Green Scene

CALIFORNIA, OTHER STATES REACH IMPASSE OVER COLORADO RIVER

By Alastair Bland, CalMatters

Photo:  Colorado River, courtesy of Arizona Dept. of Water Resources

CalMatters is a public interest journalism venture committed to explaining how California’s state Capitol works and why it matters

February 1, 2023 (Sacramento) - California and other Western states that import water from the parched Colorado River failed to reach an agreement today on how to cut their use despite a deadline from federal officials.


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STORM DESTROYS FISHING FLOAT AT LOVELAND RESERVOIR – AFTER SWEETWATER AUTHORITY DRAINED WATER TO HISTORIC LOW

Updated January 25, 2023 at 6 p.m.: Sweetwater Water Authority has advised ECM late today that it has reopened its meetings for the public to attend in-person, will update its website to provide more information on its January 11 meeting,  has enhanced audio of the January 11 meeting, and provided insurance valuation on the damaged dock.

By Miriam Raftery

January 25, 2023 (Alpine) – When Sweetwater Water Authority authorized draining Loveland Reservoir down to dead pool status over public objections, it left an L-shaped floating fishing dock paid for by taxpayers through a federal HUD grant perched on dry land.

 

Then came the deluge of rainfall in mid-January, which ripped apart the fishing dock.


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SAN DIEGO RIVER PARK FOUNDATION ACQUIRES LILLIAN HILL, 80 ACRES NEAR THREE SISTERS FALLS

By Miriam Raftery

Photos by Mysteri LeMay, courtesy of San Diego River Park Foundation

January 11, 2023 (Descanso) – To save a wildlife corridor and scenic vista from proposed housing construction, the San Diego River Park Foundation announced on December 30 that it has acquired the 80-acre Lillian Hill property. The site is located between Descanso and Pine Hills near Three Sisters Falls. It includes the only section of Sheep Camp Creek that until now was on private land. The site has sweeping 360-degree views overlooking Boulder Creek, headwaters of the San Diego River, as well as Eagle Peak and other scenic vistas.

Audio: 

Lillian Hill Acquisition mp3 for KNSJ

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SAN DIEGO ZOO WILDLIFE ALLIANCE WINS ANIMATION AWARD IN ROSE PARADE, WITH FLOAT CELEBRATING SAFARI PARK’S 50TH ANNIVERSARY 

 

East County News Service 

January 3, 2023 (Escondido)  – San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance won the coveted Animation Award in yesterday’s 134th Rose Parade presented by Honda, with a float celebrating the San Diego Zoo Safari Park’s 50th anniversary. The float’s theme, “Celebrating 50 Years of Conservation,” depicted rhinos, giraffes and the Safari Park’s iconic Wildlife Safari experience, bringing to life the Safari Park’s ability to connect guests with wildlife and provide life-changing moments.

The award recognizes the most outstanding use of animation. Giraffes and rhinos on the float were animated, with the rhinos seemingly coming to life as they turned their heads and the giraffes moving their long necks and bending down for a cool drink of water from a flowing waterfall.

 “We are humbled and honored to receive the Animation Award, but more importantly, we are grateful the Rose Parade gave San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance and our Safari Park an opportunity to bring our conservation message to a global audience,” said Paul A. Baribault, president and chief executive officer, San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance. “Conservation starts with people—and at the Safari Park, we are able to make a connection between our guests and wildlife every day. Our hope is that connecting people to wildlife will inspire them to help support our mission and our global conservation programs to protect endangered wildlife.”


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HAWK TALK AT MISSION TRAILS JANUARY 8

East County News Service

Photo: Harris Hawk by Alan Vernon, cc via Wikipedia

January 1, 2022 (San Diego) – Mission Trails Regional Park will host “Hawk Talk with Huxley the Harris Hawk” on Sunday, January 8 from 9 a.m. to 12 noon.

Stop by the Visitor Center Lobby to meet local falconer, Bob Gordon, and his feathered friend, “Huxley” the Harris’ hawk. Get up close and personal with this majestic bird of prey, while learning all about what makes it so special.


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READER’S EDITORIAL: USDA, FOREST SERVICE, CONGRESSIONAL AND SWEETWATER AUTHORITY CHRISTMAS GIFT

Sweetwater Water Authority has drained Loveland Reservoir to dead pool status despite community objections loss of recreational resources, wildlife habitat and firefighting impacts, as ECM reported.  Activist and fisherman Russell Walsh sent in photos and this message in response. 

 

Photos:  left, Loveland Reservoir after being drained to dead pool level; right, before the draining, maintained at 75 year minimum pool level.

 

By Russell Walsh

 

December 27, 2022 (San Diego's East County) - Happy Holidays. This will be for my Grinch of 2022 Christmas Card. "Caring For The Land And Serving People 2022."


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MOUNTAIN LION EXPERT TO SPEAK JAN. 20 IN ALPINE

East County News Service

December 26, 2022 (Alpine) – Robin Parks, field representative with the Mountain Lion Foundation, will give a “Mountain Lions 101” presentation on January 20 at 1 p.m. in the Alpine branch of the San Diego County Library (1752 Alpine Blvd., Alpine). 

 

“Some of this interest has been prompted by the whole P-22 matter,” says Parks, referencing the mountain lion that gained fame for surviving in the Hollywood Hills before being euthanized at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park earlier this month due to injuries consistent with being hit by a vehicle and other health conditions including a skullyfracture and kidney failure.  


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DROUGHT EMERGENCY DECLARED FOR SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: dry conditions at Lake Mendocino, via Calif. Dept. of Water Resources

December 19, 2022 (San Diego) -- Metropolitan Water District of Southern California has declared a Regional Drought Emergency for all of Southern California amid a fourth year of drought. MWD is calling on local water agencies to immediately reduce their use of all imported water supplies. This call could become mandatory if drought conditions persist in the coming months.


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SLEIGH BELLS RING; YOU RECYCLING?

By Gig Conaughton, County of San Diego Communications Office
 
Image credit:  Shutterstock
 
December 12, 2022 (San Diego) - Santa Claus, jingle bells, gifts, packages and — recycling?
 
Yes! The holidays are a great time of the year to put your recycling skills to work, from all that wrapping paper to gift boxes and even our Christmas trees—if you are using a real tree.
 
And, in the holiday spirit of giving, the County Department of Public Works would like to give you some tips on what to recycle and how to do it properly. That way you can even give something back to Mother Earth in this season of giving.

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GOLDEN DOOR ACQUIRES 1,988-ACRE NEWLAND SIERRA SITE IN MERRIAM MOUNTAINS AS PRESERVE, ENDS BATTLE OVER HOUSING PROPOSAL

 

East County News Service

 December 4, 2022 (San Marcos) – The battle to protect nearly 2,000 acres in San Diego’s North County from development is over. Two years after voters approved ballot Measure B to block construction of the controversial Newland Sierra housing project previously approved by San Diego’s Board of Supervisors, one of the project’s leading opponents, Golden Door spa, has acquired the property to preserve it as open space and wildlife habitat for generations to come. 

 “We are excited to finally secure this remarkable benefit for climate action initiatives,” said Kathy Van Ness, General Manager and Chief Operating Officer of Golden Door.  “Protecting this property reflects our deep commitment to sustainability, which we believe is part of our responsibility to our community and beyond.  Caring for the incredible resources on this site is a way we can truly contribute to our shared climate action goals.”

 Nathan Fletcher, Chair of the County of San Diego Board of Supervisors, applauded this unique win-win opportunity for the region.


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MISSION TRAILS PARK ATTENDANCE IS UP AND GROWING

By Susan Taylor

Photo  Volunteer trail guide Nancy Stassinopoulis (right) and Susan Taylor (left)

November 29, 2022 (San Diego) -- On the Saturday after Thanksgiving with beautiful weather, the Guided Nature Walk at Mission Trails Regional Park wasn’t lacking for participants.  A park ranger and two volunteer trail guides led Girl Scouts and their leaders, a couple with a leashed dog, and a hiker originally from Portugal. All learned about native plants, birds, and the Kumeyaay people who once inhabited the area at San Diego’s own Mission Trails Regional Park. 


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SWEETWATER DRAINS LOVELAND RESERVOIR TO DEAD POOL LEVEL TO SAVE ITS RATEPAYERS MONEY-- AT THE EXPENSE OF RURAL RESIDENTS, WILDLIFE, AND FIRE PROTECTION

By Miriam Raftery

Photo  left:  water drains from Loveland Reservoir in Alpine to Sweetwater Reservoir in Otay;

Photo, right: bare mudflat at Loveland, once  400 surface acres, now doomed to be dropped to just 10.

November 23, 2022 (Alpine) – Without any regard to impacts on wildlife, fire danger, rural residents or recreational users at Loveland Reservoir near Alpine in San Diego's East County, the Sweetwater Water Authority (SWA) on November 16 began draining down the lake with an intent to reduce it to “dead pool” level – less than one-half of one percent of the reservoir’s capacity, once draining is completed over the next couple of weeks or so.

The water is being transferred to Sweetwater Reservoir in Spring Valley. From there, it will be used to provide drinking water and other water needs to residents in the South Bay communities of Chula Vista, National City and Bonita.

But critics say  the action is destroying habitat for wildlife, perhaps forever, also eliminating fishing at the area's only reservoir with free fishing access, and threatening firefighters' ability to combat fast-moving wildfires .  Critics also contend that draining the reservoir so low is unnecssary at current drought levels. Yet the people most negatively impacted have no representation on the SWA board, which doesn't include East County.

Audio: 


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ANZA BORREGO DECEMBER ACTIVITES: HIKES, STARGAZING, CHILI FEST AND MORE

East County News Service

November 22, 2022 (Borrego Springs) – The Anza Borrego Desert Natural History Association has an array of classes, outings and activities planned for December during the coolest time of the year.  From moonlit desert walks to bike rides, birdwatching and photography sessions, there’s something for everyone coming up.  Find full details and register at https://www.abdnha.org/calendar1.htm#baron3, and scroll down for highlights.


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PROJECT WILDLIFE CELEBRATES 50 YEARS

By Dr. Gary Weitzman, President & CEO, San Diego Humane Society

November 15, 2022 (San Diego) - This fall, San Diego Humane Society is celebrating Project Wildlife’s 50th anniversary. For five decades, this essential program has served as our region’s safety net for wild animals in need. Since its founding, Project Wildlife has rescued and cared for hundreds of thousands of injured, orphaned or sick animals, and has transformed into one of the largest wildlife rehabilitation programs in the country.


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BIDEN ADMINISTRATION ANNOUNCES FREE ADMISSION TO NATIONAL PARKS FOR VETERANS, GOLD STAR FAMILIES AND MILITARY MEMBERS

East County News Service

November 11, 2022 (San Diego) - Starting this Veterans’ Day, members of the U.S. military, veterans and Gold Star Families can be admitted free to all national parks.

A free lifetime Military Pass is available for Gold Star Families and US military veterans. A free annual Military Pass is available for current US military members and their dependents. The passes provide free access to more than 2,000 federal recreation areas, including national parks, wildlife refuges, and forests.

National Park Service Director Chuck Sams says, "This is a small token of appreciation for veterans who have bravely dedicated their lives to defending our freedom.”


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CPUC NET METERING PROPOSED CHANGES SLATED FOR HEARING NOV. 16

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: CC via Bing

November 11, 2022 (San Diego) -- The California Public Utility Commission today released a revised version of its Net Metering 3.0 proposal to regulate rooftop solar. The agency will hear testimony at a public meeting on Wednesday, November 16th and is slated to vote December 15th on the measure. If adopted, the new rules would take effect next April.


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EDCO HOSTS EL CAJON EVENT NOV. 5 WITH FREE PAPER SHREDDING, ELECTRONIC WASTE DISPOSAL AND MULCH GIVEAWAY

East County News Service

Photo: CC via Bing

October 31, 2022 (El Cajon) -- EDCO’s FREE Paper Shredding, Electronic Waste and Mulch Giveaway Event is coming up on November 5 from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the El Cajon police department’s parking lot, 100 Civic Center Way in El Cajon. This event is for El Cajon residents only.


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COUNTY MEETING ON IDENTIFYING ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE COMMUNITIES IN UNINCORPORATED AREAS NOVEMBER 9

Source: County of San Diego

October 28, 2022 (San Diego) - The County of San Diego Planning & Development Services (PDS) invites you to attend a public meeting to share your thoughts.  The project is identifying Environmental Justice Communities within the unincorporated region of San Diego County. The County will provide project background information and would like your input to help explore priorities, issues and opportunities to inform potential options to expand the identification of “Environmental Justice Communities.” PDS is hosting this virtual public meeting to receive your input on: November 9, 2022, at 6 p.m. (registration link provided below).


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SEVERIN GROSSMONT HILLS NEIGHBORHOOD RECEIVES APPROVAL FOR PEDESTRIAN PARK: PLANNING MEETING SET FOR NOV. 12

East County News Service

October 22, 2022 (La Mesa) -- Three years since its inception by residents in the Severin Grossmont Hills neighborhood, installation of a small pedestrian park and historical marker have been approved by La Mesa Public Works. The improved landscaping planned for the northeast corner of Severin and Murray Drive will enhance the aesthetics of the western entrance into the La Mesa community.


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GOVERNOR SIGNS BILL TO INTEGRATE WILDLIFE CORRIDORS INTO HIGHWAY PLANS

Suzanne Potter, California News Service

Photo of mountain lion: CC via Bing

October 12, 2022 (Sacramento) -- Gov. Gavin Newsom has signed a bill into law to require Caltrans to integrate wildlife corridors into its plans as roads are built around the state.


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COUNTY ISSUES ADVISORY FOR UNSAFE BACTERIA LEVELS AT CHLDREN’S POOL AND LA JOLLA COVE

East County News Service

File photo by Miriam Raftery

October 6, 2022 (San Diego) – If you’re looking for a weekend dip at the beach, be sure to take a look at the count’s list of beach closures, warnings and advisories which include beaches from the international border north as far as La Jolla, though not every shoreline is impacted.  The San Diego County Department of Environmental Health and Quality (DEHQ) has issued the following beach management actions for Thursday, October 6, 2022:


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EARTHTALK: HOW TO AFFORD HOUSEHOLD ENERGY EFFICIENCY UPGRADES

By Anagha Iyer, EarthTalk

October 5, 2022 (San Diego) - Dear EarthTalk: I’d like to upgrade the energy efficiency of my condo but can’t afford the up-front cost of new equipment and materials. Are there any federal or other programs designed to help working people afford to make such transitions?  —Paul B., Monroe, NY

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SUPERVISORS APPROVE VEHICLE MILES TRAVELED: ANDERSON AMENDMENT PUSHES FOR TRANSIT EXPANSION IN EAST COUNTY TO ALLOW MORE HOMEBUILDING

East County News Service

County News Service contributed to this report

September 28, 2022 (San Diego) – San Diego County’s Board of Supervisors today approved Vehicle-Miles-Traveled (VMT) guidelines for new development in unincorporated communities aimed at fighting climate change while still allowing approximately 7,700 homes to be built faster and without expensive traffic studies.


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EARTHTALK: MORE SUSTAINABLE FOOD PACKAGING COMING OUR WAY

By Rhea Joshi, EarthTalk

Photo:  Heinz is working with Pulpex to prototype a food-grade bottle made from sustainably-sourced wood pulp that can be recycled and biodegrades if it is thrown away.

September 23, 2022 (San Diego) - Dear EarthTalk: What’s new in food packaging to make it more sustainable?

--E.C. Bern, NC


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CHARGING FORWARD: HELIX WATER DISTRICT GETS FIRST ELECTRIC TRUCK

Source: Helix Water District

Photo: Helix Water District Board of Directors in the district’s new all-electric, zero-emission, Ford F-150 Lightning pickup truck. Driver’s seat: Board President Kathleen Coates Hedberg. Backseat: Director Dan McMillan. Back of the truck: Directors Joel Scalzitti, De Ana Verbeke and Mark Gracyk.

September 23, 2022 (La Mesa) -- Helix Water District received its first all-electric, zero-emission, Ford F-150 Lightning pickup truck -- another milestone in the organization’s sustainability plans.


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LA MESA ADDS FREE BIKE REPAIR STATION

East County News Service

September 12, 2022 (La Mesa) – Bicycle need fixing? Pedal into downtown La Mesa, where you’ll now find a do-it-yourself bike repair station complete with tools and how-to tips.


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JONES DENOUNCES $1.4 BILLION LOAN TO PG&E AND POTENTIAL RATE HIKES IN BILL SIGNED BY GOVERNOR TO KEEP DIABLO CANYON NUKE PLANT OPEN

“Those of us living in San Diego County already pay the highest  electrical rates in the nation, and they’ll go even higher with an added bill from Diablo Canyon cost.” –Senator Brian Jones

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Diablo Canyon; Creative Commons license by Tracey Adams

September 9, 2022 (San Diego’s East County) – State Senator Brian Jones (R-Santee) has issued blistering condemnation of SB 846, a bill signed into law by Governor Gavin Newsom which aims to keep open the Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant for five years beyond the scheduled 2025 closure date. But the bill also authorizes a $1.4 billion loan to the plant’s operator, Pacific Gas & Electric, and opens the door for potential rate hikes statewide.

“”I voted against electricity rate hikes and the $1.4 billion gift to PG&E – I did not vote against Diablo Canyon and nuclear power,” says Senator Jones, in an editorial sent to media outlets.


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WARNING ISSUED FOR SILVER STRAND SHORELINE, CORONADO: ADVISORY FOR CHILDREN’S POOL DUE TO CONTAMINATION

Source:  County of San Diego

September 8, 2022 (San Diego) -- The San Diego County Department of Environmental Health and Quality (DEHQ) on September 7 issued the following beach management actions for Wednesday, September 7, 2022.


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COUNTY LAUNCHES EXPERIENCE THE OUTDOORS PROGRAM

 

By Andy Tolley, County of San Diego Communications Office

August 17, 2022 (San Diego) - County Board of Supervisors Chair Nathan Fletcher, parks officials and others officially kicked off “Experience the Outdoors,” on August 10th, a campaign to give more San Diegans opportunities to enjoy nature and the County’s regional parks.


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BIDEN SIGNS AMBITIOUS BILL TO TACKLE CLIMATE CHANGE, REDUCE DEFICIT AND LOWER HEALTHCARE COSTS

By Miriam Raftery

August 17, 2022 (Washington D.C.) – President Joe Biden has signed the Inflation Reduction Act, calling it “one of the most significant laws in our history.” He added, “With this law, the American people won and the special interests lost.” The bill cuts prescription drug costs for Medicare and has healthcare savings for many others, provides tax breaks and rebates for households and companies investing in clean energy, funds IRS collections from tax dodgers and levies new taxes on some corporations, also aiming to sharply reduce the federal deficit.


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