Author Topic: Calif. town rejects Blackwater plan  (Read 4990 times)

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Offline Susan Graham

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Calif. town rejects Blackwater plan
« on: December 12, 2007, 03:22:46 pm »

Remember Blackwater's plans to build a training camp not far from the Mexican border in Far Southern California?  Remember the recent big WILDFIRE that took place in the area after residents of Potrero expressed their extreme dismay with their elected officials for assisting and furthering Blackwater's plans?  The town board members who supported Blackwater were just overwhelmingly RECALLED:

"The board members -- Jerry Johnson, Mary Johnson, Gordon Hammers, Janet Wright and Thell Fowler -- lost by wide margins."


SAN DIEGO—Residents balked at putting a Blackwater training camp near a sleepy mountain community, voting to recall five members of an advisory planning board that endorsed the global security firm's plan.

The results of a mail-in-ballot recall in the village of Potrero were announced early Wednesday, several hours after polls closed Tuesday night. The board members -- Jerry Johnson, Mary Johnson, Gordon Hammers, Janet Wright and Thell Fowler -- lost by wide margins. A sixth member who was not on the board at the time of the endorsement was not up for recall.


Blackwater vows to continue to "flame" the residents and bulldoze its way into their lives and home anyway.

Offline Amishism

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Re: Calif. town rejects Blackwater plan
« Reply #1 on: December 13, 2007, 10:29:13 pm »
Blackwater says it will go ahead with training camp plan

The Associated Press
Government security contractor Blackwater Worldwide reaffirmed plans Wednesday to build a rural training camp, a day after residents recalled five town officials who endorsed the project involving the North Carolina-based company.

The company wants to build 11 firing ranges, a driving track and a helipad in a valley just north of Potrero, a sleepy hamlet of about 850 people in the desert mountains about 45 miles east of San Diego.

"Regardless of who's sitting in that seat, we are proceeding," said Brian Bonfiglio, a company vice president who is overseeing Blackwater West.

Final say on the project rests with the San Diego County board of supervisors, which won't consider it until environmental impact reports are completed sometime in 2008.

Voters gave the boot by wide margins to members of the advisory planning board _ Gordon Hammers, Jerry Johnson, Mary Johnson, Janet Wright and Thell Fowler.

The five recalled members will be replaced by candidates who were also on Tuesday's ballot. A sixth board member who was not part of the board when it voted last year was not up for recall.

Many residents worry that the training camp would bring traffic, noise and pollution to Potrero, which is cut off from the coast by high mountains and miles of state wilderness.

Residents opposed to Blackwater's activities in Iraq have also raised objections. Company guards killed 17 Iraqi civilians in Baghdad in September, sparking congressional and now criminal investigations.

Bonfiglio said he thought objections to Blackwater's other activities were irrelevant to the camp case.

He said the facility in Potrero would focus solely on training law-enforcement officers, not contractors who work for the company in Iraq and Afghanistan.

"If my project was in with the county three years ago we wouldn't be having this problem because the views on the war were very different," he said.

"Everyone who's tired of the war sees us as attached to that," he said.

Hammers, the panel's ousted chairman, said the group's decision to send Blackwater's preliminary proposal to the county last December was misconstrued from the start.

He said the board's goal was to investigate what jobs and other perks having Blackwater might mean for the community.

"We chose to stay engaged," Hammers said. "Certain elements made it an anti-Bush, anti-Iraq war surrogate and sold that to the community. They were successful."

William Crawley, elected to replace one of the ousted board members, said the recall sent a clear message of opposition to the project after months of marches and demonstrations.

"It's symbolic thing," he said.

Bonfiglio said Erik Prince, Blackwater's chief executive, was planning to travel to Potrero early in the new year to host a community forum.

He said the company would work with the newly elected planning group members but was focused on addressing environmental concerns raised by county planners.

For Blackwater, the valley would be an ideal complement to its headquarters in Moyock, N.C., and a satellite training center in Mount Carroll, Ill., about 150 miles west of Chicago.

It's a 45-mile drive along a winding two-lane highway from downtown San Diego to the 800-acre chicken ranch Blackwater intends to transform into a state-of-the-art training camp.

The California site is a short drive from San Diego and its array of military bases and federal law-enforcement field offices _ including U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Border Patrol.

In the wake of the Baghdad shootings, the company is focusing on its training operations and trying to wean itself from overseas contracts.

Offline jack_2002

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Re: Calif. town rejects Blackwater plan
« Reply #2 on: January 01, 2008, 09:35:57 pm »
I'll say this once & say it in English:
Blackwater is a criminal organization committing crimes against humanity for pleasure & profit.
Members of Blackwater are sadistic criminals committing crimes against humanity and as such richly deserve whatever the people of Iraq can rise up and do to them in righteous self defense.
If these Blackwater animals were to show up in MY neck of the woods raping, killing & terrorizing I would be hunting them down and dishing them out a good dose of survivalist justice.

Offline Amishism

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Re: Calif. town rejects Blackwater plan
« Reply #3 on: March 09, 2008, 11:58:50 am »
Blackwater pulls application for Potrero training center

By Anne Krueger
March 7, 2008

Blackwater Worldwide officials have announced they are pulling their application to build a training center on an 824-acre site in the East County community of Potrero.

The North Carolina-based company dropped off a letter to the county planning department today notifying officials of their decision not to pursue plans for the project on a former chicken and cattle ranch.

“Although our project would have brought a great benefit to San Diego County, – providing local, state, and federal law enforcement with access to low-cost superior training facilities while bringing much-needed jobs to the area – the proposed site does not meet our business objectives at this time,” states the letter from Blackwater vice president Brian Bonfiglio.

Bonfiglio said noise tests the company conducted at the site did not meet county standards, and the cost of reducing the noise was too expensive. He said Blackwater had spent well over $1 million in its effort to get government approval for the site.

The company's effort to build the training center for law enforcement and the military met with a storm of criticism. Opponents said the training center would bring more noise and traffic to the quiet rural community, and others were critical of Blackwater's role as a military contractor in Iraq.

Bonfiglio said opposition to the project played no role in the company's decision to withdraw the project.

Opponents of the project were stunned and pleased to hear the news.

“It's great news for the community of Potrero,” said Carl Meyer, the recently-elected chairman of the Potrero planning group. “I think Potrero will start to rejoice tonight. We'll have a party.”

Raymond Lutz, an El Cajon-area resident who created an anti-Blackwater Web site, said he's glad the controversy is over.

“This poor community has been put through enough,” he said. “There's a lot of people who were friends who were on different sides of the issue.”
Blackwater's letter to the county (PDF)
Anne Krueger: (619) 593-4962; [email protected]

Offline Tim Osmond

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Re: Calif. town rejects Blackwater plan
« Reply #4 on: January 02, 2009, 04:40:13 pm »
Black water is and will always be the bastard step child of the US govt.  Black water is NOT an independent private company, it is a front.  Black water is used to do the dirty jobs the US military cant or wont do.  The training areas are being built because of the proximity to MCRD San Diego, Pendleton and March.  Black water uses military bases for flights and logistical resources, the training area they are building will put it close to several bases.

They will do what they want, when they want, they write the rules and own the game.
The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.
Thomas Jefferson