Green Scene

ARBOR DAY FOUNDATION NAMES LA MESA TREE CITY USA FOR 38TH CONSECUTIVE YEAR

 

Source:  City of La Mesa

Photo via Tree City USA

February 22, 2018 (La Mesa) - The Arbor Day Foundation, in honor of its commitment to effective urban forest management, has named La Mesa a 2017 Tree City USA for the 38th consecutive year.

La Mesa achieved Tree City USA recognition by meeting the program’s four requirements: a tree board or department, a tree-care ordinance, an annual community forestry budget of at least $2 per capita and an Arbor Day observance and proclamation.

LILAC RANCH PROJECT REVIVED WITH NEW EIR NOW OPEN FOR PUBLIC COMMENT

 

East County News Service

February 22, 2018 (Valley Center) – Like the mythical hydra monster that grows new heads and refuses to die, a revived Environmental Impact Report (EIR) of the proposed and highly controversial Lilac Hills mixed use project in Valley Center has been submitted to the County and is now available for public review starting today. You can view it here:  https://www.sandiegocounty.gov/pds/ceqa/LHR_Recirculation_2.html

TOP COUNTY PARKS TO GET MARRIED IN

 

Take a fresh approach to your wedding ceremony and say “I do” in a park. From romantic country meadows to bayfront ocean views or rustic ranchos, San Diego County Parks and Recreation has a wide array of outdoor spaces for wedding ceremonies and receptions in every part of the county.

With venue fees starting at $105, County parks are not only a beautiful option, but a budget-friendly one, too! To tour event spaces or make reservations, contact Parks at (858) 565-3600.

Here are just a few of the scenic spaces to exchange vows. Find the complete list of venues online.

CALIFORNIA TO BAN TRANSPORTING OIL FROM OFFSHORE RIGS IN STATE

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: U.S. Coast Guard image of Deepwater Horizon 2010 explosion and fire in Gulf of Mexico

February 7, 2018 (Sacramento) – The Trump administration last month announced its intent to open virtually all U.S. offshore oil and gas reserves to drilling, including off San Diego’s coast.  But now California officials say the state will prohibit transporting crude oil pumped from offshore rigs through California.

CALIFORNIA’S RAINFALL AND SNOWPACK LEVELS ARE FAR BELOW AVERAGE

 

By Miriam Raftery

February 7, 2018 (Sacramento) – California could be heading into a new drought.  Electronic measurements taken February 1st by the state’s Department of Water Resources reveal that rainfall and snowpack water levels remain below average, four months into the rainy season.

10 TERRIFIC TRAILS TO BLAZE IN 2018

 

Whether you are new to nature or have many miles on your hiking boots, here are 10 terrific trails at San Diego County Parks to try this year.

Admission to the parks is free unless otherwise noted. Additional information and park phone numbers can be found on individual park pages. Just click on their links.

Several of these parks offer camping as well. Book a camping reservation online, or call 877-565-3600 Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

It can get very hot on the park trails, and many don’t have shade. Always hike with appropriate footwear, dress in layers, wear sunscreen and a hat, and bring plenty of water.

CITIZENS OVERSIGHT SIGNS $873 MILLION SAN ONOFRE SHUTDOWN SETTLEMENT WITH SCE, SDG&E AND OTHER PARTIES

 

Substantial relief to ratepayers: $873 million will not be paid to utilities over the next 5 years, resulting in $775 million reduction

East County News Service

January 31, 2017 (San Diego) – Citizens Oversight, also operating as the “Coalition to Decommission San Onofre,” today signed a settlement agreement with Southern California Edison (SCE), San Diego Gas and Electric (SDG&E) and other ratepayer advocates to bring to a close the dispute over the amount ratepayers are obligated to pay for the San Onofre Nuclear Generation Station (SONGS).  The nuclear plant was subject to an emergency shutdown on January 31, 2012, and permanently shuttered on June 6, 2013.

LOCAL LEVELS OF OZONE PEAK IN MOUNTAIN AND DESERT AREAS

 

By Miriam Raftery

January 30, 2018 (San Diego’s East County) – You might be surprised to learn where the highest levels of ozone pollution are in San Diego County. Hint: it’s not urban areas in local cities, but rather, communities in East County’s mountains and desert areas.

PASTUREBIRD FIRST SOUTHERN CALFORNIA FARM TO ACHIEVE CERTIFIED WILDLIFE FRIENDLY® STATUS

 

Warner Springs and Murrieta farm raises pastured chickens, rebuilds healthy soils and grasslands, and coexists with wildlife

Story and photos @Pasturebird and Primal Pastures.

January 27, 2018 (Warner Springs) -- Most people don’t set up a wholesale pastured poultry operation in an area known for its mountain lion activity as much as for its orchards.  Yet for farmer Paul Grieve of Pasturebird, flourishing habitat is an integral part of farming. “The important thing to us is that we build an ecosystem.  Our role is to steward the land and grow a great environment for Mother Nature.”

BEARS BURNED IN CALIFORNIA WILDFIRES HEALED WITH FISH SKINS, RELEASED TO WILD

 

Unique treatment could translate to companion Animals, humans

By Amy Quinton, UC Davis

January 25, 2018 (Davis) - Two adult female black bears that were burned during the Thomas Fire in Southern California have recuperated and are now back in the wild thanks to the help of University of California, Davis, veterinarians and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.

“SAFEGUARD OUR SAN DIEGO COUNTRYSIDE” INITIATIVE LAUNCHED TO CONTROL DEVELOPMENT

 

Initiative would require public vote on significant changes to General Plan, to protect backcountry from sprawl-style development and traffic gridlock

East County News Service

Update: Hear our interview with former Supervisor Pam Slater Price and Mark Jackson from Save Our San Diego Countryside by clicking the audio link.  Learn more at https://saveoursdcountryside.org/.

January 24, 201 (San Diego) -- Today the San Diego County Registrar of Voters approved the title and summary for the “Safeguard Our San Diego Countryside” Initiative, clearing the way for proponents to gather signatures to place the initiative on the November 2018 ballot. If passed, the measure would require voter approval of amendments to the San Diego County General Plan that significantly increase density on parcels in the unincorporated county now designated for farming, open space, and wildlife uses.

Audio: 

Interview with Pam Slater Price and Mark Jackson

PHOTOS OF THE WEEK: WHITE PELICANS AND OSPREY AT LAKE JENNINGS

 

By Miriam Raftery

January 22, 2018 (Lake Jennings) – I went to Lake Jennings today hoping to see bald eagles recently spotted there. Instead, I found an osprey perched atop a eucalyptus tree. Nearby, a migratory white pelican in the lake was quickly joined by another pelican swooping in for a landing; I later saw several more.

HEARING ON LAKE JENNINGS MARKETPLACE BEFORE SUPERVISORS ON WEDNESDAY

 

 

Update January 24, 2018:  Supervisors voted 4-0 yesterday to approve this, with Supervisor Horn absent due to leaving early.

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Joe Brunetto, owner of Marechiaro's Italian Restaurant and Jack Shu, president of Cleveland National Forest Foundation, speak out against retail project proposed for land visible in background

January 22, 2018 (Lakeside)—San Diego County Supervisors will hold a hearing Wednesday on Lake Jennings Marketplace, a proposed retail strip shopping center on Olde Highway 80 in Lakeside.  The project by South Coast Development requires approval of an environmental impact report,  a General Plan amendment and rezoning  of residential land  to commercial.

But opponents say the developer earlier promised to build multi-family housing on the site, not a shopping center.  Cleveland National Forest Association (CNFF) and a local restaurant owner are heading up opposition to the project, saying what the community needs is housing, not more retail. 

PLANNING COMMISSION RECOMMENDS APPROVAL OF COUNTY CLIMATE ACTION PLAN

 

The San Diego County Planning Commission voted 6-1 Thursday to recommend that the County’s Board of Supervisors approve the County’s revised Climate Action Plan, with some modifications.

PARK SERVICE ADVISORY BOARD MEMBERS RESIGN OVER DEPT. OF INTERIOR NEGLECT

 

By Eric Tegethoff, Public News Service

Photo:  National Park Service Advisory Board members are concerned Secretary Ryan Zinke's Interior Department is not focused on the protection of national parks. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

January 18, 2018 (Helena, Mont.) - After nine of the twelve members of the National Park Service Advisory Board resigned this week, public lands supporters are noticing what they say is a pattern of indifference from Secretary Ryan Zinke's Interior Department.

COUNTY BOARD APPROVES $2 MILLION TREE PLANTING PROGRAM

 

The Board of Supervisors Wednesday approved a $2 million expansion of a program to remove and replace weakened trees in County parks. The action authorizes the Department of Parks and Recreation to advertise and award the contract for its Comprehensive Tree Program.

TRUMP ADMINISTRATION REMOVES FLORIDA FROM OFFSHORE DRILLING

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Deepwater Horizon explosion and oil spill in the Gulf Coast

January 10, 2018 (Washington D.C.) – Just days after Trump’s Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke announced plans to open up 98% of our nation’s coastlines to offshore oil drilling and fracking, Zinke said he is removing Florida off that list, stating, “I support the governor’s position that Florida is unique and its coasts are heavily reliant on tourism as an economic driver.”

TRUMP ADMINISTRATION PROPOSES OPENING COASTLINES FOR OFFSHORE DRILLING, INCLUDING SAN DIEGO

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Santa Barbara oil spill, 1969, dumped up to 100,000 barrels of crude oil off California's coast, killing 3,500 sea birds as well as marine mammals such as dolphins and seals. (Dick Smith Collection, University of Santa Barbara)

January 5, 2018 (Washington D.C.) – Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke yesterday issued a sweeping proposal to open up 98% of all outer continental shelf areas for offshore oil drilling -- including off San Diego’s coastline.  By contrast, drilling is currently allowed in only 6% of those areas.

The proposal, which also includes plans to drill in the Arctic, elsewhere along the west coast, the Atlantic coast and the Gulf coast, has drawn strong opposition from environmental groups and from California’s Attorney General.  View map of proposed drilling sites. The public will have an opportunity to weigh in however in public comments and public meetings to be held around the country.  A schedule of those meetings will be posted here.  Online comments at regulations.gov will be accepted starting January 8th.

CITIZENS' OVERSIGHT FILES LEGAL ACTION WITH NRC TO IMPROVE NUCLEAR WASTE STORAGE SAFETY

 

Proposed “HELMS” Storage plan requires 1,000 year design life rather thancurrent 40-year life such as those in use at San Onofre

East County News Service

January 4, 2018 (San Diego) --  Citizens Oversight, the organization that negotiated a plan of action to move the waste from San Onofre, announced  Tuesday that it has submitted a formal petition to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) under NRC regulations that govern how the nuclear industry handles spent nuclear fuel.  The basis for the proposed changes is established by the HELMS proposal, also part of the submission, meaning Hardened, Extended-life, Local, Monitored, Surface storage. HELMS requires a design life for safe containment of toxic nuclear spent fuel of 1,000 years rather than the current requirement of only 40 years, despite the reality that the spent fuel will likely remain on the surface for at least 200 years.

WILLIAM HEISE CEDAR TRAIL VIRTUAL HIKE

 

 

William Heise County Park in Julian offers more than 10 miles of picturesque hiking trails.

We’ve highlighted a one-mile stretch, the Cedar Trail, that will get your heart pumping, given you go try it out after watching the virtual version of it!

William Heise County Park offers up camping, cabins, playgrounds and more. Find it and all of our parks at sdparks.org.

COUNTY APPROVES DICTIONARY HILL PRESERVE IN SPRING VALLEY

 

 

By Miriam Raftery, East County Magazine

December 30, 2017 (Spring Valley) – After 15 years of efforts by Spring Valley residents to protect Dictionary Hill from development and blasting the top off the 1,059 feet tall peak, County Supervisors in November voted to acquire and preserve 175 acres of coastal sage scrub and habitat including Dictionary Hill (also known as Lookout Mountain) as well as adjacent canyons and ridgelines. 

CARRIZO GORGE HIKE DECEMBER 30 INCLUDES IMPOSSIBLE RAILROAD VISTAS

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

December 27, 2017 (Jacumba Hot Springs) – Hi ho! The Jacumba Hikers and Walkers are hitting the trail to Carrizo Gorge and Walker Canyon on December 30th.   This six mile hike is rated hard due to a steep down and up trek across the gorge, where hikers will see an up-top view of the “Impossible Railroad” at De Anza Resort, then head north on an old road to an abandoned railroad settlement in historic Walker Canyon.

LIGHTS OUT FOR INCANDESCENT BULBS IN 2018

 

By Miriam Raftery

December 27, 2017 (San Diego) -- Incandescent light bulbs have been around since Thomas Edison’s era.  But starting January 1st, it will be illegal to manufacture them in California.  Our state will be the first in the nation to phase out the incandescent bulbs under new energy-saving standards set to take effect nationally in two years, standards put in place by President George W. Bush’s administration.

CONTAMINATION IN YOUR RECYCLING CONTAINER MAY LEAD TO A CRISIS FOR THE CITY’S RECYCLING EFFORTS

 

Source: EDCO

December 22, 2017 (Lemon Grove) -- Incidental contamination in recycling containers may threaten recycling efforts and participation by residents and business. Contamination occurs when non-recyclables are placed in recycling containers before collection and can include anything from food waste, appliances to plastic bags. During this time of year, even old worn out strands of Christmas lights that are not recyclable may be found in recycling bins. End-use markets for recyclable materials, which are mostly in Asia, have shrunk and demand for material quality is higher than ever.

EPA SUED FOR REMOVING SCIENTISTS

 

By Andrea Sears, Public News Service

Photo:  The new chair of the EPA Science Advisory Board denies the scientific evidence that smog causes asthma. (12019/Pixabay)

December 22, 2017 (Washington, D.C.) - Doctors, scientists and professional organizations are suing EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt for replacing publicly-funded scientists with others who advocate for polluting industries.

GO GREEN: RECYCLE YOUR HOLIDAY TREE

 

East County News Service

December 19, 2017 (San Diego) -- With another holiday season upon us, I Love a Clean San Diego and the County of San Diego have again joined together to encourage residents to recycle their Christmas trees and minimize the amount of waste sent to the landfill. You can put your tree to better use through recycling at locations countywide.

NEW SDG&E RATES WILL MAKE SOLAR COST MORE--UNLESS YOU HAVE A BATTERY BACKUP

 

 

Hear our interview with Daniel Sullivan, founder of Sullivan Solar, by clicking the audio link

By Miriam Raftery

Photo:  Battery storage unit on garage wall

December 18, 2017 (San Diego’s East County) – Many solar customers are unaware of new time-of-use rates that took effect December 1st. In an interview with ECM on KNSJ Radio, Sullivan Solar founder and president Daniel Sullivan explains that if you bought solar between June 30, 2016 and Dec. 1, 2017, your rates will be going up sharply after a five-year grace period. Rates for use during evening hours are doubling; a typical family will pay 143% more than in the past. If you buy solar in the future, your rates will also be higher, starting immediately.

But there is a solution:  buy a back-up battery, which will not only lower your rates, but also provide backup power to keep your electricity on during future power outages. Back-up batteries, with subsidies, can be financed out for only about $20 a month – and you’ll likely save $100 a month on your electricity bill, says Sullivan. Rebates end in June 2018, so there's a strong incentive to get a battery soon before the rebates run out.

Audio: 

Interview with Daniel Sullivan, Sullivan Solar, on battery back-ups

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