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A HERO WITH A HEART: BILL WALTON CHAMPIONS DRIVE TO BUILD GYM FOR BOYS & GIRLS CLUB IN LA MESA

RELIGIOUS AND POLITICAL LEADERS OFFER HOPE AMID DESPAIR TO PERSECUTED IRAQI CHRISTIANS AT PRAYER VIGIL IN EL CAJON

THOUSANDS EXPECTED AT PRAYER VIGIL FOR IRAQI CHRISTIANS TONIGHT

ECM WORLD WATCH: NATIONAL AND GLOBAL NEWS

DESPITE MONITORING, SEX OFFENDER BREAKS INTO HOME, MOLESTS 70-YEAR-OLD WOMAN

CHRISTIAN HOMES MARKED, FAMILIES KILLED: EAST COUNTY RESIDENTS RALLY FOR HELP TO SAVE IRAQI CHRISTIANS

VINES AND WINES: INTRODUCING A NEW COLUMN FOR WINE LOVERS

CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATE JAMES KIMBER TREATS HOMELESS VETERANS AT STAND DOWN

THUNDERSTORMS, HIGH HEAT ON THE HORIZON THIS WEEK

STARS SHINE AT LES MISÉRABLES ATOP MOUNT HELIX—JULY 17-AUGUST 2, 2014

RALLY TO SAVE IRAQI CHRISTIANS: FRIDAY, JULY 18

ALL ABOARD! SOUTHWEST RAILWAY MUSEUM OPENS IN CAMPO

News




ROCKY ROAD: ANDERSON BILL WOULD ELIMINATE CALTRANS, PUT LOCAL GOVERNMENTS IN CHARGE OF HIGHWAYS

 

By Jeremy Los and Miriam Raftery

 

“Californians can no longer afford to build roads and infrastructure with golden shovels. We need to send the money where the rubber meets the road. Literally.” –  Senator Joel Anderson

 

“Eliminating Caltrans would result in an ineffective and scattered patchwork of local projects, hamper the movement of goods and people, and ultimately hurt our economic competitiveness… During the 2007 wildfires, we partnered with first responders and helped with emergency road repairs and evacuations.” --Matt Rocco, Caltrans


June 27, 2011- State Senator Joel Anderson (R-El Cajon) is revved up over his new bill to cut state spending by eliminating the California Transportation Department (Caltrans).  SB 851 would shift responsibilities for highway building and maintenance onto local cities and counties, also allowing local governments to outsource to private companies.  

 

Can local communities afford those cost?  How will motorists and taxpayers be impacted?

 

Supporters say the bill would save money and cut waste.  Opponents question whether public safety could be jeopardized, particularly in San Diego--where a Grand Jury investigation found roadway conditions "appalling" and where local agencies have relied on Caltrans for quick highway repairs during major wildfires and other disasters.

2 ACCIDENTS, BRUSH FIRE SNARL TRAFFIC ON I-8 IN EAST COUNTY

 

June 29, 2011 (San Diego’s East County) – Expect traffic delays if you are traveling on I-8 through east County this afternoon. A two-car rollover on I-8 east at Pine Valley Road sparked a brush fire, forcing 150 cars to be turned around at Sunrise Highway and diverted onto Old Highway 80. The U.S. Forest Service is currently mopping up that blaze.
 

In addition, on I-8 near Crestwood Drive, further east, a vehicle has rolled three times and is on its side in the center divider, according to the San Diego SIG Alerts website.

MISSING MAN FOUND BY SEARCHERS IN EL CAJON

June 29, 2011 (El Cajon) – An injured man who called 911 after falling down an embankment last night has been found following an intensive search and will be transported to a hospital, Melissa Aquino, public affairs officer with the San Diego Sheriff’s Office, advises.

LOCAL CONGRESSIONAL REPRESENTATIVES REACT TO AFGHANISTAN TROOP WITHDRAWALS ANNOUNCED BY PRESIDENT

 

Poll shows strong public support for plan; Rep. Hunter visits Afghanistan to meet with military officers


By Miriam Raftery

 

June 29, 2011 (San Diego) – A Gallup Poll shows 72% of Americans support President Barack Obama’s plan announced last week to withdraw thousands of U.S. troops from Afghanistan this year. Just 23% opposed the troop drawdown plan, and some want to see an even faster troop withdrawal.

 

Congressman Duncan Hunter (R-El Cajon), a veteran of the Afghanistan and Iraq Wars and member of the House Armed Services Committee, visited Afghanistan this week and met with General David Petraeus. He has voiced support for troop withdrawals, citing erosion of public support. But he called for a shift in focus toward counter-terrorism utilizing special operations forces, intelligence gathering capability and air assets.

BRUSH FIRE IN OTAY

Update 2:55 p.m.:  The fire is now 5-10 acres, burning at Otay Truck Trail.

 

June 29, 2011 (Otay Mesa) – A brush fire that originated in Mexico has burned three to five acres in Otay Mesa along Alta Road, Cal Fire reports. Currently one air tanker, one helicopter, one air attack plane, three engines and two handcrews are at the scene.

13 YEAR OLD SAVES FAMILY FROM HORRIBLE DEATHS

June 28, 2011 (La Presa) -- A near fatal mistake on June 15, 2011 put the lives of seven family members in danger. Sheer luck in the actions of a 13 year old girl saves them all from death. 

SDG&E EXPECTS TO MEET SUMMER POWER SUPPLY DEMAND

Conservation and Demand-Response Programs Still Key 

June 28, 2011 (San Diego) – San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) today announced it has secured adequate electricity supplies and required reserves to meet customers’ expected energy needs this summer, barring extreme weather conditions. 


The California Independent Systems Operator (Cal-ISO), the agency responsible for managing the statewide power grid, has issued its 2011 Summer Assessment confirming adequate supplies to meet the projected electricity demand across the state – even if hotter-than-average temperatures occur. 


FAA AND CPUC FIND SDG&E REPLACEMENT HELICOPTER “CAPABLE OF OPERATING SAFELY”


June 27, 2011 (Sacramento) – The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) today issued an update to its preliminary incident report on two 16,000 pound Sunrise Powerlink towers dropped by an air crane earlier this month.

 

According to the updated report, a new air crane has been provided by the manufacturer, Erickson. The new helicopter has undergone test  transporting and lifting heavy loads, and has now been approved to resume construction activities in East County.

MOTORCYCLIST KILLED IN BORREGO SPRINGS

June 27, 2011 (Borrego Springs) – A motorcyclist traveling eastbound on State Route 78 this morning in Borrego Springs crossed the center lane after entering a curve. He struck the driver’s side of a BMW traveling westward, then skidded across the roadway.

BBQ SMOKER SPARKS FIRE AT LEMON GROVE RESTAURANT


June 27, 2011 (Lemon Grove) – A fire that started in a barbecue smoker at Coops West Texas Barbecue in Lemon Grove on June 23 spread to the roof. However Heartland Fire & Rescue firefighters quickly contained the blaze in about 15 minutes.

KEEP PETS OUT OF HARM’S WAY THIS JULY FOURTH

County Animal Services Offers Independence Day Safety Tips

Family pets can become frightened and frantic because of the noise and commotion of Independence Day celebrations, County Animal Services officials warned today.
 

“The noise generated by fireworks displays and other noisemakers on the Fourth of July can frighten pets and trigger an escape or ‘flight’ response that can cause serious injury or even death,” said Dawn Danielson, Director of County Animal Services.

FEDERAL JUDGE HEARS ARGUMENTS IN SUNRISE POWERLINK HEARING

June 23, 2011 (San Diego) – An attorney representing local groups opposed to Sunrise Powerlink presented arguments in U.S. District Court yesterday in San Diego, seeking  to halt construction of the line on lands in East County owned by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management.

Plaintiffs’ attorney Stephen Volker represented the Protect Our Communities Foundation, Backcountry Against Dumps and the East County Community Action Coalition. Volker argued that the BLM’s environmental review was inadequate and that its approval of Powerlink will increase the number of acres of protected lands open to development from 51 acres to 41,000 acres in McCain Valley, a scenic federally owned wilderness area.

OTAY WATER DISTRICT DECLARES END TO LEVEL1 WATER SHORTAGE ALERT

 


June 23, 2011 (Otay Water District) Otay Water District’s (the District) Board of Directors has declared an end to the District’s Water Shortage Response Plan Level 1.  The District has been in a voluntary Level 1 water shortage since June 12, 2008.  The Plan listed ten ways customers could voluntarily cut their water use by up to ten percent.

MORE ON THE MENU FOR HOME-DELIVERED MEAL CLIENTS

 

County Seeks to Ensure Low-Income, Homebound Seniors Have Fresh, Local Produce

 

June 23, 2011 (San Diego) -- On Thursday June 15th, the County of San Diego is launched More on the Menu (MOM), a community-supported program that will deliver fresh, locally grown produce to the neediest of the County’s elderly home-delivered meal clients. Program recipients are homebound and unable to buy fruits and vegetables for themselves. The weekly bag of fresh produce will provide healthy snacks and supplement the nutritious lunch-time meal these older adults already receive.  

 

COUNTY NETS 28 NATIONAL ACHIEVEMENT AWARDS

 

June 23, 2011 (San Diego) --  A prescription drug abuse taskforce, homeless prevention for students, water conserving landscaping and a traffic school of sorts for pet owners are among the County of San Diego’s innovative programs that won national recognition and the second highest number of awards in the country by the National Association of Counties (NACo).

TEEN DRIVER FLIPS CAR ONTO PORCH IN FLETCHER HILLS

June 21, 2011 (El Cajon) – “We had some uninvited guests last night drive right up to our front porch. Check out the great parking job,” Jim Symington stated in an e-mail sent to ECM and friends.

 

The accident occurred last night around 10 p.m. at the home of Jim and Nikki Symington on Tyrone Street in the Fletcher Hills neighborhood. The car also knocked down powerlines, taking down power to some 200 residences ,according to Incident Page Network.

MAN SEVERELY BURNED IN SUICIDE ATTEMPT AT BURNING LAKESIDE HOME

 

June 21, 2011 (Lakeside) Updated 2:25 p.m. – A man has suffered second and third degree burns over 70% of his body in an apparent suicide attempt, according to Sgt. Everard Dayrit with the San Diego Sheriff’s Department.

 

Emergency personnel were called to a report of an explosion at a modular home in the 12000 block of Lakeside Court at 7:20 this morning, where firefighters found the man suffering burns to his face and upper body after the blaze was doused.

POWERLINK CASE HEADS TO COURT TUESDAY JUNE 21

June 17, 2011 (San Diego) – Opponents of SDG&E’s Sunrise Powerlink hope to have their day in court on Tuesday, June 21. A lawsuit filed by three local organizations seeking an injunction to halt the Powerlink is set for hearing at 9 a.m. in U.S. District Court at 940 Front Street, Courtroom 3, in downtown San Diego.

“We are asking our supporters to wear green,” said Laura Cyphert with Protect Our Communities Foundation and c-founder of the East County Community Action Coalition, both groups seeking to stop the project based on concerns over fire danger, destruction of views, and other factors. Backcountry Against Dumps, a Campo-based group, is also participating in the suit.

RESCUE IN PROGRESS: I-8 WEST NEAR 94


June 20, 2011 (San Diego’s East County) – The driver of an SUV that plunged over an embankment off I-8 westbound just west of Highway 94 is trapped, CHP’s website reports. According to Incident Page Network, the SUV plummeted 100 feet and a second vehicle is involved; a medical helicopter has been ordered to the scene.

NORTHBOUND RAMP FROM I-15 TO 94 CLOSED DUE TO FATALITY

Update:  The victim has been identified as a Cal-Trans worker who was clearing debris from the lane.

 

June 20, 2011 (San Diego)—A pedestrian has been struck and killed on the on-ramp from I-15 northbound to Highway 94 eastbound, Incident Page Network reports. The ramp is closed to traffic and a SIG Alert has been issued.

MAN SUFFERS HEAD INJURY, WOMAN ALSO HURT IN MOTORCYCLE CRASH

 

June 20, 2011 (San Diego) – A 47-year-old motorcyclist with a female passenger, 30, struck a parked vehicle while driving northbound on 54th street yesterday afternoon in east San Diego. He landed under the vehicle and sustained major head trauma, according to Officer J. Jacobsen with the San Diego Police.

MOTORCYCLIST INJURED IN SAN PASQUAL

 

June 20, 2011 (San Pasqual) –A motorcycle riding with two other riders lost control as he braked around a corner yesterday at noon on San Pasqual Valley Road near Ysabel Creek Road in San Pasqual. He hit the guardrail and was thrown over it, according to Sgt. R. Hastings with the San Diego Police Department.

FOR THE BIRDS: NESTS FOUL POWERLINK CONSTRUCTION SCHEDULE

 

 

June 18, 2011 (San Diego’s East County) – Nesting birds have accomplished what thus far, citizens opposed to the Sunrise Powerlink have not been able to manage: slowing down construction of the project. According to a newsletter sent by the Community Alliance for Sunrise Powerlink, some birds have sought to nest in construction equipment and in other works area, “significantly hampering construction.”

ELDERLY WOMAN FIGHTS FOR LIFE AFTER ATTACK BY NEIGHBOR'S PIT BULLS

 

June 18, 2011 (Paradise Hills) – A 75-year-old woman has suffered injuries that are “life threatening” after her next-door-neighbor’s two pit bull dogs attacked her early this morning, according to Sgt. Ray Battrick with the San Diego Police Department.

 

Emako Mendoza was in the backyard of her home at 5800 Alllegheny Street in Paradise Hills when the dogs entered her yard through a hole in the fence.

BOIL WATER ORDERED FOR MOUNTAIN EMPIRE HIGH SCHOOL AFTER CONTAMINATION FOUND

 
June 18, 2011 (Pine Valley) -- The County of San Diego Department of Environmental Health (DEH) has issued a Boil Water Order and Public Notification for Mountain Empire High School located at 3305 Buckman Springs Road, Pine Valley, effective immediately.

ECM SPECIAL REPORT: SKY CRANES HAVE HISTORY OF CRASHES

 

Massive helicopters used in heavy-lifting operations such as Sunrise Powerlink

By Miriam Raftery

June 16, 2011 (San Diego’s East County) – Acting on a tip from a caller who said he used to work under sky cranes during forest fire operations, ECM has conducted an investigation into the safety record of massive sky crane helicopters such as the Erickson S-64F sky cranes that dropped two 16,000-pound tower sections last week during construction of SDG&E’s Sunrise Powerlink.
 

 “One significant issue not being reported is the number of aircraft they, Erickson, have lost due to mechanical issues or operator error,” said the caller, who asked not to be identified but indicated he has worked on a ground crew under the aircraft and has never worked for any Erickson competitor.  He provided details on several specific accidents which an ECM investigation has independently verified.

CPUC REPORT HIGHLIGHTS SAFETY CONCERNS OVER DROPPED POWERLINK TOWERS

 

“That SDG&E would break rules and rush to put a faulty helicopter in the air again is just unconscionable...I continue to question the CPUC's monitoring of the project and again call on CPUC commissioners and the governor's office to closely evaluate these troubling events.” - Supervisor Dianne Jacob

 

SDG&E to replace helicopter and submit plan for operations in congested areas

 

FAA and CPUC approval required before resuming operations after utility found in violation of notification procedures

 

By Miriam Raftery

 

June 16, 2011 (San Diego’s East County) – The FAA has suspended operations of the Erickson S-64F Sky Crane helicopter that twice dropped towers each weighing 16,400 pounds during hoist operations for SDG&E’s Sunrise Powerlink. A preliminary incident report released yesterday by California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) suggests a digital hook control system may be at fault. The agency also chastised SDG&E for violating requirements to keep regulators informed before returning the sky crane to service after the first accident.

MOTORCYCLE INJURY NEAR WARNER SPRINGS

 

June 16, 2011 (Warner Springs) 5:25 p.m. –A female motorcyclist has been airlifted to Palomar Hospital with moderate injuries, Cal-Fire confirms.  CHP's website indicates 10-20 motorcyclists at the scene, however CAL-Fire has clarified that only one was seriously injured.  The crash occurred on State Route 79 at Chihuahua Road. The road is currently closed.

FAA ISSUES STATEMENT ON SKY CRANE DROPPING POWERLINK TOWERS

 

June 16, 2011 (San Diego) The FAA has sent a written statement in response to an ECM inquiry for information on the two SDG&E Sunrise Powerlink towers dropped by a sky crane helicopter June 7 and June 10. The statement indicates a replacement helicopter has arrived in San Diego and will undergo tests Monday in Imperial County.

 

The FAA also indicates sky cranes are not certified to fly over occupied populated areas when carrying heavy loads.  The spokesman, Ian Gregor, later clarified in an e-mail that "a lift could occur over a populated area if that were absolutely necessary. However, nobody unessential to the operation could be on the ground below while the lift took place, and the lift could not take place directly over homes."

 

Below is the statement in full received this afternoon from Gregor, public information manager at the FAA Pacific Division:

PARAGLIDER WITH BACK INJURY RESCUED


June 15, 2011 (Blossom Valley) – A paraglider called for help after crashing into a mountainside and suffering a back injury in Blossom Valley on the evening of June 13th.

 

He was hoisted out via helicopter and taken to El Monte Park in Lakeside. Mercy Air then transported the injured man to a local hospital.

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