Green Scene

BADGERS BURROW INTO BACKCOUNTRY

 

By A.J. Herrington

Originally published in the San Diego Reader

Photo:  remote wildlife camera, courtesy of the San Diego River Park Foundation.

October 19, 2017 (Julian) -- As I glance in the passenger-side rearview mirror, a dusty plume billows behind us, brightly lit by the low morning sun. Next to me in the driver’s seat, Shannon Quigley-Raymond guides her car along winding Eagle Peak Road, southwest of Julian. As we snake along the mountain roadway, she shares how three years of conservation work have recently come to fruition.

EARTHTALK®: GREEN AIRPLANES

 

From the Editors of E - The Environmental Magazine

Photo:  Environmentalists are optimistic that new designs and technologies — like this hyper-efficient Blended Wing-Body (BWB) design plane that recently emerged from a joint effort between NASA and Boeing — could significantly reduce aviation's huge carbon footprint and environmental impact. Credit: UC Irvine, Flickr CC.

October 14, 2017 (San Diego) -- Dear EarthTalk: You hear a lot about greener cars these days, but what about airplanes? --John Caldwell, Lorton, VA

While it may be the fastest and most convenient way to go long distances, air travel remains the most environmentally-unfriendly mode in our mix of transportation options. Airplanes require massive amounts of petroleum-based fuel that deposits greenhouse gas emissions directly into the atmosphere (where they’re two to four times more potent in causing global warming than equivalent ground-level emissions). The UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reports that aviation is responsible for some 3.5 percent of human-caused global warming to date and expects that figure to grow to somewhere in the five to 15 percent range by 2050 if we don’t take action soon to curb emissions.

GOV. BROWN SIGNS “URBAN FORESTS” BILL TO HELP PLANT TREES IN LOW-INCOME COMMUNITIES

 

East County News Service

October 14, 2017 (San Diego) – Governor Jerry Brown has signed a bill by California State Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher (D-San Diego) that will protect California’s urban forests, a critical step in the state’s efforts to fight climate change.

SYRIAN REFUGEES AND MILITARY VETERANS JOIN GROWING SOLAR INDUSTRY

 

Refugee uses GRID training to launch his own solar installation company; other trainees meet top solar employers at graduation ceremony 

Source: Grid Alternatives San Diego

October 11, 2017 (San Diego) -- This month, GRID Alternatives San Diego, an affiliate of America’s largest nonprofit solar installer GRID Alternatives, introduced Syrian refugees and military veterans to the multi-billion-dollar solar industry through its Solar Installation Training Program. Attendees at the program graduation included refugee and long-time GRID volunteer Mohamed Hauter, who recently launched his own solar installation company and now employs several graduates of GRID’s training program.

REALTORS IN EL CAJON TO OFFER FREE SHREDDING, E-WASTE RECYCLING

 

East County News Service

 

October 9, 2017 (El Cajon) – The Pacific Southwest Association of Realtors (PSAR), a 2,500-member trade group for San Diego-area realtors, will provide free paper shredding and electronic recycling services from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 18, at PSAR’s East County Service Center, 1150 Broadway, El Cajon. The event is open to the public.

GOVERNOR BROWN SIGNS TONI ATKINS’ BILL TO STRENGTHEN SAN DIEGO RIVER CONSERVANCY

 

Senator Anderson votes no, rest of San Diego legislators vote yes on landmark measure

East County News Service

September 26, 2017 (San Diego’s East County) -- Gov. Jerry Brown today signed Senate Bill 214, legislation authored by Sen. Toni Atkins that will strengthen the capacity of the San Diego River Conservancy to protect and enhance historic, cultural and natural resources within the watershed along the 52-mile San Diego River.

HOUSE COMMITTEE HOLDS HEARING ON SOLUTIONS TO MOVE NUCLEAR WASTE AWAY FROM SAN ONOFRE

 

East County News Service

September 27, 2017 (San Diego) -- Congressman Issa (R-Vista) took part in a hearing before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee yesterday, examining nuclear waste storage policy and solutions that would allow nuclear waste, like that from the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS), to be moved out of our communities.

CRITICS CALL TODAY'S "CELEBRATION" OF SETTLEMENT TO REMOVE NUCLEAR WASTE" A SHAM

 

East County News Service

September 24, 2017 (San Diego)--Critics are calling today's planned rally in Oceanside that "celebrates the removal of nuclear waste at San Onofre" a sham that does not reflect reality, the opinions of nuclear waste experts or the community. These experts say the celebration tricks the media and the public into believing that the nuclear waste problems at the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS) have been solved.

Local critics say that Citizens Oversight, the group hosting the "celebration" is misleading the public with magical thinking and an irrational belief in "purple unicorns."

CITIZENS OVERSIGHT TO ANNOUNCE TWO MAJOR PROJECTS AT SAN ONOFRE PUBLIC EVENT SUNDAY

 

 

Hear our interview aired earlier this month on KNSJ radio with Ray Lutz, founder of Citizens Oversight, talking about the settlement agreement, by clicking the audio link above.

East County News Service

UPDATE:  Other organizations concerned about San Onofre nuclear waste have issued statements calling today's event as a "sham" and voicing criticisms of the settlement deal. Read more:  http://www.eastcountymagazine.org/critics-call-todays-celebration-settle...

September 23, 2017 (Oceanside) — Citizens Oversight, an El Cajon-based watchdog group, will be announcing formation of a settlement oversight panel to monitor efforts to move nuclear waste from San Onofre to a safer place pursuant to a settlement agreement with Southern California Edison and the California Coastal Commission.  In addition, founder Ray Lutz will unveil a “1,000-year dry storage challenge” that aims to find a long-term solution to the nation’s lack of storage for nuclear wastes. 

Audio: 

CALIFORNIA, QUEBEC AND ONTARIO SIGN AGREEMENT TO LINK CARBON MARKETS

 

Photo by Sonia Carcoilo, Government of Ontario:  Governor Brown (right), Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne (left) and Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard (center) sign agreement to expand cap-and-trade partnership.

Source: Governor’s office and government of Ontario, Canada

September 24, 2017 (Quebec City) – California Governor Edmund G. “Jerry” Brown Jr. yesterday signed an agreement with the leaders of Quebec and Ontario to officially integrate their cap-and-trade programs, expanding the three-year partnership between California and Quebec to include Ontario, Canada's most populous province and leading industrial region. The agreement takes effect January 1, 2018.

BOULEVARD CONSIDERS IMPACTS OF FUTURE GREEN ENERGY PROJECTS, INCLUDING REVIVAL OF EX-SOITEC SOLAR SITES

 

Two proposed solar projects have been revived under new owners

By Paul Kruze

Photo: Map shows site of Boulevard Solar, one of the two former Soitec projects back in the planning pipeline.

September 22, 2017 (Boulevard) -- Boulevard, CA is a small rural community located about 50 miles east of downtown San Diego on Interstate 8,  nary half-an-hour to the Anza Borrego Desert State Park.  While residents – a mix of retired people and younger people who work in San Diego but want to experience rural living – are able to experience the best of both worlds, the stark realities of modern life do punctuate the overall quiet and serene quality of this hamlet.

This was apparent at the Sept. 7th meeting of the Boulevard Planning Group, where the dominant topic was the main threat to the area’s rural atmosphere – the development of alternative energy projects, including the revival of two former Soitec Solar projects now moving forward under new ownership.

READER’S EDITORIAL: LAWSUIT AGAINST COUNTY OVER JULIAN HOUSING APPROVED ON PROTECTED AGRICULTURAL LAND SHOWS CORRUPTION OF LAND USE POLICIES IN SAN DIEGO

 

By Duncan McFetridge, Director, Cleveland National Forest Foundation

September 21, 2017 (San Diego’s East County) - Cleveland National Forest Foundation’s lawsuit against the county’s attempt to subdivide the Hoskings ranch near Julian brings out three extremely important points:   

RAMONA RANCH VINEYARD AND WINERY FIRST IN SAN DIEGO COUNTY TO BECOME CERTIFIED CALIFORNIA SUSTAINABLE WINEGROWING

 

Source:  Ramona Valley Vineyard Association

Photo:  winemaker Micole Moore and co-owner Teri Kerns in the vineyard with ponies Thelma and Louise.

September 14, 2017 (Ramona) — Ramona Ranch Vineyard and Winery is the first in San Diego County to be designated Certified California Sustainable Winegrowing (CERTIFIED SUSTAINABLE) as a result of meeting a comprehensive set of standards for “environmental stewardship, conservation of natural resources and socially equitable business practices” set by the California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance (CSWA).

SAN DIEGO RIVER PARK FOUNDATION’S 16TH ANNIVERSARY

 

East County News Service

September 11, 2017 (San Diego) - The San Diego River Park Foundation will celebrate its 16th anniversary on September 21 from 6-9 p.m. at the Town and Country Resort Hotel in Mission Valley.

Festivities include live music, food, wine, beer, awards presentation and a silent auction –all for a $10 suggested donation.

SDG&E LAUNCHES ELECTRIC VEHICLE INSTANT REBATE PROGRAM FOR K-12 TEACHERS AND FIRST RESPONDERS

 

SDG&E discount, combined with state & federal incentives, makes EVs more affordable for teachers, firefighters, police officers, Sheriff’s deputies, lifeguards and EMTs



Source:  SDG&E

September 6, 2017 (San Diego) - San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) announced a new giving initiative today to provide instant rebates to K-12 teachers and first responders (police, fire, Sheriff’s deputies, lifeguards and emergency medical technicians) for the purchase or lease of a new electric vehicle (EV). Under the Champions for Clean Air: SDG&E EV Rebate Program, those professionals who live and work in communities served by SDG&E in San Diego and southern Orange counties are eligible for $1,000 discounts.

REVISITING OCOTILLO

 

The ECOreport does an update on one of California’s most controversial wind farms – Ocotillo, five years later

By Roy L. Hales

Source:  The ECOreport

Photo, left: Turbine T126 after the collapse – Parke Ewing photo

September 3, 2017 (Ocotillo) - The Ocotillo wind farm went online almost five years ago. Were they not documented in such meticulous detail, some of the  reports coming from the tiny desert community this project surrounds would be difficult to believe.  I once received a constant stream of YouTube videos and reports from this project. It was one of the sites that shaped my perception of the energy sector.  To some extent, I’ve moved on from this story since then, but I always knew I would be revisiting Ocotillo.

ARIZONA REFUSES SPENT FUEL FROM SAN ONOFRE; DOCTOR’S GROUP CRITICIZES NUCLEAR WASTE SETTLEMENT PLAN

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: San Onofre nuclear facility, before its shutdown in 2013.

August 31, 2017 (San Diego) – Finding a safe place to store spent nuclear fuel from the shuttered San Onofre Nuclear Generating Stations is a daunting task. Yesterday, East County Magazine reported on a settlement reached between Citizens Oversight and Southern California Edison that aspires to move the radioactive waste away from the beach at San Onofre over the next couple of decades.

One of the proposed sites   is in Arizona. But now officials at Arizona Public Services Company, which operates the Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station west of Phoenix,  say they won’t take California’s nuclear wastes. 

SR 15 BIKEWAY: KEY LINK FROM MID-CITY TO MISSION VALLEY OPENED TODAY

 

Source:  SANDAG and Caltrans

August 30, 2017 (San Diego) - Officials opened to the public today a key bikeway connection in San Diego that provides a protected bike lane parallel to State Route 15. The new bike route established a safe and convenient connection between Mission Valley and the Mid-City communities, including City Heights, Kensington-Talmadge, and Normal Heights, while eliminating challenges that riders have had to cope with on other routes including high-speed traffic and long, difficult hills.

SETTLEMENT REACHED IN SUIT OVER SAN ONOFRE NUCLEAR WASTE

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

August 29, 2017 (San Diego) –Citizens Oversight announced today that it has reached a deal with Southern California Edison that aims to ultimately relocate 3.6 million pounds of nuclear waste away from the San Onofre beach. The spent fuel is from the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Stations shuttered in 2013 following a radioactive leak and various safety concerns.

JAMUL-DULZURA PLANNING GROUP ASKS SDG&E TO DONATE FORMER SIMPSON NURSERY PROPERTY AS A COMMUNITY PARK

 

By Miriam Raftery

August 28, 2017 (Jamul) – The Jamul-Dulzura Community Planning Group is seeking a park in Jamul. At its last meeting, the group voted unanimously to approve a proposal by Joe Stuyvesant to ask SDG&E to donate a 3.75 parcel that it purchased from Simpson Nursery for a community park.

According to the meeting minutes, SDG&E pad $1 million for the property, but the value may have dropped to as little as $180,000, giving SDG&E a tax advantage to donate the parcel, which the County could be asked to maintain as a park for the benefit of residents. Stuyvesant offered to head a sub-committee if SDG&E will agree to the proposal.

Below is a copy of the letter sent to SDG&E:

DOE ELECTRIC GRID STUDY CALLED FLAWED

 

Trump plan would weaken nuclear regulations

By Andrea Sears, Public News Service

Photo credit: PublicDomainPictures/Pixabay

August 27, 2017 (New York) - The U.S. Department of Energy has released its study of the electric grid's reliability, but some environmental groups maintain it isn't worth the paper it's printed on.

The study concludes that cheap natural gas is the main reason for the decline of coal and nuclear power.

TRUMP DUMPS CLIMATE CHANGE AVISORY COMMITTEE

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo, NASA: Consequences of climate change

August 23, 2017 (Washington D.C.) – President Donald Trump’s administration is eliminating its climate change advisory committee, which made recommendations to federal state and local governments as well as businesses based on scientific findings.

MISSION TRAILS GAINS GROUND WITH 178 ACRES FROM PARDEE HOMES

 

By Miriam Raftery

August 20, 2017 (San Diego) – Already one of the largest urban park in the United States, Mission Trails Regional Park is expanding by 178 acres, to a total of 7,400 acres.  The addition is due to a dedication by Pardee Homes as open space mitigation for its 415-unit housing development, Weston, formerly known as Castlerock in Santee, just off State Route 52 north of Mast Blvd.

CONSERVE DURING ECLIPSE AUGUST 21, STATE POWER REGULATORS ASK PUBLIC

 

East County News Service

July 24, 2017 (San Diego) -- On Monday, August 21st, a total solar eclipse will pass over the Pacific Northwest affecting California’s solar resources that supply power to the grid. The eclipse is expected to occur from 9:02 a.m. to 11:54 a.m., with the moon obscuring 58 to 76 percent of solar rays, depending on the resource location, and causing a loss of 4,194 megawatts of California large scale solar electricity.

COUNTY RELEASES DRAFT CLIMATE ACTION PLAN FOR PUBLIC COMMENT

 

The County of San Diego Thursday released a draft Climate Action Plan for a 45-day public comment period scheduled to end Sept. 25.

The draft plan is designed to cut greenhouse gases in the County’s unincorporated communities as well as those related to County government operations. It seeks to meet state requirements with actions that balance environmental, economic and community interests, while taking into account the County’s largely rural character.

“HOT” HIKING GUIDELINES FOR PEOPLE & PETS

 

After numerous dog deaths on local park trails, owners taking dogs hiking in hot weather can now be cited for animal cruelty.

By Ranger Rebecca Smart, Mission Trails Regional Park

August 8, 2017 (San Diego) -- Ready to get out and hike this summer? Great! The Rangers at Mission Trails have essential hiking info to share with you.

Follow these hiking guidelines every time you, and any four-legged companions, hit the trails this Summer; and you’ll be trail Rockstars for sure.

SULLIVAN SOLAR INSTALLS FIRST CERTIFIED LG CHEM BATTERY IN CONTINENTAL U.S.

 

Local solar firm is slated to lead the state in LG Chem battery installations

East County News Service

August 7, 2017 (San Diego) -- On Tuesday, the first LG Chem residential energy storage unit in the continental United States went live. It was installed by Sullivan Solar Power at the Keefe residence in Carlsbad. This milestone is a big step toward grid independence for Americans.” It can also power your home in case of a blackout, keeping the lights on while neighbors are left in the dark.

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