March 17, 2014 (San Diego's East County) - General Motors has announced recalls of numerous vehicles due to serious safety issues including brake, ignition, and most recently, airbag problems.
Flawed Water Supply Plan for Electric Substations Results in Request to Revoke Planned Projects
By Sharon Penny; photo by Wayne Brammer
March 16, 2014 (San Diego’s East County)--During one of the worst droughts in San Diego County history, a backcountry group has filed a complaint against San Diego Gas and Electric (SDG&E) regarding its flawed water supply plan for construction of its ECO Substation (photo, left), Boulevard Substation, and 14 miles of new 138KV line.
Backcountry Against Dumps (BAD), a nonprofit organization dedicated to defending groundwater-dependent communities from environmentally unsafe facilities and projects, is seeking an order against SDG&E, contending that the company violated a mitigation measure (MM HYD-3) that would directly impact eastern San Diego’s already strained water supplies. The complaint was filed with the California Public Utilities Commission (CUPC) and asks the CPUC to rescind SDG&E’s water supply plan and permit to construction the ECO substation project, among other actions.
County News Service
March 15, 2014 (San Diego)--Since Jan. 1, DAS has received 78 calls from the community. Last year, only 24 calls came in during that time frame.
“Our very mild winter and several heat spells are drawing the rattlesnakes out of their dens a little earlier this year,” said DAS Director Dawn Danielson.
March 16, 2014 (Barona) – Graciela Bustos, 53, of Ramona died at a local hospital of injuries sustained earlier in the evening on March 15 in a head-on collision. The crash occurred at 6:37 p.m. on Wildcat Canyon Road on the Barona reservation.
The vehicle that swerved over the center line and caused the deadly crash was reportedly driven by a Barona tribal enforcement officer who was on duty at the time, a Cal Fire official told the Ramona Sentinel. Bustos was a passenger and was wearing a seatbelt, the Medical Examiner reports. The driver of the vehicle carrying Bustos was seriously injured, sustaining injuries to his face, arm, leg and hip, according to the Ramona Sentinel.
By Miriam Raftery
March 16, 2014 (California)--A new report reveals that the risk of earthquakes in California is being dramatically increased by oil companies injecting billions of gallons of wastewater from fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, into disposal wells near active faults near major cities. “Millions of Californians live in areas at risk for induced earthquakes,” the report concludes.
The report, titled “On Shaky Ground,” was prepared by Earthworks, the Center for Biological Diversity, and Clean Water Action. It found that 54% of our state’s 1,553 injection wells are within 10 miles of a recently active fault, 23% are within five miles and 6% are within just one mile.
Numerous earthquakes across the country have been linked to fracking by scientists, including temblors as high as 5.7 on the Richter scale, the report details. Fracking quakes are common in areas such as Oklahoma and Texas, producing quakes higher than ever seen in some places.
By Miriam Raftery
March 16, 2014 (San Diego’s East County) – “My wife, Robyn, died when she fell asleep while driving on April 6, 1999 in Texas,” retired California Highway Patrol Officer Phil Konstantin recalls. “She was driving back to San Diego from Florida, where she had just picked up a car from her mother.”
Since then, Konstantin has championed the cause of warning others about the dangers of driving drowsy. In 2005, the California Legislature proclaimed April 6th—the date Robyn Konstantin died –as Drowsy Driver Awareness Day.
On Monday, March 17, Konstantin will be a guest on the East County Magazine Radio Show. Tune in at 5 p.m. on KNSJ 89.1 FM.
“I have always found it to be ironic that one of my duties as a California Highway Patrol officer was to inform the public of the dangers of driving while drowsy. Yet, this is how my own wife died,” Konstantin says. “She was an excellent driver. This just proves it can happen to anyone.” Ironically, she drove past a freeway rest area just moments before her crash, he added. You can learn more at his website: http://drowsydriverawarenessday.com and by scrolling down in this article.
By Miriam Raftery
March 15, 2014 (El Cajon) – By a 4-1 vote, El Cajon’s City Council voted to add electronic cigarettes to the city’s tobacco ordinance. The measure will also regulate hookahs. Only Mayor Bill Wells voted against the measure, calling it “government overreach.”
The proposed regulations will next go before the city’s planning commission, after which the Council will hold a public hearing.
March 12, 2014 (Spring Valley) – A Spring Valley teen who was hit and killed by a vehicle while crossing an intersection at La Presa Avenue and Jamacha Boulevard has been identified as Samual Garcia-Acedo, 15.
March 13, 2014 (Alpine) – A young woman driving a Jeep Cherokee at a high rate of speed lost control when she braked and swerved to avoid a slow-moving vehicle on I-8 west of Tavern Road in Alpine last night at 5:20 p.m., California Highway Patrol reports. The Jeep plunged down an embankment, trapping her inside. She died at the scene.
March 12, 2014 (La Mesa) – The Medical Examiner has identified John Mathew Hajosy, 28, of La Mesa as the driver killed by a wrong-way driver on State Route 94 shortly after 2 a.m. on February 23.
Opponents say change was made without public input
By Miriam Raftery
March 13, 2014 (San Francisco)--Today, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) voted unanimously on its plan to replace power from the shut-down San Onofre Nuclear Generating System. The plan will require Southern California Edison and San Diego Gas & Electric to incorporate clean energy to replace the San Onofre system. But environmentalistssay that last minute changes in the final decision raise the odds that utilities will build gas plants instead of local, renewable energy sources.
According to the California Air Resources Board, greenhouse gas emissions rose in 2012 for the first time since 2008 because of increased reliance on gas plants after San Onofre closed.
Public Service Announcement: San Diego County
March 13, 2014 (San Diego)--The County of San Diego needs your help in identifying potential storm water quality improvement projects. Recently adopted regulations require that the County identify and pursue a variety of on-the-ground projects to improve regional storm water quality. The first step in this process is to assess and locate potential projects that could be implemented.
Project types that may be considered include, but are not necessarily limited to, the following categories:
- Stream or riparian area rehabilitation
- Retrofitting existing infrastructure (Green Streets, Low Impact Development, Treatment);
- Regional BMP’s (best management practices for stormwater treatment basins);
- Groundwater recharge projects (infiltration basins);
- Water supply augmentation projects (large cisterns); and
- Land purchases to preserve floodplain functions.
Project suggestions will be accepted until March 28, 2014. Scroll down for details.
Photos: Supervisors Dave Roberts, left, coauthor of the measure, and Bill Horn who voted against the regulations.
By Nadin Abbott
March 11, 2014 (San Diego) –Citing health concerns, Supervisors today voted 3-1 to regulate electronic cigarettes and vaping devices. In addition, a proposal to ban these devices in all County buildings will be brought before the Council in May. Supervisor Bill Horn voted against the measure and Supervisor Ron Roberts was absent.
By Nadin Abbott
March 11, 2014 (San Diego) – Following an East County Magazine investigation that found a disparity in distribution of veterans’ services countywide, today the Board of Supervisors voted to expand veterans’ services from the current locations in urban areas to also include County libraries-- starting with Ramona, El Cajon, Pine Valley and Julian. Volunteers who are veterans themselves will staff these services.
Supervisor Dianne Jacob introduced the proposal, emphasizing that many of the veterans who reside in rural areas of the County “cannot access the nine current locations.” So this expansion was needed.
March 11, 2014 (El Cajon )- - Bernardo Teran, 49, owner of a tree trimming company, was killed February 26 while he and his sons, along with two employees, were removing a date palm tree from the yard of a home at 1586 Falda Del Cerro in El Cajon.
March 12, 2014 (Ramona) – A kayaker found drowned at Lake Sutherland on March 1 has been identified as Leonard Kevin Jones, 57, a widower. According to the Medical Examiner, dilated cardiomyopathy contributed to his death.
By Miriam Raftery
March 11, 2014 (La Mesa) – Helix Water District will hold a special meeting with the Lake Jennings Campground Committee and Board of Directors on Wednesday, March 12 at 5:30 p.m. at the District headquarters, 7811 University Avenue in La Mesa.
The meeting will include a PowerPoint presentation and discussion regarding activities, marketing, and suggested maintenance at the Lake Jennings campground. The Board has previously indicated closure of the campgrounds is likely if additional funding sources are not found.
By Miriam Raftery
March 11, 2014 (Campo) – Why did the County offer sandbags at multiple locations in the recent storm, but none east of Alpine? Campo resident Claudia Millerbragg indicated that at least four other people in her community wanted sandbags to protect their properties, but could not access them.
East County Magazine contacted Supervisor Dianne Jacob’s office and in turn, we received a response from Sasra Agahi, a senior civil engineer in the flood control division of County Public Works, who indicated that as a result of our inquiry, sandbags should be available in Campo in time for a storm due next week.
LOCAL GOVERNMENT REPORT: VET SERVICES, E-CIGARETTES & PARK EXPANSIONS AMONG ISSUES ON AGENDA THIS WEEK
By Miriam Raftery
March 9, 2014 (San Diego’s East County) -- Supervisor Dianne Jacob’s proposal to bring veterans’ services to several County libraries in rural areas. Will be on the agenda for San Diego Supervisors on Tuesday. Jacob introduced the measure following an East County Magazine investigation which found there are no County veterans services in rural areas of East County, or anywhere east of La Mesa.
March 8, 2014 (San Diego)--They are the first line of public safety. They answer calls from people during the worst moments of their lives. They give up family time, weekends and holidays; work graveyard shifts and make critical decisions during life and death situations. When a call for help is made, the voice on the other end is a Sheriff’s Dispatcher.
March 8, 2014 (Santee) – Padre Dam Municipal Water District Board Member Doug Wilson has been appointed by the San Diego County Water Authority Board of Directors to serve on the Colorado River Board.
March 7, 2014 (San Diego's East County) - The San Diego County Sheriff's Department is asking for the public's help in finding 14-year-old Venicia Ortiz from Alpine. Venicia was last seen on Wed. February 26. She is known to hang out along Imperial Avenue and 24th Street in the Grant Hill area of San Diego as well as National City and Chula Vista. She may be in the company of 28-year-old Edgar Morales.
March 4, 2014 (El Cajon)--At approximately 2:15 p.m. Monday afternoon, Heartland Fire & Rescue crews from El Cajon and La Mesa responded to reports of a structure fire in the one-thousand block of Leslie Road in El Cajon. As fire crews arrived on scene they found heavy smoke coming from a lower unit of the apartment structure at 1016 Leslie Road. Firefighters were able to stop the fire in approximately twenty minutes.
Judge announces tentative ruling – before hearing arguments
By Sharon Penny
March 6, 2014 (San Diego)--On March 3, U.S. District Court Judge Janis L. Sammartino heard testimony from legal representatives for both sides in a lawsuit brought by the Protect Our Communities Foundation (POC – www.protectourcommunities.org) against the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) over controversial approvals for Iberdrola's controversial Tule Wind project planned in Boulevard’s McCain Valley Recreation and Conservation Area in East County.
The POC originally filed a Motion for Summary Judgment in August 2013. This week marked the first hearing under the U.S. District Court. According to Plaintiff Donna Tisdale, POC’s attorney Stephan C. Volker had prepared for a one hour argument and was surprised by the Judge’s announcement that she had a tentative ruling in hand. The judge read that ruling aloud, took a 15 minute break for attorneys to prepare a response. Each side was then allowed a half hour to argue their points and one minute for rebuttal.
Urgent Call—Get the Call When it Counts
March 4, 2014 (LOS ANGELES) - The founder and creator of Urgent Call™ missed the most important call of his life when his father had a heart attack. He was sleeping and his phone was on silent. This crisis inspired the creation of Urgent Call™, a service created to make sure you are available to your loved ones when they need you most. UrgentCall™ is a mobile app and service designed to notify call recipients of an emergency situation, regardless of their phone’s setting. The easy-to-use mobile app allows users to receive emergency calls from anywhere in the world, regardless of a “do not disturb” or “silent” setting, from any type of phone: mobile, landline, and VOIP telephones.
March 1, 2014 (San Diego) -- The storm that surged across our region Friday resulted in many accidents. California Highway Patrol reports 514 collisions during just 24 hours on Friday, far more than the normal 50 to 75 crashes on good weather days. Those statistics include San Diego County and Temecula to the north. That included a multi-car crash on I-8 near Lake Jennings and a serious crash that briefly blocked Highway 67 near Slaughterhouse Canyon in Lakeside.
Update March 2, 2014: The body of the missing fisherman has been found, ECM has learned.
March 1, 2014 (Ramona) – A search and rescue effort is underway at Lake Sutherland, where a kayar was found floating upside down at 5:20 p.m. in the Ramona lake. According to Lt. Dave Schaller with the Sheriff’s office, the kayak is believed to be owned by a 55-year-old man who frequents the lake for fishing and is known to employees at the lake.
By Miriam Raftery
March 1, 2014 (San Diego) – Drought-parched San Diego got some relief over the past two days. The National Weather Service has released precipitation totals for the two days ending at 2:10 p.m. today.
More is due in Sunday, with thunderstorms, hail and gusty winds forecast and flooding possible due to already saturated ground.
Below are the totals for the past 48 hours:
February 28, 2014 (San Diego)—Over 242 collisions were reported yesterday during just 16 hours on the first day of the storm, compared to 50 to 75 accidents on “good weather” days. The stats include freeways and unincorporated area streets in San Diego County as well as Temecula.
County News Service
February 26, 2014 (Ramona)--County Supervisors moved to make a stretch of road in Ramona safer Wednesday, voting unanimously to seek bids and authorize building the long-discussed San Vicente Road Improvement project.