Communities

OCOTILLO WIND FALLS SHORT OF CAPACITY FORECAST FOR THIRD STRAIGHT YEAR

 

By Miriam Raftery

March 2, 2016 (Ocotillo) – The numbers are in –and for the third straight year, the Ocotillo Wind Energy Facility has fallen far short of the 34% capacity factor that Pattern Energy predicted the project would generate in its applications for lucrative federal subsidies.   In 2015, the Ocotillo project generated just 23.06%.  In 2014, it hit 26.4% and in 2013, when it was offline two months for hurling off a multi-ton blade, it produced a scant 15.7%.

We’re not surprised, since our award-winning 2014 investigative article, Was It Fraud? included forecasts by an international wind expert,Nicolas Boccard, who accurately predicted the project’s failure before it was built. He suggested the federal government had grounds for a False Claims Act suit against Pattern Energy.  We again raised questions about the project’s viability last year, in  a second story.

COST DOUBLES FOR NEW SAN MIGUEL FIRE STATION

 

East County News Service

March 1, 2016 (El Cajon) – A new fire station on Pepper Drive in El Cajon will cost up to $1.8 million to build, including the land acquisition cost. The San Miguel Fire District approved the expenditure last week of $1.4 million for construction costs – more than double the original cost projection.

COUNTY OFFICE OF EDUCATION RELEASES EMF SURVEY RESULTS FOR ALPINE ELEMENTARY SCHOOL

 

Viejas announces funding for EMF measurements at school

By Miriam Raftery

February 29, 2016 (Alpine) -- The San Diego County Office of Education on Friday released a draft Survey and Exposure Assessment  or electrmagnetic fields (EMF) for Alpine Elementary School.  The study concludes that  the Sunrise Powerlink transmisison line buried on Alpine Blvd.does not pose a significant safety or health risk to the school site." The study further finds that readings in and around buildings at Alpine Elementary "while not representative of a pristine EMF environment, were within a normal range of exposures one could expect in a society with electric power."

The County study examines 94 measurements taken inside and outside the school and  cites several reasons for concluding the site is safe.

SENATOR ANDERSON CALLS ON STATE AGENCIES TO PROVIDE ANSWERS ON ALPINE EMFS

 

By Miriam Raftery

Correction:  A prior article in ECM stated that Senator Anderson supported construction of Sunrise Powerlink. His office indicates he took no position on the project. We regret our error.

February 29, 2016 (Alpine) – “Keeping constituents safe is my top priority,” Senator Joel Anderson states  in a letter today to Supervisor Dianne Jacob.  “I want to make sure all available and appropriate state resources are deployed so that my constituents are provided answers to their questions about the electric and magnetic field (EMF) levels in our community.”

Senator Anderson’s letter indicates he has contacted three state agencies regarding the EMF concerns, including the California Department of Health (CDPH), which advised him that they will review measurements taken by local governments to see how they compare with other schools that were surveyed by the CDPH in a previous study.  

DEPOT SPRINGS BEER COMPANY OWNER BUBBLES FORTH

 

By Leon Thompson

 

February 29. 2016 (La Mesa) – Aaron Dean, owner of the Depot Springs Beer Company, in an exclusive interview with East County Magazine, spoke exuberantly about the brewery/restaurant/music/event venue now under construction in a neighborhood shopping center on Fletcher Parkway at Dallas Street—and his vision for the facility’s contribution to revitalizing the community.

LA MESA TOWN HALL MEETING FOCUSES ON ‘TRANSITIONAL HOMES’

 

By Leon Thompson

February 29, 2016 (Maryland Avenue Elementary School, La Mesa) – An overflow crowd attended the Town Hall meeting with the La Mesa City Council on February 20th to discuss the City’s future.  Mayor Mark Arapostathis greeted the attendees.

In this part of La Mesa the subject of group-homes was very much on the minds of nearby residents.  The concentration of group-homes in this neighborhood is five times the normal number.  

MARCH IS LAKESIDE HEALTH AWARENESS MONTH



 

Lots of free and discounted health/fitness services for Lakeside residents!

By Steve Lauria

View video with Senator Joel Anderson discussing the Lakeside Health Awareness Month: https://www.facebook.com/CaliforniaHealthNetwork/videos/1234959753184102/

February 29, 2016 (Lakeside)--Lakeside is a rural area in the Eastern region of San Diego County. Many people find it a great place to call home, but like the rest of San Diego County, it has a growing problem with chronic disease and other health concerns.

Throughout the month of March, California Health Network, a nonprofit organization based in East County, is doing its part in improving  the health of the citizens of Lakeside by sponsoring Lakeside Health Awareness Month. Another 32 local health and fitness businesses are offering free and discounted services to  citizens of Lakeside. You can view the offers here: http://californiahealthnetwork.org/healthawarenessmonth

4 ARRESTED IN FATAL STABBING LINKED TO LOVE TRIANGLE

 
 
East County News Service
 

Photo: Facebook

February 28, 2016 (Boulevard) --  The victim in yesterday’s fatal stabbing in Boulevard has been identified as Christalina Leona Louise Indish.  Four people have been arrested in connection with her death. In addition, 17 undocumented immigrants found at the residence have been detained.

WOMAN FATALLY STABBED IN BOULEVARD

East County News Service

February 27, 2016 (Boulevard) – Sheriff’s deputies from the Sheriff’s rural command received a call at 11:28 p.m. reporting a stabbing at 36380 Tusil Road in Boulevard on the Campo Indian reservation.  Deputies arrived at the residence to find a woman, approximately 35 years old, with obvious signs of trauma to her upper body, said Lieutenant Greg Rylaarsdam with the Sheriff’s Homicide Detail.

Deputies called for medical aid but paramedics confirmed the woman had died of her injuries.

SUSPECTED CAR THIEF ARRESTED AFTER PURSUIT, CRASH NEAR GROSSMONT COLLEGE

 

East County News Service

February 27, 2016 (El Cajon) — Joshua Hallmark, 24, is under arrest for vehicle theft and evading law enforcement following a chase that ended in a crash on State Route 125 near Grossmont College on Thursday, February 25th.  A passenger, Daniel Toft, 28, was also arrested and charged with drug possession.

LISTEN NOW: BORREGO RESIDENT WANTS ADJUDICATION TO SAVE VANISHING WATER SUPPLY



 

Hear our interview with Richard Walker, which originally aired on the East County Magazine Radio Show on KNSJ radio February 1st: https://www.eastcountymagazine.org/sites/eastcountymagazine.org/files/au...

By Miriam Raftery

February 27, 2016 (Borrego Springs)—Borrego Springs is running out of water. The community’s sole-source aquifer could dry out within 30 years. But while residents in the community’s water district have been asked to conserve, big agricultural users and golf resorts have virtually no mandate to cut back, since they utilize private wells.

Recently we interviewed Richard Walker, a resident of Borrego Springs who supports adjudication to have the courts resolve Borrego’s vanishing water supply.  But Walker can't afford legal action --and hopes someone in the community will step forward.

Audio: 

ECM interview with Richard Walker on Borrego Springs water shortage

PARKS, WATER AND ENERGY ISSUES ON BOULEVARD PLANNING GROUP'S AGENDA MARCH 3

 

By Miriam Raftery

February 27, 2016 (Boulevard) --The Boulevard Planning Group has a packed agenda for its meeting on Thursday, March 3 at 7 p.m. in the Boulevard Fire Training Room (39923 Ribbonwood Rd., Boulevard).  The agenda includes three action items and 14 discussion items ranging from major energy projects impacting the region to a water rate hike, parks and land use issues.

The action items include:

  • a county presentation on a proposal to divide the Mountain Empire Parkland Dedication area into 41 separate units,
  • a discussion and vote on whether to submit comments on local concerns over a new multli-agency renewable energy land ues and transmissions plan to meet state renewable energy mandates,and
  • a discussion and vote related to Live Oak Springs Water company's proposed rate hike and authorization for bulk water sales.

LAKE JENNINGS SPRING CARNIVAL MARCH 19

 

East County News Service

February 27, 2016 (Lakeside) – You’re invited to bring the kids out to Lake Jennings second annual Spring Carnival.  The festivities on Saturday, March 19 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and will include an egg hunt, face painting, paddle boating, and a fully-stocked kids pond plus 2,000 pounds of trout.

BREAKING UP IS HARD TO DO: GROSSMONT BOARD VOTES FOR TRUSTEE DISTRICTS, BYPASSING PUBLIC VOTE

 

By Miriam Raftery

Controversial plan outrages Alpine voters, Chaldeans and other district residents

Priscilla Schreiber (photo, left) will be forced off board

February 25, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) – Grossmont Union High School District voted 4-1 to ditch district-wide elections and switch to electing trustees from each of five districts. (View map)  The board also voted to ask the San Diego County Committee on School Board Reorganization to waive a requirement that would ordinarily allow the public to vote on redistricting. (View map at bottom of this article)

BREAKING UP IS HARD TO DO: GROSSMONT VOTES FOR TRUSTEE DISTRICTS, BYPASSING PUBLIC VOTE

 

By Miriam Raftery

Controversial plan outrages Alpine voters, Chaldeans and other district residents

Photo: Priscilla Schreiber will be forced off the board in November if the county approves the GUHSD's redistricting proposal.

February 25, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) – Grossmont Union High School District voted 4-1 to ditch district-wide elections and break up the district into five areas that will each elect its own trustee. (View map)  The board also voted to ask the San Diego County Committee on School Board Reorganization to waive a requirement that would ordinarily allow the public to vote on redistricting.

CHALDEAN CHAMBER PRESIDENT THREATENS LAWSUIT IF “GERRYMANDERING” SPLITS CHALDEAN VOTERS IN GUHSD

 

 

District board expected to vote on redistricting plan today at 4 p.m.

"...Our Chamber will not accept any gerrymandering or divisive planning for political purposes and would be readily committed to engage either legally or politically to ensure a fair and equitable approach for the betterment of our community.” -- Ben Kalasho, Chaldean American Chamber president

By Miriam Raftery

February 25, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) – Ben Kalasho, president of the Chaldean American Chamber of Commerce in East County, has issued a press release calling on the Grossmont Union-High School District board to be “transparent and pragmatic” in its decision on how to transition from at-large to district elections. A vote on which map to approve is expected at today’s GUHSD board meeting at 4 p.m. at the East County Regional Education Center, 924 East Main St. in El Cajon.

COMMUNITY MEETING IN ALPINE DRAWS HUNDREDS OVER EMF CONCERNS

 

 

"When a child could get cancer, you take action." --  Alpine resident Bree Rowand (photo, left), mother of Kylie Rowand, toddler who died of neuroblastoma.

"We're here because we'd really like to ease your minds...There is no conclusive evidence that EMFs cause health risks....You have EMFs probably everywhere you go. They are coming out of your cell phone." -- Don Parent, SDG&E, which offered to conduct free measurements for any concerned property owners.

"I'm very concerned for the health of my students and health of my staff...but right now we have having safe levels [in classrooms.]" -- Bruce Cochrane, Superintendent, Alpine Union School District, adding that campus-wide results of an independent expert will be posted Friday.

"This is a failure in our system. Regulatory agencies should be the ones monitoring...If every one of you would e-mail the president of the California Public Utilities Commission as I have and ask as I have for someone to come down here and meet with the community, maybe we will get results."

By Miriam Raftery

February 25, 2016 (Alpine) – Over 230 people came to a community meeting at Alpine Elementary School Tuesday evening to learn more about electromagnetic field measurements in Alpine, ask questions of local officials and SDG&E, voice concerns and at times, shout out frustrations. (View video highlights from 10 News.)

SOME PLAY: PICKWICK PLAYERS PRESENT CHARLOTTE'S WEB FEB 19-28

 

 

By Kathy Carpenter, Associate/Youth Reviewer www.sdtheatrereviews.com

 

February 24, 2016 (Santee) - The Pickwick Players in Santee are a different kind of group. They perform adult plays, children's plays, and mixed plays with people of all ages, as with "Charlotte's Web," based on the book by E.B. White, published by Harper Collins in 1952.What makes this unique is that it's rare. We have many youth productions, adult productions, adult productions with a kid or two. However, besides St. John of the Cross in Lemon Grove, which does a mix of all ages in their plays once a year, in the spring (This year they are doing a Poppins in April - call rectory for more details), I don't see this combination often.. Four adults, two teenagers, and 13 incredible youngsters were all part of the Pickwick Players’ cast.

$1.9 MILLION GRANT AWARDED FOR PEDESTRIAN AND BIKE SAFETY IN WEST LA MESA

 

 

East County News Service

 

February 24, 2016 (La Mesa) -- The City of La Mesa was recently approved for a $1,919,000 grant through the California Transportation Commission (CTC) Active Transportation Program (ATP) to fund pedestrian and bicyclist safety enhancements in west La Mesa. The grant will provide improved connectivity to parks, local schools and access to the future Boys and Girls Club (Brady Family Clubhouse).

GIRL, 10, DIES SAVING ANOTHER CHILD FROM RUNAWAY VEHICLE

 

By Miriam Raftery

February 23, 2016 (Lakeside) – A 10-year-old girl who pushed another child out of the path of a moving vehicle in Lakeside was struck and seriously injured. She was taken to Grossmont Hospital, where she later died of her injuries, said California Highway Patrol Officer Kevin Pearlstein.

IS IT GERRYMANDERING? FINAL VOTE THURS. ON GROSSMONT REDISTRICTING: ALPINE AND CHALDEAN ADVOCATES OBJECT, ASK PUBLIC HELP

 

By  Miriam Raftery

February 23, 2016 (San Diego’s East County)—Grosssmont-Union High School District’s board is expected to cast a final vote Thursday at 4 p.m. on controversial redistricting maps. The board will also vote to seek a waiver from the state from a requirement that would ordinarily requiring putting the redistricting measure on the ballot, and waiver from a state requiring that new trustee area plans be in effect at least 120 days before the next election in November.  (View meeting notice. The meeting will be at the East County Regional Education Center, 924 East Main Street, El Cajon.)

The district contends it has acted appropriately in response to a threat of legal action over alleged voting rights violations. But critics say the plan would oust the board’s most outspoken dissenting member, Priscilla Schreiber, leave Alpine represented by an opponent of the Alpine High School, and divide Iraqi-Chaldean residents into multiple districts, diluting their power as a voting block.  It also carves out a new district in the Lemon Grove/Spring Valley area with no trustee currently residing in that district, which does have a history of representing people of color.

LAMPLIGHTERS COMMUNITY THEATRE ANNOUNCES PERFORMANCE OF THE TONY AWARD MUSICAL NOMINEE "MACK AND MABEL"

 

Source:  Lamplighters Community Theatre press release

February 23, 2016 (La Mesa) – Lamplighters Community Theatre (LCT) is proud to present performances of the Tony Award Nominee “Mack and Mabel” at the new Lamplighters Community Theatre located at 5915 Severin Drive, La Mesa, Ca running  March 11 through April 10.

11-YEAR-OLD KILLED IN CRASH AT CAMPO CHECKPOINT

 

East County News Service

February 22, 2016 (Campo) — An 11-year-old girl died in a fiery three-vehicle crash at the Border Patrol checkpoint on Interstate 8 westbound in Campo.  Four other people are hospitalized with moderate to major injuries from the collision last night at 9 p.m.

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