Imperial Valley

SD TRAILS: HIKING TO GARNET PEAK

 

By Randy Zuniga

March 8, 2015 (San Diego’s East County)--Garnet Peak is a fun and easy hike with spectacular views. The amazing part about this hike is the amount of payoff for how short the hike really is. An “out and back” that is 4.4 miles long (roundtrip) with most of it along the beautiful Pacific Crest Trail. In this compact hike one experiences a picturesque summit overlooking the Anza Borrego desert, Imperial Valley, and on clear days even the Salton Sea.

OCOTILLO RESIDENTS SAY WIND TURBINE NOISE CREATES “LIVING HELL”

 

“It's a horror beyond words; something you have to live to understand. Something must be done to stop the noise.” – Ocotillo resident Parke Ewing

November 14, 2014 (Ocotillo) – Residents in Ocotillo say that during windy conditions in early November, noise from wind turbines is making their lives unbearable.   

Jim Pelley captured the loud noise on videotape, juxtaposed with footage of Pattern Energy’s Glenn Hodges selling the project to supervisors in Imperial Valley by claiming that noise would not be an issue due to setbacks.  “The project was sold on the understanding to be five miles from the community of Ocotillo,” Pelley wrote on a Youtube post. “We have turbines as close as 1/2 mile, we are now forced to live with the horrible noise of 112 turbines when the wind blows.”

His neighbor, Parke Ewing, says his complaints to Imperial County and Bureau of Land Management officials, as well as Pattern Energy, have fallen on deaf ears, with no meaningful responses.

SOMETHING FISHY IN COACHELLA VALLEY

 

San Diego's thirst for Colorado River water threatens ecosystem at Salton Sea

By Leon Thompson

Photos:  Salton Sea Authority, U.S. Geological Survey, Salton Sea Museum, and Tobias Deml

September 20, 2014 (Salton Sea) – The rotten smell in the desert just east of East County is the harbinger of worse things yet to come.

The tell-tale odor of “rotten eggs" prompted officials to issue an air quality warning for the Coachella Valley.  The South Coast Air Quality Management District issued an odor advisory Tuesday warning residents they could experience headaches and nausea.

LAGUNA MOUNTAIN VOLUNTEER ASSOCIATION PRESENTS 27TH ANNUAL LIVING HISTORY PRESENTATION ON LABOR DAY WEEKEND

 

August 23, 2014 (Mount Laguna)--See the past come alive in this re-enactment of life in the Laguna mountains, going back in time to before the early 1900s. Visit with Native Americans, surveyors, turn-of-the-(last) century mountain men and rugged cowboys of the Campo Cattle Company. Meet the first Cleveland Forest Ranger on the Descanso District, and relive the travels of a 1908 pioneer family from Imperial Valley.

SECOND DUST STORM STRIKES OCOTILLO; COULD DESERT ENERGY PROJECTS BE THE CAUSE?

 

 

An ECM special investigation continues, finding links between rise in dust storms across outhwest, Valley Fever epidemic, and installation of large-scale desert solar and wind projects

By Miriam Raftery

 

August 26, 2013 (Ocotillo)--A second dust storm has struck Ocotillo on Auugust 25, just two days after an earlier dust storm swept through the desert community.  Dust billowed thousands of feet into the air, dwarfing  a 500 foot tall wind turbines scarcely visible in the above photo.  East County Magazine photographer Jim Pelley was in the midst of the storm and shot videos: 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B7Jz2KQmVZs&feature=youtu.be

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ViBPc25iIE&feature=youtu.be

ECM EARNS 11 AWARDS AT SAN DIEGO PRESS CLUB CEREMONY

8 of 11 awards recognize ECM's in-depth coverage of energy issues in our region

By Miriam Raftery

October 23, 2012 (San Diego’s East County) – Continuing our proud tradition, East County Magazine was once again among the top recipients of honors at tonight’s San Diego Press Club Excellence in Journalism Awards.  All entries were in the Daily Newspapers and Websites category, going up against the major print newspapers and online news sites in our region.

The majority of the honors recognized ECM's in-depth coverage of the impacts of major energy projects, including industrial wind turbines, on local rural, mountain and desert communities. ECM editor Miriam Raftery won nine awards, including a first place award in general news for Silence of the Lambs: U.S. Government authorizes killing of endangered bighorns in path of wind project.   Raftery and ECM intern Mia Myklebust shared an additional first place award in the public service/consumer advocacy category for Jacumba: A town surrounded. That story focused on the impacts of major energy projects on a small rural community.

Scroll down to see our full list of winners and read the winning entries.

READER’S EDITORIAL: PATTERN OF DECEIT

How did the number of homes powered by the Ocotillo wind project get reduced to just one-fifth of what Pattern has been promising?

By Jim Pelley

May 12, 2012 (Ocotillo)--Pattern Energy does a very good job deceiving the people. For example, all throughout the Ocotillo Wind Energy Project process Pattern Energy has been making statements deceiving the press, public and officials about the number of homes this facility will produce power for. Pattern’s website states: “The project will produce enough clean and renewable wind energy to serve more than 130,000 households a year. http://www.patternenergy.com/media/news/announcements/ocotillo_011312

EDITORIAL: SUPERVISORS SHOULD DENY PATTERN ENERGY APPLICATION FOR OCOTILLO EXPRESS WIND

By Miriam Raftery, Editor, East County Magazine

April 23, 2012 (Ocotillo) – In San Diego earlier this month, the county's planning commission heeded concerns of residents, environmentalists, tribes and health experts who voiced alarm over harmful impacts of industrial wind turbines. Planners voted to postpone enacting a wind ordinance and more fully study the issues. Their remarks made clear that most planners had serious reservations about potential impacts on human health, wildlife, cultural resources, environment, character of rural communities and public lands. http://eastcountymagazine.org/node/9354

This was not the case with planners in Imperial County, who ignored a mountain of evidence as well as legitimate community concerns. Their zeal to rubberstamp a project that promises tax revenues and temporary jobs, along with renewable power, clearly came at the expense of public health and safety, protection of resources on public lands, and the long-held rights of Native Americans. http://eastcountymagazine.org/node/9173

Imperial Valley Supervisors should reverse their planning commission’s decision and reject Pattern Energy’s proposed Ocotillo Express wind project.  Here are compelling reasons why.

WHO IS PATTERN ENERGY?

 

By Miriam Raftery

April 23, 2012 (Ocotillo) – The wind industry has been likened to the wildcatters during the oil boom – risk takers seeking out ever more land on which to extract energy to fuel our nation’s power demands.  While some energy companies have made efforts to be good corporate citizens, profits in the energy industry have attracted some players of dubious integrity. (Remember those ENRON traders caught on tape boasting about defrauding grandmothers?)

Thus it’s important for decision makers weighing whether or not to approve major energy projects to consider, among other factors, the ethical record of the project applicant.

Pattern Energy seeks to build the Ocotillo Express wind facility on Bureau of Land Management property in Imperial County.  It also has an application pending for a wind project in the Kitchen Creek area near Campo, in San Diego County.

PROTEST PLANNED MARCH 14 AT RENEWABLE ENERGY CONFERENCE THAT EXCLUDED ADVOCATES OF ROOFTOP SOLAR

March 12, 2012 (Holtville) – “Why are billions of our tax dollars going to fund large-scale energy development on our public lands instead of to home and business owners for developing rooftop solar?” asks Terry Weiner with the Desert Protective Council and Solar Done Right. Massive solar and wind developments are planned for San Diego and Imperial County, many on public lands, others on prime agricultural croplands.

On Wednesday, March 14 from 7:30 to 11 a.m., activists from throughout California plan to stage a demonstration outside the Barbara Worth Resort in Holtville (Imperial County), where the “Renewable Energy Summit and Expo” is being held.