Jim Pelley

MEXICAN WIND TURBINES MAR VIEWS ALONG BORDER

 

October 28, 2014 (Ocotillo) – Residents in the southern portion of San Diego and Imperial Counties have voiced surprise at seeing massive wind turbines sprouting up just south of the border.  The La Rumerosa wind facility in Mexico is visible across our region – causing consternation in some quarters.

PHOTOS OF THE WEEK: HOW TO RUIN A GOOD SUNRISE PHOTO OPPORTUNITY IN OCOTILLO

 

August 23, 2014 (Ocotillo)--Photographer Jim Pelley’s home is now surrounded on three sides by the Ocotillo wind facility built on public lands, despite promises when he purchased his home that the views would be protected forever.  He sent in these images to vent his frustration over the despoiled views of nature that drew him to this desert community.

INVESTIGATION LAUNCHED INTO HYDRAULIC OIL LEAKS AT OCOTILLO WIND FACILITY

 

By Miriam Raftery

July 22, 2014 (Ocotillo)—A Summary of Violations has been issued to Ocotillo Wind Express (OWE) for alleged violations of state law due to hydraulic oil leaks observed during a complaint investigation, Sandy Nax at the Department of Toxic Substances Control with the California Environmental Protection Agency in Imperial County confirmed today.

BLADE FLICKER POSES DRIVER DISTRACTION ON I-8

 

By Miriam Raftery

June 26, 2014 (Ocotillo) – Moving shadows of massive blades the length of football fields flickering across I-8 near the Ocotillo Wind Energy Facility  has been the subject of many complaints we’ve received from readers, residents and motorists since Pattern Energy built the project on Federal Bureau of Land Management property.

THE OCOTILLO WIND FARM KEEPS LIMPING ON

 

By Roy L Hales

Photos Credit: Parke Ewing

Originally published in the ECOreport

The Ocotillo Wind Farm keeps limping on. According to a recent article in East County Magazine, the site was producing just under 18% of capacity during the first quarter of 2014. As that was the windy season, it seems unlikely that Ocotillo will beat the slightly less than 16% average they set for the first for year of operation (2013). Then there is what the Bureau of Land Management keeps refering to as "general maintenance."

TILTING TURBINE? PHOTO SPARKS REACTIONS

 

April 1, 2014 (Ocotillo) – Photographer Jim Pelley posted this photo on his Facebook page, which he stated was shot “early this morning, after very heavy winds last night.”

Ocotillo residents shared reactions to the surreal tilting turbine image, clearly indicating the townspeople’s sentiments about this project.

EAST COUNTY MAGAZINE WINS 11 AWARDS FROM SAN DIEGO PRESS CLUB

 

By Miriam Raftery

October 31, 2013 (San Diego’s East County) –Nine East County Magazine team members combined to win 11 awards in the 40th annual “Excellence in Journalism Awards” presented by San Diego Press Club on October 29.  ECM has won a total of 58 journalism awards since our launch in September 2008.

Our winning news entries dealt primarily with compelling public health and safety issues(wildfires and industrial-scale energy projects), though we also picked up awards for photography, feature-writing and commentary.

Congratulations to our winners!  In alphabetical order, they are:  Nadin Abbott, Parke Ewing, Paul Kruze, Brian Lafferty, Ron Logan, Jim Pelley, Miriam Raftery, Sierra Robinson, and Darin Sefcik.

RESIDENTS OF OCOTILLO AND BOULEVARD SPEAK OUT, SHARE SAFETY FEARS AFTER TURBINE BLADE FALLS

By Nadin Abbott

(May 16, 2013 (Ocotillo) – “It’s scary, all the dangerous things that could happen. I don’t want anybody to get hurt,” said Michaela Woolley, 13.  She spoke at a press conference at the Ocotillo Community Center today, after a wind turbine at the Ocotillo Wind Express Facility dropped a blade the length of a jumbo jet plane.  

Fortunately nobody was hurt by this accident, though Miachela’s younger brother, Albert added, “It’s scary, the blade of the wind turbine could have landed in a house.” The boy said he also said gets constant headaches that make it hard to do his homework since the turbines were installed.

ECM FREELANCE PHOTOGRAPHERS INTERVIEWED ON NATIONAL WIND-WISE RADIO SHOW OVER OCOTILLLO INCIDENTS

 

February 13, 2013 (Ocotillo) -- Photographers Jim Pelley and Parke Ewing were interviewed Sunday on the national "Wind Wise" radio program regarding the Ocotillo Express Wind Facility. Russell Graham, construction manager at the Pattern Energy project, was arrested last week for allegedly making violent threats against the photographers and attempting to wrestle a camera away from Ewing.

The freelance photographers' videos and photos have been featured extensively in East County Magazine, documenting environmental destruction and raising serious questions about limited winds at the project. The Sheriff's office has indicated it would request filing of felony charges in the case, which is currently under review by the District Attorney. A restraining order has been issued against Graham, whose violent threat against Ewing was caught on the audio portion of a video recording.

Listen to the radio interview here: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/windwise/2013/02/11/ostrander-point-and-ocotillo-express

Hear more Wind Rise programming here: http://www.windwiseradio.org/

ECM EARNS 11 AWARDS AT SAN DIEGO PRESS CLUB CEREMONY

8 of 11 awards recognize ECM's in-depth coverage of energy issues in our region

By Miriam Raftery

October 23, 2012 (San Diego’s East County) – Continuing our proud tradition, East County Magazine was once again among the top recipients of honors at tonight’s San Diego Press Club Excellence in Journalism Awards.  All entries were in the Daily Newspapers and Websites category, going up against the major print newspapers and online news sites in our region.

The majority of the honors recognized ECM's in-depth coverage of the impacts of major energy projects, including industrial wind turbines, on local rural, mountain and desert communities. ECM editor Miriam Raftery won nine awards, including a first place award in general news for Silence of the Lambs: U.S. Government authorizes killing of endangered bighorns in path of wind project.   Raftery and ECM intern Mia Myklebust shared an additional first place award in the public service/consumer advocacy category for Jacumba: A town surrounded. That story focused on the impacts of major energy projects on a small rural community.

Scroll down to see our full list of winners and read the winning entries.

READER'S EDITORIAL: WHY ISN'T OUR GOVERNMENT PROTECTING US FROM DUST AT OCOTILLO WIND SITE?

By Jim Pelley

Editor’s note: For months,  ECM award-winning photographer and Ocotillo resident Jim Pelley has been documenting clouds of choking dust at  Pattern Energy’s construction site for Ocotillo Express wind energy, where citizen monitors have routinely reported construction without water trucks present and twice resulted in fines on the developer for dust violations.  In this editorial, Pelley asks why the problem continues, raising serious questions for public officials who are supposed to protect public health.  The closest turbine is just 1500 feet from Pelley’s home.

October 9, 2012 --I have been told that they can make dust on this project site as long it is not over 20% opacity for three minutes. If there are a hundred trucks making 15% opacity dust all long day long I don’t understand why this is acceptable, because at the end of the day there are large amounts of dust in the air, it’s very easy to see.

PHOTO OF THE WEEK: OCOTILLO SUNRISE

August 13, 2012 (Ocotillo) -- ECM photographer Jim Pelley shot this beautiful sunrise this morning from the yard at his home in Ocotillo. 

Soon this dramatic landscape may be only a memory, vanished in the dust as towering ocotillo cacti are torn down and replaced by 112 wind turbines, each 500 feet tall. 

PHOTO OF THE WEEK: HORNED DESERT LIZARD

 

June 20, 2012 (Ocotillo) -- Photographer Jim Pelley snapped this image of a horned desert lizard, whose camouflaged appearance blends right in with its desert surroundings. Pelley spotted the reclusive reptile on the site of the Ocotillo Express wind energy facility, which is now under construction.

ECM SWEEPS PRESS CLUB AWARDS—AGAIN

East County Magazine News Service
 
October 3, 2011 (San Diego’s East County) – Ten of East County Magazine’s writers, photographers and videographers have won awards in the San Diego Press Club’s 2011 Excellence in Journalism Awards. 
 
“We’re delighted to learn that this year’s list of winners includes not only professional career journalists, but also community volunteers, interns and photographers who receiving training from ECM in citizen-journalism skills,” said Miriam Raftery, editor and founder of the nonprofit publication. “Congratulations to our dedicated team.”