Green Scene

WATER-WISE PLANT FAIR MARCH 14

March 10, 2009 (El Cajon)--Cuyamaca College hosts a water-wise plant fair on March 14th from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. A large selection of water smart perennials, shrubs, trees, grasses, cacti and succulents, and more will be on sale from Southern California vendors. Now you can shop for water-wise plants--and support public education in an era of dwindling funds. Activities include lectures, ask the experts, kids' activities and a raffle that includes a home landscape redesign as grand prize.

SUSTAINABLE JULIAN: IS IT POSSIBLE? MARCH 21 WORKSHOP WILL UNVEIL AMBITION COMMUNITY PLANS

Kathleen Beck and Jeanette Hartman
(Brian Kramer)

March 8, 2009 (Julian) — Julian residents and environmentalists are embarking on an ambitious plan to make this historic mountain town energy-self-sufficient using renewable resources. Starting with a wind demonstration project at the library, the plan calls for 200 homes in Julian to become self-sustaining through wind and solar energy.

"The more that Julian becomes renewable energy self-sufficient, the more control its residents and businesses will have over the supply and price of the energy they need to survive," says environmental designer Jim Bell. Ultimately, Julian could also create a positive cash flow to boost its economy by producing its own clean, green energy, program proponents believe.

LEARN TO GO GREEN AT CUYAMACA COLLEGE ON MARCH 7

By Pari Sanati

Before & After

March 1, 2009 (San Diego)— For many of us, recycling and watching energy and water consumption are now regular practices, far from the days when all these were new and perhaps daunting concepts. As the world makes the inevitable "greening" shift, environmentally conscious home and business owners are looking for new and interesting ways to continue contributing to a sustainable world.

Good Earth GreenScaped Buildings is helping quench the thirst for sustainability with its commitment to promoting green roofs and restorative buildings. Owner Jim Mumford says the current economic climate is actually a good one for going green. "One positive aspect we're seeing from our economic downturn and global warming fears is the need for bigger strides in low-impact development," Mumford said. "It's the retrofitting of older buildings, and also the building of new ones when the market picks up. Not only do green roofs have an aesthetic benefit, but their environmental and financial benefits can be significant."

WATER SAVING REBATES AND CONSERVATION TIPS TO WEATHER THE CRISIS

By Miriam Raftery

February 27, 2009 (San Diego's East County)--Area residents must cut water consumption by at least 20% or face stiff financial penalties, local water authorities warn following a state declaration of emergency today due to the drought. Fortunately, there is help for consumers seeking ways to reduce their water usage.

"Sixty to 70 percent of water use in residential is out of doors," said Mark Robak, Otay Water District member.

DON QUIXOTE BATTLES WINDMILLS – AND SO DO THE FOLKS IN BOULEVARD

Crane
(photo courtesy of AWEA)

Part III of a three-part series:   HEALTH, SAFETY, AND ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTS OF WIND FARMS 

February 22, 2009 (Boulevard) — Our country has jumped on a high-speed wind-energy bandwagon, as if the costs of developing and producing wind energy are as invisible as the wind itself. Are benefits commensurate with the costs? Can developers mitigate any risks and impacts? Our panoramic look at wind-farm issues continues, rendering potential fire risks, alleged health hazards, and environmental impacts of wind-development more visible, alongside wind energy’s better-known projected benefits.

DON QUIXOTE BATTLES WINDMILLS -- AND SO DO THE FOLKS IN BOULEVARD

PART II in a three-part series:  WHY BOULEVARD?

By Gayle Early

Pristine vale in McCain Valley slated for transmission lines, including Sunrise PowerLink. (photo by Gayle Early)

February 16, 2009 (Boulevard) — Iberdrola Renewables and other parties have had their fingers in the wind, testing for the past three years and more.

“If you link the windy areas in San Diego County to the transmission, it restricts you to very few areas. McCain Valley—and a small area around Julian—is one of the few areas in San Diego County that has wind anywhere near transmission,” said Andy Linehan, Permitting/Environmental Director of Iberdrola.

The quality of wind here might be questionable. Alan Ridley, Professor at Cuyamaca College and enthusiastic expert on renewable wind energy said, “I remember 10, 15 years ago a former Sempra employee told me they just can’t do wind energy in East County, because it’s the wrong kind of wind. I had a lawyer tell me that ‘Kumeyaay Wind project is good, but it’s not great.’

FILNER SEEKS TO AMEND CLEAN WATER ACT: REQUIRE DOD COMPLIANCE WITH EXISTING ENVIRONMENTAL LAWS

February
9, 2009 (San Diego) —
Congressman Bob Filner introduced the Military
Environmental Responsibility Act, H.R. 672, which would require the Department
of Defense (DOD) to fully comply with Federal and State environmental laws.

"Military exemptions from environmental requirements harm human health by
polluting our water, air, and soil. Communities around military bases should
be protected equally from harmful waste and by-products, just like any other
American town," said Filner. "Cleaning up after ourselves is the responsible
course of action."

DON QUIXOTE FIGHTS THE WINDMILLS—AND SO DO THE FOLKS IN BOULEVARD

by Gayle Early

(photo by Miriam Raftery)

February 10, 2009 (Campo)--Editor’s Note: Should wind turbines hundreds of feet tall –higher than the existing Kumeyaay wind farm turbines—be allowed in the rural McCain Valley/Boulevard region in East County? Does the nation’s critical need for “green” energy outweigh the concerns of residents seeking to preserve the rural character of their backcountry communities? With new industrial-scale wind farms proposed across America, East County Magazine’s Gayle Early set out on a quest to explore these issues in depth for our three-part series on wind energy.

PART I: BACKCOUNTRY RESIDENTS BATTLE SPANISH WIND GIANT

As they were talking, they saw thirty or forty of the windmills found in that countryside, and as soon as Don Quixote caught sight of them, he said to his squire:

“Good fortune is guiding our affairs better than we could have desired, for there you see, friend Sancho Panza, thirty or more enormous giants with whom I intend to do battle and whose lives I intend to take, and with the spoils we shall begin to grow rich, for this is righteous warfare, and it is a great service to God to remove so evil a breed from the face of the earth.”

FEB. 25 HEARING ON WIND TURBINES & WIND TESTING

February 2009 (San Diego)--The County Board of Supervisors will deliberate February 25 whether to ease permitting requirements for installing industrial-scale meteorological testing units (MET towers) on private and county properties. The county is also debating the turbine ordinance to allow for more options, such as industrial-scale turbines on private property or more than one turbine per lot, including the smaller scale turbines.

2 FEDERAL AGENCIES APPROVE POWERLINK; SCHWARZENEGGER ASKS U.S. FOREST SERVICE TO EXPEDITE OK TO BUILD POWERLINK THROUGH CLEVELAND NATIONAL FOREST

By Miriam Raftery January 24, 2009 (San Diego's East County)--In the last days of the Bush administration, two federal agencies gave a parting gift to Sempra Energy. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission designated a vast swath of San Diego's East County as a federal energy corridor, paving the way for the federal Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to approve Sempra's controversial Sunrise Powerlink project one day before George W. Bush left office. For construction to commence, however, the U.S. Forest Service (a division of the U.S.

CALL FOR NOMINATIONS: CALIFORNIA CENTER FOR SUSTAINABLE ENERGY'S 5TH ANNUAL SAN DIEGO EXCELLENCE IN ENERGY (SANDEE) AWARDS

Nominations are due February 2nd, 2009

December 9, 2008 (San Diego)--Those in search of
recognition for their energy efficiency, energy conservation or renewable
energy projects should look no further: the California Center for Sustainable
Energy (CCSE) is seeking nominations for the fifth annual SANDEE Awards.
Nominations for the prestigious event are due by February 2nd. CCSE's signature
SANDEE Awards event gives San Diego County businesses and residents the chance
to be recognized as community leaders in energy efficiency and sustainable
energy practices.

FLAVORS OF THE GARDEN: VALENTINE'S DAY TOUR AT CUYAMACA COLLEGE'S WATER CONSERVATION GARDEN

February 1, 2009 (El Cajon) -- Savor a flavorful tour of the Water Conservation Garden on Saturday, February 15th at 11:30 a.m. Tour includes samples of sweet and savory flavors from the botanical world including fruits, vegetables, and herbs--and then there is chocolate!

COMMUNITY LEADERS REACT TO CPUC'S APPROVAL OF SUNRISE POWERLINK SOUTHERN ROUTE

By Miriam Raftery

Click photo for larger image.

December 19, 2008 (San Diego's East County) —  The California Public
Utilities Commission (CPUC) has ruled to allow construction of Sunrise Powerlink
across the southern portion of East County.   The decision drew a
mixture of praise and criticism from local community leaders. 

NOMINATIONS SOUGHT FOR SAN DIEGO EXCELLENCE IN ENERGY AWARDS

December
18, 2008 —
Are you an Energy All-Star? Take credit for your green efforts
and submit a nomination for the 5th Annual San Diego Excellence in Energy (SANDEE)
Awards.

The SANDEE Awards recognize outstanding projects and activities that have
achieved significant energy efficiency or energy conservation savings, implemented
renewable energy and reduced CO2 emissions in San Diego County.

SUPERVISORS VOTE TO ALLOW HOMEOWNERS TO SELL SURPLUS SOLAR POWER BACK TO UTILITY COMPANIES

By Miriam Raftery

December 7, 2008 (San Diego) — A unanimous vote by the San Diego Board of Supervisors in November requires the County's Chief Administrative Officer to provide county-sponsored legislation making it easier for residential power customers the ability to sell surplus solar energy back to utility companies.

CALIFORNIA LEAGUE OF CONSERVATION VOTERS 2008 SCORECARD: A TO F FOR SAN DIEGO'S LEGISLATORS

Environmental voting records for east San Diego County state legislators and Governor Schwarzenegger

By Sylvia Hampton

December 9, 2008 San Diego) — Environmental protection is very important to San Diego County voters. Every year the League of Conservation Voters publishes a "scorecard" on the voting records of all state level representatives: www.ecovote.org/scorecard_2008.pdf. Among Assembly members representing East County and San Diego's eastern region,  environmental protection scores ranged from a low score of 5% (Anderson, Gerrick and Walters) to a high of 95% (Salas).  Among our state Senators, scores ranged from a low of 6% (Hollingsworth) to a high of 100% (Kehoe), while Governor Schwarzenegger received a 60% rating.

Eco-Job Faire at SDSU Works Toward Green Economy

Story and photos by Gayle Early

Amanda Costa and Erin Lannon of SDSUÕs Enviro-Business
Society

November
12, 2008 (SAN DIEGO) —
“Hey,
you’re going the wrong way!” Amanda Costa, former co-president
of SDSU’s Enviro-Business Society called out to students streaming down
Aztec Center steps. A “green-career forum” was about to start,
where the Society, also known as “Club
e3
,” would spill information on the top ten cities to find green
jobs, salaries, and info on how to “put green in your pocket.” About
15 vendors, including businesses and nonprofits, lined the causeway below to
discuss specific eco-opportunities and internships, all part of Society’s
eco-job faire at SDSU campus. ECM was there to check out a few of
the tables.

GREEN HOUSES: DEL CERRO DESIGNER COOKS UP A GREEN KITCHEN

By Miriam Raftery

November 1, 2008 (Del Cerro) — “Clients will ask, `How can we go green and still make it beautiful?  That’s really the trick,” observes designer Rick Fahmie of Kitchen Expo.

Fahmie designed a green kitchen in his own Del Cerro home, using utilizing natural and eco-friendly materials as well as maximizing energy efficiency.

GET HIGH ON GREEN ROOFS AT CUYAMACA COLLEGE ON NOV 8

By Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, APR

November 1, 2008 - A roof may seem like just a roof to you. But to Jim Mumford of Good Earth Plant Company, a roof is one big pot for plants. His imagination and vision have made him San Diego’s “green roof guru.” Mumford will share his expertise on green roofs in an upcoming seminar, "Introduction to Green Roof Design and Construction" at Cuyamaca College on November 8, 2008.

The half day workshop is presented in partnership with Cuyamaca College as part of its Greener Future and Renewable Energy Seminars. Mumford will be joined by architect Robert Thiele, AIA, LEED AP and roofer Ulf Waldmann of Mission Valley Roofing. Thiele has worked with both James Hubbell and artist Cristo. Waldmann is an experienced green roofer dating back to working with his father’s roofing firm in Germany 20 years ago. “I feel very fortunate to have Robert and Ulf as part of our green roof team,” said Mumford. “They have been invaluable to our ongoing success.”

Editorial - Seizing the Moment

San Diego County’s Green Energy Future

By Martha Sullivan

The
California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) is poised to take action any
day now on Sempra Energy’s proposed Sunrise Powerlink project, which
the CPUC’s own ratepayers’ advocate division has concluded is unnecessary.
In this editorial, Martha Sullivan, former CPUC staffer, lays out a plan of
action for consumers interested in halting the Powerlink project. Sullivan,
now a San Diego resident, also reveals why major environmental groups are opposing
ballot propositions 7 and 10, which she describes as “seriously flawed.”

A QUESTION OF POWER ON SDG&E'S PROPOSED SUNRISE POWERLINK:

  Video documentary distributed to CPUC is now online

October 23, 2008 (San Diego, CA) - Stubborn
Mule Productions and Backcountry Against the Dump, Inc. announce that “A
Question of Power” is now available online.

This one-hour locally produced grassroots documentary about the ongoing battle
over the 150-mile “Sunrise Powerlink” transmission line proposed
by San Diego Gas & Electric was premiered recently in Escondido.  

SAN DIEGO SOLAR HOMES TOUR: SATURDAY OCT. 18

Street Smart San Diego 2008

The San Diego Solar Homes Tour is quite possibly the longest running and most popular tour in California.  Celebrating the ninth year of the free tour, over 40 homes throughout San Diego County are participating—including many in East County and San Diego’s Eastern region. This self-guided tour, sponsored by the California Center for Sustainable Energy,  offers real-life, working examples of three residential solar energy technologies: solar electric (photovoltaics), solar water heating and solar pool heating.

GREEN HOUSES

ASID Kitchen and Bath Tour Oct. 25 Features “Green” Kitchen on Mt. Helix

By Miriam Raftery

Recycled glass adds sparkle to natural slate backsplash

October 11, 2008 (Mt. Helix) - A Mount Helix kitchen/great room featuring natural materials, solar screens and and energy-efficient features is among 11 kitchens featured on the 2008 Fall Kitchen Tour on October 25th.  Sponsored by the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) San Diego chapter, this year’s tour features remodeled kitchens ranging from modest tract homes to lavish estates—including several homes in eastern areas of San Diego County. 

EDITORIAL - PICKIN' ON PICKENS' PLAN

By Ken Sobel

It’s impossible to turn on the TV or radio lately without being barraged
by T. Boone Pickens presenting his ambitious plan to save the world from global
warming and wean us off foreign oil. But the decision we need to make in the
days and weeks to come is between creating the energy we need locally—or
leaving control of solar and wind power production in the hands of big utility
companies that aim to sell us back our energy after we build the transmission
lines with our tax money.

EAST COUNTY LEADERS ORGANIZE FUTURE SAN DIEGO: GREEN ECONOMY

Oct. 18 event at UCSD to feature Lt. Governor John Garamendi, green
jobs fair and more

By Miriam Raftery

Event organizers Chuck Brands (left) of El Cajon
and Mark Hanson of Lakeside (right) with keynote speaker, Lt. Governor John
Garamendi (center)

October
1, 2008 (San Diego) -
Looking for a “green” job?  Own
a business seeking to save energy and money with eco-friendly technologies?

You’ll find a wealth of information on these topics and more at Future
San Diego: Green Economy, an all-day program on October 18th dedicated to educating
the public on ways to transition our region to a more secure and environmentally
sound economy. 

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