Powerlink

JACOB CALLS FOR CPUC INVESTIGATION OF HIGH EMF LEVELS IN ALPINE ALONG POWERLINK ROUTE

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Supervisor Dianne Jacob, speaking against Powerlink at a 2010 rally

Update:  SDG&E, the Alpine Union High School District, and the Alpine Community Planning Group have responded to community concerns.  The County Board of Education has measured levels at the Alpine Elementary School and found them within EPA recommended levels. SDG&E has offered to meet with any concerned residents or business owners and take measurements. We have also provided additional a broader range of studies on possible health issue.  See our new article here with the latest details: http://www.eastcountymagazine.org/alpine-powerlink-concerns-spark-responses 

February 17, 2016 (Alpine) – Today, Supervisor Dianne Jacob sent a letter to California Public Utilities Commission chairman Michael Picker requesting an immediate investigation and independent review of high electric magnetic field (EMF) levels in Alpine. Copies of Jacob’s letter were sent to Governor Jerry Brown, Attorney General Kamala Harris and all CPUC commissioners.

ALL CRACKED UP? APLINE PLANNERS WANT TO HEAR ABOUT ROAD PROBLEMS CAUSED BY POWERLINK

By Tom Myers, Alpine Community Planning Group Circulation Committee

Is your pavement all cracked up because of the Powerlink construction? Is the ride home rougher than it should be on your car suspension? We want to hear from YOU!

At the next meeting of the Alpine Community Planning Group Circulation Subcommittee we will discuss roads that were damaged by SDG&E heavy trucks and equipment but not yet resurfaced. You may recall that SDG&E representatives promised us at several ACPG meetings that they would restore any damage to Alpine area roadways caused by their operations. Now that their work is done, many of us have been waiting for the repairs.

SDG&E DONATES SCENIC RIDGE AND NATURAL HABITATS TO THE U.S. FOREST SERVICE

 

March 14, 2013 (San Diego’s East County) – East El Capitan ridge, a habitat of the threatened California coastal gnatcatcher and home to a golden eagle nesting site, has been preserved and protected thanks to San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) and the United States Forest Service

DEVASTATION RESTORATION? QUESTIONS RAISED ON ADEQUACY OF REPLANTINGS AT OCOTILLO ENERGY PROJECT SITES

 

By Miriam Raftery

February 18, 2013 (Ocotillo) – As mitigation for major projects including Sunrise Powerlink and Ocotillo Express Wind Facility, energy companies were required to mitigate damage by restoring vegetation.  But now residents and some environmentalists are raising criticisms over the level of restoration efforts put forth by Pattern Energy and SDG&E.

 

 

 

 

PHOTOS OF THE YEAR 2012

December 31, 2012 (San Diego’s East County) – A photo is worth a thousand words, as the saying goes. East County Magazine’s photographers and readers have compiled an impressive portfolio of dramatic images this year. These are our editor’s picks for the photos that create an emotional chord, from inspiration to anguish. We deeply appreciate our professional photojournalists and citizen photographers who helped document the images that defined the news and character of our region this year.

 

 

UPDATE ON FIRE MITIGATION GRANTS FROM THE DEERHORN ANTLER

 

 
August 14, 2012 (San Diego’s East County) – Deerhorn Valley Antler reports that SDG&E fire mitigation grants will be available to those who lost homes in the 2007 fire after all.  The utility had previously indicated that homeowners who had not rebuilt and are not living onsite cannot obtain funds.  
 
While her remarks are tailored to Deerhorn Valley residents, Editor Kim Hamilton provides additional insights and updates of interest to many living along the Sunrise Powerlink. Here is her post: 

READER’S EDITORIAL: SUPPORT FOR ECO SUBSTATION AND TULE WIND

 
By Bill Pape
 
April 12, 2012 (Jacumba)--I have lived in Jacumba for over twenty years. The Jacumba area has been economically depressed since interstate 8 was built approximately 45 years ago. What this area needs is JOBS. These projects will bring temporary and permanent JOBS. We need any and all JOBS created by these projects and all future projects. 

 

READER’S EDITORIAL: A THREAT TO ANZA-BORREGO DESERT STATE PARK

 
Anza-Borrego Foundation
 
April 8, 2012 (Anza-Borrego)--The spectacular vistas, solitary wilderness and unique wildlife of Anza Borrego Desert State Park are under threat.  We write to you today to ask for a few moments of your time to help us protect your park. The Anza-Borrego Foundation opposes the proposed Ocotillo Wind Energy Facility, which will cause profound negative impacts on our desert wildlife, scenic vistas, and our pocketbooks.
We urge you to sign an online petition to help ABF oppose this project.
We also ask you to vote in an online poll conducted by East County Magazine. 

PHOTO OF THE WEEK: IRONY AT BUCKMAN SPRINGS

 

March 31, 2012 (Buckman Springs) -- Cynthia Rowley found irony in this sign posted by SDG&E at a Powerlink tower site in Buckman springs.

"It's right behind my house where we would hike," she said of the posted environmentally sensitive area, where the greatest damage to the environment has been caused by SDG&E itself. "Now there are 10 towers on the east side. It's caused me so much sorrow," Rowley wrote.

 

READER’S EDITORIAL: EAST COUNTY EARTH DAY--SUBSIDY BEFORE PLANET?

 
By Susan Brinchman
 
March 25, 2012, (San Diego's East County) -- On April 1, 2012, an event called East County Earth Day will be held at Mt. Helix Park, billed as a "free, family-friendly event [that] invites residents of East County to experience a local perspective on Earth-friendly practices". The event underwriter is San Diego Gas & Electric, according to the Mt. Helix Park Foundation website. While I commend those who planned the event, I suggest that an event underwriter should have been found that has a record of being Earth-friendly. 

STREETSCAPE IMPROVEMENTS, SDG&E NOISE VARIANCE REQUEST AMONG AGENDA ITEMS FOR ALPINE PLANNERS FEB. 23

 

February 20, 2012 (Alpine) – The Alpine Community Planning Group’s agenda for February 23 includes addressing SDG&E’s request for a noise variance to fly helicopters on Sundays through May. Also on the agenda is a subcommittee recommendation for Albertson’s Park, a presentation by the County on streetscape improvements (phase 2) for Alpine Boulevard, and an update from SDG&E on Powerlink, streetscapes and underground utilities.  

 

READER’S EDITORIAL: SDG&E WINS AGAIN; CONSUMERS AND FIRE VICTIMS LOSE


By Tom Myers
 
December 20, 2011 (San Diego’s East County) --The CPUC has approved SDG&E’s request to pass the cost of increased wildfire liability costs on to consumers.
 
Let's see...In testimony before the Powerlink was constructed, SDG&E said their
Power lines do not cause wildfire. The EIR said the Powerlink will cause wildfire during its expected life. CPUC approved the Powerlink. SDG&E changed their story and admitted they caused several 2007 wildfires in East County. CPUC fined SDG&E for lying to them, but let them proceed with Sunrise Powerlink.

EAST COUNTY ROUNDUP: OCTOBER 6, 2011

 

September 30, 2011 (San Diego's East County) -- East County Roundup highlights top stories in our region and state, published in other media outlets.  These week's top Roundup headlines include:

 
 
 
 
 
 
LOCAL
  •          Tribe attempts to evict private military contractor: Los Coyotes band in a legal standoff with Blackwater-tied company (San Diego CityBeat)
  •          Ballot effort to repeal fire fee falls short (Sacramento Bee)
  •          San Diego family of 3 needs $63,000 to be self-sufficient (KPBS)
  •         San Diego ATM fees second highest in nation (KPBS)
  •          Tankers for Sunrise Powerlink project upsets residents (10 News)
  •          Palomar Mountain State Park campgrounds close for good (signonsandiego.com)
 
STATE
  •          California breaks from 50 state probe into mortgage lenders[will conduct own probe] (Los Angeles Times)
  •          Education lawsuit would impact future California budgets (Sacramento Bee)
  •          Advocates for disabled to sue over state budget cuts (Sacramento Bee)
  •          FPPC looks at easing candidate reporting requirements (KPBS)  

9TH CIRCUIT COURT DENIES SDG&E MOTION TO DISMISS REQUEST FOR STAY IN POWERLINK CASE, PENDING APPEAL

July 29, 2011 (San Diego’s East County) –California’s Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has denied a motion by San Diego Gas & Electric Company seeking to dismiss a lawsuit filed by three East County organizations. The groups have asked the court to issue an injunction halting construction on the Sunrise Powerlink on federal Bureau of Land Management property.

OPEN LETTER TO THE UNION TRIBUNE: WHY DOESN'T YOUR NEW CITIZENS' EDITORIAL BOARD INCLUDE ANY EAST COUNTY VOICES?

 

 

 

 

 

To: Jeff Light, Editor, San Diego Union-Tribune; jeff.light@uniontrib.com

 

July 24, 2011 (San Diego's East County) -- I applaud the UT for setting up a citizen’s editorial board.  In many ways you’ve achieved a diversity of views ethinically, racially, and politically. But there are some glaring omissions.

 

There is not a single voice representing East County, rural residents,  fire survivors, nor environmental protection interests in the backcountry. 

 

It’s particularly unbalanced to have SDG&E represented on the board, with no one to speak for rural East County folks negatively impacted by the company’s actions.

POWERLINK OPPONENTS FILE APPEAL

July 22, 2011 (San Diego's East County)-- Opponents of the Sunrise Powerlink have appealed a lower court decision in their federal lawsuit challenging construction of the project across federal lands to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals and are preparing an opening brief, a spokesman for plaintiffs’ attorneys has informed ECM.

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EAST COUNTY ROUNDUP: JULY 14, 2011

 
 
 
 
July 14, 2011 (San Diego’s East County) – East County Roundup highlights top stories of interest to East County and our region, published in other media. Latest Roundup headlines include:
 
 
 
  • County may enact tiered ordinance for small horse operations (Santee Patch)
  • El Cajon reaches agreement with police (San Diego Union-Tribune)
  • Quiet council settles with Firefighters (La Mesa Today)
  • Schools’ financial watchdog stripped of powers (Voice of San Diego)
  • Legislators to introduce Caylee’s Law in wake of murder case (Sacramento)
  • Local openly gay troops begin reenlisting (10 News)
  • Fact check: Bill Horn’s bogus civil rights story (Voice of San Diego)
  • Bid filed to end collective bargaining for state employees (Sacramento Bee)
  • A Sweetwater resource, but there’s some salt in the mix (Groksurf San Diego)
  • UC cashing in with out of state tuitions (San Diego Union-Tribune)
  • Powerlink plagued by eagle issues, tower drops (San Diego Union-Tribune)
  • A sculpture garden grows in the desert (San Diego Union-Tribune)
 

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.”

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.

POWERLINK HEARING CANCELLED—AGAIN

 

By Miriam Raftery

 

May 5, 2011 (San Diego) – A hearing on a request filed by three East County organizations seeking an injunction to stop construction on Sunrise Powerlink until opponents’ case can be heard in court has been cancelled. The hearing was set to take place tomorrow, May 6 in San Diego federal court.

 

According to David Hogan, consultant for the plaintiffs seeking an injunction, “Things are moving very quickly and little information is available but it appears that Federal District Court Judge Anthony Battaglia has abruptly recused himself from several federal lawsuits filed by Powerlink opponents. The cases have been transferred to Judge Roger Benitez.”

EAST COUNTY RESIDENTS PROTEST ON STEPS OF SDG&E UPON NEWS THAT JUDGE CANCELS POWERLINK HEARING

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photos by Ron Logan, Miriam Raftery, and Merton Gaudette

 

March 10, 2011 (San Diego’s East County) – Candy Jenkins was looking forward to seeing environmental evidence presented to a federal judge in San Diego on Monday. “I live on El Capitan Mountain,” said the Lakeside resident, who  alleges that SDG&E is building Sunrise Powerlink towers only 2,000 feet from an eagles’ nest. She has photos, and says the eagles are tagged and the locations documented by the County. “Towers weren’t supposed to be within 4,000 feet,” she said. “We’re bringing this out today in court.”

 

Told by this reporter that the hearing had been cancelled because Judge Michael Anello announced that he will be ruling on the written record only, Jenkins expressed shock. “It’s heartbreaking,” she said. “Whatever happened to democracy in America?”

POWERLINK CLEARS HURDLES AT STATE AND FEDERAL LEVELS

 

Supervisor Jacob accuses "so-called regulators" of "deliberately covering up the monumental fire danger posed by this line"

By Miriam Raftery

 

September 24, 2010 (San Diego’s East County) –The California Public Utilities Commission and the federal Bureau of Land Management have refused requests for additional environmental review from opponents of the controversial Sunrise Powerlink high-voltage transmission line.

POWER PLAY: SDG&E USES EMINENT DOMAIN , SEEKS TO TAKE UP TO 80 PROPERTIES FOR POWERLINK


Backcountry residents burned up over latest tactic to grab land before court cases on Powerlink are heard

March 8, 2010 (San Diego’s East County) – Aiming to begin construction on Sunrise Powerlink this summer, San Diego Gas & Electric Company (SDG&E) is going to court to seek eminent domain powers to force landowners to turn over as many as 80 properties to the utility for construction of the controversial high-voltage power line. The tactic has sparked outrage among many East County residents.

LAKESIDE CITIZENS PUT SDG&E OFFICIALS IN HOT SEAT OVER POWERLINK IMPACTS

 

By Miriam Raftery

 

 “How can you sit there and say it’s safe to be there when that canyon has burned every year—and you’re going to put those towers up, leave us with no power, and we only have one way in and one way out?” -- Myles Thurman, Lakeside

 

February 3, 2010 (Lakeside) – San Diego Gas & Electric officials received a far-from-warm welcome from Lakeside residents at a community forum last night hosted by the utility to discuss impacts of Sunrise Powerlink, the proposed high-voltage power line that SDG&E wants to run through Lakeside's El Monte Valley.

 

SDG&E plans to hold a follow-up meeting within 30 days.


POWERLINK REVELATIONS SPARK HEATED DEBATE IN ALPINE

By Diana Barreto and Miriam Raftery

 

“Who is going to move to Alpine and put their kids in a school 40 or 50 feet from a high-voltage line?” – Michelle Steinbuck, mother and Alpine resident


"We have done everything we can to make sure everyone here, and everyone else who is not here, gets to know exactly what is being ramrodded down our throats." -- Milt Cyphert, co-founder, East County Community Action Coalition

January 17, 2010 (Alpine) San Diego Gas and Electric’s current proposal for Sunrise Powerlink, including undergrounding high-voltage power lines along Alpine Boulevard, was not well received by 400-plus people at a meeting on January 14th. County Supervisor Dianne Jacob convened the meeting to show the community information left out of the latest report submitted by SDG&E to the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) in Sacramento.

 

COMMUNITY MEETING ON POWERLINK TONIGHT: COUNTY TO REVEAL NEW CONCERNS

 

January 14, 2010 (Alpine) – Supervisor Dianne Jacob is hosting a community meeting to inform the public about new details on potentially devastating impacts of the Sunrise Powerlink.  County representatives will be on hand to present these new findings at 6 p.m. at the Alpine Community Center, 1830 Alpine Boulevard.

POWERLINK FOES APPLAUD DEFEAT OF HAYES AS INTERIOR DEPUTY SECRETARY

By Miriam Raftery

May 13, 2009 (San Diego’s East County)—Senate Republicans blocked the nomination by President Barack Obama of David Hayes to serve as deputy secretary of the Interior Department. Hayes, who held the same position in the Clinton administration, has drawn opposition from some community leaders and environmentalists locally due to his recent role as lobbyist for Sempra Energy. Sempra’s Sunrise Powerlink Project must be approved by the Interior Department for federal lands in San Diego’s East County in order for the project to be constructed.

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