Green Scene

HANNAH GBEH TO SPEAK ON CLIMATE CHANGE AND AGRICULTURAL ISSUES SEPT. 20 IN SANTEE

 

East County News Service

 

September 11, 2018 (Santee) – Hannah Gbeh will be the featured speaker at the East County Democratic Club meeting on Thursday. September 20 at Jimmy’s Restaurant in Santee (9635 Mission Gorge Rd.)  Dinner and social hour start at 6 p.m. with the meeting at 7 p.m.

SUBSTATION AND NEW POWER LINES PROPOSED FOR TORREY WIND IN MCCAIN VALLEY

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Sunrise Powerlink tower dwarfs mountain ridges in McCain Valley

September 7, 2018 (Boulevard) -- Boulder Brush LLC (Terra-Gen) is seeking a major use permit to construct and operate a gen-tie line and substation/switchyard facilities on 110 acres of private land in McCain Valley south of I-8. The gen-time line would carry energy from the Terra-Gen Wind project proposed on Campo Kumeyaay tribal lands.

360-DEGREE VIEW FROM THE TOP: VOLCAN MOUNTAIN SUMMIT

 

 

Get motivated to do the 3-mile hike to Volcan Mountain Summit near Julian by watching this 360-degree video.

Visit sdparks.org for information on all our County trails.

To watch 360-degree videos, you’ll need the latest version of Chrome, Opera, Firefox or MS Edge on your computer. For mobile devices, use the latest version of the YouTube app.

BLUE GREEN ALGAE INVADES EAST COUNTY LAKES

 

The naturally-occurring algae can form toxic blooms, causing severe illness in humans, kill pets, livestock, and other animals

By Paul Kruze, Contributing Editor

September 3, 2018 (San Diego )-- Some people believe in the health benefits of blue green algae as nutritional supplements found at health food stores.  But too much of it can make humans very sick and even kill pets and larger animals exposed to blue-green algae scum that forms on lakes and reservoirs.

While the County of San Diego has been battling a full-scale war on blue-green algae at Lindo Lake County Park in Santee, East County Magazine has received inquiries from readers who spotted algae scum at Lake Morena and voiced concerns.

EIR FOR EL MONTE SAND MINING PROJECT NOW AVAILABLE FOR PUBLIC COMMENT: HEARING SET SEPT. 25 IN LAKESIDE

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

August 31, 2018 (Lakeside) – The County has published a draft environmental impact report (EIR) for the controversial El Monte Sand Mining Project. 

BILL WOULD PHASE OUT FOSSIL FUELS IN CALIFORNIA BY 2045

 

By Miriam Raftery

August 29, 2018 (Sacramento) – California could become the first state in the nation to generate 100 percent of its power from renewable energy resources. A bill by State Senator Kevin del Leon would require California to reach that goal by 2045. The measure has passed both houses of the Legislature and is now awaiting Governor Jerry Brown’s signature.

PUBLIC URGED TO SPEAK OUT ON WIND TURBINE IMPACTS AT TORREY WIND SCOPING MEETING AUG. 23 IN BOULEVARD

 

 
By Miriam Raftery

August 11, 2018 (Boulevard) -- Terra-Gen's proposed Torrey Wind project (with up to 30 giant turbines each up to 586 tall and 4.2 megawatts) in Boulevard is moving through the planning process quickly. Boulevard Planning Group Chair Donna Tisdale is asking all who have concerns or information to share on impacts of wind turbines to come to a public scoping meeting  August 23 at 6 p.m. in the new Cal-Fire/County Fire Station at 40080 Ribbonwood Road, Boulevard.

“These turbines could be twice as powerful and about 100 feet taller than the Tule Wind turbines installed on public recreation land next door,” says Tisdale. “Bigger turbines can churn out much more noise and low frequency vibrations and potential electrical pollution over greater distances that can trigger psychical and emotional stress and the body's fight or flight instinct in people and animals. Turbines have reportedly been deemed nuisances in some legal and administrative proceedings around the world, with some families abandoning their homes and other homes bought out by developers over noise impacts and related litigation.”

VIDEO OF THE WEEK: THE WEASELS ARE BACK!

 

By Miriam Raftery

August 10, 2018 (Lakeside) – Weasels haven’t been seen for five years at Lakeside’s Lindo Lake County Park. But this morning, photographer Billy Ortiz videotaped a welcome sight:  a weasel has returned.

“This weasel brings me more joy than any other animal, just cracks me up watching its antics,” he wrote on Facebook. 

SANTEE COUNCIL DELAYS VOTE ON SLOW GROWTH INITIATIVE, EFFECTIVELY TO 2020

By Mike Allen

Photo: Pam Kerzner testified, "We don't need any more houses," citing traffic delays.

August 9, 2018 (Santee) -- Voters in Santee hoping to have more say in future development projects will have to wait two more years to do so, following the City Council’s vote last night to prepare a report on the initiative’s possible impacts instead of putting the issue on the November ballot.

In a two-hour hearing Aug. 8 before an overflow crowd at City Hall, the Council voted 3-1 to prepare a report to be completed within 30 days. That effectively prevents a public vote in November because there isn’t enough lead time for a campaign, said City Attorney Shawn Haggerty.

MAKE BACK TO SCHOOL SEASON THE GREATEST EVER

 

 

Earn an A+ in sustainability this school year with tips from Waste Management

Source:  Waste Management

August 7, 2018 (San Diego) - As millions prepare to head back to school, Waste Management of Southern California is offering parents, students and educators practical tips to make this school year more sustainable by reducing, reusing and recycling right, in and out of the classroom.

READER'S EDITORIAL: WHILE ROME (AND MOST EVERYWHERE ELSE) BURNS

 

The Trump administration is taking action, but in precisely the wrong direction.

By

The sky above Soda Bay, Calif. is seen on July 30, 2018 as the River Fire burns. (Photo:  Bob Schoenherr/flickr/cc)

August 5, 2018 (San Diego's East County) -- By now we’re accustomed to learning that every year brings record high temperatures around the world. Extreme weather, says Prof. Michael Mann of Pennsylvania State University, “is the face of climate change. We literally would not have seen these extremes in the absence of climate change. The impacts of climate change are no longer subtle. We are seeing them play out in real time and what is happening this summer is a perfect example of that. We are seeing our predictions come true. As a scientist that is reassuring, but as a citizen of planet Earth, it is very distressing to see that as it means we have not taken the necessary action.”

EXPLORE COUNTY PARKS AFTER DARK

 

East County News Service

August 4, 2018 (San Diego) -- Head outside after hours for a series of fun programs the whole family will enjoy in San Diego county parks. On top of  Summer Movies in the Park series, here's a list of star parties, night hikes and evening entertainment taking in parks this month. Inclement weather may cancel; contact the parks by clicking on the links below:

BOULEVARD PLANNERS OPPOSE TORREY WIND PROPOSAL FOR TURBINES TALLER THAN DOWNTOWN SKYSCRAPERS PROPOSED IN RURAL COMMUNITY

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photos:  Brush fire sparked by exploding wind turbine in Campo  in 2013.  Proposed new turbines would dwarf these older, smaller models.

July 26, 2018 (Boulevard) – The Boulevard Community Planning Group has sent a 26-page letter to the County opposing Terra-Gen’s proposed Torrey Wind project.  If approved, the project would erect 30 wind turbines each 586 feet tall—that’s 90 feet higher than the tallest skyscraper in downtown San Diego—on 2,,000 acres of absentee-owned ranchland formerly known as Big Country Ranch property at the north end of Ribbonwood Road.

The proposed major use permit for Torrey Wind (formerly known as San Diego Wind) will be on the Boulevard Planning Group’s agenda at its August 2nd meeting at 7 p.m.  (View agenda)

FREE WATER WISE LANDSCAPING WORKSHOP AUG. 25 AT RAMONA RANCH VINEYARD AND WINERY

 

East County News Service

July 26, 2018 (Ramona) - Ramona Ranch Vineyard and Winery will host a free water-wise landscaping workshop August 25th from 5 to 7 p.m. The winery is located at 23578 Highway 67 in Ramona, CA 920650.

Learn how to create a less thirsty and environmentally friendly landscape! Join Solana Center for this presentation where you will learn the basics of water wise gardening. Using trial-tested advice and interactive demonstrations, our expert educator will teach you all you need to know to get started with a garden that fits San Diego's semi-arid climate.

VOLUNTEERS BRAVED HEAT TO COUNT BIGHORN SHEEP

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo courtesy Anza Borrego Foundation

July 26, 2018 (Borrego Springs) — With temperatures over 100 degrees, 79 volunteered fanned out for the annual Peninsular Bighorn Sheep count at 19 sites in the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park from June 29 to July 1st.   A total of 225 sheep were counted, up from 207 in 2017, but last year had the lowest in five years, down from 296 in 2014.

THE WILD ZONE: WATER FOR WILDLIFE—LIFE SAVING OR LUXURY?

 

A little help from us can tip the balance between life and death for our wildlife neighbors

By Renee Owens

July 25, 2018 (San Diego) -- Our local wildlife species have evolved over many millions of years, adapting to some amazing extremes of weather where drought is par for the course. That means they can withstand pretty much anything Mother Nature delivers, right? Not necessarily, and especially not when combined with the incredibly high rate of ecological change to which  modern day global warming is exposing them.

“SAFEGUARD OUR SAN DIEGO COUNTRYSIDE” INITIATIVE PROPONENTS SUBMIT SIGNATURES, BUT MAY BE TOO LATE FOR NOVEMBER ELECTION

 

East County News Service

July 24, 2018 (San Diego) -- Proponents of the “Safeguard Our San Diego Countrysideballot initiative have submitted 105,000 signatures to the San Diego Registrar of Voters. But Registrar Michael Vu says it’s unlikely that the signatures can be verified before the August 11 deadline for Supervisors to vote to put the measure on the ballot. Supervisors' last meeting before then is August 8.

FLEX ALERT ISSUES FOR TUES. AND WED.: CONSUMERS ASKED TO CONSERVE POWER

 

East County News Service

July 23, 2018 (San Diego) -- Due to high temperatures in California and most of the western U.S., the California Independent System Operator Corporation (ISO) has issued a statewide Flex Alert that calls for voluntary electricity conservation from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday, July 24 and Wednesday, July 25.

POWER PLAY: HOW CALIFORNIA LAWMAKERS ARE TRYING TO NAVIGATE A CHANGING ENERGY LANDSCAPE

 

By Julie Cart

Reprinted with permission from CalMatters

Photo by Oran Viriyincy via Flickr

July 15, 2018 (San Diego's East County) - State lawmakers, faced with a transformed energy landscape and a glut of renewable power as California charges into a greener future, are considering a handful of measures to meet the state’s energy challenges.

STRAW BALE HOME IN CAMPO HONORED AS ENERGY CHAMPION BY SDG&E, WILL BE FEATURED ON GREEN BUILDING COUNCIL TOUR OCT. 21

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photos: Simple Construct

 

 

Hear our interview on KNSJ radio with homeowners Brian and Susan Fallgren, Simple Construct builder Rebeca Tasker, and SDG&E communications manager Helen Gao.

 View video on the home’s construction and view tour of the finished residence. 

July 14, 2018 (Campo) – Inspired by historical California adobe homes,  Brian and Susan Fallgren in Campo teamed up with Simple Construct to create a straw bale and adobe home that is beautiful, comfortable even in extreme heat, fire resistant and energy efficient—producing more power than it uses. 

The home has also won numerous honors.  It’s the first residence in Southern California to receive net zero certification through the Living Building Challenge, one of only 27 homes in the world to win this recognition.  A participant in the California Advanced Homes Program, it was also a winner in  the San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) 13th annual  Energy Showcase Awards and will be featured on the San Diego Green Building Council’s Green Homes Tour on Sunday, October 21.

“It’s an incredibly functional, comfortable home to live in, not only from an environmental standpoint, but from an every day livability standpoint,” Susan Fallgren says.

Audio: 

Interview: Straw Bale Homes--Helen Gao of SDG&E, Rebecca Tasker of Simple Construct, & Campo homeowners Brian and Susan Fallgren

LAKESIDE CONSIDERS A FOOD SCRAPS TO ENERGY PROJECT: COMMUNITY MEETING JULY 19 HOSTED BY PROJECT TEAM

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Biogas pipes, creative commons image via Vortexrealm

July 11, 2018 (Lakeside) – The project team for a proposed project to convert food scraps to energy will host a drop-in session for community member on Thursday, July 19 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Lakeside Community Center. The team will be on hand to answer questions, hear input and provide information – along with pie and coffee.

CPUC DENIES GAS PIPELINE PROPOSAL BY SDG&E

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Protesters in Santee and Mission Trails Regional park opposed the pipeline; Preserve Wild Santee

June 22, 2018 (Santee) – By a unanimous vote, the California Public Utilities Commission has denied SDG&E/Sempra Energy’s request to build a 47-mile, three-foot diameter gas pipeline known as Line 3602, which would have replaced the aging Line 1600. The new line would have run through neighborhoods in San Diego’s North County and could also have impacted Mission Trails Regional Park and Sycamore Canyon preserves. 

Activists reacted with joy, while SDG&E voiced disappointment.  The utility had argued that the pipeline was necessary for safety and reliability.  But the CPUC rejected those arguments, based on the utility’s projections for natural gas supply and the CPUC natural gas reliability standards, 10 News reports.

SANTEE ACTIVISTS HOLD TWO PETITION DRIVES THIS SUNDAY ON TRAFFIC GRIDLOCK INITIATIVE AND PETITION TO STOP GAS PIPELINE

 

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

 June 17, 2018 (Santee) – Activists in Santee are spending Father’s Day  gathering signatures on two petitions on issues impacting Santee and Mission Trails Regional Park areas.   

 The first aims to put the Santee General Plan Initiative on the ballot to require voter approval of development projects larger than the general plan currently allows.  The second calls on the California Public Utilities Commission to halt SDG&E’s proposed gas pipeline. Click links in this paragraph to read ECM’s prior articles on these issues.  Below are details on where you can find petition gathers and rallies: 

HEAR OUR INTERVIEW: DANA LAW, HIKER WHO COMPLETED PACIFIC CREST TRAIL

Law will speak today at the El Cajon Library on his Pacific Crest Trail adventure

 

By Miriam Raftery

June 16, 2018 (San Diego’s East County) – Dana Law is a magician, but he’s recently completed a feat that required no magic—just a lot of willpower and walking.  He hiked the entire Pacific Crest Trail, from the Mexican border to Canada. The trail runs 2,650 miles – the equivalent of climbing Mt.  Everest 16 and a half times.  He did it in 31 sections over 13 years.  In an interview with East County Magazine aired on KNSJ,  the intrepid local hiker discussed his adventures along the way, also offering advice to those who may wish to tackle the trail.

Click the audio link to listen to our interview, and scroll down for details on today's event, plus links to his blog and Facebook page, where you can find a journal he kept of each stretch along the route.

For Law, his motivation wasn't all about nature, though he has stated, "The trail symbolizes everytihng there is to love--and protect--in the Western States." To him, the real treasure of the trek are the bonds built with friends along the way, and the accomplishment of fulfilling a rigorous physical challenge.

Audio: 

Interview with Dana Law, Pacific Coast Trail hiker, on KNSJ

NEW ENERGY PRICING PLANS ADD MORE CHOICE AND CONTROL FOR CUSTOMERS

 

Five reasons to consider switching to a Time of Use plan

East County News Service

June 7, 2018  (San Diego) – San Diego Gas & Electric’s (SDG&E) new Time of Use (TOU) pricing plans are giving residents more choices and control over their energy bills. These plans offer savings for customers who can shift some of their energy use outside the higher cost on-peak hours of 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. According to an SDG&E press release:

PARKS AFTER DARK SUMMER ADVENTURES

 

County News Service

June 2, 2018 (San Diego’s East County) -- This June, wait out those warmer temperatures for the cool breezes the evening brings. We’ve planned star parties, evening hikes and educational programs the whole family will enjoy – at or after sunset! Inclement weather may cancel; contact the parks by clicking on the links below.

PLANTING TREES FOR THE FUTURE

 

 

A park isn’t a park without some shady trees! And after seven years of drought in San Diego County, trees in county parks have weakened and pests are causing them to die.

We’re doing what we can to protect trees and be forward thinking when it comes to ways to save them. More than 450 trees have been removed and 4,000 have been planted in their place.

Watch these volunteers who came together to give new life to our parks.

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