Update March 2, 2014: The body of the missing fisherman has been found, ECM has learned.
March 1, 2014 (Ramona) – A search and rescue effort is underway at Lake Sutherland, where a kayar was found floating upside down at 5:20 p.m. in the Ramona lake. According to Lt. Dave Schaller with the Sheriff’s office, the kayak is believed to be owned by a 55-year-old man who frequents the lake for fishing and is known to employees at the lake.
February 28, 2014 (Lemon Grove)--"History Alive" will continue on Mar. 6 at 7 p.m. in the H. Lee House Cultural Center, 3205 Olive, Lemon Grove, when Vanessa Jones in period attire presents the remarkable story of Mary Chase Walker, the Massachusetts school teacher who moved to San Diego in the summer of 1865 as the Civil War was ending to helm the city's first school in Old Town.
Photo credit: Tom Lemon
Safety tips from the nonprofit FLASH
March 1, 2014 (San Diego)--With much needed rain expected over the next few days, residents should take precautions to protect their home and family from the possibility of flooding. Eighteen to 24 inches of moving water can wash an SUV off of the road. In fact, according to the National Weather Service, more than half of all flood-related deaths are people driving through flooded roads. The nonprofit Federal Alliance for Safe Homes (FLASH) reminds residents to “Turn Around, Don’t Drown!” and offers the following safety tips to protect your home from costly flood damage.
By Miriam Raftery
March 1, 2014 (San Diego) – Drought-parched San Diego got some relief over the past two days. The National Weather Service has released precipitation totals for the two days ending at 2:10 p.m. today.
More is due in Sunday, with thunderstorms, hail and gusty winds forecast and flooding possible due to already saturated ground.
Below are the totals for the past 48 hours:
SOITEC FAILS TO DISCLOSE TRUTH ABOUT SOLAR PROJECT IMPACTS; HIRES FORMER SD PLANNER WHO WORKED ON SOITEC PROJECTS
Why doesn’t San Diego County end revolving door situation?
Photo: Soitec's Newberry Springs project, which promised minimal enviornmental impacts, graded all vegetation on the site.
By Miriam Raftery
Updated March 5, 2014 with clarifications from Soitec
March 1, 2014 (San Diego’s East County)—Developers frequently put “spin” on project descriptions to emphasize benefits rather than negative impacts. But certain statements by Soitec representatives regarding its proposed solar projects in Boulevard and a recent project in the desert fall into the “Pinnochio” category. In fact Soitec representatives misrepresented glare issues and the amount of land that is disturbed by their projects.
During a Soitec community meeting at the Manzanita Diner last month, ECM’s editor asked Soitec media and communications advisor Karen Hutchens specifically about a moratorium on solar projects approved by San Bernadino County Supervisors amid concerns about glare in Newberry Springs, where Soitec built a project very similar to its proposed Boulevard sites. Hutchens responded, “That had nothing to do with our project. The moratorium was passed before our project was even built.”
But Robert Berkman, head of a citizens group in Newberry Springs called CEQA-NOW, told ECM that statement was a bald-faced lie. “The moratorium came out because of the Soitec project—after it was built,” he said, adding that citizens invited Supervisors to visit the site. Supervisors said, “’`Good grief, what has happened here? ‘ “ Berkman stated. “The moratorium occurred because we were able to bring them out and say `This is an example of solar done wrong.’”
Soitec's Hutchens concedes that she erred in her statement on the timing of the moratorium, and agrees it was imposed after Soitec's project was built, but says Soitec's project was not the reason for the moratorium. ECM is seeking clarification from San Bernardino County's Land Services Department.
That's not the only disputed statement by Soitec.
By E.A. Barrera
February 28, 2014 (San Diego)--I was proud to support David Alvarez and his campaign for Mayor. His life is an inspiration and his future is the future of San Diego. But now it is time for all San Diego Democrats to come together, and grow beyond our basic base of supporters. There are floods of Independents and Republicans out there disgusted with the modern Tea Party-dominated GOP. The new Confederacy has taken hold of the Republican Party, leaving millions of Americans ready to join with the Democrats in reasonable dialogue and solutions to our nation's future problems.
February 28, 2014 (Lakeside) - Lakeside residents are invited to a Lakeside revitalization meeting on March 5th from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. at the Lakeside Community Center, 9841 Vine Street.
By Miriam Raftery
February 28, 2014 (San Diego) – Opponents of the Tule Wind project in McCain Valley will have their day in court on Monday, March 3 in San Diego’s U.S. District Court. Then on April 25, a separate suit against the County over its wind energy ordinance and general plan amendment will also be heard.
The suits were filed by the Protect Our Communities Foundation and Donna Tisdale. Tisdale informed ECM that it's important to have many East County residents attend these trials.
February 28, 2014 (San Diego)—Over 242 collisions were reported yesterday during just 16 hours on the first day of the storm, compared to 50 to 75 accidents on “good weather” days. The stats include freeways and unincorporated area streets in San Diego County as well as Temecula.
February 28, 2014 (Ocotillo) -- An Ocotillo resident has prepared a poignant video dramatically illustrating the scope of destruction done by Pattern Energy to build its Ocotillo Wind Energy Facility. The video details the beauty of the desert with closeup images of birds and other wildlife amid the ocotillo forest mowed down on 12,500 acres of public lands, then shows the construction and finished results.
By Miriam Raftery
February 27, 2014 (San Diego) -- A San Diego State University staff member who lost a leg in Afghanistan has been honored by the San Diego Hall of Champions. Erick McElvenny was named Challenged Athlete of the Year at the 68th annual Salute to the Champions awards ceremony on February 13 after a year that’s included accomplishments that would be daunting for many able-bodied athletes.
February 23, 2014 (Rancho San Diego) – Jennifer Hanna snapped these images of a brush fire behind her home on Sunday, February 16. The blaze, near Fury and Wieghorst in the Rancho San Diego area of El Cajon, was swiftly dowsed by firefighters.
County News Service
February 26, 2014 (Ramona)--County Supervisors moved to make a stretch of road in Ramona safer Wednesday, voting unanimously to seek bids and authorize building the long-discussed San Vicente Road Improvement project.
By Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna
“There’s good news forecasted for this week – Rain! Two storms are possible this week says Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna. As the rain is very much welcome and needed, it’s important to keep safety in mind. It will be hazardous.”
February 27, 2014 (San Diego’s East County)-- Here’s some good news for the directionally challenged: California’s 5th District Court of Appeal has ruled that it is legal for a driver to check a map application on a cell phone.
February 28, 2014 (San Diego)- There is no such thing as a free ride, unless you happen to be at one of San Diego’s many Mardi Gras celebrations.
February 28, 2014 (San Diego)--By an 8 to 1 vote, the San Diego City Council has voted to create new zoning laws allowing up to 30 medical marijuana dispensaries within the city limits – up to four in each council district.
February 28, 2014 (San Diego)--The County is sponsoring Serving Those Who Serve, a wellness fair for veterans, active duty military and their families.
SIGNATURES VALIDATED FOR PETITION TO UNIFY ALPINE UNION SCHOOL DISTRICT TO INCLUDE HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS
San Diego Office of Education to act on unification petition at March 12 meeting
February 26, 2014 (Alpine) – The San Diego Office of Education has formally recognized the Alpine Unification petition as complete, according to a press release issued by the Alpine High School Citizens Com
By Miriam Raftery
February 27, 2014 (San Diego) – Sick workers, particularly in the food service industry, pose risks to public health. But nearly half of all workers in the private sector locally lack paid sick time locally—including 80 percent of those in food service. That leaves workers a choice of coming to work sick, or losing pay.
February 27, 2014 (San Diego) -- Sempra Energy, parent company of SDG&E and SoCal Gas, reports a billion dollars in earnings for 2013, up from $813 million the prior year. For shareholders, that means earnings of $4.01 per diluted share.
February 26, 2014 (Lakeside)-- Arriving at Blue Sky Ranch on January 16th, a team of 10 young adults from AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC) began a 9-week service project. The team is working with Lakeside River Park Conservancy, Blue Sky Ranch and Silverwood Wildlife Sanctuary on various projects until their departure on March 20th.
February 26, 2014 (Spring Valley ) – A 15 year old boy running in a crosswalk at Jamacha Boulevard and La Presa Avenue in Spring Valley was struck and killed yesterday at 4:32 p.m. According to the California Highway Patrol, the 20-year-old driver of a Toyota Prius had a green light and was unable to take evasive action.
By Aaron Landau
February 27, 2014 (San Diego)-- Twenty-five years ago, Eden Steele was a sixth grade teacher at Parkview School in Chula Vista. She was looking for a meaningful way to empower youth with the understanding, skills, and strategies to resolve conflicts in a non-violent way. The result was Peace Patrol©™.
February 27, 2014 (San Diego’s East County)-- Our Health and Science Highlights provide cutting edge news that could impact your health and our future.
- New cancer immunotherapy treatment already shows promise (Jewish World Review)
- Stem-cell firm cleared for ovarian cancer trial (Sacramento Bee)
- Sit More, And You're More Likely To Be Disabled After Age 60 (NPR)
- Bumblebees catching diseases from honeybees, say scientists (CS Monitor)
- Study: MERS virus infecting camels since 1992 (UT San Diego)
For excerpts and links to full stories, click “read more” and scroll down.
County News Service
February 26, 2014 (San Diego)--It’s been one of the driest winters on record, but finally some significant rain is headed our way.
Once again the County of San Diego is making free sand and bags available to residents in the unincorporated areas. Residents just need to bring their own shovel.
Locations are below, along with links to find updates on road conditions during this storm and other emergencies.
File photo by Dennis Richardson, Lakeside
February 27, 2014 (San Diego’s East County) – A severe storm front moving across Southern California is forecast to bring heavy rains and flooding to San Diego County including coastal and inland regions. Waves up to 15 feet high are forecast along San Diego beaches this weekend. The National Weather Service has issued a flash flood watch, forecasting over an inch an hour and a high wind watch is now in effect.
The greatest threat for flash flooding will be over mountains and recent burn areas with debris flow possible, as well as in urban areas with poor drainage. In addition, possible major coastal flooding may occur during high tides on Saturday. Rough surf and storm rip currents are forecast from Friday through early Sunday.
Photo, left: 2013 storm in East County's Boulevard community
February 27, 2014 (San Diego)-- As San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) crews prepare for periods of heavy rain, gusty winds and scattered lightning to continue, the utility is reminding customers to be on alert and prepare for unplanned power outages.
“As the region prepares for much-needed rainfall, SDG&E crews are ready to respond to any impacts the weather may have on our electrical system,” said David L. Geier, vice president of electric operations for SDG&E. “We’re committed to providing reliable electricity service to our customers but sometimes unexpected power outages may occur, especially during storms and high winds.”
The utility reminds customers to follow the following storm safety tips:
February 26, 2014 (El Cajon)--The El Cajon Singing Hills Lions Club is seeking contestants to participate in the 3rd annual Miss Singing Hills and Miss Teen Singing Hills Scholarship Pageant. This pageant is open to all zip code areas.
February 25, 2014 (Ramona) -- A single-engine, fixed-wing aircraft ran off the runway during landing at the Ramona Airport today at 10:30 a.m. Sheriff's deputies from Ramona responded. No injuries were reported.