WHAT YOU’RE READING: EAST COUNTY MAGAZINE’S MOST READ STORIES IN 2012

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By Miriam Raftery

December 28, 2012 (San Diego’s East County) – Thanks to technology, we can track exactly how many people click open each story on our site. This year’s results are surprising and bemusing, revealing a lot about our readers.

Some results were predictable; you showed strong interest in big energy projects and local politics. But we’re baffled as to how an article on a drum therapy class in El Cajon attracted 36,000 reads worldwide, or why a political sex scandal drew far more readers than coverage of the presidential election. We learned that our readers care about wildlife, hiking, and our environment. Many of you want to preserve social safety nets and civil liberties. Plus a whole lot of you wanted to find the best holiday party in East County!

Here are this year’s most read stories—and some lessons that we've learned:

 (Note: We’ve excluded emergency alerts, traffic reports, weather stories, columns and community event  previews--including our  own “feasting and merry making” holiday party invitation, which had over 26,000 views!)

1. Sex scandal – Over 52,000 of you read our story on a hitchhiker who recanted accusations that she was kidnapped and raped by Lemon Grove resident and former Tea Party official Michael Kobulnicky.  She  fessed up to consensual sex, a story confirmed by  Kobulnicky’s lawyer. Criminal charges were dropped. But what does having sex rough enough to convince police officers that an assault had occurred just days before his planned wedding say about Kobulnicky’s family values?  DOUBTS CAST ON SAN DIEGO TEA PARTY SPOKESMAN FACING RAPE CHARGE

2. You’ve got rhythm – Our story on a drumming class in El Cajon uniting refugee women  and  others  as a means of stress reduction got over 36,000 reads. We can only guess that links to this story likely got posted at other websites, driving traffic to this piece on a relatively obscure topic from far and wide. SHIFAA RHYTHMS: REFUGEE WOMEN FIND HEALING AND UNITY THROUGH DRUMMING IN EL CAJON

3. Courage counts – Our profile of California Attorney General Kamala Harris’ successful efforts to win a multi-state settlement against big banks on behalf of foreclosure victims drew readership nationwide. While other states’ AGs were willing to settle for a pittance, Harris walked out and refused to sign the deal—ultimately negotiating a ten-fold increase in the settlement and preserving her right to file criminal prosecutions against lenders.  THE WOMAN WHO STOOD ALONE AGAINST THE “THIEVING BANKS”

4. Inconvenient truths about wind energy – Wind power has been pushed forward as a viable renewable energy form.  But little press has been given to the dangers posed by turbines that collapse or throw off blades.  Our rural readers seeking to learn more about wind projects proposed across our region have been avidly reading our investigations into wind energy, including this story on safety issues.  THE DARK SIDE OF “GREEN”: WIND TURBINE ACCIDENTS, INJURIES AND FATALITIES RAISE SERIOUS SAFETY CONCERNS

5. A pesky problem:  Our fifth most widely read story focused on residents of Jacumba and Escondido plagued by eye gnat infestations .  Citizens banded together and lobbied Supervisors to declare the pests as disease-causing vectors and require organic farms to protect the public health.  This is an example of hyper-local news coverage that our readers appreciate.   SUPERVISORS SHOW SUPPORT FOR EYE GNAT ORDINANCE

6. Covert operations: A story on the supposed death of a local man who claimed to have been dispatched to Syria led to revelations that the death was likely a hoax. That investigation also led to intriguing information on U.S.special forces in Syria, drawing international readership.  This story illustrates a point raised by the Society of Professional Journalism, which emphasizes the importance of “re-reporting” when new facts surface to reveal the truth.    SOLDIER’S FACEBOOK POST RAISES QUESTIONS ABOUT U.S. SPECIAL FORCES IN SYRIA

7.   Our readers support community news and alerts:  We are heartened to see that the seventh most widely ready story this year advised readers that you can donate a portion of your normal purchases to East County Magazine by shopping and dining, as well as each time you surf the Internet.   SHOP, DINE, & GOODSHOP/GOODDINING WILL DONATE TO EAST COUNTY MAGAZINE & VIEJAS WILDFIRE ALERTS

8. You’re informed voters:  Our nonpartisan voter guide included coverage of local, state and national political races as well as ballot initiatives.  Apparently our readers want to know more about candidates and issues, since our voter guide emerged as our eight most widely ready story of the year. EAST COUNTY MAGAZINE’S VOTER GUIDE

9. Arts project stirs controversy:  An ECM editorial took to task an arts group that published a book purporting to show the “soul” of East County.  The book had not a single image of East County’s mountains, deserts or rural areas, but did include photos of graffiti, a trailer park, and a used condom.  Our contention that the work was lopsided drew the ire of some in the arts community, but also sparked strong words in our defense from East County readers offended by this “artistic” work. EDITORIAL: FAR EAST PROJECT PRESENTS SKEWED VIEW OF EAST COUNTY

10. School board candidates forum:  This year, East County Magazine hosted our first candidates’ forum. We chose the Grossmont Union High School District board race, since with 12 high schools the district impacts many East County readers—and since the board majority was embroiled in controversy amid revelations of a grand jury investigation into possible misallocation of bond monies designated for an Alpine high school.  Our coverage of the debate, including videos, was our tenth most widely read item.  In a close race, incumbent Gary Woods lost his seat to challenger Jim Stieringer, who has pledged to support a high school for Alpine.     ECM HOSTS CANDIDATES FORUM FOR GROSSMONT UNION HIGH SCHOOL DISTRICT BOARD TONIGHT  and A LEARNING EXPERIENCE: CANDIDATES CLASS AT GUHSD FORUM

11. Eagles at risk:  A biologist with Save the Eagles International warned of sharp declines in golden eagle populations due to birds killed by wind turbine blades.  East County residents love our eagles, as we’ve consistently seen through the years with high readership on all stories regarding threats to these magnificent birds of prey.  GOLDEN EAGLES FACE EXTINCTION IN U.S. AS NUMBERS PLUMMET, NEW STUDIES REVEAL  We also had high readers on our story revealing that federal regulators have issued permits allowing killing of endangered eagles by wind farm developers—a fact that does not bode well for our region’s 47 nesting pairs of golden eagles given an onslaught of wind projects proposed.  FEDERAL GOVERNMENT TO ISSUE “TAKE” PERMITS FOR EAGLE KILLS BY WIND ENERGY COMPANIES

12. Threats to bighorn sheep:  When the federal government delisted an Ocotillo wind energy site as critical bighorn sheep habitat, our photographers shot pictures of endangered sheep on the site and sent photos to the Secretary of the Interior. But instead of saving them, he issued take permits allowing lambs and ewes to be killed, shocking our readers locally and nationally.  SILENCE OF THE LAMBS: U.S. GOVERNMENT AUTHORIZES KILLING OF ENDANGERED BIGHORNS IN PATH OF WIND PROJECT

13.  Fighting human trafficking:  Among our top stories was a piece focused on local efforts to stop human trafficking in our communities.  You not only read our story, but also helped pass a statewide ballot initiative to strengthen penalties for criminals engaged in human trafficking. STOLEN INNOCENCE: HUMAN TRAFFICKING IN SAN DIEGO COUNTY

14.  Flaws in fast-tracking of big energy projects:  Ocotillo is a proverbial canary in the coal mine, as one of the first industrial-scale energy projects approved on public lands under a new federal fast-tracking process.  Our report revealed the difficulty for citizens to combat such projects, no matter how compelling the arguments are against them.  BROKEN PROMISES: OCOTILLO WIND PROJECT WINS APPROVAL DESPITE OUTCRY FROM TRIBES, RESIDENTS AND ENVIRONMENTALISTS

15. Native Americans’  anguish:  Why did President Obama fail to answer letters from local tribal leaders who pleaded with him to save sacred sites?  Our editorial staff believes it’s important to include critical coverage of all political parties and leaders when they fail to listen to the people they are supposed to represent.   WIND STORM : TRIBES IMPLORE PRESIDENT OBAMA TO STOP OCOTILLO EXPRESS WIND PROJECT, SAVE CULTURAL RESOURCE SITES

16.  Food + cowboys  proved an irresistible combination:  Announcement of a new restaurant featuring a celebrity chef offering cowboy cuisine with some upscale twists proved popular with our readers.  GINGHAM RESTAURANT TO OPEN IN LA MESA: TV "TOP CHEF" FINALIST TO COOK UP FARE IN "URBAN COWBOY DINER"

17.  Seeking social justice:  Thousands of you read our profile of a local woman fighting to free a young teen victim of gang rape and human trafficking who was convicted of murdering her pimp.   SARA'S STORY: EAST COUNTY ACTIVIST LAUNCHES CAMPAIGN TO FREE SARA KRUZAN

18.  Health hazards:  Stories on health issues impacting East County consistently draw many readers. Topping that list this year is a story on negative health impacts of infrasound produced by wind turbines.  SURVEY FINDS HIGH RATE OF WIND TURBINE SYNDROME FROM NEWER TURBINE MODELS

19. Threats to Social Security and Medicare:   Nearly 4,500 readers opened our story on local workers rallying to ask Congress to protect these programs for retirees.   WORKERS RALLY TO PROTECT THE SAFETY NET FOR RETIREES

20. Wind health impacts covered up by industry:  Our investigation found the wind industry providing deceptive data to mask health impacts so serious that some residents are fleeing their homes and at least one community has sought emergency aid to relocate those who are suffering.  With similar projects built or planned locally, this story provides important information for residents and local decision-makers.  WIND SPIN: BLOWING HOLES IN INDUSTRY’S DENIAL OF HEALTH IMPACTS

21. Internet outage sparks national attention:  Who would have thought that a local theft could take down  Internet service across America?  We drew readership nationwide with this breaking news story. BROADBANDS GO DOWN ACROSS NATION DUE TO CABLE THEFT IN ALPINE

22.  Tea Party and Occupy members find common ground: Libertarians and liberals, along with some conservative Republicans, joined together to stand up for civil liberties, staging a protest against a local Congressman over his vote to restrict our constitutional rights.  CONSERVATIVE AND LIBERAL GROUPS CALL FOR REP.HUNTER’s RESIGNATION OVER “INDEFINITE DETENTION OF CITIZENS” VOTE

23.  Debate ducking and dodging:  Congressman Duncan Hunter refused to debate his Democratic opponent for the general election and dodged all debates with his primary opponents, save for one in a conservative-friendly Tea Party sponsored venue.  Frustrated opponents staged a debate against an empty chair symbolizing the Congressman’s absence.  His debate ducking didn't hurt his campaign, however, since Rep. Hunter won reelection handily.  4 CANDIDATES—AND AN EMPTY CHAIR—TAKE STAGE AT 50TH CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT DEBATE IN RAMONA

24.  Loss of your public lands:  Our award-winning photojournalism coverage examining the cumulative impacts of wildfires, wind farms, Sunrise Powerlink and other factors restricting public enjoyment of public lands in East County was among our most widely read stories in 2012.    THIS LAND WAS YOUR LAND: EAST COUNTY SUFFERS LOSS OF OUR PUBLIC PROPERTIES

25. Shopping for home décor:  Our most widely read new business announcement this year, after a restaurant opening,  was this story on a new place to shop for items for your homes.  HOMEGOODS OPENING NEW STORE IN EL CAJON ON MAY 20

26.  Travel tips for Mexico:  The most-read feature in our new Weekend Getaways section was this guide to the attractions in Baja California.  WHAT IS BAJA? DISCOVERING ATTRACTIONS SOUTH OF THE BORDER

27.  State Parks whistleblower:  Readers statewide read our interview with a former Anza-Borrego Desert State Park Superintendent who alleged a cover-up to suppress negative impacts from a wind farm proposed on adjacent federal land.   WIND STORM: WHISTLEBLOWER ALLEGES GAG ORDER KEPT STATE PARK EMPLOYEES FROM REVEALING HARM  

28.  Property values at risk:  Rural residents found cause for concern when a major study revealed massive losses in home values near wind farms, as ECM reported.  PROPERTY VALUE LOSSES NEAR WIND TURBINES GREATER THAN PREVIOUSLY THOUGHT, APPRAISERS SAY

29.  Winds of change:  Ignoring a room packed with concerned citizens raising serious concerns, planners in Imperial Valley voted to surround homes in Ocotillo with 500-foot-tall wind turbines on previously protected federal lands. Though just over our county line, this project has vast regional impacts.   WIND STORM: PLANNERS APPROVE OCOTILLO WIND, IGNORE SERIOUS HEALTH AND SAFETY ISSUES, ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTS, COMMUNITY AND TRIBAL CONCERNS

30. How many big energy projects are too many for one small rural town?   This was the question posed in our story on Jacumba, where multiple large wind and solar “farms” covering thousands of acres are proposed. JACUMBA: A TOWN SURROUNDED

 31 .  Fuels from heaven vs. hell:  Heartland Foundation hosted a “Forging a Sustainable Future” conference at San Diego State University through its United Green Division, with speakers addressing multiple sides of energy issues.  Robert F. Kennedy Junior gave an impassioned speech about the horrific impacts of coal-mining on communities in Appalachia, presenting his arguments in favor of wind and desert solar alternatives.   KENNEDY CALLS FOR SHIFT FROM “FUEL FROM HELL” TO “PATRIOTIC FUELS FROM HEAVEN” AT FORGING A SUSTAINABLE FUTURE CONFERENCE

32.  County wind ordinance:  Our readers are closely watching controversies over a proposed County wind ordinance that would open wide backcountry areas for industrial wind turbines.  County planners voiced concerns in, but later recommended approval of a modified ordinance that Supervisors are expected to take up in January. Several stories on this were among our most widely read, topped by this one:  COUNTY PLANNERS DEAL BLOW TO WIND INDUSTRY

33.  Competition for SDG&E:  ECM was the first media outlet to publish mayoral candidate Bob Filner’s vision for offering San Diegans an alternative to San Diego Gas & Electric Company—an energy cooperative purchasing power from rooftop solar.  That’s music to the ears of many East County residents angered over SDG&E’s treatment of fire victims and ratepayers, as well as those who opposed Sunrise Powerlink and other large-scale energy projects.  TAKING SAN DIEGO OFF-GRID: FILNER SHARES PLANS FOR REGIONAL ENERGY INDEPENDENCE AND ULTIMATELY, UTILITY SERVICE OWNED BY THE PEOPLE

34. Remembering those we lost:  Posted just days ago, our story memorializing those who died in 2012 is already among our most read stories of the year.  PASSAGES: FINAL FAREWELLS BID TO THESE EAST COUNTY RESIDENTS IN 2012

35.  Hoping for a rescue:  Our readers closely followed the intensive search for a hiker missing in the mud caves at Anza-Borrego. Sadly, this story ended in tragedy, when the family hired a private detective who found the missing man wedged in a crevasse very near where he was last seen.  SEARCH ON FOR LOST HIKER MISSING SINCE SUNDAY AT CAVES IN ANZA-BORREGO

36. Pain product recall:  Many of you clicked to read a story about warnings issued by Mexican authorities and the U.S. Food & Drug Administration over dangers posed by a supplement marketing for arthritis pain and other conditions.   FDA ISSUES ALERT ON REUMOFAN PLUS

37. Global news on climate change:  ECM is committed to bringing you news on this important issue based on the latest scientific consensus, not hype from political pundits or those paid by oil companies.  This important story on an issue impacting our entire planet made our top 50 list.  WORLD METEOROLOGICAL ORGANIZATION CONFIRMS CLIMATE CHANGE ACCELERATED IN PAST 10 YEARS; 2011 WAS 11TH WARMEST ON RECORD

 38. Wildfire warnings:  Our live coverage of wildfires is among our most popular features.  Many fire stories had extensive reads, topped by this story on the Shockey Fire that devastated the Tierra del Sol community in Boulevard:   SHOCKEY FIRE TOPS 1,000 ACRES: FOUR HOMES BURNED

39.  Nuclear fallout:  A nuclear meltdown at San Onofre could trigger a 50-mile evacuation zone similar to Fukushima, Japan—a range that would include much of East County.  Stories on safety issues at the troubled San Onofre nuclear facility drew many reads, led by this disturbing story: SABOTAGE SUSPECTED AT SAN ONOFRE NUCLEAR POWER PLANT

40.  Sharing tribal grief:  Our readers felt the pain suffered by Native Americans from across our region, who gathered in the desert to mourn the loss of sacred sites where their ancestors’ cremated remains have lain buried, undisturbed for thousands of years until a wind energy project devastated the area.  EIGHT TRIBAL NATIONS MOURN LOSSES AT OCOTILLO WIND SITE

41.  Hot politics in Lakeside:  What happens when a popular fire chief runs for the fire board that gave him the axe?  Our readers’ inquiring minds were eager to learn more. CANDIDATES' VALUES CLASH IN LAKESIDE FIRE DISTRICT RACE

42.  Hello kitty:  Many of you clicked open to read more about mountain lions sighted near schools or other public places, including this widely read piece on a rare sighting in a Santee residential area:  MOUNTAIN LION SPOTTED IN SANTEE NEIGHBORHOOD

43 . Desert solar controversy:  Our readers are eager to soak up news on solar energy, and while nearly all seem to support rooftop solar, many have serious concerns about environmental impacts of large-scale desert solar.   ENVIRONMENTAL GROUPS FILE FORMAL PROTESTS OVER FEDERAL PLAN TO EXPEDITE DESERT SOLAR PROJECTS IN 6 WESTERN STATES

44. A disturbing “Pattern”:  Readers locally and nationally voiced surprise to learn that a wind developer active in our regions  has its roots in the oil and banking industries, with founders and leaders mired in controversies and scandals, including fines paid for defrauding public pensions following a criminal investigation in New York:   WHO IS PATTERN ENERGY?

45.  El Cajon Council race:  Our coverage of candidates vying for seats on the El Cajon City Council drew broad readership. We expected to see the most reads on stories profiling winners and front-runners.  But in fact, our most widely read story on this race focused on a newcomer from the Chaldean community, Christopher Shamoon:   EL CAJON COUNCIL CANDIDATE CHRIS SHAMOON WANTS TO MAKE JOBS, EDUCATION AND HEALTHY COMMUNITIES HIS PRIORITIES

46. Bogus bird claims:  The wind industry has pushed through projects with claims that new avian radar can reduce bird kills at wind farms. There’s just one problem: not a shred of evidence has been provided to demonstrate that these systems actually work, as an ECM investigation revealed.    USING RADAR TO CONTROL WIND TURBINES AND REDUCE BIRD KILLS: DOES IT WORK?

47. Governor vows to “crush” opposition:  Our coverage of Governor Brown’s visit to East County for Sunrise Powerlink’s completion drew national attention, as well as outrage over his vow to “crush” those opposed to large-scale renewable power projects. His statement offended many local residents, including those protesting outside.  We had broad readership of our  story as well as our editorial taking the Governor to task: SDG&E CELEBRATES OPENING OF SUBSTATION NEAR ALPINE AND COMPLETION OF SUNRISE POWERLINK  ;  and  EDITORIAL: THE PEOPLE OUR GOVERNOR WANTS TO CRUSH.

48. Drunk driving arrests:  Our readers avidly lapped up information on both planned checkpoints as well as arrests made for driving under the influence, topped by this story:   DUI CHECKPOINT ON JAMACHA YIELDS 5 ARRESTS AND 8 CITIATIONS

49. Farm-fresh foods:  Stories on where to buy fresh produce, farming and the growing urban agriculture trend all attracted many readers,  particularly our guide to where you can find community supported agriculture (CSA) farms that can deliver harvest-fresh foods directly to your homes:    FARM-FRESH FOODS DELIVERED STRAIGHT TO YOU

50.  Councilwoman convicted:  El Cajon Councilwoman Jillian Hanson-Cox’s arrest and admission to embezzling millions of dollars from an employer shocked those who knew her. The scandal grew amid revelations that she not only spent purloined funds on celebrities for the Mother Goose Parade, but also on a lavish personal lifestyle and trips for city employees. Here are several of our top-read stories on this issue:   EL CAJON COUNCIL MEMBER JILLIAN HANSON-COX RESIGNS AMID FEDERAL PROBE; and FORMER EL CAJON COUNCIL MEMBER JILLIAN HANSON-COX PLEADS GUILTY TO FEDERAL CHARGES; and HANSON-COX USED EMBEZZLED FUNDS FOR CAMPAIGN EXPENSES, LAVISH TRIPS FOR CITY EMPLOYEES

 

HONORABLE MENTIONS:  Many other stories also received thousands of reads, including some important topics:

51. LIGHTS, BLADE SHADOWS DISTURB RESIDENCES IN OCOTILLO AFTER PATTERN ENERGY BRINGS WIND PROJECT ONLINE

52. TRAGEDY IN CONNECTICUT SPARKS MEMORIES OF MASS SCHOOL SHOOTINGS IN EAST COUNTY

53. DO WIND TURBINES HARM ANIMALS?

54. JUDICIAL TEMPERAMENT? FACEBOOK POSTS, LAWSUIT RAISE JUDGMENT ISSUES IN CONTENTIOUS SUPERIOR COURT RACE

55.  PUBLIC SUPPORT SOUGHT AT MEETINGS ON COMMUNITY GARDENS IN LA MESA, SAN CARLOS AND SAN DIEGO

56. CAL FIRE: WIND TURBINE GENERATOR CAUSED WILDLAND FIRE THAT CHARRED 367 ACRES

57. SOLAR DONE RIGHT SUPPORTS LOCAL ALTERNATIVES TO REMOTE MASSIVE ENERGY PROJECTS

58. SAN DIEGO’S HIGH SUICIDE RATES—AND HOW TO GET HELP

59. SAN DIEGO COUNTY CLERK SERVED 116 COUPLES ON A “ONCE IN A LIFETIME WEDDING DATE”

60. CHEERS! EL CAJON BREWING COMPANY SERVES UP MICROBREWS AND A FRESH MENU

61. REP. DARRELL ISSA (R-SAN DIEGO) EARNS DISHONORABLE MENTION IN CREW'S ANNUAL MOST CORRUPT REPORT

62. JUDGE ORDERS SDG&E TO CREATE OPT-OUT PLAN FOR SMART METERS, BUT CONTROVERSY CONTINUES

63. SUIT FILED TO HALT OCOTILLO WIND AS COALITION HOLDS PROTESTS IN SAN DIEGO AND EL CENTRO

64. ORIGINS OF MAN REVEALED THROUGH DREAMS IN SCI-FI FANTASY NOVEL: QUANTUM LOVE GENE

65. EAST COUNTY NEWSMAKERS OF THE YEAR 2011

66. READER’S EDITORIAL: THE SAME OF LA MESA – COUNCIL VOTES AGAINST FREE TRADE

67. BANNER FIRE SWELLS TO 2,500 ACRES; NO STRUCTURES LOST

68. 6 BRUSH FIRES CAUSED BY SHOOTING FIREARMS IN EAST COUNTY; CAL FIRE ASKS BLM TO BAN SHOOTING DURING FIRE SEASON

69. 2 MEXICAN MAFIA MEMBERS, 117 GANG MEMBERS AND ASSOCIATES ARRESTED IN MASSIVE COUNTY-WIDE CRACKDOWN

70. FOOD TRUCKS IN LA MESA: NEW LOCATION GIVES REVISED MEANING TO FRIDAY NIGHT TAKEOUT

71. BINGE AND UNDERAGE DRINKING INITIATIVE LAUNCHED IN COUNTY

72. AN ILL-WIND BLOWS IN OCOTILLO: HANGING THE TOWN OUT TO DRY (editorial by Desert Protective Council’s Terry Weiner)

73. MARTY BLOCK SETS SIGHTS ON 39TH STATE SENATE SEAT; HIGH COURT AFFIRMS NEW SENATE DISTRICT BOUNDARIES

74. COUNTY PLANNERS VOTE TO DENY TULE WIND INDUSTRIAL WIND TURBINES ON PRIVATE LANDS

75. FEDS ARREST 19 IN PROBE OF CYBER-GROUPS SELLING STOLEN FINANCIAL INFORMATION ONLINE: JOHN HOLSHEIMER, CONVICTED IN FATAL CRASH THAT KILLED RAMONA MOM BRIDGET HALE, AMONG THOSE CONVICTED

76. Take trolley early if you’re going to the Holiday Bowl game Dec. 27

77. JUDICIAL CANDIDATES MAKE THEIR CASES FOR SUPERIOR COURT SEAT AT FOOTHILLS BAR FORUM

78. WILL IBERDROLA USE GAMESA TURBINES OR BLADES AT TULE WIND?

79. WIND STORM: POTENTIAL RISKS TO RESIDENTS FROM 20-SQUARE-MILE WIND PROJECT PROPOSED FOR OCOTILLO

80.SUPERVISORS IGNORE HEALTH AND FIRE SAFETY CONCERNS, APPROVE TULE WIND AND ENERGIA SIERRA JUAREZ SUBSTATION AND CROSS-BORDER TRANSMISSION LINES IN EAST COUNTY

81. WIND TURBINES ARRIVE IN OCOTILLO AS RESIDENTS COMPLAIN OF “DUST BOWL” CONDITIONS FROM PATTERN ENERGY SITE

82. HUNDREDS TURN OUT TO OPPOSE QUAIL BRUSH POWER PLANT; SD PLANNERS POSTPONE ACTION UNTIL JULY 19

83. CALIFORNIA ENERGY COMMISSION GETS AN EARFUL IN QUAIL BRUSH POWER PLANT WORKSHOP AT MISSION TRAILS

84. FLORIDA ATTACK PUTS SPOTLIGHT ON `BATH SALTS’: DANGEROUS DRUGS PUT LOCAL YOUTHS AT RISK, AUTHORITIES WARN

85. NEW DETAILS EMERGE ON IRAQI WOMAN SLAIN IN EL CAJON

86. HOT NEWS: SOLAR NOW COMPETITIVE WITH FOSSIL FUELS AS MAJOR STRIDES MADE TOWARD SUSTAINABILITY, BUT CHALLENGES REMAIN

87. LA MESA MAN AT CENTER OF FIRST AMENDMENT FIRESTORM

88. PATTERN ENERGY REFUSES TO ANSWER QUESTIONS ON SEISMIC SAFETY CONCERNS

89. NATIONAL CHAMPS: STEELE CANYON YOUTH FOOTBALL AND CHEER ARE TOPS IN THE U.S.

90. HOW SWEET IT IS: OUR GUIDE TO THE BEST DESSERTS AND CANDY SHOPS IN OUR REGION

91. THIS IS NOT THE MAYAN CALENDAR

92. SHOULD YOUR EMPLOYER DECIDE WHAT HEALTHCARE YOU RECEIVE? AMENDMENT TARGETING WOMEN’S HEALTH WOULD IMPACT MEN , TOO

93. SAN MIGUEL FIRE BOARD VOTES TO MOVE FORWARD ON PROPOSAL TO OUTSOURCE FIRE SERVICES TO CAL-FIRE

94. TRANSFORMER FIRE AT SITE OF NEW POWERLINK IN ALPINE

95. VALENTINE ADVENTURES TO DRIVE YOUR SWEETHEART WILD

96. COALITION OF TRIBES, ENVIRONMENTAL LEADERS & LAWYERS CALL FOR HALT TO "FAST TRACKING" OF MASSIVE ENERGY PROJECTS ON FEDERAL PUBLIC LANDS

97. SANTEE DEDICATES NEWLY ACQUIRED SAN DIEGO RIVER PROPERTY AS FUTURE PUBLIC TRAIL AND PARKWAY SITE

98. LEGAL ACTION BY FIRE VICTIMS SEEKS TO BLOCK SDG&E EFFORT TO FORCE RATEPAYERS TO PAY WILDFIRE COSTS INCURRED BY UTILITY

99. SOLAR FARMS TOTALING 1,300 ACRES PROPOSED FOR EAST COUNTY

100. CPUC REJECTS SDG&E PLAN TO CHARGE SOLAR HOMEOWNERS & BUSINESS OWNERS

101. SDG&E WANTS RATEPAYERS TO PAY FOR ITS WILDFIRE LIABILITY COSTS: FIRE VICTIMS ASK PUBLIC TO URGE CPUC TO HOLD HEARING IN SAN DIEGO

102 RESIDENTS REACT TO NEWS OF PIG KILLINGS AT MILITARY TRAINING SITE IN ALPINE

103. STANDING ROOM ONLY CROWD AT CPUC HEARING IN JACUMBA ON ECO SUBSTATION

104. RED FLAG ALERT ISSUED AS OLD FIRE GROWS TO 820 ACRES: POWERLINK AND OVER 200 STRUCTURES THREATENED

105. A WALK THROUGH THE WIND FARM WITH IBERDROLA

106. CREWS BATTLE TO PROTECT 60 HOMES IN CHIHUAHUA VALLEY

107. TRIBAL MEMBERS HOLD VIGIL AT OCOTILLO WIND SITE

108. SUPERVISOR RON ROBERTS BECOMES CHAIRMAN OF THE SAN DIEGO COUNTY BOARD OF SUPERVISORS

109. CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATE LORI SALDAÑA SHARES VIEWS ON JOBS, HEALTHCARE, ENERGY POLICIES, VETERANS AND SENIOR ISSUES, AND THE FIGHT FOR WOMEN’S RIGHTS

110. GRAND JURY INVESTIGATION OF GUHSD BOARD ACTIONS LAUNCHED, TRUSTEE REVEALS

111. FDA APPROVES NASAL SPRAY FLU VACCINE TO PROTECT AGAINST 4 STRAINS OF INFLUENZA

112. A DIGITAL STRIKE? MAJOR WEBSITES INCLUDING WIKIPEDIA TO GO DARK ON WEDNESDAY

113. HIKER FINDS NATURAL BEAUTY—AND NO CROWDS AT CEDAR CREEK FALLS ON REOPENING DAY

114. SHOULD SDG&E BE ALLOWED TO DOUBLE SMART METER OPT OUT FEES? CPUC TO HOST PUBLIC HEARING TUESDAY, DEC. 18 IN SAN CLEMENTE

115 SENATE CANDIDATE DAN HUGHES SHARES VIEWS AT RON PAUL RALLY

116. SWARM OF EARTHQUAKES FELT ACROSS REGION; STRONGER QUAKE POSSIBLE IN NEXT DAY OR SO

117. IBERDROLA’S ANSWER TO WIND TURBINE NOISE? GIVE RESIDENTS NOISE GENERATING MACHINES

118. INTERNATIONAL PHYSICIANS’ GROUP CALLS FOR HALT TO WIRELESS SMART METERS

119. HIKER, 19, DIES OF HEAT STROKE AT CEDAR CREEK FALLS

120. PHONE SCAM TARGETS REFUGEES

121. JUDGE DENIES TEMPORARY RESTRAINING ORDER FOR OCOTILLO EXPRESS WIND PROJECT

122. AGUIRRE: SDG&E PLAN TO CHARGE RATEPAYERS FOR WILDFIRE COSTS IS "DONE DEAL"

123. EAST COUNTY RESIDENTS SPEAK OUT ON OCCUPY ARRESTS, CLAIM CHILLING EFFECT ON FREE SPEECH

124. “SPINELESS RUBBER CHICKEN” AWARD PRESENTED TO JUAN VARGAS, CANDIDATE FOR CONGRESS IN KEY RACE FOR EAST COUNTY

125. COUNTY PLANNERS APPROVE WIND ORDINANCE, OPEN GATES WIDE FOR INDUSTRIALZATION OF EAST COUNTY

126. PROTESTERS TO CALL FOR SHUT-DOWN OF SAN ONOFRE AT SEMPRA HEADQUARTERS AFTER SENATOR WARNS OF FUKUSHIMA THREAT TO U.S.

127. BEN KALASHO SEEKS TO BRING VOICE OF DIVERSITY, BUSINESS SAVVY TO EL CAJON COUNCIL

128. SDG&E RECEIVES LEGAL NOTICE OF "DANGEROUS CONDITIONS" AT OCOTILLO EXPRESS WIND PROJECT

129. HOUSE REPUBLICANS PASS BUDGET TO SLASH TAXES FOR WEALTHY, RAISES MEDICARE COSTS FOR SENIORS AND STUDENT LOAN RATES

130. RESTORING LAKE JACUMBA

131. HORSE DIES OF RATTLESNAKE BITE

132. STATE FIRE BOARD REDUCES FIRE PARCEL FEE

133. THIRD LAWSUIT FILED OVER OCOTILLO EXPRESS WIND

134. VIGILANT CITIZEN HELPS SAVE NEIGHBORS’ LIVES

135. 42 NEW VIOLATIONS BY SDG&E REVEALED ON POWERLINK PROJECT

136. STOP “DANGEROUS” BUDGET CUTS THREATENING DISABLED PATIENTS, DISABLED SAN DIEGO MAN IMPLORES

137. OCCUPY PROTESTS AT CALIFORNIA DEMOCRATIC CONVENTION

138. PROPOSED DOG TRAINING PONDS HAVE NEIGHBORS HOWLING IN JAMUL

139. EAST COUNTY ACTIVIST ESTELA DE LOS RIOS TO RECEIVE ASHLEY WALKER SOCIAL JUSTICE AWARD

140. CHEERS! MOUNT HELIX WINE GROWERS ASSOCIATION TAKES ROOT

141. WINDS OF CHANGE: FORUM AIRS CANDIDATES’ VIEWS ON GREEN ISSUES

142. SOCIAL WARS: NEW LOCAL PAC TARGETS PRO-CORPORATE CANDIDATES

143. EAST COUNTY VIDEO ADVENTURES: FINDING TRANQUILITY AT KITCHEN CREEK FALLS

144. RISING STARS TO GADFLIES IN THE 79TH ASSEMBLY RACE

145.  PROP 32, YES OR NO?

146.  THE PEOPLE’S MAYOR TAKES OFFICE

147.  FIGHTING DIRTY BACKFIRES FOR LA MESA MAYORAL CHALLENGER

148. ONLY $13,375 MORE NEEDED TO SAVE PALOMAR STATE PARK

149. FOREST SERVICE REOPENS ONE TRAIL TO CEDAR CREEK FALLS: RAMONA ENTRY REMAINS CLOSED

150. FROM ROOTS TO WINGS: THE LA MESA CENTENNIAL PARADE

Comments

Thanks for Outstanding Service to East County

Miriam: As 2012 closes and a new year begins, I want to send a BIG thank you and your staff for all the hard work you do and the EXCELLENT content you deliver.

Here are the top 5 reasons why East County Magazine is tops in my book and why it deserves community and individual support!

1.ECM provides a timely and necessary Backcountry fire alert service on-line and via Twitter. I imagine it has saved lives and it certainly has given our community peace of mind knowing we can track what level of danger we are in.

2.ECM is a voice for the "underdog". I truly believe that without the coverage you afforded Jacumba's struggles, we may not have had as much pressure on the "powers that be" to resolve our eye gnat issue. We are finally gnat-free!!

3. ECM provides in-depth and balanced coverage of all political races, not just the national and regional races. This helps educate voters and makes for a stronger democracy.

4. ECM offers ongoing and timely opportunity for communities to publicize upcoming events and fund-raisers. I believe that the publicity we received in ECM contributed to the success of Jacumba Art's Council (a 501C3) successful Blues Festival and Art's Festival in 2012. We were able to raise funds for the community including scholarships for local students.

5. ECM covers stories that other media either shy away from or minimize. Your courageous coverage of the many wind and utility projects destroying the Backcountry (especially the shameful Ocotillo project) has focused attention and created a much needed dialog on the harm that is being done to San Diego County's rural areas and why all San Diegan's should care.

There are many other things to admire about ECM: its editorials and book reviews, its beautiful pictures of what makes East County so special (including pictures of the recent snowfall in Boulevard) and its overall championing of this wonderful slice of SD County that we call home! 

Miriam, I hope all your readers appreciate YOUR dedication and commitment as well. You are the heart and soul of ECM.

Finally, I encourage anyone reading this who feels that ECM benefits them and their communities, to dig into their wallets and make a contribution, no matter how small so we do not lose this vital GEM.

Happy New Year! . . . Danielle Cook, Jacumba California

 

Thanks again, Miriam, for

Thanks again, Miriam, for your thoroughly professional East County coverage; and especially for the light you've shined on the criminal, wind turbine/solar energy fiasco.

Without you, the wilderness would lose it's voice. Keep up the good work.