Laura Cyphert

UTILITY WATCHDOG GROUP UCAN TO SHUT DOWN AMID FEDERAL PROBE: EAST COUNTY RESIDENTS EXPRESS SHOCK, DISMAY

"As bad as SDG&E is with a watchdog, imagine it without a watchdog.” – Donna Tisdale

 

“…No evidence confirming such allegations was provided by those lodging allegations, nor discovered by any of the professionals retained by UCAN’s board.” – press release posted on UCAN website

"We're trying to save UCAN and they're dissolving it." -- Mike Aguirre, attorney

March 5, 2012 (San Diego’s East County) – To many ratepayers in East County, the Utility Consumers Action Network (UCAN) has been a valued ally in their battles against San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E). For example, UCAN filed a lawsuit that tried to halt Sunrise Powerlink and submitted a study that helped persuade the California Public Utilities Commission to reject a rate hike proposal.   

So UCAN’s announcement that it is dissolving amid an FBI investigation into its finances  and a Grand Jury summons has been met with shock, dismay and skepticism here in East County.

SUNDAY STILL NO DAY OF REST FOR RESIDENTS NEAR POWERLINK CONSTRUCTION

Alpine residents lodge new complaints; Lakeside residents plan community meeting Wed. Nov. 2 over noise concerns

 

By Miriam Raftery

 

November 1, 2011 (San Diego’s East County) – Last week, the County revoked a variance granted to SDG&E for helicopter work along Sunrise Powerlink on Sundays in areas where residents had complained. So on Sunday, October 30, residents were looking forward to some much-anticipated peace and quiet –only to find the silence broken once again by the loud roar of helicopters.
 

At least some of the flights appear to be violating the County’s ban on Sunday flights, according to LeAnn Carmichael with the County Department of Planning and Land Use.

POWERLINK OPPOSITION LEADER TO SPEAK JUNE 16 IN EL CAJON

June 15, 2011 (El Cajon) – Laura Cyphert, a Cedar Fire survivor who co-founded the East County Community Action Coalition along with her husband, Milt, will provide an update on the legal battle against Sunrise Powerlink on Thursday, June 16 from 7-8:45 p.m.

 

READER’S EDITORIAL: ARIZONA’S FIRES REIGNITE CONCERNS OVER THE SUNRISE POWERLINK

 

By Laura Cyphert

 

June 10, 2011 (Lakeside)--As we watch the fires burning our neighbors in Arizona, we are again reminded why relying on imported power transmitted over hundreds of miles of vulnerable transmission lines, is a dangerous gamble for San Diego.

 

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?”

CHALLENGERS VIE FOR SEATS ON LAKESIDE COMMUNITY PLANNING GROUP


October 31, 2010 (Lakeside) – Nine people are running for seven seats on the Lakeside Planning Group, an advisory board to the County on local planning issues. Six are incumbents (Julie Bugbee, Chad Ennis, Emad Bakeer, Thomas Medvitz, Anton Botter, and Glenn Inverso). Three are challengers: retired Lakeside Fire Chief Mark Baker, East County Community Action Coalition co-founder Laura Cyphert, and Jeffrey Brust, a construction contractor.

FOREST SERVICE DENIES APPEAL OVER POWERLINK, CLEARS WAY FOR LITIGATION

 

By Miriam Raftery
 

October 24, 2010 (San Diego’s East County) – The U.S. Forest Service’s Regional Forester Randy Moore has upheld the Record of Decision (ROD) approving construction of Sunrise Powerlink, SDG&E's high-voltage transmission line slated to cross 19 miles of National Forest land in Cleveland National Forest as well as 49 miles of Bureau of Land Management land.

EDITORIAL: SDG&E TELLS CHAMBER THERE IS "NO RISK FROM FIRES" FROM THE SUNRISE POWERLINK





By Laura Cyphert

East County Community Action Coalition



At an April 2010 event at the East County Chamber of Commerce, Laura McDonald from SDG&E boldly stated that “there are not any fire risks with this project.”



It is not known if McDonald purposely intended to mislead San Diegans (or if she will someday be fined for misleading San Diegans), but what is known is that the “Fire and Fuels Management” section of the environmental impact report identifies numerous significant fire risks associated with the project, and even states that the project will “significantly increase the likelihood of catastrophic fires.”

EAST COUNTY MAGAZINE OUTSTANDING CITIZEN AWARD-WINNERS NAMED

 

 

VIP party honored achievements by local citizens and community leaders

 

By Miriam Raftery; photos by Julie Edwards

 

May 3, 2010 (San Diego’s East County) – During a “Celebrate our Citizens” VIP party at Cuyamaca College on April 28, East County Magazine presented awards to honor local citizens’ achievements in five categories: Humanitarian, Community Organizing, Education, Business Leadership, Environmental Protection, and Community Heroes. In addition, a special award recognized Viejas Fire Chief Don Butz and the Viejas Fire Department for their efforts to keep our communities safe from wildfires.

THE MAN WHO COULD BLOCK SUNRISE POWERLINK

Cleveland National Forest Director William Metz met with Powerlink opponents Tuesday; said presentation of alternative route provides “opportunities”

By Miriam Raftery


April 7, 2010 (Alpine) – Thus far, SDG&E has gained approval for its proposed high-voltage Sunrise Powerlink project from the California Public Utilities Commission and the Bureau of Land Management. But one major hurdle remains. Much of the proposed southern route runs through U.S. Forest Service lands--and requires approval of Cleveland National Forest director William Metz.

 

Yesterday, Metz met with citizens and leaders of groups representing over 79,000 local residents opposed to the controversial project. "I am keeping an open mind,” he told them,“and I'm still trying to figure out if it’s the right thing to do or not.”

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.


NEARLY 100 BIRDS, DOZENS OF MICE DIE AFTER EATING BIRD SEED SOLD AT LOCAL WAL-MART, EAST COUNTY LEADERS REPORT

 

 

UPDATE FEBRUARY 2, 2010 :  The FDA has taken samples to test and launched an official investigation, also pulling seed bags from other local retailers, ECM has learned. In addition, samples have been sent to the manufacturer to test for toxins or contaminants.

 

By Miriam Raftery

 

POWERLINK OPPONENTS ACCUSE SDG&E OF EXCLUDING OPPONENTS FROM POWERLINK COUNCILS

December 30, 2009 (San Diego’s East County) – SDG&E has named 110 people to serve on community councils to make recommendations on how areas should deal with disruptions caused by Sunrise Powerlink, the $1.88 billion high voltage power line project that the utility company wants to build. But many of the project’s most vocal opponents were not invited to participate—and are accusing SDG&E of stacking the deck in its favor.