North County Inland

North County Inland

CASINO PAUMA TO REMAIN TEMPORARILY CLOSED FOR SAFETY OF ITS GUESTS, COMMUNITY AND EMPLOYEES

East County News Service

May 22, 2020 (Pauma Valley) – Bucking the trend of several local casinos that reopened this week or have announced upcoming reopening dates, Casino Pauma on Wednesday announced that it will remain closed indefinitely, choosing to following the advice of Governor Gavin Newsom and health officials to reduce the spread of COVID-19 during the pandemic.


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Local news in the public interest is more important now than ever, during the COVID-19 crisis. Our reporters, as essential workers, are dedicated to keeping you informed, even though we’ve had to cancel fundraising events. Please give the gift of community journalism by donating at https://www.eastcountymedia.org/donate.

IN TOWNHALL, LOCAL LEADERS ANSWER QUESTIONS OVER COVID-19 AND REOPENING LOCAL VENUES

By Miriam Raftery

May 8, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) – Supervisor Dianne Jacob hosted a virtual town hall Thursday along with El Cajon Mayor Bill Wells and Poway Mayor Steve Vaus. They provided updates on the COVID-19 pandemic locally, addressed ideas for  more businesses, churches and other paces to reopen, and fielded questions submitted by constituents.


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"DANGEROUS" HEAT WARNING FOR DESERT, HEAT ADVISORY FOR INLAND VALLEYS ALL WEEK

 

East County News Service

May 5, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) -- The National Weather Service has issued an excessive heat waring for San Diego County deserts, where dangerously hot temperatures of 103 to 108 degrees are forecast each afternoon this week. In addition, a  heat advisory is in effect local valleys including the cities of Escondido, El Cajon, San Marcos, La Mesa, Santee, and Poway today through Friday.


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COUNTY REOPENS PARKS AND GOLF COURSES, ALLOWS BOATING

By Miriam Raftery

April 30, 2020 (San Diego) – Starting tomorrow, a new county health order eases many restrictions on recreational facilities. Specifically:

  • All county parks will be reopened, with 50% parking capacity for social distancing.
  • Members of the same household can picnic or participate in sports or other activities in parks, but gatherings are still prohibited.
  • Recreational boating can resume at local lakes, bays and the ocean, however passengers must be in the same household.
  • Golf courses can also reopen, but golf carts are not allowed. Courses must provide physical distancing and conduct temperature screenings on all golfers.


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INDIAN HEALTH COUNCIL IN VALLEY CENTER AWARDED FEDERAL GRANT FOR MENTAL HEALTH AND SUBSTANCE ABUSE TREATMENT DURING COVID-19 CRISIS

 
East County News Service
 
April 21, 2020 (Washington D.C.) -- The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has expedited its process to yesterday release $110 million in emergency grants to strengthen access to treatments for substance use disorders and serious mental illnesses during the COVID-19 pandemic.
 
Locally, the Indian Health Council in Valley Center is the recipient of a $420,300 grant. For details on their grant and others awarded, visit https://www.samhsa.gov/grants/awards/2020/FG-20-006.   
 
“Within just a few weeks of Congress providing these grant funds, SAMHSA is distributing them to help Americans with substance use disorders and serious mental illness receive the treatment they need during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said HHS Secretary Alex Azar. “SAMHSA has been working around the clock to ensure that Americans are getting access to the mental healthcare they need, whether for preexisting mental health conditions or for challenges arising during this emergency. President Trump has made mental health a priority throughout his time in office, and HHS will make support for quality mental healthcare a priority throughout the COVID-19 crisis.”

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Local news in the public interest is more important now than ever, during the COVID-19 crisis. Our reporters, as essential workers, are dedicated to keeping you informed, even though we’ve had to cancel fundraising events. Please give the gift of community journalism by donating at https://www.eastcountymedia.org/donate.

LAID-OFF HEALTHCARE WORKERS PROTEST AT POWAY’S PALOMAR HEALTH, DESIGNATED FEMA FIELD HOSPITAL FOR COVID-19

By Rebecca Jefferis Williamson 

Photos courtesy of the California Nurses Association

April 13, 2020 (Poway) – Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, Poway’s Palomar Health laid off 221 healthcare employees.  Today, around 45 registered nurses, technicians and other healthcare workers held a protest outside Palomar Medical Center in Poway.  

“Number one-we want safe staffing, number two-proper PPE (personal protective equipment), and three-rescind the layoffs,” Lori Isham, a five-year employee who participated in the protest, told ECM.  


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YES, YOU CAN EXERCISE YOUR HORSE DURING STAY-HOME ORDER

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Creative Commons via Bing

April 8, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) – After a rural resident told us his horse has been stabled since mid-March to prevent violating COVID-19 stay-home orders for non-essential needs, ECM reached out to San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) Chairman Steve Vaus. Vaus, a horse owner and also mayor of Poway, provided clarification that horseback riding is legal – provided social distancing is maintained.

“Horseback activity would fall under the agricultural exemption,” Vaus stated, but added that riders should not ride in groups with anyone other than their household members.  Don’t congregate before or after rides with friends at parking lots or elsewhere. “Take a ride and go home,” he advised.


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POWAY CITY COUNCIL APPROVES COMMERCIAL EVICTION MORATORIUM, OPEN SPACE ACQUSITION, AND LOANS FOR SMALL BUSINESSES

By Miriam Raftery

April 8, 2020 (Poway) – “We looked different, but got things done as usual,” Poway Mayor Steve Vaus posted on Facebook, with a masked photo, following last night’s city council meeting. The Council met in Council chambers, but without an audience. To comply with social distancing requirements, the public could watch live online, call in or send comments in ahead of time.

By a unanimous vote, the Council approved a moratorium on commercial evictions due to COVID-19 impacts until May 31, provided the commercial tenant notifies the landlord promptly. The documentation may be as simple as a statement signed under penalty of perjury stating that the tenant has suffered financial hardship due to the COVID-19 emergency. Tenants would still owe the rent after May 31, unless they negotiate long-term repayment or other arrangements with their landlord.


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FEDERAL MEDICAL STATION TO OPEN ATOP PALOMAR MEDICAL CENTER IN ESCONDIDO

Article and Picture: County News Service

April 6, 2020 (San Diego) --- On Sunday, April 5, 2020, San Diego County public health and elected officials, joined by leadership of Palomar Health, announced that a 250 bed Federal Medical Station was being loaned to the county and would be installed in two vacant floors of Palomar Medical Center Escondido. The action came in response to a county request on March 21. The equipment is expected to arrive in the next 10 days and will be operational within 48 hours of its installation by a federal team. Announcing the news were County Supervisor Nathan Fletcher, County Supervisor Kristin Gaspar, Palomar Health President and CEO Diane Hansen, and Palomar Health Board of Directors Chair Dr. Rick Engel.


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MISSING WOMAN WITH DEMENTIA,86, LAST SEEN IN MIRAMAR, TRYING TO GET TO PALM SPRINGS

 

Update: Barbara "Betty" Wells has been found safe in Cathedral City in Riverside County.

By Miriam Raftery

April 5, 2020 (San Diego) – The Sheriff seeks public help to find Barbara “Betty” Welt, 86, reported missing yesterday by her daughter. She has dementia and speaks with a German accent. She was last seen yesterday getting off a bus in Miramar in a blue sweatshirt, maroon pants, black shoes and carrying a black purse. She was asking for directions to Palm Springs and may be trying to get a ride to her former home there.  

After going missing from her daughter’s home in Rancho Santa Fe, she got a ride to the Escondido Transit station before taking the bus to Miramar yesterday morning. She is 5 feet 4 inches tall, weights about 150 pounds, has hazel eyes and white hair.


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LOCAL LAVENDER FARM HAS SCENTED HAND-SANITIZERS

By Miriam Raftery
 
April 4, 2020 (Valley Center) – Keys Creek Lavender Farm is now producing hand sanitizer sprays and gels that are ethanol alcohol based with citrus extracts and essential oils.
 
Products are available in multiple sizes and can be shipped directly to customers.
 
The company also offers lavender-based home and beauty care products such as bath salts, moisturizers, hand soaps, sugar scrubs and candles.

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4.9 QUAKE NEAR ANZA ROCKS SAN DIEGO REGION

By Miriam Raftery

April 3, 2020 (San Diego's East County) --  A quake measuring 4.9 on the Richter scale occurred this evening at 6:53 p.m. near Anza, at the boundary of San Diego and Riverside counties.  The U.S. Geological  Survey earlier ranked the quake a 4.6 but later upgraded its intensity.

The shallow quake, at a depth of about 6.6 miles, occurred along the San Jacinto fault which seismologists have previously indicated is capable of generating a powerful quake up to 7.5 in magnitude. There is a 5 percent chance that this quake could be a precurser to a large quake within the next 48 hours, seismologist Tom Rockwell with San Diego State University told the San Diego Union Tribune.


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COUNTY NOW HAS 242 CASES OF COVID-19, INCLUDING TWO INFANTS

Cases expand countywide including more East County communities

By Miriam Raftery

March 24, 2020 (San Diego) – The number of COVID-19 cases in our region continues to grow at a steep pace.  San Diego County now has 242 confirmed cases, of whom 226 are county residents. Two of the new cases are in infants. Heath experts warn the actual number of cases could be ten times higher, since not enough tests are available and thus testing is being done primarily on those hospitalized with respiratory distress.


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HUNGRY OR KNOW SOMEONE WHO IS? EMERGENCY FOOD DISTRIBUTIONS ANNOUNCED COUNTYWIDE

March 22, 2020 (San Diego) -- In addition to emergency food distributions, Feeding San Diego offers food assistance at many sites throughout San Diego County including rural, mountain, desert and urban communities. Click here to find a location near you.

 Feeding San Diego is working on adding additional distributions based on community input and the needs of specific populations. Listings of available emergency distributions will be updated daily and published at feedingsandiego.org/coronavirus.

NOTE: There are NO REQUIREMENTS to accessing any of Feeding San Diego’s food distributions.


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PARENT OF 3 SAN DIEGO JEWISH ACADEMY STUDENTS TESTS POSITIVE FOR CORONAVIRUS

By Donald H. Harrison, Editor of San Diego Jewish World, a member of the San Diego Online News Association
 
Photo, left: Donald H. Harrison
 
Photo, right: Inspirational steps at San Diego Jewish Academy
 
March 15, 2020 (San Diego) –  A parent of three San Diego Jewish Academy students has tested positive for coronavirus, according to Chaim Heller, the retiring head of the school.  In a letter to other parents sent on Saturday (Shabbat), he wrote, “The parent was at school during the past week.  Their children, who are in grades, 1, 3, and 6, were in many rooms, including the Ulam (Auditorium), many times during the past week as well.  They were with their friends acting in a regular, non-distance manner during that time.  Effectively, they could have been with anyone from the school, from ECC (Early Childhood Center) to high school.”

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DEPUTIES HONORED BY ANTI-DEFAMATION LEAGUE FOR POWAY SYNAGOGUE SHOOTING RESPONSE

Photo Credit: Sheriff Bill Gore's office, Lt. Ricardo Lopez
(L-R) Deputy Damek Herrera, Deputy James Santos, Sheriff Bill Gore, Deputy Jess Allensworth, Assistant Sheriff Kelly Martinez, Deputy Janet Hoxie and Deputy Joaquin Santalo
 
By Lt. Ricardo Lopez
 
March 10, 2020 (Los Angeles) -- Today, the San Diego County Sheriff's Department and other agencies were honored for their response to the Chabad of Poway shooting by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) during an awards ceremony in Los Angeles.
 
"The Helene and Joseph Sherwood Prize for Combating Hate" is given by ADL to recognize law enforcement for its work in fighting hate and bigotry. It is considered one of the most prestigious awards given to the law enforcement community.
 

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FREE SANDBAGS FOR THE STORM

Source: County News Service

March 9, 2020 (San Diego) – With heavy rains from an atmospheric river set to douse our region over the next several days, the County is urging residents to be prepared.  Mud, plants an debris washed away can clog storm drains, damage roadways and cause flooding.  

You can stock up on free sandbags at these locations in the unincorporated areas, but call ahead to be sure of availability, and bring a shovel to fill the bags:


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PETCO FOUNDATION PROVIDED A VALENTINE SURPRISE FOR SAN DIEGO HUMANE SOCIETY STAFF

By Rebecca Jefferis Williamson

February 15, 2020 (San Diego) - Petco Foundation provided a $250,000 grant valentine surprise to staff at the San Diego Humane Society on Gaines Street on Feb. 13.

“As part of our mission we have committed $10 million to making a difference to shelters and pets during the valentine day week,” said regional field program manager Bill Gialenes with the Petco Foundation.  The $10 million will go to animal welfare organizations across the country.

Two hundred staff, guests, and volunteers gathered for lunch followed by the presentation of an oversized check for $250,000 to Dr. Gary Weitzman, president/ceo of the San Diego Humane Society from Gialenes.


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NUTS THEATRE REVIEW - COURTROOM DRAMA

By Kathy Carpenter
Photo Credit: Daren Scott
 
Photo: Pete Zanko - Andrea Acuna - Steve Murdoch in "Nuts" at PowPAC
 
January 29, 2020 - (Poway) - PowPAC presents "Nuts", written by Tom Topor and Directed by Brent A. Stringfield. Do you love to watch all those courtroom shows we have on television today? For me this was just like watching one of those, but live. Although, Stringfield says those shows don't communicate the truth and honesty of a piece like this. On television we often have some theatrics and flourish by either the defense attorney or the prosecution. With "Nuts", we rely on the acting before us.
 
“Nuts” is a compelling story of a woman trying to prove she is capable of standing trial for murder. Set in courtroom and in New York City's famed Bellevue Hospital in 1979. Have progressed through time? Not really the same story could be told today in my opinion.

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CACTUS MICE TEST POSITIVE FOR HANTAVIRUS IN SANTEE AND VALLEY CENTER

By Gig Conaughton, County of San Diego Communications 
Image Credit: shutterstock
 
January 16, 2020 (San Diego) -- Two cactus mice collected separately in routine monitoring in Santee and Valley Center have tested positive for hantavirus, marking the first appearance in San Diego County in 2020 of the potentially deadly virus.
 
County officials said people should never sweep up or vacuum, but use “wet cleaning” methods instead, to clean up rodent droppings or signs of rodent infestation if they find them in their living spaces — homes, garages, sheds, cabins and outbuildings.
 
Infected rodents shed hantavirus in their urine, feces and saliva. If people stir that dry matter into the air by sweeping or vacuuming, they can inhale the virus and get sick.

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SDPD SEEKS OWNER OF ELECTRIC BIKE RECOVERED FROM SUSPECTED THIEF

 
Officers also ask help to find the buyer of a second electric bike stolen from a man with Parkinson’s disease
 
By Miriam Raftery
 
Photo, left:  Electric bicycle recovered by San Diego Police. The owner has not yet been identified.
 
January 15, 2020 (San Diego) – San Diego Police seek help to resolve two cases involving stolen electric bicycles.  Police are looking for the owner of an electric bike (photo, left) recovered from a suspect who admitted to stealing another electric bike from a man with Parkinson’s disease in Rancho Peñasquitos and selling it at the Qualcomm swap meet on January 7th. 
 
Sergeant Matthew Botkin says he hopes media coverage will help to identify the unknown victim of the bike recovered by police and also “appeal to good nature of the person who unknowingly bought the other electric bike in hopes they will do the right thing and return it.”

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LESSONS FROM PUERTO RICO TO CALIFORNIA: OFF-GRID LIVING OPTIONS

By Rebecca Jefferis Williamson

 Dec. 31, 2019 (San Diego’s East County) -- Emergency energy and electrical storage expert Eric Lobdell with Humless, a Utah-based company that provides universal energy management, has worked in disaster areas affected by wildfires and hurricanes, where he has helped some residents go off-grid. 

 

In the past couple of years, Lobdell has worked in the U.S. including territories of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, setting up systems to provide power. Humless recently landed a contract for installations to take communities 100% off-grid in Oregon, including 600 homes over a span of three years.

 

"After Hurricane Maria, I was part of a team that donated and installed off-grid systems in Puerto Rico," said Lobdell in a phone interview. “Our systems were able to provide lights and refrigeration to two different communities, both heavily affected by the hurricane. Being able to provide electricity for these communities reminded me of the reason I work so hard at what I do. I love being able to provide essential energy and storage systems to families, communities, and regions where grid power is not available or stable."


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SUPERVISORS CHANGE LANGUAGE ON BALLOT MEASURE SUBMITTED BY OPPONENTS OF NEWLAND SIERRA, ADOPT DEVELOPER’S DESCRIPTION

Project would include 2,135 homes to help meet housing demand plus retail and commercial development; opponents cite concerns over traffic, evacuation during wildfires, and loss of wildlife habitat

By Miriam Raftery

December 7, 2019 (San Diego) – Over 100,000 residents signed a petition opposing the controversial Newland Sierra housing development approved by Supervisors, qualifying an initiative to appear on the March 2020 ballot after to let voters decide whether or not to allow the massive project.  But after the developer, Newland Communities, threatened legal action if neutral wording wasn’t changed, Supervisors voted 3-2 to adopt ballot language changes nearly identical to changes demanded by the developer.

The action angered environmentalists and planning groups opposed to the project, who only learned of the proposed changes when the matter showed up on an agenda days before the Nov. 19 vote.   Supervisors met twice in secret closed-door meetings, first voting down the changes 3-2. But then Supervisor Greg Cox changed his mind, joining with Kristin Gaspar and Jim Desmond to approve the developer-backed wording. Both Gaspar and Desmond have taken campaign contributions from Newland.


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POWAY BOIL-WATER ORDER LIFTED: PUBLIC URGED TO DINE AT POWAY RESTAURANTS TO HELP WORKERS HURT BY SHUTDOWN

By Miriam Raftery

December 6, 2019 (Poway) – A boil-water order has been lifted in Poway, where residents can now drink tap water after first flushing out plumbing lines, replacing filters and throwing away ice. State testing found the water safe to drink, nearly a week after stormwater runoff contaminated a clearwell reservoir.

Hardest hit are restaurants forced to shut down, and their employees. The North San Diego Business Chamber is asking the community to dine in Poway Dec. 9-15, adding, “As the holidays approach, we ask that you dine at these businesses and support their employees, so they too can have a holiday season without any added stress.” Find a list of Poway restaurants at the bottom of this article.


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POWAY ISOLATES WATER PROBLEM, AWAITS STATE APPROVAL TO LIFT BOIL WATER ADVISORY

 

Mayor Vaus responds to Anderson smear effort over water quality question

By Miriam Raftery

Photo via City of Poway on Twitter: City provides bottled water for residents

December 2, 2019 (Poway) – One day after the city of Poway issued a boil-water advisory for tap water due to stormwater runoff contamination, the city issued a statement late yesterday indicating city tests have found chlorine residulals meet standards, “but that “The city is not able to rescind the precautionary boil-water advisory until the state is satisfied with testing results.”

In an interview this morning with East County Magazine, Poway Mayor Steve Vaus revealed, “We have isolated the source of the rain water. We have repaired it.” Though still awaiting test results from the state expected soon, Mayor Vaus says the water has been safe throughout the incident. 

“I’m drinking it now. I’m giving it to my pets,” he told ECM.


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OH BABY! SOUTHERN WHITE RHINO CALF BORN AT SAN DIEGO ZOO SAFARI PARK THROUGH ARTIFICIAL INSEMINATION

Source: San Diego Zoo Safari Park

December 1, 2019 (San Pasqual) -- San Diego Zoo Global announced the successful birth of a female southern white rhino calf on November 21 at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park—the conservation organization’s second rhino born after hormone-induced ovulation and artificial insemination. This calf’s birth also is a milestone, since she is the 100th southern white rhino born at the Safari Park.

Artificial insemination of southern white rhinos has rarely been successful in the past; this is only the second successful artificial insemination birth of a southern white rhino in North America. The first was Edward, born to mom Victoria, at the Safari Park’s Nikita Kahn Rhino Rescue Center on July 28.


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30TH ANNUAL CAROLS BY CANDLELIGHT CONCERT DEC. 13 & 14 IN ESCONDIDO BENEFITS RADY CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL

Benefit concert includes performances by Collin Raye, Craig Campbell, Bryan White, Jamie O’Neal, Anna Vaus & Steve Vaus 

 

East County News Service

 

December 1, 2019 (Poway) – Carols by Candlelightheartwarming holiday concert headlined by country music stars, will take place Dec. 13 & 14 at the California Center for the Arts in Escondido. Now in its 30th year,  this family-friendly concert's proceeds will bemefot Rady Children’s Hospital.

 

The concert, beginning at 8:00 p.m. both nights, will feature prominent country music singers performing their hits and favorite holiday songs. Headliners include Collin Raye, who has been nominated for 10 CMA and ACM Awards, 24 Top 10 Records, and 16 #1 Hits. 

Other headliners both nights include Bryan WhiteJamie O’Neal, as well as up-and-comer Anna Vaus and concert founder,Poway Mayor Steve Vaus (2010 Grammy winner).


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POWAY WARNS RESIDENTS NOT TO DRINK TAP WATER WITHOUT BOILING, DUE TO POSSIBLE CONTAMINATION: COUNTY SHUTS DOWN POWAY RESTAURANTS

East County News Service

November 30, 2019 (Poway) -- As a precautionary measure, residents in the City of Poway should boil their tap water before drinking or using the water for cooking until further notice, or use bottled water.  Restaurants and other food preparation facilities in Poway have been ordered by the County to temporarily close until the problem is resolved.

Due to the recent storm event, it is believed that the potable drinking water system has possibly been compromised.  Crews are working around the clock to restore normal water service.


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VALLEY CENTER FIRE-HARDENING OF LINES PROPOSED BY SDG&E: PROTESTS MUST BE RECEIVED BY DEC. 3

By Miriam Raftery

View proposal: click here

November 30, 2019 (Valley  Center) – SDG&E has submitted a notice of construction for a fire-hardening project in Valley Center. The public has until December 3 to submit any protest letters for the project, which is slated to begin construction on January 30, 2020.

The project would remove about 7 miles of an exiting powerline alignment (tie-in 6926) from the Rincon Substation to Valley Center Substation and leave existing distribution circuits in place.  About 6 miles of the tie-line would be installed underground in road right-of-way from Valley Center Substation to a cable pole on Pauma Heights Road. From there, another 3 miles of overhead line would be installed in a double-circuit overhead configuration on an existing powerline alignment from the Pauma Heights Road pole to the Rincon substation.


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COUNTY WATER AUTHORITY APPROVES REQUIRING COUNTYWIDE VOTER APPROVAL FOR 2 AGENCIES SEEKING TO LEAVE REGIONAL CONTROL

Regional electorate should weigh in on plans by Fallbrook and Rainbow water agencies

East County News Service

November 26, 2019 (San Diego) -- The San Diego County Water Authority’s Board of Directors last week authorized actions to ensure all San Diego County voters are heard on plans by the Rainbow and Fallbrook water agencies to leave the regional water wholesaler and instead join a Riverside County water agency.

Rainbow’s Water District Manager Tom Kennedy has said the Riverside District charges $1,000 per acre foot of water, substantially less than the SDCWA which charges about $1,600 per acre foot – an annual savings of $5.6 to $6 million for Rainbow area customers, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported in June.


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