2 Borrego Springs Residents Stop Mock Invasion by Marine Corps

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The Battle for Borrego Springs.

It started with a Marine Corps plan to use the Borrego Valley Airport and a nearby county road maintenance station for a training exercise in the wee hours of Tuesday morning.

A dozen helicopters were to swoop down to the desert floor, Marines would pile out and liberate “hostages” inside the station.

Flash-grenades and blank rifle fire. The helicopters would refuel and return within minutes to ships off Oceanside.


All part of a bigger training exercise called Kernel Usher ‘91, involving 2,000 Marines and sailors from five ships. To keep everybody sharp in case Saddam or some other desert despot needs a whack.

Forty-plus Borrego Springs residents attended a town meeting last week to receive a briefing from the Marine Corps. Nary a dissenting view was heard.

The county government, the airport management, the Fire Department and the Chamber of Commerce all approved.

But then Monday afternoon, the Marine Corps abruptly pulled the plug. Reason: 11th-hour opposition from two homeowners about noise and disruption.

The two live within a quarter of a mile of the road station. One cares for an aging father who has cancer; the other is a horse breeder.

“I was very much behind the operation when it was going to be at the airport,” said Kay Levie, who boards 14 horses. “But then I heard it was going to be in my neighborhood, right next door. I just couldn’t take that risk with my horses.”


Levie contacted an attorney about an injunction. The Marine Corps decided not to litigate.

The woman who cares for her father has left town to avoid any retribution from patriotic neighbors.

Dori Holliday, president of the Chamber of Commerce, just hopes the community doesn’t get a bad reputation in this post-Operation Desert Storm era:

“It should not appear that Borrego is not a loyal, nationalistic, patriotic community.”

The Losses Keep Mounting

Here and there.

* Another nickel down the drain.

When San Diego’s Home Federal Bank announced the forced resignation Tuesday of Robert F. Adelizzi, its president and chief executive officer, it did so with a long statement carried on the public-relations news wire.

Included was the bad news that the company had a first-quarter net loss of $174 million, or $8. 04 per share.

Within minutes, the company issued a correction with even worse news: Make that loss $8. 09 per share.

* Putting your handcuffs where your mouth is.

After complaints from merchants about rampant gang graffiti, San Diego cops Jim Dickinson and Jorge Guevara staked out a site that is a common target.

Sure enough, they arrested seven juveniles for brazenly scrawling graffiti at 3 o’clock in the afternoon. The site of the graffiti artists’ wrath?

A Jack in The Box restaurant at 24th and Market.

* North County bumper sticker, on a red Maserati: “Homeless.”

* East County bumper sticker: “I’m Proud to Be an American. Jerry Reeder Bail Bonds, El Cajon.”


* Vodka, breakfast of sailors.

Stolichnaya vodka is the lead sponsor of the Red Star Syndicate, the Soviet challenge for the America’s Cup. Its boat, “Red Star,” is set to arrive to San Diego this summer.

Rather than be shut out of the current World Championships, Stolichnaya Cristall on Tuesday announced its new status as “official supplier” to Dennis Conner.

Among other things, the company provided a spinnaker for “Stars and Stripes,” complete with Stoli logo.

Duck Tales at the Dump

Your government at work.

After Miracle March, strange things happened.

Like four families of mallard fledglings deciding to make their home in a newly formed pond at a closed portion of the Miramar landfill site (dump, to you).

Bird lovers all, the trashmen stopped bulldozing the area.

And the city got special dispensation from the Regional Water Quality Control Board to keep the pond until the mallards are big enough to fly away.

Trash boss Richard L. Hays says: “We have no intention of ducking our responsibilities.”