June 6, 2013 (San Diego's East County)--East County Roundup highlights top stories of interest to East County and San Diego’s inland regions, published in other media. This week’s top “Roundup” headlines include:
June 6, 2013 (San Diego)--In August 2012, as part of its Red Tape Reduction Task Force efforts, San Diego’s Supervisors established a Land Development Performance Review Committee to “improve the land-use processes for the County's unincorporated areas.”
On April 24 the Board unanimously appointed seven new members. They are to work with county staff on developing ways to measure land-use performance “to show that permitting-process improvements are occurring — making the system faster and less expensive without compromising quality,” according to a county newsletter.
June 5, 2013 (Campo) – A Border Patrol agent discharged his weapon during a pursuit in Campo early this morning. A suspected drug smuggler was injured by flying glass when the vehicle window shattered, according to a Sheriff’s report, which indicated the agent claims to have fired in self-defense.
Lieutenant Glenn Giannantonio with the San Diego Sheriff’s Homicide Detail said the suspect was treated at a hospital and released to custody of the U.S. Border Patrol.
June 1, 2013 (San Diego) –Access to information from truthful, unbiased media are cornerstones to democracy. As KNSJ prepares to launch its public, nonprofit radio station transmitting from Descanso in East County, you’re invited to a forum on media justice hosted by Activist San Diego.
East County Magazine editor Miriam Raftery will be among the panelists at the forum on Monday, June 17 at 7 p.m. at the Joyce Beers Community Center on Vermont Street (one block north of University Avenue across from Trader Joe's).
Joseph Pulitzer observed back in 1883 that the media “should always fight for progress and reform, never tolerate injustice or corruption, always fight demagogues of all parties, never belong to any party, always oppose privilege classes and public plunderers, never lack sympathy with the poor, always remain devoted to the public welfare, never be satisfied with merely printing news, always be drastically independent, never be afraid to attack wrong, whether by predatory plutocracy or predatory poverty.”
But today, the major broadcast media and many print publications are owned by the very same corporations over which media should serve as watchdogs--and they have are far from impartial . Six corporations control the vast majority of our airways and more. Consider this:
June 5, 2013 (El Cajon) -- Aspire Martial Arts in Rancho San Diego will host a free Martial Arts fitness class for the entire community on Saturday June 15th from 2:00-4:00 p.m.
Aspire Martial Arts will offer these along with bully prevention seminars every 8-9 weeks. The seminars are part of the ATA Martial Arts’ worldwide initiative to help stop childhood obesity and bullying through education.
June 5, 2013 (Lemon Grove)--Two hundred goats are munching away in Lemon Grove, clearing about an acre of dry brush a day.
The City of Lemon Grove, along with its fire department, Heartland Fire & Rescue, has brought in the four footed brush-clearing team to create defensible space that helps firefighters protect homes from wildfire.
The goats are at work near Central Ave and Liberty Charter High School, and may be visible to motorists along State Route 125.
Activist who filmed removal of bald eagle nest by wind developer faces multi-million lawsuit
By Miriam Raftery and Sholeh Sisson
June 5, 2013 (Ontario, Canada) -- Esther Wrightman, the Canadian activist who documented Nextera Energy's removal of a bald eagle nest to make way for wind turbines, now faces a multi-million dollar lawsuit by the multi-national corporation. Why? Because she created a parody version of the company's logo which read "NexTerror" and "NextError."
The company makes the bizarre claim that Wrightman's logo on a wind resistance blog could somehow confuse its corporate customers. But supporters of Wrightman contend the suit's real motivation is to silence a strong voice of dissent. Nextera also pressured Wordpress to remove the logos, but Wordpress has put the logos back up, finding that no law was broken.
June 5, 2013 (Ocotillo Wells) -- Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) and the Desert Protective Council (DPC) filed a legal action May 21, 2013 to stop open riding in the Ocotillo Wells State Vehicular Recreation Area (SVRA). If successful this action would end ORV "open riding" beyond designated trails and require the state park to implement strategies to protect the park's habitats and archaeological resources.
The park, located in east San Diego county, allows off-road driving on all 85,000 acres except for a few fenced and protected areas.
June 1, 2013 (Japatul) – Following a series of attacks on livestock in the Japatul/Carveacre area east of Alpine, a mountain lion has been captured and relocated by state Fish and Game authorities, according to Lori Briggs.
However, she indicated that a Fish and Game official advised that “there is a another lion very close.” Although lions are elusive and rarely seen, residents should be aware and take precautions to protect children and domestic animals in the area.
June 4, 2013 (Alpine) – Viejas Casino & Resort has been awarded the prestigious Four Diamond status from the American Automobile Association (AAA), officially designating the property as one of the nation’s premier resort destinations.
Fewer than 5% of the nearly 31,000 properties approved by AAA achieve the highly-coveted Four Diamond distinction.
“We are extremely proud to be acknowledged as one of the finest resort destinations in the country,” said Viejas Casino & Resort General Manager Chris Kelley. “This honor is a testament to the dedication, hard work and professionalism of our Team Members and reflects our absolute dedication to the highest standards of guest service, accommodations and amenities.”
June 4, 2013 (El Cajon) -- A man who called police to report that his wife was not breathing on Sunday night is under arrest for murder. Police found Gankil Wijdan, 39, suffering from multiple stab wounds.
Medics tried to revive her but she was pronounced dead at the scene. During question of Wijdan's husband, Salem Zora, 47, police found "inconsistencies" in his story, Lt. Mike Moulton with El Cajon Police stated.
“SB 33 is being used by wealthy absentee landowners, foreign corporations, and investor-owned San Diego Gas & Electric to industrialize over 10,000 acres of our predominantly low-income and highly fire-prone rural community of Boulevard.” -- Donna Tisdale, chair of the Boulevard Planning Group
By Miriam Raftery
June 3, 2013 (San Diego’s East County) – SB 33, a bill that could force voters to pay for big energy projects through bond measures even if the majority of voters don't approve such projects, is moving forward in the state legislature. The bill has passed the State Senate and is set for hearing June 12 in the Assembly Local Government Committee. It could have a big impact in East County communities such as Boulevard, where big energy companies have engaged in a stealth campaign to stick voters with the bill for projects they don't want.
June 3, 2013 (San Diego’s East County) – The House and Senate have approved the controversial Keystone Pipeline, sending the measure to President Barack Obama’s desk. The President faces mounting pressure from major campaign contributors urging him to veto the measure due to its negative environmental and climate change impacts; others urge support to create jobs.
Local representatives split down party line, with Republicans Duncan Hunter and Darrell Issa voting for the pipeline, while Democrats Susan Davis, Scott Peters and Juan Vargas voted against it.
The pipeline project sparked protests nationally and in San Diego (photo, left).
June 3, 2013 (El Cajon) – When nursing students participate in Grossmont College’s traditional “pinning” ceremony Tuesday afternoon, June 4, more of them will be men than ever before—a sign of changing societal attitudes towards what once was considered a profession for women only.
Debbie Yaddow, dean of Allied Health and Nursing, says eight men, or 20 percent of the graduating class of 40 students, are males, compared to what it was like just 30 years ago, when Yaddow graduated from Grossmont’s nursing school, and there were zero males in the class.
Federal Funding Could Give 40 More Veterans A Place to Call Home
June 3, 2013 (San Diego) – Some 40 more homeless veterans in San Diego County will gain a roof over their heads after the federal government announced it would award $332,731 to the County’s Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD).
(Image left: Jim Wiegand, of Save the Eagles, sent me this amplification of an image from Google Earth with the explanation, “The blades hung out past the search area. They only looked in the cleared/gravel area around the turbine.”)
Some people are reminiscent of Old Testament Prophets speaking to a people that do not want to listen. While they may not speak in the name of God, they know something is wrong and dedicate their lives to righting it. Jim Wiegand has assumed that mantle in his defense of America’s eagle population. He sometimes uses words like “fraud” and “complacency,” which I find difficult to hear – we often underestimate the extent to which denial, lack of responsibility and hard heartedness guide decisions – but I am also beginning to wonder if they are appropriate. There are very definitely appear to be forces at work to trying stop us from making a conscious choice.
It’s safe to say Summer is here! Memorial Day is behind us, schools getting out for summer break and Hot Weather is ahead. Many of us will certainly be headed for the pools! Before you take the plunge, read this says Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna.
June 2, 2013 (Chula Vista)--Chula Vista Police Department seeks help to find missing at-risk adult Robert Schilling, who has memory issues. He has been known to use public transportation and used to live in North County. He walks with a cane, has several medical issues requiring medication and is not familiar with the area.
He was last seen at his south Chula Vista residence at 10:20 a.m. He was wearing a green t-shirt with "Ireland" and the Irish flag on it, dark sweat pants and house slippers. Mr. Schilling, 72, is white, 5'7" tall, 140 pounds, with a white beard, thinning white hair and dark framed prescription eyeglasses.
June 2, 2013 (La Mesa) – The Helix Water District board will present its preliminary 2013-14 budget at a workshop June 4 from 9 a.m. to noon. View budget. here.
On June 5 at 3 p.m., the finance directors will present draft water rates and a proposed Proposition 218 notice set to be mailed to ratepayers June 27. Water rates will be discussed at 6 p.m. on June 5. A workshop to discuss the draft water rates and Proposition 218 notice is also set for June 19 at 6 p.m. at the Helix Water District Boardroom.
June 2, 2013 (San Pasqual) – Cal-Fire has informed East County Magazine that the 15-acre Boden Fire is burning off Highway 78 and Boden Canyon Road in the vicinity of the Boden Canyon preserve. The fire is in the San Pasqual Valley west of Ramona, burning in a westerly direction with winds approximately 10 miles per hour.
“There are no structures in the area,” Mike Mohler with Cal-Fire told ECM. The fire is burning at a moderate rate of speed. “Aircraft are staging at San Pasqual Academy and it sounds like the aircraft are holding it,” he said, adding that there is no current threat to the San Diego Zoo Safari Park located about four miles east of the blaze.
June 2, 2013 (San Diego) -- Back by popular demand, the 2013 Summer Movies in the Park is the largest free outdoor movie series in greater San Diego County. The County of San Diego Department of Parks and Recreation has teamed up with cities all over the County to provide a fun night of free activities for the family.
The series has expanded to include 73 movies across the County, which is up by more than 20 movies since last season. Venues in East County are included. To find a movie nearest you, follow this page on Facebook, or visit www.summermoviesinthepark.com for a calendar of events.
June 2, 2013 (San Diego) – If you’ve eaten Townsend Farms Organic Antioxidant Blend frozen berries purchased at Costco in the past couple of weeks, you may have been exposed to hepatitis and should see your doctor immediately. Thus far, 30 cases in five states have been reported, including two in San Diego County. But the disease can take up to six weeks to occur after exposure, so cases are expected to rise.
One concern is that retailers may have purchased the product in bulk for use in other products such as smoothies or frozen drinks.
Dr. Eric McDonald, the county's deputy public health officer warns that those exposed should seek medical treatment now, which may include a vaccine for Hepatitis A or treatment with immune globulin – unless you have already had the vaccine or the disease. If you don’t have a healthcare provider, call the County Epidemiology Program at (619) 692-8499.
June 2, 2013 (San Diego) – Walmart workers from across the U.S. including some in San Diego County are on strike, seeking more hours to support their families. They are joining a “Ride for Respect” traveling to a Walmart shareholders meeting in Bentonville, Arkansas on June 7 to deliver their message.
Our Walmart, a workers’ group, is asking the public to sign a petition in support. The petition states that “many workers at Walmart must rely on food stamps and even go hungry because of lack of hours and low wages.” Workers also allege that Walmart has retaliated by firing workers or cutting hours of those who spoke up for their rights. The petition asks Walmart to commit to raise wages and increase access to full-time hours so that workers will earn at least $25,000 a year.
June 2, 2013 (San Diego's East County) -- Throughout the month of June, approximately 5,340 students earning a high school diploma from nine comprehensive high schools, two charter high schools and three alternative high schools in the Grossmont Union High School District will be donning caps and gowns for commencement exercises. Below is information on each school, along with graduation schedules and names of valedictorians.
Senator Boxer seeks “citizen cosponsors” for landmark legislation to protect sexual assault victims
June 1, 2013 (Washington D.C.) – The House Armed Services Committee on Tuesday is expected to hear the Military Justice Improvement Act, a bill sponsored by 17 members of Congress including Senator Barbara Boxer (D-California), who is asking the public to support the measure by becoming citizen cosponsors here.
The number of sexual assaults in the U.S. military rose by 35% from 2010 to 2012, according to a Defense Department report which found 26,000 members of the military had been victims of sexual assault – 70 assaults a day. Yet only 10% were even reported, and far fewer were prosecuted.
Demands for reform have been fueled by two assaults in May in which military sex prevention officers were themselves charged with sexual abuse and other cases in which general overturned guilty verdicts in sexual assault cases.
May 31, 2013 (San Diego) – January saw the release of 56 Up. That film was the latest in a unique documentary series that began in 1964, in which Michael Apted interviewed a group of 7-year old kids from disparate backgrounds. The project became literally a lifelong labor of love, as Apted has revisited these people every seven years.
Five months later, San Diego screens are blessed with Before Midnight, the third film in a series that may or may not have been inspired by the Up documentaries, but feels very much like a fictional version of them. To watch Before Sunrise, Before Sunset, and Before Midnight is akin to imbibing a bottle of fine wine that has gotten better with each nine-year passage.
May 31, 2013 (Spring Valley)—What should be done with the former Evergreen Nursery property in Spring Valley? That was the key question before the Spring Valley Planning Group Wednesday night.
David S. Thomson, Chief Executive Officer for Mastercraft Homes Group, the owner of the property, came to offer his proposal, along with his team.
During earlier meetings there was a palpable hope that the site would be developed into a commercial site, or a mixed use residential and commercial site that would include a community meeting place for Spring Valley residents.
But Mastercraft's plan didn’t include that. Thomson stated that “due to the economy and oversupply (of commercial property) nobody recommended that,” then noted that it is still a “bad retail environment.”
“Through the years that we had known you, you had been a blessing to know. How sweet and kind you are to all our family. We will cherish every moment and memories we had with you. We love and miss you and you will never be forgotten.” – sign beside the road, where Michelle St. Clair was fatally burned
May 30, 2013 (Lakeside) – Beside the scorched earth where Michele St. Clair was found severely burned during a brush fire on May 12, her friends have created a makeshift memorial . Flowers, crosses, ragged stuffed toys and a hand-lettered sign on cardboard reveal how she touched the lives of those who came to know her, before succumbing to her injuries on May 16.
St. Clair, a Navy veteran who by all accounts worked hard, refused to take handouts, and was not an alcoholic or an addict when she died.
May 30, 2013 (Santee) – The Knights of Columbus of Guardian Angels Church, located at 9310 Dalehurst Rd., Santee, CA 92071, is having a large rummage sale on June 1 and 2 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday and 7:00 a.m. to 12 noon on Sunday.
Some proceeds go to the Church pantry, which helps people in need, as well as other charity projects supported by Knights of Columbus.