May 11, 2010 (Sacramento) – The Senate Education Committee has passed SB 1290 by a unanimous vote. The measure, authored by Senator Christine Kehoe (D-San Diego), would allow self-defense training for middle and high school districts to provide self-defense training for boys and girls as part of the standard physical education curriculum.
May 11, 2010 (Sacramento) -- The California Legislature recently approved a $10,000 tax credit for Californians purchasing qualified homes between May 1, 2010 and Dec. 31, 2010. The credit applies to people purchasing previously unoccupied homes and to first-time homebuyers purchasing re-sale homes.
At an April 2010 event at the East County Chamber of Commerce, Laura McDonald from SDG&E boldly stated that “there are not any fire risks with this project.”
It is not known if McDonald purposely intended to mislead San Diegans (or if she will someday be fined for misleading San Diegans), but what is known is that the “Fire and Fuels Management” section of the environmental impact report identifies numerous significant fire risks associated with the project, and even states that the project will “significantly increase the likelihood of catastrophic fires.”
May 10, 2010 (Spring Valley) – Fire gutted an apartment unit at 3613 S. Bonita in Spring Valley this evening, though a swift response by multiple fire agencies saved adjoining units. Anxious residents, some in pajamas and one in a wheelchair, gathered outside as firefighters conducted a search of the building. No one was found inside and no injuries were reported.
“When I came home and opened the door, there was smoke,” said one occupant of the unit, who asked that his name not be published. “I broke open a fire extinguisher and saw a fire in a trashcan, then I called 911.” Four residents in his unit and a dog were displaced by the fire, he said.
More meetings set for May 18 in Boulevard and May 27 in Lakeside
May 10, 2010 (Alpine) – San Diego Gas & Electric Company (SDG&E) will host a community meeting on Sunrise Powerlink at 6 p.m. tonight at the Alpine Women's Club, 2156 Alpine Blvd. in Alpine.
“Many may think this is a David vs. Goliath fight, but remember, David won the fight. We can, too,” said Sharmin Self, East County Community Action Coalition, an organization representing 79,000 people opposed to the Powerlink project. Self urged community members to attend the meeting, adding, “Numbers do count.”
May 8, 2010 (Washington, D.C.)-- On May 6, President Obama issued a major disaster declaration for California, making federal funds available to help communities rebuild after the April 4, 2010 earthquake.
May 8, 2010 (Washington D.C.) – In today’s politically divisive climate, it’s rare for Senators to unite on any issue. But an amendment by Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) to Wall Street reform legislation to ensure that no taxpayer funds will be used to bail out financial institutions has passed by a 96-1 vote.
“By passing this amendment, we make it clear – in law – that taxpayers will never again bail out Wall Street firms for their costly mistakes,” Boxer said.
May 8, 2010 (San Diego) – A ten-year-old girl has suffered serious head and facial injuries after being struck by a truckl yesterday. The driver, a woman in her 20s, was driving eastbound on El Cajon Boulevard at 56th street when she collided with a Volkswagen that was heading westbound, driven by a man in his 20s. After the collision, the truck spun out and struck the girl, a pedestrian standing on the corner.
May 7, 2010 (Washington D.C.) The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with C&T International Sorelle, announces a voluntary recall of numerous drop-side cribs sold from 2000 through March 2010 in retailers nationwide for approximately $300-$600. This recall involves C&T International, Sorelle and Golden Baby wood cribs. The full-size cribs were sold in natural, white and cherry finishes.
Internationally acclaimed investigative journalist and author Greg Palast, who has family ties in San Diego and has been a speaker at local events, has granted permission for ECM to reprint this work, which was originally published at www.Truthout.org.
May 6, 2010 (San Diego’s East County) – A Sacramento County Superior Court ruled last week in favor of Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s plan to raid more than $2 billion from local redevelopment funds. The Governor wants to transfer those monies to school operations.
“La Mesa will take a hit of $1,200,000.00,” La Mesa Mayor Art Madrid told East County Magazine in an e-mail.
May 5, 2010 (Lakeside) -- Lakeside First, a citizens' oversight group formed in February 2010, announced today that it will suspend its recall campaign against Lakeside Fire Board Directors Nick Johnson and Jim Bingham. The action came after Lakeside First board members voted in a near-unanimous decision that the recall campaign was no longer supported by the majority of the board.
Memorial Service Saturday at Santee Fire Station #4
May 4, 2010 (Santee) – For nearly three decades, Johnny L. Terry served with the Santee Fire Department, rising from the ranks of pioneering volunteer firefighters to become Division Chief. Retired since 1986, he passed away on May 2, 2010. A memorial service is scheduled for noon on Saturday, May 8th at Santee Fire Station 4, 8950 Cottonwood Drive. A celebration of his life will follow at a separate location to be announced.
“He was a great, common sense guy and a good friend who would do anything for you,” recalled former Fire Chief and retired City Manager George Tockstein, who worked with Terry for 20 years. “He always cared for the other guy...He had a strong commitment to his family and he loved his kids.”
May 4, 2010 – ECM has received several e-mails from readers with updates on the situation in Baja, California and Mexicali in Imperial County more than a month after the devastating Easter earthquake.
According to an eyewitness in Mexico, flooded villages have started to dry up and trucks have been dispatched to remove large quantities of mud from homes. Crowds of people have been asked by police to return to their villages, but sleep outside of their damaged homes.
$63,000 bill stemming from $25,000 weed abatement charge raises questions over fire district's use of private contractor
May 3, 2010 (Dehesa)--As World War II drew to its nuclear close, Joseph Diliberti was born in Brooklyn, N.Y., to Sicilian parents. From an early age, however, Diliberti discovered his perennial roots in nature. Whether crab fishing in Long Island or hunting in upstate New York, outdoor activities were a family affair.
“I love this ‘cause I feel like I’m home,” the retiree observes several decades later, as he traces his arm in a circular motion to indicate his present rural home in Dehesa.
May 3, 2010 (Boulevard) – Rescue crews worked through the night to free two men trapped in Thunder Canyon Cave northeast of McCain Valley Road in Boulevard. Brett Colvin of Escondido and Jim Ness of San Diego were airlifted from the scene and treated by Campo Reservation paramedics for hypothermia.
May 3, 2010 (El Cajon) – Witnesses have told California Highway Patrol officers that a man drinking a beer beside Interstate 8 near the Greenfield exit intentionally stepped in front of a semi-truck, which swerved to avoid him. The man then ran into the path of the truck again and was struck.
April 25, 2010 (Lakeside) – An 11-year-old boy digging in the backyard of his home on Hillvale Lane in Lakeside Saturday evening unearthed a military shell measuring two and a half feet long and possibly live. Lakeside firefighters responded to the scene and evacuated the boy’s family and a neighboring family.
Congressman accuses Sempra and SDG&E of “monopolistic” practices
April 25, 2010 (Washington D.C.) – Congressman Bob Filner (D-San Diego) has sent a letter to Ken Salazar, U.S. Department of the Interior Secretary, asking for an independent environmental evaluation on impacts of Sunrise Powerlink proposed by San Diego Gas & Electric Company (SDG&E) through Bureau of Land Management property along the California/Mexico border.
Filner asks that Assistant Secretary of Interior David Hayes be excluded from any decision-making related to the Powerlink project because of his recent role as a lobbyist for Sempra/SDG&E. “Mr Hayes lobbied the Department of Energy (DOE) on behalf of Sempra/SDG&E in 2006 seeking National Interest Electric Transmission Corridor (NIETC) designed by DOE for the SDG&E Powerlink corridor,” Filner's letter points out.
April 25, 2010 (San Diego's East County) - San Diego Gas & Electric Company (SDG&E) has announced four community meetings on Sunrise Powerlink during May in Campo, Alpine, Scripps Ranch, and Boulevard. (Details below). But conspicuously absent is a long-awaited second meeting in Lakeside that SDG&E officials promised area residents.
At a contentious first meeting in Lakeside, SDG&E officials promised to respond to citizens' concerns in a follow-up meeting. Lakeside's new fire chief, Andy Parr, missed that meeting but pledged to attend the subsequent public meeting. SDG&E has since cancelled two followup meetings in Lakeside, one due to weather and a second due to conflicts with the Lakeside Rodeo calendar.
April 24, 2010 (San Diego’s East County) – It was a deadly week on local roadways, where accidents have resulted in five deaths of people who resided or lost their lives in San Diego’s eastern regions.
April 22, 2010 (San Diego) – Assembly Bill 1844, known as Chelsea’s Law, passed the Assembly Public Safety Committee on Tuesday and now heads to the Assembly Appropriations Committee. The bill is authored by Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher (R-San Diego), who has worked closely with the family of slain teen Chelsea King to craft legislation aimed at protecting children from violent sexual predators.