San Diego

HOUSE PASSES 10 BILLS TO COMBAT HUMAN TRAFFICKING

 

By Miriam Raftery

January 29, 2015 (San Diego) – It’s rare for both parties in Congress to agree on anything these days.  But the House of Representatives has just approved 10 bills to help combat human trafficking.  All five of San Diego’s Congressional representatives voted in favor of two of the bills and the rest passed by voice vote without a roll call of members.

MILHOLLAND SOLAR AND ELECTRIC CELEBRATES 25TH ANNIVESARY AT NEW EL CAJON LOCATION

 

 

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

January 30th 2014 (El Cajon)—The San Diego East County Chamber of Commerce hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony on January 22nd to welcome Milholland Solar and Electric to East County and celebrate the premier solar installation and electrical contractor’s 25th anniversary.  

Representatives for officials including Supervisor Dianne Jacob, State Senator Joel Anderson and Assemblyman Brian Jones were on hand to present awards, along with Chamber leaders, at Milholland’s spacious new headquarters at 1475 North Cuyamaca Street in El Cajon.

SOITEC TO SHIFT FOCUS AWAY FROM SOLAR

 

By Miriam Raftery

January 23, 2015 (San Diego)—Soitec Solar may exit the solar business, Greentech Media reports.  A quarterly report indicates the company plans to “refocus” efforts on its electronics business .

Greentech’s article indicates that the language may be vague, but the publication predicts, “…the message is clear: Soitec is exiting this business as quickly as possible.” 

The news comes as San Diego Supervisors are poised to vote Feb. 7 on whether to approve massive  industrial solar projects proposed by Soitec in Boulevard.

WHAT OBAMA’S STATE OF THE UNION MEANS FOR SAN DIEGO

 

By Chris Jennewein

Reprinted with permission from Times of San Diego, a member of the San Diego Online News Network

White House photo: President Obama speaking to Congress.

January 21, 2015 (Washington D.C.) --President Obama’s nearly hour-long State of the Union speech on Tuesday had good news for a number of constituencies in San Diego, from veterans to scientists to immigrants.

The speech drew praise from Democrats in the San Diego congressional delegation, but criticism from Republicans. Rep. Darrell Issa, a Republican, labeled it “old ideas” while Rep. Scott Peters, a Democrat, said he was encouraged by the president’s commitment to scientific research, tax changes and wider educational opportunity.

“I was encouraged to hear President Obama engaging on issues of importance to San Diego and the country, and calling for bipartisanship on economic growth,” said Peters, whose district covers most of central San Diego County.

Here’s a synopsis of the Obama’s comments on issues of specific importance to San Diego:

SUPERVISORS TO HEAR SOITEC SOLAR'S CONTROVERSIAL BOULEVARD PROJECTS IN FEB. 4 HEARING

County planners approved despite serious environmental and financial issues; rural group vows to sue if approved

By Miriam Raftery

January 19, 2015 (Boulevard) – Rural  planning group chairs and environmentalists are blasting county planners for approving Soitec Solar’s controversial industrial scale solar projects.  Planners largely ignored evidence that the projects could deplete groundwater supplies, threaten wildlife and create fire hazards—as well as Soitec’s precarious financial position.

Next up, San Diego Supervisors will hold a hearing on the project February 4th.  At least one citizens’ group, Backcountry Against Dumps (BAD) has promised to file a lawsuit against the County if Supervisors approve the projects, which would cover 1500 acres with approximately 8,000 massive solar trackers, each 30 feet high.

MARCH FOR CIVIL RIGHTS, BUILD RACIAL JUSTICE FORUM: MLK DAY IN SAN DIEGO MONDAY, JANUARY 19

 

East County News Service

January 18, 2015 (San Diego) –Around the nation including here in San Diego a “4 Mile March” is set for Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Monday, March 19th to build a new civil rights movement. Locally the march will begin at 1 p.m. at the City Heights Weingart Library, 3775 Fairmont Ave., and will end at the Malcolm X Library, 400 Roosevelt Street.

“The goal of every 4 Mile March in every city is the same: to bring awareness to the national epidemic of racial profiling and police violence, and to honor all the lives lost as a result,” a flyer for the event states.

AUTHOR RAYMOND WONG TO APPEAR IN SAN DIEGO, SANTEE AND EL CAJON

 

January 15, 2015 (San Diego’s East County) – Local author Raymond Wong, author of the book I’m not Chinese: the Journey from Resentment to Reverence, will make three appearances locally on January 24th at the San Diego State Writer’s Conference, as well as on January 29 and February 7th at libraries in Santee and El Cajon.  Below are details.

DESTINATION EAST COUNTY: TOP FESTIVALS AND EVENTS JAN. 15-FEB. 9

 

January 15, 2015 (San Diego’s East County)--This week’s Destination East County has events ranging from an art show at Mission Trails Regional Park to a pipe organ concert in La Mesa and a photo tour of the Anza Borrego Desert. Plus we’ll have a preview of coming attractions including a Ballet Folklorico dance production in Lemon Grove to a circus coming to El Cajon. So stay tuned for all of these events and much more, from East County Magazine.

EAST COUNTY ROUNDUP: LOCAL AND STATEWIDE NEWS

WILL THE POST OFFICE BE DISMANTLED?

 

 

Overnight mail service ends; privatization push triggers boycott of Staples

By Hayden Parsley

Miriam Raftery also  contributed to this report.

Click here to hear our radio interview with Tom Wood and Eddie B. Cooper Jr. with the American Postal Workers Union Local 197 in San Diego.

January 9, 2015 (San Diego) – Many Americans are shocked to learn that effective January 5th, the U.S. Postal Service has stopped all overnight deliveries. Nationwide, 82 mail processing plants are closing, hours have been cut at Post Offices, and patrons are being steered toward competitors such as Staples, triggering a backlash in the form of a Staples boycott.

It’s all part of an effort by conservatives in Congress to slow down, outsource and privatize postal services—a move that could ultimately lead to the demise of the Post Office completely. That could mean price hikes for stamps and delivery services, lay-offs for workers, inconveniences and new costs for businesses, as well as potential cuts in delivery for rural residents.  That’s concerning for those reliant on mail deliveries of vital items such as prescription medications.

FORMER LOCAL IMAM TIED TO MASSACRE IN FRANCE

 

East County News Service

Photo: Muhammad ud-Deen, creative commons

January 10, 2015 (La Mesa) –Anwar al-Awlaki, a former cleric at a mosque on the La Mesa-San Diego boundary and ex-student at San Diego State may have inspired the jihadist brothers who massacred 12 people at the French magazine Charlie Hebdo.  Awlaki was killed by a U.S. drone strike in Yemen in September 2011 and was believed by U.S. authorities to have been a terrorist mastermind tied to the 9/11 attacks and many other terror plots around the world.

Cherif Kouachi , one of two brothers who reportedly gunned down journalists at Charlie Hebdo, was later killed by police following a massive manhunt in Paris. Before he died, Koachi told BFM-TV, “I was sent, me, Cherif Koachi, by Al Qaeda of Yemen. I went over there and it was Anwar al Awlaki who financed me.” Reuters reports that the statement was recorded and aired on French television.

EAST COUNTY ROUNDUP: LOCAL AND STATEWIDE NEWS

January 6, 2015 (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:

LOCAL/REGIONAL

STATE

For excerpts and links to full stories, click “read more” and scroll down.

BILLS BY SAN DIEGO’S SENATOR BLOCK BECOME LAW IN JANUARY

 

Senator’s 2015 agenda includes stopping UC tuition hikes

By Miriam Raftery

January 1, 2015 (San Diego) – Four bills by State Senator Marty Block (D-San Diego) become law today.  Two aim to protect the elderly in residential care facilities, a second will protect victims of human trafficking and save the state money by consolidating trials from multiple jurisdictions, and a fourth will speed up testing of beach water quality.

One of his top goals for 2015 will be to keep higher education “accessible and affordable for all of California’s students.”  Block and Senate President pro Tem Kevin de León recently introduced SB 15 which would eliminate tuition increases for the University of California system and provide substantially greater support to all of the state’s public education institutions.

CLEVELAND NATIONAL FOREST FOUNDATION PRESIDENT JACK SHU SPEAKS OUT ON SANDAG’S DECISION TO APPEAL TRANSPORTATION CASE TO STATE SUPREME COURT

 

 

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

 

Hear our interview with Jack Shu, Cleveland National Forest Foundation president: http://kiwi6.com/file/5au8a9h2fw

 

 

December 31, 2014 (San Diego)—Jack Shu, president of the Cleveland National Forest Foundation (CNFF), sat down for an in-depth interview with East County Magazine on KNSJ radio.  CNFF and other environmental groups filed a lawsuit challenging the regional transportation plan proposed by the San Diego Association of Government (SANDAG) .  California Attorney General Kamala Harris joined the suit in support of environmentalist.

CNFF contends that instead of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, as state law requires, SANDAG’s plan will increase them by 700 percent (see chart). 

San Diegans rely 95% on automobiles for transportation and only 3% on transit, yet SANDAG’s plan calls for more freeways instead of expanding transit in the near future.  San Diego also has the seventh worth ozone pollution in the nation as well as serious asthma issues, CNFF argues, yet SANDAG failed to provide a health impact analysis in its plan.

An appellate court and trial court agreed with plaintiffs that SANDAG failed to adequately address air pollution and climate change concerns, yet SANDAG voted 20 to 1 to appeal to the California Supreme Court.

EAST COUNTY ROUNDUP: LOCAL AND STATEWIDE NEWS

 

December 29, 2014 (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:

LOCAL/REGIONAL

STATE

For excerpts and links to full stories, click “read more” and scroll down.

BLEAK OUTLOOK FOR SOITEC’S SOLAR PROSPECTS

 

Despite company’s woes, county releases EIR on Soitec’s proposed Boulevard projects. A hearing is set for January 16, with the deadline for public comment  January 14.

By Miriam Raftery

December 22, 2014 (San Diego’s East County) -- The future for Soitec Solar is far from bright.  The company’s stock shares plummeted 57 percent on Monday,  reaching an all-time low. The plunge led Reuters to advise investors to avoid Soitec “like poison.”

The free-fall occurred after the company announced that the main project in its solar division has been cancelled and that the company will be scaling down its San Diego facility.  Tenaska Solar Ventures cancelled its deal to use Soitec’s concentrated photovoltaic panels at a facility in Imperial County. In addition, San Diego Gas & Electric spokeswoman Jennifer Ramp says that the utility “does not have any contracts with Soitec.” That statement conflicts with claims previously made by Soitec, Voice of San Diego reports in an article titled “The Darling of San Diego Solar Manufacturing Is on Its Death Bed.”

Despite this precipitous news, ironically the County of San Diego released the final environmental impact report (EIR) on Soitec’s four proposed industrial-scale solar projects in Boulevard.  A hearing on the projects are set for January 16th, which public comments due by January 14th at 4 p.m. , according to Mindy Fogg, planning manager for the County.

SDSU FRAT SHUT DOWN OVER HARASSMENT AND HAZING COMPLAINTS

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

December 18,2014 (San Diego) – The Delta Sigma Phi fraternity at San Diego State University has been shut down for disciplinary action and will remain closed until at least fall of 2016. Additionally, individuals involved in the harassment policy violation will be subject to a Title IX policy investigation and a student code of conduct policy violation investigation.

San Diego State University’s Division of Student Affairs has announced the disciplinary action due to consistent pattern of policy violations including harassment of  women participating in a Take Back the Night March on Friday, November 21st as well as serious hazing and alcohol misconduct issues.

HEAR OUR INTERVIEW WITH SINGER/SONGWRITER DANNIE MARIE: NOW POSTED ONLINE!

 

 

 

Our interview is now online! Listen to the full interview, with excerpts of 3 of Dannie Marie's songs, here: http://kiwi6.com/file/iwhr8hj33r

East County News Service

December 8, 2014 (San Diego’s East County) – Hear our interview with Dannie Marie, a talented local singer, songwriter and actress who is taking Nashville, Memphis and Los Angeles by storm.  Those of you in East County may know her as Danielle Marie Pupa, a graduate of Steele Canyon High School. 

Watch the sneak preview excerpt here http://youtu.be/nIEdflaq_MI and full interview at the link above, which originally aired on KNSJ 89.1 FM. .The program also features excerpts from three songs that will be featured on Dannie Marie's soon-to-be-released CD, along with our interview with this rising local star.

Dannie Marie’s hit music video, “Flavor of the Week” has been winning awards and recognition at music festivals; it was also featured in the movie “Music High.” She’s been in movies and commercials, and on TV.  She’s also been performing at major venues across our region, including a performance coming up in February at House of Blues in San Diego. Her songs serve up country music with a pop flair—and her musical style has been likened to Taylor Swift.

SD TRAILS: NIGHT LIFE ON COWLES MOUNTAIN

 

By Randy Zuniga

December 6, 2014 (San Diego’s East County) - A mountain of a mere 1,594 ft. high borders three cities -- San Diego, Santee, and La Mesa. For some, it's an epic hike accompanied by packs filled with snacks and water. For others, it's a quick jog up and a small water bottle waiting for them back at their car. No matter who you are -- everyone seems to love this mountain.

EAST COUNTY ROUNDUP: LOCAL AND STATEWIDE NEWS

December 3,  2014 (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:

LOCAL

STATE

For excerpts and links to full stories, click “read more” and scroll down.

HEAR OUR INTERVIEW WITH MAESTRO ANTHONY MOSTARDO, SAN DIEGO FESTIVAL CHORUS AND ORCHESTRA

 

December 2, 2014 (San Diego’s East County) – Spring Valley resident Anthony Mostardo, founder and maestro of the San Diego Festival Chorus and Orchestra, sat down with the East County Magazine Show to talk about this talented group’s upcoming Joyful Music Celebration concert on December 7th at the College Avenue Baptist Church.

Hear our interview here, which originally aired on KNSJ 89.1 FM radi), and also enjoy an  excerpt from Vivaldi’s Gloria: http://kiwi6.com/file/4j5e9oo231  (note: sound file may take a few moments to load)

See concert details here: http://www.eastcountymagazine.org/joyful-holiday-music-celebration-san-diego-festival-chorus-orchestra-dec-7

Scroll down for more about Maestro Mostardo and the San Diego Festival Chorus and Orchestra.

FORMER UNITED NATIONS PRESIDENT AND A DOMESTIC VIOLENCE SURVIVOR SPEAK OUT ON VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN

 

Photo, left: Anne Hoiberg and Marie Johnson

December 2, 2014 (San Diego’s East County) – The United Nations is hosting 16 days of events aimed at stopping violence against women, culminating in international Human Rights Day on December 16th.  East County Magazine interviewed Anne Hoiberg, past president of the United Nations Association of San Diego, who is also president of the International Museum of Human Rights in San Diego.  We also interviewed Marie Johnson, president of Activist San Diego, which recently hosted a forum on violence against women; she is also a survivor of domestic violence in her family.

You can listen online now to our interviews, which originally aired on KNSJ 89.1 FM, by clicking here: http://kiwi6.com/file/i0mlcyzyd6  (sound file may take a few moments to load)

FLASH FLOOD WATCH ISSUED COUNTYWIDE

 

 

December 1, 2014 (San Diego) – The National Weather Service has issued a flash flood watch for Tuesday and early Wednesday in San Diego County’s mountain, valley and coastal areas.

Mountains and recent burn areas will have the greatest threat pontetial with up to five inches of rain forecast; be prepared for flooding and debris flows. Moderate to heavy rain in coastal and valley areas will produce urban flooding in flood-prone low-lying areas and streets with poor drainage.

PETITION LAUNCHED OPPOSING OPENING MILLIONS OF ACRES OF CALIF. DESERT TO INDUSTRIAL-SCALE ENERGY PROJECTS

 

“Without significant input from the public, from you, this juggernaut will proceed relentlessly, sacrificing millions of acres of desert habitat, wasting precious groundwater, degrading air quality, and “taking” endangered species and other wildlife.” —David Garmon, Borrego Springs, petition author

By Miriam Raftery

November 28, 2014 (San Diego’s East County) – Environmentalists have launched a petition at Moveon.org asking the public to sign in opposition to the Desert Renewable Energy Plan, which would open up millions of acres of California deserts to industrial-scale wind and solar projects. Instead, environmental leaders want the California Energy Commission to do an analysis of rooftop solar as an alternative. 

You can sign the petition here:  http://petitions.moveon.org/sign/we-dont-have-to-sacrifice?source=c.em.mt&r_by=1516679

The petition states: “More renewable energy is available from rooftop solar in San Diego and Los Angeles Counties than will be derived from the siting of utility-scale generating facilities on 2 million acres of desert habitat called for in the Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan. The unintended consequences of utility-scale facilities in the desert are becoming known and are unacceptable--dust storms in Lancaster, midair incineration of birds at Ivanpah, depletion of scarce groundwater in Borrego Springs.”

The petition was started by Borrego Springs resident David Garmon, president of the Tubb Canyon Desert Conservancy. It is supported by the Desert Protective Council in San Diego and by Basin and Range Watch, another southwest environmental protection organization.

GIFTS FROM THE EAST: OUR 2014 GUIDE TO CREATIVE HOLIDAY SHOPPING IN SAN DIEGO’S INLAND REGION

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

November 29, 2014 (San Diego’s East County) – Looking for some original gift ideas this holiday season – as well as a way to support local merchants and infuse our own economy? Never fear. East County Magazine’s annual “Gifts from the East” features an array of unique specialty items from East County and San Diego’s inland region, with something to suit every budget.

Whether you’re looking for gourmet goodies from local farms, hand-crafted musical instruments, glitzy jewelry, hand-woven clothing and toys, soaps, cowboy boots or a surprise for the wine lover on your list, you’ll find it all right here in our region.

PROTESTERS MAR MEMORIAL TO SLAIN OFFICER JEREMY HENWOOD

East County News Service

November 27, 2014 (San Diego) – Demonstrators in City Heights Tuesday night placed a sign over a memorial to slain San Diego Police officer Jeremy Henwood, making it read “Michael Brown Memorial Park.”  The action was part of a protest over a jury verdict not to indict Darren Wilson, a white police officer who fatally shot an African-American teen in Ferguson, Missouri.

Henwood was shot and killed in his police car after pulling over to assist a vehicle that had flashed its lights on August 7, 2011.  A white beat officer in City Heights, one of his final actions caught on camera was giving a cookie to a young African-American boy at a nearby McDonalds.  By numerous accounts, he was an officer who was respected in the community he patrolled.

The San Diego Police Officers Association has issued a statement after the incident:

SDG&E PULLS OUT OF NATIONAL UTILITY RATE SURVEY

 

By Miriam Raftery

November 25, 2014 (San Diego) – For years, San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) has ranked highest in the nation—or nearly so--for the most expensive utility rates in America.  The annual survey is conducted by Jacksonville Electric Authority.

But now SDG&E has stopped providing its data to Jacksonville in 2013, after the company received bad publicity for its high rates.  So San Diegans no longer know where our city ranks in utility rates.

East County Magazine asked SDG&E why it stopped participating in the survey. Stephanie Donovan, senior communications manager for SDG&E, sent this response:

SOCIAL ACTIVITIES SUSPENDED AT FRATERNITES ON SDSU FOLLOWING SEXUAL ASSAULTS

 

By Miriam Raftery

November 25, 2014 (San Diego) -- Today, San Diego State University has issued a statement indicating that fraternities  on campus are suspending all activities indefinitely due to recent sexual assaults on campus, including a rape at a frat house over the weekend--the seventh sexual assault on campus since the fall semester began.  Leaders of the Greek groups on campus pledged that they will “immediately take proactive steps toward addressing this extremely serious issue and the Greek community's role in it."

IMMIGRANTS’ ADVOCATES VOICE JOY, THANKS FOR PRESIDENT’S ACTIONS ON IMMIGRATION AS CONSERVATIVES DENOUNCE THE CHANGES

 

 

 

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

 

 

November 23, 2014 (San Diego) – Families who no longer need to live in fear of separation or deportation have much to be thankful for following President Barack Obama’s immigration reforms announced last week. Locally, immigration activists are sharing their reactions, including Border Angels founder Enrique Morones, who was with President Obama during his historic executive action speech at Del Sol High School in Las Vegas.

“It was wonderful to join old friends that have fought and continue to be with us in the struggle for humane immigration policies, and as we discussed, we still have a long ways to go,” Morones wrote in a letter thanking supporters.  “As I told President Obama, `Gracias, this executive action is why many of us voted for you,” Morones added. “We have much more work to do, more to be included, Si Se Puede!’”

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