September 19, 2011 – 1:50 p.m. – ECM has received reports of at least 6 serious incidents across our region:
• At Shadow Hills Elementary School, preparations have been made for possible evacuation due to a fire in Harbison Canyon, where multiple strike teams and air support are ordered. Alpine Community Network reports Cal-Fire expects to contain this fire soon.
• In Julian, a head-on accident has shut down lanes at Highway 79 and Chihuahua Valley road with extrication in progress and as of 1:33, medical helicopter at the scene.
• CHP issued a SIG alert for northbound I-5 north of Del Mar Heights Road after a tourist bus fro Mexico caught fire and several accidents occurred as a result.
• IPN reports that a Sunrise Powerlink contractor has been injured in the unincorporated areas and is being transported via private helicopter to a medic unit for transport to a trauma center. ECM has asked SDG&E for details.
• In Fallbrook, a possible fatality helicopter crash has occurred at 601 Ammunition Road. IPN reports the helicopter may be military and a multi-agency response is underway. There is also a brush fire iginited by the crash.
By Miriam Raftery
September 18, 2011 (Lakeside) – A dramatic rescue occurred this evening in El Monte Valley, where a paraglider crash landed partway down El Cajon (El Capitan) Mountain.
Incident Page Network alerted ECM to the incident. Soon after, at 5:30 p.m., El Monte Valley resident Laura Cyphert e-mailed ECM with an eyewitenss report. “Looks like he is sitting up next to his glider. He has not been rescued yet."
Editor’s note: East County resident Greg Dunne (photo, top left) has achieved the remarkable feat of becoming the first known person to hike completely around the perimeter of Mission Trails Regional Park—all 28.3 miles! Here is his account of the journey.
Neighbors in rural Boulevard fear dry wells, impacts on water quality and terrain
By Jeremy Los
Sept. 18, 2011- The Live Oak Holding Company is in hot water with the County of San Diego after it allegedly took part in unlawful groundwater sales for the construction of a new Border Patrol complex off of Ribbonwood road in Boulevard.
Yet despite numerous work stop work orders and public outcry, water removal has continued--and the grading process for the project remains on pace to be finished by the end of the month.
By Miriam Raftery
September 18, 2011 (Jacumba) –Over 60 people turned out in Jacumba to call on the County to shut down Bornt & Sons Organic Farm, which experts and a San Diego Grand Jury have concluded is responsible for a severe eye gnat infestation plaguing the town.
September 16, 2011 (Washington D.C.) – If you have taken any of the following brands of birth control pills manufactured by Qualitest Pharamaceuticals, you are advised to switch to another, non-hormonal form of birth control immediately and talk to your doctor or pharmacist: Cyclafem, Emoquette, Gildess, Osrythia, Previfem, and Tri-Previfem.
These pills have been recalled nationwide by the manufacturer due to an error that could allow women to become pregnant.
September 15, 2011 (Santee) -- The County has awarded a contract for a modern women's jail on the site of the existing Las Colinas Detention Facility in Santee.
September 16, 2011 (Alpine) – The San Diego Medical Examiner’s office has identified Bernice Helen Safford, 82, as the victim killed in a car accident yesterday afternoon in Alpine. According to Officer Brian Penning at the California Highway Patrol, Safford’s husband, who was a passenger in the vehicle she was driving, was also seriously injured and remains hospitalized.
CPUC SETS UP TOLL-FREE HOTLINE FOR SUNRISE POWERLINK INQUIRIES—DIRECTS COMPLAINTS TO A PRIVATE CONTRACTOR
September 15, 2011 (San Diego’s East County) –The California Public Utilities Commission is now directing the public to send complaints about Sunrise Powerlink to a private consulting group, meaning complaint records would presumably not be disclosable to the media or to the public.
Sharmin Self on the Alpine Community Planning Group suggests that anyone who files a complaint/inquiry with Aspen, the consulting firm to the CPUC, also send her a copy, so that it will be a public record (unlike complaints to SDG&E or the CPUC consultant contacts, which are private and not disclosable).
September 15, 2011 (San Diego’s East County) – Four breaking news incidents impacting traffic have occurred in Jacumba, Alpine, El Cajon and Escondido, including a fatality accident and another with serious injuries. Other road closures have occurred due to a gas line break and a small brush fire.
By Miriam Raftery
September 14, 2011 (San Diego) – I-5 is now open and a SIG alert cancelled following collapse of a construction platform that landed on vehicles and injured 11 people, one seriously, at the San Ysidro border crossing this afternoon.
David Burnight, a ECM reader from Crest, describes his close call—and how the accident impacted his plans to return to the U.S. following a dental appointment in Tijuana.
JACUMBA RESIDENTS CALL FOR SHUT-DOWN OF ORGANIC FARM OVER EYE GNAT INFESTATION; PLAN PROTEST MARCH ON SEPT. 17
September 11, 2011 (Jacumba) -- Residents of Jacumba are planning a protest march at the entrance of Bornt & Sons Organic Farm on Saturday, September 17th at 10 a.m.
Despite a Grand Jury report, documentation of health harm to residents, and a realtor’s statement that the gnats are negatively impacting property values and sales, residents in this town of 500 people contend that Alan Bornt has not adequately adjusted his farming practices to resolve the pesky problem.
September 9, 2011 (San Diego) – Local residents are swapping stories of how they coped during the biggest blackout ever to hit our region. Their tales vary widely – and show that amid a crisis, attitude is everything! Neighbors helped neighbors—and some hosted impromptu blackout parties.
Some East County residents and businesses proved that preparedness is a virtue, while others found themselves stranded without gas or cash.
September 13, 2011 (Tierrasanta) –After treating patio furniture with teak oil on Sunday, a homeowner at 4608 Seda in Tierrasanta discarded the teak oil can in a trashcan. “A fire started in the trash can a few hours later and the homeowner was unable to put it out,” said Officer J. Jacobsen with San Diego Police.
September 12, 2011 (San Diego) – Thunderstorms and rains are likely to strike San Diego County tomorrow, with the highest likelihood of storms in East County’s mountain and desert areas. These storms have the potential to produce hail, frequent lightning, locally heavy rainfall and gusty winds, the National Weather Service predicts.
September 13, 2011 (Poway) – A 36-year-old Poway woman suffered a head injury and additional injuries when she was struck by a white pickup while walking on Valle Verde Road at Dorset Way in Poway. The accident occurred at 10:56 this morning.
September 12, 2011 (Ramona) –A semi-truck hauling a fully loaded grain trailer has overturned on Highway 78 and Rancho Sante Fe Court. A SIG alert has been issued. As of 3:31 p.m., the CHP website reports Highway 78 will be shut down for at least two hours between Julian Road and 3 Road to cleanup the roadway.
By Miriam Raftery
September 12, 2011 (San Diego’s East County) – Consumers who want a no-cost option to opt out of having wireless smart meters on their homes are urged to attend a September 14 hearing in San Francisco.
“The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) has called a workshop to be held to discuss smart meter opt-outs,” says Susan Brinchman, a La Mesa resident and founder of the Center for Electrosmog Prevention (CEP). “We need the public to attend and show the CPUC how concerned we are. Following the installation of smart meters on their homes and workplaces, many people are reporting illness, damage to electronics, appliances and buildings, fires, higher bills, and invasion of privacy."
County Reminds Businesses of Important Measures for Food and Customer Safety
September 11, 2011 (San Diego)--Last week’s boil water advisory has been lifted, but the Department of Environmental Health is reminding restaurants and markets that were impacted by the advisory to follow food and water safety procedures before reusing tap water. These include guidelines for flushing and sanitizing, as well as assuring that food served is safe.
Tom Cantor, owner of Scantibodies and founder of Life and Light Foundation that runs museum, is accused by employee of providing “bad science” to public
September 12, 2011 (Santee) --San Diego New Atheists and Agnostics (SDNA), a Web-based organization of over 700 members, plans a demonstration against the Creation and Earth History Museum in Santee on September 24. That’s the same date when the Museum plans to participate in a nationwide “Museum Day” organized by the Smithsonian Institute, as ECM previously reported.
A key question is who, if anyone, bears responsibility for financial losses resulting from the outage
September 11, 2011 (San Diego) –The California Independent System Operator Corporation (ISO), which operates California’s grid has initiated a joint task force to investigate the widespread blackout that left more than a million Southern Californians and five million users in the southwest and Mexico without power for up to 12 hours.
In addition, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) announced a joint inquiry in cooperation with the ISO, WECC, all utilities impacted and state regulators in California and Arizona. WECC has also announced its own Event Analysis that will be conducted with participation from the California ISO.
September 11, 2011 (San Diego) – San Diego State University (SDSU) now offers text and e-mail emergency alerts for students, employees and their families, as well as community members in the College area. The alerts cover critical situations on campus.
September 10, 2011 (San Diego's East County) -- The County of San Diego, Department of Environmental Health (DEH) has issued additional Boil Water Orders and Public Notifications effective immediately for the following locations in Potrero, Santa Ysabel, Tecate, Julian, Lakeside and Campo:
September 10, 2011 (San Diego’s East County) – We have received several inquiries from readers seeking more details on procedures to follow to stay safe during boil-water advisories issued for several communities. The following advice is offered by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control.
This link has details for consumers as well as links for medical professionals and more: http://www.cdc.gov/parasites/crypto/health_professionals/bwa/index.html . Below is the information for consumers including how long to boil water, special instructions for children and those with immune-compromised health, and directions on how to flush pipes and appliances after the boil water order is lifted.
Boil waters are in effect locally through Sunday at the following locations due to pump failures during the blackout:
Update September 10: Boil water orders will remain in effect until Sunday, health officials report. The order applies to all water consumed including water for brushing teeth, ice cubes or cleaning vegetables. Adults may shower, but infants or toddlers should be sponge-bathed with clean water. You do not need to boil water used for washing clothes in a washing machine. For more information, see this guide in the San Diego Union-Tribune: www.signonsandiego.com/news/2011/sep/08/san-diego-residents-urged-conserve-water/
September 9, 2011 (San Diego's East County)--The County of San Diego Department of Environmental Health (DEH) has issued Boil Water Orders effective immediately for the following areas: Affected communities include portions of Descanso, Alpine, Julian, Boulevard, Lakeside, Campo, and Pauma Valley.
September 9, 2011 (La Mesa)--Helix Water District reports its water system is back to pre-power-outage conditions and customers may return to their normal water-conserving behavior.
During the county-wide blackout, the District’s R.M. Levy Water Treatment plant in Lakeside remained operational under emergency power and maintained water deliveries without interruption.
Sept. 9, 2011 (San Diego) – San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) today restored power at 3:25 a.m. to its 1.4 million customers affected by the Sept. 8 outage. The restoration was accomplished almost exactly 12 hours after a major electric transmission system outage in western Arizona and the loss of a key connection with the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station and other factors resulted in the most widespread power outage in the company’s history and among the worst in U.S. history.
September 9, 2011 (San Diego) - Although power has now been restored countywide, public schools will be closed today across San Diego County. In addition to K-12 schools, closures have also been announced at San Diego State University, the University of California San Diego, Cuyamaca College, and Grossmont College. Some private schools, including Thomas Jefferson School of Law, have also announced closures. If in doubt, check with your school or school district.
San Diego County Courts will be open for business as usual, with power restored.
More updates on power restoration
September 8, 2011 (San Diego) – 11:30 p.m. – Isolated reports of broken glass and possible looting attempts have been reported at a taco store in Lemon Grove, where metal barriers prevented entry, and at a home in Vista. San Diego County has declared a local emergency, meaning looting is now a felony, San Diego Sheriff advises.