Green Scene

BRIDGE FOR MAX: MISSION TRAILS SECURES GRANT TO BUILD BRIDGE OVER SAN DIEGO RIVER WHERE HIKER DIED

By Miriam Raftery

July 30, 2021 (San Diego) – A new pedestrian and bicycle bridge will soon be built across the San Diego River Crossing Trail, thanks to a $1.5 million state grant secured by Senate President Pro Tem Toni Atkins (D-San Diego) for the Mission Trials Regional Park Foundation.

COUNTY OF SAN DIEGO WORKSHOP SERIES ON BRINGING CLIMATE ACTION PLAN (CAP) INTO COMPLIANCE WITH CALIFORNIA LAW

CAP Update Measure Development Workshop: Energy, Water, and Waste Emissions Reduction Sectors

East County News Service

July 24, 2021 (Unincorporated San Diego) - The County invites you to participate in their online Climate Action Plan (CAP) Update measure development workshop series. The July 28 virtual workshop covers Energy, water, and waste emissions reduction sectors.

Date: Wednesday, July 28, 2021 at 6:00 PM

Use this link to register for the workshop and add the event to your calendar. You will receive a confirmation e-mail and a numeric passcode to participate in the meeting. 

If you are interested in being notified of their upcoming opportunities to participate, please sign up for the County’s CAP mailing list.

NASA ANNOUNCES STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIP WITH EUROPEAN SPACE AGENCY TO ADDRESS GLOBAL CLIMATE CHANGE

By Jonathan Goetz

Photo: Screenshot of Josef Aschbacher at July 13 signing ceremony

July 21, 2021 (San Diego) — Recognizing that climate change is an urgent global challenge, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) announced a strategic partnership with the European Space Agency (ESA) to observe Earth and its changing environment. In a statement, NASA says, "Together we are leading and supporting a global response, with combined efforts in Earth science."

“Climate change is an all-hands-on-deck, global challenge that requires action now,” says NASA Administrator Bill Nelson. “NASA and ESA are leading the way in space, building an unprecedented strategic partnership in Earth science.”

JOIN THE 2021 JULIAN HIKING CHALLENGE

East County News Service
 
July 12, 2021 (Julian) --You’re invited to explore some of Julian's most beautiful trails in the Julian Hiking Challenge. Complete the five hikes listed by December 31, submit photos and you will receive a special certificate, sticker and entry into a raffle to win a Julian Goodie bag of Julian keepsake items, special offers, freebies-- plus the added bonus of some awesome outdoor adventures.
 
Send selfies to share@visitjulian.com after you finish each hike or all five hikes. The First 300 to complete the challenge will also receive a Julian Hiking Challenge Patch.
 

NEWSOM URGES ALL CALIFORNIANS TO CUT WATER USE BY 15%

By Rachel Becker, CalMatters

CalMatters is a public interest journalism venture committed to explaining how California’s state Capitol works and why it matters

Photo:  Creative Commons image via Bing

July 9, 2021 (San Diego) - As extreme drought claims most of the state, California Gov. Gavin Newsom today asked Californians to voluntarily cut their water use by 15%.

SAN DIEGO COMMUNITY POWER INKS DEAL WITH BAYWARE TO BUY ENERGY FROM JACUMBA SOLAR SITE, BUT COUNTY HAS NOT YET APPROVED PROJECT

East County News Service

July 8, 2021 (Jacumba Hot Springs) -- BayWa r.e., a renewable energy developer and services provider, has entered into a power purchase agreement (PPA) with San Diego Community Power (SDCP), the not-for-profit community choice energy program serving five cities in the San Diego region.

Under the terms of the agreement, SDCP would purchase power for 20 years from the Jacumba Valley Ranch (JVR) Energy Park being developed by BayWa r.e. near Jacumba Hot Springs in San Diego County.

EARTHTALK: THE AGE OF THE EV: WHICH ONE WOULD YOU GET?

By Roddy Scheer and Doug Moss, EarthTalk 

Photo:   if you are looking for a lower price tag and a decent amount of range in a new EV, Chevrolet’s Bolt is among the better bets. Credit: Stephen Rees, FlickrCC.

July 3, 2021 (San Diego) - Dear EarthTalk: I am looking to finally ditch the old minivan and upgrade to an EV. What are the best choices out there nowadays in terms of up-front cost and fuel efficiency? -J. Wilson, Summertown, TN

REHABILITATED BALD EAGLE RETURNS TO WILD AT LAKE HENSHAW JUST AHEAD OF JULY FOURTH

Young Bald Eagle Came to San Diego Humane Society with an Injured Clavicle

 July 2, 2021 (Lake Henshaw) -- An injured bald eagle, found in Warner Springs with a wing droop and unable to fly, was brought to San Diego Humane Society’s Pilar & Chuck Bahde Wildlife Center on June 8. The bird has been rehabilitated and was released back into the wild on July 1, just in time for the Independence Day holiday.

JACUMBA RESIDENTS CONTINUE TO FIGHT SOLAR PROJECT: JULY 9 PLANNNG COMMISSION HEARING IS NEXT STEP

Story and photos by Henri Migala 

Miriam Raftery also contributed to this report

June 30, 2021 (Jacumba Hot Springs) -- Imagine moving to a small, quiet, rural community over an hour away from a major metropolitan area to enjoy the quiet solitude of the open backcountry--only to learn that an international investment group is planning on building a massive solar project, six times larger than your entire community, within feet from you house.<--break->

GROUPS CALL FOR $10 BILLION TO BOLSTER SHORELINES AGAINST SEA-LEVEL RISE

By Suzanne Potter, Public News Service (CA)

Photo:  Conservation groups would like more funding to restore wetlands at the site of the former Hamilton Air Force Base in Novato. (U.S. Army Corps of Engineers)

June 24, 2021 (San Francisco) - Sea levels in California are projected to rise up to 55 inches by the end of the century, so climate advocates are calling on Congress to fund coastal restoration projects to mitigate potential flooding. 

More than 100 groups signed a letter calling on lawmakers to include $10 billion for such projects nationwide in the proposed infrastructure bill.

MOUNTAIN LION REHABBED IN RAMONA RETURNS TO WILD IN ORANGE COUNTY

Orphaned cub and sibling came to San Diego Humane Society after mom was hit by a car
 
East County News Service
 
Photo courtesy San Diego Humane Society
 
June 23, 2021 (Ramona) -- One of the mountain lions who spent 4 months at San Diego Humane Society’s Ramona Wildlife Center under the care of the organization’s Project Wildlife team, was released back into the wild late Monday, June 21. The 6-month-old cub and her sister came to San Diego Humane Society after their mother had been hit by a car, leaving them orphaned near the Tijeras Creek Golf Course in Orange County. The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) determined the cubs could not fend for themselves in Rancho Santa Margarita and requested assistance from SDHS. The first cub arrived at the Ramona Wildlife Center on Feb. 11, 2021 and the second was transferred from Serrano Animal and Bird Hospital after surgery on May 1, 2021.

LEARN ABOUT MOUNTAIN LIONS JUNE 27 AT ALPINE WOMAN’S CLUB

East County News Service
 
June 21, 2021 (Alpine) — The Alpine Historical Society invites you to a presentation on cougars, also called mountain lions or pumas. The program will be presented by Robin Parks, a volunteer with the Mountain Lion Foundation, on Sunday, June 27 at 1 p.m. at the Alpine Woman’s Club, 2156 Alpine Blvd. in Alpine.

BOARD APPROVES NEW PLAYGROUND EQUIPMENT, SUNSHADES FOR 18 COUNTY PARKS

By Gig Conaughton, County of San Diego Communications Office

Photo: Flinn Springs County Park will receive a shade cover over existing equipment and have some older playground equipment and a swingset replaced (photo courtesy: Jonathan Goetz)

June 17, 2021 (San Diego) -- Staying fit, enjoying nature and just playing around will soon be cooler and more fun at 18 County parks after the Board of Supervisors approved installing new sunshade structures and playground equipment.

County supervisors voted unanimously Wednesday to spend $1.4 million to install 11 fabric shade-sail structures at 10 County parks to keep visitors cooler and prolong the life of playground equipment, and to spend roughly $3.6 million to install 12 new or replacement playgrounds at 10 parks. Two parks in El Cajon, Flinn Springs County Park and Steele Canyon County Park, will get both sunshade structures and playground equipment.

VIRTUAL CONCERT JUNE 10 STRIVES TO MAKE CALIFORNIA STATE PARKS ACCESSIBLE TO ALL

By Miriam Raftery

June 7, 2021 (Sacramento) -- A love of parks and music will strike a chord on June 10 as Parks California and StageIt team up to host a virtual benefit concert featuring performances from artists like David Wilcox, Khafre Jay, O-Town, Ozomatli and more exciting artists.The goal? To rally support for Parks for Everyone – a campaign of initiatives and programs that make California State Parks more accessible, available and meaningful for everyone. Specifically, proceeds will support opportunities for all people to make lasting connections with nature by advancing outdoor equity, career opportunities, youth field trips and more. 

ACTIVISTS URGE CITY TO REJECT UTILITY FRANCHISE DEAL WITH SDG&E

Some experts say ratepayers could be on hook for up to $20 under
loophole in proposed law
 
By Miriam Raftery
 
June 5, 2021 (San Diego) – On Tuesday, the San Diego City Council will have its second reading of a proposed utility franchise agreement with San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E). But a coalition of public interest,  environmental and racial justice groups are calling on the Council to overturn its earlier 6-3 approval of the plan. Only four votes are needed to block the agreement, since a supermajority of two-thirds is required for passage.

EAST COUNTY WATER PURIFICATION PROGRAM GETS $388M FEDERAL LOAN

By Mike Allen
 
Photo:  members of AWP board with Radhika Fox of the EPA
 
June 5, 2021 (San Diego’s East County) -- East County’s largest infrastructure project, the Advanced Water Purification Program (AWP), got a big boost towards its completion this month when it was awarded a $388 million low-rate federal loan.

READER’S EDITORIAL: HELP FIGHT “GREEN MONSTER” IN JACUMBA: SD COMMUNITY POWER VOTE SLATED FOR TODAY

By Greg Curran

May 27, 2021 (Jacumba Hot Springs) -- The community of Jacumba Hot Springs needs your voice to push back again the impending destruction of our small rural community which has been designated as a Colonia.

Jacumba is a diverse, low income community (~50 percent white, ~38 percent Latino or Hispanic, ~20 percent Pacific Islander.) Many of the residents are renters, and a large number are disabled and living on small fixed incomes. With Jacumba's affordable home prices (100K to 200K), people have an opportunity to own a modest home here. However, they will not have the resources to move to a more expensive community if the developer (BayWe re) is successful in pushing through a 623 acre utility-scale solar project within the Jacumba village boundary. This solar project will provide no jobs for locals and more importantly, it will keep Jacumba from growing or ever having a border crossing, things that would improve the vitality of this currently economically depressed town.(See brief project summary.)

Previously in April 2021, the Jacumba Sponsor Group voted to approve a 200 acre solar facility that would be pulled back away for residences, the Jacumba airport, and scenic Highway 80. On May 18, 2021, the sponsor group voted unanimously to deny the 623 acre Jacumba Valley Ranch (JVR) project for a variety of reasons.

Just two days ago, we learned that San Diego Community Power will be voting today on whether to approval a 20 year power purchase agreement with the JVR solar developer. It is item 16 on their agenda.

SANTEE PUTS BRAKES ON COMMUNITY CENTER AND COMMUNITY CHOICE ENERGY PROGRAM

By Mike Allen
 
Photo:  llustration of the long-planned Santee Community Center, via HMC Architects
 
May 14, 2021 (Santee) -- The ongoing pandemic has forced everyone, including local elected officials, to reevaluate their previous plans.
 
That’s what happened May 12 when the Santee City Council pressed the pause button on two long-planned decisions, building a community center and joining a Community Choice Aggregation program.

JACUMBA MEETING SHINES LIGHT ON ARRAY OF SOLAR ISSUES

“Nothing in this project does a hoot for anyone who lives out here.” – Cheryl Diefenbach
 
By Miriam Raftery
 
May 11, 2021 (Jacumba Hot Springs) – Residents in Jacumba Hot Springs are shining a light on their concerns about the proposed Jacumba Valley Ranch Solar Project, which includes a 643 acre solar energy facility on 1200 acres of land. That’s six times the size of Jacumba Hot Springs’ downtown district.Residents of this high desert town along the U.S.-Mexico border in San Diego’s East County held a community meeting Friday night.  The meeting was held in person, since many in this remote enclave lack access to high speed internet and the County is only allowing the town’s planning group to hold virtual meetings. More than 50 people showed up—around a tenth of the town’s population, based on the last Census. 

DROUGHT DECLARED IN 41 CALIFORNIA COUNTIES; ALL CALIFORNIANS ASKED TO CONSERVE WATER

By Miriam Raftery

Image, left: Dept. of Water Resources  map shows precipitation is far below average statewide

May 11, 2021 (Sacramento) – Following months of below normal rainfall in one of the driest years on record, Governor Gavin Newsom yesterday expanded his  April 21 drought emergency proclamation to include a total of 41 counties. San Diego is not included in the proclamation, which covers primarily Northern and Central California, areas representing about 30 percent of the state’s population. However all state residents are asked to help conserve water, a criitical resource.

Extraordinarily warm temperatures in April and early May separate this critically dry year from all others on California record. Climate change-induced early warm temperatures and extremely dry soils have further depleted runoff water from the Sierra-Cascade snowpack, resulting in historic and unanticipated reductions in water flowing to major reservoirs. The drastic reduction in water supplies means these reservoirs are extremely low for water users including farmers, also threatening fish and wildlife in the counties the drought proclamation covers.

Newsom announced $5.1 billion in funding for a menu of measures to address the drought and related water challenges. His proposal takes timely advantage of a massive $75.7 billion budget surplus, a surplus due largely to wealthy Californians who profited during the pandemic.

THE CLIMATE SOLUTION ACTUALLY ADDING MILLIONS OF TONS OF CO2 INTO THE ATMOSPHERE

New research shows that California’s climate policy created up to 39 million carbon credits that aren’t achieving real carbon savings. But companies can buy these forest offsets to justify polluting more anyway.

By Lisa Song, ProPublica, and James Temple, MIT Technology Review

This story was originally published by ProPublica.

Image via Pixabay

ProPublica is a nonprofit newsroom that investigates abuses of power. Sign up to receive our biggest stories as soon as they’re published.
 
This story was co-published with MIT Technology Review.
 
May 9, 2021 (San Diego) - Along the coast of Northern California near the Oregon border, the cool, moist air off the Pacific sustains a strip of temperate rainforests. Soaring redwoods and Douglas firs dominate these thick, wet woodlands, creating a canopy hundreds of feet high.

BATTERED, BURNED BUT ALIVE; TIME WILL HEAL PARK'S WOUNDS, BUT IT NEEDS BIG MONEY TOO

By Julie Cart, CalMatters

CalMatters is a public interest journalism venture committed to explaining how California’s state Capitol works and why it matters

Photo:  A view of Big Basin Redwoods State Park in Boulder Creek on April 22, 2021. Most of the park burned in 2020's CZU Complex wildfire. Photo by Max Whittaker, courtesy of Save the Redwoods League

May 9, 2021 (Boulder Creek, Calif.) - In the annals of California history, no one has ever had to put a broken state park back together. There’s no guidebook, no rules. So now state officials and conservationists are attempting a complex and extraordinary Humpty Dumpty project: The reawakening of Big Basin Redwoods State Park.

SUPERVISOR ANDERSON CALLS FOR ENVIRONMENTAL EQUITY FOR EAST COUNTY COMMUNITIES

By Miriam Raftery

April 30, 2021 (San Diego’s East County) – In honor of Earth Day, Supervisor Joel Anderson posted a video on YouTube urging his colleagues to support environmental equity for all residents. 

In the video, Anderson noted that his District 2 in East County has often suffered a disproportionate share of negative environmental impacts, from wildfires to air pollution.

EAST COUNTY ADVANCED WATER PURIFICATION PROGRAM RELEASES NEW VIDEO - THE CLEAR SOLUTION

East County News Service

April 27, 2021 (Santee) – The East County Advanced Water Purification (East County AWP) Program released a new video, The Clear Solution, that can be viewed on the Program’s website at www.eastcountyawp.com/videos. The four-minute video educates viewers about the importance of the East County AWP Program and how it will create a new, local, reliable and drought proof drinking water supply by recycling and reusing the region’s wastewater. The East County AWP Program is a collaborative partnership between Padre Dam Municipal Water District, County of San Diego, City of El Cajon and Helix Water District.

STATE ISSUES WARNING FOR PEOPLE AND PETS TO AVOID WATER CONTACT AT SALTON SEA DUE TO TOXIC ALGAE OUTBREAK

Recent death of a dog underscores potential consequences

 

East County News Service

 

April 23, 2021 (Salton Sea) – The California Water Boards has issued a warning for people and their dogs to avoid water contact in the Salton Sea, located in Imperial and Riverside Counties. The warning is due to multiple Harmful Algal Blooms (HAB) detected at numerous sites in the Salton Sea after a dog died following a swimming excursion there.

CONSUMER REPORTS ENDORSES BILL TO PROTECT PUBLIC FROM TOXIC PFAS “FOREVER CHEMICALS”

Consumer Reports Investigation Found PFAS Contamination Widespread in U.S. Tap Water

East County News Service

April 21, 2021 (Washington D.C.) -- Consumer Reports (CR) is calling on Congress to pass legislation just introduced by Representatives Debbie Dingell and Fred Upton that aims to protect the public from the growing health threat posed by PFAS “forever chemicals.” PFAS are widely used by manufacturers to make products resistant to stains, grease, and water, and are so pervasive that 95 percent of all Americans have trace amounts of the chemicals in their blood.

The bill mirrors the PFAS Acton Act of 2019, which passed with a bipartisan vote in the House, but did not advance in the Senate before the end of the last session.

UTILITIES ARE TRYING TO STYMIE ROOFTOP SOLAR IN CALIFORNIA

By Dave Rosenfeld, special to CalMatters

CalMatters is a public interest journalism venture committed to explaining how California’s state Capitol works and why it matters.

Photo via iStock

April 20, 2021 (Sacramento) - Two years ago, Gov. Gavin Newsom described Pacific Gas & Electric and the events that led to the deadliest wildfire in state history saying, “It’s about corporate greed meeting climate change. It’s about decades of mismanagement.” 

VIRTUAL CELEBRATION, REAL FUN — COUNTY’S EARTH DAY 2021

East County News Service

April 19, 2021 (San Diego) -- The celebration is virtual, but the fun is real — San Diego County’s Virtual Earth Day Fair is back. Visit the County’s Land Use and Environment Group’s Earth Day webpage, which is filled with fun and education for kids and parents alike. You can play games, solve puzzles, take virtual hikes in our County parks, get hiking tips from a County park ranger, watch animated video stories about whales and watersheds, sing the Earth song, learn about beekeeping and invasive bugsexplore and travel around the world — even walk on Mars right in your living room.

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