April 21, 2013 (San Diego) – “Another scourge is beginning in California,” environmental activist Peg Mitchell told audience members at a forum on environmental justice issues hosted by Activist San Diego on April 15. That “scourge” is fracking – and in California, it’s all about extracting oil, not natural gas.
To frack for oil requires millions of gallons of water –a precious commodity in Cailfornia. It also means injecting toxic chemicals that corporations are not required to disclose due to the “Halliburton Law” pushed through by former Vice President Dick Cheney.
The public doesn’t have a right to know where fracking is occurring or where its waste products will be dumped—even though fracking can cause earthquakes, disturb radioactive substances in the earth, reinject contaminated water into wells, and potentially pollute thousands of miles of coastline.
March 27, 2013 (Rancho San Diego)--Heritage of the Americas Museum is presenting a Fine Art Show and Sale on Friday, April 26with an array of art works that will capture the imagination and inspire. Thirteen artists will mingle with the guests including world-renowned artist and global issues speaker Ray “Padre” Johnson.
Padre Johnson has been called a true renaissance man for his diversity of achievements in many fields. His works have been displayed at the United Nations. He was the first American ever invited to display his work at the Royal Palace in the Forbidden City in Beijing, China. He also exhibited here at the grand opening of the Heritage of the Americas Museum and is returning from Cody, Wyoming, to be here for the 20th anniversary
Additional artists will also be featured; for details on other artists see http://www.eastcountymagazine.org/node/12848. The event includes special music by the Chris Klich Jazz Trio and flautist Jim Hannibal. Wine and beer will be served. Great hors d’oeuvres and desserts will be offered by Cupid’s Catering. Donation is $10.00. Please RSVP (see contact information below).
April 21, 2013 (San Diego) – San Diego State University (SDSU) police have issued an alert to warn students of a man who grabbed a woman, 20, who was walking in the south alley of 5600 Montezuma Road just off campus this morning at 3 a.m. The suspect is described as an Asian male, tall with spiked hair, in his mid-20s, wearing black-framed glasses, a white shirt and light jeans. He fled in a black four-door BMW toward Campanile Drive.
According to police, the suspect walked up to the victim, grabbed her arm and leg and attempted to pull her. She suffered no injuries and no weapon was used in the incident.
Annual event has become one of the largest community events in East County
April 11, 2013 (Rancho San Diego)--With farmer’s markets, community gardens and urban farming growing ever popular among the health- and conservation-minded in East County, it’s no wonder the Spring Garden Festival at Cuyamaca College has become such a major draw.
This year’s festival on Saturday, April 27, marks the 20th anniversary of the event, which began in 1993 as the Urban Forest Field Day, an outreach activity for arboriculture students to demonstrate what they’ve learned. The free festival has grown to become a showcase event for the college’s entire ornamental horticulture program, as well as the Heritage of the Americas Museum and the co-sponsoring Water Conservation Garden, both located on the Rancho San Diego campus. With the addition of local artisans, vendors, kid-friendly activities, and a variety of plant and garden societies, the festival now attracts about 7,000 visitors annually.
Exclusive to ECM: How decision could impact East County's transportation and energy production
By Miriam Raftery
April 20, 2013 (San Diego) – On the eve of Earth Day events, the Sierra Club has won a critical lawsuit challenging the County of San Diego’s Climate Action Plan (CAP). On April 19, Superior Court Judge Timothy Taylor issued his final ruling agreeing with the Sierra Club that the County’s Climate Action Plan “contains no enforcement mechanism for reducing GHG [greenhouse gas] emissions.”
The ruling could have significant consequences for East County, where numerous large wind and solar projects have been pushed through under the mantra of addressing climate change.
On one hand, the decision could bolster arguments of some Supervisors who view large energy projects as the fastest or easiest way to meet goals for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
On the other hand, the ruling also forces the County to conduct an Environmental Impact Report - opening up the process for public comment. That could include discussion of how much fossil fuel it takes to manufacture, build and operate industrial-scale wind and solar projects--and whether there are better alternatives, such as solar on roofs and parking lots in urban areas.
April 13, 2013 (La Mesa) – A 76-year tradition returns to La Mesa with the revival of the Lamplighters Community Theatre. On April 25-27, the group will present “Daughters of the Appalachians” in the Lamplighters’ first performance since 2006, when the old theater was torn down to make way for the new La Mesa police station.
The theatrical group was founded back in 1937, originally known as the La Mesa Little Theatre. In 1976, the organization became Lamplighters Community Theatre, performing in the Ben Polak Fine Arts Center until its demolition force the limelight to go dark. But now , like a phoenix, the group has found new life—and a new theater is rising in La Mesa, a city which just celebrated its centennial. The new Lamplighters theatrical performances will take place at the La Mesa Village Center, 5915 Severin Drive in La Mesa, at the corner of Severin and Amaya drives.
April 20, 2013 (San Diego) – In honor of this year’s Earth Day on April 22, take action to make your home a hub of energy-efficient practices. “Going green” is no longer just the catch phrase of environmental advocates, celebrities and politicians. Now, you and your neighbors are empowered to make environmentally friendly changes to your home to address the growing concerns of a shaky economy, increasing energy costs, and our ever-dwindling natural resources.
April 20, 2013 (La Mesa) – On April 19 at 2:37 a.m., a masked subject approached the front doors of the Circle-K convenience store, located at 8899 La Mesa Boulevard, and attempted to force his way inside the store. The suspect’s attempts to enter the store were foiled as the clerk inside had previously locked the doors while stocking shelves.
The suspect fled the scene of the robbery attempt on foot. He was last seen running east in the area of 8900 Grossmont Boulevard towards the area of SR-125. The suspect was described as an unknown race male, stocky build, 5 feet 8 inches to 6 feet tall. The suspect was wearing a red and black wrestler’s mask with silver accents. He was also wearing a gray sweatshirt with “San Diego” embroidered on the chest and blue jeans. It is unclear if the suspect was armed in this incident.
April 20, 2013 (San Diego’s East County ) – Senator Joel Anderson has called for a change in leadership at Caltrans, citing an independent state auditor’s report that suggests a “pattern of abuse, theft and mismanagement” under the leadership of Acting Director Malcolm Dougherty.
The study, the latest in a string of critical reports on Caltrans, found that employees falsified safety reports on bridges, jeopardizing lives, as well as stealing property. Salaries on Dougherty’s watch also rose to over $100,000 for the department’s 20,000 employees while road conditions deteriorated, Anderson charged, contending that the agency has become a “laughingstock.”
April 19, 2013 (San Diego’s East County) – David Bittner, eagle expert with Wildlife Research Institute, pled guilty to federal charges of unlawful taking of a Golden Eagle without a permit and failing to file any data reports for a four-year period on birds that he had banded.
Bittner conducted studies on Golden Eagles for Iberdrola’s Tule Wind project in East County, which was approved by the federal government on public lands as well as by the county on private properties. Portions of the project on state and tribal lands, where several Golden Eagle nests were reported, are pending approvals by the Bureau of Indian Affairs and State Lands Commission.
“Can those agencies rely on Bittner’s Golden Eagle work for Tule wind that was apparently unpermitted and unlawful?” asks Donna Tisdale, chair of Boulevard Planning Group and a founder of two citizens groups, Protect Our Communities Foundation and Backcountry Against Dumps, that has filed a lawsuit seeking to halt the project. “What other breaches of law or professional ethics might be involved?”
April 19, 2013 (San Diego) – A jury today has acquitted U.S. Border Patrol agent Luis Fonseca of using unreasonable force. Fonseca was shown on Border Patrol video strangling a migrant to unconsciousness while the undocumented migrant, Adolfo Cesar Escobar, tood with his hands against a wall waiting to be fingerprinted at the Imperial Beach Border Patrol station. Jurors found the video evidence inconclusive.
“This sends the wrong message to Border Patrol and fuels a culture of impunity in the agency,” said Andrea Guerrero, Executive Director of Alliance San Diego in a statement released today. The rights activist added, “It should never be acceptable to strangle someone who poses no threat, then kick him while he is down and walk away as if no harm had been done.”
April 19, 2013 (Alpine) – Bird singers, resources, food, activities, crafts for kids, entertain and more are all part of the Southern Indian Health Clinic’s annual Spring Gathering set for April 27 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Alpine Clinic, 4058 Williows Road in Alpine.
April 19, 2013 (El Cajon) – The German American Societies of San Diego, in friendship with the countries of: Poland, Japan, Italy, Greece, Holland and Germany are collaborating to bring the community a special evening of international food and entertainment.
This Saturday, April 20, beginning at 6:00 p.m., the public can experience a night of folk dance performances, dance to the music of the Red Baron Band and enjoy a delicious international dinner buffet. Guests can also delight in watching the “Kindertanzgruppe,” children’s dance group at 7:30 p.m.
April 19, 2013 (La Mesa) – Water Awareness in Residential Neighborhoods (“W.A.R.N.”) and The City of La Mesa are holding a FREE, “April Pool’s Day” at the La Mesa Municipal Pool, located at 5100 Memorial Drive, La Mesa, on Saturday, April 20, from 12:00 p.m. (noon) to 3:00 p.m.
This special event highlights the importance of safety in recognition of “Drowning Prevention Month” in May. The public is invited have fun while learning how to keep children and others safe near and in water.
April 19, 2013 (El Cajon) – On Tuesday, April 23, the El Cajon City Council will weigh creating an ad hoc committee to explore discussions with the Grossmont Union High School District Board on a potential partnership to revive the East County Performing Arts Center (ECPAC). The proposal could also include opening a new multi-use facility adjacent to the theater, in addition to restoring and reopening the theater itself.
"It's potentially beneficial (for the district), a great use for the East County region," City Manager Doug Williford (photo, left) said, the Union-Tribune reported. "However even without (the district as a partner), we're going to re-open it. There are only three or four venues like it - Golden Hall in downtown San Diego, Escondido and Poway. These are rare facilities. Arts and events centers are important components to a community. And this goes well beyond the city's boundaries."
April 19, 2013 (Boston)-- The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has released photos from video surveillance of suspects believed to have left bags or backpacks containing the bombs that killed three and injured 176 at Monday's Boston Marathon. One supsect has been named: Dzhokar Tsarnaev, 19.View more photos here.
Nearly 200 runners from San Diego were registered for the race, including 18 from East County.
After high winds on April 8 ripped their trailer home off its foundation west of Jacumba in Bankhead Springs, Dewey St. Julien and Virginia Hogan found themselves homeless. They lived in their truck and later, a motel with help from Red Cross. Now they are on a list hoping to receive a home from Habitat for Humanity.
“They asked how they could repay what blessings have come their way,” said Lorrie Ostrander, who has been assisting the young coupe. So tonight, April 18, Julien and Hogan have organized a spaghetti dinner to benefit Julie Atherton, a Mountain Empire Health employee with breast cancer.
The dinner will be held at the Mountain Empire Community Center, 976 Sheridan Road in Campo. Suggested donation is $5 for adults and $3 for children. A silent auction will also be held.
April 19, 2013 (Santee) – A vehicle driving east on Mast Boulevard at 11:20 this morning ran a red light at Carlton Hills Blvd., according to witnesses, colliding with a vehicle traveling southbound on Carlton Hills. The driver who caused the collision sustained major injuries.
Santee Fire Department Paramedics performed CPR on her at the scene. She was transported to Sharp Memorial hospital, where she is in the ICU in critical condition.
April 18, 2013 (San Diego’s East County) – San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) yesterday announced it has signed five new renewable power purchase agreements including two in San Diego County. But oddly, a local planner and a news editor in these rural communities have told ECM they were unaware of these projects.
SDG&E’s release did not state where in San Diego County the projects would be located. Jennifer Ramp with SDG&E has informed ECM that the two local projects are Silverado Power, LLC’s Zodiac Solar (20 Megawatts) in Potrero and Northlight Power’s C908 Solar project (7 MW) in Valley Center. Both projects are newly executed and have not yet been approved by the California Public Utilities Commission, Ramp said.
March 19, 2013 (Lake Morena) – Community members are pitching in to help Lake Morena resident Julie Atherton, who has been diagnosed with breast cancer and is having surgery on March 28. Atherton works for the Mountain Empire Health at the Campo Community Center.
A spaghetti dinner fundraiser to help defray her medical expenses will be held on April 19 from 6-9 p.m. at the Mountain Empire Community Center, 976 Sheridan Road in Campo. A silent auction will also be held.
No link seen to Boston bombings; suspect had history of arrests
By Miriam Raftery
April 17, 2013 (Washington D.C.) Today at 5:15 p.m., FBI special agents arrested Paul Kevin Curtis, the suspect believed to be responsible for mailings of the three letters sent through the U.S. Postal Service to top officialswhich contained a granular substance that preliminarily tested positive for the toxin ricin., the FBI announced. The letters were addressed to President Barack Obama, U.S. Senator Wicker, and a Mississippi justice official.
San Diego National Wildlife Refuge would like to invite you to Earth Day on Saturday, April 20. Enjoy hiking with a Ranger between the hours of 9:00-11:00 a.m. There will also be educational displays and kids’ activities.
The celebration will begin at the old steel bridge trailhead in Rancho San Diego (on Highway 94 just across from the McGrath Famliy YMCA). All ages are welcome. Bring your sturdy hiking shoes along with a hat, water and some snacks. Don’t forget your binoculars if you have them.
The event will be staged in the Museum's Display Building , where you will feast amid the Museum's historic railroad trains and artifacts. You can also purchase rides on a vintage train. Reservations | Event Flyer
April 18, 2013 (San Diego’s East County) – Good marketing is all about making you stand out from the others - building a brand that is recognizable, unique and compelling. Why, then do so many business owners insist on doing what someone or everyone else is doing?
For instance, how many times have you watched a commercial on TV and thought that it must have been written by, or stolen from, the same people who did an ad for a different company. You know, what I mean - it had the same feel, flow and concept as an ad you'd seen at least a month ago for a totally different product. Did it make you remember the new product being advertised, or simply recall the ad it seemed to be based on?
April 18, 2013 (San Diego) – The San Diego Chapter of the Executive Women's Golf Association (EWGA) will hold its spring membership kickoff on Sunday, April 21 at the Rancho Bernardo Inn, 17550 Bernardo Oaks Rd. in San Diego, beginning with registration, a buffet breakfast and sponsor showcase at 9 a.m. followed by nine holes of golf. The cost of $55 includes the buffet breakfast and golf, as well as door prizes and an opportunity drawing. Women golfers of all skill levels are welcome to attend to learn more about the benefits of EWGA membership.
Featured speaker will be PGA Player Development Regional Manager Nikki Gatch, spokesperson for PGA's Get Golf Ready, a program whose mission to help novice golfers to learn and enjoy the game of golf mirrors that of EWGA.
April 18, 2013 (San Diego) – California State University Chancellor Timothy P. White will visit the San Diego State University campus April 24 and 25. In addition to touring the campus and meeting with university representatives, Chancellor White will host an open forum for all members of the university community.
The forum will take place on Wednesday, April 24 from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. in the Athletics Auditorium in the Fowler Athletics Center.
At the open forum, Chancellor White will provide brief remarks and take questions from members of the audience.
April 18, 2013 (San Diego) – Residential property values have been rising in San Diego County. Depending upon the source of the real estate information, values have risen 10 percent or more in the past year. However, if a property owner believes their property’s market value as of January 1, 2013 is below their current assessed value, they may request the Assessor’s Office to review their assessment. As an indication of the current assessed value, a property owner can look at the Net Taxable Value on their 2012-2013 tax bill. (See box 7.)
April 18, 2013 (San Diego) – Alvarado Hospital, as part of Prime Healthcare Services, was recognized in April among the “Top 15 Top Health Systems” in the nation by Truven Health Analytics (formerly Thomson Reuters) based on quality of care, efficiency and patient satisfaction. This is the third time in five years that Prime Healthcare has earned the national distinction and includes South Bay-based Paradise Valley Hospital.