By Nadin Abbott
April 12, 2013 (San Diego)— County Supervisors directed the Chief Administration Officer, by a 3-2 vote, to come back in 120 days with options for a comprehensive renewable energy plan, including time and cost estimates. The measure was introduced by Supervisor Dianne Jacob, who believes it is time to stop the ad hoc way of authorizing each proposed energy development.
Jacob, who represents the 2nd district in East County where most of these projects are proposed, said before the vote that this is “a double edge sword” for her. Projects already underway will be grandfathered in and not affected, according to Jacob’s instructions. She emphasized this point to Industry members present who raised opposition to this plan.
Photo courtesy ECM news partner 10 News
April 11, 2013 (Alpine) – An 82-year-old man was serious injured while sitting on a bus stop bench outside a Circle K store on Tavern Road in Alpine. A Volkswagon Jetta parked near gas pumps rolled out of the parking lot, pinning the man underneath.
“Several Alpine angels were able to lift the car and pull him out from under before an ambulance got there,” Dana Halzip posted on the Alpine Community Network.
April 11,2013 (El Cajon) – A man found dead along the I-8 off ramp at Mollison in El Cajon was a transient, according to El Cajon spokesperson Monica Zech.
"They like to live in the bushes, and many don't want to leave the streets,” she said.The man is not believed to have been struck by a vehicle and cause of death is not yet known pending an autopsy.
By Nadin Abbott
April 7, 2013 (San Diego)— ECM spoke with County Board of Education Board Member Greg Robinson today. He shared details on how extensive the face of poverty has become in the County and how this affects our children. He also spoke of sequestration cuts and why living wages matter.
“El Cajon has the highest rate of poverty in San Diego County,” Robinson observed, adding that poverty leads to serious problems of food insecurity as more people are going hungry.
April 11, 2013 (Lakeside) – Two public meetings are scheduled regarding Lakeside's Lindo Lake.
The County of San Diego Department of Parks and Recreation will hold a public meeting on Wednesday, April 17 at 6 p.m. at the Lakeside Community Center. The purpose of this meeting is to discuss the long term plans for Lindo Lake and obtain community input. All members of the public are welcome to attend. The meeting will be held at the Lakeside Community Center, 9841 Vine Street, Lakeside.
The Lindo Lake Subcommittee will hold a meeting on Monday May 6, 2013 at 9 a.m. to review the community input of the April 17, 2013 meeting and possibly develop recommendations to submit to the County regarding Lindo Lake.
By Miriam Raftery
April 10, 2013 (Potrero) – Jerry Fowler, who suffered serious injuries after falling into a well in Potrero on March 13, is now out of the intensive care unit at Sharps memorial Hospital but is still on “some life support” according to his parents, Thell and Normal Fowler.
“As of now, he is awake a lot of the time and sees us with his eyes and moves his head when we talk to him. He can move his arms and legs, squeezes our hands and rubs his thumb on the back of our hands to let us know he knows it is us,” his parents wrote in an e-mail to concerned community members. “His doctor says he is not out of the woods yet, but he has a long way to go. At first the doctors said that from the damage of the fall he may not ever wake up, but he has proven them wrong.”
By Miriam Raftery
Photo Courtesy 10 News
April 10, 2013 (Ramona) – Students and faculty at Ramona High School are reacting with shock and sadness to the death of Taylor Dorman, 16. He was accidentally hit in the chest with a ball during an over –the-line game in physical education class late this morning.
The teen initially showed no sign of trauma and continued playing the game, Assistant Principal Kathryn Gunderson told the U-T San Diego. But 20 minutes later, he collapsed after walking across the field with a friend. A teacher called 911 and Mercy Air landed at the school to fly Taylor to Palomar Medical Center, where he died at approximately 4 p.m.
“He was a great young man,’ principal Tony Newman said, the Ramona Sentinel reporter. “He was very well-liked on campus…We will remember some good memories and keep them alive in our hearts and our thoughts and our conversations.”
April 8, 2013 (San Diego's East County) - An attorney representing Quail Brush Genco, a subsidiary of Carlyle Infrastructure Partners, has submitted a letter to the California Energy Commission's siting committee today. The letter requests a one-year suspension of consideration on the proposed gas-fired Quail Brush power plant near Mission Trails Regional Park.
The announcement was hailed as "good news" in an e-mail from Preserve Wild Santee sent to opponents of the project, which has generated widespread community opposition.
April 8, 2013 (San Diego's East County)-- The CHP has shut down I-8 westbound at the Ocotillo grade to high-profile vehicles due to heavy winds. In addition, heavy fog is reported in Japatul Valley on I-8 east of Alpine. Use caution if you must drive in these areas.
April 7, 2013 (San Diego’s East County) – The National Weather Service has issued a high wind warning in effect from 6 p.m. tonight to 6 p.m. Monday evening. Gusts of up to 70 miles per hour with sustained winds of 25-35 mph are forecast for mountain , desert, valley and coastal areas in San Diego County.
Strongest winds are expected on Monday. Expect blowing sand and dust in desert areas that will reduce visibility. Driving may be difficult in windy areas, particularly for high-profile vehicles. Be watchful for broken tree limbs; property damage is possible. In coastal areas, winds will bring hazardous conditions for small craft, high surf and strong rip currents.
April 11, 2013 (Poway) – A head-on collision in Poway on April 8 at 3:02 p.m. has caused serious injury. Sheriff’s deputies responded to the crash on Metate Lane at Alpine Drive.
According to the Sheriff, a preliminary investigation found that the driver of a sedan traveling westbound fell asleep at the wheel and drove into the eastbound lanes, colliding head-on with an oncoming sport utility vehicle (SUV). Both drivers were taken to a hospital. The sedan driver suffered non-life-threatening but serious injuries. The SUV driver suffered minor injuries. Both were released from the hospital a short time later.
Metate Lane was closed for two hours. DUI is not suspected as a factor.
By Nadin Abbott; photos by Tom Abbott
April 5, 2013(Lakeside)— The Border Patrol Search, Trauma and Rescue (BORSTAR) team has found 3-month-old Arisa Van Goerlitz safe tonight at 7:30 p.m. following a massive search in Lakeside. Searchers spent hours combing an area along the San Diego River bed including transient camps before locating the infant and her aunt, Deborah Ann Fowler, who has been arrested.
“The baby is okay,” Sergeant Greg Hampton of the Lemon Grove Sheriff’s station told media at the scene. “She is being evaluated by the Fire Department.” The baby was later transported to Grossmont Hospital for evaluation. The child is now in the hands of Child Protective Services and has been taken to the Polinsky’s Children Center.
The infant girl was reported missing this morning by her grandmother, Joyce Matyas, in Spring Valley at around 11:30.
April 5, 2013 (San Diego’s East County) – As darkness nears, a search intensifies for a woman suspected of abducting a 3-week-old baby, her niece, from the 9100 block of Valencia Street in Spring Valley, the Sheriff’ s office has confirmed.
A black SUV belonging to the suspect, Deborah Ann Fowler, 46, was found abandoned in the 10000 block of Vine Street in Lakeside. A multil-agency search team is scouring banks of the San Diego Riverbed including transient camps.
According to ECM news partner 10 News, the child's grandmother has custody of the infant, Anissa Von Goerlitz. She told deputies she awoke after a nap around 11:30 to find the child missing and believed the three-week-old baby may have been taken without permission by an aunt. The aunt's vehicle was seen in Lakeside.
April 5, 2013 (San Diego’s East County) – A search is underway for a woman suspected of abducting a 3-week-old baby, her niece, from the 9100 block of Valencia Street in Spring Valley, the Sheriff’ s office has confirmed.
The suspect, Deborah Fowler, 46, may be in Lakeside. A black SUV belonging to the suspect was found abandoned on Vine Street. Deputies have been searching along the San Diego Riverbed including transient camps.
April 4, 2013 (Ramona) --The San Diego Sheriff's office has issued a safety reminder for hikers planning to visit Cedar Creek Falls, where the long-closed trail from Ramona will be reopened tomorrow and a new permit system will take effect. Below is the Sheriff's statement:
The west access to Cedar Creek Falls in Ramona will reopen Friday, April 5th with new rules after being closed since July 2011. Hikers are now required to pay for a visitor permit. Only 75 permits for individuals and/or groups of up to five people are available each day by reservation. The permit costs six dollars. To reserve a permit, visit www.recreation.gov. This online permit system will be available starting April 5th.
Residents are asked not to harm bears; hunting bears is illegal in San Diego County
By Miriam Raftery
Photo: California Fish & Game
Today’s reported sightings of a bear in Kearny Mesa raise an intriguing question: are black bears back in San Diego County? In 1999 and 2000, a dozen black bear sightings were reported in Cuyamaca, Julian, Ramona, Palomar Mountain and other mountain areas. But none had been seen in the past 13 years—until now.
This February, a Border Patrol night-vision camera caught a surprising sight: a bear crossing a roadway between the In-Ko-Pah and Mountain Springs Road near the Imperial Valley and San Diego County line, U-T San Diego reported. ECM received a report of possible bear tracks in the southeast portion of the county last year.
Then today, multiple witnesses reporting seeing a bear in the Kearny Mesa area of San Diego. A city Enviornmental Services employee claimed to see the bear out the window of the Sheriff’s department south of Balboa Avenue and west of I-15. She summoned others, including an Idaho man familiar with bears, who said the large brown animal was indeed a bear.
By Janis Mork
April 2, 2013 (El Cajon) - Driving is multitasking. When you’re distracted, driving goes to the back of your brain,’ CHP Officer Brian Penning said Tuesday, April 2 in a press conference held at Grossmont High School to kick off National Teen Driver Safety Week.
Border Division California Highway Patrol Chief Jim Abele shared some grim statistics. “In April 2012, CHP issued over 1000 citations in San Diego County. Texting and driving continues to be a problem in California. 22% of all crashes in California are caused by distracted drivers. We will continue to educate the public about the problems of distracted driving in 2013. There’s no reason to text when you’re driving.”
Residents take offense at board member’s essay ridiculing citizens as “farm animals”
By Miriam Raftery
April 2, 2013 (Julian) – The Julian Fire-Cuyamaca Fire Protection District’s Board will hold a special meet this Thursday, April 4 at 9 a.m. to discuss the proposal to turn over firefighting services to the County Fire Authority. The meeting will be held at the Julian Women’s Club. 2607 C Street.
At the last meeting, numerous residents rose to voice opposition to the plan and concerns that dissolving the volunteer fire department could lead to longer response times and decreased public safety.
City seeks new brewery/restaurant to takeover loan
April 2, 2013 (El Cajon)--After previous good faith attempts to continue operation, the El Cajon Brewing Company, which opened in October 2011 with hefty loans of public finds, has closed its doors as of April 1.
By Miriam Raftery
April 1, 2013 (San Diego) – On March 29, a California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) administrative law judge proposed that SDG&E be allowed to increase rates for its customers by 7.7%. Ratepayers in San Diego are already paying among the highest utility rates in the nation. View the full decision here.
“The people of San Diego need to stand up and speak out against this unjustifiable and unconscionable increase in electricity rates,” said Mike Aguirre, former San Diego City Attorney. Public comments should be sent to ALJ Wong at firstname.lastname@example.org and to the assigned commissioner; a current service list for the proceeding is available at www.cpuc.ca.gov.
By Janis Mork
April 1, 2013 (San Diego)- In honor of César Chávez day, all state administrative offices, most local government offices and schools will be closed today, and all trash/recyclables will be delayed by one day. For a full list of closures and the businesses that will remain open, visit: http://fox5sandiego.com/2013/04/01/closures-for-cesar-chavez-day/#axzz2PEZ9g7Tf.
Chávez was born March 31, 1927. He became active with the Community Service Organization, which helped fight racial and economic discrimination against Chicanos. He co-founded the National Farm Workers Association in the 1960’s. He believed in non-violence and organized strikes and boycotts to gain rights for migrant farm workers, gaining support to have his organization be the first successful farm workers’ union in the United States. Up until his death on April 23, 1993, he remained president of United Farm Workers of America (AFL-CIO).
April 1, 2013 (Arkansas) – No, this is not an April Fool's joke. Thousands of gallons of tar sands oil, a gritty, toxic and flammable mixture, is flowing through the streets in a residential neighborhood of Mayflower, Arkansas after rupture of an Exxon-Mobil pipeline. The spill has also flooded backyards and threatens to spill into a lake.
Media has been reportedly largely blocked from access to the site, so residents have posted their own photos and videos online of the site, which has now forced evacaution of homeowners amid a massive cleanup effort. The spill highlights concerns over potential contamination from the controversial Keystone XL pipieline, which is proposed to pump tar sands oil from Canada across the U.S. Midwest south to the Gulf coast.
By Miriam Raftery
March 29, 2013 (Ramona) – Today, San Diego County has filed a lawsuit seeking declaratory relief and an injunction to halt the U.S. Forest Service from reopening the trail to Cedar Creek Falls from Ramona’s San Diego Country Estates. The suit follows the USFS announcement that it plans to reopen the trailhead April 5th and implement a permit system for visitors. The falls and a natural swimming pool below are considered by some to be the most spectacular natural attractions in East County.
“The lawsuit is in response to the Forest Service’s decision to ignore both the public safety and fiscal concerns raised by the County during the appeal of the permit system plan,” Supervisor Dianne Jacob said in a press statement issued today. “Adequate law enforcement staffing must be in place before the trail is opened back up. Either the Forest Service needs to be able to enforce its own rules, or pay the Sheriff’s Department to do it.”
March 26, 2013 (San Diego's East County)--Starting April 5th, hiking to Cedar Creek Falls will require a visitor permit. Access from the San Diego River Gorge Trailhead in Ramona is also set to reopen. The trailhead has been closed since the death of an El Cajon teen who fell over the top of the falls in July 2011. A second trailhead reopened last year.
With the opening, the U.S. Forest Service is implementing a Visitor Use Permit System that will limit the number of visitors to Cedar Creek Falls, while providing for protection of natural resources and enhancing public health and safety.
By Miriam Raftery
March 28, 2013 (San Diego) –When it comes to open government and public access to government records, times have changed dramatically in California. Much of that change can be attributed to the tireless efforts of Terry Francke, General Counsel of Californians Aware.
Last night, Francke received the coveted Sunshine Award from the Society of Professional Journalists in San Diego. The award was presented by Donna Frye, Director of Open Government for the City of San Diego and a prior recipient of the Sunshine Award. Mayor Bob Filner also presented a proclamation honoring Francke.
March 25, 2013 (Warner Springs) -- Sgt. Gil Cortez, an officer with the California Rehabilitation Center in Norco, was killed along with his service dog after his vehicle rolled over this morning on State Route 79 half a mile south of San Felipe Road.
Cortez was leading several corrections vehicles taking dogs to conduct drug searches at La Cima Conservation Camp in Julian, a fire training camp for inmates. For unknown reasons, he lost control of the Crown Victoria, which rolled over and landed upright. Officers rushed to extricate Cortez, who was taken to the Warner Springs Fire Station but died before he could be airlifted to a hospital.
Audio and Transcript of the Historic Argument Available HERE
March 26, 2013 (Washington D.C.)-- Today, the United States Supreme Court heard oral argument in Hollingsworth v. Perry, the federal constitutional challenge to California’s Proposition 8. The Court is considering whether Proposition 8 violates the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution.
The American Foundation for Equal Rights (AFER), sole sponsor of the Perry case, has posted the full audio and transcript of the historic argument at: www.afer.org/blog/everything-you-need-to-know-marriage-equality-at-the-supreme-court/.
Califiornian voters legalized same-sex marriage, but later overturned the rights of gay and lesbian couples to wed with Prop 8's passage in November 2008. A federal district court ruled that Prop 8 was unconstitutional, a ruling later upheld by the federal court of appeals. On December 7, 2012, the Supreme Court granted certiorari in Perry to review the case. The appeal was filed by Dennis Hollingsworth, former State Senator from San Diego and Riverside counties.
By Janis Mork
March 27, 2013 (La Mesa)- At yesterday’s La Mesa City Council meeting, Councilmember Ernie Ewin requested an update on the status of the Park Station project, a proposed 18-story mixed use building.
City manager David Witt asked Bill Chopyk, Community Development Director, to discuss the process.
By Miriam Raftery
March 22, 2013 (San Diego’s East County) – Today the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) confirmed closure of 149 air traffic control towers due to sequestration cuts that are mandated due to Congress failing to agree on how to balance the federal budget. That includes towers at Ramona Airport in East County and Brown Field in Otay Mesa, both slated to shut down starting April 7.
Closure of the Ramona facility had sparked widespread protests from local officials and the public, who had urged the FAA to keep the tower open to assure protection of firefighters at the backcountry airport.
Photo courtesy of ECM news partner 10 News
March 22, 2013 (Otay) -- This morning at 11:05, California Highway Patrol communications began receiving reports that a small private plane had been forced to land on the freeway after experiencing mechanical problems. CHP officers responded to these reports and located the Cessna 150 on the right shoulder of State Route 125, near the Otay River Bridge.