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

JOIN US SUNDAY! ROARING ‘20S PARTY JULY 31 AT SAN PASQUAL WINE BAR IN LA MESA. COME PARTY WITH THE PRESS!

SAN DIEGO POLICE SHOOTING VICTIMS AND SUSPECT IDENTIFIED

TWO SAN DIEGO POLICE OFFICERS SHOT, 1 DIES

CASHNER, REA TO MARLINS IN SEVEN-PLAYER DEAL

INTERSTATE 8, STATE ROUTE 125 CONNECTOR RAMPS CLOSED SATURDAY NIGHTS

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

EL CAJON SETS EDUCATIONAL WORKSHOP ON DISTRICT ELECTIONS AUG. 4

PRESIDENT OBAMA URGES AMERICANS TO REJECT FEAR AND CYNICISM, ELECT CLINTON

SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT ANSWERS "RUNNING MAN" CHALLENGE

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

CALIF. ISO ISSUES FLEX ALERT DUE TO HEAT: CONSUMERS ASKED TO CONSERVE POWER TODAY

News

PUBLIC INVITED TO LA MESA CENTENNIAL COMMITTEE MEETING FEB. 18

 

February 17, 2013 (La Mesa) – The La Mesa Centennial Committee will hold its next meeting on Monday, February 18 from 4-5:30 p.m. at the La Mesa Community Center, 4975 Memorial Drive.  A reception honoring committee members will take place immediately after the meeting.  Read more for the full agenda:

SANTA ANA WINDS SWEEP INTO REGION

February 14, 2013 (San Diego's East County) - Gusty northeast Santa Ana winds are forecast from tonight through Saturday afternoon. Sustained winds of 15-30 mph and gusts up to 55 mph are possible in some local mountain passes and canyons.

Driving may be difficult, especially for higher-profile vehicles. Minor damage to trees and outdoor objects that are unsecured may occur.

FILNER TO NRC: RESTARTING SAN ONOFRE WOULD BE A “DANGEROUS EXPERIMENT” THREATENING 8.2 MILLION PEOPLE

February 14, 2013 (San Diego) – In a letter sent to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission on February 8, San Diego Mayor Bob Filner urged denial of Southern California Edison’s request to restart Unit 2 at the San Onofre Nuclear Generation Station for five months at 70% as a test to see if similar problems that caused failure of a steam generator at Unit 3 would occur.

Mayor Filner stated bluntly, “The NRC has previously determined that both Unit 2 and Unit 3 steam generators had similar serious design flaws and errors in the computer models used for design. The restart of Unit 2, even at reduced power, is a dangerous experiment that threatens the safety of the 8.2 million Southern California residents living within a 50-mile radius, including much of San Diego.”

OSCAR® EXPERIENCE VIEWING PARTY IN SAN DIEGO FEB. 24: BENEFITS COMMUNITY CAMPERSHIP COUNCIL INC.

 

February 14, 2013 (San Diego) --The excitement and glamour of Hollywood are coming to San Diego on Oscar Night.  Residents of San Diego can experience the thrills and surprises of the 85th Academy Awards on Sunday, February 24, at San Diego’s premier Oscar Experience. 

A viewing party benefiting Community Campership Council Inc will be held in Celebration Hall at Market Creek Events & Venues beginning at 5:00 p.m. More information about the event and the Community Campership Council can be found at www.kidstocamp.org; tickets are on sale.

HELIX CHARTER HIGH SCHOOL RAISES AWARENESS FOR INDIVIDUALS WITH INTELLECTUAL DISABILITIES THROUGH GAMES

 

By Mayan Avitable

February 14, 2013 (La Mesa)--Wow! Just walking through the doors of the gym at Helix Charter High School was wonderful. Anyone could tell there was something exciting going on. The bleachers were filled with cheering students, the band was there--the cheerleaders were there. They were all cheering on students from the school's Special Education Department and other student groups going for the gold.

It was the Third Annual Helix Charter High School Games of Champions. Eighteen students with severe intellectual and physical disabilities participating in activities such as bowling, basketball, soccer goal challenge, agility course, and a throwing challenge.

CRASH KILLS CAMEL IN RAMONA

 
By Nadin Abbott
 
February 13, 2013 ((Ramona) – An overturned trailer on Highway 78 near Third Street in Ramona resulted in the death of a camel from the Oasis Camel Dairy on February 1.
 
The dromedary camel, Sahara, was en route to Camp Verde, Arizona when the trailer detached from the vehicle towing it.  According to Ramona Patch, the camel dairy’s co-owner, Nancy Riegler, informed the publication that”unfortunately not only did the trailer hitch fail, but the chains broke.”

VALENTINE’S DAY SAFETY: SDG&E ENCOURAGES CUSTOMERS TO KEEP MYLAR BALLOONS AWAY FROM POWER LINES

 

February 13, 2013  (San Diego)--Mylar balloons can make great Valentine’s Day gifts, if they’re kept indoors or securely tied down, but they can also pose a safety hazard.  San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) today urged customers to be aware of the dangers that can arise when Mylar balloons touch power lines. 

The metallic coating on Mylar balloons is an excellent conductor of electricity. If a Mylar balloon touches a power line, it could cause a power outage in your neighborhood, and even an electrical fire.

LA MESA TOWN HALL MEETINGS DRAW PACKED HOUSES

 

By Jake Christie

February 13, 2013 (La Mesa)—At its March meeting, La Mesa’s City Council will take up issues raised by residents  in a pair of community meetings last month. This is a tradition that has gone on for five years. 

Council members listened to the questions, complaints, and comments of concerned citizens at the meetings held January 15 and 17 in auditoriums at Lemon Avenue Elementary School and the La Mesa Middle School, where the crowds were standing-room -only at times.

AGUIRRE ACCUSES EDISON OF SCHEMING TO IMPOSE RATE HIKES WITHOUT PUBLIC REVIEW TO PAY FOR FAILED SAN ONOFRE NUCLEAR REACTORS

 

February 12, 2013 (San Diego)--This morning, ratepayer advocate and former San Diego City Attorney Michael J. Aguirre revealed details behind a new legal action against Southern California Edison (SCE) with what he terms “smoking gun documents showing how SCE executives have unlawfully levied multiple rate hikes on San Diego and Southern California ratepayers without formal approval from regulators.”

Aguirre is demanding refunds from Southern California Edison and SDG&E for ratepayers in our region, which is home to the highest electric rates in the USA.

PUBLIC WORKSHOP ON FRACKING IN CALIFORNIA SET FOR FEB. 19 IN LOS ANGELES

 

February 12, 2013 (San Diego)--The California Department of Conservation/Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources on December 18, 2012 released a “discussion draft” of regulations for the oil and natural gas production technique known as hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”).  

The draft, if approved, would require oil and gas companies to disclose the chemicals injected for fracking and the location of wells, which are currently kept secret from the public. Some of these chemicals are known carcinogens; concerns have also been raised over contamination of drinking water supplies.

CPUC TO DECIDE FEB. 13 ON 3 SAN DIEGO FOSSIL FUEL POWER PLANTS

Update February 13:  The CPUC has postponed its decisions until February 28.  This is the fourth delay on the controversial projects.

 

February 12, 2013 (San Diego)—The California Public Utilities Commission is expected to decide this Wednesday, February 13 on whether or not to approve three gas-powered “peaker” plants in San Diego County, including Quail Brush near Mission Trails, as well as facilities in Otay and Escondido. The meeting will be held in San Francisco at 9 a.m. 

If you wish to send a letter to the CPUC, Save Mission Trails has information posted here.

NRC TO FACE PUBLIC STEAMED OVER COVERUP OF REACTOR DEFECTS



Safety Advocates to Rally and Hold Press Conference before Public Meeting on San Onofre nuclear facility Feb. 12 in Capistrano



Feb 11, 2012 (San Onofre)– Experts and oversight groups say they are astonished by the proposal by Southern California Edison to restart the Unit 2 reactor and run it at 70% capacity, putting millions of residents at risk of another emergency shutdown and radioactivity release to the environment, or worse.

A rally and press conference in opposition to restarting the San Onofre nuclear plant will be held at 4:00 p.m., Feb. 12, just prior to the 6:00 p.m. public meeting conducted by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) at the Capo Beach Church, 25975 Domingo Avenue, Capistrano Beach, California.

Edison and the NRC are facing challenges to restart from a number of directions:

EL CAJON CITY COUNCIL TO ADDRESS ITS RED LIGHT CAMERA PROGRAM AT MEETING TOMORROW

By Janis Mork

February 11, 2013 (El Cajon)- Tomorrow’s El Cajon Council will consider an agenda introduced by Pro Tem Mayor Bill Wells regarding the city’s red light camera program, which has been in effect since 1996 (see http://www.utsandiego.com/uniontrib/20051216/news_1m16red1.html).

The agenda item, if approved, would direct the city manager to bring back information on the program, including information on possibly ending it. It’s also been recommended that the city council set an advisory meeting for 2 p.m. on March 12 and an information session at 7 p.m. the same day to hear public opinions.

TRAFFIC HEADACHES ACROSS EAST COUNTY

February 11, 2013 (San Diego’s East County ) – Several major traffic issues pose problems for motorists this afternoon:

Sunrise Highway and Los Huecos Road on Mt. Laguna -- Boulders are blocking the roadway; road crews are en route.

Eastbound Highway 94 west of I-14:  A multi-vehicle accident is blocking several lanes.

A SIG alert remains in effect in Lakeside at Wildcat Canyon Road and Willows, due to yet another accident involving power lines.

WILDCAT CANYON STILL CLOSED FROM ACCIDENT THAT DOWNED POWERLINES

February 10, 2013 (Lakeside) -- Wildcat Canyon Road in Lakeside remains closed tonight between Willows Road and Muth Valley Road.  The route has been shut down since a vehicle accident downed power lines around 1:58 a.m.  According to the California Highway Patrol website, Wildcat Canyon, the main access route to Barona Casino, could remain closed all night.

COUNTY RELEASES ENVIRONMENTAL REPORT ON FORMER FCI LANDS : COMMENTS DUE MARCH18

 

February 10, 2013 (San Diego’s East County)--The draft environmental documents for the Forest Conservation Initiative (FCI) Lands General Plan Amendment have been released for public review.  The lands included cover vast tracts of unincorporated communities in East County and beyond.

This Draft Environmental Impact Report (EIR) has been prepared as a Supplemental EIR (SEIR) because only minor additions or changes are necessary to ensure the General Plan Update Program EIR adequately applies to the proposed changed designations of the Forest Conservation Initiative Lands GPA.  The proposed Project for the SEIR is based on community planning and sponsor group endorsed land use maps. 

SNOW BLANKETS LOCAL MOUNTAINS

 

By Miriam Raftery

February 9, 2013 (San Diego’s East County) ---Heavy snowfall has transformed our local mountains into winter wonderlands.  Mount Laguna received 10 inches of snowfall in the past 24 hours, followed by Palomar Mountain with 7 to 8 inches.  Cuyamaca also received significant snowfall, as this image sent in by reader Grace Schlesier shows. Frost and freezing temperatures are expected through Monday in inland valleys.

Other areas dusted in white include Julian (3-6 inches), Ranchita (5 inches), Santa  Ysabel (2 inches) and Pine Valley (2 inches) .  Snow even dipped down to Descanso and Campo, which received less than a half inch each.

FATALITY CRASH SHUTS DOWN HIGHWAY 94

Update 8:40 p.m. -- The Deerhorn Valley Antler Alerts has this update: 

Expect 94 to be closed in both directions between Otay Lakes Rd and SR-188.  Head-on crash 300 yds east of Community Bldg Rd has reportedly claimed 2 lives, with another serious injury transported.  According to Yvonne Purdy from Dulzura CERT, the closure is will last approximately 3 hours.  The coroner's was delayed by the traffic backup and had to travel east using the westbound lanes.

February 9, 2013 (San Diego's East County)--6:35 p.m. State Route 94 is shut down in both directions due to a head-on fatality accident at Marron Valley Road, near the U.S. Border Patrol checkpoint in East County, the California Highway Patrol reports.

SEVERE WEATHER CAUSES TRAFFIC HAZARDS , WHITE OUT CONDITIONS

February 8, 2012 (San Diego’s East County) – Avoid I-8 east of Alpine. White-out conditions are reported on I-8 at Crestwood/Campo. At Pine Valley, multiple vehicles have spun out due to snow and ice on the freeway. 

Chains are required on Palomar Mountain and Sunrise Highway,  and in other locations above 3,000 feet for two-wheel drive vehicles. 

In Valley Center, Woods Valley Road is closed overnight due to a power pole down.

A winter storm warning remains in effect countywide until 3 a.m.,with rain and snow falling. Stay off roads if possible and use extreme caution if you must travel.

CONSTRUCTION MANAGER AT OCOTILLO WIND PROJECT ARRESTED FOLLOWING THREATS TO PHOTOGRAPHERS

 

 

Update February 8, 2013:  The court in Imperial Valley has issued a restraining order requiring Graham to stay away from Park Ewing, the photographer he reportedly attacked.

By Miriam Raftery

Jim Pelley and Parke Ewing contributed to this report.

February 7, 2013 (Ocotillo) –Russell Scott Graham, 48, a representative  at Pattern Energy’s Ocotillo Wind Express Facility, has been arrested after allegedly attempting to wrestle a camera away from an East County Magazine photographer and making violent threats, including one documented on  video during the attack. (Warning, coarse language.) According to the Imperial Valley Press and photographers documenting the project's daily progress for many months,  Graham is the construction manager at Pattern's site.

Freelance photographers Parke Ewing and Jim Pelley have spent months extensively documenting construction activities at the Ocotillo wind project.  Many of their videos and photos have been published by East County Magazine, including  photographic evidence that raised serious questions on whether the project is producing wind speeds claimed, as ECM previously reported in a story titled Where is the wind?

WINTER STORM TO DROP SNOW LEVEL TO 2500 FEET

 

February 8, 2013 (San Diego’s East County ) – A cold front will bring chilly temperatures, thunderstorms and in mountain areas, snowfall starting Friday.  Four to ten inches of snow are expected to fall above 4,000 feet, with snow levels dipping down to 2500 feet or even lower Friday night and Saturday. 

Travel may be hazardous on portions of I-8 as well as on mountain roads.

WILDLIFE KILLERS: BIRDS KILLED AT COUNTRY CLUB, COUNTY TAXPAYERS PAY

Editor’s Note:  If you have any information on wildlife killed by tax-funded trappers in East County, please send your tips to editor@eastcountymagazine.org.

 

Reprinted with permission from Voice of San Diego.

By Rob Davis, for voiceofsandiego.org

A country club near Chula Vista’s Eastlake had a gnawing problem.

Coots. Lots and lots of coots.

The small, black bird that looks like a duck was chewing greens and fairways on the club’s golf course, pooping so much near the snack bar that it occasionally closed for cleanups. Birds are attracted to golf courses’ open space, a common problem in heavily developed Southern California. The private country club — records aren’t specific about which one — suspected the coots were hurting their bottom line.

U.S. POSTAL SERVICE DROPS SATURDAY DELIVERY

Congresswoman Davis questions legality of action

February 6, 2013 (Washington D.C.) – The U.S. Postal Service has announced plans to end Saturday mail delivery as a cost-saving measure. 

The announcement drew swift criticism from Congresswoman Susan Davis, who also noted that since Congress mandated Saturday delivery, eliminating it should require Congressional action.

CALIFORNIA PUBLIC UTILITIES COMMISSION HOLDS PUBLIC FORUM ON PEAKER POWER PLANTS; QUAIL BRUSH OPPONENTS TURN OUT IN FORCE

 

By Nadin Abbott

Photos by Tom Abbott

February 4, 2013 (San Diego)-- In a public hearing Friday, Public Utilities Commission Representative Denise Tyrrell listened to the concerns of over 500 San Diego citizens regarding three proposed peaker gas-fired power plants, including the Cogentrix and San Diego Gas and Electric (SDG&E) plan to develop Quail Brush,near Mission Trails Regional Park. Other proposed plants were Pio Pico in the Otay area and the Wellhead Escondido Energy Center.

MAYOR FILNER ENDS RED LIGHT PHOTO ENFORCEMENT

 

Mayor Brings Police Officers Back To Red Light Patrol

February 2, 2013 (San Diego)--Mayor Bob Filner fulfilled a campaign promise today and officially ended the controversial Red Light Photo Enforcement Program, bringing San Diego Police Department officers back to red light violation patrol.

Standing with San Diego Police Chief William Lansdowne, the Mayor made the announcement at what was the busiest red light camera intersection in the City, Grape Street and North Harbor Drive, just a mile from the San Diego International Airport.

EL CAJON COUNCIL ASKS STAFF TO DRAFT ORDINANCE TO RESTRICT LIQUOR SALES

By Janis Mork

February 1, 2013 (El Cajon) -- El Cajon’s City Council voted 5-0 on January 22 to ask staff to draft options for an ordinance with tougher licensing regulations for off-site sales of liquor at markets and liquor stores.

“El Cajon has changed a lot since I was a kid in the 1960’s,” said Councilman Gary Kendrick, who introduced the proposal. “Unfortunately, as we grew, we acquired problems big cities had. One is alcohol abuse. We’ve struggled with it for 30 years now,” he said, adding that his proposal is modeled after ‘deemed approved’ ordinances that have, “...become very popular in cities that have it.” 

COYOTES UNDER FIRE: GOVERNMENT PROGRAM SLAUGHTERS COYOTES BY THE TENS OF THOUSANDS

 

Unfairly accused of widespread sheep deaths, coyotes are among the most persecuted predators in North America, All Animals magazine

By Karen E. Lange

February 1, 2013 (San Diego)--The lucky ones hide when the helicopters and planes appear overhead. Most coyotes, though, take off running for their lives. And this is just what the men from Wildlife Services want. Armed with Benelli shotguns modified to fire six or seven times in quick succession, they shoot and shoot again at the animals flushed from cover. They’re flying so low—sometimes as little as 20 to 100 feet off the ground—it feels like they’re shooting sideways. It’s easy to hit the coyotes: Some take a shot to the chest and die instantly. Others are merely wounded and crawl off to lingering deaths. Any the gunners miss, they can get on the next pass. Or the next. They stop only when they’ve shot every single coyote—when they’ve knocked down all the predators on the ground.

CPUC PUBLIC FORUM ON QUAIL BRUSH POWER PLANT FEB. 1

January 30, 2013 (San Diego) – The CPUC is holding a Public Forum on the Quail Brush Power Plan along with two other proposed power plants in San Diego County on Feb. 1 at 6 p.m. at Al Bahr Temple/Shriner’s Auditorium, 5440 Kearny Mesa Rd., San Diego. The CPUC’s proposed decision will prevent the emission of over 900,000 annual tons of greenhouse gases by denying purchase power tolling agreements.

SAN DIEGO RIVER CONSERVANCY APPOINTS NEW EXECUTIVE OFFICER

 

Conservation Leader Tapped To Direct State Conservancy



January 31, 2013 (San Diego)--The Governing Board of the San Diego River Conservancy (SDRC) announced the appointment of Kevin McKernan as its Executive Officer. McKernan, who currently serves as Executive Officer for the Coachella Valley Mountains Conservancy, will assume his new position in March.

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