By Miriam Raftery
September 5, 2011 (Washington D.C.) – The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), conservator for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, filed lawsuits September 2 against 17 financial institutions as well as key officers. The suits seek damages and civil penalties, also alleging fraud. The lawsuits allege that companies violated federal securities laws and common law in the sale of residential private-label mortgage-backed securities (PLS) to the Enterprises.
September 5, 2011 (San Diego) – Before you fire up that Labor Day barbecue, you’d better check the weather. The National Weather Service has predicted a chance of thunderstorms for San Diego’s mountains and deserts this afternoon and evening; thunder can be heard over portions of East County this afternoon. Muggy weather is due to monsoonal moisture from the southeast.
More rain and thunder is possible tomorrow, with a moderate potential for flash flooding in some areas.
September 5, 2011 (Lakeside) - A major accident has occurred at 12820 Wildcat Canyon Road, near Old Barona Road south of the Barona Casino in Lakeside. According to Incident Page Network, a vehicle struck a tree and there are major injuries, with a person trapped inside.
Two ambulances have ordered and a rescue is required. Firefighters are currently setting up flares in the roadway, so use caution if driving in this area.
San Vicente Dam is currently 220 feet tall and when completed, will be 117 feet taller, increasing the reservoir’s capacity from 90,000 acre-feet to 242,000 acre-feet.
originally published August 30, 2011 at GrokSurf's San Diego; reprinted with permission
Everything is going according to plan, though, and right on schedule.
Bill in Sacramento may save park from closure; public help sought
By Megan McGlamery
Miriam Raftery also contributed to this report
September 4, 2011 (San Diego)--Since their inception in 1864, Califonia’s state parks have served to enlighten citizens about nature, history and culture. Unfortunately, severe budget cuts have led to imminent closure of many of these beloved landmarks.
Located eight miles east of Escondido, the San Pasqual Battlefield State Historic Park is just one of many amazing pieces of living history slated to close forever next July, when 70 California state parks will be shut down.
Reprinted with permission from GrokSurf's San Diego
Update: Helix directors have voted to suspend the El Monte Valley Recharge project.
September 4, 2011 (Lakeside)--This Wednesday, September 7, the Helix Water District Board of Directors will consider a staff recommendation to suspend the El Monte Valley Project.
The project is a groundwater recharge and recovery operation that would generate 5,000 acre feet of water per year using an advanced recycled water purification process known to water professionals as Indirect Potable Reuse (IPR).
Residents voice outrage; public comment deadline Oct. 3
For East County Magazine
SAN DIEGO AUTHORITIES ISSUE BULLETIN WITH TIPS FOR SPOTTING POTENTIAL TERRORISTS AS 9/11 ANNIVERSARY APPROACHES
September 1, 2011 (San Diego)--The San Diego Police Department, San Diego Sheriff’s Department and the San Diego Field Division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation have issued the following joint intelligence bulletin:
The 10th anniversary of the tragic events of 9/11/2001 is upon us. 9/11 was the result of an al-Qa’ida terrorist attack on all citizens and residents of the United States. This bulletin is to bring awareness of the sensitivity of the anniversary and provide actionable steps that the community and law enforcement can take together to prevent further terrorists acts.
There are strong ties between the 9/11 heroes in New York and our own La Mesa Fire Department--forged in the fires of dual tragedies in both regions
September 1, 2011 (La Mesa)--The City of La Mesa will host a remembrance ceremony on the ten year anniversary of the tragic events of September 11, 2001. A memorial wreath will be placed at the 9/11 Memorial at Fire Station 12, 8844 Dallas Street.
September 1, 2011 (San Diego)--The San Diego Police Department Traffic Unit, along with members of the “Avoid” team, will be conducting DUI checkpoints on Saturday, September 3 at undisclosed locations within the city limits between the hours of 7:00 p.m. and 4:00 a.m.
September 1, 2011 (El Cajon) -- El Cajon Police Chief Pat Sprecco is happy to announce that Officer Jarred Slocum, critically injured during the shooting and fire incident on August 21st, at 1033 Prince Street, was well enough to be released from the hospital on Monday.
August 27, 2011 (Santa Ysabel) – Two motorcyclists sustained serious injuries this afternoon in an accident on Highway 79 at School House Canyon, Incident Page Network reports.
August 27, 2011 (San Diego) – A Ford Explorer traveling northbound on Aldine Drive struck a curb while merging onto Fairmont Avenue and rolled over several times, San Diego Police report.
A 4-year-old girl was ejected from the vehicle and transported to a local hospital for suturing of numerous lacerations; she was not in a car seat and was not wearing a seatbelt. A two-year-old in a booster seat was uninjured.
Update 2:15 p.m. - The fire is out, however some roads remain closed in the immediate vicinity.
August 27, 2011 (Ramona) 12:05 p.m. – A two-alarm fire is burning at the Craftstones company building at 505 Elm Street in Ramona. Incident Page Network reports chemical explosions have occurred and an evacuation of the area has just been ordered.
August 26, 2011 (San Diego’s East County) – The National Weather Service has issued a flood advisory today for mountain areas in San Diego County. Strong and persistent thunderstorms are occurring with heavy rainful just west of the Eagle Fire burn scar between Anza Borrego and Warner Springs.
August 26, 2011 (San Diego) 6:15 p.m. – Multiple agencies have received reports of a strong natural gas odor in coastal areas all the way from Imperial Beach in the South Bay to San Diego's North County, Incident Page Network reports. An investigation is underway to find the source.
August 26, 2011 (San Diego’s East County) – CalTrans announces a full closure of the southbound 125 connector to westbound Interstate 8 on Sunday morning from 3-10 a.m. Closure is needed to allow crews to safely perform repairs.
Update August 26: The vehicle is believed to be a 2006-2011 Volkswagen Passat wagon; it may have damage to left front bumper
August 25, 2011 (La Mesa)—La Mesa Police seek public help to locate a hit-and-run driver of a white minivan or sport utility vehicle, possibly a Volkwagen, with a luggage rack on top. The vehicle struck a toddler in the eastbound lanes of Fletcher Parkway near the Trolley Court intersection tonight at 7:49 p.m.
Potential for “catastrophic” damage; could impact 50 million Americans or more
Update August 26: Airlines and AMTRAK have begun cancelling flights and trains into the storm's path. President Barack Obama has issued the following statement: "If you are in the projected path of this hurricane, you have to take precautions now. All indications point to this being a historic hurricane."
August 25, 2011 (San Diego) – If you have plans to travel to airports in the eastern U.S., check with your airline or travel agent. The National Weather Service has issued a hurricane watch for portions of the eastern U.S. coast and warns that Hurricane Irene is the strongest storm to threaten the U. S. in decades.
August 25, 2011 (San Diego) -- Often the public is advised to report “suspicious activity,” but what exactly does that mean? A locally-produced video details the “Eight Signs of Terrorism” so that everyone can help law enforcement protect the region’s security.
“As the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks approaches, we are providing a resource for the public to remind them that every citizen can help prevent acts of terrorism,” said Chairman Bill Horn, Board of Supervisors.
By Miriam Raftery
August 24, 2011 (Iowa) – President Barack Obama has announced new initiatives recommended by the White House Rural Council for creating jobs in rural America and helping to grow the U.S. economy.
The new efforts include helping rural small businesses access capital, expanding rural job search and training services, and increasing rural residents’ access to health care workers and technology including broad-band Internet access.
August 24, 2011 (San Diego) – A bill making it easier for breweries to open tasting rooms has been signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown. AB 1014, authored by local Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher (R-San Diego) is expected to boost business for California’s growing craft brewing industry.
August 25, 2011 (San Diego)--Christopher Blakeley, 26, an off-duty San Diego Police Officer, was killed in a traffic collision last night at 9:41 p.m. He was riding his motorcycle in Palm City, SDPD reports.
Witnesses said the motorcycle was travelling westbound on Main Street at a high rate of speed and failed to stop for a red light at Hollister Street. The motorcycle collided with a pick-up truck, causing the truck to roll over. Passengers in the pick-up truck sustained minor injuries.
August 25, 2011 (San Diego’s East County) – If you receive a mailer offering to sell you a carbon monoxide detector in order to comply with a new state law, think twice.
“This is a scam currently going on in the Los Angeles area. It appears the mailing indicates if you don’t kick down $126 for a carbon monoxide detector, you’ll be fined,” warns Leonard Villareal, public information officer for San Miguel Fire Department.
August 26, 2011 (La Mesa)—An 18-year-old woman attempted suicide Wednesday by jumping off the Baltimore bridge and landing in lanes on Interstate 8.
“She is alive,” Lt. Bell with La Mesa Police informed East County Magazine yesterday. The patient remains hospitalized at Sharp Memorial, he added.
August 25, 2011 (San Diego) – Mike Kennedy of Encanto was among nine same-sex marriage advocates arrested last year on August 19, 2011. Kennedy and his partner had an appointment to be married at the County Clerk’s office downtown after a federal judge ruled Proposition 8 unconstitutional. But since the decision was being appealed, the County Clerk refused to marry same-sex couples. Kennedy and others who staged a peaceful sit-in protest were arrested.
Now the City is pressing charges—and Kennedy joined a group of protesters who staged a rally Friday asking that the charges be dropped. “I felt it important to take a stand because, as a gay man, I am subjected to many forms of discrimination all the time,” Kennedy told ECM in an exclusive interview.
Online vehicle shoppers are being victimized by fraudulent vehicle sales and false claims of vehicle protection (VPP) programs
August 24, 2011 (San Diego) – The San Diego FBI warns of a new scam in which criminals fraudulently attempt to sell vehicles that they do not own, duping online buyers. “Criminals create an attractive deal by advertising vehicles for sale at prices below book value,” a press release issued by the FBI today cautions. “Often the sellers purport they need to sell the vehicle because they are being moved for work or deployed for the military. Because of the alleged pending move, criminals refuse to meet in person or allow inspection of the vehicle, and they often attempt to rush the sale.”
To make the deal appear legitimate, the criminal instructs the victim to send full or partial payment to a third-party agent via a wire transfer payment service and to fax their payment receipt to the seller as proof of payment. The criminal pockets the payment but does not deliver the vehicle.
Update 9:55 a.m. - All lanes are now open, though traffic remains slow.
August 25, 2011 (La Mesa) 9:15 a.m. -- A SIG ALERT has been issued for I-8 westbound due to a multi-vehicle accident just west of Fletcher Parkway in La Mesa.
Multiple accidents have been dispatched and a rescue is required. Complicating the traffic snarl, with three lane closures, a second accident has just occurred involving a dump truck, also in the vicinity of I-8 at Fletcher Parkway.
STATE FIRE BOARD REDUCES FIRE PARCEL FEE, EXTENDS CREDITS TO HOMEOWNERS ALREADY PAYING LOCAL FIRE FEES
By Miriam Raftery
August 23, 2011 (San Diego’s East County) – Rural homeowners will pay a fire parcel fee of $90 at most, and in many cases considerably less. Statewide, the total annual fire parcel fee will average just $30 under emergency regulations approved yesterday by the California Board of Forestry and Fire Protection.
That’s substantially less than the $150 per parcel allowed under the state budget signed into law that was estimated to raise $50 million in fire parcel fees, raising new questions of how to stem the budget gap.