January 2013 Articles

PHOTOS OF THE WEEK: ANZA BORREGO DESERT STATE PARK

 

January 9, 2013 (Anza Borrego) – Daren Sefcik photographed these spectacular images in the Anza Borrego Desert State Park.  This endangered Peninsular Bighorn Sheep ram was spotted in a canyon between Potrero and Squaw canyons near Agua Caliente campground. “We were out backpacking for four days through there, “Sefcik says.  He also captured this beautiful sunrise over Whale Peak, photographed from Fish Creek.

 

 

 

 

MAYOR FILNER ANNOUNCES STAFF APPOINTMENTS REFLECTING DIVERSITY OF SAN DIEGO

January 9, 2013 (San Diego)--Mayor Bob Filner has announced his staffing team at City Hall. The appointments reflect San Diego’s diversity: over 50% are women, 38% Latino, 21% African-American, 4% Asian Pacific Islander as well as staff from the lesbian, gay, bisexual/transgender community.

“When I campaigned for Mayor, I pledged that everyone would have a seat at the table, and that includes in my administration. I am proud to lead this team of talented and dedicated women and men. Together we will work hard for the citizens of San Diego,” said Mayor Bob Filner, who also released salaries of his staffers as part of his pledge toward transparency.

LITTLE SAIGON FUNDRAISING AND AWARD DINNER JAN. 13

January 9, 2013 (San Diego) –In response to the long-time needs and present demands of the Vietnamese community, the Little Saigon Foundation is opening a Vietnamese Community Center in order to create a space for social services and cultural interaction.  Early services include a Vietnamese Language School, Youth Leadership Development, Translation services, and physical health programs such as “Càng Khôn Thập Linh” (a combination of Tai-chi and yoga), as well as international ballroom dance. With spaces offered to local community groups to meet and hold events, the Center is the first Vietnamese Community Center in City Heights.  Up until now, the organization has been operating on mostly the support of volunteers, but is now looking to add permanent paid staff.  As such, the organizations will host the Little Saigon Fundraising and Award Dinner on Jan. 13 from 6 p.m. – 11 p.m. at the Lucky Star Restaurant, 3894 54th St., San Diego.

STUDY CONFIRMS HIGH INFRASOUND LEVELS NEAR WIND FARM WHERE PEOPLE ABANDONED THEIR HOMES

By Miriam Raftery

January 8, 2013 (San Diego’s East County) – ECM has previously reported about serious health problems experienced by people living near the Shirley Wind Farm in Wisconsin, where county health officials sought emergency declaration for families forced to relocate.  That’s relevant here in East County, where four industrial-scale wind energy facilities propose to place turbines close to homes.

Now a Public Service Commission study has proven “dangerous levels” of infrasound generated by those turbines.  Four acoustical experts conducted C-weighted sound tests in December and found high readings oflow-frequency noise, or infrasound. One researcher became ill himself with symptoms similar to those experience by residents.  Symptoms of the afflicted families include heart palpitations, ear infections, muscle and join pain, and general malaise. 

SANTEE RESIDENT PRODUCES FREE FAMILY ARTS & LITERACY PROGRAM AT THE SALVATION ARMY KROC CENTER JAN. 31

January 9, 2013 (San Diego) -- Local master teaching artist and educator Jerry Hager and The San Diego State University Performing Arts Troupe present “The Enchanted Bookshoppe” as part of the Free Family Arts and Literacy Connection series on January 31 at 6:30 p.m. at The Salvation Army Kroc Center’s multipurpose room at 6605 University Avenue, San Diego.  The Free Family Arts and Literacy series is a partnership between The Salvation Army Kroc Center and Young Audiences of San Diego.

FOREST SERVICE BEGINS PRESCRIBED BURNS IN EAST COUNTY

January 9, 2013 (San Diego’s East County) – The Palomar Ranger District of the Cleveland National Forest will conduct prescribed burning from January 15, 2013 through June 30, 2013 when weather and fuel moisture conditions permit.  This vegetation removal is for the purpose of hazardous fuels reduction, community defense zone maintenance and forest health.  The prescribed burning will take place at various locations on the District including Palomar Mountain, Ramona, San Diego Country Estates, Sunshine Summit and Aguanga.  The projects will cover approximately 700 acres.  Some drifting smoke may be visible during the period of burning.

Residents and other public may call Battalion Chief Tim Gray at 619-902-1414 for more information.

FINANCIALLY TROUBLED IBERDROLA SELLS OFF SOME ASSETS, BUT RETAINS TULE WIND PROJECT

 

By Miriam Raftery

January 9, 2013 (San Diego’s East County) – Spanish utility giant Iberdrola Renewables still plans on “going ahead with Tule Wind” in McCain Valley near Boulevard despite a string of financial setbacks, Paul Copleman, media relations spokesman at Iberdrola USA, told ECM. 

Iberdrola, the world’s largest operator of wind farms, sold off $1.1 billion in assets in 2012 to reduce its staggering 32 million euros of debt as the company's Standard and Poors Rating teetered just above junk bond status.  Assets sold included 32 wind farms in France to GE. 

 Iberdrola also divested itself of some natural gas assets and  in the U .S., Energy Network, Energetix and NYSEG Solutions. In addition, the company has has quietly abandoned efforts to pursue at least one U.S. wind project and potentially more. 

HOW TO AVOID A TOXIC TAKEOVER OF YOUR FAMILY’S HEALTH

Renowned Doctor’s Simple Tips To Help Turn the Toxic Tide   

January 9, 2013 (San Diego)--Dr. Paul Thompson is a nationally renowned surgeon and age management practitioner with the Cenegenics Medical Institute. He has helped patients around the country reverse diabetes, combat obesity, fight off genetic health risks, and has guided them to living longer and healthier lives. Dr. Thompson’s Tips (www.drthompsonstips.com / Twitter:  @drthompsonstips) have been featured by media outlets nationally, including national media outlets.

ACCUSED SERIAL KILLER MAY HAVE VICTIMIZED MORE WOMEN IN SAN DIEGO AND IMPERIAL COUNTIES

 

By Miriam Raftery

January 8, 2013 (San Diego)—Samuel McDowell, 72, has been charged with the murder of three women in Los Angeles. But authorities reveal he has lived in 24 states and has a long history of violence—including vicious assaults on women here in San Diego back in the 1980s.  He lived in San Diego in the ‘80s and in El Centro in the ‘90s and early 2000s.

He was convicted of assault locally, including strangling a prostitute and throwing another woman out of his car on Highway 94 after sexually assaulting her. Yet he was soon back on the streets after serving brief time behind bars. Prior to that time he was acquitted of attempted murder in Florida and suspected of murder and attempted murder in Mississippi.

EL CAJON CITY COUNCIL PASSES UNANIMOUS RESOLUTION TO CONDEMN CRIMINAL ACTIONS OF HANSON-COX

By Janis Mork

January 8, 2013 (El Cajon)--By a unanimous vote, El Cajon’s City Council voted to condemn former Councilwoman Jillian Hanson-Cox’s embezzlement of funds from her former employer, Century Design. Council also added language to strip Hanson-Cox of any recognitions received from the City.

“Stealing is wrong, no matter what,” said Councilman Gary Kendrick, introducing the resolution. “I want to give an opportunity for the council to collectively and individually condemn her actions…I want to personally say I’m sorry to the Basso family and to what’s happened to them.”

2012 WAS HOTTEST YEAR ON RECORD FOR THE U.S. -- PLUS SECOND MOST EXTREME ON RECORD

By Miriam Raftery

January 8, 2013 (Washington D.C.) – If the weather seemed hotter last year than in the past, your memory is correct.

In its State of the Climate Report, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Climatic Data Center reveals today that 2012 averaged the hottest temperatures ever recorded for the lower 48 states in the U.S.  Nationwide, the average temperature for 2012 was 55.3 degrees Fahrenheit—a full 3.2 degrees higher than the 20th Century average and one degree hotter than the previous hottest year on record (1998).

It was also a historic year for extreme weather that included severe drought, larger wildfires, hurricanes and storms--the second worst year on record.

View report:   http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/   and  scroll down for highlights. 

CLEANUP UP GRAFFITI ALONG TROLLEY TRACKS HITS SNAGS IN EL CAJON

By Miriam Raftery

January 8, 2013 (San Diego’s East County) – A reader asked ECM to look into why graffiti along trolley lines in El Cajon have not yet been cleaned up despite complaints spanning a year.  “Several citizens have been more than frustrated,” wrote Maryann Ostermeyer, who said that to date, neither the city nor Metropolitan Transit Service (MTS) has taken responsibility for cleanup.

“It has taken a long time, but it is due solely to MTS regs about who and how people work within their ROW (right-of-way),” City Manager Douglas Wililford wrote in an e-mail to Councilman Gary Kendrick in response to ECM’s inquiry. “We have been diligent about this and will continue to be," he wrote, then cited progress in efforts to work with MTS.

RENO DISPATCH: BREAKING NEWS: IS NUCLEAR POWER DONE IN SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA?

January 8, 2013 (San Diego) – Will there be no more nukes in Southern California? That now appears to be a very real possibility. It's been a year now since a radioactive steam leak lead to the closure of the two aging reactors at the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS), which is located between San Diego and Los Angeles. The power plant is not expected to reboot any time soon, if ever.

Last month, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) issued a Request for Additional Information to Southern California Edison, the plant's majority owner, for its review of the company’s restart idea, asking the utility to provide evidence that reactor Unit 2, which Edison wants to reboot, can be operated safely.

http://therenodispatch.blogspot.com/2013/01/breaking-news-is-nuclear-pow...

WILD CHASE ENDS IN ARREST OF PAROLEE FOLLOWING HIGH-SPEED CRASH IN LA MESA

January 9, 2013 (La Mesa) – Benjamin Nicholas Davidson, 28, of El Cajon is under arrest after fleeing from police, crashing head-on into another vehicle and breaking into a nearby home.

The incident began last night at 9:52 p.m., when a La Mesa Police officer tried to stop a Saab sedan traveling at a high speed on Fuerte Drive. The driver turned quickly onto Grossmont Boulevard, colliding head-on with a Ford F-150.

According to police, the Saab driver ran from the collision scene and tried to elude police by breaking into a home in the 9300 block of Wister Drive. The suspect was confronted by the home owners, who pushed him out the front door.

FROM LAWN MOWERS TO TRAVEL PERKS, WATCHDOG GROUP WEIGHS IN ON LA MESA COUNCIL AGENDA ITEMS

La Mesa Citizens Oversight Group has sent a letter to council members voicing concerns over three items on the  agenda for the upcoming city council meeting Tuesday. The group advocates for  “open, accountable, cost-effective, efficient government, and for opposing unnecessary taxes, fees, regulations, and policies."

INJURED OFFICER'S FAMILY ASKS PUBLIC TO REFRAIN FROM DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE

By Miriam Raftery (photo courtesy of SDPD)

January 7, 2013 (Santee) – San Diego Police Officer Travis Betley has undergone several surgeries since his patrol car was struck December 30 by a pickup truck on Highway 125 in Santee. The driver has been charged with driving under the influence of alcohol.

“The surgeries have been successful and he is beginning physical therapy,” a statement issued by his family states, adding that Officer Betley has a long road to recovery.  “He has a positive attitude and is ready to face the challenges ahead,” the family adds.  “Travis is a strong young man and is determined to return to the field as quickly as possible...While focusing on the future and Travis’ recovery, the family would like to encourage all to be a good friend, neighbor and family member and remind everyone of the dangers of driving while under the influence."

EARTHTALK®: IS CLIMATE CHANGE AFFECTING THE HEALTH OF RIVERS

E - The Environmental Magazine

Written and edited by Roddy Scheer and Doug Moss

January 7, 2013 (San Diego)--Dear EarthTalk: How is it that climate change is negatively affecting the health of rivers and, by extension, the quality and availability of fresh water?                  -- Robert Elman, St. Louis, MO

Global warming is no doubt going to cause many kinds of problems (and, indeed, already is), and rivers may well be some of the hardest hit geographical features, given the likelihood of increased droughts, floods and the associated spread of waterborne diseases.

GOOD MONEY: HAPPY 2013—TRUE MEANING OF WEALTH, PLUS“FISCAL CLIFF” DEAL HIGHLIGHTS

A column written for the East County Magazine
“Your guide to financial planning & socially responsible investing”
By: Judith L. Seid, CFP ®
President, Blue Summit Wealth Management

TRUE MEANING OF WEALTH FOR 2013

Happy New Year from all of us at Blue Summit Wealth Management. Our wish for 2013 is that this will be your best year ever!! We hope that you will consider recognizing what true wealth means to you. The true meaning of wealth is not the abundance of possessions and property as Merriam-Webster or modern society might lead us to believe. Let us and our children not be misled towards an illusory desire for personal consumption.

CONFIGURATION OPENING RECEPTION JANUARY 19

January 6, 2013 (La Mesa) – Biz Center Art is hosting a reception and sale of new artworks on January 19 at 6:30 p.m. at 7317 El Cajon Blvd., La Mesa.  The show will include a bonus from some creative student artists a JCS San Diego Academy that will be showing work from their Monuments Project using symbols representing their goals in life.

ROBERT TAPP, PH.D. TO SPEAK AT EAST COUNTY DEMOCRATIC CLUB ON JAN. 17

January 6, 2013 (El Cajon) -- At the next meeting of the East County Democratic Club on January 17, Robert B. Tapp, Ph.D. will discuss "Those Other Elephants," issues that were not discussed during the Presidential debates and campaigning, such as the unprecedented income inequality, science denial and the overpopulation crises.  Professor Tapp is Professor Emeritus of Humanities, Religious Studies and South Asian Studies at the University of Minnesota.  He is an author and editor of several books including “Religion Among the Unitarian Universalists”, and was co-sponsor of the 2011 SDSU sponsored conference "Toward A Reasonable World."

ACOUSTIC SHOWCASE CONCERTS IN EAST COUNTY DURING JANUARY

January 6, 2013 (San Diego) – The winter series of the San Diego County Library Acoustic Showcase continues in January with concerts taking place throughout the month.  The series offers a wonderful variety of some of San Diego’s vest singer/songwriters, folk music performers and story tellers.  All concerts are free to the community.

SNOW LEVEL DROPPING TO 3500 FEET TONIGHT

Photo by Julie Salmon

January 5, 2013 (San  Diego’s East County) – Rain is forecast for our region tonight and early in the morning, with snow in East County’s mountain areas.  Snow levels are forecast to drop down to 3500 feet tonight—reaching communities along I-8 such as Descanso and Pine Valley.  Two to four inches of snow are forecast at higher elevations.

High winds are also expected in mountains and deserts, with gusts up to 45 mph.  Thunderstorms and hail are also possible. CHP reports that chains are required at South Grade Road and Highway 76, on Palomar Mountain, and at the junction of S6 and S7.

SMART METER HEALTH EFFECTS SURVEY

January 6, 2013 (San Diego’s East County ) – The Center for Electrosmog Prevention in La Mesa seeks people who have experience health impacts that may be related to smart meters to participate in a survey. The survey is sponsored by the Maine Coalition to Stop Smart Meters; however data is being collected nationwide.  

https://www.surveygizmo.com/s3/1105987/Smart-Meter-Health-Effects-Survey-Dec-4-2012

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA REAL ESTATE MARKET FINISHES STRONG AT END OF 2012

Foreclosures down 41% in California and 19% nationwide

By Kurt Wannebo

January 5, 2013 (San Diego)--The year 2012 has become the critical turning point in this downward market that began many years ago. Analysts will say that the real estate market started its downward trend in 2008, however, through my work I was able to see indicators and pockets of areas starting to decline as early as 2006. 

CALIFORNIANS CAN NOW SELL CERTAIN HOMEMADE FOODS

 

January 6, 2013 (San Diego’s East County)  -- Love to cook and want to earn some extra money? 

The California Homemade Food Act, AB 1616, took effect January 1. It allows people to sell certain items cooked in their home kitchen, such as cookies, churros, dried fruits and pasta.   Those who wish to sell homemade foods must take a class and obtain a permit from the Health Department, though no inspection of kitchens is required.

There are restrictions on the types of foods allowed and where you can sell them.Sale of baked goods with cream, custard or meat fillings are not allowed due to higher spoilage rates.  You also can’t sell outside of your county, with certain exceptions.  Sale at farmers markets is allowed, provided rules for individual farmers markets are met.  You can also sell over the Internet, but only to buyers who live in California. 

BLOOD DRIVE AND FUNDRAISER TODAY FOR CHILD OF SANTEE FIREFIGHTER

January 6, 2013 (Santee)—Pixi Welsh,  2 ½ , is the daughter of Santee Firefighter James Welsh. She was diagnosed with leukemia in November and was admitted to Children’s Hospital.   Blood donations are needed, since she faces over two years of therapy including chemotherapy and blood transfusions.

Pixi’s illness has also placed a huge financial strain on the family, since her father will be out of work for months and medical bills are growing.

SAN DIEGO REPRESENTATIVES RECEIVE ASSEMBLY COMMITTEE ASSIGNMENTS

 

By Miriam Raftery

January 5, 2013 (San Diego)—Assembly Speaker John Perez has announced committee assignments for the new term. San Diego’s delegation will be well represented on several key committees.  San Diego County members will control 3 of 7 votes on Housing and Community Development, with two or more members on several other key committees, notably education  and the budget committee. Our region lacks representation on several committees however, such as transportation, revenue and taxation, and natural resources, where San Diego doesn’t have a single member.  Below are the assignments of our region’s members.

SUSPECT IN LEMON GROVE MURDER CASE ARRESTED IN OREGON

By Miriam Raftery

January 5, 2013 (Lemon Grove) – Casey Tschida, 32, has been arrested by Portland, Oregon police for the murder of Jennifer Rene Krajnak on January 3. 

“Ms. Krajank and Tschida were acquaintances and were at a bar in Lemon Grove prior to the murder,” Lt. Glenn Giannantonio with the Sheriff’s Homicide Unit said.  “The two left the bar at separate times and Tschida approved Ms. Krajnak as she was walking home. Tschida shot her once in the head and left her lying in the street.”

Sheriff’s patrol deputies found her, still alive, beside the road at 7600 Pacific Avenue near Olive in Lemon Grove, but she died a short time later at a local hospital.  

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