August 30, 2016 (Spring Valley) – The County’s process for enforcement of code violations is “prolonged and secretive,” often with no resolution and no updates provided to those who file complaints, states a letter sent by Lora Lowes, Chair of the Spring Valley Community Planning Group, to County Supervisors and to Mark Wardlaw, director of the county’s Department of Planning and Development Services.
August 30, 2016 (Jamul) — Oak boring beetles have killed thousands of oak trees across East County. But now there is hope to save them. On October 1st, the Lyons Valley Trading Post (17608 Lyons Valley Road in Jamul) will host a free workshop under the oak trees. Experts from U.C. Berkeley, U.C. Riverside and Cal Fire will be on hand to share the latest information including treatments that can save your trees.
Source: San Diego Regional Water Quality Control Board
August 30, 2016 (Lemon Grove) --The San Diego Regional Water Quality Control Board has imposed a $595,367 penalty against developer San Altos-Lemon Grove, LLC for water quality violations related to construction activities at its 18-acre Valencia Hills residential development in the city of Lemon Grove.
August 29, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) – If you see a bird that looks suspiciously like a flying Fruit Loops mascot, you’re probably not imagining it. Residents from Alpine to Jamul are reporting sightings of a tropical toucan – and the Alpine Community Network website even posted a photo with the observation, “OMG ITS REALLY A TOUCAN!”
East County Magazine reported on complaints about a CCA private immigration detention facility in San Diego County back in 2011
By Miriam Raftery
August 29, 2016 (Washington D.C.) – Just one week after the U.S. Justice Department announced plans to phase out its use of 13 private prisons due to reports of serious abuse and ineffectiveness, as ECM reported, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson today called for a review to determine if use of private immigration detention facilities should be eliminated. The review should be done by November 30.
August 29, 2016 (San Diego) - On August 10, 2016, Congressman Scott Peters (D-San Diego), along with city and county officials, met to discuss the issue of homelessness in San Diego. The key question is how funding by the U.S. Department of Housing and Development (HUD) can be updated so that San Diego gets its fair share of money each year. A recent Voice of San Diego report found that despite having the nation’s third largest homeless population, San Diego gets less than many other cities with fewer homeless people.
August 28, 2016 (Anza-Borrego Desert) – A reader of East County Magazine has come forward to say that he saw Mickey James Guidry , then 16, at the site where the Jeep driven by the teen broke down in the Anza-Borrego Desert over Thanksgiving weekend back in November 2009—just before Mickey went missing The witness says he saw Mickey speaking with a couple who offered him a ride, and showed him a map with possible routes Mickey may have later taken on foot.
The Jeep Mickey was driving was found 22-miles along Fish Creek Wash, its tire worn down to the rim and bumper torn off. Mickey’s wallet and ID were left in the Jeep. His cell phone was not working. To this day, nobody knows if he managed to walk out or get a ride and go away voluntarily.
August 27, 2016 (Ramona) – Roy Dunkin, 51, is accused of driving drunk and causing a fiery, head-on collision on Highway 67 that killed Point Loma Nazarene College student Lucas Makana Riley, 24, of San Diego. Dunkin’s pickup truck also hit a Buick sedan, causing minor injuries to its occupants. Dunkin has pled not guilty to the charges and could face up to 15 years in prison if convicted.
August 25, 2016 (Potrero) --Residents in the Potrero area /unincorporated San Diego East County are encouraged to use the County’s one-day household hazardous waste collection event Sept. 17 at the Old County Fire Station in Potrero.
Did you know? Many products used in the home may be hazardous to people, pets or the environment and should not be thrown in the trash or dumped down the sewer or storm drains. While it is always best to use up your household chemical products, the County of San Diego’s Department of Environmental Health would like to notify you of a one-day collection event where residents living in the unincorporated county can bring their household chemicals for proper disposal or recycling—for free!
August 23, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) - Home-brewing of beer is increasingly popular—but unfortunately, hops used to make beer can be deadly to dogs. Death can occur within six hours after consumption, if emergency medical treatment is not obtained.
Photo: Federal immigration detention facility in Otay Mesa run by Corrections Corporation of America, a private prison company exposed for abusive actions at other locations investigated
August 21, 2016 (Washington D.C.) — Private, for-profit prisons are more dangerous and less effective than government-run prisons, a new report by the U.S. Justice Department’s Office of Inspector General concludes. On August 18th, Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates announced that the Justice Dept. will be “reducing—and ultimately ending—our use of privately operated prisons.”
August 20, 2016—Two Sig Alerts have been issued due to separate crashes in East County, both forcing long-term shutdowns of major roadways.
A fatality accident has shut down State Route 67 in both directions for 8 to10 hours. Southbound 67 is closed at Archie Moore Road. Northbound SR 67 is closed at Poway Road. A head-on crash between a silver pickup and black Nissan reportedly occurred on the highway just north of Cloudy Moon Road after the truck veered across the centerline.
August 19, 2016 (San Diego) - U.S Customs and Border Protection officials want to remind the traveling public of the services available at the San Ysidro and Otay Mesa passenger ports of entry, and changes in the processing of travelers.
August 19,2016 (San Diego’s East County) – State and local water agency representatives have offered more information for the public following a recent report revealing that 150 reservoirs statewide are “mercury impaired,” including10 in San Diego County, as ECM reported.
A key clarification is that the term “mercury impaired reservoirs” referred to testing of fish in those waters, not testing of water for drinking. Drinking water can test with no detectable mercury levels, yet still have high, unsafe concentrations of mercury in fish, particularly larger fish that have consumed smaller fish. This problem raises a new issue: the need for new testing methods to detect low levels of mercury that while not unsafe in drinking water, can result in unsafe levels in fish living in those waters.
August 17, 2016 (La Mesa) - The La Mesa Police Department Traffic Unit will be conducting a DUI Checkpoint on August 20th, 2016, at an undisclosed location within the City limits between the hours of 7:00pm and 3:00am.
August 17, 2016 (La Mesa) – At today’s 2 p.m. meeting of the Helix Water District Board (7811 University Ave., La Mesa), directors will consider addition of fees and other changes at Lake Jennings, including adding kayak rentals and a tee-pee rental venue at the campground. These are the latest improvements proposed by a committee led by director Joel Scalzitti. As a result, the lake that some board members sought to close due to budget shortfalls is now operating at a profit. View board package and agenda.
At its last meeting, the board voted 3-2 for hefty rate hikes of 10.1%, effective on water use after November 1,2016 and billings starting January 1,2017. That action has inspired five challengers to run against two board members who voted for this hefty rate hike as well as earlier recent increases—moves that fueled outrage in public comments and emails sent to the board.
August 16, 2016 (San Diego, CA) – San Diegans living with Alzheimer’s received free GPS devices under a Wandering Prevention Pilot Program started by Alzheimer’s San Diego and funded by the County of San Diego.
Photo: San Bruno pipeline explosion in 2010, Creative Commons image by MisterOh
August 15, 2016 (Sacramento) - Governor Jerry Brown and Assemblyman Mike Gatto, Chair of the Assembly Utilities and Commerce Committee, have announced an agreement to extensively reform the California Utilities Commission with an aim to improve how the state’s utility regulators service the public.
August 15, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) – A red flag alert for high fire danger has been issued for the mountain and desert areas in East County due to hot, dry,windy conditons through Friday. In addition, a heat advisory is in effect for inland regions in our county due to triple digit temperatures today.
August 13, 2016 (Cuyamaca) – Royal, a horse missing in Rancho Cuyamaca State Park since August 9, was found today by a runner who spotted Royal drinking water at Dyer Spring. Royal is currently at the veterinarian for treatment of a gash on the leg, but otherwise appears to be in good health.