Green Scene

UNDERWATER HOMES: RISING SEAS COULD SUBMERGE HALF THE HOMES IN OVER 300 CITIES, ZILLOW PREDICTS

 

San Diego could lose 2,289 properties to rising seas

By Miriam Raftery

August 24, 2016 (San Diego) - Zillow, a leading national real estate company, has issued a new report about homes underwater. (See also http://www.zillow.com/research/climate-change-underwater-homes-12890/).

FREE ENTRANCE DAYS IN THE NATIONAL PARKS

 

By Miriam Raftery

August 23, 2016 (Washington D.C.) -- The National Park Service is celebrating its 100th birthday this year—and wants everyone to join the party. So they are giving away free entrance to all national parks on August 25th through 28th for the National Park Service’s birthday.

There will also be free admission again to all national parks on September 24th for National Public Lands Day and on Veterans Day, November 11th.

WATER AGENCIES RESPOND TO MERCURY CONCERNS IN RESERVOIRS: TESTS FOCUSED ON FISH

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

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.

WHERE ARE THE WEASELS? COUNTY RESPONDS TO QUESTIONS OVER GOPHER POISONS AT LINDO LAKE

 

By Miriam Raftery

August 18, 2016 (Lakeside) – Weasel-watching has been a popular pastime for photographers at Lindo Lake Park. But after the County applied poison to kill gophers, a reader of ours raised questions over what impact that could have on weasels, which have not been popping up in the area lately.

EARTHTALK®: HELPING SCHOOLS GO SOLAR

 

From the Editors of E - The Environmental Magazine

August 12, 2016 (San Diego) -- Dear EarthTalk: I am interested in helping my school get solar panels on the roof to show students how we can be part of the solution to the climate crisis. Are there any resources or grants out there to help schools go solar? --
Charles Hamilton, Warren, OH

INTERIOR ANNOUNCES FASTEST SUCCESSFUL RECOVERY OF AN ENDANGERED SPECIES ACT-LISTED MAMMAL; THREE ISLAND FOX SUBSPECIES IN CALIFORNIA NO LONGER ENDANGERED

 

Obama Administration now oversees more de-listings than all other Administrations combined

Photo:  Photos for media use available at flickr.com

August 12, 2016 (Washington D.C.) -- Representing the fastest successful recovery for any Endangered Species Act (ESA)-listed mammal in the United States, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) today announced the final de-listing of three subspecies of island fox native to California’s Channel Islands. The removal of the San Miguel, Santa Rosa and Santa Cruz Island fox subspecies from the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife brings the total number of ESA de-listings due to recovery to 37, with 19 of those overseen by the Obama administration. In the Act’s 43-year history, more recoveries have been declared under the current Administration’s watch than all past Administrations combined.

HIGH MERCURY LEVELS FOUND IN MANY LOCAL LAKES AND RESERVOIRS

 

Update:   Helix Water says Lake Jennings drinking water tests clean, issue is with fish tissue; state clarifies problem is with fish tissue, not necessarily water for drinking

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

August 6, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) – State officials are warning that 150 reservoirs statewide are tainted by mercury. Ten San Diego reservoirs are contaminated, including some of East County’s most popular fishing spots.  “Mercury is negatively impacting the beneficial uses of many waters of the state by making fish unsafe for human and wildlife consumption,” the State Water Resources Control Board website warns.

However some local officials dispute those findings.

 

What lakes locally have mercury issues,accordingto the state?

Local reservoirs listed as "mercury impaired" on the state's document are El Capitan Reservoir, Lake Henshaw, Lake Hodges, Lake Jennings, Loveland Reservoir, Lower Otay Reservoir, Lake Morena Reservoir, San Vicente Reservoir, Lake Sutherland, and Sweetwater Reservoir, according to a California Water Boards publication released in June.

GROUNDWATER REPORT, TULE WIND LAWSUITS AND SDG&E PLAN TO BOOST CAPACITY ON SOUTHWEST POWERLINK ARE ON BOULEVARD PLANNERS’ AGENDA THURSDAY, AUG. 7

 

By Miriam Raftery

August 1, 2016 (Boulevard) -- On Thursday, August 4 at 7 p.m. the Boulevard Community Planning Group will meet at the Boulevard Fire Training Room.  View full agenda.

LAKESIDE PLANNERS TO HEAR SANDAG PRESENTATION ON TRANSPORTATION MEASURE, HOLD OPEN HOUSE ON UPCOMING PROJECTS WEDNESDAY

 

East County News Service

August 1, 2016 (Lakeside) - The Lakeside Community Planning group meetings Wednesday, August 3 in the Lakeside Community Center at 9841 Vine St., Lakeside.  The formal meeting starts at 6:30, however at 6 p.m., a public viewing of plans for current and upcoming projects will be available for the public.

LA MESA TO HOLD SPECIAL MEETING AUG. 3 ON COMMUNITY CHOICE ENERGY PROGRAM; ALTERNATIVE TO SDG&E

 

East County News Service

July 28, 2016 (La Mesa) – Should La Mesa give its residents an option to purchase power through a  community choice energy program (also known as community choice aggregation) instead of from SDG&E?

SEVERAL COUNTY PARKS BEGIN ANNUAL AUGUST CLOSURE

 

July 31, 2016 (San Diego) - County Parks and Recreation will close four parks in August, a precaution taken each year due to the month’s expected extreme heat.

El Capitan Preserve near Lakeside, Mt. Gower Preserve near Ramona, Hellhole Canyon Preserve in Valley Center and Wilderness Gardens in Pala are closed Aug. 1 through Aug. 31. In addition, Agua Caliente Regional Park near Julian is closed all summer; it will reopen Labor Day weekend.

ENVIRONMENTAL GROUP URGES LA MESA RESIDENTS TO ATTEND MEETINGS ON CITY’S CLIMATE ACTION PLAN AUG. 15 AND SEPT. 19

 

Public input also sought Aug. 3 on community choice alternative for electric power

East County News Service

July 30, 2016 (La Mesa)—The City of La Mesa seeks public input on its draft Climate Action Plan.  Two public meetings are planned with the City’s Enviornmental Sustainability Commission at City Hall (8130 Allison Ave.) at 7 p.m. on August 16 and September 19. 

“These are great opportunities for you and your neighbors to help shape the Plan that will guide the City of La Mesa to a clean energy future over the next 20 years,”says Angela Deegan at San Diego 350.org,a nonprofit environmental group dedicated to stopping climate change…If you live in La Mesa, we need you to help provide input to ensure La Mesa adopts a strong, enforceable Climate Action Plan which includes a goal of 100% clean energy and which incentivizes renewable energy and local green jobs.”

WATER CONSERVATION GARDEN HOSTS FREE CUSTOMER APPRECIATON DAY JULY 31 FOR HELIX WATER AND SWEETWATER AUTHORITY RATEPAYERS

East County News Service

July 27, 2016 (Rancho San Diego) – The Water Conservation Garden at Cuyamaca College will host a free Customer Appreciation Day for Helix Water and Sweetwater Authority customers on Sunday, July 31 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Discover different varieties of drought-tolerant plants, learn how to "Toss the Turf" and get inspiration on how to incorporate water-wise gardening into your own garden. Plus you can enjoy free activities including docent-led garden tours, tips on butterfly gardening, veggie growing,soils and native habitat, meet Ms. Smarty-Plants, watch a butterfly release, savor free shaved ice, and get discounts on gift shop items.  See full schedule of events below.

PETITION LAUNCHED TO SAVE EAST COUNTY LAKES--AND PROTECT LIVES DURING WILDFIRES

 

By Miriam Raftery

July 26, 2016 (Lake Morena) – An online petition has been launched asking the City of San Diego to stop draining Lake Morena and Barrett Lake. Rural residents seek help from San Diego residents and all who are concerned about wildlife or the prospect of a devastating firestorm to sign the petition.

The petition, posted by Campo resident Karen Noblitt-McIntyre, accuses San Diego officials of ignoring public safety, noting that two residents died during the recent Border Fire. Firefighting aircraft were diverted to water sources farther away due to lack of water in these lakes, witnesses stated in recent public meetings.

The petition states that the city has put wildlife and rural communities at risk, also failing to live up to its promise to repair the dam at Lake Morena. The city drained Lake Morena to less than 3% of capacity and Barrett Lake to below 6% of capacity, public records indicate.  Although San Diego claimed it needed drinking water during the drought, the city did not ask its residents to conserve water before draining East County’s lakes.  The water was pumped to Otay reservoir, which overfilled when rain fell, so the city dumped the precious water supply into the ocean.

CALIFORNIA AIR RESOURCES BOARD CONSIDERS NEW RULES ON OIL, GAS WELL SAFETY

 

Regulators seek to prevent another disaster like Aliso Canyon gas leak

By Suzanne Potter, California News Service

July 25, 2016 (Sacramento) -- Regulators with the California Air Resources Board (ARB) at a hearing on Thursday removed a major loophole from proposed new rules on oil and natural gas facilities, in an effort to prevent another disaster like the massive gas leak at Aliso Canyon last fall. The proposed rules require more inspections of all surface facilities, existing and new, including those offshore.

EARTHTALK®: GROUND ZERO IN FIGHT AGAINST GENETICALLY ENGINEERED CROPS

 

From the Editors of E - The Environmental Magazine

Dear EarthTalk: Why do environmentalists consider Hawaii “ground zero” in the fight against genetically engineered crops? -- Michael Van, Poughkeepsie, NY

July 24, 2016 (San Diego's East County) - Most of us think of beaches, surfing and luaus when we think of Hawaii. But the constantly warm and moist climate actually provides some of the most productive land in the world with a never-ending growing season. As a result, Hawaii has become a major player in commercial agriculture, and is frequently used to test new farming techniques.

EMERGENCY & CARRYOVER STORAGE PROJECT EARNS INTERNATIONAL ACCLAIM





Source:  San Diego County Water Authority News Release

July 24, 2016 (San Diego) - The Emergency & Carryover Storage Project, a multi-decade effort of the San Diego County Water Authority to increase the reliability and resiliency of the region’s water system, won an Award of Merit in the annual Global Best Projects competition held by the industry publication Engineering News-Record. It is the second time in four months that a Water Authority project has earned international honors.

HEAR OUR INTERVIEW WITH ANA NITA ON EFFORTS TO SAVE EL MONTE VALLEY FROM SAND MINING

 

By Miriam Raftery

Listen now! Click the orange button above. (Note, sound files may take a few moments to load.)

July 13, 2016 (Lakeside) -- East County Magazine's show on KNSJ recently sat down with Ana Nita, an investigative journalist and activist who is working on a documentary about controversies involving a proposed sand mine that could have devastating consequences for people and wildlife in Lakeside's picturesque El Monte Valley.

She also discusses apparent conflicts of interest involving Michael Beck, a county planning commissioner with financial ties to the sand mining company, and has called for Beck to resign or be removed. 

As an update, after this interview aired, Supervisor Dianne Jacob's office advised us that she is asking County Counsel for advice on the appropriate way to handle Beck's conflict of interest issue.

Audio: 

HEAR OUR INTERVIEW: NEW INVENTION BY SDG&E HELPS YOU GO SOLAR FOR LESS MONEY

By Miriam Raftery

 

July 4, 2016 (San Diego) – Recently,  East County Magazine’s Radio Show  featured an interview with Amber Albrecht  from San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E).  The interview originally aired on KNSJ 89.1 FM Radio.

 We talked about a new fast-track process for going solar and about renewable meter adaptors invented by SDG&E employees to help you avoid costly electrical panel upgrades when going solar.

Hear our interview by clicking the link above.

Audio: 

COMMUNITY CLEAN-UP DAYS

 

East County News Service

July 3, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) – You’re invited to bring your green waste, trash, waste and brush for disposal  at four community clean-up days  coming up in Potrero, Campo, Boulevard and Jacumba.  Free mulch and wood chips will also be available.  The clean-up days are all on Saturdays from 7 a.m.to 1 p.m.  Locations and dates are:

READER'S EDITORIAL: HARVESTING EAGLES - PART TWO

 

How agencies charged with protecting our wildlife continue to betray our trust

By Jim Wiegand

June 13, 2016 (San Diego) - It is difficult to read that word “harvest” without thinking of harvesting crops, grown for the purpose of feeding humanity. In this case, however, we are talking about one of our most iconic species, one of our most magnificent raptors – and the “harvesting” is to be done by “grim reaper” machines: wind turbines.

LAWNMOWER TRADE-IN EVENT JUNE 18

 

East County News Service

June 12, 2016 (San Diego) — The County of San Diego invites you to trade in your gas-guzzling lawnmower, chainsaw, hedge trimmer or string trimmer for a brand new rechargeable model for just $99.99.  The 17th annual trade-in event will be held Saturday, June 18 from8 a.m. to 12 noon at Qualcomm stadium. Each household can get up to one of each type of item so you can save some green by cutting green.

100 VOLUNTEERS TURN OUT TO HELP CLEAN UP CASA DE ORO COMMUNITY

 

East County News Service

June 12, 2016 (Casa de Oro) – Nearly 100 Casa de Oro residents and businesses joined forces yesterday to clean up the Campo Road business corridor and strengthen community engagement in a neighborhood that is turning things around for a better future.  Following the work they celebrated the first-of-its-kind event with a barbecue and raffle, while also thanking the many business sponsors who made the event possible.

FOREST SERVICE RELEASES DRAFT ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT FOR THREE SISTERS FALLS TRAILS AND RESOURCE ISSUES

 

East County News Service

June 6, 2016 (Descanso) -- The Forest Service has prepared a draft environmental assessment (EA) for the proposed Three Sisters Falls Recreation Management project, and we are asking you to review it and provide comments. This project was developed to establish a trailhead and trails along Boulder Creek Road and address public safety and resource issues in the Three Sisters Falls area. The draft EA is available on the Cleveland National Forest’s project webpage, listed below, or by clicking here. Hard copies are available from the project leader, identified below.

http://www.fs.fed.us/nepa/nepa_project_exp.php?project=46285

READER'S EDITORIAL: HARVESTING EAGLES - PART ONE

 

By Jim Wiegand

“…FWS (U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service) announced a plan on 5/6/2016 that would allow wind energy companies to legally kill or injure up to 4200 bald eagles  annually without penalty.  If they can get away with this, the industry would also pocket untold billions while doing it.” —Jim Wiegand 

To comment on this proposed rule change visit : https://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=FWS-R9-MB-2011-0094-1052  and hit comment



June 9, 2016 (San Diego) -- Since 2008, I have been sharing my knowledge of wind industry impacts with the public. Even though I had been studying raptors and wildlife for decades before, that was the year I first became aware of the industry's bogus research and the terrible fate coming to our eagles. Since then, I have written many articles pointing out how the wind industry has been using fake research to hide the slaughter to eagles and other species. I have also made my opinions very clear about the ongoing collusion that has existed for decades between the wind industry and Interior Department.

READER'S EDITORIAL: SAVE ACCESS TO OUR STATE PARKS

 

 

An open letter to the California State Parks and Recreation Department

"The parks do not belong to the government. They belong to the people." 

By Paul Pitt

 

Editor’s note:  The state is proposing to ban hiking, climbing or other public access off designated trails in all California state parks, including Rancho Cuyamaca, Anza Borrego Desert , Palomar, Mountain, and Torrey Pines State Beach locally among others. Deadline for comment is June 6th.  Learn how to make your voice heard by  clicking here. 

 Dear Sirs: Like millions of others I have been visiting California Parks and  natural treasures  MOST of my 75 year old life..  I have visited (with great pleasure) all of the National Parks and most of the state parks.  I hiked the Pacific Crest Trail from the Mexican Border to Warner Springs, from Humber Park to Taqhitz to the Tram and all of Golden Trout wilderness . Yosemite of course and Sequoia, Truckee to Hallelujah Junction, Ft. Bragg to Yreka, Channel Islands.  All of this takes some time--and now the government is going to forbid PEOPLE from using THEIR PARKS?  That is absolute tyranny.  How dare you?

U.S. FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE ANNOUNCES FINDINGS ON PETITIONS TO LIST SPECIES IN CALIFORNIA AND NEVADA

 

East County News Service

June 3, 2016  (Sacramento) -- The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has completed reviewing petitions to list nine species in California and Nevada under the Endangered Species Act and a petition to delist one species.  The Service determined the petitions to list the California spotted owl, Inyo Mountains salamander, Kern Plateau salamander, lesser slender salamander, limestone salamander, Panamint alligator lizard, Shasta salamander, southern rubber boa, and tricolored blackbird contained substantial information and warrant more in-depth review of these species’ conservation status.  The petition to delist the Stephens’ kangaroo rat, an endangered species, did not provide substantial information to indicate delisting is warranted.

CA PARKS WANTSTO BAN HIKING OR CLIMBING OFF TRAILS: JUNE 6 DEADLINE FOR COMMENT

 

 

 

 

 

East County News Service

June 3, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) -- The California Department of Parks and Recreation proposes prohibiting public access off designated trails.  The public has until June 6 to comment. California State Parks System Map  In San Diego County, that would include Rancho Cuyamaca and Anza Borrego Desert state parks.

The Anza Borrego Desert Foundation raises serious concerns about negative impacts to the public in their message below, which includes links to send your comments:

BILL TO BAN SMOKING AT STATE BEACHES AND PARKS PASSES STATE SENATE

 

By Miriam Raftery

June 1, 2016 (San Diego) -- Smoking or vaping at state beaches and parks, or disposing of tobacco products at these locations, may soon be illegal under Senate Bill 1333, a measure authored by Senator Marty Block, a San Diego Democrat.  The measure passed the State Senate by a 25 to 11 bipartisan vote this week and next heads to the Assembly.

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