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By Miriam Raftery

October 31, 2013 (San Diego’s East County) –Nine East County Magazine team members combined to win 11 awards in the 40th annual “Excellence in Journalism Awards” presented by San Diego Press Club on October 29.  ECM has won a total of 58 journalism awards since our launch in September 2008.

Our winning news entries dealt primarily with compelling public health and safety issues(wildfires and industrial-scale energy projects), though we also picked up awards for photography, feature-writing and commentary.

Congratulations to our winners!  In alphabetical order, they are:  Nadin Abbott, Parke Ewing, Paul Kruze, Brian Lafferty, Ron Logan, Jim Pelley, Miriam Raftery, Sierra Robinson, and Darin Sefcik.

In the daily newspaper or website category, ECM took first place for multicultural reporting for Native American Heritage Commission declares Ocotillo Wind a sacred site, asks Attorney General to weigh legal action.  The story was authored by ECM editor Miriam Raftery, who won eight awards, with an accompanying video report by Paul Kruze.

Several other winning articles dealt with energy issues, including Raftery’s The Betrayal of Boulevard : Can this happen to your town, too? (second place feature), An ill wind blowing (editorial/commentary by Raftery),Where is the wind? (second place, investigative reporting, by Miriam Raftery, photos and video by Jim Pelley) and  Wind turbines arrive in Ocotillo as residents complain of Dust Bowl, third world conditions, (second place, general news categpru) byy  Miriam Raftery, photo and video by Jim Pelley and Parke Ewing. 

Intern Sierra Robinson, along with Nadin Abbott and Raftery teamed up to win second place for their series on wind issues:   Supervisors blow off residents’ concerns over wind ordinance;   Supervisors approve wind ordinance, blow off residents’ concerns, After turbulent hearing, Supervisors postpone action on wind ordinance; East County residents ask County’s top health official to revise report, recognize serious health impacts from wind turbines; and Valley Fever epidemic linked to desert solar construction, heightens concerns over risks from large-scale wind and solar projects

Other stories dealt with fire safety issues. In the breaking news category, Raftery picked up third place for 1900 acres of wilderness scorched in San Felipe Fire amid growing questions over out-of-control burn . She also took third place in the general news category for Palomar’s Volunteer Fire Department Fights Back as County Pushes for Takeover.

ECM photographer Ron Logan won first place in the still photography news category for his image of the Space Shuttle Endeavor’s final journey .  Darin Sefcik took third place for still feature photos with his image, Counting Sheep on the Annual Bighorn County in Anza-Borrego Desert.

Movie reviewer Brian Lafferty picked up a third place honor for his “On the Silver Screen” review, When the Sun Goes Down, of the film “Before Midnight.”

Raftery's eight awards tied for most awards by a single journalist this year.

For a full list of awards presented, see http://sdpressclub.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/2013-Final-All-Awards-Winners-Announced.pdf

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Winner, winner...!

Congrats to all for the great work.   ECM  leads the way in reporting on  local issues and public safety.