Green Scene

SMART LEAK DETECTOR REBATES FOR HELIX WATER AND SWEETWATER CUSTOMERS CAN HELP REDUCE BILLS

By Miriam Raftery

August 18, 2019 (San Diego’s East County) – Through a new pilot program, customers of Helix Water and Sweetwater Authority can received a $100 rebate on a qualifying smart leak detector purchased August 1st or later, while supplies last.  Learn more and apply here.

TRUMP ADMINISTRATION PLAN WOULD GUT ENDANGERED SPECIES ACT, ENVIRONMENTAL LEADERS WARN

By Miriam Raftery

Photo:  Bald eagles have been saved from the brink of extinction by the Endangered Species Act; polar bears are among species now considered vulnerable. 

August 17, 2019  (Washington D.C.) – Just two weeks ago, the United Nations and International Union for Conservation of Nature published two reports warning that climate change is pushing a million species closer to extinction.  Yet last week, the Trump administration announced plans to take effect in September that dramatically weaken protections for endangered and threatened species.  

FORESTER CREEK RECREATION ACCESS: PLAN TO BE UNVEILED AT RELEASE PARTY AUG. 27

East County News Service
 
August 17, 2019 (El Cajon) – More than 1,200 community members have been working on a Forester Creek Recreation Access Plan, including volunteers who formed the Forester Creek Community Committee. You’re invited to a party to celebrate release of the new Forest Creek Recreation Access Plan on Tuesday, August 27 from 6:15 to 7:30 p.m. at the Renette Park Community Center meeting room west at 9353 Emerald Ave., El Cajon.

APPLICANTS SOUGHT FOR THE MISSION TRAILS REGIONAL PARK CITIZEN ADVISORY COMMITTEE

Source:  City of El Cajon

August 16, 2019 (El Cajon) - The City of El Cajon is accepting applications for one (1) vacancy on the Mission Trails Regional Park Citizen Advisory Committee. Requirements to serve on the Committee:

A GREEN FUTURE DAWNS IN LA MESA: COUNCIL VOTES TO OFFER A COMMUNITY CHOICE ENERGY OPTION FOR RESIDENTS, JOINING SAN DIEGO AND CHULA VISTA

By Rebecca Jefferis Williamson and Miriam Raftery

August 16, 2019 (La Mesa) -- La Mesa City Council members voted unanimously 5-0 on August 13th for a landmark agreement to form a joint powers agreement (JPA) with the cities of San Diego and Chula Vista to create a Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) and give La Mesa residents an alternative to SDG&E for purchasing power.

La Mesa Vice Mayor William “Bill” Baber was on the subcommittee leading the efforts on this matter. “With this vote, La Mesa took another step forward on the path to 100% clean energy!” Baber told ECM via e-mail.

THERE SISTERS AND CEDAR CREEK FALLS TRAILS CLOSED

East County News Service
 
August 14, 2019 (Ramona) -- Cleveland National Forest officials have issued a temporary emergency closure order for the Three Sisters Falls and Cedar Creek Falls Visitor Use Area, effective Wednesday, August 14 through Friday, August 16, due to the heat advisory issued by the National Weather Service.

LIVING WITH MOUNTAIN LIONS: AUG. 11 IN LAKESIDE

East County News Service
 
August 8, 2019 (Lakeside) – The Mountain Lion Foundation invites you to “Living with Mountain Lions,” a special presentation on Sunday, August 11 from 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. in the Olde Community Church, 9906 Main Ave. in downtown Lakeside. 

PARK SERVICE FLOATS PLAN TO SHOOT NATIVE ELK AT POINT REYES NATIONAL SEASHORE IN NORTHERN CALIFORNIA

Source:  Center for Biological Diversity

August 8, 2019 (Point Reyes, Calif.) -- The National Park Service released a draft plan today that calls for shooting native elk to allow for expanded cattle ranching and commercial agriculture at Point Reyes National Seashore. The plan would allow the killing of tule elk, damage to wildlife habitat, harm of endangered species, degradation of water quality and create new conflicts with other native wildlife species.

COUNTY BOARD VOTES TO BUY LAND TO EXPAND IRON MOUNTAIN PRESERVE

By Gig ConaughtonCounty of San Diego Communications Office

Photo:  a view of Iron Mountain along the trail in Poway

August 8, 2019 (Poway) - County supervisors Wednesday approved buying 160 acres near Iron Mountain in Poway to give threatened animals like deer and the California gnatcatcher more room to roam, and potentially, people more trails and connections to hike.

COUNTY OFFERS $28.5M IN GRANTS TO HELP ORGANIZATIONS UPGRADE HIGH-POLLUTING VEHICLES AND EQUIPMENT

 

By Katie White, County of San Diego Communications Office

Video by Jose Eli Villanueva

August 7, 2019 (San Diego) - The County of San Diego is inviting businesses, nonprofits and government organizations that currently use high-polluting heavy-duty equipment to apply for a share of $28.5 million in grant funding for greener vehicles, machinery and equipment.

LOVE BIRDS? CHECK OUT THESE EVENTS AT MISSION TRAILS REGIONAL PARK

East County News Service 

August 4, 2019 (San Diego’s East County) – Mission Trails Regional Park has several events coming up for bird lovers.  Hawk watch demonstrations are held on the first Sunday of each month.  In addition, the park offers its next monthly bird walk on Saturday, August 10th, plus a “birding basics” class for aspiring birdwatchers on August 31st.

Scroll down for details.

WIRELESS SAFETY EXPERT TO SPEAK AUG. 27 IN PINE VALLEY

East County News Service

August 4, 2019 (Pine Valley) – “Wireless Radiation: Keeping Safer in a Wireless World” will be the topic of a free lecture by attorney Dafna Tachover on Tuesday, August 27 at 6:30 p.m. in the Pine Valley Clubhouse (28890 Old Highway 80, Pine Valley). 

 

THIRTY PERCENT FEDERAL TAX CREDIT FOR SOLAR SUNSETS AFTER 2019

Learn about key details to legally claim your tax credit next year

East County News Service

Image via Pixabay

August 2, 2019 (San Diego) - The solar investment tax credit has proven to be one of the most important federal policy mechanisms to incentivize clean energy in the United States and it is scheduled to sunset in the coming months. Those who have yet to go solar are now rushing to take advantage of this federal incentive before it reduces in 2020, then disappears shortly after.

STAR PARTY, BLACKBERRY HIKE, HAWK TALK, CAMPFIRES WITH S’MORES AND MORE AT COUNTY PARKS THIS AUGUST

East County News Service
 
August 1, 2019 (San Diego’s East County) – August is a great time head outdoors and join in some of the many free special events in San Diego County parks across our inland region.  There’s something for everyone – including a star party, picnic with goats, fire awareness day, creek crawl, summer blackberry hike, dog hike, bird and butterfly nature walk, junior rangers program, live animal presentations, sky hunters, campfire with s’mores, wolf presentation, visits with hawks and owls, water games, and fishing.
 
Scroll down for details on these fun and family-friendly events.

COMMUNITY CHOICE ENERGY OPTION IS FEASIBLE, COUNTY REVEALS IN LAKESIDE FORUM

By Mike Allen

Photo: A community choice energy option would give residents an option to buy electrical power from the county instead of from SDG&E. Many Lakeside residents objected to SDG&E’s construction of  Sunrise Powerlink high-voltage lines through scenic areas such as the El Capitan reservoir (photo, left)  and El Monte Valley in Lakeside.  CCA plans also enable local governments to provide power from clean, renewable resources such as solar The electricity would still flow through powerlines and infrastructure maintained by SDG&E, but profits off energy production would flow to the county to benefit taxpayers, not SDG&E shareholders.

August 1, 2019 (Lakeside) - That the county is on the verge of declaring a community choice aggregate (CCA) appears evident, given the tenor of a recent forum held at the Lakeside Community Center July 30. Under the CCA, the county would buy and sell electrical power to residents and businesses, providing an alternative for consumers to SDG&E. The board is scheduled to receive a final report on the issue Sept. 10, and take a vote either then or soon after. 

ENDANGERED GRAY WOLVES IN CALIFORNIA HAVE LITTER FOR THIRD YEAR IN A ROW

By Miriam Raftery

Photos:  2017 gray wolf litter, courtesy Calif. Department of Fish and Wildlife

July 31, 2019 (Lassen) – Like the grizzly bear, wolves were exterminated from Califiornia in the 1920s. But now they are making a comeback.

In the past several years, wolves have crossed into northern California from Oregon—and several litters of wolf pups have been born.  In 2014, gray wolves received endangered species protection status from the state of California.

APPELLATE COURT OVERTURNS COUNTY’S APPROVAL OF HOSKINGS RANCH HOUSING SUBDIVISION ON RANCH LAND NEAR JULIAN

By Miriam Raftery

 

July 30, 2019 (Julian) – In a precedent-setting case over preservation of agricultural land protected under California’s Williamson Act, California’s Fourth District Court of Appeal has published a decision that reverses a Superior Court ruling in Cleveland National Forest Foundation et al. v. County of San Diego

 

The July 25th decision held that San Diego County officials acted wrongly when they approved a map for a housing subdivision  on the 1,400-acre Hoskings Ranch near Julian. The court found the Genesee Properties project would have set the stage to replace ranching with residential development--all while allowing the property owner to enjoy tax breaks intended to keep the land in agriculture.

ANNUAL AUGUST CLOSURES COMING TO SEVERAL COUNTY PARKS

By Michelle Mowad, County of San Diego Communications Office

July 30, 2019 (San Diego) - Six San Diego County parks will be closed in August, a safety measure taken each year because of the month’s typically high temperatures.  El Capitan Preserve near Lakeside, Hellhole Canyon Preserve in Valley Center, Mt. Gower Preserve near Ramona and Wilderness Gardens in Pala will be closed Aug. 1 through Aug. 31. In addition, Agua Caliente Regional Park in Anza Borrego and Vallecito County Park near Julian are closed all summer; they reopen Labor Day weekend.

SANTEE MULLS ALTERNATIVE WAY OF BUYING ENERGY

By Mike Allen

Photo: Howard Choy, EES Consulting

 

July 26, 2019 (Santee) -- Santee’s City Council took a more in-depth look this week at establishing a new entity that promises to provide energy at reduced rates while obtaining more of the power from renewable sources.

LAWSUITS FILED CHALLENGE COUNTY’S APPROVAL OF MASSIVE HOUSING PROJECT IN PROCTOR VALLEY ON FIRE DANGER, ENVIRONMENTAL THREATS

By Miriam Raftery

July 27, 2019 (Proctor Valley) – Last week, San Diego County Supervisors approved the controversial Otay Ranch Village 14 master-planned community in Proctor Valley near Jamul, which passe by 3-2 vote. 

Now environmental groups have filed lawsuits, hoping a judge will cast the deciding vote to block the project, based on fire danger to residents and threats to wildlife.  A press release issued by the plaintiffs, Center for Biological Diversity, Endangered Habitat League, Sierra Club, California Chaparral Institute, Preserve Wild Santee, and California Native Plant Society, calls the project “a sprawl development that will pave over hundreds of acres of habitat for golden eagles and other imperiled wildlife and build new homes in one of California’s most dangerously fire-prone areas.”

HEAT RECORDS SHATTERED WORLDWIDE AS CLIMATE CHANGE EVIDENCE GROWS

By Miriam Raftery
 
Photo:  Simulation of maximum temperatures on July 3 from American (GFS) weather model at two meters above the ground. (University of Maine Climate Reanalyzer)
 
July 22, 2019 (San Diego) -- Around the world, on virtually every continent, all-time heat records were shattered in July, CNN reports. And here in San Diego, a model created by scientists and journalists predict just how hot our region will become in future decades as the impacts of climate change take hold.

COUNTY PARKS OPENS ADA-ACCESSIBLE CABINS

By Michelle Mowad, County of San Diego Communications Office

July 21, 2019 (San Diego) - San Diego County Parks and Recreation on Friday opened four new cabins built to be accessible to people with mobility challenges at Dos Picos County Park in Ramona, making it easier for nature lovers of all abilities to stay overnight.

COUNTY TO HOLD PUBLIC FORUMS ON COMMUNITY CHOICE ENERGY

By Tracy DeFore, County of San Diego Communications Office

July 19, 2019 (San Diego) - The public can give input on whether the County should buy and sell electricity during four informational forums set for coming weeks.

Board supervisors started exploring the idea of starting a community choice energy program, also known as community choice aggregation, in February.

SCE TO RESTART FUEL TRANSFERS AT SAN ONOFRE NUCLEAR PLANT; WATCHDOG GROUP LEADER VOICES SAFETY CONCERNS

By Miriam Raftery

 

Photo: San Onofre beach and shuttered nuclear reactors

 

July 15, 2019 (San Onofre, CA) – Southern California Edison today announced that it will restart the transfer of spent nuclear fuel cannisters at the closed San Onofre nuclear power plant, after “rigorous regulatory, internal and third party readiness and operational reviews.”  

EL CAJON ADOPTS CLIMATE CHANGE POLICY, DRAWS CRITCISM FROM CLIMATE ACTION GROUP

By Paul Kruze

July 15, 2019 (El Cajon) -- In a unanimous vote, the El Cajon City Council voted to approve a climate change policy developed in conjunction with community outreach sessions earlier this year. But some critics contend the plan does not go far enough to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

TONIGHT: LA MESANS TO HEAR STUDY FINDINGS ON COMMUNITY CHOICE ENERGY ALTERNATIVE TO SDG&E

By Miriam Raftery

July 15, 2019 (La Mesa)—The city of La Mesa is exploring a community choice aggregation (CCA) energy option to provide 100 percent clean energy for the entire community.

Tonight at 6 p.m., the city’s Environmental Sustainability Commission will discuss findings of a feasibility study funded jointly by the cities of La Mesa, Santee and Chula Vista on the viability of a CCA that would let each city purchase electrical power for its residents as an option to SDG&E for competitively priced clean energy. 

COUNTY LETTER ON COTTONWOOD SAND MINE RECOGNIZES SIGNIFICANT COMMUNITY CONCERNS

East County News Service

Photos: Map of proposed project; wildlife photos by Debbie Ekhaml, including raccoons in adjacent Sweetwater National Wildlife Refuge and mule deer in Jamul ecological preserve are among wildlife species that could be negatively impacted

July 13, 2019 (Rancho San Diego) – Significant concerns raised by the community over the proposal for a 10-year sand mining operation at Cottonwood Golf Course have been confirmed with the release of the County of San Diego’s Scoping Letter on the project.

FUTURE OF COLLIER PARK: LA MESA HOSTS PUBLIC MEETINGS

By Miriam Raftery

July 13, 2019 (La Mesa) – The City of La Mesa has an opportunity to apply for a Calif. Dept. of Parks and Recreation (Prop 68) grant. The grant will help the next phase of improvements at Collier Park.

The city is hosting a series of public meetings to get the community’s ideas and input.

COUNTY OKS FUNDING FOR WATER PURIFICATION PROGRAM

By Tracy DeFore, County of San Diego Communications Office

July 12, 2019 (San Diego) - The County Board of Supervisors approved another step Wednesday toward increasing local drinking water supplies for East County residents.

The Board, acting as the Board of Directors for the County Sanitation District, voted to approve $2.35 million for the County’s contribution to final program development costs of the East County Advanced Water Purification Program.

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