We're looking a little further south than normal today since one of our readers passed along this tidbit: The sleepy agricultural town of Potrero, just southeast of San Diego, may soon host an 824-acre military training base for private security contractor Blackwater USA. As you may or may not know, Blackwater has a stellar history of providing "personal security": in Iraq, Afghanistan, and even in New Orleans, post-Katrina. Most of the opposition to the training facility, however, centers on environmental and noise concerns. It seems the Potrero Planning Group fast-tracked the project with little input from the community, who have now banded together to fight the project:
The Portrero Planning Group approved the facility by a 7-0 vote in December – but since then more than half of the town's registered voters have signed a petition opposing the facility. Residents also say they are organizing a recall against members of the Planning Group who voted in favor.While opponents have cited concerns for local eagles, noise from explosives, and distrust of a company known for human rights violations in Iraq, it may all boil down to land use: "To win approval of the project, Blackwater must obtain a change in zoning on the property, which is currently zoned agricultural." We say keep the chicken coops, skip the soldiers-for-hire.
· Massive security contractor faces growing protest in rural California town over 842-acre base [Raw Story]