January 2014 Articles

ARE BLACK WILDCATS PROWLING EAST COUNTY?

 

 

 

 

 

Photos (not local): Jaguarundi, black jaguar, and melanistic jaguar with spots visible

By Miriam Raftery

January 22, 2014 (San Diego’s East County)--A rash of sightings of large black wildcats have been reported in East County, most recently in Spring Valley.  While thus far no one has captured photos of the animals, the growing number of sightings from seemingly credible sources—including an East County Magazine reporter, raises some intriguing questions.

  • Are these cats escaped exotic pets, or could one or more black jaguars, believed extinct in California,  or smaller jaguarundis have found their way back into our region?
  • Both jaguars and jaguarundis are critically endangered in the U.S.  If these rare cats are regaining a toehold in our region, is anything being done to protect them from being shot by ranchers, law enforcement, or wildlife officials who may be unaware of their protected status?

Most recently, on January 5, Southwestern College language and literature professor Dan Moody told ECM that his mother, Dee Moody saw a jet-black, large cat that weighted at least 60 pounds walk across an open field behind her Spring Valley house on January 4 -- in broad daylight.


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GOVERNOR DELIVERS STATE OF THE STATE ADDRESS; LOCAL LEGISLATORS REACT

 

By Miriam Raftery

January 23, 2014 (Sacramento) – In his 2014 State of the State address, Governor Jerry Brown emphasized the state’s improving economic outlook while also pledging to “pay down our debts and remember the lessons of history.”   He also laid out a long-term water plan for the state, renewed calls for water conservation amid a drought declaration, and vowed to continue reforming school funding and battling climate change.


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SCIENCE AND HEALTH HIGHLIGHTS

January 23, 2014  (San Diego’s East County) -- Our Health and Science Highlights provide cutting edge news each week that could impact your health and our future.

SCIENCE

HEALTH

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


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ECM WORLD WATCH: NATIONAL AND GLOBAL NEWS

 

January 23, 2014 (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 links to full stories, click “read more” and scroll down.


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EAST COUNTY ROUNDUP: LOCAL AND STATEWIDE NEWS

 

January 23, 2014 (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, click “read more” and scroll down.


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LIGHTS, CAMERA, ACTION: LA MESA CHAMBER HOSTS SALUTE TO HEROES FEBRUARY 19

 

January 21, 2014 (La Mesa) -- The La Mesa Chamber of Commerce’s sixth annual Salute to Local Heroes will be a  Hollywood-themed night titled, “Lights, Camera, Action!”   The celebration will be held on Wednesday, February 19 from 5:30. to 8:30 p.m. at the Town & Country Resort Hotel (Pacific Ballroom), 500 Hotel Circle North in Mission Valley.


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PHOTOS OF THE WEEK: CARRIZO GORGE

 

January 23, 2014 (Carrizo Gorge) – Laurie Baker sent photos taken while hiking at the rugged Carrizo Gorge in McCain Valley, near the site of a planned industrial wind facility.  Her images show the dramatic rock formations that make this area one of the most spectacular scenic vistas in San Diego's East County.


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SDG&E DRIVER ARRESTED FOR FATAL HIT AND RUN

 

Photo courtesy ECM news partner 10 News

January 23, 2014 (El Cajon ) – El Cajon Police have arrested Hector Hoyt, an SDG&E worker who is accused of fleeing the scene after striking a 54-year-old man crossing Jamacha Road on January 6. 

Hoyt was driving his SDG&E utility truck at the time. SDG&E has indicated that Hoyt is no longer an employee and that he was not using the vehicle for company business at the time of the fatal crash.


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AN INTERVIEW WITH ONEROOF ENERGY: SHOUT OUT FOR SOLAR

 

Reprinted with permission; originally published at http://www.revivinggaia.com/green-blogs/area/usa/san-diego/an-interview-with-oneroof-energy-shout-out-for-solar/

By Roy L. Hales

January 23, 2014 (San Diego)--The U.S. has good reason to “Shout Out For Solar” when the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) celebrates its 40th anniversary on January 24.

While costs of solar panels have been dropping, companies have been streamlining the sales-to-installation process and this increased efficiency has resulted in lower prices. The explosive growth of rooftop solar has enabled the U.S. to surpass Germany in cumulative new PV installations in 2014, according to a study by Greentech Media Research.


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POVERTY RATES HIGH IN PORTIONS OF EAST COUNTY

 

January 20, 2014 (San Diego’s East County) – The San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) has released a new report on poverty.  Included in the report are five-year estimates of poverty in our region, based on the American Community Survey in 2011.

El Cajon has by far the highest poverty rate in San Diego County, with 32% of individuals living below the poverty level and 49% living within 200% of the federal poverty level.   National City has the next highest level, a full ten points lower at 22% living in poverty.


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ECONOMIC ROUNDTABLE EXPERTS SEE MODERATE GROWTH IN 2014

 

Source: San Diego County News Service

January 22, 2014 (San Diego)--Economists and other experts predicted moderate growth ahead in 2014 at the 30th Annual San Diego County Economic Roundtable Friday morning.

Speakers described housing prices stabilizing in San Diego and unemployment rates continuing to drop.  These were just a few of the insights shared at the event, which again brought together experts to talk about big picture questions on the local, state and national economy.

The states of the job and real estate markets are always a big topic, and experts this year also offered overviews of the Affordable Care Act and how the manufacturing industry is doing. An estimated 400 people attended the free event at University of San Diego’s Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace & Justice.


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POSSIBLE ARSON FIRE IN DEHESA

 

January 22, 2014 (Dehesa) – Officials are investigating the cause of a white SUV found fully engulfed in fire on the morning of Tuesday, January 21.  

“I am the resident that found the SUV while leaving for work. Fire was coming from the interior of the SUV with its windows rolled down part way,” Darin L. Wessel told ECM.   The vehicle was pulled off Sloane Canyon Road at Model A Ford Lane, parked near trees and brush.  Wessel took these photos after calling 911  and said the incident is being investigated as possible arson.  “The conversations I overheard indicated there may have been a rag hanging out of the gas tank.”


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CHINESE NEW YEAR CELEBRATION JANUARY 25 AT RIVERVIEW ELEMENTARY

 

January 22, 2014 (Lakeside) – Riverview Elementary School and the Lakeside Union School District will host a Chinese New Year celebration ushering in the Year of the Horse.  Festivities will be held on Saturday, January 25 from 10 a.m. to 2:15 p.m. 

Activities include professional lion dancing, a Chinese cultural show by the Confucius Institute, students performing songs and dances, and Chinese arts and crafts booths.  The event is open to the public. Riverview Elementary, a Spanish and Mandarin language immersion school, will hold the event at Tierra Del Sol Middle School, 9611 Petite Lane in Lakeside.


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FARM BUREAU PASSES POLICY URGING REMOVAL OF INDUSTRIAL HEMP CLASSIFICATION AS CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE

 

Majority of Leading Farming Organizations Now Support Hemp Farming in the U.S.

January 22, 2014 (Washington D.C.) – The American Farm Bureau Federation has passed a resolution calling on the federal government to repeal classification of industrial hemp as a controlled substance.   Delegates approved the resolution at the Farm Bureau’s 95th annual meeting in San Antonio, Texas on January 14.

The Farm Bureau had previously passed a resolution supporting research into the uses of industrial hemp, back in 1995.

The Farm Bureau’s new position in favor of decriminalizing industrial hemp cultivation adds growing weight to the hemp legalization movement.


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STD RATES RISE IN COUNTY

 

January 21, 2014 (San Diego) -- Rates of sexually transmitted diseases continued to increase in 2012, and San Diego is outpacing the nation overall, a new report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Key national findings in the CDC’s Sexually Transmitted Disease Surveillance 2012 report include:


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COUNTY SERVICES IN JEOPARDY IF CONGRESS FAILS TO PASS PILT

 

January 21, 2014 (Washington D.C)--America’s counties will have no option but to severely reduce or eliminate critical county services to the public if Congress fails to deliver funding for the Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) program in the Fiscal Year 2014 Omnibus spending bill.

Without annual PILT payments, many services including fire and emergency medical services, search and rescue, public health, law enforcement and justice operations could be affected. In many cases, counties will face more severe consequences including insolvency, default, and bankruptcy.


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CONGRESSWOMAN DAVIS CALLS FOR EXTENSION OF UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS

 

January 21, 2014 (San Diego)-- Congresswoman Susan Davis, economic experts and San Diegans impacted by the loss of emergency long-term unemployment insurance called on Congress to renew long-term unemployment insurance, which expired at the end of last year.  Davis is a cosponsor of HR 3824, the Emergency Unemployment Compensation Extension Act, to extend the unemployment insurance provisions through March 2014. The measure is in committee.  A companion bill in the Senate was killed by a filibuster.


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READERS & WRITERS CALENDAR JANUARY 19-31

 

January 21, 2014 (San Diego) – San Diego WriteWay’s calendar of literary events includes a wide variety of happenings countywide. Scroll down for listings of events of interest to both readers and writers.


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FEBRUARY IS HEART MONTH

 

By Carlette Anderson

January 21, 2014 (San Diego's East County) -- Each year the president proclaims February to be Heart Month.

Would you know how to respond if your child stopped breathing or someone you love had a heart attack? As parents we all want the very best for our children. However when it comes to knowing what to do if our child stops breathing, we panic and call 911.  Every year, we hear about children who have drowned in a pool because no one knew how to perform CPR. If CPR is administered within the first two to three minutes the child has a good chance of surviving with no brain damage. After four minutes the child can have severe brain damage and after six minutes the chance of survival is slim. Most parents would like to know how to perform CPR but with their busy schedules it is difficult to find the time to attend a class.

The good news is now you can learn CPR online in the comfort of your own home at www.cprpros.com.


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DEMOCRATS KILL JONES' BILL TO EXPAND DEFINITION OF SERIOUS FELONIES

 

January 20, 2014 (Sacramento)-- On a strict 5-2 party-line vote, Democrat committee members killed legislation by Assemblyman Brian Jones (R-Santee) last week that would add human trafficking, solicitation to commit murder and felony child abuse to the list of “serious crimes” in the Penal Code. Assembly Bill (AB) 1321 was defeated in the Assembly Public Safety Committee.

“I wish I could say I’m surprised, but I’m not,” said Assemblyman Jones.  “The Democrats are more fearful about prison overcrowding than they are of dangerous felons roaming the streets.”


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COMMUNITY MEETING JUNE 21 FOR EL CAJON'S AMERICA ON MAIN STREET EVENT

 

January 20, 2014 (El Cajon)--The City of El Cajon will be hosting an informational community meeting about the City’s new regional special event called “America on Main Street.”  The meeting will be held on Tuesday, January 21, at 6:00 p.m. at the Ronald Reagan Community Center, 195 East Douglas Avenue. 

The City of El Cajon expects 30,000 people to attend the June 14 American on Main Street event, celebrating with American and ethnic foods, live entertainment, youth activities, games, a Ferris wheel, rides, a petting zoo, handmade crafts, display booths and more. The mission of El Cajon’s America on Main Street is to provide an opportunity to enhance civic pride, attract regional participation, and contribute to the economic growth of the downtown district.  The event will brand El Cajon as a place of rich diversity, shared tradition, and community.


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A REVIEW OF JUAN VARGAS’ FIRST YEAR IN CONGRESS

 

By Jordan Schaffner

Miriam Raftery also contributed to this article

January 21, 2014 (San Diego’s East County) – What has Congressman Juan Vargas accomplished during his first year in office and how effectively is he representing his constituents?

The answer varies, with the Congressman showing strong interest in representing the interests of Latinos, seniors, and labor interests -- while largely ignoring the interests of rural constitutents and enviornmentalists concerned over the industralization of East County with large-scale energy projects.


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FIRE IN LAKESIDE PROMPTS CLOSURE REQUEST AT GILLESPIE FIELD; ADDITIONAL BRUSH FIRES REPORTED

 

January 20, 2014 (East County) A full brush response has been dispatched south of Community Building Rd near Dulzura. Fire crews are using Highway 94 to reach the area. According to the Incident Page Network this is a 1 acre brush fire with a slow rate of spread and no current structure threats.

A separate fire at Graves in El Cajon prompted by a vehicle striking a storage facility was upgraded to a second alarm but is now under control.  SDG&E has been dispatched to the scene due to electrical damage. Due to the heavy smoke Fire requested Gillespie close down the landing strip briefly due to visibility issues.

A new fire is burning in Poway at Twin Peaks Road; a helicopter has been requested.


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TO HONOR MARTIN LUTHER KING’S LEGACY, CIVIL RIGHTS ACTIVISTS CALL FOR RESTORATION OF VOTING RIGHTS ACT

 

By Mark Gavit

As we celebrate Martin Luther King Day, we look back 50 years, to when Dr. King shared his wise words with the nation, words which altered the nations views on civil injustice.

"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly," Dr. King wrote in 1963. Half a century later the words are just as relevant to today's society.

Dr. King fought for enactment of the Voting Rights Act, as well as the Civil Rights Act, to assure equal rights for all Americans.  But last year, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned a key provision of the Voting Rights Act -- and now a bipartisan coalition of Senators hopes to restore the Voting Rights Act's powers.


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LOCAL GOVERNMENT REPORT: WEEK OF JANUARY 20

 

By Miriam Raftery

January 18, 2014 (San Diego’s East County) --  What’s on the agenda this week at local boards and commissions impacting East County?   Find out in our Local Government Report.  This week, we have information on meetings in Lemon Grove, Santee, La Mesa and Jamul.


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SDSU HONORED AS MODEL FOR IMPROVING GRADUATION RATES

 

By Miriam Raftery

January 20, 2014 (San Diego) – The Education Trust has named San Diego State University as a model for improving graduation rates, especially among low-income students and students of color. Over a decade, from 2002 to 2011, graduation rates among Latino students nearly doubled, from 31.4 percent to 58.8 percent. Latino students are now a quarter of all graduates at SDSU.

SDSU was one of eight universities recognized by the Education Trust for its success in improving graduation rates.


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GOVERNOR ISSUES EMERGENCY DROUGHT DECLARATION, ASKS CALIFORNIANS TO CUT WATER USE BY 20%

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

January 19, 2014 (Sacramento) – Governor Jerry Brown has issued an emergency declaration due to the third straight year of drought in California.

“We’re facing perhaps the worst drought that California has ever seen since records began being kept about 100 years ago,” the Governor said. He  asked all Californians to cut water use by 20 percent. Water conservation is voluntary for now, but could become mandatory if  conditions worsen.

The Governor also directed state agencies to hire more seasonal firefighters.


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SOCAL FORESTS RELEASE DRAFT RECORD OF DECISION FOR LAND MANAGEMENT PLAN AMENDMENT

 

January 19, 2014 (San Diego) --U.S. Forest Service officials announced on January 17th the release of the Draft Records of Decision for a Proposed Amendment to the Land Management Plans for the four Southern California national forests (the Angeles, Cleveland, Los Padres, and San Bernardino).

The publication of a legal notice in each national forest’s newspaper of record begins the 60-day objection period.


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RENO DISPATCH: DID THIS LEGENDARILY INERT CONGRESS REALLY JUST GET OFF THE FLOOR AND DO SOMETHING RIGHT FOR OUR TROOPS & VETERANS?

 

 

By Jamie Reno

Jan. 16, 2014  (San Diego) -- It’s been a pretty positive week in Washington for our troops and veterans. As you've probably heard, Congressional negotiators have shockingly agreed on a $1.1 trillion spending package that almost everyone says is a pretty good deal. Go figure! And one of the real positives of this whopping budget agreement is that it gives active-duty military a one percent pay raise. 

But wait, there's been even more surprising action from this historically do-nothing Congress.  Read more at the Reno Dispatch.


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