Green Scene

SAND MINE PROPOSED AT COTTONWOOD GOLF CLUB SITE: RESIDENTS OPPOSED SET COMMUNITY MEETING NOV. 28

By Miriam Raftery

November 25, 2018 (San Diego’s East County) -- The new owner of Cottonwood Golf Club wants to turn the site into a sand mine along the Sweetwater River in Jamacha Valley over the next 10 years.  If approved, the project in the Rancho San Diego area of unincorporated El Cajon would mine an estimated 5.8 million tons of sand from 198 acres of the 280-acre site.

HERE’S THE DIRE CLIMATE REPORT THE TRUMP WHITE HOUSE DIDN’T WANT YOU TO SEE

 

 

“The decision to release this damning report when families are beginning to celebrate the holidays and newsrooms are short-staffed is a brazen attempt to bury the truth.”

By Jake Johnson, staff writer, Common Dreams

November 25, 2018 (San Diego) - In a move environmentalists and journalists denounced as a blatant effort to bury facts that conflict with the president's denialism and pro-fossil fuel agenda, the Trump administration used the Friday after Thanksgiving to quietly release Volume II of the Fourth National Climate Assessment (NCA4), which warned "Earth's climate is now changing faster than at any point in the history of modern civilization" and concluded that "greenhouse gas emissions from human activities are the only factors that can account" for planet-threatening warming.

BORREGO SPRINGS WATER SHORTAGE LOOMS LARGE AFTER WATER BOND FAILURE

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Palm farm in Borrego Springs, by Miriam Raftery

November 25, 2018 (Borrego Springs)  Borrego Springs is under a state mandate to submit a plan early next year to reduce the desert communitywater consumption by 75 percent by 2040. The town relies 100% on groundwater  and its using far more than is being replenished through rainfall.  Citrus and palm farms use 70 to 80 percent of Borregos water, so the only way to meet the staterequirement and save the town’s only water supply is to eliminate some or all of the farms.

CONSUMERS MAY SOON HAVE CHOICES ON WHERE TO BUY POWER AS MORE CITIES MOVE TOWARD COMMUNITY CHOICE

 

 

SDG&E now says it wants to exit power-purchasing business

By Miriam Raftery

November 25, 2018 (San Diego)  Across California, nearly 20 communities are now purchasing their own power through community choice energy programs that aim to lower utility bills and provide energy from clean, green sources. 

The concept is gaining bipartisan support locally, where Republican Mayor Kevin Faulconer announced his intent in October for the citof San Diego to establish acommunity choice option backed by prominent Democrats on the city council. La Mesas city council voted unanimously in April to pursue a community choice energy alternative and Solana Beach already has one. There is also talk of some local jurisdictions banding together to form a regional community choice energy program for ratepayers.

TURN BLACK FRIDAY GREEN

 

 

By Michelle Mowad, County of San Diego Communications Office

November 21, 2018 (San Diego) - Don’t want to fight the crowds on Black Friday? Enjoy a park at your own pace. County Parks and Recreation has declared Friday, Nov. 23 “Green Friday” to prompt families and friends to spend more quality time together outside on the day after Thanksgiving. Take a hike, tour a canyon, meet an animal ambassador – it’s all possible at parks on Green Friday.

Here are five great ways to celebrate the day:

LAKESIDE RESIDENT FILES GRAND JURY COMPLAINT OVER SAND MINE, SUBMITS PETITION TO COUNTY WITH MAJORITY OF NEIGHBORS OPPOSED

By Miriam Raftery

November 18, 2018 (Lakeside) – Lakeside activist Barry  A.Treahy and his wife, Jackie, have submitted a letter and petition to County Supervisors opposing a sand mining project in El Monte Valley. Treahy says the petition has been signed by a majority of property owners deemed by the County to be within the “sphere of influence” of the El Monte Nature Preserve LLC project, the ironically named sand mining endeavor.  Barry Treahy has also filed a complaint with the County Grand Jury (see attachments 1, 2, 3, 4)

Treahy contends that adding sand mining in the 1970s as an allowable land use bypassed critical notification to neighbors.  He further contends that the county’s Planning and Development Services program, which is funded entirely by developer fees without tax revenues, “opens the door to salary abuse, overcharging clients, outside influence, extortion and corruption. The obligation of a Government entity is collect taxes to fund necessary activities. The correct method to avoid those pitfalls,” Treahy’s Grand Jury complaint states.

LOCAL ADVOCATE CALLS ON CALIF. ATTORNEY GENERAL TO PROTECT WILD HORSES

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Bureau of Land Management, wild horses, unspecified location

November 18, 2018 (San Diego’s East County) -- Kathleen Hayden of Santa Ysabel, co-founder of  Coyote Canyon Caballos d’Anza, has long fought to restore San Diego county’s heritage herd of wild horses. Now she’s joined a fight to save wild horses in Double Devil Corrals at Alturas, California, where the federal government has authorized a roundup and sale of hundreds of wild horses.

Hayden has penned a letter to California Attorney General Xavier Becerra urging him to enforce California Fish and Wildlife’s mandate to add our state’s wild horse herds to the list of protected native species in order to halt the sale. She cites fossil evidence indicating that California wild horses are descendants of indigenous species.

Below is Hayden’s letter:

COUNTY DELAYS HEARINGS ON MAJOR DEVELOPMENTS DUE TO SIERRA CLUB LAWSUIT

By Miriam Raftery

November 15, 2018 (San Diego) -- On Tuesday, San Diego County announced that several proposed General Plan Amendments to allow construction of massive development projects will not be heard by the Board of Supervisors in 2018 due to litigation over the Countys climate action plan and a court injunction.  Projects with hearings postponed include Lilac Hills Ranch, Otay Village 14, Planning Areas 16 and 19, Warner Ranch, and Property Specific Requests.



LAKESIDE PLANNERS VOTE AGAINST SAND MINE EIR AS OPPOSITION GROWS, SHADY PAST OF DEVELOPER RAISED

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Lakeside Planning Group members unanimously cast votes to reject EIR on sand mine

November 1, 2018 (Lakeside) --The Lakeside Community Planning Group has voted unanimously to oppose the Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for a massive sand mining project proposed by El Monte Nature Preserve LLC, the deceptively named company that wants to mine sand on the 479 acre site for the next 12 years in Lakeside’s El Monte Valley. The decision drew applause, cheers and hugs from the large crowd present.  View video of the LPCG meeting by Billy Ortiz.

Meanwhile, opposition to the project is growing – and serious questions over the property owner’s ethics are being raised.

BOULEVARD PLANNING GROUP TO VOTE ON WIND TURBINE HEALTH STUDY AND SEXUAL PREDATOR PLACEMENT NOV. 1

 

By Miriam Raftery

View full agenda

View minutes from last meeting

View letter from Mark Wardlaw on wind health impacts study

October 30, 2018 (Boulevard) – The Boulevard Planning Group will meet Thursday, November 1st at 7 p.m. in the Backcountry Resource Center (39919 Ribbon Rd., Boulevard  behind the old fire station).  Action items include Chair Donna Tisdale’s request to respond to a letter from County Planning Department Director Mark Wardlaw in which Wardlaw advised that the County Health and Human Services Agency is preparing a report on human health effects of wind turbines.  The group will also vote on opposing placement of Alvin Quarles, a sexually violent predator, in Jacumba.

READER’S EDITORIAL: SAVE THE ENDANGERED SPECIES ACT

 

By Cheryl A. Reiff, rancher and business owner

October 26, 2018 (San Diego’s East County) -- I am greatly concerned by The Administration's attempts to weaken the Endangered Species Act (ESA) thru nine currently proposed regulatory changes.  The proposed changes to the ESA, presented by Secretary Zinke and his Deputy Secretary Bernhardt, will make it very difficult to protect the wild animals that are already threatened with extinction (This is why they are listed as “endangered”). 

LAKESIDE PLANNERS TO HOLD HEARING THURSDAY AND VOTE ON SAND MINE EIR

 

East County News Service

October 22, 2018 (Lakeside) – The Lakeside Community Planning Group will hold a public hearing this Thursday on an environmental impact report on a controversial sand mining project proposed in the El Monte Valley. After public comments and discussion, planning group members are expected to vote on the project’s EIR.

22 CA LEGISLATORS JOIN GLORIA IN DEMANDING THAT FEDERAL GOV'T STOP INHUMANE ROUNDUP OF WILD HORSES IN MODOC NF

 

East County News Service

October 17, 2018 (San Diego) – Approximately 1,000 of California’s wild horses are currently being rounded up by the federal government with many at risk of being sold for potential slaughter by the United States Forest Service (USFS). Today, California State Assemblymember Todd Gloria (D-San Diego) and 22 of his legislative colleagues demanded the USFS cease this inhumane roundup and protect these wild horses from slaughter.

STATE MOVES TO REDUCE METHANE LEAKS THAT FUEL CLIMATE CHANGE

 

By Suzanne Potter, Public News Service

Photo:  A new rule from the California Public Utilities Commission will require more inspections of gas distribution systems in order to reduce leaks. (Wikimedia Commons)

October 15, 2018 (San Francisco) - The state's gas utility companies are going to have to spend about $300 million over the next three years to find, fix and prevent leaks of methane gas in their distribution systems – the result of a decision made by the California Public Utilities Commission on Thursday.

COUNTY PLANNING AND DEVELOPMENT STAFF FACES STIFF OPPOSITION FROM IRATE LAKESIDE RESIDENTS OVER PROPOSED SAND MINE PROJECT

 

 

By Paul Kruze, Contributing Editor

Photo, left, by Paul Kruze

October 12, 2018 (Lakeside) -- Members of San Diego County’s Planning and Development staff bravely faced some 500 irate Lakeside residents at a recent loud and often rowdy standing room only meeting at the Lakeside Community Center over a proposed sand mine project at the El Monte Valley.

The meeting came on the heels of a controversial draft Environmental Impact Report (EIR) released by the County on the possible environmental effects the sand mine project might have directly on the Lakeside community and on the adjacent cities of Santee and El Cajon.

The County has solicited its draft report for public review and comment from August 30th through October 29th. (The report and other documents related to the project can be accessed here.)

GOV. BROWN SIGNS LANDMARK CLIMATE ACTION BILL; U.N. CLIMATE CHANGE REPORT WARNS OF “LIFE OR DEATH” CONSEQUENCES OF INACTION

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

October 8, 2018 (Incheon, South Korea) – California must get 60 percent of its energy from renewable resources by 2030 and 100 percent clean energy sources by 2045, under the landmark Senate Bill 100 signed into law by Jerry Brown as one of his final acts as Governor. Days later, the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change issued a new report for policy makers, written by over 90 scientists and supported by more than 6,000 peer reviews. The report, delivered at a meeting in South Korea, warns that the earth is on track to warm 1.5 degrees Celsius as early as 2030, just 18 years from now.

COUNTY WINS HIGHEST LEED AWARD FOR SUSTAINABILITY

 

The County of San Diego has become the first county in California and the second in the nation to receive the U.S. Green Building Council’s Platinum certification – its highest distinction – in its LEED for Communities program.

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

BRAVE THESE HAUNTED TRAILS AT COUNTY PARKS

 

 

East County News Service

October 1, 2018 (San Diego’s East County) -- Ready to get spooked? County parks invite you tor a haunted adventure through the woods. Don’t forget to dress up in your favorite Halloween costume!

SKYLINE CHURCH PLAN FOR SENIOR FACILITY ON OPEN LAND DRAWS CONTROVERSY

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

September 25, 2018 (Rancho San Diego) – The Valle de Oro Planning Group has voted 12-2 on September 4th to oppose a proposal by Skyline Church to build a senior living facility on 9 acres of open land  north of Highway 94 in Rancho San Diego.  Planners and long-time community residents say that when the evangelical megachurch was built, church leaders promised the county to preserve this site as open space. 

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. 

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.

BILL WOULD PHASE OUT FOSSIL FUELS IN CALIFORNIA BY 2045

 

Update: This bill has been signed into law by Governor Brown.

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. 

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