HELIX WATER BOARD VOTES TO ADOPT DROUGHT ACTION PLAN

LA MESA PLANNING COMMISSION REJECTS PARK STATION PLAN, BUT APPROVES EIR

SUMMER NIGHT SKY TOURS IN ANZA BORREGO DESERT

ECM WORLD WATCH: GLOBAL AND NATIONAL NEWS

SAN DIEGO ENERGY DISTRICT NOW OFFERING MEMBERSHIPS

F.A.C.E. SAVES PETS LIVES WHEN OWNERS CAN’T AFFORD SURGERY: KEEPING FAMILIES TOGETHER

OAKS FELLED IN DOS PICOS PARK

TWELFTH NIGHT PRESENTED AT VALHALLA JUNE 4 AND 5

HOUSE PASSES ABORTION BAN AFTER 20 WEEKS

STORM DRENCHES REGION

AMTRAK CRASH IN PHILADELPHIA RAISES TROUBLING QUESTIONS

IN-STATE TUITION GRANTED FOR GI BILL BENEFICIARIES

EDITORIAL: AN ILL WIND BLOWING: SUPERVISORS SHOULD JUST SAY “NO” TO INDUSTRIAL WIND AT WEDNESDAY’S WIND ORDINANCE VOTE

 

 

By Miriam Raftery, Editor, East County Magazine

May 3, 2013 (San Diego’s East County) Updated May 7, 2013 – On Wednesday, May 8, San Diego County Supervisors will vote on legislation that could have devastating impacts across East County and the entire San Diego region. 

At stake is a proposed wind ordinance that could open wide vast tracts of East County for industrial wind development, putting residents across our County at risk of a catastrophic wildfire or deadly Valley Fever spores that can blow 70 miles or more.   There are many more reasons to oppose this ordinance, as well as the proposed gutting of Boulevard’s community plan, but these are two of the most compelling.  These and other disturbing facts are detailed below.

If you share these concerns, it's important to contact all five Supervisors.  It's especially important for San Diego residents to tell their Supervisors that you care about what happens to East County, since some Supervisors have shown an arrogant disregard for public health and safety outside of their own districts. Of course, a wildfire that originates in East County and burns into San Diego, or deadly Valley Fever spores that blow into urban areas, should clearly be of concern to all County residents and their representatives. You can contact Supervisors here and scroll down to learn more.  It's also important to show up and speak out at Wednesday morning's meeting at 9 a.m. at 1600 Pacific Coast Highway, Room 402.

A DELIGHTFUL DAY ON THE DEERHORN VALLEY HOME AND GARDEN TOUR

 

By Miriam Raftery

April 28, 2013 (Deerhorn Valley) – The first-annual Deerhorn Valley Home and Garden Tour  on April 21 provided an intriguing glimpse into the history of this fascinating area of East County, as well as tours of a spectacular and diverse array of homes and gardens. 

A unique aspect of this tour, unlike others that are self-guided, was the tour bus provided along with helpful guides who gave details along the way not only of residences on the tour, but also colorful tales about the communities and rich heritage of this region.

BRUSH FIRE AT WITCH CREEK NEAR SANTA YSABEL AND JULIAN

Update: This fire was halted at 15 acres.

May 3, 2013 (Santa Ysabel) – A brush fire now called the Highway 2 Fire has burned at least 15 acres along State Route 78 at Witch Creek. The blaze is burning eastward in light grass. A blaze is also reported near Highway 78 and Hiddean Valley Road; it is unclear if these are the same fire or two separate ones.  Info is from Cal Fire; watch for details soon.

JAMMIN' AND WAILIN': BLUES FEST AT JACUMBA HOT SPRINGS MAY 4

 

 

By Ali McCall

April 12, 2013 (Jacumba Hot Springs)--Spend a cool afternoon jammin’ to some blues that won’t “tax” your wallet at  the free Jacumba Blues Fest on Saturday, May 4 in Jacumba Hot Springs. 

The festival, sponsored by the Jacumba Arts Council, runs from 12-8 p.m. at Highland Community Center on Olde Highway 80. Bring a lawn chair and enjoy food as well as cold, non-alcoholic beverages while you listen to some “smokin’ blues,” organizers suggest.

FROM THE CHIEF'S CORNER: WHAT TO DO WHEN A WILDLAND FIRE THREATENS

 

 

May 3, 2013 (San Diego’s East County) – We are currently under severe fire conditions.  Homeowners are advised to do the following if there are reports of wildland fires:

Listen to local radio or TV stations for updated emergency information. Follow instructions of local officials regarding the safest escape route. (It may be different than you expect; wildland fires can change direction and speed up suddenly.)

• If you have one, turn on your FRS Radio and set it to your neighborhood’s channel and code. Check in, and continue to monitor for new information. Channel ______ Code _______

If you believe the fire is too close to your location, evacuate immediately. (The fire may be moving too fast for officials to issue evacuation notifications.) Choose a route away from the fire and other potential fire hazards.

CITY OF SAN DIEGO POWERS UP PARTNERSHIP TO PUT SOLAR ON ROOFS OF LOW-INCOME RESIDENTS

 

Program also benefits East County students learning solar installation

By Nadin Abbott

May 2, 2013 (San Diego)—Mayor Bob Filner, Sullivan Solar owner Daniel Sullivan and Paul Cleary of GRID Alternatives hosted a press conference today at the Martin household in Broadway Heights.  It’s all part of a new partnership between the city, Sullivan and Grid Alternatives to put solar on the rooftop of low-income residents.

FIRES IN RAMONA AND OTAY

Update: Aircraft have been released from the Ramona fire. Otay Fire has been stopped at 120 acres.

Photo by Paul Kruze

May 3, 2013 (San Diego's East County) -- A 15-20 acre fire named Harvest Fire is burning near Otay Mountain.  It is east of Brown Field and is threatening a salvage yard, Cal Fire reports.  There are no threats to structures currently.

Cal-Fire is at the scene of a small brush fire in Ramona.  The fire is at the Ramona Canyon RV Park, 24340 Highway 78.  An air attack has been ordered.

BILL IMPLEMENTING AFFORDABLE CARE ACT CONSUMER PROTECTIONS GOES TO GOVERNOR

 

Measure Ends Use of Preexisting Condition Exclusions, Excessive Rates

May 2, 2013 (Sacramento)--A bill by Senator Ed Hernandez, O.D. (D – West Covina), Chair of the Senate Health Committee, that would put in place for California the vital consumer protections and reforms included as part of the federal Affordable Care Act (ACA), cleared its final legislative hurdle this week and is on its way to the Governor for signature.  The legislation, SB X1 2, was introduced as part of the special session on health care called for by Governor Brown during his State of the State Address in January.

ROUND UP THE FAMILY FOR THE RAMONA BLUEGRASS & OLD WEST FEST MAY 4-5

 

By Miriam Raftery

May 3, 2013 (Ramona) – Ramona is planning a "humdinger" of a celebration.  On May 4 and 5, the Ramona Bluegrass and Old West Fest will culminate nine days of musical celebration in Ramona at the Ramona Rodeo grounds.  This year, in addition to live music, the festivities will also include a focus on Old West history including an encampment with mountain men, cowboys and Civil War era characters. Visitors can enjoy music workshops, fireside storytelling, dancing, and break-out jam sessions.

Some bands and musicians will lead music workshops ranging from fiddle and mandolin to musical harmony. Kids of all ages are encouraged to bring their instruments and play along in this unique learning experience.

Musical entertainers include:

 

WATCH FOR AGENT ORANGE EXPOSURE SYMPTOMS

 

By Carolyn Ballou, California Department of Veterans Affairs

May 2, 2013 (Sacramento)--U.S. Air Force veteran George Chappell was a fuels specialist in Vietnam. He worked on all kinds of aircraft, including those used to dump the toxic herbicide Agent Orange over the jungles to expose enemy hiding places. At age 60, George was diagnosed with Stage 4 mantel cell lymphoma. He died just 18 months later. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (USDVA) presumed that George’s disease was the result of his Agent Orange exposure 40 years earlier.

The USDVA presumes that 14 different diseases and disorders are related to Agent Orange exposure when diagnosed in “boots-on-the-ground” veterans and certain other veterans groups. Certain birth defects in the children of Vietnam veterans may also be the result of Agent Orange exposure.

DRIVER WHO RAMMED TWO POLICE CARS IS ARRESTED FOLLOWING PURSUIT IN EL CAJON

May 2, 2013 (El Cajon) -- Jerry Lee Hickethier, 32, is charged with assault with a deadly weapon against a police officer following a dramatic police pursuit in which he intentionally struck two police cars.

The chase began at Naranca Avenue and Oro Street at 5:46 p.m., when a veteran sergeant with El Cajon Police department saw Hickethier run a red light. When the officer tried to stop the vehicle, the driver failed to yield to the lights and siren.  According to police, ie stopped suddenly, thrust the vehicle into reverse and intentionally rammed the police vehicle, causing moderate damage.

PASSAGES: PROMINENT GEOLOGIST CHARLES G. “MIKE” BEMIS

 

May 2, 2013 (San Diego’s East County) – Charles G.  “Mike Bemis,” co-founder and first president of the San Diego Association of Geologists, died April 27 following a long battle with leukemia.  His wife, Shannon O’Dunn, was at his side.

Bemis was recently bestowed the 2013 Baylor Brooks Honored SDSU Alumni Award. He had a 50-year career of contributions to the engineering geology profession.

LAKESIDE FIRE DISTRICT DIRECTOR TO SPEAK AT THE EAST COUNTY DEMOCRATIC CLUB

 

May 2, 2013 (San Diego’s East County) -- Susan Conniry, a director of the Lakeside Fire District, is the speaker at the May 16 meeting of the East County Democratic Club.  She will address issues related to her work on the board, including fire prevention. The club meets at 7 p.m. at Coco’s Restaurant, 1025 Fletcher Parkway, El Cajon.

Conniry and her husband, Tom Beasley, are Cedar Fire survivors because they were prepared for the worst. Well-versed in matters of fire prevention, the couple have trained hundreds of San Diego County residents through a disaster preparedness program entitled, “Ready or Not.” Training has beendone in partnership with local fire departments, fire safe councils, and CERT groups. In 2006,  the couple authored a handbook, Ready or Not – A Disaster Survival Handbook. 

REP. HUNTER, GENERAL ENGAGE IN UNFRIENDLY FIRE DURING HOUSE ARMED SERVICES COMMITTEE HEARING

 

By Meg Jensen

May 2, 2013 (San Diego’s East County) – Rep. Duncan D. Hunter (R-El Cajon)  triggered a harsh response from Army Chief of Staff General Raymond Odierno during a House Armed Services Committee meeting on April 25. 

The terse exchange occurred after Hunter criticized an Army intelligence program (Distributed Common Ground System) and repeatedly refused to allow either Odierno or Army Secretary John McHugh to respond in their own defense. Hunter prepared to leave the hearing, but stayed briefly after the Chairman insisted that General Odierno be allowed to speak.

 “I object to this. I’m tired of somebody telling me I don’t care about our soldiers and we don’t respond,” the General said. “Everybody on my staff cares about it and they do all they can to help.”  He then defended the DCGS and suggested Hunter was not familiar enough with the system.

ACCUSATIONS FLY IN HEATED ALPINE COMMUNITY PLANNING GROUP MEETING

 

By Nadin Abbott

April 26, 2013 (Alpine)—A meeting of the Alpine Planning Group this week grew heated as Lou Russo, a long time member of the group, raised conflict of interest complaints stemming from the San Diego Powerlink against fellow members. Russo also sought to have two subcommittee members removed over failing a fire inspection at their propertly.

Mike Milligan stated that he would “tender my resignation” if the attacks continue over Powerlink, adding, “It’s stupidity beyond belief.” 

He added, “It is totally unprofessional and Mr Russo should tender his resignation.”

CHIRP SAGE & SONGBIRDS FESTIVAL, GARDEN TOUR TAKE WING MAY 3-5

 

May 2, 2013 (Alpine)-- On May 3-5, the 16th annual CHIRP Sage & Songbirds Garden Tour will take place, as well as the Sage & Songbirds Festival at the Viejas Outlet Centers in Alpine.

The garden tour will feature home gardens that are bird and butterfly friendly, as well as a bonus site: a raptor rehabilitation facility featuring eagles, hawks and more.  A plant sale is also included.

The free festival at Viejas Outlet Centers features activities and events including daily butterfly releases, caterpillar races, and more. Scroll down for additional details.

OFFICIALS WRESTLE WITH DISCLOSURE REQUIREMENTS FOR PRIVATE EMAILS

 

By Miriam Raftery

May 2, 2013 (San Diego’s East County) – The First Amendment Coalition has issued advice to public officials in light of a court ruling that found private e-mails used by San Jose city officials to discuss public business must be disclosed if a Public Records Act request is received.   The ruling is on appeal and is expected to be upheld, according to legal experts, which would set a statewide precedent.

“Public officials beware: The appeal courts’ affirmance is likely to apply to all government emails, not just to emails written after the courts’ decision," the First Amendment Coalition warns. "That means the emails you write today, using a private account to discuss government business, will have to be disclosed in the future.”

The ruling poses as quandary for some local governing boards, such as the Alpine Community Planning Group, which relies entirely on private e-mail addresses for communications.

EAST COUNTY ROUNDUP: REGIONAL AND STATEWIDE NEWS

HUNDREDS MARCH ON MAY DAY IN SAN DIEGO

 

 

By Nadin Abbott (excerpt from Nadin Abbott's blog)

 

May 1, 2013 (San Diego)– Hundreds of Union Members and supporters came out today to the streets of San Diego to march for both labor right and immigrant rights. Pedro Rios of the Friends Committee (from El Cajon) said that “May Day is a day we are reclaiming for our community.” 

 

Marches started in 2006 “when there were macro demonstrations around the country,” including San Diego. At the national level, this is about Immigrant Rights, which are connected to labor rights. May Day also celebrates the events of the Haymarket on May 1st, 1886 when a bomb went off at the Haymarket in Chicago, killing police officers and strikers alike.

RED FLAG WARNING ISSUED, PLUS UPDATES FROM CAL FIRE ON FIRES AROUND THE STATE

 

May 2, 2013 (San Diego's East County) -- A red flag warning is in effect today and tomorrow through 6 p.m. due to high fire danger from excessive heat, low humidity and high winds.

Cal-Fire has provided an update on fire activitity across the state, including a nearly 3,000-acre fire in RIverside County, as well as increased increased steps that Cal Fire is taking to ensure our region is prepared.

BID TO SAVE RAMONA AIR TRAFFIC CONTROL FAILS

 

By Miriam Raftery

May 1, 2013 (Ramona) – Responding to long lines at airports across the nation, Congress passed legislation on April 26 to restore funding for air traffic controllers at many major airports. But wording that would have saved the air traffic control tower at Ramona Airport was removed, ECM has learned.

“While I welcome the news that Congress moved to prevent harmful cuts in the FAA budget, I’m extremely disappointed that wording aimed at saving the Ramona Airport tower and other towers was stripped from the legislation,” said Supervisor Dianne Jacob.

EXPERTS SHARE LATEST RESEARCH ON VALLEY FEVER

 

Disease is on the rise in San Diego County

By Janice Arenofsky

April 29, 2013 (San Diego’s East County)--In early April, some of the world’s foremost experts in coccidioidomycosis presented published papers on the epidemiology, laboratory science and clinical status of , a fungal disease endemic to Southwestern states like Arizona, California, New Mexico and Nevada.  Valley Fever attacks the human and animal respiratory systems and can disseminate to other organs in the body, proving fatal in some cases.

HEALTH AND SCIENCE HIGHLIGHTS

 

May 2, 2013 (San Diego's East County) -- Our Health and Science Highlights brings you cutting edge news each week that could impact your health and our future.

Scroll down for excerpts and links to full stories.

WORLD WATCH: GLOBAL AND NATIONAL NEWS

May 1, 2013 (San Diego's East County) -- ECM World Watch helps you be an informed citizen about important issues globally and nationally. As part of our commitment to reflect all voices and views, we include links to a wide variety of news sources representing a broad spectrum of political, religious, and social views. Top world and U.S. headlines include:

U.S.

WORLD

RAMONA UNIFIED'S LOOMING STRIKE: CHECKING UP

 

By Will Carless

Originally published April 30 at http://www.voiceofsandiego.org/education/article_4a75d15c-b1ef-11e2-89e1-0019bb2963f4.html

April 30, 2013 (Ramona)- -Things haven't gotten any better at the Ramona Unified School District in the few months since we last wrote about the district's budgetary woes.

Ramona is the only school district in the county to have never passed a bond measure. Last year, the district floated Proposition R, which would have raised $55 million, a chunk of which Ramona Unified could have used to pay off old loans it took out to renovate district schools in 2004. The bond failed, leaving district officials scratching their heads as to how to pay off the old debts.

YOUNG ACTORS' THEATRE GOES UNDER THE SEA: LITTLE MERMAID DEBUTS MAY 10-19

May 1, 2013  (Spring Valley) – Under the direction and choreography of mother-daughter team Michelle Mullen and Chelsea Mullen, a Steele Canyon High School senior, and Beatriz Corral, musical director, Young Actors’ Theatre is pleased to announce the upcoming The Little Mermaid, a beloved and family-friendly tale. The Little Mermaid will run for eight performances in the intimate setting of the ENCORE! Theater located in Spring Valley.

The tale tells the story of a magical kingdom fathoms below, where the beautiful young mermaid Ariel longs to leave her ocean home to live in the world above. But first, she'll have to defy her father King Triton, make a deal with the evil sea witch Ursula, and convince Prince Eric that she’s the girl with the enchanting voice. The Little Mermaid is based on the Hans Christian Andersen Story and the Disney Film produced by Howard Ashman & John Musker and written & directed by John Musker and Ron Clements.

WORLD FAIR TRADE DAY CELEBRATION IN LA MESA MAY 11

Celebration Aims to Get 100,000 to Support Fair Trade

May 1, 2013 (La Mesa) - La Mesa Fair Trade and San Diego Fair Trade will hold a Fair Trade Day on Saturday, May 11 in celebration of World Fair Trade Day. N. Americans will gather from May 4-19, to invite friends, coworkers and neighbors to participate in Fair Trade activities for World Fair Trade Day, the largest Fair Trade event of the year. Participants will support trade justice and celebrate the producers, businesses and advocates who practice Fair Trade.

FRACKING BAN MOVES FORWARD IN CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE

By Miriam Raftery

April 30, 2013 (Sacramento) – The Assembly Natural Resources Committee in Sacramento yesterday voted 5 to 3 to temporarily halt fracking until further health assessments can be done. Three moratorium bills passed, including AB 1301 to stop fracking unless it can be proven safe.

Two similar bills, AB 1323  and AB 649  call for creating an advisory committee to review health, environmental, economic and other effects. They would recommend regulatory changes. Those bills would require state officials to decide by January 2019 if fracking should occur in California.

SPRING VALLEY MOTHER MISSSING SINCE APRIL 5

 

April 30, 2013 (Spring Valley) – A Spring Valley mother of two small children has been missing for over three weeks, the San Diego Sheriff announced today. Selina Salgado, 21, was last seen April 5 when she left her home in the early morning. 

A tattoo artist, she has multiple tattoos including roses with a hummingbird and bumblebees on a forearm.  She has long brown hair and brown eyes, but sometimes wears green contact lenses.  She is Hispanic, 5 feet 3 inches tall and weighs 145 pounds.

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