Green Scene

SUIT FILED AGAINST U.S. FOREST SERVICE TO PROTECT FORESTS AND SENSITIVE SPECIES ON CALIFORNIA FOREST LANDS FROM FUEL BREAK PLANS

 

East County News Service

December 8, 2016 (Santa Barbara) -- Two conservation organizations have filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court to protect fragile habitat and rare species in the path of a massive, remote fuel break recently approved in the Los Padres National Forest. The suit is also an effort to encourage the Los Padres National Forest to focus on reducing fire risk where it matters most, directly in and around communities.

LIFETIME SENIOR PASSES TO NATIONAL PARKS WILL RISE 800% STARTING AS EARLY AS NEXT WEEK: HOW TO GET YOURS NOW FOR JUST $10

 

By Robert Perry

December 7, 2016 (San Diego) -- Since 1965, Americans age 62 or older have been able to buy a senior lifetime pass,  also called the Golden Age Passport and now The National Parks and Federal Recreation Lands Pass.  It allows the holder and people in the car free entrance to federal recreational facilities plus half price camping in federal campgrounds.  (Saves $30 at Yosemite for instance.)  It’s good nationwide. Locally it takes the place of the National Forest Adventure Pass (Mt. Laguna for example).

CLEAN ENERGY MILESTONE: 100,000TH PRIVATE SOLAR ARRAY CONNECTED TO SDG&E’S POWER GRID



 

More than 75 percent of new solar customers using “Fast Track” process

Source: SDG&E

December 6, 2016 (San Diego) - As of November 30, San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) has connected more than 100,000 private rooftop solar systems to its reliable power grid. This milestone comes as the company reports in November it connected 1,942 residential customer rooftops.

SUPERVISORS TO HEAR FOREST CONSERVATION INTIATIVE LANDS AMENDMENT TO GENERAL PLAN DEC. 14

 

East County News Service

December 5, 2016 (San Diego's East County) - The Forest Conservation Initiative Lands General Plan Amendment (GPA) is scheduled for the December 14, 2016 San Diego County Board of Supervisors hearing agenda.  The purpose of this hearing is for the Board of Supervisors to receive and consider the County of San Diego Department of Planning & Development Services report on the GPA and certification of the Final Supplemental Impact Report prepared for the GPA. 

VICTORY FOR STANDING ROCK SIOUX: GOVERNMENT TO REROUTE PIPELINE

 

By Miriam Raftery

Newsflasher photo courtesy Bobby Wallace

December 4, 2016 (Cannonball, North Dakota) — In a victory for the Standing Rock Sioux tribe and thousands of people who have converged in Cannonball, North Dakota to opposed the Dakota Access oil pipeline, the federal government has announced that it will not grant an easement to allow completion of the pipeline underneath Lake Oahe, a reservoir of the Missouri River.

STAR RANCH UP FOR SALE

 

By Miriam Raftery

November 29, 2016 (Campo)- If you’ve got a hankering to own a 2,160 acre cattle ranch,  you may want to mosey on out to rural Campo and saddle up to see the Star Ranch.  The large property is on the market—and the owner is willing to consider offers on any of nine parcels separately or together. (View offering proposal).

A 455-unit housing development has been proposed on the site, drawing opposition from some neighbors concerned about impacts on groundwater supplies, traffic and loss of rural character.  Now the owner has put the site on the market-- and  is giving neighbors the first opportunity to purchase all or part of the sprawling rural property.

BOULEVARD PLANNERS RAISE CONCERN OVER COUNTY’S CLIMATE ACTION AND RENEWABLE ENERGY PLANS, CITE ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE DISPARITY

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photos:  Fire at wind turbine in Campo sparked brush fire; Eco Substation in Jacumba mars desert views

November 27, 2016 (San Diego) - The Boulevard Planning Group voted unanimously to send a letter to County officials voicing concerns that the County’s Climate Action Plan and Comprehensive Renewable Energy Plan will adversely impact the Boulevard/Jacumba area, where mostly low-income residents have already been “disproportionately targeted” for 31 major energy–related projects planned, approved or built in the past decade, according to a letter signed by BPG Chair Donna Tisdale.

FEDERAL FUNDING AVAILABLE TO ADDRESS TREE MORTALITY ON PRIVATE FORESTLANDS

 

East County News Service

November 24, 2016 (San Diego) -- The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in California is expanding its initiative to assist private forestland owners in addressing tree mortality and other drought-related damage to improve forest health.  NRCS will provide financial assistance for landowners with dead and dying conifer forest trees in certain counties, including San Diego County.

GO GREEN ON BLACK FRIDAY - ENJOY COUNTY PARKS

 

By Tracy DeFore, County of San Diego Communications Office

November 24, 2016 (San Diego) - Save green and enjoy the upside of outside with County Parks’ Green Friday events this weekend. The County Parks and Recreation Department has come up with a variety of fun activities starting Friday, Nov. 25 and stretching into Saturday, Nov. 26. Parking, or day-use fees, will be waived on Green Friday so visitors can picnic and play at dozens of parks, and explore 350 miles of trails for free!

OCOTILLO WIND TURBINE COLLAPSE: INVESTIGATION LAUNCHED

 

Part II in our series on the Ocotillo wind turbine collapse

By Miriam Raftery

Photos by Jim Pelley

November 22, 2016 (Ocotillo) – Ocotillo Wind Energy has issued a statement on its website after collapse of a massive wind turbine Monday at its Ocotillo, California energy project site.  The statement indicates the turbine fell within the designed setback zone and no one was injured. Officials say they are working closely with Siemens, the manufacturer of the collapsed turbine, to identify the cause of the failure, with a “full investigation” underway.   The company said safety is its “first priority” and that more information will be released as it becomes available, KYMA TV reports.

Both this project and Siemens have a history of serious problems, however, leading to questions of whether federal or state oversight is needed to protect public safety.

WIND TURBINE COLLAPSES IN OCOTILLO

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photos by Jim Pelley

November 21, 2016 (Ocotillo) – A 500-foot-tall wind turbine at the Ocotillo Wind Energy Facility collapsed this morning, spewing debris and three blades each weighing many tons across the desert floor.

ECM photographer Jim Pelley, an Ocotillo resident, says 30 minutes after the collapse, the other 111 turbines were still spinning and no one from Pattern Energy had arrived.  Around an hour or more after the collapse, Pattern arrived and deenergized the entire project.

GREGORY CANYON LANDFILL PLAN TRASHED: PALA TRIBE BUYS LAND TO PROTECT SACRED SITES AND HABITAT

 

By Miriam Raftery

November 18, 2016 (San Diego)—A  decades-long battle over the proposed Gregory landfill has ended. Yesterday,  the Pala Band of Mission Indians announced the tribe has complete purchase of more than 700 acres of  the property—including most of Gregory Canyon and Gregory Mountain, a sacred site known as Chokla.

Shasta Gaughen with the Pala Indians called the news  “amazing,” adding in an e-mail, ”This means that a dump in Gregory Canyon will never happen. Chokla,  Medicine Rock, and other spiritual and cultural sites on the property will now be protected forever.  Critical wildlife habitat, endangered species, and the San Luis Rey River will be spared the threat posed by millions of tons of polluting garbage.”

SDSU STUDENTS HELP GUIDE LEMON GROVE’S CLIMATE PLANNINNG USING U.N. TOOLKIT

 

Current Sage Project partner Lemon Grove will be first in North America to use new toolkit

Source: SAGE Project

November. 16, 2016  (Lemon Grove) – California cities have long been tasked with developing a plan to reduce carbon emissions and create more sustainable, environmentally friendly communities. The City of San Diego approved its Climate Action Plan last year and other nearby cities have followed suit as a result of the state mandate. But for smaller cities the task can be overwhelming.

READER’S EDITORIAL: THE CLEAR CONSCIENCE OF A GREEN



By Brett Stalbaum, Shelter Valley resident

Photo:  Jill Stein, Green Party presidential candidate 2016

November 12, 2016 (Shelter Valley) -- I come from a fairly conservative family with midwestern roots. My parents were college and nursing school graduates in the 1960s, the first in their families with degrees. They felt stifled by lack of opportunity in their home state, and enjoyed adventure. So they packed up and came to California, carrying me and my diapers. As a northern California kid, I grew up with a love of the redwoods, normally inclement beaches, the Sierra Nevada, the Cascades, and the basins and ranges of Nevada. By 1989, I was a student at San Francisco State University, and was already considerably more liberal than my Catholic - and wonderful - mother and father. The community I grew up in was fairly described as an openly white supremacist one, with a particularly vicious and paranoid attitude toward black Americans. But my tolerant family, as well as our church, also introduced me to multiracial, multicultural, and yes, even multisexual California. I did not and do not know how to be the best ally all of the time, but certainly I have countered the hatred that some whites maintain toward people of color; indeed I have shamed and lost many friends. My concerns then and now are social justice, economic justice, and protecting the planet; although lately an emergent concern for the physical well being of friends, colleagues, and students of color has come ever more to the foreground.

DISCOUNTED RAIN BARRELS NOW AVAILABLE

 

East County News Service

November 11, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) -- Save water this winter by installing a rain barrel – and save money by taking advantage of discounts and rebates that reduce the final cost of each rain barrel to $15 before tax.

The San Diego County Water Authority and its 24 member agencies have partnered with the Solana Center for Environmental Innovation to offer 50-gallon rain barrels for $90 each. The rain barrels can be purchased through the Solana Center and are normally $149.

TRUMP NAMES CLIMATE SKEPTICS, ENERGY LOBBYISTS TO KEY POSTS,TAKING AIM AT DISMANTLING CLIMATE ACCORD AND POLLUTION PROTECTIONS

 

By Miriam Raftery

November 11, 2016 (Washington D.C.)—President-Elect Donald Trump has wasted no time in appointing environmental and health experts’ worst nightmares to key cabinet posts, though oil energy executives are praising the moves.

Energy lobbyist Mike McKenna has been named to head Trump’s Department of Energy transition team; his recent clients include Dow Chemical and the oil tycoon Koch brothers,  Climate Wire and Scientific American report. Trump has also named infamous climate change denier Myron Ebell to lead the Environmental Protection Agency transition team. Ebell has said climate change is “nothing to worry about” in an interview with Vanity Fair

PADRE DAM WELCOMES GIRL SCOUTS FOR WATER DAY EVENT

 

More than 100 Girl Scouts learned about the future of water in East San Diego County

Source:  Padre Dam nes release

November 10, 2016 (Santee) - More than 100 Girl Scouts from San Diego County joined Padre Dam Municipal Water District on Sunday, November 6 to learn about water, conservation and the future of water in East San Diego County during Padre Dam’s Girl Scout San Diego Day at the East County Advanced Water Purification Demonstration Facility.

STATE APPROVES TULE WIND, PHASE II: OPPONENTS VOICE CONCERN FOR EAGLES, WILDLIFE & RESIDENTS

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo:  McCain Valley, site of the Tule Wind project slated to break ground soon

November 2, 2016 (Boulevard) – The State Lands Commission has approved a second phase of the controversial Tule Wind Project in McCain Valley.  Tule II will allow up to 24 wind turbines to be built after completion of Tule I, which will have 52 turbines, each hundreds of feet high.  Phase I is slated to break ground soon, with expected completion in September 2017.

JACUMBA HIKERS ANNOUNCE NOVEMBER/DECEMBER HIKE SCHEDULE

 

Source: the Jacumba Hikers

October 27, 2016 (Jacumba) - The Jacumba Hikers have announced their November/December hiking schedule including spectacular terrain such as  painted mountains, rugged gorges, mud caves,  wind caves, and natural hot springs.  See below for a full list with details on all upcoming activities.

GREEN HOMES TOUR NOV. 12 INCLUDES RESIDENCES IN RAMONA, CAMPO AND JAMUL

 

Seventh annual San Diego Green Building Council event showcases best practices in green residential design and building

East County News Service

Photos:  exterior:  Ramona residence is energy efficient and blends with natural environment.  Interior:  Boulder provides thermal heat and dramatic focal point in Jamul

October 27, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) The San Diego Green Building Council (SDGBC), an environmental nonprofit dedicated to providing education, outreach and advocacy focused on green building in the San Diego community, announced today the 10 residential projects that will be featured on the Green Homes Tour on Saturday, Nov. 12. Home sites are located throughout the county, including Mission Hills, Pacific Beach, Poway, Ocean Beach, Leucadia, Chula Vista, Ramona, Jamul and Campo.

EAST COUNTY MAGAZINE WINS AWARDS FOR COVERAGE OF BORDER FIRE, COVERT CANYON AND IRAQI IMMIGRANT ISSUES

 

East County News Service

October 27, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) -- East County Magazine editor Miriam Raftery picked up three awards in San Diego Press Club’s 2016 Excellence in Journalism Awards competition.

Our entry titled “Border Fire Leaves Residents Burned Over Bureaucratic Bungling” won the Wildcard category; this year the wildcard topic was “life on the border.”  Our media outlet beat out media in all categories for this prestigious award including TV, radio, newspapers and magazines countywide.

HEAR OUR INTERVIEW: MARK JACKSON, NO ON MEASURE B

 

October 25,  2016 (San Diego's  East  County)--  Measure B on the  countywide ballot was paid for by  a  developer.  Accretive Development wants voters to approve Lilac  Hills, a massive,  master-planned community the size of Del Mar in rural Valley Center. 

Why should voters in East County and elsewhere in San Diego care?  First, because taxpayers countywide could wind up footing part of the bill and second,  because if Measure B passes, developers of other controversial  projects could similarly seek to bypass state enviornmental review and the county plannning process.  That's why major environmental groups such as  Sierra Club, Save Our Forests and Ranchlands, and Cleveland Natoinal Forest Foundation are all opposed to the ballot proposition.

Hear our interview with Mark Jackson from the No on Measure B committee, originally aired on  our show on KNSJ radio, by clicking the audio link.

Audio: 

Mark Jackson, no on Measure B interview

ANZA-BORREGO FOUNDATION CELEBRATES 50TH ANNIVERSARY WITH FREE WEEKENDS AT BORREGO PALM CANYON

 

Starts Season-long Celebration for Anza-Borrego Desert State Park

East County News Service

October 25, 2016 (Borrego) – How do you protect and preserve Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, the largest state park in California – with its 600,000 acres of flora, fauna, hiking trails, free camping, archeological sites and much more? That’s the job of the Anza-Borrego Foundation, celebrating its 50th anniversary this desert season.

HEAR OUR INTERVIEWS: HELIX WATER DISTRICT’S MIKE UHRHAMMER AND MARK UMPHRES

 

East County News Service

October 26, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) – Recently we interviewed  Mark Umphres director of water quality and systems operations, and Mike Uhrhammer, senior public affairs representative from the Helix Water District.  We talked about water rates, water quality issues including a recent state report on mercury levels in fish,   and some exciting new additions at Lake Jennings—including tipis!

You can listen now to our interview, which originally aired on our East County Magazine Radio Show on  KNSJ 89.1 FM, by clicking the audio link. (Note: audio file may take a few moments to load.)

Audio: 

SUPERVISORS APPROVE JACUMBA SOLAR POWER PLANT

 

By Gig Connaughton, County of San Diego Communications Office

October 19, 2016 (Jacumba) - The County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a permit Wednesday to build a solar farm in Jacumba that could generate enough electricity to power 5,000 homes.

Proponents and County staff said the plant fit the guidelines of the County’s general plan, would help the region meet state goals of producing one-half of all electricity from renewable sources by 2030, and cut greenhouse gas emissions.

LA MESA CANDIDATES SHARE VIEWS ON COMMUNITY CHOICE ENERGY OPTION

 

By Miriam Raftery

October 17, 2016 (La Mesa) — Recently, La Mesa’s Planning Commission and Environmental Sustainability Commission held a public meeting on the potential for La Mesa to form its own community choice aggregation (CCA) energy program. The plan would enable the city to purchase power from renewable energy sources and sell it directly to residents, offering an alternative to SDG&E, which would continue to maintain power lines.

But where do the three candidates running for La Mesa’s City Council stand?  ECM contacted each candidate; their replies are below.

HEAR OUR INTERVIEW WITH MARK JORGENSEN, AUTHOR OF DESERT BIGHORN SHEEP, WILDERNESS ICON

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

October 15,2016 (Borrego)—We sat down for an interview with Mark Jorgensen,  former  Superintendent of Anza-Borrego Desert State Park and author of the award-winning book, Desert Bighorn Sheep,  Wilderness Icon. 

He spoke about the progress made to protect these  magnificent animals,  as well as threats to their survival and challenges that remain.  You can listen now by clicking the link to our interview, which originally aired on the East County Magazine Show on KNSJ 89.1 FM Radio.

Audio: 

Mark Jorgensen, author of Desert Bighorn Sheep Wilderness Icon, interview

TULE WIND HEARING TODAY AT 1 PM IN SAN DIEGO: STATE LANDS COMMISSION TO VOTE

Wind project threatens eagles:  concerned citizens can send comments via e-mail

By Miriam Raftery

October 13, 2016 (San Diego)—The State Lands Commission is scheduled to vote today on leasing 640 acres of state land for the controversial Tule Wind project in McCain Valley for 40 years. The meeting is set for 1p.m. today at the Sheraton Hotel in San Diego near the airport.

 This project is one of a larger project on federal lands that will lead to injury and deaths for eagles,  environmentalists warn.  Opponents  urge concerned citizens to ask the Commission to vote no or delay voting until and unless U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service grants an eagle take permit and until litigation is resolved.  You can email comments on Tule Wind,  Agenda Item 63,to CSLC.Commissionmeetings@slc.ca.gov

SAVING HIVES AND LIVES: BEES' RELOCATION BETTER THAN THEIR DESTRUCTION

 

By Ted Salois, Helix Water District

October 11, 2016 (San Diego's East County) - Jesse Adcock knows bees.  He moves among them with the ease and acceptance of a good friend—because he is one, even though the bees don’t know it.  

His “self-taught” expertise with the busy, buzzing, honey-makers tells him how to approach a sizable nest while remaining safe.  His choice of clothing--t-shirt, shorts and sandals--shows confidence in his judgment.  “When I first arrive at a hive, I listen to the sound the colony is making,” Adcock said.  “I can tell by the tone whether they’re angry or likely to become aggressive.”  

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