News

I-10 BRIDGE COLLAPSES IN DESERT: MAIN ROUTE FROM CALIFORNIA TO ARIZONA

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photos and video courtesy of Cal Fire

July 19, 2015 (Palm Springs)—Heavy rains washed out a bridge east of Palm Springs at Adair (four miles west of Desert Center) late today and caused it to collapse. The dramatic failure forced closure of I-10 in both directions and injured a motorist who plunged into the abyss.  CHP reports that 30 feet of the I-10 freeway washed away—the major route from Riverside and Los Angeles counties into Arizona.

Motorists have been stuck in traffic for hours and motels quickly filled up, local TV stations report.  There is no quick alternative; drivers have been diverted several hours out of their way to I-8 in the southern part of the state, or to another major highway farther north.

ROADWAY HAZARDS REPORTED FROM STORM

Update: 10 News reports cars underwater in Ramona.

Update: Heartland Fire also reports flooding in La Mesa on Avocado between 70th St. and Guava.

The City of La Mesa has cancelled its Sundays at Six concert tonight due to flooding around Harry Griffen Park.

July 19, 2015 (San Diego’s East County) – The CHP incidents page reports numerous roadway hazards related to the stormy weather, including some rockin' and rollin' mud, rocks and flooding. Here are the latest details:

  • State Route 79 at Chihuahua Valley: Sig Alert issued, roadway shut down
  • I-8 east, old Sunrise Highway: large rocks down in lanes
  • Highway 79 at Horizon View Drive: Rock slides blocking lanes
  • State Route 78 at Wynola:  Mud and rockslide blocking one side of highway
  • Old Julian Highway just west of Camel Dairy: road blocked both ways by rocks
  • I-15 south connection to Highway 52: rider down in lane
  • Ramona View Dr. in El Cajon: roadway completely washed out

FLASH FLOOD WARNING AND WATCH NOW IN EFFECT

 

 

East County Alert

July 19, 2015 (San Diego’s East County) – The National Weather Service has issued a flash flood warning due to imminent threat of flooding in certain mountain areas, where residents are urged to move to high ground.

There is also a flash flood watch in effect for all San Diego County valleys, deserts and mountain areas, including places where debris flows are possible.  Below are full texts of both alerts:

FUNDS STILL NEEDED FOR ZELDIN AND FAMILY

 

Donate a van or repairs and East County Magazine will give your business a free ad on our site

East County News Service

July 19, 2015 (Rancho San Diego)—Last week we told you about a foster care family in need here in East County.  (See our story). Debra Zeldin’s van was stolen and crashed by the thieves, and her insurance won’t cover the repairs.  She’s helped over 60 foster kids including Russell, a 6-year-old who had a kidney transplant recently but “is still wheelchair bound with a tracheotomy. He is blind and developmentally delayed.  See this Voices of Children video about his inspiring story:  https://vimeo.com/76706300 .

Despite fundraising efforts the Zeldin family is still far short of what’s needed to repair or replace their damaged van. 

RECORD RAINFALL DRENCHES COUNTY, BREAKS CENTURY-OLD RECORD

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo by Robert Gehr (c) 2015

July 19, 2015 (San Diego) – Saturday’s deluge, remnants of a hurricane off the Baja coast, set a new record rainfall for the month of July in San Diego and many other local cities, Alex Tardy, Meteorologist Manager at the National Weather Service, San Diego reports.  At Lindbergh Field airport, 1.03 inches of rain has fallen so far this month, topping the old record of 0.92 inches set back in July 1902.

Anza-Borrego Desert State Park got 1.16 inches and Ramona’s airport got a full inch. Campo received .99, while Alpine and El Cajon measured .95 inches on Saturday, putting all of these communities above normal for the whole month of July.

The downpour forced cancellation of some events, such as Concert at the Lakes in Santee.

FLASH FLOOD WATCH: MOUNTAINS AND DESERTS

 

East County News Service

July 18, 2015 (San Diego’s East County) – The National Weather Service has issued a flash flood watch for the mountains and deserts through Sunday evening. Heavy rain is now falling across much of East County, with thunder and lightning reporting in La Mesa, El Cajon, mountain areas and other locations.

Moisture from Hurricane Dolores will continue to spread northward into Southern California today and Sunday, bringing thunderstorms and locally  heavy rainfall.

WATER WELL DATA NOW AVAILABLE TO THE PUBLIC

 

East County New Service

July 17, 2015 (San Diego’s East County) – Want to know data on water well locations, levels, pumping rates and more?  Until now, this info was not available to the public. But now thanks to passage of Senate Bill 83, the reports are available by request through a Well Completion Report Request Form at the California Department of Water Resources at this site: http://www.water.ca.gov/groundwater/wells/well_completion_reports.cfm.

SHAREHOLDERS REVOLT IN PINE VALLEY’S WATER DISTRICT

 

Update: Hear a podcast of our radio story on this (originally aired on KNSJ) with audio clips from the Pine Valley Mutual Water Co. Shareholders meeting here:

http://k003.kiwi6.com/hotlink/snd5v902dn/PineValleyShareholdersStory.mp3

By Miriam Raftery

Photos by Bob Ames Smith: Pine Valley Creek, several years ago and now, after 4 years of drought

 

July 15, 2015 (Pine Valley) –With water running short across the state, tensions are building where local water districts are being asked to share precious water supplies with neighboring districts and developers.

Directors of the Pine Valley Mutual Water Company found themselves in hot water with shareholders, who staged a revolt over their board’s decision to sell up to 5 million gallons of water to the newly formed Rough Acres Water Company in Boulevard.  Rough Acres Ranch wants to build an industrial scale solar facility on its property that needs massive amounts of water—and Boulevard doesn’t have enough.  

But when Pine Valley shareholders—the residents who rely on water from Pine Valley wells – found out about the secret sale, tempers at the latest shareholder meeting reached the boiling point, as a tape provided to East County Magazine by Charlene Ayers, leader of the Ranter’s Roost online discussion group on land use issues locally, makes clear.

EL CAJON COUNCIL APPROVES SHIFT TO DISTRICT ELECTIONS

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

July 16, 2015 (El Cajon) – El Cajon currently holds at-large elections where everyone in the city votes for all five Council races.  But on Tuesday, the City Council voted 5-0 to have staff move forward with implementing a shift to individual districts each electing its own representative.  The concept of districts aspires to provide greater representation for minorities to elect representatives reflective of their neighborhoods' concerns.

EL CAJON AIMS TO ADD HAMPTON INN AS A SECOND FOUR-STAR HOTEL

 

By Miriam Raftery

July 16, 2015 (El Cajon ) – El Cajon’s City Council voted Tuesday to move forward on plans to build a Hampton Inn with upscale restaurants on the site of the former police station on Fletcher Parkway near North Magnolia Avenue.  The action comes after last month’s approval to bring a Marriott Hotel to town.

“Revitalization of El Cajon has a snowball effect,” Councilman Gary Kendrick told East County Magazine. Since approval of the Marriott deal, he says, “our phone has been ringing off the hook from investors because they know  that Marriott does their homework.”

JUDGE RULES FOR SAN DIEGO COUNTY WATER AUTHORITY IN RATE CASE AGAINST MWD

 

 

Source: MWD

July 16, 2015 (San Diego)--A San Francisco Superior Court judge ruled in a tentative decision on July 15 that he would require the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California to pay the San Diego County Water Authority $188.3 million plus interest for illegal water rates MWD charged from 2011 to 2014.

HELIX WATER BOARD VOTES DOWN PROPOSED CIVIL PENALTIES FOR HIGH WATER USE

 

East County Magazine

July 16, 2015 (La Mesa) – Helix Water District’s Board on Wednesday voted down a staff/legal recommendation for a tough new emergency drought action plan resolution that would have imposed a “civil volumetric penalty” for every unit of water over 30 used by residential customers.

CITIZENS' OVERSIGHT FILES MOTION TO HAVE SAN ONOFRE CPUC JUDGE DARLING REMOVED

 

Darling named in felony search warrants, initiated phone calls with SCE executives, now defends new CPUC President Picker from oversight committee requests

By Miriam Raftery

July 16, 2015 (San Diego) – Citizens' Oversight filed legal documents on July 14th with the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), making the case for reassignment of Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) Melanie Darling from the sanctions phase of proceedings on the San Onofre Nuclear plant.  The July 14 motion would remove Darling from hearing the investigation into sanctions for violations of ex parte rules during the San Onofre proceeding--an action which could have substantial impacts for ratepayers statewide..

FORECAST OF STRONG EL NINO COULD MEAN A WET CALIFORNIA WINTER

 

Reprinted with permission from Times of San Diego

By Chris Jennewein

NOAA ocean measurements for July 1 show El Nino pattern off South America

July 12, 2015 (San Diego)--An El Niño ocean-warming cycle is strengthening in the Pacific and could produce a wet winter for drought-stricken Southern California.

COUNTY COMMUNITY ENHANCEMENT GRANT RECIPIENTS ANNOUNCED IN DIANNE JACOB'S DISTRICT

 

By Miriam Raftery

July 13, 2015 (San Diego’s East County) – The County has announced the recipients of $833,000 in community enhancement grants awarded in District 2, represented by Supervisor Dianne Jacob, who recommended the awards.

PRESIDENT CALLS FOR GLOBAL RESPONSE TO DEFEAT ISIL

 

Arabo supports action, but criticizes effort as coming too late

East County News Service

Photo: Department of Defense, by Glenn Fawcett

July 13, 2015 (Washington D.C.) –President Barack Obama discussed his strategy to degrade and destroy the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS) in a July 6th meeting with civilian and military leaders of his national security team at the Pentagon. Afterwards he spoke with press.

MOUNTAIN LION AT MISSION TRAILS SURPRISES HIKER

By Miriam Raftery

file photo: Calif. Dept. Fish & Game

July 13, 2015 (San Diego) – A mountain lion apparently protecting her cubs startled a pair of hikers Thursday night at Mission Trails Regional Park.

Mike Smith told ECM news partner 10 News that he was wearing a head lamp on the trail when he spotted a reflection and then heard a sound like “kittens, kind of like a meowing, but loud.”

He and his friend walked toward their car, when they saw eyes  staring at them. Next, a full-grown mountain lion walked out of the bushes and across the road less than 30 feet from the hikers, before heading up to high ground.

SALMONELLA OUTBREAKS IN 40 STATES LINKED TO BACKYARD POULTRY

 

CDC warns against snuggling chickens or ducks, bringing poultry inside home

Photo credit: USDA FlickR.com, Creative Commons image by Alice Popkorn

July 10, 2015 (San Diego’s East County) – Across the nation, people have flocked to owning backyard chickens and other poultry.  But now the Centers for Disease Control  has issued a warning not to cozy up to your backyard birds.  That’s because four separate Salmonella outbreaks linked to backyard flocks have sickened 181 people in 40 states, including several cases  in California.

In  one outbreak, CDC conducted interviews and found that 86% of the ill people had conducted with chiceks, chickens, ducks or ducklings before falling ill. Moreover, the CDC reports, “Many ill people in these outbreaks reported bringing the live poultry into their homes, and others reported kissing or cuddling with the live poultry. These behaviors increase a person’s risk of a Salmonella infection.”

Who knew that chicken snuggling was so popular?

RATTLESNAKE SEASON IS HERE!

 

Safety tips for you and your pet

By Carl Person and Karen Singleton

Photo: California Fish & Game Dept.

July 9, 2015 (San Diego’s East County) --With the arrival of warm weather, we love to be outdoors and take our pets with us to explore and enjoy the beauties of nature. Trails and parks abound in southern California and offer a wide array of different habitats, from low deserts to high Alpine pine forests. Daily, people and their pet companions converge on these sites by the droves. The exhilaration of being in these pristine outdoor environments often makes us forget that, within these treasured getaways, there is a potential for disaster.

RAILWAY PLANS MOVE FORWARD FOR A BINATIONAL RAILROAD IN EAST COUNTY

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo by Miriam Raftery: Trestle over Carrizo Gorge

July 8, 2015 (Campo) – Plans to revive the long-closed Desert Line freight railway from Campo to Imperial County appeared to be in danger of derailing after the Pacific Imperial Railroad fell behind in payments to the Metropolitan Transit System. But now the company has made its latest  half-million dollar payment to the Metropolitan Transit, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports.The 99-year-lease requires two such payments annually.

ACTIVISTS ASK SANTEE COUNCIL TO BAN PUPPY MILL PETS

 

By Miriam Raftery

July 9, 2015 (Santee) – At last night’s Santee City Council meeting, 24 people came to show support for asking that dogs from puppy  mills be outlawed for sale in Santee.   The group is waiting to see if Council will agree to add the item to its agenda.

Sydney Cicourel, west coast director for The Puppy Mill Project, told Council members that her organization has gathered 3,000 signatures on a petition in support of the ban.  The group has been protesting at Pups and Pets, a Santee store that Cicourel says purchases dogs in from puppy mills where the animals are kept in “deplorable” conditions that are unsafe and unsanitary, often in stacked wire cages.

TOXIC WATER HURTS RURAL POOR AMID DROUGHT

 

By Miriam Raftery

July 8, 2015 (San Diego’s East County)--As water supplies grow scarcer in California’s fourth year of drought, residents in impoverished rural towns are facing a new threat.  Groundwater pumped to record low levels means higher concentrations of arsenic are being found in drinking water in many areas.

RATE SHOCKER: UTILITY BILLS TO RISE FOR MANY SAN DIEGANS

 

East County News Service

July 7, 2015 (San Diego’s East County) – Warning: Your future utility bills may provide a shock.

Electric utility bills will soon be going up for most San Diegans, though some heavy energy users’ bills will go down.   Instead of four tiers for energy use and payments, there will now be just two.  Not only will low energy users and low-income people be paying more,  they will also be charged more for energy use during peak periods such as mid-afternoon. Those hikes come despite the fact that San Diego already has among the highest electricity rates in the United States.

FIREWORKS DAMAGES ASSESSED

 

By Miriam Raftery

July 7, 2015 (San Diego’s East County) - Last week, we reminded you that fireworks are illegal in San Diego County and cautioned you about the dangers.  Today we have some stories that make clear why shooting off your own fireworks is not a good idea. Fireworks caused fires locally and statewide including a major brush fire, as well as some serious injuries.

MARITIME MUSEUM BANS GOLDEN RULE FROM DOCKING: SHIP MADE FAMOUS FOR ITS ROLE IN BANNING NUCLEAR WEAPONS TESTING

 

East County News Service

July 7, 2015 (San Diego’s East County) - Dave Patterson, a Ramona resident and member of Veterans for Peace, has brought a fascinating story to our attention. The San Diego Maritime Museum has refused to allow Veterans for Peace to dock its ship, the Golden Rule, at the museum of maritime history. The ban is due to political reasons and a claim that the ship is not historic—despite the vessel’s success in helping bring about a ban on nuclear testing and inspiring generations of activism among peace and environmental groups through the daring actions of the Golden Rule’s crew on the high seas.

FIREWORKS ARE OVER, BUT ROVER'S NOT HOME YET

 

 

These dogs are among dozens waiting for their owners at County animal shelters after fireworks Saturday night

July 6, 2015 (San Diego)– The Fourth of July celebration is over, but dozens of dogs who ran away over the weekend were still waiting at the County’s three animal shelters Monday for their owners.

Pages