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March 2012 Articles




2 MAJOR ACCIDENTS ON I-8 EAST AND HWY 125 SOUTH

   

March 30, 2012-7 p.m. (San Diego's East County) -- Two serious traffic accidents are clogging traffic on local freeways. A motorcyclist is down, blocking lanes on southbound Highway 125 at Navajo. On Interstate 8 eastbound near El Cajon Blvd., a major accident involving four vehicles and a big rig has just occurred, according to the CHP website and Incident Page Network.

LIONS, TIGERS AND BEARS 2ND ANNUAL EASTER EGG HUNT

March 30, 2012 (Alpine) -- . Lions, Tigers and Bears will be holding their annual Easter Egg Hunt Saturday, April 7, from 9 a.m. until 11a.m at 24402 Martin Way, Alpine.  Children will be able to participate in an Easter Egg Hunt and enjoy the sights and sounds of the big cats.

Donations of $25 for adults, $10 for kids ages 2-12 and kids under 2 are free with an accompanying adult.   Bring your own basket to carry home your goodies.  RSVP by April 1 by calling 619-659-8078.

FAMILIES ENCOURAGED TO COME AND ENJOY EGG HUNTS IN COUNTY PARKS STARTING SATURDAY

March 30, 2012 (San Diego) -- Kids and families will have their choice of enjoying traditional egg hunts, meeting the Spring Bunny, gobbling up a pancake breakfast and just generally having some egg-ucational fun over the next two weekends at County parks in Ramona, Spring Valley,  Cardiff, Del Mar and Encinitas.

“A good egg hunt is a fun spring-time tradition for many families and it’s hard to imagine a better place than an egg-hunt in one of our great parks,” said Brian Albright, director of the San Diego County Department of Parks and Recreation. “They’re the perfect place for the whole family.” 

THE CITY OF SAN DIEGO’S PROPOSED LANDFILL PROJECT VIOLATES CALIFORNIA ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY ACT, SIERRA CLUB SAYS

 
March 30, 2012 (San Diego) -- The San Diego Chapter of the Sierra Club has filed a lawsuit to rescind the City of San Diego’s uninformed decision to pursue managed competition of the Miramar Landfill. The lawsuit alleges that the City violated the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), which would require a public review of environmental consequences before the City could take substantial steps to frame and define a project to privatize San Diego’s public landfill.

 

WIND STORM: PLANNERS APPROVE OCOTILLO WIND-- IGNORE SERIOUS HEALTH AND SAFETY ISSUES, ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTS, COMMUNITY AND TRIBAL CONCERNS

Part IV in our series on the Ocotillo Express Wind project, which would feed electricity into SDG&E's Sunrise Powerlink bound for San Diego.

By Miriam Raftery

“Jobs are temporary but the destruction of our desert is forever. All of this culture and history will be lost…all in the name of greed.” – Linda Ewing, Ocotillo

“This is an economically important project for our community.”—Katie Figari, Chief Executive Officer, Brawley Chamber of Commerce

March 29, 2012 (Ocotillo) – A conditional use permit, height variances and mitigation were approved by an 8-1 vote yesterday at the Imperial Valley Planning Commission meeting.

Planners, wooed by the applicant’s estimate that $150 million in tax revenues will flow into county coffers over the project’s 30-year-life, along with a  projected 350 construction jobs and at most 20 permanent jobs, opted to ignore the very grave concerns voiced by tribal leaders, environmentalists, health workers and many residents. Those concerns include dangerous and destructive potential of the project, as well as federal fast-tracking that has trampled long-held rights of residents and tribes.

SMALL QUAKE RATTLES AREA ON ELSINORE FAULT

 

March 30, 2012 (San Diego)—A quake measuring 3.3 on the Richter scale and centered 4 miles southwest of the Palomar Observatory rattle the region at 12:06 a.m.  The quake, centered on the Elsinore fault line, was felt as far away as El Cajon.

A cluster of small quakes have occurred recently on the Elsinore fault, including  a 3.3 quake southeast of Julian on March 28.  According to the Southern California Earthquake Data Center, the Elsinore Fault is capable of producing a magnitude 7.5 temblor.

SHOTS FIRED ON HIGHWAY 94

March 29, 2012 (Lemon Grove) – Police seek information on the occupants of a dark sedan that pulled up next to a Ford Five Hundred near Massachusetts early this morning.  The driver of the Ford and a passenger heard several shots and two bullet holes were found in the driver’s side of the vehicle. No one was injured. 

FOREST SERVICE REOPENS ONE TRAIL TO CEDAR CREEK FALLS: RAMONA ENTRY REMAINS CLOSED

By Miriam Raftery

March 29, 2012 (San Diego’s East County) -- Effective Sunday, April 1, Cleveland National Forest will reopen the east access to Cedar Creek Falls located near Julian, off of the Eagle Peak Road.  The west access to Cedar Creek Falls and surrounding area, located in Ramona off of the Thornbush Road, will remain closed for now. 

The Falls have been closed since July 9, 2011 following the death of an El Cajon teen. 

Visitor traffic to the site had increased dramatically after the Forest Service made improvements to the trail off Thornbush Road, which remains closed.  Neighbors in the Ramona area had complained of parking problems due to crowds and rescues at the falls increased after the improved access.

"The trail that is being opened has not had improvements, other than typical maintenance,” Brian Harris, public information officer at Cleveland National Forest, told ECM.

CHARGES DROPPED AGAINST EX-TEA PARTY OFFICIAL AFTER ACCUSER ADMITS SHE WAS NOT RAPED

 

March 29, 2012 (San Diego)—Michael Kobulnicky, a Lemon Grove resident and former spokesman for the San Diego Tea Party, is a free man after the District Attorney dropped all charges.  Kobulnicky had been accused of kidnapping a woman, then sexually assaulting her at Fiesta Island.

READER’S EDITORIAL: THE 28 YEAR WIND INDUSTRY COVER-UP, PART II

 
Why it's time to end subsidies for the wind industry
 

By Jim Wiegand

 March 28, 2012 (San Diego’s East County) -- In the first part of this wind industry cover-up story, it was pointed out how California Condors were trapped from the wild in the mid 1980s as an emergency response to save the quickly disappearing population from thousands of turbines that had been placed in the Tehachapi Pass region. 

What is not known is that during this same period of time in the 1980s, tens of thousands of other birds also perished at California wind farms. If one chooses not to believe any of this, then knowing how the industry responded in 1989 should convince anybody about the ongoing 28 year mortality cover-up by the wind industry.

CHANCE FINDS A “FOREVER” FAMILY

 
45 Families Wanted to Give Him a Home
 
March 29, 2012 (San Diego) -- He was renamed Chance hoping that he would have a second opportunity at life. He survived his gun-shot wounds and  now Chance, a retriever mix, got to go home to a new bed, new toys, and new family.

 

VOTING FOR PRESIDENT? CHECK YOUR REGISTRATION

 
Not All Ballots for the June 5 Primary List Presidential Candidates 

How are you registered? If you are a registered nonpartisan voter, you will not see any presidential candidates listed on your ballot for the June 5 Presidential Primary Election. County Registrar of Voters Deborah Seiler is encouraging voters to check their registered party preference and understand how it affects what they’ll see on their ballot.

SALDAÑA REISSUES CHALLENGE TO CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATES TO MAKE TAXES PUBLIC

 

March 29, 2012 (San Diego) -- As April 15 approaches and San Diegans prepare to pay their income taxes, Lori Saldaña, the Democratic frontrunner of the 52nd Congressional District, repeated her challenge to the other candidates to release their tax returns.
 
Since issuing her original challenge on February 22nd, Saldaña is the only one of ten candidates who has made her taxes public. The leading Republican contender, Brian Bilbray, has agreed to release his returns, but has not done so.

 

WATER CONSERVATION GARDEN 19TH ANNUAL SPRING GARDEN FESTIVAL APRIL 28

 

April 21, 2012 (El Cajon) -- Join the Water Conservation Garden, the Heritage of the Americas Museum and the Ornamental Horticulture Department at Cuyamaca College on Saturday, April 28  from 9a.m. to 4p.m. as they present the 19 th Annual Spring Garden Festival.

ECM WORLD WATCH: GLOBAL AND NATIONAL NEWS

 

March 29, 2012 --  (San Diego’s East County) – ECM World Watch helps you be an informed citizen about important issues globally and nationally. As part of our commitment to reflecting all voices and views, we include links to a wide variety of news sources representing a broad spectrum of political, religious, and social views. Top world and U.S. headlines include:   
 

    

U.S.
  • Supreme Court weighs all or nothing on healthcare law (Reuters)
  • Jobs bill clears Congress despite warnings (Los Angeles Times)
  • Trayvon Martin: confronting the problem of enduring racism (Forbes)
  • A job at what cost? When employers log in to dig in (NPR)
  • Gingrich scales back his presidential bid (USA Today)
  • Cooking school spreads immigrant skills and ethnic recipes (NPR)
 
WORLD
  • Very high radiation, little water in remaining Japanese reactor (UT San Diego)
  • Japan left with one nuclear reactor after shutdown (BBC)
  • Syrian authorizes are targeting children, says UN rights chief (BBC)
 
Scroll down for excerpts and links to full stories. 

 

MARKETING MATTERS: WHEN MORE IS NOT MERRIER

 
Tips and tricks for business success and growth
 
By Rama Beerfas
 
March 30, 2012 (San Diego’s East County) –  I know a few business owners and sales people out there who seem to be addicted to the "expert" marketing or sales guru. They have made almost a religion out of following several different coaches or consultants through personal interaction and/or seminar attendance and/or reading of their books. Every piece of advice these experts dole out is absorbed like a sponge. While I applaud the enthusiasm behind this adulation, I have to wonder if these businesspeople are getting any positive benefit out of this approach. It seems to me that this is another case of too many cooks spoil the broth syndrome. 

JONES HONORS SANTEE RESIDENT ELAINE MURPHY AS WOMAN OF THE YEAR

 
Longtime Community Standout Deserving of Legislative Honor
 
March 30, 2012 (Sacramento) -- Assemblyman Brian Jones is pleased to announce the selection of Elaine Murphy as the 2012 Woman of the Year for the 77th Assembly District.

“It is with great admiration and gratitude that I am able to honor Elaine, who has selflessly given of her time and efforts for nearly all of her adult life to serve both our country and community.”

NOTICE OF UPCOMING CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRIAL AREA STREET PAVING IN LA MESA

 
March 30, 2012 (La Mesa) - The City of La Mesa has awarded a construction contract to repave Center Drive (From Jackson Drive to Commercial Street), Center Street, Commercial Street, and Guild Street. The construction is scheduled to take place at night, between the hours of 9:00p.m. and 6:00a.m. beginning April 1, 2012. Construction activities will occur Sunday night through Thursday night. The work is expected to take 3 weeks to complete.

ALPINE FIRE BOARD APPOINTS A NEW DIRECTOR, FIREFIGHTER PROMOTES TO ENGINEER

 

March 30, 2012 (Alpine) -- The Alpine Fire Protection District (AFPD) Board of Directors has appointed a new Director to fill the seat vacated by long time Director Ron Fuller. Ron Fuller was forced to resign from the Board at the February 21 Board meeting due to health reasons. At the March 20 Board meeting, the AFPD Board selected Jim Archer out of five people who expressed an interest in filling out Fuller’s term on the board.

 

EAST COUNTY ROUNDUP: TOP LOCAL AND STATE NEWS

 

March 29, 2012 --  (San Diego’s East County)--East County Roundup highlights top stories of interest to East County and San Diego’s inland regions, published in other media.  This week’s top “Roundup” headlines include:    
 
 
 
 
STATE
  • Strong majority backs Jerry Brown’s tax initiative (LA Times)
  • Judge tentatively rules for California in school funding suit (Sacramento Bee)
  • Mitt Romney announces California team (Sacramento Bee)
  • Beekeepers ask EPA to ban pesticide (Sacarmento Bee)
  • Solyndra times seven (City Journal)
LOCAL
  • Feds: San Onofre to remain shut down indefinitely (UT San Diego)
  • El Cajon Council fills vacancy (UT San Diego)
  • Is prison realignment working in San Diego? (KPBS)
  • Defendant rolls on Sweetwater Board member (UT San Diego)
Scroll down for excerpts and links to full stories. 

 

85-FAMILY GARAGE SALE IN EL CAJON MARCH 31-APRIL 1

 
March 29, 2012 (Granite Hills) -- Andy Pheasant, a Realtor at C-21 All Service Realtors, is organizing his annual multi-family garage sale in the Granite Hills area for the 26thyear. It is this weekend, March 31 and April 1, from 8a.m.-3p.m. This year there are over 85 families signed up for the annual event, maps are available at 1598 Richandave.
 

 

2012 LA MESA GENERAL PLAN UPDATE MEETINGS ANNOUNCED

 
March 28, 2012 (La Mesa) -- The La Mesa Community Development Department is pleased to release the Draft 2012 La Mesa General Plan. The draft plan was completed by city staff with the help of consultants and funding with grants from the Kaiser Foundation and SANDAG. A series of five (5) public workshops were held in 2010 and 2011 to obtain public input into the draft plan. Public comments, collected in both written and electronic formats, are reflected in the draft plan. 

CALIFORNIA BOASTS GREATEST NUMBER OF WOMEN-OWNED FIRMS IN THE U.S.

 
March 28, 2012 (California) -- California is home to the greatest number of women-owned firms in the country, with an estimated 1,063,700 women-owned firms, employing 977,600 and attributing to roughly $189,529,000 billion as noted by the State of Women-Owned Businesses Report, commissioned by American Express OPEN.

SHARP-GROSSMONT APRIL 2012 HEALTH PROGRAMS FOR SENIORS

 

March 28, 2012 (La Mesa) -- The Senior Resource Center at Sharp-Grossmont Hospital offers free or low-cost educational programs and health screenings each month. The Senior Resource Center also provides information and assistance for health and community resources. For more information, call 619-740-4214 or write: PO Box 158, La Mesa, CA 91944. For other programs, call 1-800-827-4277 or visit our web site at: http://www.sharp.com

VIEJAS CASINO OPENS NEW HIGH-STAKES BINGO ROOM

 

March 28, 2012 – Viejas Casino reached a major milestone, with the opening of a new high-stakes, high tech Bingo Room. Tribal elders, tribal leaders, local dignitaries, Chamber of Commerce representatives and the public all joined in the Grand Opening of the new Bingo Room. The ceremonies included a Tribal Blessing, traditional Native American Bird Songs and a ribbon cutting.

 

WIND STORM: POTENTIAL RISKS TO RESIDENTS FROM 20-SQUARE-MILE WIND PROJECT PROPOSED FOR OCOTILLO

 

Part III in our exclusive report on the proposed Ocotillo Express Wind project

By Miriam Raftery

March 27, 2012 (Ocotillo)-Ocotillo resident Jim Pelley dreads the prospect of the 456-tall wind turbines that may soon surround his home on three sides-some less than half mile away. 

Whirling blades, each weighing many tons, would be placed atop an active earthquake fault area capable of a 7.0 quake or more.  Fire danger, groundwater impacts, noise, electromagnetic sound waves and ground current are among the potential perils that he fears.

“Our quiet little town of Ocotillo with pristine views of the mountains will be destroyed forever. In return, we have to deal with the possibility of some serious adverse health effects and many other serious problems,” Pelley, an award-winning photojournalist and engineer, told ECM.   

WIND STORM: WHISTLEBLOWER ALLEGES GAG ORDER PREVENTED STATE PARK EMPLOYEES FROM REVEALING HARM TO ANZA-BORREGO DESERT STATE PARK FROM PROPOSED OCOTILLO EXPRESS WIND PROJECT

Part II in ECM’s exclusive report on the Ocotillo Express Wind project, a joint investigation with ABC 10 News. (See the 10 News portion of this investigation, a report on environmental impacts of the project here:   10 News text: http://www.10news.com/news/30776233/detail.html; 10 News video: http://www.10news.com/video/30776306/index.html)

“To have the Governor’s office tell our park officials NOT to comment on Ocotillo,  OR ANY OTHER alternative energy projects adjacent to the Park, is a travesty, a violation of the trust between the citizens and the state.” – Mark Jorgensen, retired Superintendent, Anza Borrego Desert State Park in an e-mail to ECM

 “These allegations are not true.   No such directive came from the the Governor’s Office or the California Natural Resources Agency saying that State Parks could not comment on the Ocotillo Wind Express Project. “ -- Richard Stapler, Deputy Secretary for Communications, California Natural Resources Agency

By Miriam Raftery

March 27, 2012 (Anza-Borrego) – The former Superintendent of the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park (ABDSP) has contacted East County Magazine to allege a cover-up by the State Parks Department and the Governor of serious impacts that the proposed Ocotillo Express wind project would have on our largest state park and its natural resources.  The proposed wind project shares a five-mile border with ABSP and if approved, would erect up to 155 wind turbines each 456 feet tall—some just yards from the park.

EAST COUNTY EARTH DAY APRIL 1


March 27, 2012 (La Mesa) -- The third annual East County Earth Day, a free family event, will be held at the Mt. Helix Amphitheater on Sunday, April 1 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Co-hosted by The Jarrett Meeker Foundation and Mt. Helix Park, East County Earth Day will feature vendors with interactive environmental and wildlife presentations.  Educational speakers, music, food and children’s activities will make the day complete. 

WIND STORM : TRIBES IMPLORE PRESIDENT OBAMA TO STOP OCOTILLO EXPRESS WIND PROJECT, SAVE CULTURAL RESOURCE SITES

 

“We believe that DOI [Department of the Interior] is poised to violate the law and our rights to religious freedom and our cultural identities guaranteed by DOI’s own policies, the United States Constitution, and international declarations. We need your help.” --Chairman Anthony Pico, Viejas Band of Kumeyaay Indians, in a letter to President Barack Obama

Part I in an ECM special report series on potential impacts of the Ocotilllo Wind Express project

By Miriam Raftery

March 23, 2012 (Ocotillo) – For months, Ocotillo residents and conservationists have been waging a David and Goliath battle seeking to stop Pattern Energy’s proposed Ocotillo Wind Express project. Now Kumeyaay, Cocopah,Quechan and other Native American tribes have banded together to oppose the massive project-- joining residents, desert conservation groups and outdoor enthusiasts who seek to protect resources from destruction—including hundreds of cultural and archaeological sites. 

On March 28, the Imperial Valley Planning Commission will rule on whether to approve the controversial project, which would generate power for San Diego County.  At the federal level, the Secretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior  is expected to issue a final decision  by May 1.  A petition seeking to stop the project has been launched by Ocotillo residents:  http://www.change.org/petitions/say-no- ... y-project#.  

BATTY FOR BATS NATURE TALK MARCH 31!

March 27, 2012 (Lakeside) – Lakeside’s River Park Conservancy will be having a free presentation for members by local Project Wildlife bat expert Cindy Myers and her bat ambassador.  There are roughly two dozen bat varieties in San Diego County.  Learn about this small, furry and ecologically essential mammal.

Space is limited to 20 members.  RSVP by Wednesday March 28 by contacting Cindy Collins at 619-443-4770.

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