June 15, 2011 (El Cajon) – Laura Cyphert, a Cedar Fire survivor who co-founded the East County Community Action Coalition along with her husband, Milt, will provide an update on the legal battle against Sunrise Powerlink on Thursday, June 16 from 7-8:45 p.m.
After learning that the high voltage powerline project was slated to go in near their home in Lakeside and significantly increase risk of future catastrophic fires (according to the Environmental Impact Report), the Cypherts formed the Coalition, which now represents 79,000 people. The line is slated to connect San Diego and Imperial Counties, going through many of the most scenic and fire-prone areas in East County. The ECCAC is one of several local groups that has filed lawsuits seeking to halt the project.
San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) claims the line is needed to meet San Diego’s future power needs. For SDG&E’s information on the project, see www.SunrisePowerlink.com. Opponents contend that our region’s power needs could be met through locally produced power such as rooftop solar, avoiding the fire risks and other negative impacts of Powerlink. For more information on opponents’ views, see www.ECCAC.org.
Safety concerns over the line have been heightened in the past week, when SDG&E’s Sunbird helicopter dropped two towers, each 15,000 pounds, in separate construction accidents four days apart. The company has asked the manufacturer, Erickson, to provide a new helicopter, however questions remain as to the causes of the accidents as construction is slated to move into more populated areas. SDG&E has refused to respond to media inquiries from East County Magazine regarding those incidents and tried to stop a witness from photographing a fallen tower. ECM has contacted the California Public Utilities Commission, the Federal Aviation Administration, and the California Occupational Health and Safety Administration requesting records of investigation into those accidents.
Cyphert will be speaking at the East County Democratic Club’s meeting at Coco’s Restaurant, 1025 Fletcher Parkway, El Cajon. The public is welcome to attend. If you plan to order dinner, the Club requests that you arrive before 6:30 p.m. For more information, call 619-201-4783, email firstname.lastname@example.orgWebsite or visit www.ecdc.sddem.org/.