Green Scene

HUESO BILL WOULD HELP PROTECT TIJUANA RIVER VALLEY AFTER SEWAGE SPILLS

 

By Miriam Raftery

June 26, 2017 (San Diego) – State Senator Ben Hueso (D-San Diego) has introduced Senate Bill 507 to help protect the Tijuana River Valley in the wake of repeated severe sewage spills from Mexico, including a spill in February that dumped an estimated 28 to 100 million gallons of raw sewage into the valley.

HELIX WATER RECEIVES $8 MILLION FINAL PAYMENT FOR EL MONTE LAND SALE ON SITE PROPOSED FOR SAND MINING

 

 

 

By Miriam Raftery, East County News Service

June 16, 2017 (Lakeside)-- Helix Water District (HWD) received a long-anticipated $8 million check on June 16th, officially marking the end of a six-year legal dispute over a 460-acre parcel of land the water agency owned in Lakeside’s El Monte Valley. The land sale is the result of a 2014 court settlement between Helix Water District and the El Capitan Golf Club (now known as El Monte Nature Preserve LLC). 

The payment is good news for customers of the Helix Water District, where hefty rate hikes to balance budgets led to a ratepayer revolt and ouster of two incumbent board members last election.  But the final payment dashes hopes of El Monte Valley residents and Lakeside community planners opposed to El Monte Nature Preserve’s proposed   sand mining operation to extract 18 million tons of sand over 15 years from the El Monte Valley on the site.

EDCO RECEIVES E.A.R.T.H. AWARD FROM SAN DIEGO EARTHWORKS

 

East County News Service

June 13, 2017 (San Diego) - At the May 24, 2017 V.I.P. (Very Important Planet) Reception held at the City of San Diego Environmental Services Department, San Diego EarthWorks recognized EDCO with the E.A.R.T.H. (Environmental Action and Restoration That Helps) Award for EarthFair efforts. There to accept the award on EDCO’s behalf was John Snyder, EDCO’s Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer, and Elmer Heap, EDCO’s Division Manager.

CLIMATE CHANGE AND ECONOMICS PROFESSORS SPEAK TONIGHT IN LA MESA

 

East County News Service

June 7, 2017 (La Mesa) --  Tonight’s meeting of the La Mesa Foothills Democratic Club will feature a veritable who’s who of leading San Diego experts in the political ramifications of executive orders dealing with our economy and the environment.   Social hour starts at 6:30 with the program at 7 p.m. at the La Mesa Community Center.

Speakers included renowned climate scientist Jeff Severinghaus, Professor of Geosciences at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, who has voiced concern at the drastic measures taken by the Trump Administration in rolling back recently enacted advances to combat global warming.

FACTCHECKING TRUMP'S CLIMATE SPEECH

 

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Credit to factcheck.org, full story here:  http://www.factcheck.org/2017/06/factchecking-trumps-climate-speech/

June 3, 2017 (San Diego's East County) - In announcing that the U.S. would withdraw from the Paris Agreement, a global accord aimed at addressing climate change, President Donald Trump made more than a few false and misleading claims:

  • Trump said the U.S. would be exposed to “massive legal liability if we stay in” the Paris Agreement. But there is no liability mechanism in the Paris Agreement. International environmental law experts tell us that pulling out of the agreement won’t reduce U.S. exposure to liability claims and, in fact, may increase it.
  • Trump called China and India the “world’s leading polluters,” referring to carbon emissions. That’s not accurate. China and the U.S. were the top emitters per kiloton in 2015.
  • The president also falsely said “nobody even knows where the money [in the Green Climate Fund] is going to.” The fund’s website outlines all of the projects that have been funded.
  • Trump said the agreement would cost “close to $3 trillion in lost GDP.” That’s one estimate from a report for a business-funded group that found a much smaller impact under a different scenario. Yet another analysis said the impact of meeting the emissions targets would be “modest.”
  • Trump again took credit for job gains, saying the economy has added more than a million private sector jobs since his election. That’s true, but only 493,000 of them were added since he took office.

LAWSUIT LAUNCHED AGAINST TRUMP BORDER WALL"'PROTOTYPE" CONSTRUCTION AT SAN DIEGO BORDER

 

Federal agencies refuse to provide records on environmental compliance until after wall prototypes are built, environmental group says

East County News Service

June 2, 2017 (San Diego) -- The Center for Biological Diversity has filed a formal notice of intent to sue the Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Customs and Border Protection over impacts to endangered species and critical habitat from building up to 20 border-wall “prototype” designs in San Diego County. 

TRUMP WITHDRAWAL FROM PARIS CLIMATE ACCORD DRAWS CONDEMNATION FROM WORLD LEADERS; WEST COAST STATES FORM THEIR OWN ALLIANCE TO COMBAT CLIMATE CHANGE

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: NASA satellite:  Arctic ice reached an all-time record low in March, due to record temperatures.

June 2, 2017 (San Diego)—President Donald Trump’s announcement yesterday to withdraw the United States from the Paris Climate Accord  means the U.S. joins Syrian dictator Bashar Assad as the only other world leader who does not believe climate change is a serious threat to the planet.   Every nation on earth signed the Paris agreement calling for aggressive action to combat climate change, except for Syria and Nicaragua, but Nicaragua wanted even stronger actions to protect planet Earth.

CALIFORNIA VOWS TO RESIST TRUMP'S "INSANE" DECISION ON CLIMATE CHANGE

 

By Chris Jennewein

Reprinted from Times of San Diego, a member of the San Diego Online News Association

June 1, 2017 (San Diego's East County) - California Gov. Jerry Brown vowed Thursday the state would continue its fight against climate change despite President Trump’s “misguided and insane” decision to leave the Paris Climate Agreement.

BORREGO BIGHORN SHEEP COUNT NEEDS VOLUNTEERS AND HELP RESTORING MAILING LIST AFTER DEATH OF RANGER BIER

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo by Daren Sefcik

June 1, 2017 (Borrego Springs) – The 47th annual Anza Borrego bighorn sheep count is set for  June 29th through July 1st,  with a mandatory orientation on June 17th for all new counters and recommended for those who participated in the past.   The count will go on despite the death of its long-time leader, Ranger Steve Bier. 

“We were unable to find the master sheep count mailing list,”  states a letter from Anza Borrego Desert State Park Superintendent Kathy Dice and volunteer Sheep County Coordinator Mark Jorgensen, who are organizing a new sheep counting team. If you know of counters,  please forward their contact information to AB.Sheepcount@parks.ca.gov.

HUNTER AND VARGAS ASK EPA AND STATE DEPT. FOR HELP TO STOP MEXICAN SEWAGE SPILLS NEAR BORDER

 

By Miriam Raftery

After Hunter and Vargas sent letters, a new spill pumped more sewage into Tijuana River Valley at start of Memorial Day weekend

May 31, 2017 (San Diego) — Congressman Duncan Hunter (R-Alpine)  sent a letter May 9th to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and to Scott Pruitt, administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, asking them to take action in the wake of a major sewage spill into the Tijuana River Valley in the U.S. from Mexico earlier this year.   Hunter cites concerns not only for environmental and public health, but also negative impacts felt by U.S. Border Patrol agents and Navy Seal teams performing responsibilities in the area daily.

MISSION TRAILS ACTIVISTS OPPOSE PROPOSED MAJOR GAS PIPELINE THROUGH REGIONAL PARK AND SANTEE NEIGHBORHOODS, AGREE WITH SDG&E THAT MIRAMAR ROUTE IS SAFER OPTION

 

Public comments accepted through June 12; three public hearings set this week in San Diego region

By Miriam Raftery

May 22, 2017 (San Diego) – SDG&E and SoCalGas have applied to the California Public Utilities Commission to build a new natural gas pipeline from Rainbow through the Marine Corps Air Station at Miramar to Mission Valley to replace an aging and potentially dangerous line, also boosting capacity and reliability for the region.  (View application.  View all project documents .)

THE EPIC COWLES HIKE

 

By Greg Dunne

"Of all the paths that you take in life, make sure a few of them are dirt." – John Muir

Editor’s note:  The Five Peaks Challenge encourages hikers to ascend five peaks in Mission Trails Regional Park at their own pace.  Greg Dunne and his team were the first to achieve this in a single day. To follow up on that feat, they’ve now hiked every trail on and around Cowles Mountain--all in one day.

May 21, 2017 (San Diego) -- Today we took an epic hike up Cowles Mountain and the surrounding trails that has never been done before, all in one day! I call this hike “Cowles Tour 13.2”. My friend David Hart and I undertook this hike on Frid
ay, May 19, 2017. My daughter would ask – WHY? Well, my answer is not because it’s there, but because it’s in my backyard, fun and nobody thought to do it.

GRID ALTERNATIVES: SAN DIEGO'S SUMMER SOLARTHON

 

 

By Roy L. Hales

 

May 20, 2017 (San Diego) - GRID Alternatives entered San Diego eight years ago, with a solar installation in El Cajon.  Since then, the non-profit has put up a total of 824 systems throughout the county. This Saturday, they return to the same El Cajon neighbourhood for GRID Alternatives San Diego’s SummerSolarthon.

SHOW YOUR MILITARY APPRECIATION AT COUNTY PARKS

 

By Michelle Mowad, County of San Diego Communications Office

May 18, 2017 (San Diego) - Celebrate Military Appreciation Month with two patriotic events at County parks.

First, gather up family and friends for a Salute to Military Families at Lake Morena on Saturday, May 20. The festivities are hosted by County Parks in partnership with VALOR, the County’s employee resource group for veterans.

HELIX WATER DISTRICT ANNOUNCES WINNER IN ITS 2017 WATER-WISE LANDSCAPE CONTEST

 

Source: Helix Water District

May 12, 2017 (La Mesa) - Helix Water District has named Chandrika “Dusty” Patel-Lynch of La Mesa as this year’s winner of its WaterSmart Landscape Contest. The annual contest recognizes outstanding water-wise residential landscapes which are judged on overall attractiveness, appropriate plant selection and maintenance, design and efficient irrigation methods.

MOWING DOWN AIR POLLUTION: LAWN MOWER AND GAS-POWERED GARDENING TOOLS EXCHANGE THIS SATURDAY

 

Exchange will feature dual-battery mowers, price reductions on rechargeable chainsaws, hedge clippers and string trimmers

East County News Service

May 12, 2017 (San Diego) - The County will host its 18th annual lawn mower exchange this Saturday, May 13th at Qualcomm Stadium.  Doors open at 6 a.m.; the event takes place from 8 a.m. to 12 noon. County Supervisor Ron Roberts, pollution control officers, recyclers, Electric Vehicle display sponsored by SDG&E and hundreds of San Diegans lined up with gasoline powered lawnmowers and gardening equipment to be exchanged for new rechargeable mode equipment.

PUBLIC RECORDS SOUGHT ON PROTOTYPES FOR TRUMP'S BORDER WALL: ENVIRONMENTAL GROUP SUES, ASKS IF PROTOTYPES SLATED IN SAN DIEGO COUNTY VIOLATE THE LAW

 

Source:  Center for Biological Diversity

May 3, 2017 (San Diego) -- The Center for Biological Diversity, a national nonprofit conservation organization, today filed a Freedom of Information Act request seeking public records on whether planned prototypes for President Trump’s border wall in Southern California comply with laws meant to protect wildlife, people and wild places.

PRESIDENT TRUMP ORDERS REVIEW THAT COULD SELL OFF NATIONAL MONUMENTS OR OPEN THEM TO DEVELOPMENT, INCLUDING 10 IN CA

 

By Suzanne Potter, Public News Service

Photo: Boole Tree in Sequoia National Monument is the sixth largest tree in the world, but could be lost under Trump’s order.

April 30, 2017 (San Diego) -- Ten of California's national monuments could be reduced in size or even eliminated as part of a review of all such properties, in an executive order signed last week by President Trump.

CALIFORNIA ATTORNEY GENERAL TO FIGHT TRUMP ORDER OPENING OUR COAST TO NEW OFFSHORE OIL DRILLING

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo:  1969 Santa Barbara oil spill, UCSB collection

April 29, 2017 (San Diego) – The Santa Barbara oil spill of 1969 was the worst environmental disaster in U.S. history at the time.  Three million gallons of crude oil contaminated the ocean and beaches with thick, black goo. Oil bubbled from the blown well and from cracks in the sea bed, killing countless sea birds, seals and other marine life. 

The last remaining oil derrick off California's coast is slated to be decommissioned,  Public News Service reported last week. But now an executive order by President Donald Trump could result in offshore oil wells again pumping in the waters off California.

CHEERS! PADRE DAM MAKES BEER FROM WASTEWATER, WINS NATIONAL AWARD FOR WATER RECYCLING

 

East County News Service

April 29, 2017 (Santee) -- Padre Dam Municipal Water District, Helix Water District, City of El Cajon and the County of San Diego were recently honored with being named “Recycled Water Agency of the Year” - medium agency category - from the WateReuse California Section and the WateReuse California Board for their work on the East County Advanced Water Purification Program. To celebrate,  they teamed up with Ballast Point Brewing Company to serve up a”Padre Dam Pilsner,”  a  beer made with treated wastewater from the East County Advanced Water Purification Program  at a reception last month at the Westin hotel downtown.

THE MARCH FOR EVERYBODY ELSE

 
By Roger Coppock
 
April 29, 2017 (San Diego) -- Last Saturday, April the 22nd. 15,000 people joined a March for Science in San Diego to protest anti-science, mostly anti-climate science, policies of the new Trump administration.  (Please see our report:  http://eastcountymagazine.org/print/24751) Today, by contrast, was everybody else's turn to participate in "The People's Climate March." According to San Diego Police estimates, 4,000 to 5,000 people took up this Saturday's cause, or about a third as many marched last weekend when there were also Earth Day activities in the vicinity.

EPA REMOVES CLIMATE SCIENCE WEBPAGES, PUTS PUBLIC IN DARK ON CRITICAL DATA

 

By Miriam Raftery

April 29, 2017 (Washington D.C.) – One week after hundreds of thousands joined a march for science nationwide on Earth Day to protest the Trump administration’s irrational anti-science stances, the Environmental Protection Agency has taken down its climate science website, the Washington Post reports.  The action came on the eve of today’s march calling for action to halt climate change.

REI HOSTS "FORCES OF NATURE” EVENTS FOR WOMEN: MAY 6 AT MISSION TRAILS

 

By Miriam Raftery

April 28,2017 (San Diego) – Seeking to empower women through outdoor activities REI has launched “Forces of Nature,” a series of over 1,000 programs for women from May through September nationwide, including San Diego. Locally the series kicks off with events at Mission Trails Regional Park on May 6th that include rock climbing, and a free inspirational TED-talk style presentation by outdoor writer Shelby  Stanger. 

“Outdoors is a level playing field,” says Alyson Wright, outdoor programs and outreach market manager from REI in San Diego.  “You don’t have to behave a certain way.”  Nationally, REI is telling stories of women adventurers, makers and rule-breakers, encouraging women, “Let’s make outside the largest level playing field on earth.”

COMMON PESTICIDE NEONICOTINOID DAMAGES HONEY BEES’ ABILITY TO FLY, UCSD FINDS

 

By Chris Jennewein

Reprinted from Times of San Diego, a member of the San Diego Online News Association

April 26, 2017 (San Diego) -- Biologists at UC San Diego have demonstrated for the first time that a widely-used pesticide can significantly impair the ability of honey bees to fly.

The finding raising concerns about how pesticides affect their capacity to pollinate and the long-term effects on the health of honey bee colonies.

CALIF. SEA LEVELS RISING AT A RAPID RATE: 67% OF BEACHES COULD BE LOST BY END OF THIS CENTURY

 

By Miriam Raftery

April 26, 2017 (San Diego) -- Sea levels rising much faster than expected could submerge over two-thirds of the state’s beaches by the end of this century, also forcing damage and relocation of major infrastructure. Those are among the disturbing findings of an updated  state-commissioned report, “Rising Seas in California.”  Sea levels could rise 30 to 40 times faster than in the last century, raising the sea level 10 feet after 2050 under the most severe scenario.

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