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HEALTH DEPT. AND COURTS BACK NEIGHBORS IN COMPLAINTS AGAINST TWO WIND FARMS

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Wind turbines dwarf homes and barns in rural Illinois

October 17, 2014 (San Diego’s East County)--Neighbors battling wind energy projects locally just got some new ammunition in two separate cases. 

In Wisconsin, the Brown County Board of Health this week voted to declare Duke Energy’s Shirley Wind energy project a human health hazard to residents, visitors, workers and other people  up to six miles away from the wind turbines. Here in San Diego’s East County and neighboring Imperial County, wind turbines have been built within a half mile of homes and new setbacks proposed remain much less than six miles, raising questions over potential dangers to residents if those projects are built.  

In Vermont, a federal district court has found that plaintiffs provided ample evidence to allow a private nuisance claim over the Sheffield Wind Project to proceed in court for creating unreasonable noise.

NEW 500 kV POWER LINES PROPOSED ACROSS EAST COUNTY : MEETINGS OCT. 20-21

 

 

East County News Service

October 17, 2014 (San Diego’s East County)—The most controversial project in memory in East County was the construction of the 500kV Sunrise Powerlink, which was built despite objections of a coalition representing 79,000 people--though the route was changed amid public outcry. 

Now, a new set of 500 kV power lines are proposed through San Diego’s East County and Imperial County as part of the draft Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan (DRECP) which is currently available for public review and comment at www.drecp.org. The plan aims to open 22 million acres up for energy development including vast swaths in our region.

AMID STORM OF CONTROVERSY, PEEVEY TO RESIGN AS CPUC CHAIR

 

By Miriam Raftery

October 10, 2014 (San Diego’s East County) – With consumer activists clamoring for his impeachment, California Public Utilities Chairman Michael Peevey has announced he will not seek reappointment when his term ends at year’s end.   His replacement will be appointed by Governor Jerry Brown.

WESTERN YELLOW-BILLED CUCKOO RECEIVES FEDERAL PROTECTION UNDER ENDANGERED SPECIES ACT

 

East County News Service

Photo credit: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

October 6, 2014 (Sacramento)--The western population of the yellow-billed cuckoo will be protected as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act (ESA), the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has announced. The Service determined that listing a distinct population segment  of the bird in portions of 12 western states, Canada and Mexico is warranted. In the U.S., the listing will cover parts of Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Utah, Wyoming, Montana, Oregon and Washington.

Since 1980, nine sightings of the yellow-billed cuckoo have been made in San Diego County, though no nests have been found since the 1930s, according to the San Diego Bird Atlas Project at San Diego State University.  Locally the birds have been spotted from May to August, most commonly in stands of riparian willows and cottonwoods.

KELLY FULLER, PROTECT OUR COMMUNITIES, SPEAKS OUT ON LAWSUIT TO PROTECT EAGLES IN EAST COUNTY

 

 

 

 

Listen online now to hear the interview:  http://k007.kiwi6.com/hotlink/8l8mqgxkpz/KelllyFuller-GreenSceneInterview.mp3

October 9, 2014 (San Diego's East County) -- On our "Green Scene" report aired originally on our East County Magazine Show on KNSJ 89.1 FM radio, we interviewed Kelly Fuller with Protect Our Communities about the local nonprofit's lawsuit filed against federal agencies over the Tule Wind project planned in McCain Valley. The suit alleges that the U.S. Department of the Interior and the Bureau of Indian Affairs ignored advice from wildlife officials at state and federal wildlife agencies, who warned that the wind turbines pose threats to eagles.

For details, click "read more" and scroll down.

WHY SAN DIEGO'S EAST COUNTY IS A GLOBAL WARMING "HOTSPOT"

 

 

By Roger Coppock



October 7, 2014 (San Diego’s East County) Everybody has heard of global warming. There is at least one article in the news every day. Scientists who study and write about global warming have reasons to say our Earth's near surface is on average warming.  All their instruments are in agreement. During most of the last couple of hundred years things have gotten hotter.

SOLAR AND WIND ENERGY ARE NOT NECESSARILY GOOD

 

A Review of the video Good News, from Climate Reality

Originally Published in the ECOreport

View video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UTH3otcW_hs[/embedyt

By Roy L Hales

October 9, 2014 (San Diego's East County) - "Good News," from Climate Reality, is good propaganda. The message is clear and, to a large extent, true - only it also perpetuates a myth. Solar and wind energy are not necessarily good, it depends how they are used.

SIERRA DE JUAREZ WIND PROJECT UNDERWAY SOUTH OF THE BORDER

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo by Wayne Brammer: project viewed from the In-Ko-Pah/Jacumba area in East County

October 4, 2014 (San Diego’s East County) – Wind turbines are rising just south of the border as construction commences on the Sierra de Juarez wind energy facility in Baja California.  The 47 turbines in this phase of the Innova Energy project are projected to generate 157 megawatts of power that will be sold to San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) to meet our region’s energy needs.

WIND TURBINES DAMAGE EAR, SCIENTISTS FIND; LONG-TERM EXPOSURE MAY CAUSE DEAFNESS

 

By Miriam Raftery

October 4, 2014 (San Diego’s East County) The inner ears of people were “drastically” altered after exposure to low frequency noise. Living close to wind turbines may lead to severe hearing damage or even deafness. Those are the findings of scientists from the University of Munich, Germany, according to a study published in the Royal Society’s Open Science Journal on October 1st.

MAYOR FAULCONER RELEASES COMPREHENSIVE CLIMATE CHANGE PLAN

 

October 1, 2014 (San Diego) – San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer has responded to calls from the City Council and more than a thousand climate march activists locally by releasing a comprehensive Climate Action Plan. The plan calls for cutting the city’s carbon emissions 15% by 2020 and nearly in half --49%-- by 2035. The city also aspires to produce 100% of its power from renewable resources by 2035.

GOVERNOR SIGNS PLASTIC BAG BAN

 

By Miriam Raftery

September 30, 2014 (Sacramento)--California has become the first state in the nation to ban disposable plastic bags in major retail outlets, though 125 local jurisdictions in the state have already adopted similar ordinances.

SPRING VALLEY CLEAN-UP AND TIRE RECYCLING DAY OCT. 11

 

September 30, 2014 (Spring Valley)—Spring Valley residents can recycle your auto tires, tree trimmings, hot water heaters, electronic wastes, documents for shredding , trash and more  at the Spring Valley Clean-up Day on Saturday, October 11 from 7 a.m. until noon (or when dumpsters are full).   The event will be held at Monte Vista High School, 3230 Sweetwater Springs Boulevard in Spring Valley.

WORLDWIDE, WILDLIFE SUFFERS 52% POPULATION DECLINE

 

By Miriam Raftery

September 30, 2014 (San Diego’s East County) - Over the last 40 years, total wildlife populations on earth have fallen by 52%. That’s the grim finding of the London Zoological Society’s Living Planet Index, the BBC reports.

MASTER GARDENER REPLACES LAWN WITH WILDLIFE-FRIENDLY PLANTS

 

 

 

September 28, 2014 (San Diego) -- With San Diego knee-deep in a drought, it might be a good idea to ditch that thirsty turf grass in favor of a vibrant, easy-care garden that's also a haven for butterflies and other native species. San Diego County News Service met up with a San Diego Master Gardener who did just that.  Click the video to check out her beautiful yard.

DRAFT DESERT RENEWABLE ENERGY CONSERVATION PLAN RELEASED BY BLM AND U.S. FISH & WILDLIFE

 

Plan would open up 22 million acres of California to large-scale renewable energy development

By Miriam Raftery

September 26, 2014 (San Diego’s East County)--The Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service this week published in the Federal Register a Notice of Availability of the draft Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan (DRECP) Environmental Impact Report/Environmental Impact Statement (EIR/EIS).  A formal comment period is now open through January 9, 2015.

CONSERVATION GROUP SUES TO PROTECT EAGLES AT PROPOSED TULE WIND FARM

 

BIA Approval Decision Ignores Warnings from U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Photo: Tony Hisgett (Wikimedia Commons)

September 26, 2014 (San Diego’s East County)--Protect Our Communities (POC) and backcountry landowners have filed a lawsuit this week against the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) and Department of the Interior (DOI) in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California.

HOPE FOR MONARCH BUTTERFLIES

 

By Miriam Raftery

September 24, 2014 (San Diego’s East County)--Earlier this year, we reported on a 90% decline in the number of Monarch butterflies in their annual winter migration to Mexico. But now, there are signs of hope on the horizon.

GOVERNOR SIGNS CLEAN VEHICLE BILL

 

 

September 23, 2014 (Sacramento)-- Capping off National Drive Electric Week, Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. has signed half a dozen bills to strengthen California's best-in-the-nation electric vehicle market.

EL CAJON ASKS, PLEASE DON'T FEED THE DUCKS!

 

Story and photos by Robert Gehr

September 23, 2014 (El Cajon)--The city of El Cajon recently installed signs at the downtown waterscape asking the public to stop feeding the ducks which gather there. It seems that the bread, etc. is contributing to the ill health of this fragile ecosystem, resulting in excessive algae, and fecal matter, plus a variety of toxins and diseases - some of which are transmittable to humans and could potentially make a person very sick, especially children.

ROCKEFELLER'S FUND TO PULL MONEY OUT OF FOSSIL FUELS

 

By Miriam Raftery

September 23, 2014 (New York)--On the heels of the world’s largest march to halt climate change, support has come from an unlikely source.  Billionaire John D. Rockefeller made his fortune in oil, otherwise known as black gold. His Standard Oil Company was so big that the Supreme Court ordered it broken up into several smaller companies including such giants as Chevron, Exxon and Mobil.

$40 MILLION LAWSUIT FILED AGAINST INVENERGY OVER WIND FARM

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Wind turbines at Kumeyaay Wind  facility in Campo

September 23, 2014 (Campo, California) –Looks like we dodged another wind project bullet when the Campo tribe voted down Invenergy's Shu'luuk Wind project,” Boulevard Planning Group Chair Donna Tisdale wrote in an e-mail to East County Magazine.

She forwarded a link to an article on a $40 million lawsuit filed against Invenergy by 60 neighbors of the company’s Orangeville Wind project in New York. Neighbors allege that the facility has violated noise limits and caused significant harm to health and property values: http://www.windaction.org/posts/41275-lawsuit-filed-against-invenergy-in-relation-to-orangeville-wind-farm#.VB83JPldV8E.

The suit alleges that the project has created a nuisance that has caused residents to suffer a loss in their quality of life and property value due to the wind energy project.  According to the complaint, wind turbines were built within 800 to 1500 feet of the plaintiffs’ properties. Plaintiffs contend that the project has caused “constant noise, vibrations, and flicker to enter Plaintiffs’ property, significantly impacting the health and wellbeing of the Plaintiffs and causing them to become sick, sore, lame and disabled.”  The projects also destroyed rural views, the suit states.

FOLLOWING WORLDWIDE CLIMATE CHANGE MARCH, SAN DIEGO COUNCIL CALLS ON MAYOR TO ISSUE CLIMATE ACTION PLAN

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

September 22, 2014 (San Diego) – On Sunday, a global climate march drew a half million people worldwide at over 150 locations, all calling for action to stop climate change. The march drew over 400,000 in New York City and an estimated 1,000 to 2,000 in San Diego.  

Today, San Diego’s City Council voted 5 to 3 in favor of a resolution asking Mayor Kevin Faulconer to issue a climate change plan.

The vote split the council down party lines, with all Democrats voting in favor and Republicans voting against.

"WE LIKE IT WILD": PROJECT WILDLIFE TO JOIN HUMANE SOCIETY

 

 

 

 

 

Listen to our radio show Monday on KNSJ 89. 1 FM at 5 p.m. to hear our audio report on Project Wildlife’s event.

By Miriam Raftery

September 21, 2014 (Lakeside) – At Project Wildlife’s “We Like It Wild” event in Lakeside last week, guests had up close and personal encounters with exotic and local wildlife at the Pillsbury Ranch owned by Joan Embery, the San Diego Zoo’s ambassador.  They also heard a special announcement from the Project Wildlife’s executive director Beth Ugoretz, who said Project Wildlife plans to merge by November 1st with the San Diego Humane Society.

Gary Weitzman, president of the San Diego Human Society and the Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, emphasized that goal is to keep Project Wildlife “strong” and leverage the strengths of both organizations.  Project Wildlife’s focus on rescuing and rehabilitating local wildlife will continue, and the need is great, since the drought, wildfires and development have put increasing stress on local animals from birds and reptiles to larger animals such as raccoons and coyotes.

SOMETHING FISHY IN COACHELLA VALLEY

 

San Diego's thirst for Colorado River water threatens ecosystem at Salton Sea

By Leon Thompson

Photos:  Salton Sea Authority, U.S. Geological Survey, Salton Sea Museum, and Tobias Deml

September 20, 2014 (Salton Sea) – The rotten smell in the desert just east of East County is the harbinger of worse things yet to come.

The tell-tale odor of “rotten eggs" prompted officials to issue an air quality warning for the Coachella Valley.  The South Coast Air Quality Management District issued an odor advisory Tuesday warning residents they could experience headaches and nausea.

QUAIL BRUSH POWER PLANT APPLICATION WITHDRAWN

 

By Miriam Raftery

September 12, 2014 (San Diego) – There won’t be a gas-fired power plant built next to Mission Trails Regional Park. Plans for the controversial project have been withdrawn at the request of a letter sent by Quail Brush GENCO LLC, the project applicant, to the California Energy Commission on September 12.

The project had faced strong opposition including city councils of both Santee and San Diego, the Santee School District, environmental groups and residents. 

Preserve Wild Santee posted the following message on its Facebook page upon hearing the news:

EARTHTALK(R): DOES ETHANOL IN THE GAS TANK FIGHT CLIMATE CHANGE?

 

E - The Environmental Magazine

Dear EarthTalk: I thought that putting ethanol in our gas tanks was going help fight climate change, but lately I’ve heard reports to the contrary. Can you enlighten?       -- Bill B., Hershey, PA

Ethanol and similar “biofuels” made from corn and other crops seem like a good idea given their potential for reducing our carbon outputs as well as our reliance on fossil fuels. But recent research has shown that the federal government’s push to up production of corn-derived ethanol as a gasoline additive since 2007 has actually expanded our national carbon footprint and contributed to a range of other problems.

SAN DIEGO NEEDS TO PUT TRANSIT AND ACTIVE TRANSPORTATION FIRST

 

Originally Published in the ECOreport

By Roy L Hales

September 13, 2014 (San Diego’s East County) - A statewide survey, done by the Public Policy Institute, found that 77% of Californians think public transit should be the focus of transportation spending. Only 18% said more money should be spent on highways and freeways.(1) This sentiment is strong in San Diego, where more than a decade ago 85% of the respondents said the transit system was the #1 priority.(2) When the question came up again, in 2010, 55% of those polled wanted the transit system expanded, as opposed to 32% who want more roads.(3) Now, as the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) draws up its’ transportation plan, community groups want them to put plans for a freeway expansion on hold. According to Monique Lopez, from the Environmental Health Coalition, San Diego needs to put transit and active transportation first.

PROTEST OVER TRANSPORTATION PLAN SET FOR SEPT. 12 AT SANDAG OFFICE

 

September 11, 2014 (San Diego) – Cleveland National Forest Foundation is urging the public to join in a protest Friday over the transportation plan put forward by the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG). The protest rally will be held in front ot the Wells Fargo building in downtown San Diego, 5th and B Street on Friday, September 12 from 11:30 a.,m. to 12:30 p.m. A press release issued by CNFF.org and TransitSanDiego.org states:

PEOPLE'S CLIMATE MARCH SEPT. 21 AIMS TO BE LARGEST CLIMATE MARCH IN HISTORY

 

East County News Service

September 9, 2014 (San Diego) – “You are invited to a pivotal moment in the history of our planet. In New York and in major cities around the world, people will be uniting on September 21 to call on world leaders meeting at the United Nations Climate Summit to act NOW on climate change,” says Diane Lesher, an organizer with a local coalition hosting a People’ Climate March San Diego to support the New York and global events and to focus on solutions to climate change that can be implemented locally.  Lesher adds, “Together we will call for a rapid transition from fossil fuels to renewables and energy efficiency, and a just and sustainable economy.”

ROAD CLOSURES ON PUBLIC LAND IRK RURAL RESIDENTS

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Kitchen Creek, where access in the vicinity has been limited by frequent road closures

September 7, 2014 (San Diego’s East County) – In recent months, several readers have written to ask us why they are encountering “road closed” signs on roads in Cleveland National Forest that were formerly accessible to the public.

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