Green Scene

EARTHTALK®: GROUND ZERO IN FIGHT AGAINST GENETICALLY ENGINEERED CROPS

 

From the Editors of E - The Environmental Magazine

Dear EarthTalk: Why do environmentalists consider Hawaii “ground zero” in the fight against genetically engineered crops? -- Michael Van, Poughkeepsie, NY

July 24, 2016 (San Diego's East County) - Most of us think of beaches, surfing and luaus when we think of Hawaii. But the constantly warm and moist climate actually provides some of the most productive land in the world with a never-ending growing season. As a result, Hawaii has become a major player in commercial agriculture, and is frequently used to test new farming techniques.

EMERGENCY & CARRYOVER STORAGE PROJECT EARNS INTERNATIONAL ACCLAIM





Source:  San Diego County Water Authority News Release

July 24, 2016 (San Diego) - The Emergency & Carryover Storage Project, a multi-decade effort of the San Diego County Water Authority to increase the reliability and resiliency of the region’s water system, won an Award of Merit in the annual Global Best Projects competition held by the industry publication Engineering News-Record. It is the second time in four months that a Water Authority project has earned international honors.

HEAR OUR INTERVIEW WITH ANA NITA ON EFFORTS TO SAVE EL MONTE VALLEY FROM SAND MINING

 

By Miriam Raftery

Listen now! Click the orange button above. (Note, sound files may take a few moments to load.)

July 13, 2016 (Lakeside) -- East County Magazine's show on KNSJ recently sat down with Ana Nita, an investigative journalist and activist who is working on a documentary about controversies involving a proposed sand mine that could have devastating consequences for people and wildlife in Lakeside's picturesque El Monte Valley.

She also discusses apparent conflicts of interest involving Michael Beck, a county planning commissioner with financial ties to the sand mining company, and has called for Beck to resign or be removed. 

As an update, after this interview aired, Supervisor Dianne Jacob's office advised us that she is asking County Counsel for advice on the appropriate way to handle Beck's conflict of interest issue.

Audio: 

HEAR OUR INTERVIEW: NEW INVENTION BY SDG&E HELPS YOU GO SOLAR FOR LESS MONEY

By Miriam Raftery

 

July 4, 2016 (San Diego) – Recently,  East County Magazine’s Radio Show  featured an interview with Amber Albrecht  from San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E).  The interview originally aired on KNSJ 89.1 FM Radio.

 We talked about a new fast-track process for going solar and about renewable meter adaptors invented by SDG&E employees to help you avoid costly electrical panel upgrades when going solar.

Hear our interview by clicking the link above.

Audio: 

COMMUNITY CLEAN-UP DAYS

 

East County News Service

July 3, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) – You’re invited to bring your green waste, trash, waste and brush for disposal  at four community clean-up days  coming up in Potrero, Campo, Boulevard and Jacumba.  Free mulch and wood chips will also be available.  The clean-up days are all on Saturdays from 7 a.m.to 1 p.m.  Locations and dates are:

READER'S EDITORIAL: HARVESTING EAGLES - PART TWO

 

How agencies charged with protecting our wildlife continue to betray our trust

By Jim Wiegand

June 13, 2016 (San Diego) - It is difficult to read that word “harvest” without thinking of harvesting crops, grown for the purpose of feeding humanity. In this case, however, we are talking about one of our most iconic species, one of our most magnificent raptors – and the “harvesting” is to be done by “grim reaper” machines: wind turbines.

LAWNMOWER TRADE-IN EVENT JUNE 18

 

East County News Service

June 12, 2016 (San Diego) — The County of San Diego invites you to trade in your gas-guzzling lawnmower, chainsaw, hedge trimmer or string trimmer for a brand new rechargeable model for just $99.99.  The 17th annual trade-in event will be held Saturday, June 18 from8 a.m. to 12 noon at Qualcomm stadium. Each household can get up to one of each type of item so you can save some green by cutting green.

100 VOLUNTEERS TURN OUT TO HELP CLEAN UP CASA DE ORO COMMUNITY

 

East County News Service

June 12, 2016 (Casa de Oro) – Nearly 100 Casa de Oro residents and businesses joined forces yesterday to clean up the Campo Road business corridor and strengthen community engagement in a neighborhood that is turning things around for a better future.  Following the work they celebrated the first-of-its-kind event with a barbecue and raffle, while also thanking the many business sponsors who made the event possible.

FOREST SERVICE RELEASES DRAFT ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT FOR THREE SISTERS FALLS TRAILS AND RESOURCE ISSUES

 

East County News Service

June 6, 2016 (Descanso) -- The Forest Service has prepared a draft environmental assessment (EA) for the proposed Three Sisters Falls Recreation Management project, and we are asking you to review it and provide comments. This project was developed to establish a trailhead and trails along Boulder Creek Road and address public safety and resource issues in the Three Sisters Falls area. The draft EA is available on the Cleveland National Forest’s project webpage, listed below, or by clicking here. Hard copies are available from the project leader, identified below.

http://www.fs.fed.us/nepa/nepa_project_exp.php?project=46285

READER'S EDITORIAL: HARVESTING EAGLES - PART ONE

 

By Jim Wiegand

“…FWS (U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service) announced a plan on 5/6/2016 that would allow wind energy companies to legally kill or injure up to 4200 bald eagles  annually without penalty.  If they can get away with this, the industry would also pocket untold billions while doing it.” —Jim Wiegand 

To comment on this proposed rule change visit : https://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=FWS-R9-MB-2011-0094-1052  and hit comment



June 9, 2016 (San Diego) -- Since 2008, I have been sharing my knowledge of wind industry impacts with the public. Even though I had been studying raptors and wildlife for decades before, that was the year I first became aware of the industry's bogus research and the terrible fate coming to our eagles. Since then, I have written many articles pointing out how the wind industry has been using fake research to hide the slaughter to eagles and other species. I have also made my opinions very clear about the ongoing collusion that has existed for decades between the wind industry and Interior Department.

READER'S EDITORIAL: SAVE ACCESS TO OUR STATE PARKS

 

 

An open letter to the California State Parks and Recreation Department

"The parks do not belong to the government. They belong to the people." 

By Paul Pitt

 

Editor’s note:  The state is proposing to ban hiking, climbing or other public access off designated trails in all California state parks, including Rancho Cuyamaca, Anza Borrego Desert , Palomar, Mountain, and Torrey Pines State Beach locally among others. Deadline for comment is June 6th.  Learn how to make your voice heard by  clicking here. 

 Dear Sirs: Like millions of others I have been visiting California Parks and  natural treasures  MOST of my 75 year old life..  I have visited (with great pleasure) all of the National Parks and most of the state parks.  I hiked the Pacific Crest Trail from the Mexican Border to Warner Springs, from Humber Park to Taqhitz to the Tram and all of Golden Trout wilderness . Yosemite of course and Sequoia, Truckee to Hallelujah Junction, Ft. Bragg to Yreka, Channel Islands.  All of this takes some time--and now the government is going to forbid PEOPLE from using THEIR PARKS?  That is absolute tyranny.  How dare you?

U.S. FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE ANNOUNCES FINDINGS ON PETITIONS TO LIST SPECIES IN CALIFORNIA AND NEVADA

 

East County News Service

June 3, 2016  (Sacramento) -- The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has completed reviewing petitions to list nine species in California and Nevada under the Endangered Species Act and a petition to delist one species.  The Service determined the petitions to list the California spotted owl, Inyo Mountains salamander, Kern Plateau salamander, lesser slender salamander, limestone salamander, Panamint alligator lizard, Shasta salamander, southern rubber boa, and tricolored blackbird contained substantial information and warrant more in-depth review of these species’ conservation status.  The petition to delist the Stephens’ kangaroo rat, an endangered species, did not provide substantial information to indicate delisting is warranted.

CA PARKS WANTSTO BAN HIKING OR CLIMBING OFF TRAILS: JUNE 6 DEADLINE FOR COMMENT

 

 

 

 

 

East County News Service

June 3, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) -- The California Department of Parks and Recreation proposes prohibiting public access off designated trails.  The public has until June 6 to comment. California State Parks System Map  In San Diego County, that would include Rancho Cuyamaca and Anza Borrego Desert state parks.

The Anza Borrego Desert Foundation raises serious concerns about negative impacts to the public in their message below, which includes links to send your comments:

BILL TO BAN SMOKING AT STATE BEACHES AND PARKS PASSES STATE SENATE

 

By Miriam Raftery

June 1, 2016 (San Diego) -- Smoking or vaping at state beaches and parks, or disposing of tobacco products at these locations, may soon be illegal under Senate Bill 1333, a measure authored by Senator Marty Block, a San Diego Democrat.  The measure passed the State Senate by a 25 to 11 bipartisan vote this week and next heads to the Assembly.

COUNTY PARKS AND REC'S CITIZENS ADVISORY BOARD HAS VACANCY

 

East County News Service

May 30, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) -- County Service Area 26 Citizen Advisory Board is looking for members. This organization advises the County Department of Parks and Recreation about care, operations and maintenance, and the budget for same, of the parks in its jurisdiction, from Lonnie Brewer Park (next to Kaiser on Avocado BL) to Woodhaven Park in Cottonwood.

TRUMP SAYS HE WILL CANCEL PARIS CLIMATE AGREEMENT, CUT POLLUTION REGULATIONS TO BOOST USE OF OIL AND COAL

 

By Miriam Raftery

May 26, 2016 (San Diego) – Today after clinching the number of delegates needed for the Republican nomination, billionaire Donald Trump gave a speech at a petroleum industry conference in North Dakota.  There he told oil executives he would eliminate regulations on the fossil fuel industry and also weaken clean water protections, the Bismark Tribune reports.

“We’re going to cancel the Paris Climate agreement,” he said of the United Nations Accord signed by over 195 nations.

Promising “complete American energy independence” he vowed to roll back Obama administration limits on coal power plant emissions, global climate accord reached in Paris, approve the Keystone XL pipeline and rescind protection of waterways from industrial pollution. He has also called for an increase in fracking and has said he believes climate change is a hoax, despite 97% of climate scientists worldwide agreeing that climate change is real and caused by the burning of fossil fuels.

CLIFF SWALLOWS ALONG SAN DIEGO RIVER

 

By Wendy Sigler

Reprinted with permission from Lakeside’s River Park Conservancy

May 25, 2016 (Lakeside) --We've all heard of San Juan Capistrano's annual visitors, but do the swallows come back to San Diego as well? The answer is yes! Like their cousins from Capistrano, cliff swallows travel northward from South America each year to mate and nest. In doing so, they pass through our community and grace us with their chaotic, but beautiful nesting dance.

THE FUTURE OF CLIMATE CHANGE IN LA MESA: MAY 25

 

East County News Service

May 23, 2016 (La  Mesa) –Climate change has impacts on everything from water to transportation issues.   La Mesa Conversations invites you to a discussion on The Future of Climate Change in La Mesa.  The discussion will be moderated by San Diego Union-Tribune environmental reporter Joshua Emerson Smith.

Panelists will include Amber Albrecht, senior communications manager for SDG&E, Kerry Davis, vice president of sales and marketing for Terra Steward/Foshay Solar Energy, and Kayla Race, director of operations and programs for Climate Action Plan.

COUNTY PUTS PLANNING AND ENVIRONMENTAL DOCUMENTS ONLINE

 

East County News Service

May 21, 2016 (San Diego) – The County’s Planning and Development Services Department (PDS) invites citizens to visit its PDS document library, a new tool to provide convenient online public access to the Department’s digital records repository. Using the PDS Document Library’s simple online search interface, you can now find and review content ranging from Environmental Impact Reports to Use Permits without visiting County offices.  

NEW FILM EXPOSES SHELL OIL SPILL WORKERS AT SERIOUS RISK FOR CHEMICAL EXPOSURE

 

Image: Aerial over Shell Spill Monday, May 16, 2016. Miles of sheen before even a single skimmer boat is seen. Photo courtesy Dr. Ian MacDonald / Bonny Schumaker

East County News Service

May 21, 2016 (San Diego) -- Mark Manning, director of The Road to Fallujah, has been covering the BP Oil Spill for six years. Being immersed in the communities suffering severe health circumstances following that spill and the risky ‘clean-up’ operations using chemical dispersants prompted him to act on the current response to the Shell spill off the Louisiana coast last Thursday.

NEW WATER FILTRATION PRODUCT WOULD SAVE LIVES IN EMERGENCIES WITH SAFE WATER

 

 

East County News Service

 

May 19, 2016 (San Diego) -- Sagan Industries LLC, a San Diego manufacturer and distributor of consumer water filtration products, has launched its newest product, the Sagan AquaBrick™ Water Filtration System, the company announced.

 

“The AquaBrick is perfect for outdoor and recreational adventures, emergency preparedness and humanitarian aid,” “said Rick Muir, CEO, Sagan Industries. “We feel honored and privileged to play a part in maintaining the health of people everywhere.”

SAN DIEGANS JOINING "BREAK FREE FROM FOSSIL FUELS RALLY" IN LOS ANGELES - THEIR STORIES

 

 

By Norma-Jeanne Hennis

 

May 9, 2016 (Los Angeles) - On Saturday, May 14th, many San Diegans will head to Los Angeles along with thousands of other Californians to participate in a mass rally in downtown L.A. to Break Free from Fossil Fuels.

BIRD TALK: BIRD BRAINS

 

By Greg Dunne 

May 9, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) – Birdbrain? No, I’m not talking about my life-long friend Bud Morris and definitely not the Western Scrub Jay.  Make a mistake or do something considered stupid and you might be call a birdbrain by fellow humans. This phase could not be further from the truth. We have really missed the mark on judging and understanding the cognition of the bird kingdom. Memory, tool using, ability to learn, and communication are all skills used by most birds and are far above the rest of the animal kingdom with the exception of dolphins, whales, elephants and great apes.

EARTHTALK@: WHAT ARE THE BEST BUYS IN ELECTRIC AND PLUG-IN HYBRID CARS?

 

From the Editors of E - The Environmental Magazine

Photo: Tesla's sporty new all-electric Model 3 can go 215 miles per charge and will cost consumers less than $30k after federal tax rebates when it rolls off California production lines in 2017.

May 7, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) – Dear EarthTalk: I’m finally ready to make the switch from my old gas guzzler to an electric or plug-in hybrid car. What are the best bang-for-my-buck deals on these newfangled vehicles?

-- Mickey LaMonte, Boston, MA

DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY RESPONDS TO ISSA LETTER REQUESTING NUCLEAR STORAGE MEETING IN SAN ONOFRE

 

Agency will send senior official to SONGS meeting on June 22

East County News Service

May 7, 2016 (Washington D.C) -- Congressman Darrell lssa says he is pleased with the Department of Energy's response to a letter he sent earlier this month asking the Department of Energy to hold an additional meeting in Southern California to discuss options for the nation's plan to handle the long-term storage of nuclear waste.

Acknowledging Congressman Issa’s request, the Department of Energy has agreed to send the Acting Assistant Secretary for Nuclear Energy, John F. Kotek, to attend the next SONGS Community Engagement Panel meeting on June 22, where he will be seeking opinions and input from residents, elected officials and community leaders on this important issue. The Congressman encourages members of the public to attend.

KAMALA HARRIS DRAWS FIRE FOR MISSING KEY DEADLINE IN SAN ONOFRE INVESTIGATION

 

By Miriam Raftery

May 6, 2016 (San Diego) – California Attorney General Kamala Harris, who is running for the U.S. Senate, let the statute of limitations run out without filing charges over secret meetings in Poland between a Southern California Edison executive and then-president of the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC)  Michael Peevey.   The secret meeting appeared to be illegal and instrumental in formation of a deal that forced ratepayers to foot the bill for billions of dollars related to the San Onofre nuclear power plant settlement.

“What Kamala Harris is doing is like a copy who witnessed a bank heist and did nothing,” Charles Langley, public advocate at Public Watchdogs, told East County Magazine.

But Michael Shanes, San Diego Consumer Action Network, defended Harris' actions. In an e-mail to ECM, he wrote, "...there was no criminal activity and Harris did the obvious by declining to press charges."

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