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Friday, September 22, 2023

Facts vs Social Media Misinformation

Letters to the Editor submitted to The Coronado Times are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the publisher, editors or writers of this publication. Submit letters to [email protected].

Submitted by Carolyn Rogerson

I happen to have attended the July 18, 2023 City Council meeting for different interests other than the Spreckels Center Lawn Bowling Green agenda item. Though not on any social media sites myself, I learned a lot of false information was being spread on some Coronado specific sites about that meeting. Most egregious is the false claim that the unanimous decision City Council made was rushed, sneaky and not well informed. Over two years of research and a 1,000 page study is hardly a poorly informed rush job.

When the advance announced Agenda Item regarding the Spreckels lawn bowling turf came up, I learned quite a bit from the over two-year long study and its results. After lengthy presentations from City Staff, arborists, biologists and quotes from experts in every related field, and discussion by every member of the City Council, Council all voted Aye. Yes, to accept a City Staff recommendation to remove four hazardous trees and immediately replace them with four other less hazardous trees.

We learned the Torrey Island Pine is dangerously leaning and is unanimously predicted by experts to fall onto the Library building. If all the common pine trees and roots crowding the Torrey Island Pine are removed, perhaps it can be saved.

Trees on Library back lawn by bowling green

A few days later, there was hysterical, uninformed opinion circulating on Coronado social media pages. Posts expressing uneducated, emotional reaction to the City Council’s studied decision were shown to me. Claiming the decision was sneaky, deceitful and made in haste, these folks, without any supporting data, convinced Councilman Casey Tanaka to ask for a do over. Social media critics seem to have more sway over Mr. Tanaka than 1,000 pages of well researched Staff work. I suggest all watch the City Council video of that presentation before making erroneous statements.

Mr. Tanaka apparently caved to a relatively few uninformed supporter’s complaints and denied the veracity of the detailed, studied, 1,000 page report, that took over two years to compile. Presumably Mr. Tanaka had adequate time to read the report before voting Aye along with every other Council member. Agree or disagree, City Council voted on what is in the best interest of the entire community; showing respect for the work Staff performs in providing these detailed studies. Is not Staff and the time they put into these studies worthy of your respect Mr. Tanaka? The community needs strong oak like representation, not easily hot air blown bending willows voting emotion over facts.

Carolyn Rogerson

Managing Editor
Managing Editor
Originally from upstate New York, Dani Schwartz has lived in Coronado since 1996. She is happy to call Coronado home and to have raised her children here. In her free time she enjoys reading, exercising, trying new restaurants, and just walking her dog around the "island." Have news to share? Send tips or story ideas to: [email protected]