August 2013 Articles

EAST COUNTY PUBLIC SAFETY TOWN HALL AUGUST 22

 

August 15, 2013 (Santee) – State Senator Joel Anderson and District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis will hold an East county Public Safety Town Hall on August 22, beginning at 5:30 p.m. at the West Hills High School Theatre at 8756 Mast Blvd. in Santee.  The top priority for parents is protecting their kids from danger.  With new dangers arising daily, it can be difficult to get the information needed to keep children safe.

EAGLE EXPERT BITTNER SENTENCED TO PROBATION, ORDERED TO TURN OVER MISSING DATA

Prosecutor contends Bittner more concerned with economic gain than well-being of raptors;

Bittner data used to justify wind and other energy projects in San Diego/Imperial Counties, Mexico & elsewhere

By Nadin Abbott and Miriam Raftery

August 13, 2013 (San Diego)—U.S. Magistrate Judge David H. Bartick sentenced John David Bittner of Julian, president of the Wildlife Research Institute in Ramona,  to three years probation and a $7500 fine.  Bittner pled guilty  to unlawful taking of a Golden Eagle without a permit and failing to file any data reports for a four-year period on birds that he had banded.   The government could have imposed up to a $100,000 fine and a one-year prison sentence, but instead hope to induce Bittner to turn over years of missing data as a condition of probation.

"We support the Justice Dept’s vigilance in prosecuting Bittner for his serious transgressions and unlawful behavior,” said Donna Tisdale with the Protect Our Communities organization. ““When unethical and basically corrupt experts like Bittner side with industry over avian protection—our beautiful birds literally get clobbered with the blunt end of the turbine blade.”

But she suggested that the fine amounted to a slap on the wrist in light of the more than $600,000 that Bittner’s Wildlife Research Institute raked in through consulting fees for corporations. Iberdrola and Pattern Energy hired him to write reports justifying their wind projects, Tule Wind in McCain Valley and the Ocotillo Express Wind Facility. Sempra Energy also hired Bittner as its eagle consultant for its massive Energia Sierra Juarez Wind in Baja California.

ECM ROUNDUP: LOCAL AND STATEWIDE NEWS

August 14, 2013 (San Diego's East County)--East County Roundup highlights top stories of interest to East County and San Diego’s inland regions, published in other media. This week’s top “Roundup” headlines include:

LOCAL

STATE

Click “read more” and scroll down for excerpts and  links to full stories.

I-805 FREEWAY TO SHUT DOWN SUNDAY

 

By Nadin Abbott

August 14, 2013 (San Diego) — This weekend, getting to South Bay might prove a little tricky.

The I-805 will be closed in both directions from 3 p.m. on August 18, to 5 a.m. on August 19 between Route 54 and Route 905.

This is to allow for construction and expansion of the 805, including access to a future Transit Center.

Drivers are advised to use I-5 or Toll Road 125, which will be free for the duration.

ECM WORLD WATCH: NATIONAL AND GLOBAL NEWS

 

August 14, 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

 Click “read more” and scroll down for excerpts and links to full stories.

BOIL WATER ORDER ISSUED FOR LOS TULES MUTUAL WATER COMPANY IN WARNER SPRINGS

 

August 14, 2013 (San Diego’s East County) – The County of San Diego, Department of Environmental Health (DEH) has issued a Boil Water Order and Public Notification for the Los Tules Mutual Water Company located at 32995 Camino Moro, Warner Springs, CA 92086 effective immediately.  This public water system serves 100 residential homes.

GROSSMONT COLLEGE LIBRARY RECEIVES "MUSLIM JOURNEYS" GRANT

 

August 15, 2013 (El Cajon)—The Grossmont College Library will put on its reserve bookshelf this Fall Semester a special collection of 25 books and three films on “Muslim Journeys,” made available through a grant provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

FUTURE OF RURAL FIRE PROTECTION DISTRICT ON THE LINE: MEETING WED. AUGUST 14

An important meeting is set for Wednesday night, August 14 on the future of fire service in the Rural Fire Protection district, which serves many communities in East County. 

 The County Fire Authority is threatening to withdraw all fire service funding if the San Diego Rural Fire Protection District chooses to remain an independent fire district and not merge with the County Fire Authority.

If the district remains independent, funding will revert back to 207 levels—with no stipend pay for firefighters for rural stations, according to a letter sent by the district’s fire board to residents. SD Rural Fire_important-letter .

WOLF EXPERTS HOWLING OVER EXCLUSION FROM REVIEW OF FEDS’ PROPOSAL TO REMOVE WOLVES FROM ENDANGERED SPECIES PROTECTION

 

By Miriam Raftery

August 12, 2013 (Julian) – Erin Hunt, general manager of the California Wolf Center in Julian, is concerned that the federal government is “stacking the deck” by excluding wolf experts from participating in a peer review of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s proposal to remove grey wolves from protection as federal endangered species in all lower 48 states. Delisting is proposed even in areas where wolf populations remain at risk, wildlife experts warn.

Public comments are being accepted until September 11 on the controversial proposal.  The California Wolf Center has details at www.californiawolfcenter.org and comments may be submitted to Sally Jewell, secretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior which oversees the USFW, here.

Sixteen scientists have signed a letter  accusing the USFW of misrepresenting their conclusions to justify the delisting of wolves from the federal endangered species list.

OCOTILLO RESIDENTS COMPLAIN OF TURBINE NOISE SIMILAR TO “JET ENGINES”

By Miriam Raftery

August 12, 2013 (Ocotillo) – When Pattern Energy presented its proposed Ocotillo Express Wind Facility project to Imperial County Supervisors, the company promised that massive industrial wind turbines would be no louder than a refrigerator or a library.   But now residents are complaining that noise levels are far louder—and they’ve provided a video to bolster their claim.

The problems foreshadow issues that East County residents could soon face when similar gargantuan wind turbines slated to be built in East County are completed -- turbines 500 feet tall with blade spans the size of football fields--far larger than any located in our region thus far.

On August 7, with many turbines still off-line due to safety issues after a blade fell off,  ECM photojournalist and Ocotillo resident Jim Pelley took the following video to show the high noise levels to which area residents were being subjected:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VF8eMvb4570&feature=youtu.be  Since then, the problem had gotten even worse, residents say, with more turbines now back online.

POWAY CHAMBER OF COMMERCE TO HOST "A TASTE OF COUNTRY" ON SEPTEMBER 21

 

August 15, 2013 (Poway) — The Poway Chamber of Commerce will host a fall event, A Taste of Country. The event will take place on September 21, 2013 from 6PM-10PM at the PVRA Grounds (Poway Rodeo Grounds), 14336 Tierra Bonita Road, Poway, CA. The event is open to the public and is an all age event.

The event will feature live music by Kanan Road Band, www.kananroadband.com. KSON will also be in attendance to provide music. There will be wine and beer tastings, raffle prizes, and food trucks.

HANNAH ANDERSON RESCUED AFTER SHOOT-OUT: WAS TAKEN AGAINST HER WILL, DID NOT KNOW HER MOTHER AND BROTHER HAD BEEN KILLED, SHERIFF GORE REVEALS

By Miriam Raftery

August 12, 2013 (Lakeside) – Details are emerging about the dramatic rescue Saturday of Hannah Anderson, the 16-year-old Lakeside teen abducted by James Lee DiMaggio, a 40-year-old family friend.  Hannah is safe and being reunited with her family after being found in the Frank Church Wilderness in Idaho, an area also known as the River of No Return. 

According to San Diego Sheriff Bill Gore, Hannah was taken against her will and did not know about the tragedy that befell her mother and brother, who were found dead in a fire at DiMaggio’s Boulevard home. Authorities have found that Hannah’s mother, Christina Anderson, was murdered by being struck on her head.  DNA tests identified a second body as that of 8-year-old Ethan Anderson.

"It is clear from information we have received that she was under extreme duress. She was taken out of the county, out of the state, clearly against her will," said Gore in an interview with 10 News.. "She has lost her mother and her brother, which she was not aware of until she was recovered up in Idaho... She didn't know."

HANNAH ANDERSON RESCUED; DIMAGGIO KILLED

 

August 10, 2013 (Lakeside) -- A nationwide search for missing Lakeside teenager Hannah Anderson, 16, and her suspected abductor, James Lee DiMaggio, is over. Late this afternoon, Hannah was rescued and FBI agents shot and killed DiMaggio at Morehead Lake, Idaho after an arrest attempt, San Diego Sheriff Bill Gore announced.

“We want to thank the public for looking out for Hannah and Ethan Anderson during the Amber Alert and calling in your tips to law enforcement,” Sheriff Gore said.

HANNAH ANDERSON AND ABDUCTOR BELIEVED SPOTTED IN IDAHO; REMAINS OF CHILD FOUND IN BOULEVARD FIRE IDENITIFED AS ETHAN, 8

 

By Nadin Abbott and Miriam Raftery

August 9, 2013 (San Diego’s East County) – Two major developments have occurred in the search for missing Lakeside children Hannah Anderson, 16, and her brother, Ethan, 8.   Tonight, San Diego Sheriff Bill Gore announced that remains found in murder/kidnapping suspect James DiMaggio’s home in Boulevard have been identified as Ethan.  The children’s mother, Christina Anderson, was found murdered inside the burned home, the Sheriff has reported.

Earlier today, DiMaggio’s car was positively identified in the rugged Frank Church wilderness area near the River of No Return in Idaho.  During a live feed from KTFB in Idaho, Acting Public Information Officer Andrea Reardon of the Valley County Sheriffs Department confirmed that horseback riders “came across a man and a woman near Moorhead Lake” about six miles from where the car was later found. The pair matched the descriptions of DiMaggio and Hannah Anderson.

READER'S EDITORIAL: CLIMATE CHANGE AND WORLD HUNGER

 

By Jeffrey Meyer

August 9, 2013 (San Diego’s East County) – There is an unprecedented human drama unfolding in Africa that should stop every one of us in our tracks.  It is a vision into humanity's future, where we are heading and how we will exist throughout the remainder of this century.  This is about choices, by all of us and where those decisions will lead us.

ON THE SILVER SCREEN: PLANET OF THE 99% (ELYSIUM)

 

By Brian Lafferty

August 9, 2013 (San Diego) – Last August, I declared on Facebook that you will never see me post about politics and religion on social media.  That’s an easy rule for me to follow on Facebook and Twitter.  Not so much when reviewing movies (Gerrymandering, Client 9).  Writer and director Neill Blomkamp packs so many socio-political issues into his latest film, Elysium, that it demands discussion.  

STUCK BIG RIG BLOCKS HIGHWAY 94 FOR 54 HOURS; RESIDENTS ASK WHY OVERSIZED TRUCK WAS ALLOWED ON AREA’S ONLY EVACUATION ROUTE

 

Update August 14, 2013 -- This truck remains stuck at the side of the road a week later, with still no answers from authorities on who if anyone authorized this severely oversized load to travel this highway.  Reportedly it was bound for Tecate and residents wantt o know why it didn't take the Otay crossing and avoid these mountainous roads.

By Miriam Raftery

Photos by Donnie Durfee

August 8, 2013 (San Diego’s East County)—A truck carrying an over-sized load has repeatedly become stuck on curves along Highway 94 between Dulzura and Tecata, causing a SIG ALERT that extended more than 20 hours.  Residents reported seeing the slow-moving rig  the past two nights,  however, and Deerhorn Valley Antler Kim Hamilton reports the ordeal has been ongoing for 54 hours as of late tonight, forcing residents to take a detour of 70 to 80 minutes.  As of 9:30 p.m. the highway remained shut down in both directions.

“Closure of our major evacuation route without notice would create a very dangerous situation in the event of evacuation. Fires happen at all hours and we ARE in the middle of a very dicey season,” Deerhorn Valley antler editor Kim Hamilton wrote.  ECM shares her concern and has sent a request for information to the California Highway Patrol.

Equally disturbing, the CHP website quit updating its log at noon and dropped the incident off its incident page entirely this evening. 

SEARCH FOR MISSING LAKESIDE CHLDREN EXPANDS TO MEXICO AND CANADA; SUSPECT MAY HAVE EXPLOSIVES

 

 

Facebook page for suspect James DiMaggio has cryptic final messages

By Nadin Abbott

August 8, 2013 (Lakeside) The Amber Alert for Hannah Anderson, 16, and her brother, Ethan, 8, has now extended to Mexico. According to El Diario, a Mexican newspaper, “The FBI is working with the San Diego Sheriff’s Department, and Mexican authorities since Monday.”http://diario.mx/Estados_Unidos/2013-08-08_1b800648/emiten-alerta-amber-en-san-diego-buscan-al-sospechoso-en-mexico

Other developments have led to the extension of the Amber Alert to Nevada, Oregon, Washington and Canada. 

ON THE SILVER SCREEN: I THINK IT'S GOING TO BE A LONG, LONG TIME (EUROPA REPORT)

 

By Brian Lafferty

August 8, 2013 (San Diego) – Every time I think about Europa Report, I can’t help but think of Elton John’s hit song, Rocket Man.  It tells about an astronaut who leaves his family for a lengthy and lonely trip to Mars.  The lyrics beautifully describe the feelings of isolation ("It's lonely out in space"), longing ("I miss the Earth so much, I miss my wife"), and career crossroads ("All this science, I don't understand, it's just my job five days a week.") 

NEW ALPINE LIBRARY UNDER WAY

 

August 8, 2013 (Alpine) – The construction of a new library for the community of Alpine is another step closer to reality.

The County Board of Supervisors gave the go-ahead to advertise for a design and build contract during a Board meeting Tuesday.

WELCOME BACK CENTER PREPARES FOREIGN-TRAINED MEDICAL PROFESSIONALS FOR U.S. LICENSES

 

August 8, 2013 (El Cajon) – Foreign-trained doctors, nurses and medical technicians may help fill the gap between the number of health care professionals working in the United States today and the larger number expected to be needed when the federal Affordable Care Act goes into effect on January 1, 2014.

Welcome Back Centers at Grossmont College and eight other locations around the United States help to coordinate local efforts to prepare the foreign medical professionals for their American licensing examinations.

NEW PRICING OPTION FOR TEXTBOOKS

 

August 8, 2013 (El Cajon) – In an effort to keep textbook prices in line with student budgets, Grossmont College Bookstore has introduced a new money-saving option.

Michael Gilchrist, the manager of the bookstore operated by Barnes & Noble, said the new option is called "dynamic pricing for rentals," which allows flexibility in price setting.

“Whereas before there were set prices for rentals – such as 50 percent of the new book price – prices can go even lower to meet competition from online retailers,” Gilchrist said.

AZTEC FAN FEST SCHEDULED FOR SATURDAY, AUGUST 17

 

By Go Aztecs, SDSU

August 8, 2013 (San Diego’s East County) – San Diego State University is set for Aztec Fan Fest, formerly known as Aztec Family Day, which is scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 17 at Qualcomm Stadium.

The event features Tailgate Town, a Fan Fest scrimmage and a Meet the Team autograph session.

Gates open at 3:30 p.m. and admission is free. The event begins with Tailgate Town, which includes appearances by SDSU players, coaches and sponsors, as well as the SDSU Marching Aztecs and Cheer team.

AUTHOR TELLS OF WOMEN'S BRAVERY FOLLOWING 9/11 TERROR ATTACK

 

By Don Harrison

August 8, 2013 (El Cajon) – In the shock that followed the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on New York City and Washington, D.C., partners Mary Carouba and Susan Hagen sat stunned across the country in California.  After a while it dawned on them that whenever they turned on the television, there were news stories and other acknowledgments about the men who were the first responders at the World Trade Center.  Always the men.  Weren’t there any women there?

Carouba recalled that New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, standing on the rubble of the World Trade Center, asked for a round of applause for “the men we lost” as well as for those other men who helped people to survive the collapse of the Twin Towers.  Later, President George W. Bush came to the site of the tragedy to praise “all the men,” Carouba related to a convocation of classified employees Thursday, Aug. 1, at Grossmont College.

READER'S EDITORIAL: DOUG DEANE'S RESPONSE TO THE GUHSD RESPONSE TO THE GRAND JURY REPORT

 

By Doug Deane

August 8, 2013 (San Diego’s East County) – As you know, I was the Chairperson for the Grossmont Union High School District’s 2011 Boundary Study, and I appeared as a witness before the Grand Jury's Education Committee on 11/14/12.  I am disappointed by many aspects of the GUHSD's July 25th response to the Grand Jury's report, and as the Boundary Committee Chair, I believe that I have a responsibility to clarify some misstatements and errors in the GUHSD Response to that report.

"HISTORY ALIVE" BEGINS 36TH SEASON SEPTEMBER 5 IN LEMON GROVE

 

 

August 8, 2013 (Lemon Grove) – The 36th season of the "History Alive" lecture series, sponsored by the Lemon Grove Historical Society, will begin on Sept. 5 at 7 p.m. in the H. Lee House Cultural Center, 3205 Olive, Lemon Grove with "A Fireside Chat with Donna Beckley Adams," announced Estelle Lauer, vice president for Programs.

Adams is a veritable "Founding Mother" of Lemon Grove having worked for civic incorporation and spearheaded the "Family Town Meeting" workshops in April 1977 that led to the establishment of urban planning and management practices in the fledgling city.

ECM WORLD WATCH: NATIONAL AND GLOBAL NEWS

RENO DISPATCH: NO MURDER CHARGES FILED IN THE CASE OF MISSING AMERICAN AUBREY SACCO

 

August 8, 2013 (San Diego) – An update today from Nepal on a story I've been following for two years: Contrary to what a number of media reports suggested last week, lack of enough evidence has prevented police from filing murder charges against the three people identified as suspects in the alleged murder of American woman Aubrey Sacco, who went missing in 2010.

Nepal's Central Investigation Bureau (CIB) arrested the three suspects Friday in connection with the possible murder of Aubrey, an athlete, scholar and musician who as I reported for ESPN had gone missing from the Langtang area of the Rasuwa district of Nepal more than three years ago.

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