Update: SDG&E, Supervisor Dianne Jacob, Alpine Union School District and the Alpine Community Planning Group have issued responses to the concerns raised by this study; also the County Dept. of Education had new EMF readings taken at the Alpine Elementary School that appears to have reassuring results for parents. View responses: http://www.eastcountymagazine.org/alpine-powerlink-concerns-spark-responses.
By Miriam Raftery
February 12, 2016 (Alpine) - Electric magnetic field (EMF) levels along the route of the underground Sunrise Powerlink high voltage line have been measured at dramatically higher levels than before the line was installed. High EMF levels have been linked to leukemia in some studies.
February 13, 2016 (Washington D.C.) – The sudden death of prominent conservative Justice Antonin Scalia today leaves a vacancy on the U.S. Supreme Court and the prospect of numerous high-profile cases deadlocking 4-4. President Barack Obama has announced he intends to appoint a replacement, but Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has suggested any nomination would be blocked by Senate Republicans and stated that in this election year, Obama should leave nominating a Supreme Court justice for the next administration.
McConnell’s remark may be viewed as hypocritical, since he voted for Republican President Ronald Reagan’s appointment of Justice Anthony Kennedy in an election year. Kennedy was confirmed by the Senate, which was controlled by Democrats.
In fact, since 1900 there has not been a single case of the Senate refusing to confirm a presidential appointment to the Supreme Court in an election year due to the pending election. The stakes are high for both sides in filling the void left by Scalia, but so are the consequences of leaving a seat vacant for nearly a year.
Photo: A forensic artist has sketched the colorful intricate tattoo located on the unidentified man's upper left arm and shoulder, as well as the Greek letters tattoo located on the man's left forearm.
February 12, 2016 (San Diego) -- The San Diego County Medical Examiner’s Office is asking the public for help identifying a man whose body was found floating in the ocean Feb. 7. He had several distinctive tattoos, including an intricate and colorful tattoo on the shoulder.
February 12, 2016 (San Diego's East County) - In preparation for a potential ballot measure to fund transportation projects and other important regional infrastructure, SANDAG is asking the public to share their priorities for our region’s future.
February 12, 2016 (San Diego)--A San Francisco Superior Court Judge has ruled that secret e-mails between Michael Picker, the President of the California Public Utilities Commission, the Governor's Office and Southern California Edison must be made public.(Read the order.)
February 8, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) – Motorists on State Route 94 report longer commutes in recent months due to delays at the Otay Border Patrol checkpoint south of Jamul, as well as construction of a casino at the Jamul Indian Village and existing delays due to Steele Canyon High School traffic.
“Since April, the lines at the checkpoint have been consistently long and wait times longer,” Jan Hedlun, a Potrero resident who commutes to work in San Diego, wrote to the Border Patrol last September. She described backups of over two miles at the checkpoint at times, with waits of nearly a half hour.
February 11, 2016 (San Diego)--SANDAG is considering placing a measure on the November ballot that would ask voters in the region to increase our local sales tax by up to one-half cent to support specific projects and programs.
The SANDAG Board of Directors will receive an overview of the results of public outreach efforts and discuss initial draft expenditure plan alternatives developed for the potential measure at its board meeting on Friday, February 12. The item will begin at 10 a.m.
February 11, 2016 (Alpine) -- Alpine is in danger of losing a piece of its cultural history. Back Country Land Trust (BCLT) is working to protect a unique cultural resource at Wright’s Field in Alpine and in February 2016, theorganization is hosting an emergency fundraiser to help save this important archeological site for future generations.
February 11, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) – East County Magazine is pleased to announce that San Diego Gas & Electric Company (SDG&E) has awarded a $1,500 grant to fund our East County Wildfire & Emergency Alerts during the winter/El Niño season.
“We are deeply appreciative of this generous donation,” said ECM editor Miriam Raftery. “Our alert service is normally busiest during the summer and fall wildfire seasons, but with the severe El Niño storms, it’s crucial to have this extra funding, which enables us to hire the help we need to keep our readers safe and informed during severe weather conditions such as flooding and blizzards.”
February 9, 2016 (La Mesa) — The Mesa Village Merchants Association failed to pay back nearly $48,000 it owes to the city of La Mesa for the 2015 Oktoberfest, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports.
Now the city has referred the debt to its collection agency. Arlene Moore, president of the nonprofit merchants’ group, told the Union-Tribune that the organization plans to repay the debt and hopes to continue hosting the Oktoberfest in future years.
The situation has sparked controversy in the community, with some criticizing the merchants for financial mismanagement, while others find fault with the city for requiring full cost recovery for Oktoberfest and other public events.
February 9, 2016 (Berkeley, CA) --Tiny insect superheroes are providing inspiration to scientists seeking better ways to find people trapped in collapsed buildings after a disaster such as an earthquake.
February 7, 2016 (Washington D.C.) - Congressman Duncan Hunter has introduced the Draft America’s Daughters Act, a bill that would require young women to register for the Draft with the Selective Service.
February 8, 2016 (La Mesa) -- La Mesa Conversations organizes informal mixers every other month, featuring short programs to catalyze the conversation among our attendees. On Thursday, February 18th, the theme will be “Is La Mesa the next hip neighborhood in San Diego?”
February 8, 2016 (Lakeside) – Plans are moving forward for a 14-acre Lakeside Equestrian center at Willow Road and Morena Avenue in Lakeside, but additional funds are needed to make the dream become a reality.
February 8, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) – Good Samaritans pulled the injured driver of a pickup truck out to safety moments before the vehicle caught on fire early this morning following a four-vehicle collision on State Route 52 just west of Santee.
February 8, 2016 (Santa Clara, Ca.) - It was Peyton Manning's last game and he made sure everyone knew it. Conversely, the Carolina Panthers made sure to let everyone know that they can't hold on to the football.
February 8, 2016 (Laguna Mountains) — A woman was rescued Wednesday after falling more than 200 feet into a canyon in the Laguna Mountains, but her companion’s horse died after rescuers were unable to save the frightened and injured animal.
February 5, 2016 (Flinn Springs) -- Snap a selfie with your sweetheart at a San Diego County park for a chance to win a ceremony and reception at one of the County’s premier outdoor wedding destinations. Deadline to submit photos is Friday, February 12th. One lucky couple will receive:
Two-day sting catches 15 illegal operators, including three repeat offenders and a Most Wanted suspect
East County News Service
February 3, 2016 (San Diego) -- Forecasters have been warning West Coast residents to prepare for heavy rain and flooding from this season’s El Niño. Along with these warnings, the Contractors State License Board (CSLB) urges homeowners to be cautious of unlicensed workers advertising for roof repairs and other flood prevention jobs. Fifteen unlicensed contractors were caught during a two-day sting in San Diego this week, proving that many illegal operators are taking this as opportunity to prey on consumers preparing for storms.
February 3, 2016 (Sacramento) – At a time when many local cities in San Diego County are banning the cultivation of marijuana even for medical purposes, our state’s capitol city has approved a measure to license and tax commercial marijuana cultivation.
January 31, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) – The San Diego County Planning Commission, after months of review and public input on proposed changes to the tiered winery ordinance, will hold a hearing on Friday, February 5th on the proposed zoning ordinance amendment. In addition, planners will consider a proposed map for the Hoskings Ranch residential development project in Julian.
Some winery owners voice continuing concerns over the proposed changes. Teri Kerns, co-owner of Ramona Ranch Winery, told East County Magazine, "We are pleased to see that a few of our suggestions have been incorporated, for example, allowing the wineries to be open until 6 pm during the winter hours, and increasing van capacity to 15 but disappointed that the majority have not been. We are concerned that new wineries will not be able to open, given the restrictions on structures and codes and disagree with the County's broad prohibition on events and parties, amplified music, and the stand against advertising.
February 2, 2016 (San Diego)—Los Angeles District Attorney Jackie Lacy today announced filing of four misdemeanor criminal charges against Sempra Energy’s Southern California Gas (SoCalGas) over the leak at its San Aliso underground natural gas facility. The leak has pumped 80,000 metric tons of methane into the air, sickening residents of nearby Porter Ranch and causing thousands to relocate.
In addition, California Attorney General Kamala Harris today announced a civil suit filed by California against SoCalGas, which provides gas to most southern California counties. The new suits, along with suits filed by residents, add to the financial toll that SoCalGas and potentially, Sempra ratepayers may ultimately be forced to cover.
Photo by Jane Moore: downed tree limbs in El Cajon
February 1, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) – A fierce storm that roared through our region over the weekend toppled trees that killed a woman in Pacific Beach, injured a 10 News crew in Mira Mesa and sent a Santee mom to the hospital. Downed trees destroyed a popular wedding spot at the San Diego Botanic Garden. Winds also toppled trees and patio furniture across East County, our readers report. The storm caused power outages to over 18,000 customers as SDG&E crews worked through the night to restore power.