San Diego

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!’”

LAWSUIT AGAINST GUHSD OVER FUNDS FOR ALPINE HIGH SCHOOL TO BE HEARD IN COURT DEC. 5

 

East County News Service

November 22, 2014 Alpine) – Alpine Union School District (AUSD) and the Alpine Taxpayers for Bond Accountability are seeking an injunction to stop the Grossmont Union High School District (GUHSD) from spending money that plaintiffs contend should be set aside to build a high school in Alpine.  The case will be heard on December 5 at 1:30 p.m. in San Diego Superior Court, Dept. C-66 by Judge Joel Pressman.   View the lawsuit here.

The suit contends that the Grossmont district is “unlawfully wasting school bond revenues approved by the voters for an Alpine high school” by spending the money from Prop H or U on other unauthorized projects.  However the Alpine plaintiffs seek only to block bond fund use on any new or future construction projects – not interrupt any pending or contracted for construction projects.

EAST COUNTY ROUNDUP: LOCAL AND STATEWIDE NEWS

November 19, 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.

DESTINATION EAST COUNTY: TOP FESTIVALS AND EVENTS NOV. 22 – DEC. 7

 

November 19, 2014 (San Diego’s East County)--This week’s Destination East County includes events ushering in the holiday season, from a tree lighting and snow sledding in Santee to the annual Mother Goose Parade …plus we’ll have previews of some coming attractions in the next week or so, including musicals, Lemon Grove’s holiday bonfire and Big Bad Voodoo Daddy’s Holiday Party. 

So stay tuned for all of these events and much, much more, from East County Magazine.

EAST COUNTY ROUNDUP: LOCAL AND STATEWIDE NEWS

November 12, 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.

FIREWORKS SHOOT INTO CROWD AT QUALCOMM 'S SDSU HOMECOMING GAME CELEBRATION

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

November 9,2014 (San Diego) – An 11-year-old suffered burns to the chest and torso after a fireworks launcher tipped over and sent a firework into field levels seats at Qualcomm Stadium Saturday night.

The accident occurred during the annual KGB Sky Show extravaganza following the San Diego State University homecoming game, in which SDSU defeated the Idaho State Vandals 35-21.

A CBS news report indicates up to five people may have been hit, though it’s unclear whether any were seriously injured.  UT San Diego reports the 1y-ear-old had burns on the torso and legs.

COURT RULES COUNTY’S CLIMATE CHANGE PLAN IS NOT ADEQUATE

 

By Miriam Raftery

November 7, 2014 (San Diego)—The County’s climate action plan lacks teeth to assure that greenhouse gas emission goals will be met,  California’s 4th District Court of Appeal has ruled. The Appellate Court upheld a San Diego County judge’s ruling in a lawsuit filed by the Sierra Club.

The Sierra Club argued that the county’s reliance on voluntary measures and lack of clear deadlines were not enough to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by the targeted amounts by 2020. The Court also noted that the County rejected mitigation proposed by the Sierra Club without  valid reasons.

GREEN HOMES TOUR NOV. 9 INCLUDES INNOVATIVE EAST COUNTY RESIDENCES

Photo: This house rocks! Boulder in center of Jamul home absorbs heat by day and gives off warmth by night.

 

East County News Service

November 6, 2014 (San Diego’s East County)—The San Diego Green Building Council will hold its Green Homes Tour this Sunday, November 9th from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The tour features innovative, sustainably designed homes throughout San Diego County.  There is a $5 fee for non-members. Several East County homes are on the tour.

SETTLEMENT TO HALT FORCED DEPORTATIONS

 

East County News Service

November 6, 2014 (San Diego’s East County) – A hearing is set for February 9, 2015 to approve a final settlement in the American Civil Liberties (ACLU) lawsuit to halt forced deportations by the U.S. Border Patrol and Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE).

The ACLU won a class action lawsuit filed in 2013 after demonstrating that officials threatened, lied and intimidated undocumented immigrants, forcing them to sign “voluntary” deportation papers even if they had strong claims to remain in the U.S.

EAST COUNTY ROUNDUP: LOCAL AND STATEWIDE NEWS

November 6, 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.

FASCINATING FACTS FROM THE REGISTRAR OF VOTERS

November 4, 2014 (San Diego) – Voters are casting ballots today at 1432 precincts with 1236 polling places manned by 6300 poll workers. Polls close at 8 p.m. tonight.  Unusual polling places include an equestrian center in Ramona, a pet wash and a fencing center in Escondido, a bowling alley in San Marcos, a theater in San Diego, and a museum in Vista.

The Registrar of Voters is forecasting a 50 to 55 percent turnout in today’s gubernatorial election. If accurate, that would be lower than the 64% in2010 and 57% in 2006.  As of noon yesterday, only 281,147 mail-in ballots out of 868,122 issued countywide had been turned in. Voters who have not yet mailed in absentee ballots can drop them off at polling places.

RED FLAG WARNING FOR FIRE DANGER ISSUED

 

November 4, 2014 (San Diego) -- With strong, gusty winds and low humidity in the forecast, the National Weather Service has issued a Red Flag warning effective immediately for the inland valleys and mountains. The warning is expected to last until 5 p.m. on Thursday night.

Santa Ana winds of 20-30 miles per hours are forecast, with gusts up to 55 miles per hour in places.  The Santa Ana Wildfire Threat Index for San Diego (Zone 3) indicates that the threat will peak on Wednesday with a threat rating of moderate.

EAST COUNTY VOTING GUIDE: NONPARTISAN INFORMATION FROM EAST COUNTY MAGAZINE

 

 

 

East County News Service

November 3, 2014 (San Diego’s East County)— East County Magazine has compiled this handy guide for you with links to all of our coverage of local races, as well as some statewide and federal (Congressional) races on your ballot for the election on Tuesday, November 4. 

We invited all candidates running in local races listed below to be interviewed, and include print and/or  radio interviews with those who responded.   We also have links to our coverage of debates, candidate forums, analysis, editorials submitted by our readers (ECM does not editorialize), and other relevant information on candidates and ballot propositions. Also see below for links to additional nonpartisan resources for info on these and other races.

Our nonpartisan guide is arranged in three sections: local, state, and federal (Congressional) races, with  the races alphabetical under each section. To view, click "read more" below and scroll down.

HEAR OUR IN-DEPTH INTERVIEWS WITH CONGRESSWOMAN SUSAN DAVIS & HER OPPONENT, LARRY WILSKE

 

 

Listen now! (audio files may take a few moments to load)

Congresswoman Susan Davis: http://kiwi6.com/file/xfmt493q90

Challenger Larry Wilske: http://kiwi6.com/file/41cph92w6r

October 23, 2014 (San Diego’s East County) – We sat down for in-depth interviews with Congresswoman Susan Davis, a Democrat, and her opponent, Republican Larry Wilske, a Navy Seal.   Hear their views on jobs, the economy, energy, women’s issues, education, healthcare, Social Security, military actions in the Middle East and the refugee crisis, immigration, border security, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the needs of veterans and military families, the prospects of another government shut-down, and more.

Wilske called for boots on the ground in Syria, reform of NAFTA to encourage manufacturing in the U.S., creation of a cross-border rail line, increased use of oil refineries, nuclear and algae fuels, arming teachers to reduce school violence, stopping employers from hiring illegal immigrants, and allowing veterans to receive private healthcare when VA hospitals are backlogged.  

Davis discussed ideas to increase commerce at the border, boost funding for National Institute of Health research on Ebola, strengthen public education and keep college affordable, boost the economy through immigration reform, protect healthcare , Social Security and women’s rights, address climate change and seek a long-range strategy for addressing the ISIL terrorist threats in Syria and Iraq.

EAST COUNTY ROUNDUP: LOCAL AND STATEWIDE NEWS

 

October 22, 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, scroll down.

GROSSMONT HOSPITAL SHARES EBOLA READINESS DETAILS

 

 

 

A joint report by East County Magazine and Reporting San Diego

By Miriam Raftery and Nadin Abbott

October 21, 2014 (La Mesa) – How prepared is East County's major hospital to handle an Ebola patient?

We contacted Grossmont Hospital to find out.  Although the risk of this occurring here is considered low by experts, errors in a Dallas hospital's handling of an Ebola patient pointed out the importance of proper planning.  Moreover, a survey published last week by National Nurses United revealed that 85 percent of hospitals had reportedly not provided any training for nurses on Ebola and most are short on equipment for handling a patient with the infectious disease that kills 70% of victims.

We sent a detailed list of questions to Sharp Grossmont Hospital’s director of marketing and communications, Bruce Hartman, on topics such as training and protective equipment for healthcare workers, whether patients are asked about their travel histories, and plans for sanitizing areas where an Ebola patient might have been waiting or treated. He responded with this detailed statement, followed by answers to our questions below.

The Hospital's responses include changes in procedures being made to reflect new guidelines just issued by the federal government, such as providing full protective suits with no skin exposed and training in how to safely remove such gear. Below is the full text of Hartman's response:

DESCANSO’S WATER BOARD ACCUSED OF COVER-UPS ON URANIUM CONTAMINATION AND MORE

 

Open letter sent to District Attorney, Grand Jury, ratepayers and regulators

October 18, 2014 (Descanso) – An open letter sent to ratepayers, the County Grand Jury, health officials, legislators, media and District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis accuses the Descanso Community Water District board of covering up matters that could endanger health and property values—including uranium contamination. (ECM has previously reported on uranium in Descanso's water supply; see story here.)

The letter, titled “Secrecy—The Diseases of Corrupt Public Officials” urges ratepayers to attend the water board’s next meeting on Monday, October 27th at the Descanso Town Hall on Viejas Grade Road.  It is signed by Jeff Rzendal, BoardVice President, GarySanner, incoming Director, John LaPlante, former Director and Treasurer, and Ivan Heckscher, a ratepayer. Below is the text in full. We have asked the Board President, Lee Jonnson, for a response to the allegations raised and will publish his response once received.

SAN MIGUEL FIRE BOARD RACE IS HOT

 

Updated October 22, 2014 - CAL FIRE Chief Tony Meacham, head of the County Fire Authority, has written to dispute statements made by two candidates in this race, which he says are "factually false."  You can read details of the Chief's statements here

By Nadin Abbott

October 18, 2014 (San Diego)--In 2012, the San Miguel Fire Board voted for CAL FIRE to take over firefighting operations. The board voted unanimously for the five-year contract because the agency was deep in a hole economically and had already closed a fire station. Those in favor argued that this decision would allow the board to continue operations, recover financially, reopen the closed station and keep service at comparable levels. But critics including at least one challenger running for the board have sharply criticized the deal with Cal-Fire,  citing loss of local control and potential delays in response times, also faulting other board actions.

East County Magazine e-mailed questions to all candidates, including inquiries about the CAL FIRE arrangement and a letter the district received from the State Comptroller raising questions over the board’s finances.

The six candidates include two incumbents (Chris Winter and Rick Augustine) seeking reelection and four challengers. Three of the challengers are running together as a slate (Theresa McKenna, Jim Ek, and Mike Vacio). The other challenger is Cindy Croucher. Bios for incumbents Winter and Augustine are available on the San Miguel Fire district website

Three candidates, challengers Theresa McKenna and Jim Ek, along with incumbent Chris Winter, have responded.  Below are the questions, and their answers, posted in full in the order received.

NEW 500 kV POWER LINES PROPOSED ACROSS EAST COUNTY : MEETINGS OCT. 20-21

 

 

East County News Service

October 17, 2014 (San Diego’s East County)—The most controversial project in memory in East County was the construction of the 500kV Sunrise Powerlink, which was built despite objections of a coalition representing 79,000 people--though the route was changed amid public outcry. 

Now, a new set of 500 kV power lines are proposed through San Diego’s East County and Imperial County as part of the draft Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan (DRECP) which is currently available for public review and comment at www.drecp.org. The plan aims to open 22 million acres up for energy development including vast swaths in our region.

SDSU STUDENT DECLARED BRAIN DEAD FROM BACTERIAL MENINGITIS; HUNDREDS POSSIBLIY EXPOSED

 

Correction:  An SDSU press release Friday incorrectly stated that Stelzer had died.  The university later clarified that she was brain dead and being kept on life support pending possible donation of her organs. She has since been removed from life support and her organs were donated to help save several lives.

East County News Service

October 17, 2014 (San Diego) – An 18-year-old freshman at San Diego State University has died of meningococcal meningitis.  Sara Stelzer from Moorpark, who was studying pre-communications, passed away at a local hospital after flu-like symptoms, SDSU announced today.

According to CBS News in Los Angeles, Stelzer was a member of a sorority at SDSU and had recently attended two fraternity parties and her sister’s 21st birthday party. She was also in Moorpark over the weekend for homecoming at Moorpark High School.  County health officials are seeking those who have been in close contact with Stelzer and may have been exposed.

EAST COUNTY ROUNDUP: LOCAL AND STATEWIDE NEWS

October 15, 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.

EXCLUSIVE! ECM RADIO INTERVIEW WITH JAMES KIMBER, 50TH CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATE, NOW ONLINE

 

 

Listen to our full interview here (it may take a few moments to load): http://k007.kiwi6.com/hotlink/cofd06nvhi/Newsmaker-Kimber-James-.mp3 . For highlights, click “read more” and scroll down.

By Miriam Raftery

October 14, 2014 (San Diego’s East County) – East County Magazine invited both candidates for the 50th Congressional District to be interviewed on our radio show.  Congressman Duncan D. Hunter did not respond, but we did sit down for an in-depth interview with his opponent, Navy veteran and medical professional James Kimber, who talked about his views on topics including Social Security, healthcare, education, veterans, women's issues, bringing jobs to the district, student loans, energy issues, the Iraq and Syria conflicts, and the need to bring back compromise and end the partisan divide in Congress. 

Kimber has served in the healthcare field for 30 years, currently as a physician assistant specializing in neurosurgery. Asked why he’s running for Congress, he states, “I see the inaction going on within Congress. There are a lot of issues facing this country and some of them are very serious right now, but Congress has stepped back and they’re not working together very well right now.”

SAN DIEGO NAMED A TOP THRILL-SEEKING CITY, CALIFORNIA IS #1 STATE

 

October 12, 2014 (San Diego)--For experienced daredevils, that adrenaline rush is hard to come by when you are scared of virtually nothing. So, where do all of these gutsy guys and gals live and what do they do for thrills and excitement?

HOMELAND SECURITY: HUNTER CLAIMS OF ISIS ARRESTS AT U.S. BORDER ARE “FALSE”

 

 

"The suggestion that individuals who have ties to ISIL have been apprehended at the Southwest border is categorically false, and not supported by any evidence."--Marsha Catron, Homeland Security

By Miriam Raftery

October 8, 2014 (San Diego’s East County) – Congressman Duncan D. Hunter (R-El Cajon) is drawing flack on national news media for claiming on Fox News  that ISIS (also known as ISIL) terrorists have been apprehended crossing the U.S.-Mexico Border. ( View video.)  Multiple sources within Homeland Security and Mexico now insist that Hunter is wrong.

Hunter told Greta Van Sustern on Fox News that “I know that at least 10 ISIS fighters have been caught coming across the Mexican border in Texas.” He said he got the information from a confidential Border Patrol source.

SHERIFF SEEKS SURVEILLANCE VIDEOS AS SEARCH FOR MISSING WOMAN IN JULIAN CONTINUES

 

Update October 8, 2014:  The search for Sally Estabrook continues.  A witness reported seeing someone resembling her Monday walking near mile marker 15.  A dog search team and helicopters with night-vision goggles have joined in the search.

East County News Service

October 6, 2014 (Julian) – Take a look at these newly-released photos of 75-year old Sally Estabrook, who suffers from Alzheimer’s disease and has been missing since Saturday, October 4th  from the Pinezanita RV Park & Campground on Highway 79.  Dozens of Sheriff’s Search and Rescue volunteers have joined professional search teams from across Southern California.

The Sheriff is asking anyone with surveillance video (home or business) from the day she disappeared to come forward, in hopes of finding clues.

Estabrook’s husband discovered she was missing after he finished taking a shower around 4 p.m. Saturday.  The search has been going on ever since then.  On Monday, the search area was expanded to five miles outside of the campground.

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