January 2009 Articles
Feb. 1, 2009 Update: After further investigation, the last two outstanding suspects in the Yum Yum Donut Shop armed robbery were arrested by the La Mesa Police Department. Nicholas Mitchell, 18 years old, of La Mesa, was arrested for robbery and conspiracy. Steven George, 28 years old, of La Mesa, and also a parolee, was arrested for robbery, conspiracy and a parole violation.
By Miriam Raftery
January 30, 2009 (La Mesa) — Yum-Yum Doughnuts in La Mesa was robbed
today by thieves who made off with the dough. Fortunately, police had
been tipped off by a woman caller who alerted authorities to suspicious activities--enabling officers to promptly nab one robber, though two accomplices remain
on the loose.
January 30, 2009 (Poway) — Three men reportedly forced a 12-year-old
girl into a van
in Poway yesterday near Scots Way and Midland Road. According to the Poway
Sheriff, the victim was walking home between 5:25 and 5:45 p.m.. Three
Hispanic male adults in older white box-type utility van stopped and forced
the juvenile into the van. The suspects drove the girl around for about 20
to 30 minutes and then dropped her off unharmed. Police have released a composite sketch of one of the suspects.
Dual views on hot topics
President's proposed economic stimulus plan has split Congress down party
lines, with Democrats overwhelmingly in favor and House Republicans unanimously
opposed. San Diego's Democratic Congressman Bob Filner and San Diego County
Republican Party Chairman Tony Krvaric face off with drastically divergent
views on the stimulus proposal. Texts below were submitted to ECM as press
releases issues by these political leaders' offices.
January 31, 2009 (La Mesa) -- Faced with a budget gap, La Mesa's City Council has voted not to provide financial support for the City's Flag Day Parade this year. To save the popular community event, some councilmembers and community leaders have launched a one-week fundraising drive in hopes of saving the community's parade.
January 29, 2009 (La Mesa) — At 7:39 PM, La Mesa Police
responded to a report of an armed robbery from the Burlington Coat Factory
located at 7938 El Cajon Boulevard. Several La Mesa Police officers and the Sheriff's helicopter
ASTREA responded to the scene, but the suspect had fled prior to their arrival. The
suspect entered the open business, brandished a handgun to a clerk and ordered
them to give him the money. The suspect fled with an undisclosed amount
of money. No employees or customers were injured.
28, 2009 (San Diego) — Congressman Bob Filner has reintroduced legislation
to honor the service and sacrifice of many members of the United States Armed
Forces who fought in Vietnam, the “In Memory Medal for Forgotten Veterans Act”
The bill recognizes veterans who died as a result of their service in the
Vietnam War but who do not meet the criteria for inclusion on The Wall of the
Vietnam War Memorial in Washington, D.C. The Vietnam Veterans Memorial
Fund “In Memory” program raised money to place a plaque near The Wall. The
plaque honors “those who served in the Vietnam War and later died as a result
of their service.” No names are on the plaque, but all names are recorded
in the “In Memory Book” at a kiosk near The Wall. Families can order
a copy of the book.
Despite Border Patrol Ban, Communion Celebrations Continue at Historic
Border Park--”For Now
|(Karl W. Hoffman)|
McGrath Family Foundation, Sycuan Band of the Kumeyaay Nation, and Dallas Pugh Foundation pledge $5 million for capital project;Construction t to begin February 2009
January 27, 2009 (Rancho San Diego, CA) — In a time where foundations and businesses are cutting back on financially supporting non-profits, three prominent organizations are fulfilling their pledge of $5 million toward the construction of a 35,000 sq. ft. full-service YMCA facility in Rancho San Diego. The McGrath Family YMCA, located at 12012 Campo Road, Rancho San Diego (91977), will meet the health, social and recreational needs of the under-served areas of Rancho San Diego, El Cajon, Jamul, Spring Valley and Casa de Oro. Construction on the new YMCA adjacent to the current McGrath Family YMCA Sports Complex will begin in February 2009.
By Miriam Raftery
|Congressman Bob Filner (D-San Diego) with Jan Hedlun
“This issue is as basic as it gets,” said Congressman Filner (D-CA), who voted
in favor of the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which is now on President Barack
Obama’s desk. ”You should not be paid less because you are a woman. You
should not be treated differently because of the color of your skin or your
religious beliefs. The Supreme Court has tried to roll back the clock on this
issue of basic fairness, but Congress will not stand for it.” San
Diego Congressional representative Susan Davis also voted for the bill, while
Congressman Brian Bilbray, Duncan D. Hunter and Darrell Issa voted against
ASSEMBLYMAN ANDERSON URGES LEGISLATURE TO SUPPORT ISRAEL
By Miriam Raftery
January 27, 2009 (Sacramento)-- Assemblyman Joel Anderson (R-El Cajon), has introduced Assembly Concurrent resolution (ACR) 10, California's Resolution to Stand with Israel. The move has drawn praise from backers of Israel and criticism from supporters of the Palestinians.
AMERICAN LUNG ASSOCIATION SENDS LETTER TO OBAMA OPPOSING SCHWARZENEGGER REQUEST TO EXPEDITE SUNRISE POWERLINK; CITES CONCERNS OVER AIR QUALITY AND FIRE RISK
By Miriam Raftery
January 27, 2009 (San Diego)--East County Magazine today received a copy of a letter sent by the American Lung Association of California to President Barack Obama in opposition to Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's request for the U.S. Forest Service to fast-track approval of Sunrise Powerlink. The letter cites concern that the project, if approved, would negatively impact air quality in San Diego and Imperial Counties, harming people with asthma and other respiratory conditions. Specifically, the Lung Association warns that fossil fuels from Mexico could worsen air quality and that smoke from future fires potentially caused by Powerlink could adversely impact the health of people in our region.
Congress approved several major bills in January, including measures to improve healthcare for low-income children, provide oversight of bail-out funds, delay conversion to direct TV, set aside public lands and ocean areas as environmental preserves, protect fair pay for women, and improve remedies for victims of discrimination. The Senate also approved nomination of Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner. Do you know how your elected officials voted? Find out here!
27, 2009 (San Diego) — Assembly Member Lori Saldaña was sworn into her new role as Assembly Speaker pro Tempore in a ceremony in the Capitol on December
1st. The Assemblywoman’s district encompasses most of the City of San
Diego, including neighborhoods east of I-15 between Highways 94 and 52.
Nothing but the Truth!
By Will Power
23, 2009 (San Diego's East County) — Arnold “Terminator” Swartzenegger,
the cinema millionaire, thinks it is amusing to cut payments to the elderly,
the poor and the disabled. To the Terminator, these folks are just props in
a California comedy that has degenerated from melodrama to tragedy as the state
View our full library of photos from local presidential inauguration events in East County and East San Diego at eastcountymagazine.org/?q=414_inauguration_photo_library.
Watch our video of the inaugural community ball in City Heights at www.youtube.com/watch?v=-U9e-XN7bXs.
|Marine Sgt. Shaka Greene and his son, Shaka, Jr.|
At the Community Inaugural Ball hosted by City Heights Library Performing
Arts Annex, Poet Sylvia Cameron Telafaro read a poem she composed especially
for the occasion. Below is the text, along with her photo.
By Miriam Raftery
January 21, 2009 (Washington D.C.) — On his first day in office, President
Barack Obama ordered that the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay be closed down
within a year. Closure of the now-infamous detention facility could result
in some of the 245 prisoners held there being transferred to Camp Pendleton,
according to a Pentagon study. Newly elected Congressman Duncan
D. Hunter (R-Alpine) has announced opposition to hosting terror suspects at
Pendleton. The Marine Corps Base in Oceanside is not in his district.
However Hunter has been named to the House Armed Services Committee formerly
chaired by his father.
|Mitsubishi Eclipse with spoiler, vehicle possibly driven
15, 2009 (Lakeside) — Lakeside deputies responded to a radio
call of a possible kidnapping at 10133 Maine Avenue in Lakeside shortly before
7 a.m. Upon
arrival, deputies contacted the victim, a 15-year-old ninth grade female who
attends El Capitan High School. The victim reported an unknown male had followed
her as she walked to school from the intersection of Channel Road and Industry
Way (near Highway 67). The male suspect made several attempts to lure the female
into his vehicle by offering her a ride, and eventually stopped his vehicle
on Mapleview Street just west of Highway 67. As the victim attempted to walk
past the vehicle, the suspect got out of his vehicle and walked toward the
victim. The suspect placed his hand on the victim's shoulder and she fled the
scene to the 7-11 store at 10133 Main Avenue where she called the Sheriff's
Music, Dance, and Storytelling Highlight 13th Annual Event -- VIEW OUR VIDEOS!
|Moreton Bay Fig Morris English Dance Troupe.|
By Miriam Raftery
Photos by Miriam Raftery and Leon Thompson
January 18, 2009 (La Mesa) — "On Tuesday, we will celebrate a historic day--I never thought I would see the day when we would have an African-American president," Dr. Eugene R. Bailey, retired U.S. Navy captain, told an audience of several hundred people at La Mesa's Multi-Cultural Festival. "Today I have to pinch myself to believe I actually commanded ships," said Bailey, who entered the Navy when opportunities for minorities were restricted. "We Americans have actually come a long, long way."
By Miriam Raftery
January 23, 2009 (San Diego) -- An administrative law judge has issued orders requiring the California Public Utilities commission to hold three public hearings on SDG&E's proposed shut-off of power to back country communities during high-wind events with low humidity.
"Many Santa Ana events will qualify, some of which last 7-10 days in a row," said Donna Tisdale,Chair of the Boulevard Planning Group in an e-mail sent to East County Magazine and others. "SDG&E is predicting planned outages of 12 to 72 hours. For most folks who can't afford generators or the fuel to run them, this means no pumps for well water or access to phones or computers for news or emergency notifications."
2 FEDERAL AGENCIES APPROVE POWERLINK; SCHWARZENEGGER ASKS U.S. FOREST SERVICE TO EXPEDITE OK TO BUILD POWERLINK THROUGH CLEVELAND NATIONAL FOREST
By Miriam Raftery January 24, 2009 (San Diego's East County)--In the last days of the Bush administration, two federal agencies gave a parting gift to Sempra Energy. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission designated a vast swath of San Diego's East County as a federal energy corridor, paving the way for the federal Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to approve Sempra's controversial Sunrise Powerlink project one day before George W. Bush left office. For construction to commence, however, the U.S. Forest Service (a division of the U.S. Department of Agricultural) must grant approval for the high-voltage power lines to run through Cleveland National Forest, raising the possibility that President Barack Obama's administration could intervene to halt Sempra's plans.
Meanwhile, the Center for Biological Diversity has petitioned the California Supreme Court to issue a stay halting the $2 billion project, CBC and Sierra Club have asked the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) for a new hearing, and Lakeside residents express shock upon learning the Powerlink is slated to cross the El Monte Valley and El Capitan Mountain.
Sempra and its utility, San Diego Gas & Electric, do not expect the challenges to be successful and say Sunrise will still open in 2012, Reuters has reported. "This action ... can only serve to delay development of renewables in our region, which is counter to state policy," said Sempra spokeswoman Jennifer Ramp. http://www.forbes.com/afxnewslimited/feeds/afx/2009/01/23/afx5959810.html
Channel 10News interviewed Lakeside residents who expressed outrage upon learning from SDG&E contractors sent to survey the area in late January that 100-foot-tall high-voltage towers are planned for their scenic community: http://www.10news.com/video/18553209/index.html.
In a letter sent to President Obama http://yubanet.com/california/Schwarzenegger-Sends-Letter-to-President-E... ), ( Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger asked the President to give priority to "establishing clear policy within the U.S. Bureau of Land Management and other federal agencies to prioritize renewable energy project development and transmission on federal lands" and to requiring the U.S. Forest Service to expedite the permitting and general plan amendments necessary to complete the Sunrise Powerlink transmission project just approved by the California Public Utilities Commission.
On January 20th, the Center for Biological Diversity filed a lawssuit alleging that the California CPUC violated requirements of the California Environmental Quality Act ( CEQA). http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/news/press_releases/2009/sunrise-powe... CBD is asking the California Supreme Court to issue a stay halting construction of Powerlink pending further environmental review.
In addition, the Utility Consumers Action Network (UCAN) has filed a request to the CPUC for rehearing the Sunrise case today.
"We question the legality of proposing a BLM Plan Amendment for Eastern San Diego County Resource Management Plan in the FEIS/EIR for Sunrise , a separate project document, to accommodate the new utility corridor," Donna Tisdale, chair of the Boulevard Planning Group and founder of Backcountry Against Dumps, told East County Magazine. "My non-profit Backcountry Against Dumps will be filing suit against the BLM's Eastern San Diego County Resource Management Plan and the Record of Decision for that plan. We hope to file by the end of the month. This should impact the new Sunrise utility corridor." Tisdale added, "It is our position that BLM violated numerous federal regulations and their own procedures when they downgraded Boulevard's McCain Valley Cooperative Land and Wildlife Management Area to Visual Resource Management Class IV from Class II. That unwarranted downgrade in zoning allows for the new utility corridor for Sunrise Powerlink and for Iberdrola Renwables 130 plus industrial wind turbine project to move forward with the permitting process."
The CPUC approved Powerlink with no requirement for any of the power produced to be from green/renewable resources, despite a state law requiring that 20% of energy from utility companies be green in the near future.
"Our governor is pushing for this line and I am concerned that President Obama may issue an executive order to waive all of the environmental requirements for Sunrise like Bush did for the fence. There are some powerful forces pushing for this greenwashed project "to save the polar bears" from global warming," Tisdale said. "We all know that SDG&E refused to accept conditioning of the line for renewables, and that the PUC and BLM approved Sunrise in direct contradiction to the extensive record and against advice of the ALJ and PUC staff. We are optimistic that the courts will overturn some, if not all, of the approvals."
A high-level source within the Obama administration has spoken with East County Magazine and confirmed that the President Obama's appointees have not yet completed reviews of the many actions taken by the Bush administration during its waning days. Sunrise Powerlink is among the projects still undergoing review, ECM has learned. Powerlink is supported by the San Diego East County Chamber of Commerce, which believes the project is needed to assure a long-term energy supply for our region.
Debra L. Reed, president and chief executive officer of SDG&E stated in a press release announcing CPUC approval, "Reliable transmission infrastructure is critically needed to reinforce the region's electric system and to open up new avenues for delivering green energy to our customers." She called the permitting process for Sunrise Powerlink project "the most comprehensive ever completed for a power line in California history, adding the SDG&E expects to complete construction of the 120-mile Sunrise Powerlink in 2012, delivering up to 1,000 megawatts of "clean, green energy"; however the CPUC has not required that any of the power produced be green, leaving skeptics to raise the possibility that SDG&E could import power from its liquid natural gas facility in Mexico - a facility that was recently criticized by PBS for lax environmental standards, among other things.
Opposed to Powerlink are numerous citizens' groups, environmental advocates, and Supervisor Dianne Jacob, who have argued that the region's needs could better be met through locally-produced, sustainable energy sources. Opponents cite concerns over fire danger, visual blight and potential health hazards caused by eletromagnetic radiation from the high-voltage power lines.
"Firefighting aircraft cannot make effective water drops over a 500-kilovolt line in high wind conditions and ground attacks cannot be made within 500 feet of a power line conductor," Jacob warned in testimony to the CPUC last year. Highlighting portions of the environmental report that discuss computer modeling designed to simulate Santa Ana wind conditions, Jacob said that for the communities of Ranchita, Santa Ysabel, Ramona and Poway the presence of Sunrise was determined by the report to be a Class I threat, the highest level possible. "It is my very strong belief that what SDG&E is asking you to approve is the equivalent of walking into our fire prone backcountry during Santa Ana wind conditions, striking a match and throwing it on the ground," Jacob told commissioners. "SDG&E wants you to gamble with human life. Please don't."
Jacob also took issue with the computer modeling described in the report. "The report's computer modeling used 50 miles per hour winds to simulate extreme conditions. Santa Anas can be twice that,"she said. Between 2004 and 2006, transmission lines were to blame for nine fires in San Diego County, according to SDG&E data. Two of the nine fires were caused by heavy winds.
Jacob said the region could meet its future energy needs by retooling existing power plants in the region and by investing in innovative solar projects such as Southern California Edison's proposal to install solar power arrays on commercial rooftops throughout the utility's service territory. "There are cheaper, cleaner and safer alternatives to the Sunrise Powerlink," Jacob concluded.
EAST SAN DIEGO COUNTY RESIDENTS FLOCK TO BE PART OF HISTORY AT LOCAL INAUGURAL EVENTS; SHARE REACTIONS TO OBAMA SPEECH
By Miriam Raftery
|Antoinette Curry and Dupreesha Jones have hope for their
| Sunny Farrand, San Diego Heroes To Hometown, clasps
fellow onlooker as Obama is sworn in.
|Crowd at Malcolm X shows emotion as Barack Obama is sworn in as America's first African-American President.|
January 21, 2009 (San Diegoâ’s East County) — Cheers and tears of joy
were evident among hundreds of local residents gathered at the Malcolm X Library
in east San Diego yesterday to watch the inauguration of Barack Obama,
America’s first African-American President.
”I am happy because with Barack, I know we can be anything we want,” said
Antoinette Curry, a student who attended the inauguration viewing along with
other 7th and 8th grade students from teacher Haroon Abdul-Mubaarik’s classes
at Holly Drive Leadership Academy in San Diego.
January 21, 2009 (Washington D.C.)-- On his first day in office, President Barack Obama ordered that the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay be closed down within a year. Closure of the now-infamous detention facility could result in some of the 245 prisoners held there being transferred to Camp Pendleton in San Diego, according to a Pentagon study. Newly elected Congressman Duncan D. Hunter (R-Alpine) has introduced a bill, coauthored by San Diego Republican Congressmen Darrell Issa and Brian Bilbray, to block transfer of detainees from Guantanamo to Pendleton.
21, 2009 (La Mesa) — A man attempted to rob the Shell Gas Station at 5302 Lake
Murray Boulevard, La Mesa at 6:32 this morning by threatening the clerk there
with a hammer. The suspect entered the business and demanded money. The
suspect threatened to hit the clerk, 28, with a ten-inch-long sheet rock hammer. A
struggle ensued over the hammer and the clerk was finally able to wrestle the
hammer from the suspect. The suspect punched the clerk at least once
during the fight.
By Miriam Raftery
|Carrol W. Waymon, PhD|
January 20, 2009 (San Diego) — Watching the presidential inauguration of Barack
Obama holds special meaning for Carrol W. Waymon, PhD, San Diego’s most prominent
living civil rights leader.
”It’s incredible to me,” said Waymon, who led efforts to desegregate schools
and housing in San Diego as head of San Diego’s Human Relations Commmittee.
He also served as San Diego’s official delegate to the funeral of Dr. Martin
Luther King, Jr. “I couldn’t imagine at that time in 1968 that we’d have a
black president 40 years later.”
photos by Miriam Raftery and Leon Thompson
January 20, 2009 — At the Malcolm X Library inauguration viewing, East
County Magazine asked elected officials and legislative insiders whether state
and local governments are likely to see change as a result of the Barack Obama
Newly elected Assemblyman Marty Block, who represents the 78th district, predicted
California will get help to resolve the state’s funding crisis as a result
of Obama’s victory. “I think we’re going to see results quickly. We’ll
get federal funding we never got under George Bush,” he told East County
Magazine. ”We’re hoping in ten days we will have a budget.”
FREE "MVP" HAIRCUTS AT SPORTS CLIPS IN SANTEE; STORE CELEBRATES GRAND OPENING JAN 24-25: DONATE $5 TO SANTEE BOYS & GIRLS CLUB AND GET A HAIRCUT FREE
January 19, 2009 (Santee) — Sport Clips, providers of "championship haircuts"
for men and boys in a sports-themed environment, announced today a Cut-A-Thon
at their new Santee-area store to benefit the local Boys & Girls Club.
Customers that donate $5 to the organization on either Saturday, January 24
from 9 to 6 p.m. or Sunday, January 25 from 10 to 5 p.m. will receive a free
By Mary Handfelt
January 19, 2009 (Lakeside) — The election that wouldn't
end is over; all the parties have cranked down their intensity level notch
by notch. The
victors have quietly settled into a new kind of peace, as if committed to demonstrating
in hyperbole the open minds and hearts that they promised would be - the harmony
that comes from choosing peace not war, or even bipartisan sparring.