April 2013 Articles

HARVESTING THE RAIN: FREE RAIN BARREL WORKSHOP IN LAKESIDE APRIL 13

April 4, 2013 (Lakeside) – The Solana Center in partnership with the County of San Diego and the Resource Conservation District will be hosting a free rainwater harvesting workshop in Lakeside on April 13th from 9 a.m. - 11 a.m.  at the Resource Conservation District, 11769 Waterhill Road.

Join the Solana Center and the County of San Diego to learn how rainwater collection can benefit your home and garden and which system is best for you! Workshop will include a hands-on installation of a rain barrel and cost-effective tips on how to build your own. Pre-register at: www.solanacenter.org/event/free-rainwater-harvesting-workshop

FUKUSHIMA MELTDOWN DRIVING INCREASED ABNORMALITIES AMONG U.S. INFANTS

 

 

In wake of disaster, children on the west coast of U.S. almost one-third more likely to suffer from thyroid abnormalities; 39% in California

Originally published on April 2, 2013 at Common Dreams

By Lauren McCauley, staff writer

Infants on the West Coast of the United States are showing increased incidents of thyroid abnormalities, which researchers are attributing to radiation released following the March 2011 meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.

According to a new study (.pdf) published in the Open Journal of Pediatrics, children born in Alaska, California, Hawaii, Oregon and Washington between one week and 16 weeks after the meltdown began are an average of 28 percent more likely to suffer from congenital hypothyroidism (CH) than were kids born in those states during the same period one year earlier. In California, the number is a staggering 39 percent.

CH results from a build up of radioactive iodine in our thyroids and can result in stunted growth, lowered intelligence, deafness, and neurological abnormalities—though can be treated if detected early.

ARRIBA! MULTI-CULTURAL FESTIVAL FAMILY FIESTA APRIL 13 AT THE EL CAJON LIBRARY

 

Festivities, friendship and food are the order of the day as the Downtown El Cajon Library at 201 E. Douglas Avenue hosts its fourth annual Multi-cultural Family Fiesta.  The event is Saturday, April 13, from 12:00 to 3:00 p.m.

Bring the family and enjoy musical entertainment, food, community information and free admission.

ARE THERE BEARS IN THE WOODS? IN SAN DIEGO AND EAST COUNTY, THE ANSWER MAY BE "YES"

 

Residents are asked not to harm bears; hunting bears is illegal in San Diego County

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: California Fish & Game

Today’s reported sightings of a bear in Kearny Mesa raise an intriguing question: are black bears back in San Diego County?   In 1999 and 2000, a dozen black bear sightings were reported  in Cuyamaca, Julian, Ramona, Palomar Mountain and other mountain areas. But none had been seen in the past 13 years—until now.

This February, a Border Patrol night-vision camera caught a surprising sight: a bear crossing a roadway between the In-Ko-Pah and Mountain Springs Road near the Imperial Valley and San Diego County line, U-T San Diego reported.  ECM received a report of possible bear tracks in the southeast portion of the county last year.

Then today, multiple witnesses reporting seeing a bear in the Kearny Mesa area of San Diego.  A city Enviornmental Services employee claimed to see the bear out the window of the Sheriff’s department south of Balboa Avenue and west of I-15.  She summoned others, including an Idaho man familiar with bears, who said the large brown animal was indeed a bear.

FIFTEENTH-ANNUAL “MORNING GLORY BRUNCH” IN EL CAJON ON APRIL 13

Frog race offers $10,000 first prize, all to benefit St. Madeleine Sophie’s Center

By Caprice Harrison

April 3, 2013 (El Cajon) – St. Madeleine Sophie’s Center in El Cajon will host its 15th annual, “Morning Glory Brunch- With a Country Flair” on Saturday, April 13 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. This special event is being held in the Center’s Organic Garden, located at 2119 East Madison Avenue, El Cajon. The event includes:

  • Over 20 food and beverage stations from local restaurants
  • Boutique shopping
  • Live music and entertainment on multiple stages
  • “Arts Alive!” floral creations by Jasmine Creek Florist
  • The eighth-annual, “Frog Race” with $10,000 in cash prizes!

NEW features this year include: Children’s activities, arts and crafts, face-painting and a “Froggie Pond” with kid-friendly prizes! Each “froggie” is only $5 or, three (3) for $10. Each “frog” is $100 or $150 for two (2).

MOWER SPARKS FIRE AT JAMUL CREEK

April 3, 2013 (Otay) – The Deerhorn Valley Antler reports that a contractor awarded a grant to restore a section of Jamul Creek was mowing vegetation yesterday when the mower hit a rock, sparking a flame that started a brush fire.

“The grass was still green, so it was a bit surprising that it would burn,” Tracie Nelson of California Fish & Game told the Antler. The fire was doused quickly thanks to the swift actions of the worker and responding fire crews, with no damage to property.

BEYOND THE "BEAR" NECESSITIES: ALPINE RESCUE FACILITY SEEKS HELP TO EXPAND HAVEN

April 3, 2013 (Alpine) – Lions, Tigers and Bears created a new habitat for two black bears last year.  The new arrivals were Sugar Bear, rescued from a failed sanctuary in Ohio, and Meatball, whose antics including swimming in backyard pools and stealing meatballs from a freezer meant he could no longer live in the wild. 

Now, LTB founder Bobbi Brink has learned of seven more black bears in Ohio in desperate need of rescue -- so she is seeking donations from the community to help.

“These seven bears have never known the life they deserve,” Brink says. “One, named Maddie, was originally purchased as a pet. Unsurprisingly, her family was unable to care for her as she grew, and they considered selling her to a canned hunt ranch. Her current owner stepped in to spare her that fate, but has only been able to provide a corn crib for her habitat. That is where Maddie has spent the past seven years.”

FROM THE CHIEF'S CORNER: SPRING TIME, OUTDOOR TIME, SNAKE TIME!

April 3, 2013 (San Diego) – It’s springtime so naturally people and snakes begin to share the outdoors and encounters with snakes become inevitable. Were all enjoying the nice weather at taking more hikes and outdoor activity increases says Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna. California has a variety of snakes, most of which are benign. The exception is California’s only native venomous snake - the rattlesnake.

Rattlesnakes generally strike when threatened or deliberately provoked, but given room they will retreat. The potential of running into a rattlesnake should not deter anyone from venturing outdoors, but there are several precautions that can be taken to lessen the chance of being bitten when out in snake country - which is just about anywhere in California says Chief DiGiovanna.

WANTED: TATTOOED ROBBERY SUSPECT KNOWN TO FREQUENT EAST COUNTY

April 3, 2013 (San Diego’s East County) – The San Diego County Sheriff's Department is working with the Fugitive Task Force and Crime Stoppers to find and arrest Alex Ruiz is a parolee at large who is wanted in connection with five robberies. He has a history of weapons, gang crimes, robberies, and armed felony assaults. He frequents the Spring Valley, Lemon Grove, South Bay, and San Diego. Ruiz has distinguishing tattoos that says " RIP Goofy" on the left side of his neck as well as "South" and "Sider" on his arms.

If you see Ruiz, do not approach him. He should be considered armed and dangerous.

Anyone with information about Ruiz can call the Crime Stoppers tip line at (888) 580-8477. You can remain anonymous and be eligible for up to a $1,000 reward for information leading to an arrest.

Contact Information: Crime Stoppers 888-580-8477.

TEENS LEARN IMPACTS OF DISTRACTED DRIVING FROM CHP AND VICTIMS' FAMILIES AT GROSSMONT HIGH EVENT

By Janis Mork

April 2, 2013 (El Cajon) - Driving is multitasking. When you’re distracted, driving goes to the back of your brain,’ CHP Officer Brian Penning said Tuesday, April 2 in a press conference held at Grossmont High School to kick off National Teen Driver Safety Week.

Border Division California Highway Patrol Chief Jim Abele shared some grim statistics. “In April 2012, CHP issued over 1000 citations in San Diego County. Texting and driving continues to be a problem in California. 22% of all crashes in California are caused by distracted drivers. We will continue to educate the public about the problems of distracted driving in 2013. There’s no reason to text when you’re driving.”

MTS SCHEDULES EXTRA SERVICE FOR PADRES' HOME OPENER

April 3, 2013 (San Diego) – Padres baseball returns on Tuesday, April 9, and MTS has scheduled extra service for the Green Line and Blue to get people out to the ball game in time for the first pitch.  And, while supplies last, MTS will give fans a Coca-Cola beverage and a box of Cracker Jacks to encourage fans to get on board early.

Extra service on the Green Line – which now goes from Santee all the way to ball park area stations – begins at 1:30 p.m. with more frequency between the Qualcomm Stadium station and downtown. Blue Line extra service begins at 1:45 p.m. from San Ysidro.

JULIAN-CUYAMACA FIRE BOARD TO MEET THURSDAY: FATE OF FIRE DISTRICT HANGS IN THE BALANCE

 

Residents take offense at board member’s essay  ridiculing citizens as “farm animals”

By Miriam Raftery

April 2, 2013 (Julian) – The Julian Fire-Cuyamaca Fire Protection District’s Board will hold a special meet this Thursday, April 4 at 9 a.m. to discuss the proposal to turn over firefighting services to the County Fire Authority. The meeting will be held at the Julian Women’s Club. 2607 C Street.

At the last meeting, numerous residents rose to voice opposition to the plan and concerns that dissolving the volunteer fire department could lead to longer response times and decreased public safety.

SAN DIEGO ARMY ADVISORY COUNCIL’S COMMUNITY SALUTE TO HEROES AND 5K CROSSFIT COMPETITION ON APRIL 6 IN EL CAJON

 

April 3, 2013 (El Cajon) -- The San Diego Army Advisory Council (SDAAC) presents their second-annual, “Community Salute to Heroes: Benefiting First Responders and Military Families,” on Saturday, April 6, from 7:00 a.m. to noon. The occasion is being held at Grossmont High School, located at 1100 Murray Drive, El Cajon.

This special event will include a 5k Crossfit Competition for all age groups. Check-in begins at 7:00 a.m., with races from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. The 5K race will include individual competitors as well as teams. Age groups will be (1) under 17, (2) 17 to 24, (3) 25 to 40 and (4) over 40.

At 11 a.m., El Cajon Mayor Mark Lewis will receive a special “Lifetime Achievement Award” for his many years in public service.

PHOTO OF THE WEEK: EASTER BUNNY HOPS INTO JAMUL

 

April 3, 2013 (Jamul) -- Ariele Brooke sent in this adorable photo of her young relatives at an Easter event sponsored by Jamul Kiwanis.

"They had a petting zoo with chickens, bunnies, and a goat," Brooke reports, adding that activities also included an egg hunt, face punting and inflatable jump.

NEW SD UNIFIED SCHOOLS SUPERINTENDENT TO SPEAK ON “POLITICS AND PRAGMATISM” IN LA MESA APRIL 3

 

April 3, 2013 (La Mesa) -- Cindy Marten, newly appointed Superintendent of San Diego Unified School District, will be the featured speaker at the La Mesa-Foothills Democratic Club April 3rd meeting.  She will address challenges facing modern urban school districts like San Diego's.  San Diego Unified is struggling with a large budget deficit and is planning to sell off $50 million worth of its properties to help achieve a balance. Over 60% of the new funds coming from Proposition 30's tax increase is already committed to pay for overdue raises and other staff expenses.

Rather than holding a nationwide search, the School Board selected Marten as the unanimous choice for Superintendent.  This was a result of her accomplishments as principal of Central Elementary School in City Heights, where she oversaw a dramatic increase in test scores at Central Elementary, a school serving a community where nearly all families are low income and English-learners. 

EAST COUNTY ROUNDUP: LOCAL, REGIONAL AND STATE NEWS

April 3, 2013 (San Diego's East County) -- East County Roundup brings you top news headlines of interest to East County and our region, published by other media. This week's top Roundup headlines include:

LOCAL/REGIONAL

STATE

Scroll down for excerpts and links to full stories.

ECM WORLD WATCH: TOP U.S. AND GLOBAL NEWS

April 3, 2013 (San Diego's East County) -- ECM World Watch helps you be an informed citizen about important issues globally and nationally. As part of our commitment to reflect all voices and views, we include links to a wide variety of news sources representing a broad spectrum of political, religious, and social views. Top world and U.S. headlines include:

U.S.

WORLD

 Scroll down for excerpts and links to full stories.

HEALTH AND SCIENCE HIGHLIGHTS

 

April 3, 2013 (San Diego's East County) -- Our Health and Science Highlights brings you cutting edge news each week that could impact your health and our future.

 

Scroll down for excerpts and full stories. 

 

A COMEDY CLASSIC: A NIGHT OF FRIENDS AND LAUGHTER APRIL 12

 

April 2, 2013 (El Cajon, CA) -- On April 12 San Diego Las Hermanas will hold A Comedy Classic: A night of Friends and Laughter. The event will feature live entertainment, dinner and a live auction to raise funds for two non-profit charities, Fostering Opportunities-Dollars for Scholars, and Include Autism’s Community Coaching Center.

The evening promises to be extremely entertaining: Mike Pace is an Emmy nominee for HBO’s Comic Relief; Jeff Capri has appeared on Last Comic Standing and Ed McMahon’s Next Big Star; and Dave Burleigh’s voice impressions were showcased on America’s Got Talent. In an electrifying mixture of art and music, Stephen Fishwick will create an “Art Attack,” and his painting will be part of the evening’s live auction.

ARCHAEOLOGY WEEKEND IN BORREGO SPRINGS APRIL 6-7

April 2, 2013 (Borrego Springs) – The Colorado Desert Archaeology Society (CDAS) will be holding its 10th Annual Archaeology Weekend on April 6-7, 2013 from 9:00 to 5:00 at the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park Visitor Center in Borrego Springs, California.  CDAS is a volunteer group that works with the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park to document, preserve and protect its cultural resources.

The theme of this year's event is Stewardship . . . Caring for our Cultural Heritage. There will be displays, lectures, field trips, silent auction, activities for kids, archaeology lab tours, hands-on pottery making, and Native American crafts for sale.

For a schedule of events, click here.

GROSSMONT COLLEGE OFFERS FREE SCREENING OF AWARD-WINNING DOCUMENTARY, "THE ANATOMY OF HATE; DIALOGUE OF HOPE"

April 2, 2013 (El Cajon) –  “The Anatomy of Hate; A Dialogue to Hope,” an award-winning documentary film directed by Michael Ramsdell and focusing on individual and collective ideologies of hate will be shown during a free screening and Q&A with the director at 3:30 p.m. April 3, in Building 26, Room 220 at Grossmont College.

The 90-minute film follows the director’s six-year journey with groups like the white supremacists and Palestinian militants, as well as U.S. embedded troops in the Middle East. It is juxtaposed with interviews from leading experts in sociology, psychology and neurology to reveal both the emotional and biological factors that make everyone susceptible to acts and ideologies of hate. At the same time, this film posits, these are the very same traits that enable people to rise above the negativity.

RATTLESNAKE AVOIDANCE TRAINING FOR YOUR DOG: CLASSES APRIL 7, MAY 1 AND JUNE 15 IN ALPINE

April 2, 2013 (Alpine) – Natural Instincts Healthy Pet Center is partnering with High On Kennels to offer rattlesnake aversion training right here in Alpine! These poisonous rattlesnakes are often found in our own backyards and while out walking your dog. Training is conducted with four live rattlesnakes that are "muzzled" for your dog's protection. You dog will learn the sight, sound, and scent of our local species.

This 15-30 minute session can be a critical life saver for your dog.

“Avoid the thousands in costly treatment associated with bites; avoidance training can help keep your dog away from rattlesnakes so bites do not happen. Most trainers recommend you repeat rattlesnake avoidance training every single year to keep it fresh in your dog's memory,” a press release from Natural Instincts Healthy Pet Center states.

SWEET! APRIL 13 IS SWEET PEA DAY AT SUMMERS PAST FARMS

April 2, 2013 (Flinn Springs) -- Find your way through a towering fragrant sweet pea maze at Summers Past Farms in Flinn Springs, celebrating this fragrant old –fashioned flower in its full glory. You will cut your own sweet pea bouquets during this event while they last. Bring the kids, walk through the maze and enjoy live music in the coffee bar areas or picnic on the grass.

View the maze from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.  Cutting bouquets starts at 11 a.m. Arrive early – these vanish quickly!  Cost is $3 per bouquet.  Sweet Pea Day activities continue until 3 p.m.

For more information, visit www.summerspastfarms.com

A NIGHT TO REMEMBER: PROM FOR SPECIAL NEEDS STUDENTS

April 2, 2013 (Chula Vista) –  On Friday, April 12, 2013 community volunteers Rob and Cheryl Shields will host the third annual “A Night to Remember Prom” at Eastlake Church in Chula Vista, CA. “A Night to Remember” is a free prom honoring students with special needs, ages 14-22 years old. Financial support and in-kind donations are needed to defray the costs of the event and to ensure students and their families can participate at no cost.

APPEALS COURT UPHOLDS FHFA RULING BARRING RESIDENTIAL PACE, BUT COMMERCIAL PACE ADOPTION CONTINUES IN CA

 

San Diego clean energy lender FIGTREE provides up-front funding for businesses to finance energy, water savings

Photos provided by FIGTREE and SunUpEnergy

April 2, 2013 (San Diego) – Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing is alive and well in California despite last month’s surprise 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling.  The Court ruled that the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) was within its rights as a ‘conservator’ of mortgages held by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in issuing a ruling against PACE, effectively putting the brakes on residential PACE financing for homeowners across the U.S..

Despite that setback, adoption of commercial PACE programs is continuing, reports commercial PACE provider FIGTREE Energy Financing of San Diego. FIGTREE is the first company in California to successfully raise private capital for commercial PACE projects via a multi-jurisdictional bond issue.

PUC PROPOSES 7.7% RATE HIKE FOR SDG&E CUSTOMERS

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

April 1, 2013 (San Diego) – On March 29, a California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) administrative law judge proposed that SDG&E be allowed to increase rates for its customers by 7.7%.  Ratepayers in San Diego are already paying among the highest utility rates in the nation. View the full decision here.

“The people of San Diego need to stand up and speak out against this unjustifiable and unconscionable increase in electricity rates,” said Mike Aguirre, former San Diego City Attorney.  Public comments should be sent to ALJ Wong at jsw@cpuc.ca.gov and to the assigned commissioner; a current service list for the proceeding is available at www.cpuc.ca.gov.

THE CAREGIVER'S JOURNEY: YOU NEED TO GIVE IT A REST

By Marsha Kay Seff

April 1, 2013 (San Diego)--Caring for your parents is tough enough under any circumstances.  Without a good night’s sleep, caregiving is an almost impossible task. 

Being sleep-deprived not only drains energy but can drastically affect your health, mood and daily functioning.  Adequate rest is vital to being able to handle your life, your family’s and your parents’.

Doctors say there are several things you can do to improve your sleep. Tell that to my “sleep center,” which never worked very well and went on permanent disability while I was caring for my parents. 

ANGELA AUGUST MADD “FUN”-RAISER APRIL 14

April 1, 2013 (Alpine) – The Alpine Chamber of Commerce is sponsoring a Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) “Fun”-Raiser honoring Angela August on April 14, from 1 – 5 p.m. at the Alpine Woman’s Club, 2156 Alpine Blvd.  Angela was in a fatal car crash in Alpine caused by an alleged drunk driver on June 11, 2012.  She was only five days away from her graduation from UCSD with the highest honors.

CHEF’S FIRE UP THE IRON HORSE IN CAMPO APRIL 20

April 1, 2013 (Campo) – The Pacific Southwest Railway Museum will be hosting a gala gourmet food and wine tasting event April 20 from noon until 5 p.m. to celebrate its 52 years of service and education, along with the Chefs de Cuisine. The event will be held in the Museum’s Display Building, amidst the historic railroad trains and artifacts.  The Museum is located off Highway 94 in Campo.

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