September 2013 Articles

BRUSH FIRES IN JAMUL AND POTRERO

Photo, left:  Lyons Valley fire, Jamul, by Leslie Yoder

Photo, lower right: UCSD's HPWren webcam atop Lyon's Peak

Update September 10, 2013, 8 a.m.  – The Lyons Fire has charred 450 acres and is 15 percent contained. No structures have been lost.  Rain overnight brought help to firefighting efforts. 

Lyons Valley Road is closed between Japatul and Honey Springs and will remain closed for most of the day. Skyline Truck Trail is closed between Honey Springs and Skyline Spur; Skyline Spur is the alternate route, the Deerhorn Valley Antler advises.

Update 6:30 p.m. - Residents in Lyons Valley are being escorted back to their homes this evening, the Sheriff's media line has advised ECM.  ECM reporter Nadin Abbott advised the school that was listed by the Sheriff and County Emergency Services as an evacuation site is now closed.  The fire has charred 250 acres and is 10% contained.

Update 4 p.m. The Potrero Fire is 100% contained at 5 acres, Cal Fire reports. No structures were damaged but one burn injury was reported.  Lyons Fire in Jamul is 225 acres, Cal Fire confirms. Deerhorn Valley Antler editor reports all roads in Four Corners area are closed. Firefighters are concerned fire could move into Lawson Valley.  SDG&E is evaluating risk to Sunrise Powerlink.

COURT SETS MARCH TRIAL DATE FOR WATER AUTHORITY'S PUBLIC RECORDS LAWSUIT AGAINST RIVERSIDE COUNTY WATER AGENCY

 

Read the Water Authority’s lawsuit: www.mwdfacts.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/Petition-with-Exhibits-01221...

September 8, 2013 - A Superior Court judge has set March 5, 2014, as the trial date for the San Diego County Water Authority’s lawsuit seeking records about a covert public relations campaign in San Diego County run by the Eastern Municipal Water District on behalf of the Los Angeles-based Metropolitan Water District of Southern California and its member agencies.

The Water Authority filed its lawsuit under the California Public Records Act in January after Eastern, based in Riverside County, blacked out portions of documents it released and refused to produce all relevant records. The California Constitution and state law require public agencies to promptly provide complete copies of documents, emails and other records relating to the conduct of the public’s business. 

READERS CALENDAR FOR WEEK OF SEPTEMBER 8

 

September 9 (Monday, 7:30 pm) — Warwick's will host debut local novelist Lacy Crawford, who will discuss and sign her book Early Decision. This event is free and open to the public. In order to be signed the author's most current book must be purchased from Warwick's.

Background: A delightful and salacious debut novel about the frightful world of high school, SATs, the college essay, and the Common Application-and how getting in is getting in the way of growing up.

OCOTILLO RESIDENTS’ WOES CONTINUE AS NEW DUST STORM, FLOODING, WHITE SLUDGE FLOW STRIKES COMMUNITY

 

By Miriam Raftery

September 8, 2013 (Ocotillo) – A new dust storm, flooding and more white foam flowed through Ocotillo today, heightening residents’ concerns about impacts of Pattern Energy’s Ocotillo Express Wind Energy Facility on this desert community. 

At 4:40 p.m. a storm hit, sending massive amounts of dust into the air, this time coming directly from project access dirt roads created by Pattern Energy, according to Jim Pelley, who shot this video. Soon after, a storm brought flash flooding, which residents claim is worsened by drainage changes made by the wind developer.  The flood brought a repeat of an unknown white sludgy substance washing across the desert floor and into the town. 

“The white foam is back moving across the project. It was a bit eerie,” said Pelly, who took video of today’s white foam flood as well.

MEASURE TO AID VULNERABLE RESIDENTS IN EMERGENCIES, REPORT ON DISATER PREPAREDNESS ON SUPERVISORS’ AGENDA TUESDAY

 

By Miriam Raftery

September 8, 2013 (San Diego) – After visiting the Rim Fire (photo, left)  to learn more about large-scale disaster responses, Supervisor Dave Roberts announces he is introducing emergency preparedness legislation on Tuesday, September 10, along with Supervisor Ron Roberts.

“Our initiative seeks to assist our most vulnerable residents in the event of a disaster,” said Dave Roberts in a newsletter to constituents.   Also on Tuesday, the County’s Office of Emergency Services will update Board members on community preparedness and improvements made since the 2007 firestorms  as the height of fire season approaches.

Vulnerable residents include those with physical, cognitive or emotional disabilities.  A survey by the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research found a staggering 26 percent of San Diego County residents report they are disabled due to a physical, mental or emotional condition.  A 2009 survey asked if people were prepared for a major disaster and among those who replied “not prepared, 30.3% said they were disabled.   County records also list 25,000 individuals who need a personal care assistant to be independent.

SYCUAN BOOSTS REWARD TO $100,000 IN CASE OF XUSHA BROWN JR., VICTIM KILLED IN FREEWAY SHOOTING

 

Victim was gunned down on I -8 freeway in La Mesa on May 5

By Janis Mork

September 7, 2013 (La Mesa)- Four months ago, 22-year-old Xusha Brown Jr. was shot in the head while a passenger in a vehicle driven by Malcolm Hune, heading home on May 5 at 4:00 a.m. He lived on the Sycuan reservation, oldest of nine children, and also worked at Sycuan. 

His mother, Deborah Flores, described him as “very loving, very kind hearted” at a press conference in La Mesa. 

SDRES ‘INSIDERS’ SUSTAINABILITY TOUR FEATURING 7 COMMERCIAL ENERGY INNOVATORS SEPT. 20

September 7, 2013 (San Diego) - The non-profit San Diego Renewable Energy Society (SDRES) invites property owners, building and corporate sustainability managers county-wide to join San Diego’s leading solar and energy efficiency innovators and contractors for an interactive, behind-the-scenes tour of seven cost-cutting commercial energy solutions during the Commercial Leg of the San Diego Renewable Energy Society's 13th San Diego Sustainability Tour, September 20, from 10 am to 4:30 pm.

SPRING VALLEY LIBRARY BRANCH’S 8TH ANNUAL FIESTA SEPT. 21

September 7, 2013 (Spring Valley) – The San Diego County Library celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month with the 8th annual Spring Valley Library Fiesta on Sept. 21 from 1 – 4 p.m, at the Spring Valley Library, 836 Kempton Street.  The Fiesta will offer free entertainment and activities for all ages.

VIEJAS DOUBLES DOWN, TRIES TO SET 2 WORLD RECORDS ON SEPT. 13

 

September 5, 2013 (Alpine) – To celebrate its 22nd anniversary, Viejas Casino and Resort is aiming to break two Guiness World Records  on September 13—playing blackjack with the world’s largest deck of cards and later, opening the most bottles of wine at one time.

PHOTOS OF THE WEEK: EXTREME STORM SHOTS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

September 7, 2013 (Mount Laguna) -- Retired Fire Captain Greg Bishop sent us these photos taken during yesterday's extreme storms by the National Science Foundation’s HPWREN camera atop Mt. Laguna, a project of the University of California, San Diego. (http://hpwren.ucsd.edu)

RESIDENTS SWELTER DURING PROLONGED POWER OUTAGE IN BORREGO SPRINGS; COUNTY POWERS UP “COOL ZONE”

 

Update 3:30 p.m.: Power has been fully restored to all residents. 

By Miriam Raftery

September 7, 2013 (Borrego Springs) – Severe weather knocked out power yesterday afternoon ito 2700 SDG&E  customers in Borrego  Springs and nearby communities.  An estimated 760 households remain without power today in Borrego and Shelter Valley as temperatures climb to triple digits. 

SDG&E estimates power will be restored at 7 p.m.   “Currently, we have restored some emergency power to a portion of the community. This has enabled the county to open a cool zone at the library on Palm Canyon Drive,” an SDG&E advisory sent to residents advises.

“There was hardly anyone in town, no gas, can’t pump with no power,” Borrego resident Bob Kutscher informed ECM this morning. 

FIRE, FLOODING , MUD SLIDES AND SIG ALERT IN MOUNTAIN AREAS

 

Update: The fire is now out but the roadway remains flooded and there are many other hazards. Lightning strikes are reported in the Warner Springs area and other locations including the bolt shown at left, taken by Bob Kutscher. This strike apparently ignited the fire, with smoke visible on a second image moments later shot from Borrego.

September 6, 2013 (San Diego’s East County) – A fire truck en route to a fire reported in the Scissors Crossing area near Julian has become stuck in the mud.  Highway S2 is shut down from State Route 79 to S 22 and a Sig Alert has been issued.  The fire truck initially became stuck after encountering a road washed out by flooding at 79 en route to Montezuma, according to the California Highway webpage. Smoke is also reportedly visible form Vista Point; it is unclear if this is the same fire.

  On Mt. Laguna, mudslides are reported on Sunrise Highway between I-8 and mile marker 18; Cal Trans is responding. Rockslides are also occurring on Old 80, the National Weather Service reports. In the desert, downed powerlines are reported on Rango Way and Borrego Valley Road.

A flash flood warning remains in effect until 430 p.m. for Southeastern San Diego County.Shortly before 3 p.m. National Weather service Doppler radar continued to indicate moderate to heavy rain in the area from Cuyamaca Peak to Campo. Storm spotters reported flooded roads in Pine Valley. Locations in the warning include but are not limited to Morena Village, Potrero, Campo, Descanso, Cuyamaca Peak, Highway 79, Sunrise Highway, Tierra del Sol and Interstate 8. A flash flood watch remains in effect across many other areas, along with a high heat warning.

 

CPUC TO HOLD HEARING OCT. 1 IN SAN DIEGO ON WHETHER RATEPAYERS SHOULD PAY SDGE'S SAN ONOFRE COSTS

 

September 4, 2013 (San Diego) – On the heels of a hefty rate increase that took effect September 1st, SDG&E wants  ratepayers to  pay for $808 million in costs of decommissioning the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Stations.  Ratepayer advocates, meanwhile, say ratepayers should receive a refund for charges assessed when the nuclear facility was off-line for more than a year before being shut down permanently.

The California Public Utilities Commission will hold two hearings on Tuesday, October 1 at 2 p.m. and again at 6:30 p.m. Both will be held in the Al Bahr Shriners auditorium, 5440 Kaerny Mesa Road, San Diego 92111. The commission will consider whether or not ratepayers should be charged for the decommissioning costs, as well as whether ratepayers should receive refunds for charges assessed while the nuclear facilities were offline for more than a year before the shut-down decision.

SOLAR ADVOCATES PROTEST UTILITY-BACKED AB 327

 

 

By Paul Kruze

September 5, 2013 (San Diego)-- A small but passionate group of local environmentalists and workers for Sullivan Solar Power, a local solar panel installation company,  gathered in front of Sempra Energy’s downtown corporate offices on August 28 to protest the energy conglomerate’s backing of California Assembly Bill 327. Opponents here and at protests elsewhere in California said the bill would irreparably gut incentives for energy conservation and rooftop solar development.

Introduced by Assemblyman Henry T. Perea (D-Fresno), the proposed bill was approved by the California Senate Energy Committee late last week, with major amendments. If passed by the Legislature and signed by the Governor, it would replace  what utilities and other supporters say are outdated restrictions on how electrical rates are decided and approved.

MOST MEMBERS OF CONGRESS STILL UNDECIDED ON SYRIA STRIKE

 

 

4 of 5 local Congressional members not sure yet how they will vote; both CA Senators support military intervention

By Miriam Raftery

September 4, 2013 (San Diego’s East County) – Three days ago, NBC news reported that San Diego’s Congressional delegation had “mostly positive” reactions to news that President Obama had decided to ask Congresss for approval before waging a military air strike on Syria.  But a  poll by CNN of Congressional members found San Diego’s representatives remain mostly undecided on whether to vote for war or not.  Both California Senators, however, support the President’s call for military action.

Overall, the CNN poll found the majority in both houses of Congress have not yet committed how they will vote.  In the Senate, 24 Senators say that they will support the war declaration, 16 will oppose it, and 58 remain undecided. In the House, 27 support going to war, 91 oppose, 254 are undecided, and the positions of 61 others are unknown.

This is a rare issue in which the vote does not split down party lines. Both parties are split, with many members on each side of the weighty issue appearing ready to vote their consciences or the will of their constituents, not a party preference.

WAR WITH SYRIA: SHOULD THE U.S. LAUNCH AN ATTACK?

 

Senate committee approves military strike; full Congressional authorization still needed to launch war

By  Miriam Raftery

September 4, 2013 (Washington D.C.) – Should the U.S. attack Syria? What are the potential remifications for the U.S. and the world?  What are the key issues and arguments on all sides of this compelling questions -- and where do your representatives stand?

President Barack Obama has asked Congress for approval to launch a military air strike against Syria amid indications that the Syrian president  used chemical weapons against civilians in his own country, including children.  Today, the Senate Foreign RelationsCommittee voted 10-7 to approve limited authorization. Chairman John Kerry said there is "no question" that Syria used chemical weapons in violation of international law. The full Senate and the House of Representatives must both approve the action.

In the interest of providing our readers with a variety of views and information on this important issue, we’ve rounded up articles from around the world and across the nation in our special section below. Click any headline to view full text of these articles. We've even included "9 questions about Syria you were too embarassed to ask" for those who haven't kept up with the news on this emerging world crisis. 

Syria news stories:

SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING ISSUED ACROSS SAN DIEGO COUNTY

 

September 5, 2013 (San Diego’s East County) – The National Weather Service has issued a severe weather statement covering all of East County and San Diego, along with warnings of severe thunderstorms, flash flooding and high winds occurring now in rural and mountain areas.

At 2:30 p.m., NWS Doppler radar indicated a severe thunderstorm capable of producing quarter-size hail and destructive winds in excess of 70 miles per hour. It was spotted near Santa Ysabel  and Julian, moving northwest along Highway 79 toward Cuyamaca State Park and the Cuyamaca Peak.

THE RACE FOR SAN DIEGO MAYOR HEATS UP

 

 

 

By Nadin Abbott

September 5, 2013 (San Diego)—The special election set for November 19 to replace Bob Filner, who resigned August 30, is starting to shape up.  To date, 21 people have thrown their hat in the ring. But thus far, only three candidates  have strong name recognition.

The first, and no surprise to any observer of San Diego politics, is former Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher who previously ran for Mayor against Filner. The second is Second District Councilmember Kevin Faulconer. The third is former City Attorney Mike Aguirre, recently recently has represented consumer groups fighting utility companies and big businesses.

HELIX WATER TO HOLD WORKSHOP SEPT. 13 ON FUTURE OF LAKE JENNINGS

 

By Miriam Raftery

September 5, 2013 (La Mesa) – Four years ago, Helix Water District took back management of Lake Jennings from the County.  But now the board is weighing options to reduce its operating costs or raise revenues generated by the 9,700 acre reservoir in Lakeside. Those options include closing the lake, offering a long-term lease to a neighboring district, or privatizing the lake’s facilities by turning over management to a company such as  KOA, which operates campgrounds nationwide.

On September 13 at 10 a.m., the District will hold a public workshop at its administration building, 7811 University Avenue in La Mesa. You can also send comments to the board at  board@helixwater.org

ECM WORLD WATCH: NATIONAL AND GLOBAL NEWS

 

September 5, 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

For excerpts and full stories, click "read more" and scroll down.

EARTHTALK®: HUMAN OVERPOPULATION - STILL AN ISSUE OF CONCERN?

 

September 5, 2013 (San Diego) – Dear EarthTalk: Is it true that human overpopulation isn’t such a big issue any more as numbers are expected to start declining in a few decades?

-- Melinda Mason, Boone, IA

Ever since Thomas Malthus published “An Essay on the Principle of Population” in 1798, positing incorrectly that humans’ proclivity for procreation would exhaust the global food supply within a matter of decades, population growth has been a hot button issue among those contemplating humankind’s future. Indeed our very success going forth and multiplying, paired with our ability to extend our life expectancy, has meant that we are perpetually pushing the limits of the resource base that supports us.

JERRY SCHAD'S OUTDOOR CLASSIC "101 HIKES IN SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA" GETS MAJOR UPDATE

 

September 5, 2013 (San Diego’s East County) – In 2011, the SoCal outdoor community lost Jerry Schad, the seasoned hiker who spread his appreciation for the outdoors throughout the San Diego region through his popular books and photographs.

Now Wilderness Press has released the first update to Schad's classic 101 Hikes in Southern California since his passing two years ago. The first edition was published in 1996. 

David Money Harris – fellow outdoor writer, hiking leader, and frequent collaborator with Schad – took on this most recent update with Jerry's legacy in mind. Harris worked with Schad on the 2005 revision to the work, and has contributed to Schad's popular Afoot & Afield series.

EAST COUNTY ROUNDUP: LOCAL AND STATEWIDE NEWS

September 5, 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/REGIONAL

STATE

For excerpts and links to full stories, scroll down and click "read more."

CONCERT OF COLOR ART EXHIBIT AT MISSION TRAILS NOW THROUGH SEPTEMBER 20

 

September 4, 2013 (El Cajon) – The Mission Trails Regional Park Foundation (MTRP) is pleased to present an exhibition featuring the following award-winning artists:

Kris DeYoung - Oil; Deb Gargula – Colored Pencil; Terry Kvitky – Acrylic; Wilma Lopez – Encaustic; James Otto – Photography; Denise Strahm – Photography and Jerry Vande Berg – Oil and Watercolor. This exhibit is on display until September 20, 2013. Mission Trails Visitors Center is located at One Father Junipero Serra Trail, San Diego.

CHP IS HIRING - RECRUITMENT SEMINAR SEPTEMBER 10

 

 

September 4, 2013 (San Diego) – The California Highway Patrol (CHP) will hold a recruitment seminar at the CHP Border Division Office in Kearny Mesa on September 10 at 9330 Farnham Street between 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.  Those interested in working for the CHP are required to attend this seminar before applying online at www.CHPcareers.com.  Online applications will be accepted September 12 to September 14. 

Interested applicants must R.S.V.P., as seating is limited.  To RSVP, e-mail the recruiter at 601_recruitment@CHP.CA.GOV and a confirmation will be e-mailed back if space is available.  

READER'S EDITORIAL: AN ENVIRONMENTALIST'S VIEWS ON THE MAYORAL RESIGNATION AND MEDIA COVERAGE OF THE EVENTS

 

 

By Mike Bullock

I was sent this link to an article about Friday’s events:  http://www.eastcountymagazine.org/node/13831. It seems to me that the article is more balanced that the UT coverage. The article has a link to the audio of both the Filner and the Gloria speech.

Bob was an elected mayor, stepping down to avoid losing all of his personal savings and wealth to legal fees and settlements. His message to his constituents deserved to be printed in the UT as a complete transcript. (I would have liked to have been able to cut and paste from the transcript, which I assumed would be published.) But I forget. The UT is no more a newspaper than Fox News is a news channel. The UT’s purpose is not to inform but to persuade. There are parts of Bob’s speech which the UT does NOT want you, or others, to hear.

TWENTY FOOT HIGH RATTLESNAKE CAPTIVATES JACUMBA HOT SPRINGS

 

 

Photo: Artist with a similar snake sculpture; installation set for Sept. 10

September 1, 2013 (Jacumba Hot Springs)--On Tuesday, September 10, Jacumba Hot Springs welcomes a giant striking rattlesnake sculpture by artist/designer Ricardo Breceda at the Community Park on Old Highway 80. The sculpture is constructed of welded metal and weighs over 800 pounds. It was a gift to the community from an anonymous community booster.

The artist , who is best known for his gigantic metal sculptures in the Anza-Borrego Desert, will be on site for the September 10th installation--and the community is planning festive activities all day from 9 am to 5 p.m. to celebrate the event.

PHOTOS OF THE WEEK: RAIN AND FIRE

 

 

September 2, 2013 (San Diego's East County) -- Brian Duke Fast Forward Productions has sent in two dramatic photos of stormcells taken today.

The first shot is taken near the Golden Acorn Casino and shows the incongruous combination of a brush fire (right) in the La Posta area beside the looming stormcell bringing heavy showers to the area.  The second (below) is a panorama of multiple cells over the Campo/Boulevard communities, along with the fire. 

More thundershowers are possible through Friday, the National Weather Service predicts, so expect more wet and wild weather in coming days.

 

RIM FIRE IN YOSEMITE NOW 4TH WORST IN STATE’S HISTORY, BUT SAN DIEGO FIRESTORMS' DEVASTATING TOLL NOT LIKELY TO BE TOPPED

 

By Miriam Raftery

 

September 1, 2013 (Yosemite) --The Rim Fire burning in Yosemite National Park has charred over 225,000 acres. Smoke this weekend drafted into Yosemite Valley as more than 5,000 firefighters continue to battle the blaze. Investigators have not yet determined the cause, but illegal marijuana growing operations are suspected.  The fire is 45 percent contained, but thousands of homes remain threatened and 11 homes have burned, along with the Berkeley Tuolumne Camp.  (For details, see: http://cdfdata.fire.ca.gov/pub/cdf/images/incidentfile889_1195.pdf

Cal Fire now ranks the Rim Fire as the fourth worst wildfire in California history, based on acreage burned nearly 225,000 acres.  The fire could potentially surpass the 2003 Cedar Fire, which burned over 273,000 acres and remains our state’s worst wildfire ever in sheer size. But The Rim Fire is not likely to surpass the Cedar Fire in two other measurements of its disastrous scale.  The Cedar Fire still holds the record of causing the most deaths—14, and burning the most structures – 2,820.  Moreover, the collective toll of the 2007 wildfires here was even larger.

MAN IMPERSONATING POLICE OFFICER STEALS CAR AFTER PULLING OVER MOTORIST ON FREEWAY

 

CHP seeks witnesses to brazen mid-day theft

September 3, 2013 (San Diego) – The California Highway Patrol is warning motorists about two people in a white Crown Victoria equipped with flashing red and blue lights to resemble a police car.  The pair reportedly pulled over a Jeep near the junction of freeways 805 and 905 today at 1:05 p.m.. A Hispanic man wearing a black jacket with “police” across the chest and wearing what appeared to be a holstered handgun on his hip got out of the passenger side of the Crown Victoria. He asked the Jeep driver to get out, then stole the vehicle.

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