of area businesses taken by the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce says that 1 in 19 local companies is serious about leaving San Diego, but 85.6 percent say they are not considering a move.

Three local tech companies, Websense, Omnitracs and Active Network, all bought by Vista Equity, recently announced a move to Texas, lured by incentives and perhaps a lower cost of living.

For some businesses, skills and expertise in cybersecurity, unmanned systems, telecommunications and wireless technology available in San Diego are powerful incentives to stay. For others, money and resources beat talent.

Dying Golf Course In Limbo

An initiative from a developer on the November ballot in Escondido could determine the fate of the Escondido Country Club golf course, now closed by its owners and withering rapidly.

The developer-owner believes the course is no longer economically viable. Stuck in the Rough, LLC wanted originally to build 600 homes on the 110 acre course, but the initiative reduces that number to 430 homes.

The Escondido City Council, however, unanimously supported a previous citizens’ initiative to keep the course as open space.

The developer is suing the City Council for millions and is also facing fines for scattering chicken manure on the course, which borders a housing development.

This action grossed out the neighbors and fostered a lot of bad puns.

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