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Last login: Tuesday, November 8, 2011
DG You are right we need to have MORE Organic farms not fewer. The Escondido issue and the Jacumba are slightly different and usually, you can't have a "one-size-fits all" solution
Please know that all the Supervisors at yesterday's San Diego County Supervisor's meeting came out in favor of Organic farms . One of the Supervisors even owns an Organic farm. They have no intention of spraying pesticides on farms or shutting them down. They only want to make sure that there are consequences to farmers (Organic or otherwise) that refuse to fully comply with Good Farming practices to mitigate eye gnat infestations. This does not we mean we expect ZERO gnats, just that the residents of both communities want to be able to do things outdoors again as other communities can.This can be done ( the Supervisors have stated that there are 344 Organic farms just in the County alone, and only 2 are problems).
There were very eloquent and passionate speakers there for Mr Brammer of BeWiseRanch. They are very concerned that they will lose this resourse. I do not see this happening as I am sure the County can work with Mr Brammer on the correct Good farming practices. From what I hear he does great charity work and also provides a needed service.
November 10, 2011 at 6:45 p.m.
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Dear John: Yes I am a resident of Jacumba. My name is Danielle Cook :) You can contact me through the community website that I voluntarily manage, www.gosandiegobackcountry.org. Regarding proof that the farm is the cause of the eye gnat infestation and the increasing populations, this has been fully established by San Diego County Vector Control, Mr Bethke (highly credible enthomologist from the UC Riverside) and the Board of Supervisors. (you do not have to take my word for it). It has also been established that Mr Bornt has not satisfactorily addressed the problem. You can read the countys's own non-compliance reports on the farm on the San Diego County Supervisors website (again no need to take my word for it). I have never harrassed nor slandered Mr. Bornt, just stated facts that can be substantiated. I do not have time for a hobby, I am a hard working executive in a global company whose biggest crop just happens to be organic. I also spend my free time working with other civic minded residents to revitalize our community (its a wonderful place once you discount the gnats). As far as me being a 'troll" what an odd comment to make. ?! and totally non-relevant.
And, Mr or MS welovechocolate, its a pity you missed the Board of Supervisors meeting this morning when realtors and school officials brought up monetary losses DIRECTLY attributable to the eye gnats and not a bad economy. What you also fail to grasp is that there are many in our community who don't want the farm shut down. We simply want Mr. Bornt to fully comply with the Agreement he HIMSELF signed in taking action to mitigate the problem. The community of Jacumba was well established prior to Mr Bornt leasing the farm next to us. Many of our residents are too poor to just "move" as you suggest. Are you suggesting that one "bad neighbor" farmer is more important than 562 people because we are rural or live in a small community? The teachers, firemen, retired military, ranchers, plumbers, border patrol, retirees, artists, entreprenuers and others who live in Jacumba might argue that. How sad that you feel this way. Finally, you seemed to missed the part of my commentary that stated we hired an independent entomologist to come up with a scientifically proven way to measure eye gnat population numbers so the question of HOW MANY EYE GNATS ARE ENOUGH? will be able to be answered. This will be beneficial for Mr. Bornt and Mr. Brammer. We made a presentation, with some new abatement solutions to the San Diego County Vector control last Friday and hope to see them implemented -I believe rather than characterizing us as "complainers" we should be viewed as actively seeking a solution.
November 9, 2011 at 8:26 p.m.
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Dear John, I am a resident of Jacumba and would like to comment on "who are these protesters"?!
First ,let me tell you about eye gnats, They are characterized by the University of Florida (my alma mater) Food and Agriculture Sciences Division as FILTH Breeding Flies. Eye Gnats love moisture including that found in scabs, pus, blood, animal genitals and, eyes. When they attach their soft mouths to the eyeball, they use rough saw like appendages on sides of their mouth to scratch the eye to make it easier to suck the moisture. THIS is what is swarming in high numbers on our babies,children and pets.
In Jacumba, it is NOT about Organic farms but rather about a farmer (Mr. Alan Bornt) who is a bad neighbor. Some observations:
1) None of his crop is ever made available to us. The 450 acre farm turns quickly and ships elsewhere. What he DOES make available is swarms of eye gnats, trash on the side of the road sometimes after harvest that community volunteers have to pick up, chicken feathers blowing into our community when he spreads chicken manure and a sadly diminishing wetland area as his wells appear to be sucking habitat dry2) Mr. Bornt makes it sound as if he is the victim, spending large sums of money to find a solution. He has taken action ONLY after pressure from the county and in fact, has not complied with the complete abatement plan he agreed to in writing. You can see proof on the posted non-compliance reports about his farm on the San Diego County website. 3) The 99% reduction number Mr Brammer refers to does indicate that there are 99% fewer gnats being caught in the traps than before in the trap areas. However, when you start with what we estimate could be a billion eye gnats,you still have MILLIONS to plague the community4) Because of Bornt's eye gnats our residents have lost money on property sales and rentals that didn't go through, their children cannot play outside without swarms of gnats in their eyes and mouths, pets have had to be put down and children cannot focus in school with gnats crawling all over them.
I do have GOOD news however, for Mr Brammer and Cindy. We (Jacumba Against Gnats group or JAG) have hired an independent entomologist who has come up with a scientifically proven way to measure eye gnat population numbers so the question of HOW MANY EYE GNATS ARE ENOUGH? will be able to be answered. This was presented with some new abatement solutions to the San Diego County Vector control last Friday and hope to see them implemented soon.
So you see, in Jacumba it isn't about Organic at all. The fact is that we had a well established community PRIOR to Mr. Bornt leasing the land and had very few eye gnats (what rural area doesn't have some?) but NOTHING on the scale we have now. We have put up with this for well OVER 7 years and enough is enough.
November 8, 2011 at 7:19 p.m.
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