February 2013 Articles

EAST COUNTY ROUNDUP: TOP LOCAL AND STATE NEWS


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OSCAR® EXPERIENCE VIEWING PARTY IN SAN DIEGO FEB. 24: BENEFITS COMMUNITY CAMPERSHIP COUNCIL INC.

 

February 14, 2013 (San Diego) --The excitement and glamour of Hollywood are coming to San Diego on Oscar Night.  Residents of San Diego can experience the thrills and surprises of the 85th Academy Awards on Sunday, February 24, at San Diego’s premier Oscar Experience. 

A viewing party benefiting Community Campership Council Inc will be held in Celebration Hall at Market Creek Events & Venues beginning at 5:00 p.m. More information about the event and the Community Campership Council can be found at www.kidstocamp.org; tickets are on sale.


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HELIX CHARTER HIGH SCHOOL RAISES AWARENESS FOR INDIVIDUALS WITH INTELLECTUAL DISABILITIES THROUGH GAMES

 

By Mayan Avitable

February 14, 2013 (La Mesa)--Wow! Just walking through the doors of the gym at Helix Charter High School was wonderful. Anyone could tell there was something exciting going on. The bleachers were filled with cheering students, the band was there--the cheerleaders were there. They were all cheering on students from the school's Special Education Department and other student groups going for the gold.

It was the Third Annual Helix Charter High School Games of Champions. Eighteen students with severe intellectual and physical disabilities participating in activities such as bowling, basketball, soccer goal challenge, agility course, and a throwing challenge.


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NEED SOME LAUGHS? JOIN US TONIGHT! COMEDY SHOW TO BENEFIT EAST COUNTY MAGAZINE

 

Join the most fun event in town!

LIMITED SEATING -- RESERVE SPACE (619) 922-9057 

By Caprice Harrison

February 22, 2013 (La Mesa) – Bring friends and come on out for some terrific comedy tonight (Feb. 22) at Holiday Inn Mesa Grill,  8000 Parkway Drive to benefit East County Magazine (ECM).  Brew Ha Ha’s hilarious comedy team, Chris Clobber from HBO and Comedy Central and internationally known comic Diane Jean, will perform stand-up comedy for an evening of laughs. Show starts at 7 p.m., or come early to mix and mingle at 6 p.m. with our staff, readers and comics. Win prizes and surprises--including a Viejas gift basket, a winery tour, restaraunt gift certificates and more!


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STATE OF THE UNION 2013: HIGHLIGHTS OF THE PRESIDENT’S SPEECH

Update February 14, 2013:  Edited to add reactions to President's speech; scroll to bottom for links to local and national reactions and analysis

February 13, 2013 (Washington D.C.) – President Barack Obama last night delivered his State of the Union speech.  View video and read full text:  http://www.whitehouse.gov/state-of-the-union-2013 . For highlights of the speech, scroll down.

The President opened by citing progress made during his administration, then announced new goals ranging from raising the minimum wage to putting Americans back to work, from reining in college costs to reducing global warming.


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ON THE SILVER SCREEN: MCCLANE TAKES ON MOSCOW (A GOOD DAY TO DIE HARD)

By Brian Lafferty

February 15, 2013 (San Diego) – In preparation for this film, I spent over six hours of my Saturday binging on the Die Hard sequels (I saw the first a couple of years ago).  The experience was like riding a train careening at speeds upwards of 200 miles an hour.  Following the massive adrenaline rush was an equally intense feeling of euphoria.  It took a few days to recover.


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CRASH KILLS CAMEL IN RAMONA

 
By Nadin Abbott
 
February 13, 2013 ((Ramona) – An overturned trailer on Highway 78 near Third Street in Ramona resulted in the death of a camel from the Oasis Camel Dairy on February 1.
 
The dromedary camel, Sahara, was en route to Camp Verde, Arizona when the trailer detached from the vehicle towing it.  According to Ramona Patch, the camel dairy’s co-owner, Nancy Riegler, informed the publication that”unfortunately not only did the trailer hitch fail, but the chains broke.”


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VALENTINE’S DAY SAFETY: SDG&E ENCOURAGES CUSTOMERS TO KEEP MYLAR BALLOONS AWAY FROM POWER LINES

 

February 13, 2013  (San Diego)--Mylar balloons can make great Valentine’s Day gifts, if they’re kept indoors or securely tied down, but they can also pose a safety hazard.  San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) today urged customers to be aware of the dangers that can arise when Mylar balloons touch power lines. 

The metallic coating on Mylar balloons is an excellent conductor of electricity. If a Mylar balloon touches a power line, it could cause a power outage in your neighborhood, and even an electrical fire.


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LA MESA TOWN HALL MEETINGS DRAW PACKED HOUSES

 

By Jake Christie

February 13, 2013 (La Mesa)—At its March meeting, La Mesa’s City Council will take up issues raised by residents  in a pair of community meetings last month. This is a tradition that has gone on for five years. 

Council members listened to the questions, complaints, and comments of concerned citizens at the meetings held January 15 and 17 in auditoriums at Lemon Avenue Elementary School and the La Mesa Middle School, where the crowds were standing-room -only at times.


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GROSSMONT HEALTHCARE DISTRICT SOLICITS NOMINATIONS TO HONOR EAST COUNTY VOLUNTEERS FOR 2013 HEALTHCARE HERO AWARDS

February 13, 2013 (La Mesa)--The Grossmont Healthcare District (GHD) is seeking nominations for its 2013 Healthcare Hero Awards, the annual program honoring residents whose volunteer efforts help advance the delivery of quality healthcare in the East County region. Nomination forms are attached or available at www.grossmonthealthcare.org. Deadline for submission of entries is 3 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 25, 2013, at the GHD offices, 9001 Wakarusa St., in La Mesa.


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STUDY OF 85,000 PREGNANCIES FINDS TAKING FOLIC ACID REDUCES AUTISM RATE BY 39%

 

February 13, 2013 (Norway) – A major study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association reveals that Norwegian researchers have found a strong link between folic acid and autism. Of 85,000 pregnancies studied, women who took folic acid supplements four weeks before conception and through the eighth week of pregnancy were 39% less likely give birth to children with autism.


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BINGE DRINKING PUTS GIRLS, WOMEN AT RISK, CDC REPORTS

Alcohol Policy Panel of San Diego County working to reduce youth access to alcohol

February 13, 2013 (San Diego) – Girls and young women throughout San Diego County share common drinking habits with their counterparts elsewhere in the country. About one in five high school girls in San Diego County reported binge drinking on the latest California Healthy Kids Survey, mirroring national statistics on binge drinking released recently by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).


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ECM FREELANCE PHOTOGRAPHERS INTERVIEWED ON NATIONAL WIND-WISE RADIO SHOW OVER OCOTILLLO INCIDENTS

 

February 13, 2013 (Ocotillo) -- Photographers Jim Pelley and Parke Ewing were interviewed Sunday on the national "Wind Wise" radio program regarding the Ocotillo Express Wind Facility. Russell Graham, construction manager at the Pattern Energy project, was arrested last week for allegedly making violent threats against the photographers and attempting to wrestle a camera away from Ewing.

The freelance photographers' videos and photos have been featured extensively in East County Magazine, documenting environmental destruction and raising serious questions about limited winds at the project. The Sheriff's office has indicated it would request filing of felony charges in the case, which is currently under review by the District Attorney. A restraining order has been issued against Graham, whose violent threat against Ewing was caught on the audio portion of a video recording.

Listen to the radio interview here: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/windwise/2013/02/11/ostrander-point-and-ocotillo-express

Hear more Wind Rise programming here: http://www.windwiseradio.org/


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PUBLIC LAND ACTIVISTS SUE INTERIOR DEPT ON PLAN TO KEEP MILLIONS OF ACRES OPEN FOR INDUSTRIAL SOLAR DEVELOPMENT

The Administration is opting to needlessly turn multiple-use public lands into permanent industrial zones. Solar development belongs on rooftops, parking lots, already-developed areas, and on degraded sites, not our public lands."- Janine Blaeloch, Western Lands Project

February 12, 2013 -- Three public-interest environmental organizations have filed a legal challenge against Interior Secretary Ken Salazar’s decision to keep millions of acres of public land available to industry for siting of destructive utility-scale solar plants.

In the complaint filed Tuesday, the Desert Protective Council based in San Diego, Western Lands Project in Seattle, and the Western Watersheds Project cited the government’s failure to consider alternatives that would focus solar development on degraded lands and in the already-built environment.  The government’s analysis under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) ignored alternative approaches that would be less damaging to the environment, more efficient, and less costly to taxpayers and ratepayers.


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ATTEMPTED KIDNAPPING OF TEEN GIRL REPORTED IN LA MESA

February 12, 2013 (La Mesa)—La Mesa Police warn that a 14-year-old girl riding her bicycle home on Dallas Street near Nagle Street this evening reports that a man in a white pickup truck jumped out of his vehicle and tried to kidnap her this evening.

Police responded at 6:23 p.m.  According to the victim, the man wore a red and white jacket and black baseball cap with logo. He is described as mixed race, 20-30 years old, 5 feet 8 inches tall, with a medium stocky build.  He drove a newer, medium-sized white pickup with white camper shell.


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SURF AND TURF VALENTINE'S DINNER AT THE COUNTY LINE BBQ

February 8, 2015 (Warner Springs) - Nestled in the mountainous wine region of East County on the boundary of San Diego and Riverside Counties along state route 79, the County Line BBQ is offering a surf and turf special for Valentine's Day, available from 12 noon to 7 p.m.  The owner trained under chefs in Europe, before bringing his culinary talents to East County.Feast your eyes on the menu below:


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1ST ANNUAL CARE FAIR SAN DIEGO IS FEB. 23 IN LA MESA

February 12, 2013 (La Mesa) – The first annual CARE Fair San Diego will be held at Lake Murray Community Church, 5777 Lake Murray Blvd., La Mesa on February 23 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.  This free event offers information about assistance agencies, programs and ministries available in San Diego County.

Participating organizations will have informational booths about what services they offer, how to receive those services and how to volunteer.  The types of information provided will include emergency preparedness, elder care, nutrition, foster care and much more.  There will also be children’s activities throughout the day.


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AGUIRRE ACCUSES EDISON OF SCHEMING TO IMPOSE RATE HIKES WITHOUT PUBLIC REVIEW TO PAY FOR FAILED SAN ONOFRE NUCLEAR REACTORS

 

February 12, 2013 (San Diego)--This morning, ratepayer advocate and former San Diego City Attorney Michael J. Aguirre revealed details behind a new legal action against Southern California Edison (SCE) with what he terms “smoking gun documents showing how SCE executives have unlawfully levied multiple rate hikes on San Diego and Southern California ratepayers without formal approval from regulators.”

Aguirre is demanding refunds from Southern California Edison and SDG&E for ratepayers in our region, which is home to the highest electric rates in the USA.


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GUHSD BOARD TO CONSIDER ALPINE HIGH SCHOOL AGENDA ITEM

Critics call action "meaningless"

February 12, 2013 (El Cajon )—Newly elected Grossmont Union High School District Board Trustee Jim Stieringer plans to introduce a resolution on the 12th high school for Alpine at the board meeting at 924 East Main Street, El Cajon.   The public portion of the meeting will begin at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, February 13.

The motion directs the GUHSD to developed modified building plans and submit to the Division of the State Architect  (DSA) –but only after it is determined that the Alpine School District Unification plan is either abandoned or fails to achieve voter approval. In addition, the site and building plans must be modified to stay within the remaining budget.


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BILL IN CONGRESS WOULD EXPEDITE LEASES ON PUBLIC LANDS FOR LARGE SCALE SOLAR AND WIND PROJECTS

 

“Public lands should be managed for natural resource sustainability - not offered to private energy profiteers for destruction at public expense.”—Van Collingsworth, Preserve Wild Santee

Our bill is a common-sense way to create jobs and provide renewable energy the same opportunities as oil and gas while increasing our national security.”—Senator Ton Tester (D-Montana), coauthor

By Miriam Raftery

February 12, 2013 (Washington D.C.) – Western legislators in the House and Senate have introduced the Public Lands Renewable Energy Development Act. The measure would establish a leasing pilot project to streamline permitting of renewable projects on public lands. The measure aims to level the playing field between oil and gas companies and renewable energy developers.

It would also assure that funds from energy development on public lands will benefit states and counties, as well as some conservation efforts.

But environmentalists, tribes, and residents who have battled industrial-scale wind and solar projects on public lands have contended that recent fast-tracking of such projects has already gone too far, pushing through projects without adequate scrutiny of serious issues and impacts.


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ASSEMBLYMAN JONES SPEAKS OUT ON TEACHER MISCONDUCT

February 12, 2013 (Santee)--Assemblyman Brian Jones (R-Santee) today released comments on a case of teacher misconduct in California’s public education system.  Brentwood Unified School District refused to fire a teacher after she kicked a five-year-old “special needs” student to the floor.The district stated that its hands were tied due to “flaws in the California Education Code” which prevented it from firing the teacher, Jones noted.

“Are you kidding me?” said Jones.

 The teacher was ultimately convicted of misdemeanor child abuse, but was allowed to continue teaching for two years, the Mercury News reported.  An investigation found that at least 11 employees failed in their legal duty to report suspicion of child abuse in earlier incidents.


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OCOTILLO RESIDENTS ARE SEEING RED OVER LIGHT AND NOISE ISSUES

 

Developer failed to provide system that keeps lights off except when planes approach

By Miriam Raftery

February 11, 2013 (Ocotillo)--Why are Ocotillo residents being subjected to 94 turbines each with red lights flashing all night long into windows of homes?  View videos: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0AHA7u4AurQ , http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vP7OeAP58So


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PUBLIC WORKSHOP ON FRACKING IN CALIFORNIA SET FOR FEB. 19 IN LOS ANGELES

 

February 12, 2013 (San Diego)--The California Department of Conservation/Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources on December 18, 2012 released a “discussion draft” of regulations for the oil and natural gas production technique known as hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”).  

The draft, if approved, would require oil and gas companies to disclose the chemicals injected for fracking and the location of wells, which are currently kept secret from the public. Some of these chemicals are known carcinogens; concerns have also been raised over contamination of drinking water supplies.


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CPUC TO DECIDE FEB. 13 ON 3 SAN DIEGO FOSSIL FUEL POWER PLANTS

Update February 13:  The CPUC has postponed its decisions until February 28.  This is the fourth delay on the controversial projects.

 

February 12, 2013 (San Diego)—The California Public Utilities Commission is expected to decide this Wednesday, February 13 on whether or not to approve three gas-powered “peaker” plants in San Diego County, including Quail Brush near Mission Trails, as well as facilities in Otay and Escondido. The meeting will be held in San Francisco at 9 a.m. 

If you wish to send a letter to the CPUC, Save Mission Trails has information posted here.


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NRC TO FACE PUBLIC STEAMED OVER COVERUP OF REACTOR DEFECTS



Safety Advocates to Rally and Hold Press Conference before Public Meeting on San Onofre nuclear facility Feb. 12 in Capistrano



Feb 11, 2012 (San Onofre)– Experts and oversight groups say they are astonished by the proposal by Southern California Edison to restart the Unit 2 reactor and run it at 70% capacity, putting millions of residents at risk of another emergency shutdown and radioactivity release to the environment, or worse.

A rally and press conference in opposition to restarting the San Onofre nuclear plant will be held at 4:00 p.m., Feb. 12, just prior to the 6:00 p.m. public meeting conducted by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) at the Capo Beach Church, 25975 Domingo Avenue, Capistrano Beach, California.

Edison and the NRC are facing challenges to restart from a number of directions:


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EL CAJON CITY COUNCIL TO ADDRESS ITS RED LIGHT CAMERA PROGRAM AT MEETING TOMORROW

By Janis Mork

February 11, 2013 (El Cajon)- Tomorrow’s El Cajon Council will consider an agenda introduced by Pro Tem Mayor Bill Wells regarding the city’s red light camera program, which has been in effect since 1996 (see http://www.utsandiego.com/uniontrib/20051216/news_1m16red1.html).

The agenda item, if approved, would direct the city manager to bring back information on the program, including information on possibly ending it. It’s also been recommended that the city council set an advisory meeting for 2 p.m. on March 12 and an information session at 7 p.m. the same day to hear public opinions.


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READY FOR ADVENTURE? CHAMBER OFFERS GROUP TRAVEL INFO NIGHT FEB. 13

February 12, 2013 (La Mesa)—The San Diego East County Chamber is offering group tours to locations around the world.  On Wednesday, February 13 from 6-8 p.m., you can learn more at a travel briefing at the Grossmont Healthcare District auditorium, 9001 Wakarusa in La Mesa.

Trips include Tuscany in March,Costa Rica in July, Ireland this October, the French Riviera in November, South Pacific Wonders including Australia, New Zealand and Fiji in October-November, and our December Holiday shopping trip to New York City.


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TRAFFIC HEADACHES ACROSS EAST COUNTY

February 11, 2013 (San Diego’s East County ) – Several major traffic issues pose problems for motorists this afternoon:

Sunrise Highway and Los Huecos Road on Mt. Laguna -- Boulders are blocking the roadway; road crews are en route.

Eastbound Highway 94 west of I-14:  A multi-vehicle accident is blocking several lanes.

A SIG alert remains in effect in Lakeside at Wildcat Canyon Road and Willows, due to yet another accident involving power lines.


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WIND FARM MANAGER SHOT IN MEXICO, SECOND WORKER SLAIN

 

February 11, 2013 (Juchitan) –A wind farm worker was slain and the facility’s general manager injured by gunshots, a Mexican media outlet reported on February 8, 2013.  Witnesses reportedly told police that four hooded persons walked into a party in a residential neighborhood “with both pistols and rifles, straight to the two people.” The assailants escaped in a black vehicle.


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DRUG AND DEVICE MAKERS MUST DISCLOSE PAYMENTS TO DOCS

 

Lori Abbott, California News Service

February 11, 2013 (Washington D.C.) --The Food and Drug Administration has just announced it's looking for dozens of doctors to serve on advisory committees that evaluate new medical devices before they hit the market. But the agency is also operating under new rules that could make it harder to fill those vacancies. The Affordable Care Act requires drug companies and medical device makers to publicly disclose payments they make to doctors and hospitals. 


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