August 5, 2017 (San Diego) – If you suffer from arachnophobia, you may not like this story. Those winter showers have brought out more than May flowers. The wet weather has also led to an increase in tarantula sightings locally due to plentiful populations of critters on which these giant spiders feast.
August 2, 2017 (Washington D.C.) – The number of honey bee hives lost to Colony Collapse Disorder dropped 27% over the past year, the U.S. Department of Agriculture reports in a honeybee health survey. In addition, the total number of commercial honeybee colonies has risen 3 percent.
By Andy Tolley, County of San Diego Communications Office
July 30, 2017 (San Diego's East County) - San Diego is known for its many hiking trails. But sometimes, you want to know what you’re getting into before you make that trek. Or maybe you just want to see if the view really is as spectacular as the photos.
July 28, 2017 (San Diego) - Six San Diego County parks will be closed in August due to extreme heat. The closures take place most years as a safety precaution, while providing Department of Parks and Recreation staff with an opportunity to conduct maintenance such as trail restoration.
July 22, 2017 (Lakeside) – In a strongly worded “Eye on East County” column, Californian editor Albert Fulcher has criticized a proposal before the county to close three public trails in Lakeside, a proposal that he calls a “recipe for disaster.”
The proposal involves Lakeside Downs (parcel S302) west of State Route 67 near Eucalyptus Hills and Oak Creek Drives. This land has been acquired by the Endangered Habitat League (EHL), which has previously shut down other public trails on land that it has obtained.
July 22, 2017 (Lakeside) – Lakeside’s River Park Conservancy will present its 11th annual Once in a Blue Moon Gala and Auction at the River Valley Equestrian Center on September 16.
You’re invited to help honor partners in conservation and raise funds for science programs for kids. This year’s event includes an exhibition polo match starting at 5 p.m., with the night concluding at 8 p.m.
Potential 500-megawatt pumped storage project at the San Vicente Reservoir site could help stabilize water rates
Source: San Diego County Water Authority
July 19, 2017 (San Diego) - The San Diego County Water Authority this week issued a Request for Proposals for a potential joint energy storage project with the City of San Diego that could lessen upward pressure on water rates and also increase opportunities for renewable energy penetration throughout the region by leveraging existing infrastructure at San Vicente Reservoir.
July 18, 2017 (La Mesa) – Circulate San Diego has announced that Colin Parent will serve as the organization’s interim executive director, filling the void left by departure of former executive director Jim Stone, who is joining the Elementary Institute of Science.. Parent also serves as an elected member of the La Mesa City Council.
Circulate San Diego is a nonprofit organization that works to promote public transportation, active transportation (walking and bicycling), and accommodate sustainable growth.
July 15, 2017 (San Diego) – California’s Supreme Court has ruled 6 to 1 in favor of the San Diego Association of Governments, finding that an environmental impact study for the 2050 Regional Transportation Plan is legal and complied with state law on climate change concerns. The ruling overturned only the greenhouse gas study challenge, but upheld a decision by an appellate court that ruled against SANDAG on other issues.
July 12, 2017 (Sacramento) -- California Attorney General Xavier Becerra is calling on the U.S. House of Representatives to oppose legislation that would force California to accept water quality standards that are over 22 years old and give up all enforcement of its own higher state standards. The so-called Gaining Responsibility on Water Act (H.R. 23) would forbid only California from regulating the waters within its own borders.
July 11, 2017 (Washington D.C.) – On Monday, July 10, the formal public comment period closed for the review of national monuments. More than 1.2 million comments were received on Regulations.gov and thousands more were received via traditional mail on 27 national monuments designated since January 1, 1996 that are more than 100,000 acres, or that were considered to have inadequate public input are under review in accordance with President Donald J. Trump’s April 26, 2017, executive order.That order had sparked fears that national monuments could be closed or sold off, including several cherished California sites as well as the newly designated Bears Ears national monument protecting Native American sites.
July 10, 2017 (Jacumba Hot Springs) – Adventurer Dana Law will present a travelogue about the West Coast’s national scenic trail on Tuesday, July 18 at the Jacumba Library (44605 Old Hwy 80, Jacumba Hot Springs, CA 91934 at 6 p.m. On 31 separate journeys over 13 years, Law completed all 2,650 miles of the Pacific Crest Trail, which begins in California at the Mexican border and ends at the Canadian border in Washington.
July 6, 2017(San Diego) – Thousands of electric vehicle (EV) drivers in the San Diego region will get a pleasant surprise when they open their SDG&E residential bill over the next month, as they will be receiving $200 in credit for each EV they own or lease. EV drivers help clean the air and create healthier communities by reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and they save on fueling costs, as charging an electric vehicle costs less than putting gas in the tank.
June 26, 2017 (San Diego) – State Senator Ben Hueso (D-San Diego) has introduced Senate Bill 507 to help protect the Tijuana River Valley in the wake of repeated severe sewage spills from Mexico, including a spill in February that dumped an estimated 28 to 100 million gallons of raw sewage into the valley.
June 16, 2017 (Lakeside)-- Helix Water District (HWD) received a long-anticipated $8 million check on June 16th, officially marking the end of a six-year legal dispute over a 460-acre parcel of land the water agency owned in Lakeside’s El Monte Valley. The land sale is the result of a 2014 court settlement between Helix Water District and the El Capitan Golf Club (now known as El Monte Nature Preserve LLC).
The payment is good news for customers of the Helix Water District, where hefty rate hikes to balance budgets led to a ratepayer revolt and ouster of two incumbent board members last election. But the final payment dashes hopes of El Monte Valley residents and Lakeside community planners opposed to El Monte Nature Preserve’s proposed sand mining operation to extract 18 million tons of sand over 15 years from the El Monte Valley on the site.
June 13, 2017 (San Diego) - At the May 24, 2017 V.I.P. (Very Important Planet) Reception held at the City of San Diego Environmental Services Department, San Diego EarthWorks recognized EDCO with the E.A.R.T.H. (Environmental Action and Restoration That Helps) Award for EarthFair efforts. There to accept the award on EDCO’s behalf was John Snyder, EDCO’s Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer, and Elmer Heap, EDCO’s Division Manager.
June 7, 2017 (La Mesa) -- Tonight’s meeting of the La Mesa Foothills Democratic Club will feature a veritable who’s who of leading San Diego experts in the political ramifications of executive orders dealing with our economy and the environment. Social hour starts at 6:30 with the program at 7 p.m. at the La Mesa Community Center.
Speakers included renowned climate scientist Jeff Severinghaus, Professor of Geosciences at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, who has voiced concern at the drastic measures taken by the Trump Administration in rolling back recently enacted advances to combat global warming.
June 3, 2017 (San Diego's East County) - In announcing that the U.S. would withdraw from the Paris Agreement, a global accord aimed at addressing climate change, President Donald Trump made more than a few false and misleading claims:
Trump said the U.S. would be exposed to “massive legal liability if we stay in” the Paris Agreement. But there is no liability mechanism in the Paris Agreement. International environmental law experts tell us that pulling out of the agreement won’t reduce U.S. exposure to liability claims and, in fact, may increase it.
Trump called China and India the “world’s leading polluters,” referring to carbon emissions. That’s not accurate. China and the U.S. were the top emitters per kiloton in 2015.
The president also falsely said “nobody even knows where the money [in the Green Climate Fund] is going to.” The fund’s website outlines all of the projects that have been funded.
Trump said the agreement would cost “close to $3 trillion in lost GDP.” That’s one estimate from a report for a business-funded group that found a much smaller impact under a different scenario. Yet another analysis said the impact of meeting the emissions targets would be “modest.”
Trump again took credit for job gains, saying the economy has added more than a million private sector jobs since his election. That’s true, but only 493,000 of them were added since he took office.
Federal agencies refuse to provide records on environmental compliance until after wall prototypes are built, environmental group says
East County News Service
June 2, 2017 (San Diego) -- The Center for Biological Diversity has filed a formal notice of intent to sue the Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Customs and Border Protection over impacts to endangered species and critical habitat from building up to 20 border-wall “prototype” designs in San Diego County.
Photo: NASA satellite: Arctic ice reached an all-time record low in March, due to record temperatures.
June 2, 2017 (San Diego)—President Donald Trump’s announcement yesterday to withdraw the United States from the Paris Climate Accord means the U.S. joins Syrian dictator Bashar Assad as the only other world leader who does not believe climate change is a serious threat to the planet. Every nation on earth signed the Paris agreement calling for aggressive action to combat climate change, except for Syria and Nicaragua, but Nicaragua wanted even stronger actions to protect planet Earth.
Reprinted from Times of San Diego, a member of the San Diego Online News Association
June 1, 2017 (San Diego's East County) - California Gov. Jerry Brown vowed Thursday the state would continue its fight against climate change despite President Trump’s “misguided and insane” decision to leave the Paris Climate Agreement.
June 1, 2017 (Borrego Springs) – The 47th annual Anza Borrego bighorn sheep count is set for June 29th through July 1st, with a mandatory orientation on June 17th for all new counters and recommended for those who participated in the past. The count will go on despite the death of its long-time leader, Ranger Steve Bier.
“We were unable to find the master sheep count mailing list,” states a letter from Anza Borrego Desert State Park Superintendent Kathy Dice and volunteer Sheep County Coordinator Mark Jorgensen, who are organizing a new sheep counting team. If you know of counters, please forward their contact information to AB.Sheepcount@parks.ca.gov.
After Hunter and Vargas sent letters, a new spill pumped more sewage into Tijuana River Valley at start of Memorial Day weekend
May 31, 2017 (San Diego) — Congressman Duncan Hunter (R-Alpine) sent a letter May 9th to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and to Scott Pruitt, administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, asking them to take action in the wake of a major sewage spill into the Tijuana River Valley in the U.S. from Mexico earlier this year. Hunter cites concerns not only for environmental and public health, but also negative impacts felt by U.S. Border Patrol agents and Navy Seal teams performing responsibilities in the area daily.
May 22, 2017 (San Diego’s East County) -- The other day, my friend Glenn Kessell asked me what bird he often hears making very piercing calls in the morning before any of the other birds have started singing. I told him it was most likely the Western Kingbird. The Kingbird has a very loud, high pitched call – best described as Chi-BEER!
Public comments accepted through June 12; three public hearings set this week in San Diego region
By Miriam Raftery
May 22, 2017 (San Diego) – SDG&E and SoCalGas have applied to the California Public Utilities Commission to build a new natural gas pipeline from Rainbow through the Marine Corps Air Station at Miramar to Mission Valley to replace an aging and potentially dangerous line, also boosting capacity and reliability for the region. (View application. View all project documents .)
"Of all the paths that you take in life, make sure a few of them are dirt." – John Muir
Editor’s note: The Five Peaks Challenge encourages hikers to ascend five peaks in Mission Trails Regional Park at their own pace. Greg Dunne and his team were the first to achieve this in a single day. To follow up on that feat, they’ve now hiked every trail on and around Cowles Mountain--all in one day.
May 21, 2017 (San Diego) -- Today we took an epic hike up Cowles Mountain and the surrounding trails that has never been done before, all in one day! I call this hike “Cowles Tour 13.2”. My friend David Hart and I undertook this hike on Friday, May 19, 2017. My daughter would ask – WHY? Well, my answer is not because it’s there, but because it’s in my backyard, fun and nobody thought to do it.
May 21, 2017 (Ramona) – You’re invited to “Living with Coyotes,” a talk by Ali Crumpacker, director of the Wildlife Center. The presentation will be held Sunday, May 28th at 5 p.m. at the Ramona Ranch Winery, 23578 Highway 78 in Ramona.
May 20, 2017 (San Diego) - GRID Alternatives entered San Diego eight years ago, with a solar installation in El Cajon. Since then, the non-profit has put up a total of 824 systems throughout the county. This Saturday, they return to the same El Cajon neighbourhood for GRID Alternatives San Diego’s SummerSolarthon.
By Michelle Mowad, County of San Diego Communications Office
May 18, 2017 (San Diego) - Celebrate Military Appreciation Month with two patriotic events at County parks.
First, gather up family and friends for a Salute to Military Families at Lake Morena on Saturday, May 20. The festivities are hosted by County Parks in partnership with VALOR, the County’s employee resource group for veterans.