San Diego County

U.S. SUPREME COURT RULES WOMEN WORKERS CAN BE DENIED COVERAGE FOR BIRTH CONTROL IN FAMILY-OWNED BUSINESSES

 

5 Catholic justices issue ruling, raising question over lack of religious diversity on the high court

By Miriam Raftery

July 6, 2014 (Washington D.C.)--The Supreme Court decision last week in the Hobby Lobby case is drawing strong reactions across the nation and here in San Diego County—and raising questions over whether the Supreme Court lacks adequate religious diversity.

HEAR OUR INTERVIEW WITH SUPERVISOR DIANNE JACOB ON COUNTY’S ALZHEIMER’S PROJECT AND AGING SUMMIT

 

 

 

 

June 11, 2014 (San Diego) – Last week, our interview with Supervisor Dianne Jacob aired on KNSJ radio.  You can now listen online to the full interview by clicking here:  https://www.eastcountymagazine.org/sites/eastcountymagazine.org/files/au...

Supervisor Jacob discussed the County’s new regional initiative to tackle the Alzheimer’s epidemic, which has reached epidemic proportions locally.  She also shared details on the County’s Aging Summit coming up on June 12. 

Scroll down to read the County’s press release on the Alzheimer’s project spearheaded by Supervisor Jacob, which aims to bring together top researchers to seek a cure, as well as bringing help to caregivers and patients.

Audio: 

FIRES, APATHY KEPT VOTERS FROM POLLS, EXPERTS SAY

 

By Stevon Marshall

June 6, 2014 (San Diego County) - The voter turnout in the San Diego County for the June third primary elections surpassed expectations of a low turnout, the results were 20% equalling to 1 in 5 registered voters casting a ballot.

STATE OF EMERGENCY DECLARED COUNTYWIDE

 

Schools closed, new fire now burning in Lakeside

 

Photo: Fire off Los Coches Road in Lakeside, photo by Beverly Reyes

By Miriam Raftery

May 14, 2014 (San Diego)—San Diego Board of Supervisors Chair Dianne Jacob today declared a countywide emergency due to at least eight fires now burning.  A Red Flag alert has been extended through tomorrow night.

Fires are currently burning in Lakeside, Carlsbad, San Marcos, Rancho Bernardo, Bonsall, Escondido, Camp Pendleton and Scripps Ranch.

An evacuation center has been set up at El Capitan High School for 1,300 ordered evacuated in the Wintergardens area of Lakeside. Business Highway 8 from Pepper Drive to Los Coches Road is closed.  The fire is now in mop up with no structures lost; evacuations will be lifted at approximately 9 p.m., Chief Andy Parr of Lakeside Fire told ECM.

The County urges people NOT to call the 911 system unless it is a dire emergency. They ask citizens use the 211 system. The 911 system is taxed.  One ECM reader reported getting a busy signal trying to call 911 to report the Lakeside fire this afternoon.

Numerous school districts have ordered schools closed tomorrow, including many in East County. Closures include:

LAWSUIT AGAINST SAN DIEGO SUPERVISORS OVER WIND ORDINANCE SET FOR COURT HEARING APRIL 25

 

By Miriam Raftery

April 23, 2014 (San Diego’s East County) – A lawsuit filed against San Diego Supervisors asks the court to set aside the County’s new wind energy ordinance and an amendment to Boulevard’s community plan.  The case will be heard on Friday, April 25 at 1:30 p.m. in Superior Court, Department C-72, with Judge Timothy Taylor presiding. The courthouse is located at 220 West Broadway, San Diego.

The suit was filed by two community groups-- the Protect Our Communities Foundation, Backcountry Against Dumps-- and  by Donna Tisdale, chair of the Boulevard Planning Group. Plaintiffs seek to half industrial wind development in their backcountry community. They contend that such projects pose serious impacts to wildlife, water resources, human health and safety that the Board ignored.

ECM INQUIRY LEADS TO SANDBAGS OFFERED IN CAMPO

 

By Miriam Raftery

March 11, 2014 (Campo) – Why did the County offer sandbags at multiple locations in the recent storm, but none east of Alpine?  Campo resident Claudia Millerbragg indicated that at least four other people in her community wanted sandbags to protect their properties, but could not access them.

East County Magazine contacted Supervisor Dianne Jacob’s office and in turn, we received a  response from Sasra Agahi, a senior civil engineer in the flood control division of County Public Works, who indicated that as a result of our inquiry, sandbags should be available in Campo in time for a storm due next week.

SOITEC FAILS TO DISCLOSE TRUTH ABOUT SOLAR PROJECT IMPACTS, HIRES FORMER SD PLANNER WHO WORKED ON SOITEC PROJECTS

 

 

Why doesn’t San Diego County end revolving door situation?

Photo: Soitec's Newberry Springs project, which promised minimal enviornmental impacts, graded all vegetation on the site.

By Miriam Raftery

March 1, 2014 (San Diego’s East County)—Developers frequently put “spin” on project descriptions to emphasize benefits rather than negative impacts.  But certain statements by Soitec representatives regarding its proposed solar projects in Boulevard and a recent project in the desert fall into the “Pinnochio” category. In fact Soitec representatives misrepresented glare issues and the amount of land that is disturbed by their projects.

During a Soitec community meeting at the Manzanita Diner last month, ECM’s editor asked Soitec media and communications advisor Karen Hutchens specifically about a moratorium on solar projects approved by San Bernadino County Supervisors amid concerns about glare in Newberry Springs, where Soitec built a project very similar to its proposed Boulevard sites.  Hutchens responded, “That had nothing to do with our project. The moratorium was passed before our project was even built.”

But Robert Berkman, head of a citizens group in Newberry Springs called CEQA-NOW, told ECM that statement was a bald-faced lie.  “The moratorium came out because of the Soitec project—after it was built,” he said, adding that citizens invited Supervisors to visit the site.  Supervisors said, “’`Good grief, what has happened here? ‘ “ Berkman stated. “The moratorium occurred because we were able to bring them out and say `This is an example of solar done wrong.’” 

Soitec's Hutchens concedes that she erred in her statement on the timing of the moratorium, and agrees it was imposed after Soitec's project was built, but says Soitec's project was not the reason for the moratorium. ECM is seeking clarification from San Bernardino County's Land Services Department.

That's not the only disputed statement by Soitec.

TWO LAWSUITS OVER LOCAL WIND ENERGY ISSUES HEAD TO COURT

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

February 28, 2014 (San Diego) – Opponents of  the Tule Wind project in McCain Valley will have their day in court on Monday, March 3 in San Diego’s U.S. District Court.  Then on April 25, a separate suit against the County over its wind energy ordinance and general plan amendment will also be heard.

The suits were filed by the Protect Our Communities Foundation and Donna Tisdale. Tisdale informed ECM that it's important to have many East County residents attend these trials.

SANDBAGS, ROAD REMINDERS OFFERED TO COUNTY RESIDENTS AS STORM HITS

 

 

County News Service

February 26, 2014 (San Diego)--It’s been one of the driest winters on record, but finally some significant rain is headed our way.

Once again the County of San Diego is making free sand and bags available to residents in the unincorporated areas. Residents just need to bring their own shovel.

Locations are below, along with links to find updates on road conditions during this storm and other emergencies.

PHOTOS OF THE WEEK: SDG&E’S NEW “ECO” SUBSTATION

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

February 15, 2014 (Jacumba)—Wayne Brammer sent in these photos of SDG&E’s new Eco Substation in Jacumba. The project is (so-named for hooking up to industrial-scale renewable energy projects. But to most backcountry residents, the project is an ecological disaster that destroyed the landscape and used three times more water (90 million gallons total) than SDG&E estimated.

“This thing is a monster and they’re wasting water all over the place, not just here but all the way to Boulevard,” writes Bramley, referencing other energy projects in the pipeline.  “We really do need to separate from the city and have our own county,” he concluded, linking back to a reader’s editorial on this issue.

DOES BOULEVARD HAVE ENOUGH WATER FOR SOITEC’S SOLAR PROJECTS?

 

SDSU water expert concludes Soitec’s 4 projects will use more water than rainfall can replace, placing entire ecological system at risk. Other experts confirm serious water concerns

A special joint investigation by East County Magazine and The Eco Report

By Roy L. Hales; Miriam Raftery also contributed to this report

 

 

(photo:  Dead trees from well pumping that lowered water table elsewhere illustrates what experts and residents fear could occur in Boulevard.)

February 9, 2014 (Boulevard)—Hydrology experts are casting serious doubts about the credibility of water use claims made by Soitec Solar for four massive solar projects proposed in San Diego’s rural East County.

NEW STUDY DETAILS THE IMPACT OF PUBLIC SAFETY REALIGNMENT ON LOCAL LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES

                                                                                                                                                                               

 

February 8, 2014 (San Diego County) - Due to statewide public safety realignment, 35 percent of all inmates in local detention facilities in San Diego County are offenders with more serious criminal histories who would have previously been housed in state prison – and these realigned offenders (who are generally at a higher risk of recidivism) now make up 15 percent of the local probation case load, according to a new SANDAG study.

SHERIFF'S DEPT. WARNS OF PHONY PEACE OFFICER CALLS ASKING FOR CASH

 

 

February 3, 2014 (San Diego)--Residents of San Diego County are being asked to report any calls they receive from someone claiming to be a peace officer and subsequently asking for cash payment, the Sheriff’s Department announced this week.

JACOB CALLS FOR COUNTY-RUN ELECTRIC UTILITY TO GIVE CONSUMERS ALTERNATIVES TO SDG&E

 

State of the County address also calls for improved public safety, oversight of senior care facilities, and support for agricultural entrepreneurs

By Miriam Raftery

January 30, 2014 (San Diego) – In her state of the county address yesterday, Chairwoman Dianne Jacob  said the County has saved nearly $2 million a year by buying 90 percent of its electricity from sources other than SDG&E.  “The problem is, consumers don’t have the same right. You can’t shop around like the County.  But if it’s good enough for government, it should be good enough for you,” she said, then announced support for a community choice aggregation to give consumers new choices in where to buy electric power.

ECONOMIC ROUNDTABLE EXPERTS SEE MODERATE GROWTH IN 2014

 

Source: San Diego County News Service

January 22, 2014 (San Diego)--Economists and other experts predicted moderate growth ahead in 2014 at the 30th Annual San Diego County Economic Roundtable Friday morning.

Speakers described housing prices stabilizing in San Diego and unemployment rates continuing to drop.  These were just a few of the insights shared at the event, which again brought together experts to talk about big picture questions on the local, state and national economy.

The states of the job and real estate markets are always a big topic, and experts this year also offered overviews of the Affordable Care Act and how the manufacturing industry is doing. An estimated 400 people attended the free event at University of San Diego’s Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace & Justice.

COUNTY LAUNCHES CHILD SUPPORT TIP LINE

 

December 12, 2013 (San Diego)--Know someone failing to pay court-ordered child support? You can now report them online - anonymously.

The Department of Child Support Services recently launched an online tip line. You can tell Child Support where a person works or lives, and a caseworker will follow up and take the appropriate action, which could include wage garnishing or serving another court order.

The tip line is not intended for custodial parents to report non-payment, as they would be faster served by directly contacting their case worker.

COUNTY ANNUAL REPORT NOW ONLINE--AND ON YOUR SMART PHONE

County News Service

November 14, 2013 (San Diego) -- The County’s latest annual report has been published and you can check it out at SDCountyAnnualReport.com from either your home computer or –wait for it – your smart phone.

That’s right, this year for the first time ever, you’ll be able to read the County’s annual report on your smart phone.

And no, despite its name or any fusty reputations about reports in general, it won’t take a year to read the annual report. It’s designed to be a snapshot: a very, very condensed version of the County’s Operational Plan along with some extra accomplishments and fun facts and figures.

COUNTY TO HELP KEEP INMATE FIRE CAMPS OPEN

 

August 6, 2013 (San Diego)-- The Board of Supervisors on Tuesday  moved to ensure that low-risk prisoners remain on the front lines of backcountry firefighting.

By unanimous vote, the board authorized county staff to complete an agreement with state officials that would house qualified inmates at local fire camps operated by the state. The move came at the urging of Supervisor Dianne Jacob, District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis, Sheriff Bill Gore and county Chief Administrative Officer Helen Robbins-Meyer.

COUNTY'S "IT’S HOW WE LIVE! FESTIVAL" HELPED RAISE COMMUNITY AWARENESS OF HEALTHY LIFESTYLES

By Janis Mork

April 17, 2013 (Spring Valley)- The Spring Valley Community Center put on its 8th annual “It’s How We Live!” Festival  on April 13 at the Spring Valley Park near the center. This is a health and wellness event that is geared towards families to inspire and help them live healthier lives, and to recognize that being healthy can be fun. Their unofficial motto is ‘Go play. Get fit. Get healthy.’

BIRD TALK: BULLOCK’S ORIOLE

 

By Greg Dunne

March 16, 2013 (Lake Murray) -- Spring has sprung, warm weather is here and the wild Ramona Lilac is in bloom all over the hills in the East County. It is the time of year to keep a keen eye open for the Oriole. These birds winter in Mexico and then start to come north as the days get longer. In my experience, March and April have always been the best time to observe these beautiful, bright yellow-orange birds with sharp contrasting black on the back, throat and top of the head.

SAN DIEGO COUNTY TAXPAYER ASSOCIATION PUSH FOR QUAIL BRUSH GAS POWER PLANT FUELS IRE: OPPONENTS SAY PLANT IS A BOONDOGGLE THAT WILL BE COSTLY FOR TAXPAYERS

 

“The danger is that consumers will be required to pay for an expensive gas-fired plant they don’t’ need now or in the future.” – The Utility Reform Network

By Miriam Raftery

February 24, 2013 (San Diego) – Why is the San Diego County Taxpayers Association (SDCTA) pushing for a fossil fuel power plant that many authoritative sources indicate is not needed and will prove costly to taxpayers?

In a letter sent February 20, 2013 to the California Public Utilities Commission, Lani Lutar, president and chief executive officer of the SDTCA, urged the Commission to postpone a decision on the Quail Brush gas-fired power plant near Mission Trails Regional Park, until after the California Energy Commission has completed its examination of the project. 

WILD HORSES IN RAMONA: THE COYOTE CANYON HERITAGE HERD

By Ariele Johannson

January 15, 2013 (Ramona)--On a warm spring morning in the Upper Borrego Valley in 2003, the last 29 wild horses in East County--were rounded up by helicopters and driven into pens. They were then removed from Coyote Canyon and trucked to a sanctuary in South Dakota through a snow storm with temperatures 4º below zero. 

DUI PATROLS RESULT IN 4 ARRESTS NEAR SDSU AND QUALCOUMM

October 28, 2012 (San Diego)--On the weekend prior to Halloween, Deputy Sheriffs and Police Officers from local agencies participatingin the San Diego County Avoid 15 Task Force conducted DUI saturation patrols near San Diego State University and Qualcomm stadium. Halloween weekend parties and the SDSU Aztec football game traditionally brings to the area an increase in DUI drivers.

GRANT AWARDED TO THE EL CAJON POLICE DEPARTMENT

October 28, 2012 (El Cajon)-- The El Cajon Police Department has been awarded a grant from the San Diego County Law Enforcement Foundation (SDCLEF,) which enabled the Police Department to purchase a night vision monocular.  This tool will be used by the Patrol Division to assist in searching dark alleys, vacant buildings and open areas.  The night vision will be also be used to locate suspects taking advantage of darkness to conceal themselves while attempting to evade arrest during nighttime hours.

ONLINE VOTER REGISTRATION AVAILABLE NOW THROUGH OCT. 22

September 23, 2012 (San Diego) -- For the first time ever, voters in our state can now register completely online -- no paper form needed. Californians whose current addresses match the address they have on file with the DMV can register (or reregister) at www.sandiegovotes.org.

READER’S EDITORIAL: COUNTY FIRE POLICY: LET IT BURN

 

 
San Diego County will unnecessarily lose hundreds of homes to wildfires this fall: An open letter to Cities' Councilmen, Supervisors, local State legislators, and activist groups
 
By John Scanlon
 
August 13, 2012 (San Diego)-- The Problem – We are past due for a repeat of the major fires in 2003 and 2007. There is an abundance of fuel in the back country after five years w/o a major fire. We are now in a very active fire season. July was the hottest it has been in the lower 48 since 1895. We continue to be grossly underfunded and under-prepared at all levels to handle another catastrophic fire season.

 

COUNTY SELECTED TO HELP LAUNCH NEW NATIONAL HEALTH APP

 
$100,000 Prize in U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Contest

July 31, 2012 (San Diego) -- Want to help save lives? Can you create an app? The County of San Diego has been selected as one of four communities nationwide to help launch a mobile app development challenge to help prevent a million heart attacks and strokes as part of the Million Hearts initiative. The County is gaining a reputation as a leader in health innovation with the county’s Live Well, San Diego! 10-year plan to build a healthy, safe and thriving community.

APPLICANTS IN THE CONSTRUCTION FIELD SOUGHT FOR COLLEGE DISTRICT’S BOND OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE

 
July 30, 2012 (El Cajon) -- Civic-minded East County residents in the construction field are urged to apply for a seat on the Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District’s Citizens Bond Oversight Committee, which monitors the district’s spending on a $207 million bond measure.

FRONT AND CENTER: ANOTHER ASSAULT LOOMING FOR COMBAT VETS

 
By Rick Rogers
DefenseTracker.com
 
July 18, 2012 (San Diego) -- One war is over while another winds down.
 
A more important fight looms at home.
 
I’m not talking about troops wrestling with Post-Traumatic Stress, but battling unscrupulous predators mining GI Bill gold while delivering nothing but penniless pockets and sour futures.

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