November 2013 Articles

UPTICK IN AVOIDABLE NATURAL GAS LINE DAMAGE PROMPTS WARNING TO CONTRACTORS: CALL 8-1-1 BEFORE YOU DIG

 

CONTRACTORS REMINDED TO “CALL 8-1-1 BEFORE YOU DIG”

Nov. 6, 2014 (San Diego) – In response to an increase in damage to unmarked natural gas pipelines, San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) is reminding contractors about the importance of calling 8-1-1 before you dig. In the third-quarter of 2014, SDG&E crews repaired third-party damage to 50 natural gas lines, compared to 36 in the second quarter and 15 in the first quarter. Calling 8-1-1 or Underground Service Alert will help avoid possible injury or damage to hidden gas lines or service interruption (video link).

ROSE PARADE FLOAT TO HONOR MEATBALL, RESCUED BEAR IN ALPINE

 

By Miriam Raftery

December 28, 2013 (Alpine) -- Meatball’s fame just keeps growing.  On New Year’s Day, the Rose Parade will feature a float honoring Meatball, the now famous black bear residing at Lions, Tigers and Bears, a rescue facility in Alpine. 

Meatball was removed from the wild after he started raiding trashcans in a suburban Glendale neighborhood, where he had a fondness for frozen meatballs. Now the City of Glendale is drawing attention to the situation of Meatball of other wildlife with its float in the Rose Parade. The float, titled “Let’s Be Neighbors” will feature a mechanized Meatball in a trash can surrounded by other forest creatures.

MONARCHS SHUT OUT OF CIF CHAMPIONSHIP

 

By David Dickens

December 17, 2013 (San Diego’s East County) -- -Monte Vista (7-6) was expected to cruise through this Division 4 rematch on December 8th against the Sweetwater High Red Devils(9-4)for the SDCIF crown. However, just like the age old saying, “ On any given Sunday,” this time the whims of fate kicked in on Saturday. Playoffs at any level discounts regular season play as a whole new atmosphere.

The ironic stat in this battle:  not a single pass was thrown in the Monarch triumph early in the regular season play; this time it was the pass that stole the game.

USFW SAYS RAPTOR KILLED BY TRUCK IN BOULEVARD WAS HAWK, NOT EAGLE

 

By Miriam Raftery

December 4, 2013 (Boulevard) -- The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has completed its examination of a raptor euthanized after it was struck by a semi- truck in Boulevard on November 27. 

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has confirmed the species of bird  as a red-tailed hawk, said Jane Hendron, Public Affairs Division Chief with the USFWS in Carlsbad.

EAST COUNTY GOOD SAMARITAN RECOGNIZED WORLDWIDE FOR PAYING IT FORWARD, HELPING STRANDED MOTORISTS

 

Story and photos by Sharon A. Penny

December 1, 2013 (El Cajon)--Thomas Weller of El Cajon has had stories printed throughout the nation about his acts of kindness (by CBS News, The LA Times, People Magazine and NPR, among others), as well as international publications. Yet this East County man remains humble and steadfast in his pursuit of paying it forward.

Weller, known as the San Diego Highwayman (www.sandiegohighwayman.com) has been helping distressed motorists for almost 50 years. He never accepts payment for his kind gestures – which include providing gas for empty tanks to replacing batteries to fixing flats. Instead, he hands each motorist a card with the following inscription:

“Assisting you has been my pleasure. I ask for no payment other than for you to pass on the favor by helping someone in distress that you may encounter.”

APPLICATIONS ACCEPTED THROUGH DECEMBER 4 FOR EL CAJON COUNCIL OPENING

 

December 2, 2013 (El Cajon)--The City of El Cajon is accepting applications to fill a vacancy on the El Cajon City Council.   The deadline to apply is Wednesday, December 4 at 5:30 p.m. and applications are available at the city’s website. 

To be eligible, you must be a resident and a registered voter when you apply and throughout your term of office.  The seat is open to fill the vacancy left when Councilman Bill Wells was appointed Mayor, after former Mayor Mark Lewis resigned.

ALPINE TEACHERS AND PUBLIC EXPRESS FRUSTRATION AT THE BOARD AND SUPERINTENDENT

 

By Janis Mork

November 30, 2013 (Alpine)- At the  Alpine Union School District Board meeting on November 21st, many teachers and the community expressed their frustrations at the school board over fiscal issues, many asking why the Superintendent gets a raise when the district is facing a financial crisis and teachers are being asked to take more furloughs and cuts.

Everyone who spoke voiced anger at the school Board or criticized the Superintendent. In all, there were 22 speakers.  Superintendent Tom Pellegrino responded, “I believe I’m the only person who makes less money,” noting that cuts have negated his raise, as he explained in detail in a later interview with ECM.” I do not have an overall raise.”

DESERT SOLAR PROJECTS ARE BURNING BIRDS ALIVE

 

Shocking toll from solar facility pales, however, compared to estimated 100,000 bird deaths from wind turbines in CA

By Miriam Raftery

November 25, 2013 (California) – Desert solar projects have been touted as environmentally friendly.  But now disturbing evidence has emerged that these projects are incinerating birds flying overhead.Two months ago,  34 birds were found dead or injured at Ivanpah Solar (photo, left, by Tom Budlong) owned by BrightSource Energy in  San Bernardino County, California. Almost half had singed feathers and some had nothing left but spines where feathers melted from  reflected beams of sunlight, according to a report  in The Desert Sun.

The toll was even worse in October, when 52 dead birds were found at the site, 17 with scorched feathers (see photo, below right)  Ivanpah, still in testing phase, is the world's largest solar facility -- but it's not the only one frying birds. Another 19 birds were found dead at another project, Desert Sunlight, also in California.  More such facilities are planned, incdluing Palen’s proposed project in the Coachella Valley that would be located near two wildlife refuges where migrating birds stop in the Pacific Flyway.

JACUMBA WALK ABOUT SATURDAY

 

November 28, 2013 (Jacumba Hot Springs) – The Jacumba Hikers and Walkers have a new schedule with many interesting outings coming up.  A favorite among participants is the Jacumba Walk About coming up this Saturday, November 30 to explore Jacumba’s hidden treasures.

This three to four mile roundtrip walk is rated easy.   It is also dog friendly, though dogs must be on a six foot leash.

A BIRDSEYE VIEW INSIDE THE WADDLE AND TROT THANKSGIVING DAY 5K RUN

 

By  Grey Feathers

November 28, 2013 (Santee) – The second annual Waddle and Trot 5K run began and ended at the Pathways Community Church, the sponsors of the event.  Proceeds will be evenly split between the Santee Santas and the Santee Food Bank.  This was a certified 5K run on a fast and nearly flat course around Santee Lakes.  The family-friendly event attracted serious runners to casual walkers on a sunny beautiful Thanksgiving morning.

On the starting-line were contestants with team shirts and bright-colored running-shoes.  In the middle of the crowd were great grandfathers, teenagers, parents with infants and children.  Near the back were dozens of strollers with precious cargo along for the ride. 

This was my first 5K run ever and I found myself locked in an epic battle for last place.

TOP TIPS TO PROTECT YOUR HOME AND FAMILY DURING THANKSGIVING

 

November 27, 2013 (San Diego) – The holiday season isn't all twinkling lights and home-baked pies. Did you know that household hazards and preventable damages peak significantly in the holiday season? For example, on average, there are three times more turkey fryer claims during the holiday season than any other time of the year. The median cost for turkey fryer-related claims is almost $29,000.

Many holiday traditions — including decorating trees, stringing electric lights, lighting candles and preparing elaborate meals — can pose risks if not handled properly.

SAN DIEGO MAYORAL CANDIDATES AGREE TO SIX DEBATES AHEAD OF FEBRUARY ELECTION

 

November 28, 2013 (San Diego) – Mayoral candidates and San Diego City Councilmembers David Alvarez and Kevin Faulconer announced a scheduling agreement for debates in the special runoff election campaign.

The agreement came after more than 30 debates and forums were scheduled in the eight-week primary election ending November 19, 2013. The top two finishers said they’ve agreed to participate in six debates to be held after the New Year.

RECYCLE THANKSGIVING TURKEY FAT, OIL AND GREASE (FOG) AT EDCO BUYBACK CENTERS FOR BIOFUEL

 

November 28, 2013 (La Mesa)--EDCO would like to remind residents that kitchen fat, oil and grease (FOG) that’s left over from daily cooking, or after deep frying a Thanksgiving turkey, can be recycled. For interested residents, EDCO has a free, safe and more environmentally friendly option for disposing of household FOG.

Residents are asked to simply collect used discarded FOG in a leak-proof container and drop it off free of charge at one of EDCO’s conveniently located Buyback Centers. The FOG will then ultimately be processed, filtered and converted into bio-diesel by a third party processor to power vehicles. 

TURKEY TROT AND MOTORCYCLE RUN IN RAMONA NOV. 30

November 28, 2013 (Ramona) – Two of East County’s more unusual holiday traditions will take place this Saturday in Ramona.   The public is invited to bring new toys, clothes, gift cards, household items or donations  to the Holiday House Motorcycle Run, which helps the Ambassadors Foundation benefit children, senior citizens, military members and animals.  Later , the Ramona Trails Association and San Vicente Saddle Club will hold a Turkey Trot for outdoor enthusiasts, with a potluck lunch at Hellenback winery.

BLACK FRIDAY SHOPPING IN RAMONA

 

November 29, 2013 (Ramona) -- On Friday, Ramona’s East End merchants are offering up a hometown Black Friday in Ramona's Old Town   Starting at 8 a.m., stroll the town’s historic Main Street between 5th and 8th, for sidewalk sales and unique gifts offered by shop owners.  

Later, you can  head up to Ramona Ranch Winery for wine and pizza at 23578 Highway 78 (3 miles east of Ramona's Old Town).   For $10, you can taste 5 different wines; Trezette’s catering will be serving up flatbread pizza and salad from noon to 4 p.m. for an additional $9 each.   Wine is also available by the glasss and bottles will be discounted.

POT DROPS: SMUGGLERS BUSTED WITH ULTRA-LIGHT AIRCRAFT

 

November 28, 2013 (San Diego)-- Agents with U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) Office of Air and Marine (OAM) and the Border Patrol interrupted a drug smuggling attempt involving air drops of marijuana bales from  an ultra-light aircraft Monday.  Authorities seized over 260 pounds of marijuana with a street value of $157,000. Two suspects were arrested, said Mary Beth Caston with the Border Patrol.

GOOD SAMARITANS REPLACE STOLEN CHRISTMAS DECORATIONS FOR EL CAJON FAMILY

 

November 28, 2013 (El Cajon) – Just in time for Thanksgiving, El Cajon resident Jacque Bradfute and her 6-year-old stepdaughter, Haley, have new holiday decorations  to replace a stolen display. The heartwarming donations came from a secret Santa with help from El Cajon residents Deena While and Shirley Johnson.

On Monday,  just after putting up holiday décor including an inflatable Santa, Bradfute heard a commotion and came out to find everything missing, like a scene straight out of How the Grinch Stole Christmas.

SANTA YSABEL MAN KILLED IN EL CAJON POLICE PURSUIT

Photo courtesy ECM news partner 10 News

November 28, 2013 (El Cajon)--A police pursuit in El Cajon ended in the death of Carl Lee Denmark, 22, a resident of Santa Ysabel.

Denmark was driving a stolen motorcycle at a high rate of speed with El Cajon Police officers in pursuit on November 9 when he lost control and was ejected, then run over by a vehicle.  The accident occurred on Graves Avenue near the 67 interchange at Broadway.

JULIAN MAN FOUND DEAD IN OCEANSIDE HARBOR

 

November 27, 2013 (Julian) -- The County Medical Examiner has identified Greg Dwight Conitz, 56, of Julian as the man whose body was found floating in Oceanside Harbor on bn November 23.

On November 22, Conitz went to stay on his boat in a slip at Oceanside Harbor. That night, he went with friends to local bars and consumed alcohol, the Medical Examiner's report states. The next morning, another friend found Conitz floating in the weater yet another boat at slip#2. 

ELDERLY WOMAN FOUND DEAD IN ALPINE; SON ARRESTED FOR MURDER

November 27, 2013 (Alpine) – The body of a missing 81-year-old Los Angeles woman was found Tuesday in the 600 block of Alpine Heights Road near Avenida del Cielo in Alpine.  Her name has not been released by authorities, however the Los Angeles Times reports that her son, 53, has been arrested in Los Angeles County and booked on suspicion of murder.

ARE ARIZONA RATEPAYERS PAYING +9 MILLION FOR ATTACK ADS?

 

Reprinted with permission from San Diego Loves Green

By Roy L. Hales

November 27, 2013 – In the wake of a widening misinformation scandal in Arizona, the Alliance for Solar Choice (TASC) is calling on utility trade organization Edison Electric Institute (EEI), “… to disavow APS’ underhanded behavior and state whether or not they have also used dark money.”

JINGLE PAWS WALK FOR PETS DEC. 7

 

November 27, 2013 (El Cajon) – The 7th annual Jingle Paws Walk for Pets will be held on December 7 at Wells Park in El Cajon. 

This popular holiday event also features Santa’s Playground complete with games for dogs and their owners, an agility course for your pet.  New this year -- a lure course for dogs that love to run is available for an additional fee.

Santa’s Village features vendors with pet products, photos with Santa, refreshments and a silent auction. Plus guests can meet adoptable pets from local rescue organizations. 

READER'S EDITORIAL: MY WORLD IN SEPIA - REMEMBERING THE GREAT CEDAR FIRE OF 2013

 

 

By E.A. Barrera

November 27, 2013 (San Diego) – Even now, ten years since the flames have died and the air has cleared, the sight of it all still seems unreal - the earth outside my door in smolders and flames. Waking up that Sunday morning to the sounds of Santa Ana winds and an unpleasant sky, the Great Fires of 2003 were still a world away. They were still off in some remote back-country. Dreadful to consider - but none the less esoteric, and lacking any influence upon my Sunday morning routine.

CALIFORNIA ART CLUB AND OLAF WIEGHORST MUSEUM HOST JURIED ART SHOW

 

November 27, 2013 (San Diego) – The works of some of San Diego County’s most talented and promising landscape artists will be on exhibit in a juried art show sponsored by the California Art Club (CAC) and hosted by the Olaf Wieghorst Museum. Landscapes of the West opened October 8 and runs through January 11, 2014, at the museum’s downtown El Cajon location at 131 Rea Avenue. El Cajon’s Olaf Wieghorst Museum is dedicated to preserving America’s western heritage. It houses the works of Olaf Wieghorst, an internationally recognized western artist whose paintings have been praised and acquired by royalty, presidents and celebrities. Born in Denmark, the self-taught artist immigrated to the United States and eventually settled in El Cajon. His restored ranch house is a local landmark and sits on museum property.

SDSU INSTRUCTOR HONORED BY WHITE HOUSE AS "CHAMPION OF CHANGE"

 

November 27, 2013 (San Diego) – Elizabeth Perez-Halperin, an assistant instructor in the online Professional Certificate in Green Energy Management program through San Diego State University’s College of Extended Studies, was recently honored at a White House Champion of Change event as a Veteran Advancing Clean Energy and Climate Security.

STATE BOARD OF EQUALIZATION ACTION SIMPLIFIES PRICES FOR MOBILE FOOD TRUCK ITEMS

 

November 27, 2013 (San Diego) – The California State Board of Equalization (BOE) acted to make pricing of food sold from mobile food trucks more business and customer-friendly. The Board Members’ unanimous vote at their November 19, 2013 meeting will change a regulation to presume that sales tax is included in the listed price of the food.

“For years I’ve worked with food truck owners in my district to help them navigate California’s complex sales tax laws,” said Michelle Steel, Vice Chair of the Board. “I proposed this regulation to Board staff as a way to make life easier for these small-business owners. I am grateful that my colleagues unanimously supported this taxpayer-friendly change.”

MEMBERS OF CONGRESS WANT ANSWERS ON BORDER PATROL ABUSES

 

November 27, 2013 (San Diego) – This week, led by Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA) and Rep. Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ), 20 members of Congress wrote to the Acting Commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) requesting a meeting to discuss the agency's use of force policies.

Their letter (see below) comes a week after it was reported that CBP has elected not to implement a key recommendation made by the Police Executive Research Forum.  The widely respected law enforcement policy organization had urged the agency to restrict the use of deadly force in situations involving rock throwers and people in vehicles.  CBP also continues to resist full public disclosure of its use of force policies despite a series of deaths and widespread allegations of abuse involving CBP personnel.

VIEJAS OPENS PARKING GARAGE AND SKYWALK, PRIVATE DINING ROOM, AND NEW BAR

 

November 27, 2013 (San Diego’s East County) – Viejas Casino & Resort officially opened their new 4-story parking structure on Friday, with a Native American Blessing and traditional Birdsongs.

After the ribbon was cut and the parking structure opened to the public, KUSI’s David Davis was among those who drove a brand new Porsche into the parking structure.

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