News

LA MESA COUNCIL TO WEIGH LEGALIZING CHICKEN OWNERSHIP

By Miriam Raftery

May 12, 2012 (La Mesa) – A plucky group of La Mesa residents turned out at last week’s Council hearing to ask that smaller property owners be granted the right to raise chickens and savor fresh eggs.

Councilwoman Ruth Sterling asked to add consideration of chicken ownership to this Tuesday’s agenda for a discussion by Council. 

COALITION OF TRIBES, ENVIRONMENTAL LEADERS & LAWYERS CALL FOR HALT TO "FAST TRACKING" OF MASSIVE ENERGY PROJECTS ON FEDERAL PUBLIC LANDS

“We are the canaries in the coal mine. If this is not stopped here, destruction of millions of acres of public lands across the southwest will likely soon follow.” -- Terry Weiner, Desert Protective Council

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

May 11, 2012 (Ocotillo) -- Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar today signed the Record of Decision, giving a go-ahead for the contentious Ocotillo Express wind project. 

The announcement came just hours after a coalition of environmental leaders, tribal representatives, off-road vehicle users, outdoor enthusiasts, residents and legal spokespersons called for a national moratorium on the "fast tracking" of massive energy projects on federal public lands.

DOCUMENTARY "WINDFALL" SHOWS TONIGHT AT 7 PM: EXLORATION OF INDUSTRIAL WIND IMPACTS ON A RURAL COMMUNITY

 

"I thought wind energy was something I could believe in. This film suggests it's just another corporate flim-flam game. - Film critic Rogert Ebert


May 10, 2012 (San Diego)  A special free showing of the award-winning documentary ‘Windfall,’ an exploration of industrial wind impacts on a rural community, will lbe held tonight at 7 p.m. at the Landmark Theater in Hillcrest. The showing is cosponsored by Backcountry Against Dumps and The Protect Our Communities Foundation.

Hundreds of industrial wind turbines are currently proposed for public, private and tribal lands in East County with 400-800 thousand acres of Wind Resource Area proposed for designation in the County's Wind Energy Ordinance & Plan Amendment DEIR.

NAVY EVICTS MUSEUM FOUNDATION FROM POINT LOMA BASE

 

May 10, 2012 (San Diego)--Without warning, Captain S. F. Adams evicted the award-winning Fort Guijarros Museum Foundation from Naval Base Point Loma, just after stopping City buses from entering the base. The all-volunteer museum charged the Navy nothing for 30-years of public service. Abruptly, the Navy hired a private contractor to store the artifacts in a vault 30-miles north in San Pasqual Valley. News of the eviction was announced at the 34th Annual Battle of San Diego Bay Fiesta on Sunday, April 29, 2012. 

ALPINE FIRE DEPARTMENT TO HONOR LOCAL HEROES IN LIFESAVING EFFORT ON MAY 15

 

May 10, 2012 (Alpine) -- The Alpine Fire Protection District, along with San Diego Project Heartbeat will honor two local residents for their heroic efforts in saving the life of a fellow resident who went into cardiac arrest while jogging on Victoria drive in early April.

 

HIKER INJURY ON THREE SISTERS FALLS TRAIL


By Miriam Raftery

May 9, 2012 (San Diego’s East County) –  A 49-year-old man suffered a head injury in a tumble down a trail leading to Three Sisters Falls on April 29.   The injury occurred at a steep section of trail where hikers must descend by rope, ECM has learned.

“The Forest Service considers this area unimproved wilderness,” said Lt. Todd Richardson with the Sheriff’s  office, which performed a hoist rescue via helicopter. 

Unlike nearby Cedar Creek Falls, where trails are maintained, the U.S. Forest Service declines to maintain trails in unimproved wilderness  areas such as Three Sisters Trails that are not officially designated as hiking trails.

COUNTY WORKSHOP ON WIND ENERGY ORDINANCE SET FOR MAY 11: PLANNERS TO HEAR EXPERT SPEAKERS

By Miriam Raftery

“Our rural East County communities are facing industrial transformation with the potential for hundreds of towering and churning industrial wind turbines surrounding, and looming over, virtually all of our residential neighborhoods and along most of our ruggedly beautiful ridgelines.” – Donna Tisdale, Protect Our Communities Foundation

View a map of industrial-scale renewable energy projects proposed for East County, including many at formerly protected Cleveland National Forest and Bureau of Land Management public lands.

May 9, 2012 (San Diego’s East County)—The County's Wind Energy Ordinance & Plan Amendment Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) will be reviewed at a special San Diego County Planning Commission Workshop at 9 a.m. on Friday, May 11 at 5201 Ruffin Rd., Suite B. The workshop is a response to Commissioners' request for more information after evidence presented at an April 13 hearing indicated that wind turbines can result in negative health impacts from audible and sub audible noise, vibrations, and dirty electricity/stray voltage.

SWAT TEAM IN LAKESIDE; SUSPECT BARRICADED IN HOME NEAR LINDO LAKES

 Update 2:05 p.m. - The suspect is identified as Kenny Lee Walker, 45. 

"Deputies have the place surrounded and under containment. We're still trying to convince him to come out," Detective Tom Poulin told ECM. However the suspect has made threats to harm himself and officers. He says he's going to shoot it out with deputies and then shoot himself," said Poulin, who added that the suspect was wanted for slashing his wife's tires and is believed to be armed with a handgun.  

Update 10:50 a.m.  -- Lindo Lake Elementary and El Capitan High schools are on lockdown as a precaution, ECM news partner 10 News now reports.

May 7, 2012 (Lakeside) 10:40 a.m. – A suspect who wanted on a domestic violence charge has barricaded himself into a residence on Lakeshore Drive in Lakeside.  The suspect is believed to be armed. 

“They’re going to call a SWAT team out,” Detective Tom Poulin with the Sheriff’s substation in Santee told EC, while en route to the situation.  The suspect has been wanted for “a couple of days,” he added.

EL CAJON CHARTER CITY INITIATIVE SPARKS HEATED CONTROVERSY

By Miriam Raftery
 
“It’s going to save us a lot of money….By not having to pay prevailing wages, this gives us more control over our own destiny.” –Councilman Bill Wells
 
“I’m concerned about corruption…It is a power grab by a few individuals and the people must say no.” – David Secor, candidate for Congress
 
May 6, 2012 (El Cajon) – State Senator Joel Anderson hosted a fundraiser last week to raise money for proposition D, a measure that would turn El Cajon into a charter city. While supporters gathered inside praising the plan as a money-saver for the city, outside,  protesters carrying ”Stop corruption signs” claimed just the opposite –that Prop D could enable unfair bidding practices, suppress wages, and potentially cost more in the long run through sweetheart deals with developers  without public scrutiny.

NATIONAL PETITION SEEKS TO STOP MAIMING, CRUELTY TO ANIMALS IN MILITARY MEDICS’ TRAINING

 By Miriam Raftery

May 5, 2012 (San Diego’s East County) – In March, ECM reported on military medic training at Covert Canyon in Alpine that reportedly includes maiming and shooting of live pigs.  Now Change.org has launched a petition to stop use of live animals in military medical training.

U.S. FOREST SERVICE SEEKS PUBLIC COMMENTS FOR PROPOSED LAND MANAGEMENT PLAN AMENDMENT

 
May 5, 2012 (San Diego) -- Forest Service officials are seeking public comments on a Proposed Amendment to the Land Management Plans for the four Southern California National Forests (including the Cleveland National Forest in San Diego County as well as the Angeles, Cleveland, Los Padres, and San Bernardino Forests.  The Proposed Amendment would modify existing land use zones allocations in selected roadless areas to include more back country non-motorized and recommended wilderness areas.  An alternate monitoring framework is also proposed. 

 

3 DAYS LEFT TO QUALIFY A BALLOT MEASURE AGAINST HEALTH INSURANCE RATE HIKES

May 4, 2012 (San Diego) – The California Insurance Commissioner, Dave Jones, is seeking public help to collect enough signatures to qualify a measure for the ballot that will stop excessive rate hikes by health insurers and HMOs.  The deadline for signature collection is Monday.

54 NATIONAL PARK AREAS JEOPARDIZED UNDER DECEPTIVE "NATIONAL SECURITY” BILL ADVANCING IN U.S. HOUSE

 

“This legislative proposal is perhaps the most direct assault on national parks ever to be advanced at any level in any Congress in U.S. history.” – Maureen Finnerty, Chair, Coalition of National Park Service Retirees


 May 4 2012 (Washington D.C.) -- Legislation pending in the U.S. House of Representatives is falsely touted as improving U.S. border security. Instead, it would “have the potential to devastate 54 of America’s national parks, historic sites, national monuments and other popular park icons and negatively impact the nation’s economy,” according to a warning issued April 18 by the Coalition of National Park Service Retirees (CNPSR).

 

PASSAGES: RAMONA RESIDENT THOMAS (BO DONOVAN) BECKER, CAREER BROADCASTER

May 4, 2012 (Ramona) -- Thomas (Bo Donovan) Becker, who lived in San Diego Country Estates, passed away on April 24 surrounded by his family.  A noted radio broadcasting personality, he also founded the award-winning Silvertree Inc. creative services firm and has been active in organizations ranging from United Way to the Better Businses Bureau. 

SAVE ECPAC GROUP TAKES BACKSTAGE TOUR TO ASSESS THEATER'S CONDITION

May 3, 2012 (El Cajon) – It's been two years since the East County Performing Arts Center went dark.  But on Monday, a group of concerned citizens seeking to "Save ECPAC" took a behind-the-scenes tour last week to determine the extent of repairs needed to reopen the cherished community landmark. 

Although challenges are steep, the good news is that the cost for critical repairs appears to be significantly less than the estimates  provided by the city for a more ambitious renovation.

NUCLEAR DISASTER SURVIVORS AND EAST COUNTY RESIDENTS JOIN PROTEST AT SAN ONOFRE

 
By Nadin Abbott
 
May 3, 2012 (San Onofre)—Residents from across Southern California and as far away as Japan turned out for a protest at San Onofre this week to call for a permanent shut down of  nuclear reactors which have been offline since January 31 amid growing safety concerns following a steam leakage and discovery of cracked tubes. 
 
Yesterday, however Southern California Edison however announced its intent to bring the facilities back online by mid-June, if the Nuclear Regulary Commission grants approval. 

COMPASSION WITHOUT BORDERS: THE DALAI LAMA AT SDSU

 
"The Dalai Lama's response to oppression is not despair, but compassion." – Laurene Powell Jobs
 
Story and photos by Ron Logan
 
May 3, 2012 (San Diego) – For the first time ever, His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet, Tenzin Gyatso, made an appearance in San Diego to promote the theme of Compassion Without Borders.
 
His whirlwind two-day visit included speaking events at the University of California San Diego to discuss the global impact of climate change, at University of San Diego to lecture on the topic of cultivating peace and justice, and at San Diego State University to discuss upholding universal ethics and compassion in challenging times. 

CRUCIAL WATER FORUM MAY 1 IN EL CAJON

The “Water Talks” Meeting at the Ronald Reagan Community Center is being held to address challenges facing the Colorado River

April 30, 2012 (El Cajon) – The “Water Talks” Meeting will be held at the Ronald Reagan Community Center, 195 E. Douglas Ave., El Cajon on May 1 from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.  The San Diego County Water Authority and San Diego County residents will discuss the Water Authority’s efforts to ensure a reliable supply of water from the Colorado River, which is the single largest supplier of water to residents of the county.

MARRIAGE EQUALITY PROTEST CASE TO BEGIN MONDAY IN SAN DIEGO

 

April 30, 2012 (San Diego) — Marriage equality activists charged with misdemeanors from an August 19, 2010 protest will be in court Monday morning. The “Equality Nine” are nine protesters who were arrested during a peaceful “sit-in” for marriage equality. Jury selection begins in their case Monday, April 30 at 10 a.m. before Judge Joan P. Weber in San Diego County Superior Court, 220 West Broadway, in downtown San Diego.

WATER AUTHORITY EXTENDS TEMPORARY AGRICULTURAL WATER RATE PROGRAM FOR TWO YEARS

 
April 28, 2012 (San Diego County) -- The  San Diego County Water Authority Board of Directors has approved extending a temporary agricultural water rate program through January 1, 2015.  The action provides the region’s agriculture industry with a measure of economic relief while providing urban water customers increased protection from water shortages.

SANTEE POWER PLANT REZONING DECISION DELAYED UNTIL JUNE 28

By Miriam Raftery

April 27, 2012 (Santee)—The San Diego Planning Commission voted 4-2 to grant a 60-day continuance to Quail Brush Genco (Cogentrix), delaying a decision on whether to rezone property near Mission Trails Regional Park as industrial space in order to allow construction of a gas-fired power plant. 

BROKEN PROMISES: OCOTILLO WIND PROJECT WINS APPROVAL DESPITE OUTCRY FROM TRIBES, RESIDENTS AND ENVIRONMENTALISTS

 

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

 

 

 

 

April 26, 2012 (Ocotillo) – A former firefighter who has parachuted into raging wildfires, Viejas Community Relations Director Charlie Brown (photo, left above) has no shortage of courage. But he choked back tears as he spoke about what Ocotillo and its ancient geoglyphs means to him and other tribes that have long considered the site sacred.

Brown has heard stories from his grandfather, who lived to be 109, about Ocotillo--where mountains are named in tribal creation stories. He has taken his own son there to learn about his heritage. One giant geoglyph is registered on the National Registry of Historic Places. Tribes across the southwest convene here for sacred ceremonies.

But soon, Brown fears, the sound of turbines atop his ancestors’ graves will “be like beating on somebody’s soul…sacrificing something that’s been there for 10,000 years.”  http://youtu.be/FbPmplN2UDA.

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