September 2013 Articles

THREE SQUIRRELS TRAPPED NEAR PALOMAR MOUNTAIN TEST POSITIVE FOR PLAGUE

 

September 18, 2013 (San Diego’s East County) – Campers and hikers are being urged to take simple steps to protect themselves after three ground squirrels trapped in routine monitoring near Palomar Mountain tested positive for plague.

“People can protect themselves from being exposed to plague,” said San Diego County Environmental Health Director Jack Miller. “Just remember: Don’t feed or play with squirrels, report dead squirrels to camp rangers, and do not set up your tents near squirrel burrows.”

ASTRONOMY EXPERT SPEAKS AT MISSION TRAILS SEPT. 18

 

September 18, 2013 (San Diego’s East County) – The San Diego Astronomy Association (SDAA) Program Meeting will be held at the Mission Trails Regional Park today. The Program meeting begins at 7:00 PM.

Dennis Mammana will be lecturing on the The Seven Wonders of Our Universe. For more than three decades, Dennis Mammana has delivered the wonder and mystery of the cosmos to stargazers the world over. The lecture will run an hour, and is accompanied by the photography of noted astro photographers and astronomers. 

MIKE AGUIRRE LAUNCHES CAMPAIGN FOR SAN DIEGO MAYOR

 

By Nadin Abbott

Photos by Nadin and Tom Abbott

September 17, 2013 (San Diego)—Mike Aguirre, former City Attorney, launched his formal campaign for San Diego Mayor on Friday at the FDR Grove. He seeks to replace Bob Filner, who was forced out of office amid a scandal that rocked the city.

“The events of the last few months, provide San Diego with a historic opportunity to a better way to conduct the people’s business. Let us propose a new politics for San Diego, one that is not based on endorsements or special interest contributions, private agendas or the self-interested few.”

Aguirre promised that his administration “will restore integrity to the Mayor’s office and support policies that prove beneficial to the greatest number of San Diegans. That is what local government should be about.”

IS LA MESA READY FOR STEAMPUNK? ARTISTS' RECEPTION SEPT. 27 AIMS TO DRAW FANS

photo, left: Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds

September 17, 2013 (La Mesa) – On September 27 from 5 to 7 p.m., costumed “Steampunk” fans are expected to join the celebration of “A Day in the Life,” an art show opening at O’Dunn Fine Art.

 “Colorado artist Joe Bonomo has taken the characters from the Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’ album and interpreted them as Steampunk characters…totally original,”  gallery owner Shannon O’Dunn told ECM.  The artist will be on hand at the opening, which will also feature live music, food and beverages.

“Even if you don’t speak Steampunk (or the Sixties, for that matter) these oil paintings are gorgeous,” said O’Dunn. The exhibit will also feature a replica of the time machine seen in the 1960 movie Time Machine  and in The Big Bang Theory.

SUPERVISORS APPROVE TIERED EQUINE ORDINANCE

 

By Janis Mork

September 13, 2013 (San Diego)- At Wednesday’s meeting, Supervisors approved the tiered equine ordinance 4-0 with Supervisor Greg Cox absent. Amendments by Supervisor Jacob allow riding lessons in Tier 1 as well as in Tiers 2 and 3. Lighting specifications were also added to Tier 1.

Supervisors Dianne Jacob and Bill Horn proposed the ordinance over two years ago. 

“One of the reasons we did this is we heard from constituents that our equine ordinance was out of date, preventing the equine industry from thriving in our community,” Vice Chair Jacob said, adding  that the new tiered ordinance will “streamline the process and reduce costs to consumers” for stabling horses yet still protect surrounding property owners and preserve the “culture of our backcountry.”

Supervisor Horn said he believed it’s “important to do this,” noting, “There aren’t as many horses anymore… They’re a big part of the community.”

BOIL WATER ORDER ISSUED FOR CALVARY CHAPEL JULIAN

 

September 17, 2013 (Julian) – The County of San Diego, Department of Environmental Health (DEH) has issued a Boil Water Order and Public Notification for the Calvary Chapel Julian water system located at 3731 Wynola Rd., Julian, CA 92070 effective immediately.  The water system serves a camp that includes visitor cabins, staff housing, public restrooms, dining hall with kitchen, swimming pool and a chapel.

CASTLEROCK PROJECT TO BE HEARD BY SAN DIEGO CITY COUNCIL SEPTEMBER 16

 

 

Environmental concerns, conflict of interests by Lightner raised

By Miriam Raftery

September 16, 2013 (San Diego) – San Diego’s City Council will hold a hearing today at 2 p.m. on the controversial Castlerock housing project.  The project is proposed by Pardee Homes near the boundary between Santee and San Diego.   The Planning Commission previously recommended annexing land for the project to Santee. Council has the option to approve, modify or disapprove the project and if approved, to determine whether or not it should be transferred to Santee’s jurisdiction.

Campaign contribution forms reveal that Council President Sherri Lightner accepted $4300 in donations from 12  Pardee Homes employees during her primary challenge. “If Pardee reimbursed its employees, the contributions would be illegal. Regardless of the contributions legality, we believe Pardree’s contributions are an inappropriate attempt to purchase your vote for a quadruple up-zone on Castlerock,”  wrote Van Collingsworth, executive director of Preserve Wild Santee, in a letter to Lightner.

Comments submitted jointly by the Chaparral Institute and Preserve Wild Santee raised serious concerns over water supplies, traffic, environmental and public health impacts if the project is built near Mission Trails Regional Park.

READER'S EDITORIAL: DUNCAN HUNTER - FRIEND OR FOE?

 

 

By Dave Patterson, Ramona

September 15, 2013 (San Diego) – In the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act was planted a clause that allows the U.S. military the power to grab U.S. citizens from anywhere, including our homes here in the U.S., and throw us in black prisons forever, no charges needed.  This clause was reviewed and supported by our own Congressman Duncan Hunter, who has stated that he thought this clause was necessary and did not apply to U.S. citizens in country.

BUS TOUR OF EAST COUNTY'S ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT OPPORTUNITIES ON SEPTEMBER 25

 

September 15, 2013 (San Diego’s East County) – The East County Economic Development Council (ECEDC) will host a bus tour of East County to learn about business opportunities, existing and future plans in the cities of El Cajon, La Mesa, Lemon Grove, Santee, and the communities of Alpine, Lakeside, Rancho San Diego, and Spring Valley. The tour will be held on Wednesday, September 25.  Those interested in attending must register by Friday, September 20. 

ENVIRONMENTAL GROUPS DENOUNCE CHANGES IN FRACKING BILL, ASK GOVERNOR TO ISSUE MORATORIUM

 

By Miriam Raftery

 (September 14, 2013) – The Natural Resources Defense Council, Clean Water Action and California League of Conservation Voters are calling on the California leaders to fix newly passed California fracking legislation (SB 4) because the bill contains “dangerous amendments that undermine both critical safeguards to protect Californians from the dangers of fracking as well as foundational state environmental review processes,” a press release issued by the groups on September 12 states. 

A moratorium on fracking was removed and the revised version merely requires reporting of chemicals in fracking fluids, but would allow fracking to continue.  Fracking requires injecting water, sand and chemicals into deep rock formations to release oil or natural gas. Serious questions have also been raised about contamination of millions of gallons of water, a commodity in scarce supply already in California. 

SOLAR HOMES TOUR SEPT. 21 INCLUDES EAST COUNTY HOMES

 

September 15, 2013 (San Diego's East County)--The non-profit San Diego Renewable Energy Society’s 13th San Diego Sustainability Tour features free, open house tours of 10 energy-smart homes showcasing the gamut of energy efficiency and solar solutions San Diegans are employing to slash utility bills, power their electric vehicles (EVs), improve property values and reap rich tax credits and cash rebates as they hedge against September’s rising energy costs.

Residential: Homeowners and qualified contractors will be on-hand at 10 winning residential sites across the county. In a unique twist, join the East County Solar Guy for a boots-on-the-roof solar installation in progress in La Mesa on September 21 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., plus you can see two other solar homes in East County.

SUSPECT ARRESTED FOR ASSAULTING LA MESA POLICE OFFICER

 

 

September 15, 2013 (La Mesa) –Loren Montoya, 32, of Spring Valley has been arrested for assaulting a La Mesa Police officer responding to a call reporting a fight in the 5600 block of Jackson Drive shortly before 4 p.m. yesterday.

According to Police, when officers arrived on scene, the suspect refused to comply with commands and rushed at one officer. A taser was deployed, but the suspect continued to fight with officers. During the struggle, the suspect reportedly grabbed onto and attempted to remove the officer’s firearm from the holster.

HEAR OUR JOB TALKS BROADCASTS WITH LOCAL BUSINESS AND LABOR LEADERS

 

September 14, 2013 (San Diego's East County) -- Looking for a job?  Seeking business and economic updates on our region? Check out tapes of our recent "Job Talks" broadcasts from our East County Magazine radio show, now available to hear online. 

Recent guests include Tom Lemon with the San Diego Building Trades Council, Johnny Simpson with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, East County Chamber leader Eric Lund, job hunting experts Reina Menasche and Antonio Villana, Cindy Gomper Graves with the South Coast Economic Development Council, and La Mesa Chamber of Commerce president Mary England.  Click "read more" and scroll down for links.

ALPINE WOMAN’S CLUB 20TH ANNUAL CRAFT AND HARVEST FESTIVAL OCT. 10-12

 

September 14, 2013 (Alpine) – Alpine Country Gifts & Crafts presents its 20th annual Craft & Harvest Festival at Alpine Woman’s Club, 2156 Alpine Blvd., Alpine on October 10 through 12.  The event features crafts and handmade items including “Owl Nesting Boxes” and festive foods from the Woman’s Club Kitchen.

2ND ANNUAL WINE & CHEESE “FRIEND-RAISER” SEPT.14

 

September 14, 2013 (Alpine) – The 2nd Annual Wine & Cheese “Friend-Raiser”, a benefit for the Back Country Land Trust at Wright’s Field is today from 6 – 9 p.m.  This event benefits land conservation, watershed stewardship and environmental education in East County.  Hosted bar, hor’doeurves, fruit and dessert plates will be available.

1ST ANNUAL JACUMBA JAMBOREE SEPTEMBER 20 & 21

 

September 14, 2013 (Jacumba) – Miller’s Towing is holding its first annual Jacumba Jamboree on September 20 and 21, beginning 4 p.m. Friday, at 42748 Old Highway 80, Jacumba. This self-styled “redneck party” will include a demolition derby, mud bogging, monster truck riding, lawn mower riding, food vendors, live music and more.

ACTIVIST MEETING: CLIMATE CHANGE AND XL KEYSTONE PIPELINE SEPT. 16

 

September 14, 2013 (San Diego) – Activist San Diego is holding a general meeting on September 16, beginning at 7 p.m., at Joyce Beers Center, 3900 Vermont St., San Diego.  The meeting will address climate change and the XL Keystone Pipeline.

FUNDS SOUGHT FOR CHOCOLATE CREEK/PEUTZ CREEK WILDLIFE CORRIDOR: SEPT. 19 DEADLINE

 

 

September 14, 2013 (Lakeside/Dehesa) – San Diego River Park Foundation is striving to secure $850,000 in grant funds to save the 152-acre Chocolate Summit/Peutz Creek Conservation area between Dehesa and Lakeside. They needed to raise $37,500 by September 19, of which just $4,171 remains to be raised.  Every dollar given will result in $22 in grant funds.

This undeveloped land is the last remaining key piece of this wildlife corridor within our conservation area, according to the Foundation’s Facebook Page.  For details and donations visit: http://www.sandiegoriver.org/peutz_creek.php

 A biology report identified this property as part of a "large regional linkage for wildlife between Dehesa and Lakeside that has been identified as important to maintain the diversity of wildlife in the region." Hundreds of  plant and animal species have been identified or are expected to be located on this important property, including:

LA MESA TO CELEBRATE OKTOBERFEST OCT. 4-6

 

September 11, 2013 (La Mesa) - Soon the sounds of polka music, as well as rock and roll, will be heard throughout the downtown area of La Mesa, as the 40th Annual Oktoberfest kicks off October 4-6. Barbecues will be heating up for bratwurst and  kegs in the Chamber's "big beer garden" during downtown La Mesa's popular fall tradition.

Thousands of people come to La Mesa during this three-day event to enjoy German-style food, live music and vendor booths. The La Mesa Chamber hosts its "family-friendly" beer garden sponsored by Sycuan Casino, located on Allison Street between Pine and Palm Streets, where you can hear live music all weekend, enjoy games for the entire family and sit while eating "the best food this side of the Mississippi," says Chamber president Mary England.

The entertainment lineup for this year’s event includings a Germand brass band on a national tour and much more.   Full schedule:

LA MESA COUNCIL VOTES TO DEFUND PBID CONSULTANTS, MAY CONSIDER MAINTENANCE AGREEMENT

 

By Janis Mork

September 12, 2013 (La Mesa)- At Tuesday’s City Council Meeting, Council got a status report and update of  a revised and scaled down Planned Business Improvement District (PBID) development plan  from two members of the PBID  Formation Committee, Lynn McRey and Bill Ratan.  Council voted 4-1 to stop funding consulting fees for the faltering PBID effort,  dimming prospects for a PBID in La Mesa’s future. Mayor Art Madrid was the lone dissenting vote.

JAMUL/DULZURA PLANNERS RECEIVE NOTICE FROM CAL-TRANS OF SR-94 SAFETY PROJECT; MEETING SEPT. 17

 

Concerns remain among residents over traffic impacts from proposed casino at Jamul Indian Village

September 12, 2013 (Jamul) – The Jamul/Dulzura Community Planning Gorup has received a Notice of Preparation of a Draft Environmental Impact Report for roadway improvements to Highway 94.   These would include widening of the highway to provide access to the Jamul Indian Reservation, where a casino is proposed, as well as improvements to intersections of Highway 94 and Jamacha Boulevard, Jamacha Road, Steel Canyon Road, Lyons Valley Road, and Maxfield Road.  deerhornvalley.net/CaltransNOP.pdf

“These improvements would be necessary to help handle the 10,000 extra casino-bound vehicles daily,”  Deerhorn Valley Antler editor Kim Hamilton said in an e-mail.

Cal Trans will hold a meeting on Tuesday, September 17 from 5-8 p.m. at  Cottonwood Golf Club, 3121 Willow Glen Drive in EL Cajon.

CPUC ISSUES SCATHING RESPONSE TO LIVE OAK SPRINGS WATER REQUEST FOR REHEARING

 

"In short, the parties  seeking rehearing have made one last ditch effort to obfuscate the facts of this case in the minds of the Commission’s decision makers by throwing spaghetti against the wall to see if they can get anything to stick. Instead, all they’ve managed to do is make a big mess,  which others are obligated to clean up.” -- Jonathan Knapp, CPUC attorney

By Miriam RAftery

September 12, 2013 (Live Oak Springs) – In May, we reported that the California Public Utilities Commission called for takeover of the Live Oak Springs Water Company and a million dollar fine for putting public health at risk. The CPUC  iin May, asked the Superior Court to appoint a receiver to operate the water company and  takeover the property, including the bankrupt Live Oak Springs Resort , where cabins and a restaurant remain closed. http://www.eastcountymagazine.org/node/13272

Live Oak Springs filed for a rehearing, claiming “wrongful and malicious” wrongdoing on the part of the CPUC and suggestion a conspiracy with the CPUC and county officials. Now CPUC attorney Jonathan Knapp with the Division of Water and Audits  has issued  a scathing response following the CPUC investigation:   http://docs.cpuc.ca.gov/PublishedDocs/Efile/G000/M076/K841/76841425.PDF

SDSU STUDENTS ROBBED, ASSAULTED AT COLLEGE AVENUE

 

September 12, 2013 (San Diego) – Campus police at San Diego State University have issued a crime alert bulletin to warn students about robbers who struck a victim in the head last night.   Around 10:25 p.m.,  four males approached two SDSU students in the patio area of the Senor Poncho’s Mexican Grill  at 5100 College Avenue.  Two suspects took the victim's cell phone and fled.  The victims gave chase.  One victim was able to get his cell phone from the suspect; the other victim was struck in the head while confronting the second suspect.

BILL TO PROTECT BOBCATS PASSES LEGISLATURE

 

Local legislators divided on measure

Photo: Bobcat family in Lakeside, photo by Billy Ortiz

September 13, 2013 (Sacramento) – A bill to prohibit trapping of bobcats around public parks and wildlife refuges in California is now on the Governor’s desk awaiting signature.  The bill, AB 1213, would also prohibit trapping bobcats on private property without the landowner’s permission.   

An estimated 1,813 bobcats were killed in the 2011-2012 license season, up 51% over the prior year. The vast majority of those (1,499) were taken by trappers, the rest by hunters.  Bobcat pelt prices have soared from $78 in 2009 to over $700 today, the Los Angeles Times reported.

READER’S EDITORIAL: ONE STRANGE DAY IN INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS

 

“We are seeing something quite strange, and unique. We are watching national leaders contact each other though the media and do media diplomacy.” – Nadin Abbott

By Nadin Abbott

September 12, 2013 (San Diego) -- Yesterday, Russian President Vladimir Putin had an editorial accepted and published by the New York Times. This diplomacy by newspaper is highly unusual, and the editorial was a remarkable piece of writing.

The first part of the essay made me think back to the end of World War II:

SAN DIEGAN JIM BELL TO PRESENT FINDINGS AT CHINA'S 2013 LOW CARBON EARTH SUMMIT

 

September 12, 2013 (San Diego) – Jim Bell, a San Diego expert on developing cost-effective and life-support-system-effective (low and carbon free) economies, will present his findings on creating  a sustainable future at the Low Carbon Earth Summit in Xi’an, China,  held September 26-28.  Founder of the Ecological Life Systems Institute, a division of the Heartland Coalition, Bell will instruct conference attendees how efficient energy use and renewable energy development are foundational to the long term success of regional and national economies worldwide. He will also show how renewably produced, carbon free electricity can be used to make regions and countries renewable energy, water and food self-sufficient, in life-support sustaining ways. Additionally, he will show how true-cost and cradle to cradle pricing can be used to create real, mutually beneficial, free-market economies.

ASSEMBLYMAN JONES CONDEMNS THE "GUT AND AMEND" PROCESS

 

September 12, 2013 (Sacramento) – As the first year of the 2013-14 Legislative Session comes to a close, Assemblyman Brian Jones (R-Santee) has issued a statement condemning the “gut and amend” process.  A common practice in the final days of session that circumvents public review, a “gut and amend” is when a bill is stripped and replaced with completely unrelated language.  Jones says, “It’s one of their favorite, sneaky maneuvers to keep the public out of the process.”  

NEW GRANT TO AID SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT IN DNA CRIME ANALYSIS

 

September 12, 2013 (San Diego’s East County) – A new, $379,379 federal grant will help the County Sheriff’s Department expedite its DNA crime analysis.

The Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday to appropriate the funding, which comes from the Department of Justice’s 2013 DNA Backlog Reduction Program. The money is aimed at cutting into the number of pending DNA cases being processed by the Sheriff’s Regional Crime Laboratory.

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