Green Scene

READER'S EDITORIAL: HIDING EVIDENCE OF THE MASSACRE

 

By Mark Duchamp, Save the Eagles International

Photo courtesy Ontario Wind Resistance


September 12, 2016 (San Diego's East County) - News of bird and bat deaths at wind farms have reduced to a trickle. Does that mean that a solution has been found? Yes, it has, but it's not what you think. Wind turbines are every year more numerous and the massacre they cause is ever increasing. What has changed is that the cover up is now effective at 100%, or just about.

The following news sheds light on the latest technique for making mortality data unavailable to the public (and the media):

TRIBAL BEAT: OBAMA ADMINISTRATION HALTS DAKOTA PIPELINE TEMPORARILY IN VICTORY FOR STANDING ROCK SIOUX

 

By Miriam Raftery

“Stand with Standing Rock” event set for Sept. 19 in San Diego; journalist Amy Goodman arrested for trespass after videotaping dog attacks on Native Americans

September 11, 2016 (Washington D.C.) – For members of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe and thousands of Native Americans who have joined in standing against the Dakota Access Pipeline, Friday brought bad news—and then good news.

BLM WITHDRAWS PLANS FOR SURGICAL STERILIZATION "RESEARCH" ON WILD HORSES FOLLOWING LAWSUIT BY FRONT RANGE EQUINE RESCUE

 

Nonprofit Horse Rescue Group Challenged Inhumane Experimental Surgery

East County News Service

Photo:  Wild mustangs, Bureau of Land Management

September 9, 2016 (Hines, OR) Front Range Equine Rescue (FRER), a national nonprofit working to end the abuse and neglect of horses through rescue, advocacy and education, announced today that, just six weeks after a lawsuit filed by FRER, the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Land Management has withdrawn its program to perform experimental sterilization of wild mares in Oregon. The BLM’s decision was formally vacated by the Interior Board of Land Appeals this morning.

FRER’s suit contended that the BLM’s intention to conduct surgical experiments on 225 wild horses, many in various stages of pregnancy, and potentially thousands more horses over time, causes harm and suffering in violation of federal law.

COUNTY RESPONDS TO CONCERNS OVER IMPACT ON BEES FROM SPRAYING TO CONTROL ZIKA VIRUS

 

By Miriam Raftery

September 8, 2016 (San Diego) – Spraying chemicals to kill Aedes mosquitoes that can transmit Zika virus is being done in communities across the nation where returning travelers have been diagnosed with Zika. But a report in South Carolina of massive bee kills from aerial spraying has raised concerns over how to protect bees from poisoning while also protecting public health from the dangerous Zika virus.

MICHAEL BECK SAYS HE WILL RECUSE HIMSELF FROM SAND MINE VOTE, DEFENDS HIS EFFORTS TO ASSURE RESTORATION OF EL MONTE VALLEY SITE AFTER MINING

 

By Miriam Raftery

September 4, 2016 (Lakeside) – County Planning Commissioner Michael Beck,founder of the Endangered Habitat League,former head of the Lakeside River Park Conservancy and current board member of theSan Diego River Park Foundation, has drawn sharp criticism from some Lakeside residents over his involvement with the El Monte Nature Preserve LLC that is proposing a sand mine in El Monte Valley.  One prominent activist has called for Beck to recuse himself from voting for conflict of interest reasons.

Now Beck, in an exclusive interview with East County Magazine, says he’s always planned to recuse himself from voting on the controversial project—and also defends his efforts to get the best long-term environmental restoration possible for a project he believes will likely be approved as an allowable use under current zoning. No one has asked that the zoning designation be changed, he notes.

EARTHTALK®: SMOKE WAVES FROM WILDFIRES ARE HAZARDOUS TO HEALTH

 

From the Editors of E - The Environmental Magazine

Photo: Smoke waves can radiate out for hundreds of miles from wildfires, spreading particulate matter and causing health problems for millions of Americans who think they are safe and far from the fire lines. Credit: Dave Thomas, Flickr CC.

September 2, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) -- Dear EarthTalk: What are “smoke waves” from wildfires and how can they be hazardous for our health? -- Doug Jenkins, Big Sandy, TX

STATE AND FEDS AGREE TO PROTECT THE SALTON SEA

 

Conservation groups call on the state of California to use new agreement as a launching point for on-the-ground projects

Source: Audobon Society press release

August 31, 2016 (Salton Sea) -- A coalition of conservation groups– Defenders of Wildlife, Audubon California, the Pacific Institute and Sierra Club -- today called on the State of California to use a new agreement with the Federal Government on the Salton Sea as a launching point for a renewed effort to get much-needed conservation projects started on the ground.

ARE YOUR OAK TREES DYING? FREE SEMINAR OCT. 1 IN JAMUL INCLUDES NEW FINDINGS TO SAVE OUR OAKS

 

East County News Service

August 30, 2016 (Jamul) — Oak boring beetles have killed thousands of oak trees across East County.  But now there is hope to save them. On October 1st, the Lyons Valley Trading Post (17608 Lyons Valley Road in Jamul) will host a free workshop under the oak trees. Experts from U.C. Berkeley, U.C. Riverside and Cal Fire will be on hand to share the latest information including treatments that can save your trees.

COMMUNITY CLEANUPS SET FOR CAMPO, BOULEVARD, JACUMBA AND POTRERO IN SEPT-NOV.

 

By Jan Hedlun

August 30, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) -- The Community Cleanup on Broken Bone Lane on August 27 was a wonderful success. Thank you to EDCO for providing the shipping containers for free. Thank you to The Real Estate Fire Safe Council who made this possible along with CERT and TEAME.

HELP THE ENVIRONMENT--BE GREEN! DISPOSE OF HOUSEHOLD CHEMICALS FREE ON SEPT. 17 IN POTRERO

 

 

 

August 25, 2016 (Potrero) --Residents in the  Potrero area /unincorporated San Diego East County are encouraged to use the County’s one-day household hazardous waste collection event Sept. 17 at the Old County Fire Station in Potrero.

Did you know?  Many products used in the home may be hazardous to people, pets or the environment and should not be thrown in the trash or dumped down the sewer or storm drains.  While it is always best to use up your household chemical products, the County of  San Diego’s Department of Environmental Health would like to notify you of a one-day collection event where residents living in the unincorporated county can bring their household chemicals for proper disposal or recycling—for free!

UNDERWATER HOMES: RISING SEAS COULD SUBMERGE HALF THE HOMES IN OVER 300 CITIES, ZILLOW PREDICTS

 

San Diego could lose 2,289 properties to rising seas

By Miriam Raftery

August 24, 2016 (San Diego) - Zillow, a leading national real estate company, has issued a new report about homes underwater. (See also http://www.zillow.com/research/climate-change-underwater-homes-12890/).

FREE ENTRANCE DAYS IN THE NATIONAL PARKS

 

By Miriam Raftery

August 23, 2016 (Washington D.C.) -- The National Park Service is celebrating its 100th birthday this year—and wants everyone to join the party. So they are giving away free entrance to all national parks on August 25th through 28th for the National Park Service’s birthday.

There will also be free admission again to all national parks on September 24th for National Public Lands Day and on Veterans Day, November 11th.

WATER AGENCIES RESPOND TO MERCURY CONCERNS IN RESERVOIRS: TESTS FOCUSED ON FISH

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

August 19,2016 (San Diego’s East County) – State and local water agency representatives have offered more information for the public following a recent report revealing that 150 reservoirs statewide are “mercury impaired,” including10 in San Diego County, as ECM reported

A key clarification is that the term “mercury impaired reservoirs” referred to testing of fish in those waters,  not testing of water for drinking.  Drinking water can test with no detectable mercury levels, yet still have high, unsafe concentrations of mercury in fish, particularly larger fish that have consumed smaller fish.  This problem raises a new issue: the need for new testing methods to detect low levels of mercury that while not unsafe in drinking water,  can result in unsafe levels in fish living in those waters.

WHERE ARE THE WEASELS? COUNTY RESPONDS TO QUESTIONS OVER GOPHER POISONS AT LINDO LAKE

 

By Miriam Raftery

August 18, 2016 (Lakeside) – Weasel-watching has been a popular pastime for photographers at Lindo Lake Park. But after the County applied poison to kill gophers, a reader of ours raised questions over what impact that could have on weasels, which have not been popping up in the area lately.

EARTHTALK®: HELPING SCHOOLS GO SOLAR

 

From the Editors of E - The Environmental Magazine

August 12, 2016 (San Diego) -- Dear EarthTalk: I am interested in helping my school get solar panels on the roof to show students how we can be part of the solution to the climate crisis. Are there any resources or grants out there to help schools go solar? --
Charles Hamilton, Warren, OH

INTERIOR ANNOUNCES FASTEST SUCCESSFUL RECOVERY OF AN ENDANGERED SPECIES ACT-LISTED MAMMAL; THREE ISLAND FOX SUBSPECIES IN CALIFORNIA NO LONGER ENDANGERED

 

Obama Administration now oversees more de-listings than all other Administrations combined

Photo:  Photos for media use available at flickr.com

August 12, 2016 (Washington D.C.) -- Representing the fastest successful recovery for any Endangered Species Act (ESA)-listed mammal in the United States, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) today announced the final de-listing of three subspecies of island fox native to California’s Channel Islands. The removal of the San Miguel, Santa Rosa and Santa Cruz Island fox subspecies from the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife brings the total number of ESA de-listings due to recovery to 37, with 19 of those overseen by the Obama administration. In the Act’s 43-year history, more recoveries have been declared under the current Administration’s watch than all past Administrations combined.

HIGH MERCURY LEVELS FOUND IN MANY LOCAL LAKES AND RESERVOIRS

 

Update:   Helix Water says Lake Jennings drinking water tests clean, issue is with fish tissue; state clarifies problem is with fish tissue, not necessarily water for drinking

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

August 6, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) – State officials are warning that 150 reservoirs statewide are tainted by mercury. Ten San Diego reservoirs are contaminated, including some of East County’s most popular fishing spots.  “Mercury is negatively impacting the beneficial uses of many waters of the state by making fish unsafe for human and wildlife consumption,” the State Water Resources Control Board website warns.

However some local officials dispute those findings.

 

What lakes locally have mercury issues,accordingto the state?

Local reservoirs listed as "mercury impaired" on the state's document are El Capitan Reservoir, Lake Henshaw, Lake Hodges, Lake Jennings, Loveland Reservoir, Lower Otay Reservoir, Lake Morena Reservoir, San Vicente Reservoir, Lake Sutherland, and Sweetwater Reservoir, according to a California Water Boards publication released in June.

GROUNDWATER REPORT, TULE WIND LAWSUITS AND SDG&E PLAN TO BOOST CAPACITY ON SOUTHWEST POWERLINK ARE ON BOULEVARD PLANNERS’ AGENDA THURSDAY, AUG. 7

 

By Miriam Raftery

August 1, 2016 (Boulevard) -- On Thursday, August 4 at 7 p.m. the Boulevard Community Planning Group will meet at the Boulevard Fire Training Room.  View full agenda.

LAKESIDE PLANNERS TO HEAR SANDAG PRESENTATION ON TRANSPORTATION MEASURE, HOLD OPEN HOUSE ON UPCOMING PROJECTS WEDNESDAY

 

East County News Service

August 1, 2016 (Lakeside) - The Lakeside Community Planning group meetings Wednesday, August 3 in the Lakeside Community Center at 9841 Vine St., Lakeside.  The formal meeting starts at 6:30, however at 6 p.m., a public viewing of plans for current and upcoming projects will be available for the public.

LA MESA TO HOLD SPECIAL MEETING AUG. 3 ON COMMUNITY CHOICE ENERGY PROGRAM; ALTERNATIVE TO SDG&E

 

East County News Service

July 28, 2016 (La Mesa) – Should La Mesa give its residents an option to purchase power through a  community choice energy program (also known as community choice aggregation) instead of from SDG&E?

SEVERAL COUNTY PARKS BEGIN ANNUAL AUGUST CLOSURE

 

July 31, 2016 (San Diego) - County Parks and Recreation will close four parks in August, a precaution taken each year due to the month’s expected extreme heat.

El Capitan Preserve near Lakeside, Mt. Gower Preserve near Ramona, Hellhole Canyon Preserve in Valley Center and Wilderness Gardens in Pala are closed Aug. 1 through Aug. 31. In addition, Agua Caliente Regional Park near Julian is closed all summer; it will reopen Labor Day weekend.

ENVIRONMENTAL GROUP URGES LA MESA RESIDENTS TO ATTEND MEETINGS ON CITY’S CLIMATE ACTION PLAN AUG. 15 AND SEPT. 19

 

Public input also sought Aug. 3 on community choice alternative for electric power

East County News Service

July 30, 2016 (La Mesa)—The City of La Mesa seeks public input on its draft Climate Action Plan.  Two public meetings are planned with the City’s Enviornmental Sustainability Commission at City Hall (8130 Allison Ave.) at 7 p.m. on August 16 and September 19. 

“These are great opportunities for you and your neighbors to help shape the Plan that will guide the City of La Mesa to a clean energy future over the next 20 years,”says Angela Deegan at San Diego 350.org,a nonprofit environmental group dedicated to stopping climate change…If you live in La Mesa, we need you to help provide input to ensure La Mesa adopts a strong, enforceable Climate Action Plan which includes a goal of 100% clean energy and which incentivizes renewable energy and local green jobs.”

WATER CONSERVATION GARDEN HOSTS FREE CUSTOMER APPRECIATON DAY JULY 31 FOR HELIX WATER AND SWEETWATER AUTHORITY RATEPAYERS

East County News Service

July 27, 2016 (Rancho San Diego) – The Water Conservation Garden at Cuyamaca College will host a free Customer Appreciation Day for Helix Water and Sweetwater Authority customers on Sunday, July 31 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Discover different varieties of drought-tolerant plants, learn how to "Toss the Turf" and get inspiration on how to incorporate water-wise gardening into your own garden. Plus you can enjoy free activities including docent-led garden tours, tips on butterfly gardening, veggie growing,soils and native habitat, meet Ms. Smarty-Plants, watch a butterfly release, savor free shaved ice, and get discounts on gift shop items.  See full schedule of events below.

PETITION LAUNCHED TO SAVE EAST COUNTY LAKES--AND PROTECT LIVES DURING WILDFIRES

 

By Miriam Raftery

July 26, 2016 (Lake Morena) – An online petition has been launched asking the City of San Diego to stop draining Lake Morena and Barrett Lake. Rural residents seek help from San Diego residents and all who are concerned about wildlife or the prospect of a devastating firestorm to sign the petition.

The petition, posted by Campo resident Karen Noblitt-McIntyre, accuses San Diego officials of ignoring public safety, noting that two residents died during the recent Border Fire. Firefighting aircraft were diverted to water sources farther away due to lack of water in these lakes, witnesses stated in recent public meetings.

The petition states that the city has put wildlife and rural communities at risk, also failing to live up to its promise to repair the dam at Lake Morena. The city drained Lake Morena to less than 3% of capacity and Barrett Lake to below 6% of capacity, public records indicate.  Although San Diego claimed it needed drinking water during the drought, the city did not ask its residents to conserve water before draining East County’s lakes.  The water was pumped to Otay reservoir, which overfilled when rain fell, so the city dumped the precious water supply into the ocean.

CALIFORNIA AIR RESOURCES BOARD CONSIDERS NEW RULES ON OIL, GAS WELL SAFETY

 

Regulators seek to prevent another disaster like Aliso Canyon gas leak

By Suzanne Potter, California News Service

July 25, 2016 (Sacramento) -- Regulators with the California Air Resources Board (ARB) at a hearing on Thursday removed a major loophole from proposed new rules on oil and natural gas facilities, in an effort to prevent another disaster like the massive gas leak at Aliso Canyon last fall. The proposed rules require more inspections of all surface facilities, existing and new, including those offshore.

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:

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