Editor’s note: For months, ECM award-winning photographer and Ocotillo resident Jim Pelley has been documenting clouds of choking dust at Pattern Energy’s construction site for Ocotillo Express wind energy, where citizen monitors have routinely reported construction without water trucks present and twice resulted in fines on the developer for dust violations. In this editorial, Pelley asks why the problem continues, raising serious questions for public officials who are supposed to protect public health. The closest turbine is just 1500 feet from Pelley’s home.
October 9, 2012 --I have been told that they can make dust on this project site as long it is not over 20% opacity for three minutes. If there are a hundred trucks making 15% opacity dust all long day long I don’t understand why this is acceptable, because at the end of the day there are large amounts of dust in the air, it’s very easy to see.
October 11, 2012 (San Diego’s East County)--As a vet I’m ticked. This great nation has vowed, rightfully so, to never again treat its veterans the way we were treated during the Vietnam Era. But now it seems that if a special interest group wants anything from government or the electorate they simply attach the “veteran” label to the request, whether it is a significant part of the program or not. As vets, we have gone from being abused to used. Better, but still not good.
"Alpine could be the first of a district-wide peel off! This GUHSD Governing Board needs a wake-up call." -- Bill Weaver
By Bill Weaver, GUHSD Governor Board candidate and parent
The current Grossmont Union High School District (GUHSD) Board majority, which includes up for re-election incumbent Dr. Gary Woods, has shot themselves in the foot with recent bad policy decisions. They claim declining enrollment, and loss of Average Daily Attendance (ADA) funds as the justifying basis.
The GUHSD Board has passed a resolution to not move ahead with the 12th High School, until California State ADA funding returns to the higher 2007/08 levels. This has the Alpine Union School District, and the Alpine High School Citizens Committee, currently mounting an effort to pull out of the GUHSD.
October 2, 2012 (El Cajon)--As campaign season draws nearer to the November 6 election, contenders for the three city council seats are having a strange type of conflict in the wonderland of El Cajon campaign politics. Issues such as the highest sales tax in the county and high sewer taxes* in the poorest city in the county are not being discussed.
Instead, people have been distracted from these significant issues with a battle over political sign locations!
Captain DeClercq wrote, “Once again, Supevisor Jacob is in denial. The County of San Diego spends a mere $15 million dollars on fire protection while Orange and Los Angeles Counties spend $250 and $500 million dollars protecting their citizens. The City of San Diego taxpayers foot the bill to send City of San Diego firefighting crews to unincorporated East County to extinguish their fire. Unbelievable!” He added, ““Having and showing off a patch does not make a fire department.”
By Ed and Donna Tisdale, Morning Star Ranch, Tierra Del Sol (Boulevard)
September 25, 2012 (Boulevard)-- As long-term residents of the Tierra Del Sol area of Boulevard (not Campo as so many reported), our family is shocked and saddened at the loss of life, homes, treasured possessions and memories, historic Hi Pass, pets, wildlife, ancient oaks, and fragrant old growth chaparral that will take years to recover.
Our condolences and prayers for strength go out to our friends and neighbors who have suffered during the swift and horrific events surrounding and following the Shockey Fire.
September 15, 2012 (San Diego) – Thanks to Valley Roadrunner editor David Ross for giving us a heads up on County Supervisors’ latest attempt to hide their actions from public scrutiny. The newest scheme to keep the public in the dark is a proposal that would limit publication of community planning group meetings to a tiny two-by-two inch square ad in print publications—with no agenda included.
“By virtue of his father’s birth in Mexico where he was automatically a Mexican citizen by birth, makes US born Mitt Romney a second generation Mexican American. His actions against the Hispanic immigrant community reflect a loss of gratitude for Mexico granting the Romney family refuge from religious persecution they suffered in the U.S.” – Patrick Osio
September 14, 2012 (San Diego) -- Anyone born in the United Sates is a native-born citizen. Also, anyone who is born of American parents visiting or living in a foreign country, and is registered by those parents with the nearest U.S. consulate or Embassy, becomes a “native-born” citizen, though not born in U.S. territory. The child thus enjoys dual citizenship as a native-born in both the country of birth and the U.S.
Unmaned predator drones are now used for surveillance here in the U.S. and abroad
By Dave Patterson
September 12, 2012 (Poway)--Every Thursday afternoon one can see a demonstration at the General Atomics plant in Poway, home of the Predator drone. The demonstrators are from the San Diego Veterans For Peace and their supporters, with the goal of enlightening the public on the desperate need for oversight regarding drone technology.
The Predator drone is flying over 16 countries now, loosing weapons over Yemen, Somalia and Pakistan. The kill statistics would be unacceptable in any conflict but are somehow overlooked because we are at war with terrorism.
September 11, 2012 (Alpine) -- East County has recently been treated to columns by Bill Weaver and Sal Casamassima on the need for a “divorce” from the Grossmont Union High School District (GUHSD) by the citizens who desire a new high school be built in Alpine. While I agree a “divorce” is necessary, those who truly desire a high school be built in Alpine should file divorce papers against the Alpine High School Citizens Committee (AHSCC) and the past/present chairs, e.g. Bill and Sal. Thinking it a good idea to follow the recommendations of the AHSCC is akin to trusting Sacramento’s work on your household budget.
By Sal Casamassima, Chair of the Alpine High School Citizens Committee
September 3, 2012 (Alpine)--Divorce is a traumatic and difficult subject that many folks have to deal with in their lives. However, it is often the only path that can be taken when one spouse becomes abusive and deceitful to the other.
There is no better metaphor than divorce to describe what must be done by the Alpine Union School District (AUSD) to escape the abusive and deceitful relationship it has with the Grossmont Union High School District (GUHSD).
September 4,2012 (Alpine)--Let's help to dispel ill-fated news on a 12th high school in Alpine (HS12) by a "Focus", on the "Top Five HS12 Myths", Let's demystify the most commonly tossed-about HS12 less-than-honest rumors;
#1) We [GUHSD] are in declining enrollment.
>> Irrelevant; The high schools directly affected by the HS12, have now been, "De-Mythed" by a GUHSD Boundary Committee. BC reports, charts & demographic data show that the entire GUHSD will benefit by HS12, which will bring hundreds of new students back to the GUHSD, and several million($) in new CA ADA funding back.
August 25, 2012 (San Diego's East County) -- Watching activists defend "green wind energy" as if it was the only solution turns my stomach. It is like talking to a wall. Facts, and there are facts, make little difference. Green energy is nice and green energy is good, go blindly hug a wind turbine, seems to be the message.
So let me ask these same activists: should Pattern Energy, a division of the Carlyle group, target the Rosecrans National Cemetery for development? How dare I suggest this? Well, it's windy there, in fact, probably more so than Ocotillo.
County Democrats gut fire protection resolution, while Republican supervisors also fail to protect County residents from wind turbine fires
By Miriam Raftery
August 24, 2012 (San Diego's East County)--The San Diego Democratic Central Committee this week passed a measure calling on County Supervisors to increase firefighting resources-- but removed a key provision that would have urged lawmakers to ban wind turbines in fire-prone East County.
Wind turbines have been responsible for starting hundreds of fires around the world, including wildfires, but firefighters cannot fight a fire burning in a 500-foot-tall wind turbine whirling off burning debris. With Supervisors poised to approve a wind ordinance opening the door to numerous turbines in the backcountry, the vote was a major disappointment to residents concerned about the clear threat to public safety posed by wind turbines in our fire-prone region.
San Diego County will unnecessarily lose hundreds of homes to wildfires this fall: An open letter to Cities' Councilmen, Supervisors, local State legislators, and activist groups
By John Scanlon
August 13, 2012 (San Diego)-- The Problem – We are past due for a repeat of the major fires in 2003 and 2007. There is an abundance of fuel in the back country after five years w/o a major fire. We are now in a very active fire season. July was the hottest it has been in the lower 48 since 1895. We continue to be grossly underfunded and under-prepared at all levels to handle another catastrophic fire season.
August 10, 2012 (San Diego’s East County)--Have you ever sat down with friends to enjoy a meal at a restaurant, only to be handed the bill before you have even taken your first bite? Maybe the server mentioned you could pay at your convenience, but still signaled that it was “time to go?”
In other words: “Here’s your hat, what’s your hurry?”
Supervisors' hearing 9 am Wed., 1600 Pacific Coast Highway downtown
By Miriam Raftery, Editor
August 7, 2012 (San Diego’s East County)--Please join me today in taking action to preserve the character of our communities, the beauty of our region, and the safety of people across San Diego County who may be imperiled by another horrific wildfire.
July 30, 2012 (Alpine) -- An Alpine School District Unification Drive Has Begun. It is predicted that if the Grossmont Union High School District (GUHSD) itself builds an Alpine High School, there will be millions of dollars that will be gained by the GUHSD, via a recovery of current LOST students, and some gained new students. If the GUHSD does not build it, and the Alpine Unified School District does, these millions from new student revenues will flow into the Alpine Unified School District (AUSD).
by Tyson Slocum, Director of Public Citizen’s Energy Program
July 22, 2012 (San Diego’s East County)--J.P. Morgan Ventures Energy Corporation is under investigation for practices that may have resulted in overcharging consumers $73 million or more on their household utility bills. J.P. Morgan Ventures Energy Corp. operates under the oversight of JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s head of global commodities, Blythe Masters.
“My vision is to gracefully transform the San Diego/Tijuana Regional economy, now 98% dependent on imported energy and 90% dependent on imported water and food -- into an economy that is prosperous and completely renewable, energy, water and food self-sufficient. Accomplishing this is our best chance to leave our children and future generations a life-support sustaining future. Becoming renewable energy, water and food self-sufficient in our region will also serve as a model that can be emulated around the world.” –Jim Bell.
July 20, 2012 (San Diego) -- We humans are something special and rare.
In spite of there being an estimated 5 million to 100 million species of life on our planet -- our species is the only one that lives and makes a living in ways that hurt our local and global life-support systems.
Take these steps to restore Brown Act protections at state and local levels
By Miriam Raftery, Editor, East County Magazine
July 18, 2012 (San Diego’s East County) – Criticism is mounting over the state’s suspension of Brown Act protections, which have long required local government boards to provide at least 72 hours public notice of meeting agendas.
By Helen Ofield, President Lemon Grove Historical Society
On July 9, in shocking disregard for 100 years of citizens' efforts to preserve Balboa Park and for their constituents' pleas to reject the Jacobs Plan -- pleas made over more than six hours of testimony -- the San Diego City Council voted 6 - 1 in favor of the costly, destructive Jacobs Plan. The lone holdout and sole voice for the people was Sherri Lightner (firstname.lastname@example.org), who showed leadership in her elected duty to protect and serve the public. By contrast, her colleagues on the council caved to Jacobs/Sanders machine in an embarrassing display of forelock-tugging toadyism.
July 4, 2012, 2012 (San Diego’s East County)--Ten points clarify why an initiation to amend the community plan and rezone from open space to industrial should be denied by the San Diego Planning Commission at the July 19th hearing. Rezoning, if approved, would allow construction of the Quail Brush gas power plant near Mission Trails Regional Park.
A Better World is Possible co-organizer speaks out
By Norrie Robbins
July 4, 2012 (San Diego) -- When a democratic country loses its ability to write and enforce environmental, health, transportation, communication, land use, copyright, and labor laws, it loses its sovereignty.