HAZARDOUS MATERIALS SPILL IN EL CAJON

WATER AGENCIES TAKE DIFFERING APPROACHES TO STATE-MANDATED CUTBACKS

STARS COME OUT IN BORREGO --ALONG WITH PLANETS, SPACE STATIONS AND MORE

COUNTY ANIMAL SERVICES JOINS 'GETTING TO ZERO' CAMPAIGN TO SAVE LIVES OF MORE PETS

FISH STORIES FROM LAKE JENNINGS

RAMONA FIREWORKS SHOW SAVED

TERROR ALERT ISSUED FOR 4TH OF JULY WEEKEND

7-YEAR-OLD SPRING VALLEY GIRL WITH BLOOD DISEASE GIVES BACK, CUTS HER TWO FEET OF HAIR

CAMP BOW WOW ANNOUNCES “YAPPY HOUR” SEASON AT DOWNTOWN CAFE

DUMANIS CELEBRATES SUPREME COURT RULING ON GAY MARRIAGE--AT WHITE HOUSE

A CHARMING STORY OF FRIENDSHIP FOR KIDS 0 - 6: IS THE LIZARD REAL OR IMAGINARY?

OLIVIA’S ISLAND ADVENTURE FILM: WORLD PREMIER JULY 10-11 AT SAN DIGEO PERFORMING ARTS

SAINT PATRICK’S DAY “DRIVE SOBER OR GET PULLED OVER” ENFORCMENT ANNOUNCED BY SHERIFF GORE

 

As Saint Patrick's Day approaches, Sheriff Bill Gore and the AVOID the 15 DUI Task Force are urging drivers to plan a safe ride home and never get behind the wheel drunk or drugged. Deputies and officers throughout San Diego County will be on high alert cracking down on drunk drivers as part of its Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over safety campaign.

Deputies and officers will conduct DUI Patrols this Saint Patrick's Day weekend starting Friday at 6:00 p.m. through Sunday at 2:00 a.m. DUI/Driver License Checkpoints are also planned for the following cities: Chula Vista, Encinitas, Imperial Beach, Lemon Grove, Poway, Oceanside and the City of SanDiego.

DISASTER FUND CREATED FOR GERRY FOWLER, SURVIVOR OF 35-FOOT FALL INTO WELL IN POTRERO

 

 

By Nadin Abbott

March 13, 2013 (Potrero)—Community members in Potrero are rallying to raise funds to help pay for the medical expenses of Gerry Fowler, who was critically injured on Sunday March 10 when he fell into the family's well, as ECM reported. Fowler, an independent truck driver, does not have medical insurance. 

Walena Arnold, owner of the Potrero General Store told ECM that the community is very close knit and that a fund has been created to help defray the medical costs.  Blood donations are also needed and can be made in Gerry Fowler’s name at the San Diego Blood Bank.

BILL WOULD LET ENERGY COMPANIES REMOVE NESTS AND EGGS, EXEMPT COMPANIES FROM PENALTIES FOR KILLING EAGLES, HAWKS AND OTHER RAPTORS

 

By Miriam Raftery

March 9, 2013 (Sacramento)—Wildlife experts are reacting with outrage to AB  516, a bill in the California Legislature that would  allow energy and utility companies to obtain “take” permits authorizing destruction of birds, eggs and nest that stand in the way of electrical transmission infrastructure. 

SDG&E  was caught flying helicopters too close to protected eagle nests at least four times during construction of Sunrise Powerlink.  Those incursions in three East County locations resulted in removal of one pilot and suspension of others, as well as grounding, GPS tracking and other regulatory enforcement actions. But if this bill goes through, such activities could occur without penalty in the future.

SOUND AND ELECTROMAGNETIC FIELD EXPERTS RAISE SERIOUS CONCERNS OVER IMPACTS OF PROPOSED WIND PROJECTS ON NEIGHBORS IN EAST COUNTY

 

High EMF levels found in tests at Campo, Manzanita and Ocotilllo among residences near turbines

By Miriam Raftery

March 12,2013 (Campo) – Acoustical experts warn that sound generated by proposed Shu’luuk, Tule and Manzanita wind projects will cause severe negative health impacts on neighbors – and further, new studies suggest that noise impact assessments created to justify these and other projects relied on errors in computer modeling that severely underestimate sound levels. 

New noise and infrasound findings

At the Campo Shu’luuk Wind project, massive wind turbines and solar panels are proposed just 500 feet from private properties with homes and 1,320 feet from tribal homes (or less if owners sign a waiver).  But a major new study commissioned by a public health department in Wisconsin  involving  five different acoustic experts found high levels of low-frequency noise at homes abandoned by residents as far as 7,000 feet from turbines.  The Brown County Board of Health concuded that residents’ complaints of health problems at the Shirley Wind project are valid and related to long-term exposure to wind turbines.

CAMPO, THE FORGOTTEN GUNFIGHT TO BE REENACTED MARCH 23

 

The 1875 Campo gunfight killed more people and lasted longer than the infamous shootout at the O.K. corral.  But few people have heard about this long-lost true tale from East County’s colorful past.   

But on March 23 at  3 p.m., “Campo: The Forgotten Gunfight” will be reenacted outside at the Golden Acorn Casino. The show is free and open to all ages.  Come learn how local marksmen and townspeople foiled bandits’ plans to rob the entire town.

JACUMBA HOT SPRINGS: AN OASIS FOR TOURING CYCLISTS ON THE SOUTHERN TIER

 

March 11, 2013 (Jacumba Hot Springs)--Pinch Flat Fortune Productions has created a delightful video that provides a cyclist’s eye view of Jacumba Hot Springs, a town built around a natural mineral spring bubbling up from the ground near a pond that’s a birdwatcher’s haven. The filmmakers call Jacumba Hot Springs “magical,” adding that in addition to free camping and soothing soaks, the community has, “some of the kindest, quirkiest, most interesting people we have ever met, all in one place.”

THREE HOSPITALIZED AFTER FIGHT IN SANTEE: BEATEN WITH BATS, KNIFE LODGED IN VICTIM’S SKULL

 
March 13, 2013 (Santee) – Lakeside Sheriff’s patrol deputies responding to a report of a stabbing victim at 10:32 p.m. last night near 9660 Marilla Drive found a juvenile with a knife lodged in his skull.  Witnesses told deputies that they had witnessed a large fight in the Ryder Road area in Santee involving around five males seen using baseball bats, brass knuckles asnd knives. Three victims were transported to hospitals with injuries. 

SUIT FILED TO STOP CLOSED-DOOR PUBLIC UTILITIES COMMISSION MEETING WITH ENERGY COMPANIES IN SAN DIEGO

 

By Miriam Raftery

March 13, 2013 (San Diego)—The law firm of former City Attorney Mike Aguirre has filed a lawsuit on behalf of Masada Disenhouse seeking an injunction to halt the California Public Utilities Commission from holding a closed-door , invitation-only meeting with energy industry stakeholders at the Scripps Seaside Forum in San Diego on March 20. Disenhouse asked to attend, but her name was removed from the list. 

“California Government Code section 11123 requires that all meetings of a state body shall be open and public, and  all persons shall be permitted to attend any meeting of a state body,” the lawsuit states.  The suit further notes that Government Code section 11120  requires that “proceedings of public agencies be conducted openly so that the people may be informed.”

ARE ENERGY PROJECTS CAUSING LOSS OF TOURISM DOLLARS ON PUBLIC LANDS?

 

By Miriam Raftery

March 9, 2013 (San Diego’s East County) –Industrial-scale energy projects on Bureau of Land Management lands are pushed through by energy companies touting jobs and economic booms to communities. Not mentioned is the potential loss of tourism revenues if people stop coming to recreational areas that are visually blighted. That’s been a fear voiced by residents near McCain Valley and Ocotillo, both scenic public recreation areas where wind projects are slated or recently completed.

Now preliminary data from the Bureau of Land Management reveals a 12% drop in the number of visitors to the Imperial Sand Dunes Recreational Area over the past year. Sunrise Powerlink construction was completed in June 2012.  Is the loss of 72,275 visitors due to the  massive high voltage towers that dune buggies and other off-road enthusiasts now must dodge in the desert?

HOMEOWNER'S GURU: MORTGAGE MODIFICATION SCAMS

 

By E. Vernon Small

March 12, 2013 (San Diego) – If you are a struggling homeowner, you have undoubtedly been approached by companies that claim they will reduce your mortgage payments and/or your mortgage balance by negotiating a ‘loan modification’ with your current mortgage lender.  All of these companies claim to be reputable and licensed, and many even operate as attorneys.  They typically charge $1500 or more to handle this process, and most offer payment plans.

TOURNAMENT TIME! SDSU TEAMS QUALIFY FOR MOUNTAIN WEST; WOMEN WIN LEAGUE TITLE

SDSU News Center

March 13, 2013 (San Diego)-- San Diego State University men's and women's basketball teams head to Las Vegas this week for the Mountain West Tournament before what they hope are deep runs in the NCAA Tournament.

The women's basketball team has won its second consecutive league title.

MAN RESCUED FROM WELL IN POTRERO

 

By Nadin Abbott, photos Tom Abbott

March 11, 2013 (Potrero)— Gerry Fowler, 43, and his father were working on the well they rely on for water yesterday when planks of wood used for support gave way. Fowler’s father was able to keep himself from falling, but  Fowler fell 35 feet to the bottom of the well.

An emergency call was placed to 911, which led to mobilization of multiple fire agencies, as well as Mercy Air and American Medical Response.  The patient lapsed into unconsciousness during the ordeal and was listed in critical condition as of 11 p.m.

“SPRING INTO HEALTHY LIVING”- EVENT ON WEDNESDAY, MARCH 20

By Caprice Harrison

March 13, 2013 (Spring Valley) – “Spring Into Healthy Living” on March 20 from 9 a.m. to noon  provides generous opportunities to partake in free health screenings, information sessions, refreshments and enjoy the Health and Wellness Fair. Held at the McGrath Family YMCA, 12006 Campo Road in Spring Valley, the event also includes tours of the facility and Tai Chi and Zumba demonstrations.

SUPERVISORS ASK YOU TO CONTACT FAA , OPPOSE IMMINENT CLOSURE OF RAMONA AIR TRAFFIC TOWER CRUCIAL FOR FIREFIGHTING: COMMENT DEADLINE IS TOMORROW

 

By Nadin Abbott, photos Tom Abbott

March 12, 2013 (San Diego)—Today, Supervisor Dianne Jacob urged citizens in San Diego County to contact the Federal Aviation Adminstration (FAA) at Closurecomments@FAA.GOV  and oppose closure of the Ramona Airport’s air traffic control tower, a vital component in fighting wildfires and protecting safety of firefighting crews. Tomorrow at 1 p.m. Pacific Standard Time is the deadline for comments.

 The Board learned that the Federal Aviation Administration has targeted the Ramona Air Traffic Control Tower for closure as as early as April 7. This means, according to Cal Fire Battalion Chief Ray Cheney, that the airport would revert back to an “uncontrolled airport, where pilots have to avoid each other and announce their intentions.”  

This was the way it was back on June 21, 1995 when there was a midair collision between a United States Forest Service Beechcraft and an NTSB air tanker, leading to the deaths of the air tanker crew. An open space, instead of a controlled space, will increase the risk of mid-air collisions, since a “controlled airport controls the air traffic sequencing.”

TWO ASSAULTS ON BORDER PATROL AGENTS LOCALLY

 

March 13, 2013 (San Diego)-- In separate incidents this week, two U.S. Border Patrol agents were assaulted while performing patrol duties in San Diego County, the Border Patrol reports.

The first assault occurred Monday at approximately 8 p.m. in the Otay Mountain area, when a Border Patrol agent attempted to arrest a male undocumented Mexican national who had entered the U.S. illegally.  During the arrest, the suspect became assaultive and struck the agent in the face and head, according to a release issued by the U.S. Border Patrol today.  After a brief struggle, the agent was able to  detain the man.  The suspect is being held by the Department of Homeland Security pending charges for assault on a federal agent.

READER'S EDITORIAL: SEQUESTER HARMS SAN DIEGO; BIPARTISAN SOLUTION NEEDED

By Congressman Scott Peters (D-San Diego)

March 12, 2013 -- Two weeks before the sequester took effect, House leadership called a recess and sent us home. As a former Port Commissioner and City Council president, that was foreign to me. I could not believe, with the amount of work still to be done, we were sent home. And, even more frustrating, that we were sent home without being allowed to vote on a single alternative to the sequester, because leadership didn’t agree with the legislation. This, in my opinion, is not representative of the democratic process that the United States is regarded for.

I used my time at home to send a message back to Washington. I worked with our port commissioners, scientific research community and maritime workers to tell Congress that the negative effects of the sequester will be felt in San Diego through layoffs, furloughs, stifled research and decreased GDP.

SANTEE COUNCIL TO WEIGH CRACKDOWN ON HOMELESS

March 12, 2013 (Santee) – Santee’s City Council on Wednesday will weigh actions aimed at reducing  activities by the homeless including panhandling, overtaking public parks, riverbed camping and “scavenging” (including taking items from recycling bins). 

The City of Santee has no shelter for the homeless.  The proposals to discourage homeless people from taking up residency in Santee public areas focuses not on providing services to help the homeless, however, but rather emphasizes punitive actions such as banning cigarettes in public parks and alcohol on weekdays, prohibiting single-sale sizes of alcoholic beverages at new businesses, and prohibiting aggressive conduct by panhandlers.

POSTAL INSPECTORS WARN ABOUT FOREIGN LOTTERY FRAUD

March 12, 2013 (San Diego’s East County)--The United States Postal Inspection Service is warning the public about foreign lottery scams. In three years, American consumers lost over $42 million in lottery scams.  Lottery fraud victims not only suffer the devastation of a financial loss, but even worse, the psychological pain and suffering that take a physical toll on the victims.  And many victims suffer alone, because they are too embarrassed to report the crime and seek assistance.  These scams continue to plague our nation’s citizens and can only be stopped by educating the public about this devastating crime.

CONGRESSWOMAN SUSAN DAVIS INTRODUCES BILL TO HELP PREVENT DIABETES IN SENIORS

March 12, 2013 (San Diego) – Congresswoman Susan Davis (D-CA) and Rep. Filemon Vela (D-TX) introduced legislation to prevent diabetes in seniors and rein in health care costs. The Medicare Diabetes Prevention Act (H.R. 962) would extend the proven benefits of the National Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) to seniors under Medicare.

“With thoughtful, responsible action we can get growing healthcare costs under control and make our country healthier at the same time,” said Davis. “In fact with targeted prevention initiatives, like the National Diabetes Prevention Program, Congress can achieve cost savings by preventing diabetes and its complications, meeting our goals of improving health and reining in spending.”

THE GATHERING: BYU'S INTERNATIONAL FOLK DANCE ENSEMBLE TAKES STAGE IN SAN DIEGO AND EL CAJON MARCH 12 AND 13

March 12 at Lincoln High,  March 13 at Grossmont College

March 12, 2013 (San Diego)  -- You’re invited to come feel the pounding of American Appalachian clogging, hear the melodies of Scottish highland song, and see the array of color in Indian dance with BYU’s International Folk Dance Ensemble. Brigham Young University’s critically acclaimed folk dance team brings the world’s cultures together in their energetic performance, The Gathering.

The show takes stage tonight at Lincoln High School Performing Arts Center on Tuesday, March 12 at 7:30 p.m.  Dancers  will also perform at Grossmont Community College on Wednesday, March 13 in the outside quad area to help enhance cultural awareness on campus.

LMSV TO VOTE MARCH 14 ON FILLING SCHOOL BOARD VACANCY: 6 CANDIDATES VIE FOR SEAT

Update March 15, 2013:  The Board appointed Gerald Lecko to fill the vacancy.

March 11, 2013 (San Diego’s East County ) – A preacher, a scientist, a substitute teacher,  an architect, an IT tech for the Navy, and a  PTA president are all vying for appointment to the La Mesa Spring Valley School Board to replace Penny Halgren, who resigned for personal reasons. The LMSV board has decided to fill the vacancy by appointment to avoid costs of a special election.

On March 14, the board will hear from the applicants and take public comments before casting their votes at the special meeting.Six candidates, listed in alphabetical order, are Steve Babbitt, Robert Divine II, Gerald “Jerry “ Lecko, Ben Motten, Jay Steiger, and Mike Stewart. For details on each, scroll down. 

RAMONA AIR TRAFFIC CONTROL MAY SHUT DOWN DUE TO SEQUESTRATION: TOWER IS CRITICAL FOR BATTLING WILDFIRES

March 12, 2013 (Ramona)--Vice-Chairwoman Dianne Jacob and Supervisor Ron Roberts will join disaster response experts at the Ramona Air Field today to urge the federal government to recognize that the Ramona Air Traffic Control Tower is a critical asset during county disasters, especially fires.

The Cal Fire Air Attack Base at the Ramona Air Field responds to an average of 450 calls per year and protects more than 1.7 million acres, including U.S. Forest Service land. The base played a key role in fighting the 2003 and 2007 wildfires. The county, along with Cal Fire, has made significant technology investments and upgrades to aircraft that fly from Ramona.       

In response to sequestration, the Federal Aviation Administration is proposing to close air traffic control towers deemed not crucial to the national interest. The County has learned that the Ramona Airport ATCT, operated under a FAA contract with Serco Inc., is targeted for closure. 

STEP BACK IN TIME TO FRONTIER DAYS AT VALLECITO DAYS MARCH 16-17

Oasis in the Desert for Stagecoach Riders, Civil War Soldiers 

March 13, 2013 (San Diego’s East County) – Can’t live without your cell phone? What about your car? Imagine then riding a stagecoach out on the western frontier 150 years ago. While you can’t actually step back in time, you can get an idea of what life was like back then at Vallecito Days, a free weekend festival March 16 and 17 at Vallecito County Park.

QUAKE RATTLES REGION

 

March 11, 2013 (San Diego’s East County) – A 4.7 earthquake  at 9:56 a.m. rattle San Diego and Imperial Counties.   The temblor was located 64 miles east of San Diego, 13 miles east-southeast of Anza and 23 miles south of Palm Springs. The U.S. Geological Survey has downgraded the strength of the quake, which was earlier estimated at 5.2.

BEER BASH: SDSU STUDENT INJURED IN ASSAULT

March, 13, 2013 (SDSU) – Giving new meaning to the term “beer bash,” A resident of Villa Alvarado Residence Hall at San Diego State University was struck on the head with an empty beer bottle last night. 

The incident occurred around 9:15 when the victim heard shouting outside his front door. He opened the door to see what was going on and was immediately struck with the bottle, causing a laceration on top of his head, according to campus police.

SPRING VALLEY MAN BURNED RUNNING THROUGH FLAMES TO ESCAPE MOBILEHOME FIRE

March 12, 2013 (Spring Valley)--San Miguel Fire District Firefighters responded to a fully engulfed mobile home fire tonight at Avalon Estates in the 1200 block of Grand Avenue, Spring Valley.

Two of the family’s four residents were home when the fire broke out. One resident, a female broke a bedroom window and escaped the flames, said Leonard Villareal, public information officer at San Miguel Fire Department. The other person home, a young man suffered severe to moderate burns over an estimated 25-percent of his body as he ran through the flames to escape from the front door. He was given stabilizing care on the scene and then rushed to the UCSD Burn Center.

JULIAN-CUYAMACA FIRE DISTRICT RESISTS TURNING OVER CONTROL TO COUNTY

By Nadin Abbott; photos by Tom Abbott

March 10, 2013 (Julian)—Why is the Julian-Cuyamaca Fire Protection District in financial trouble—and why would the District refuse to join the County Fire Authority? Is there a way for the cash-strapped District to retain its independence and assure a swift response time for residents?

These are important questions. The answers reveal a distrust shared by other rural fire departments that have reported longer response times and other concerns after giving up volunteer firefighters to join the County system.  

CALIFORNIA LAWMAKERS PASS MEDI-CAL EXPANSION

By Lori Abbott, California News Service

March 10, 2013 (Sacramento) - One million more low-income and uninsured Californians are closer to getting health care.  The state Assembly and Senate have passed key legislation that will expand California's Medi-Cal program and make it easier and faster to use.

Assembly Speaker John Perez says the bills are an important step to ensure those living below the poverty line have access to quality care. "People living at or below 138 percent of the federal poverty line," Perez says. "We're talking about people surviving on $15,400 a year or less."

AUTHOR ON CA DESERT TO SPEAK MARCH 19 AT ALPINE WOMEN'S CLUB

 

March 10, 2013 (Alpine)--The Alpine Woman’s Club will hold their next monthly luncheon on Tuesday, March 19th at 12:00 noon.  After the meeting, local author, Cordell Falk will talk about his New Fiction Series Release “Valley of the Damned”, taking us back at least 140 years to the barren California desert where conspiracy, intrigue and suspense are on tap. 

PROPOSED LEGISLATION TO IMPROVE CALIFORNIA’S WATER SUPPLY

 

By Roy L Hales

Reprinted with permission from San Diego Loves Green; original published at http://www.sandiegolovesgreen.com/articles/improving-californias-water-supply/

March 10, 2012 (San Diego)--A recent Sierra Club news release states, “For more than two million Californians, access to clean drinking water is a daily struggle. This year, a number of legislators are taking the lead to address this growing problem. According to a study conducted by the California Water Resources Control Board, 680 communities in California rely on contaminated water sources and roughly a third does not have necessary filtering systems in place to make sure that the water that comes out of their faucet is safe to drink.”

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