environment

TAYLOR GUITARS HONORED BY U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE FOR PROTECTING EBONY FORESTS

 

February 4, 2014 (Washington, D.C)--U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has honored Taylor Guitars, the internationally famed guitar maker  in El Cajon, as one of three U.S. companies presented an “Award for Corporate Excellence.   Secretary Kerry praised Taylor Guitars for buying an ebony mill in Cameroon and using shades of ebony in manufacturing its guitars, not just black ebony once used exclusively, to protect forests from being depleted.

OUTCRY ARISES OVER NATIVE PEOPLES LOSING LANDS AND WAY OF LIFE

 

 

Pollution of earth and water is driving indigenous peoples from their homelands

By Miriam Raftery

April 27, 2013 (San Diego)--Around the world, including here in the U.S.,  native people are losing lands they have occupied for countless generations.  The earth and water that sustained life in their communities is being destroyed –once-mighty rivers and wetlands reduced to barren, parched or even contaminated land.  The story is the same from tribes along the Colorado River to those deep in the Amazon, from the deserts of Southern California to the jungles of Mexico, from the coal fields of Appalachia to the copper mining pits of Arizona to indigenous people’s lands in Canada threatened by the Keystone Pipeline.

The culprit?  Growing demand for energy and water. 

Now, native people are speaking out.  They hope to educate the public to conserve precious resources, sharing knowledge of the heart-breaking price being paid by people who have been given no choice—and whose very cultural identity centers around the lands and waters being lost.

SAN DIEGO COUNTY TAXPAYER ASSOCIATION PUSH FOR QUAIL BRUSH GAS POWER PLANT FUELS IRE: OPPONENTS SAY PLANT IS A BOONDOGGLE THAT WILL BE COSTLY FOR TAXPAYERS

 

“The danger is that consumers will be required to pay for an expensive gas-fired plant they don’t’ need now or in the future.” – The Utility Reform Network

By Miriam Raftery

February 24, 2013 (San Diego) – Why is the San Diego County Taxpayers Association (SDCTA) pushing for a fossil fuel power plant that many authoritative sources indicate is not needed and will prove costly to taxpayers?

In a letter sent February 20, 2013 to the California Public Utilities Commission, Lani Lutar, president and chief executive officer of the SDTCA, urged the Commission to postpone a decision on the Quail Brush gas-fired power plant near Mission Trails Regional Park, until after the California Energy Commission has completed its examination of the project. 

FROM PARKS TO PARKING, ALPINE PLANNING GROUP ANNOUNCES AGENDA FOR FEB 28

 

February 25, 2013 (Alpine) – Parks, housing, a proposed county equine ordinance, Forest Conservation Initiative lands, and Viejas’ plans for a parking garage are among the items on the agenda for the Alpine Community Planning Group this week.  For a full agenda and details, read more.

READER’S EDITORIAL: HIDING THE SLAUGHTER

“…Killing rare protected species was a crime at both the state and federal level. So with the help of government agencies, the industry went to work stripping and changing environmental laws…”—Jim Wiegand

By Jim Wiegand

February 25, 2013 (San Diego's East County)-- In 1984 the California Energy Commission made the following statement in their Wind Energy Program Progress Report., "The development of wind energy in California has been very rapid, and the foundations for a significant new domestic energy industry are in place. As should be expected however, with any fast growing industry using a new technology, there are many institutional, engineering, environmental, and economic issues which must be resolved before the industry is secure and it growth assured."  

PUBLIC WORKSHOP ON FRACKING IN CALIFORNIA SET FOR FEB. 19 IN LOS ANGELES

 

February 12, 2013 (San Diego)--The California Department of Conservation/Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources on December 18, 2012 released a “discussion draft” of regulations for the oil and natural gas production technique known as hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”).  

The draft, if approved, would require oil and gas companies to disclose the chemicals injected for fracking and the location of wells, which are currently kept secret from the public. Some of these chemicals are known carcinogens; concerns have also been raised over contamination of drinking water supplies.

COYOTES UNDER FIRE: GOVERNMENT PROGRAM SLAUGHTERS COYOTES BY THE TENS OF THOUSANDS

 

Unfairly accused of widespread sheep deaths, coyotes are among the most persecuted predators in North America, All Animals magazine

By Karen E. Lange

February 1, 2013 (San Diego)--The lucky ones hide when the helicopters and planes appear overhead. Most coyotes, though, take off running for their lives. And this is just what the men from Wildlife Services want. Armed with Benelli shotguns modified to fire six or seven times in quick succession, they shoot and shoot again at the animals flushed from cover. They’re flying so low—sometimes as little as 20 to 100 feet off the ground—it feels like they’re shooting sideways. It’s easy to hit the coyotes: Some take a shot to the chest and die instantly. Others are merely wounded and crawl off to lingering deaths. Any the gunners miss, they can get on the next pass. Or the next. They stop only when they’ve shot every single coyote—when they’ve knocked down all the predators on the ground.

EARTHTALK®: BENEFITS OF PUBLIC TRANSIT

E - The Environmental Magazine

Written and edited by Roddy Scheer and Doug Moss

December 24, 2012 (San Diego)--Dear EarthTalk: It might seem obvious, but what would be the primary benefits of public transit as an alternative to the private automobile if our country were to make a major commitment to it?                                                        -- James Millerton, Armstrong, PA

The benefits of making a major commitment to building up and efficiently managing a larger and more comprehensive public transit network are many.

EARTHTALK®: THE FRACKING CONTROVERSY

E - The Environmental Magazine

Written and edited by Roddy Scheer and Doug Moss

October 28, 2012 (San Diego’s East County) -- Dear EarthTalk: I have heard that fracking is becoming a major environmental issue in the U.S. Which parts of the country are already hosting fracking operations? Are there efforts underway to stop the practice in specific states or across the country?                             ­-- Jim Ross, Toronto, ON

WINNERS ANNOUNCED IN "OUR PLANET, OUR HOME" K-12 ENVIRONMENTAL LITERACY AND ART CONTEST

October 21, 2012 (La Mesa) -- Not only does their creativity bring a smile, but the breadth of ideas, ages and techniques will make a lovely, rounded exhibition. It is exciting each year to see what the students will come up with for the "Our Home, Our Planet" K-12 Environmental Literacy and Art contest. 

Awards will be handed out by Mayor Art Madrid on the Festival Stage of the "Sustain La Mesa" Environmental Festival at 10:00 a.m. on October 27 at Harry Griffen Park.

“WORST ENVIRONMENTAL BILL EVER” IN CONGRESS SPLITS VOTES AMONG LOCAL REPRESENTATIVES

By Miriam Raftery

October 20, 2012 (Washington D.C) – H.R. 3409 has been called the worst environmental bill ever Congress by SustainableBusiness.com. Deceptively titled the “Stop the War on Coal Act”, the bill in fact repeal major public health and environmental safeguards, even overturning Clean Water Act and Clean Air Act protections. 

Duncan Hunter and Darrell  Issa, both Republicans, voted for the bill, Congresswoman Susan Davis, a Democrat, joined with Republican Brian Bilbray in voting no. Bob Filner did not vote.

EARTHTALK®: CANDIDATES ENVIRONMENTAL RECORD AND POSITIONS

E - The Environmental Magazine

Written and edited by Roddy Scheer and Doug Moss

October 10, 2012 -- Dear EarthTalk: Given that the presidential election is just around the corner, what can you tell me about each candidate’s environmental track record and positions?          -- Jane Miller, Chicago, IL

Just because the environment is getting short shrift this election season due to our nation’s lingering economic woes doesn’t mean that candidates Obama and Romney can ignore the issue.

EARTHTALK®: HOW HEALTHY ARE PERFUMES?

E - The Environmental Magazine

Written and edited by Roddy Scheer and Doug Moss

September 29, 2012 -- Dear EarthTalk: I’ve always suspected that perfumes and colognes must not be too healthy simply because of the way the smell of most of them bothers me. Am I correct? Is there information available on this issue?                                                        -- Lucinda Barry, Minneapolis, MN

EARTHTALK®: U.S. CONSUMPTION

E - The Environmental Magazine

Written and edited by Roddy Scheer and Doug Moss

September 18, 2012 -- Dear EarthTalk: I read that a single child born in the U.S. has a greater effect on the environment than a dozen children born in a developing country? Can you explain why?  -- Josh C., via e-mail

IBERDROLA’S SAFETY RECORD IN QUESTION

By Miriam Raftery

September 12, 2012 (San Diego's East County) -- Iberdrola Renewables states on its website that “Iberdrola strives to offer its energy supply and to carry out the other activities undertaken by the Group within a safe and reliable environment.”  But a look at the history of turbine collapses, serious injury, fires, safety violations and at least one death linked to Iberdrola facilities raise serious concerns about the company’s track record.

Despite these dangerous incidents, Iberdrola has been approved by the federal and county governments to install wind turbines at its Tule Wind project in McCain Valley.

EARTHTALK®: ECO-FRIENDLY AND NON-TOXIC CAT LITTERS

E - The Environmental Magazine

Written and edited by Roddy Scheer and Doug Moss

September 11, 2012 -- Dear EarthTalk: Which are the most eco-friendly and non-toxic (to people, cats and sanitation systems) cat litters? ­                                                                       -- Sam Barnes, Macon, GA

It makes sense that environmentally enlightened cat owners would want cat litter made from natural products that will not potentially compromise their health or that of their beloved pets. Many mass market cat litters contain significant amounts of silica dust which has been linked to upper respiratory issues in cats and even humans. Likewise, the chemical fragrances in many cat litters can also be toxic to cats.

EARTHTALK®: SUSTAINABLE FURNITURE OPTIONS

 
E - The Environmental Magazine
Written and edited by Roddy Scheer and Doug Moss
 
September 1, 2012 (San Diego's East County) -- Dear EarthTalk: Are there certain brands or retail stores where sustainable furniture options can be had? And what should I look for when shopping for greener furniture?  -- W. Cary, Trenton, NJ

EAST COUNTY ROUNDUP: TOP LOCAL AND STATE NEWS

 
August 23, 2012 --  (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
  • City races start to heat up in East County (UT San Diego)
  • 11-year-old accused of fatally stabbing friend found mentally incompetent to stand trial (Santee.Patch.com)
  • Retired Border Patrol union president indicted (10 News)
  • Group hoping to save ECPAC continues fight (UT San Diego)
  • Where parolees live in San Diego: map (Voice of San Diego)
  • San Diego Gas & Electric wind projects draw national notice (KCET)
  • As heat dries land and lake, asthma fears rise in Imperial County(KPBS)
  • Summer of hate concert came to El Cajon (San Diego Citybeat)
  • High costs of bonds shocks Poway Unified School District (UT San Diego)
 
STATE
  • Democratic lawmakers move to oppose rewriting CA environmental laws (Sacramento Bee)
  • SoCal groves report new cases of lethal citrus bug (Sacramento Bee)
  • Man dies after contracting rare rodent disease at Yosemite (CBS)
 
Read more for excerpts and links to full stories.

CALIFORNIA ENERGY COMMISSION RECOMMENDS LICENSING PIO PICO ENERGY CENTER IN OTAY

 
August 9, 2012 (Otay)--A California Energy Commission siting committee is recommending the approval of the proposed Pio Pico Energy Center.  In the presiding member's proposed decision (PMPD) released today, the committee said the 300-megawatt (MW) project, as mitigated, will have no significant impacts on the environment and complies with all applicable laws, ordinances, regulations, and standards (LORS).

TWO RENOVATED BUILDINGS AT GROSSMONT COLLEGE RECEIVE LEED GREEN CERTIFICATION

 
August 4, 2012 (El Cajon) -- Grossmont College’s two newest renovated buildings have received LEED certification from the United States Green Building Council, indicating that the buildings were designed, built and are operating using green strategies that incorporate energy and water efficiency and sustainable building materials.
 
The El Cajon college’s Student Services and Administration Building was recognized with a gold Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification while the college’s student center, the Griffin Center, earned a silver LEED certification. This is the first time that a building on the Grossmont or Cuyamaca campuses has achieved LEED certification.

BOIL WATER ORDER LIFTED FOR POTRERO GENERAL STORE AND CAFÉ WATER SYSTEM

 
Test Result Shows Total Coliform Bacteria Absent in Drinking Water Supply   
  
July 28, 2012 (Portrero) -- The County of San Diego, Department of Environmental Health (DEH) has lifted the Boil Water Order for Potrero General Store and Café Water System, located at 25125 Highway 94, Potrero, CA 91963 effective immediately. 

EARTHTALK®: AIR POLLUTION IN NATIONAL PARKS E - THE ENVIRONMENTAL MAGAZINE

 
Written and edited by Roddy Scheer and Doug Moss
 
July 26, 2012 (San Diego) -- Dear EarthTalk: I was appalled by the pollution haze I saw on a recent visit to Acadia National Park in Maine, and was told by a ranger that it was from smokestacks and tailpipes hundreds of miles away. Is anything being done to clear the air in Acadia and other natural areas where people go to breathe fresh air and enjoy distant unobstructed views?                 -- Betty Estason, via e-mail

SIERRA CLUB FILES CLIMATE LAWSUIT: COUNTY OF SAN DIEGO MUST FACE FACTS AND KEEP PROMISES, GROUP SAYS

 

 
Suit alleges County’s Climate Action Plan ignores the science of climate-stabilization criteria
 
July 23, 2012 (San Diego) – The Sierra Club has filed a lawsuit challenging the County of San Diego’s recent approvals related to its Climate Action Plan. The lawsuit alleges that the County did not keep its promises to the people that it made just last year in connection with its General Plan Update – promises to create a “comprehensive and enforceable” Climate Action Plan that actually achieves emissions reductions. The lawsuit also alleges that the County violated the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) by approving standards of review for future development (thresholds of significance) which would contribute to devastating environmental consequences.

 

EARTHTALK®: E - THE ENVIRONMENTAL MAGAZINE

 
 
By Roddy Scheer and Doug Moss
 
July 22, 2012 (San Diego’s East County)--This week’s topics include:

        1) Meat consumption, health and the environment
        2) Challenging Canada's Prime Minister's efforts to weaken environmental protections
 
Dear EarthTalk: We’ve been hearing for years how producing red meat is bad for the environment while consuming it is bad for our health. How do other types of meat, fish, dairy and vegetable proteins stack up in terms of environmental and health impacts?     -- Julia Saperstein, via e-mail

SDG&E TO AWARD $1 MILLION IN GRANTS TO LOCAL ENVIRONMENTAL CHAMPIONS

 
Applications now being accepted
 
July 6, 2012 (San Diego) -- As part of its 2012 Environmental Champions Initiative, San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) today announced that it will contribute $1 million to local environmental non-profit organizations in San Diego County and south Orange County.

READER’S EDITORIAL: TRANS-PACIFIC PARTNERSHIP: GUTTING AMERICAN ENVIRONMENTAL, HEALTH, TRANSPORTATION, COMMUNICATION, LAND USE, COPYRIGHT, AND LABOR LAWS

 
A Better World is Possible co-organizer speaks out
 
By Norrie Robbins
 
July 4, 2012 (San Diego) -- When a democratic country loses its ability to write and enforce environmental, health, transportation, communication, land use, copyright, and labor laws, it loses its sovereignty.  

FARM BILL: SOME GOOD, SOME BAD FOR CALIFORNIA

 
June 20, 2012 (Washington, D.C.)The U.S. Senate is taking up the Farm Bill, which will set the nation's food policy for the next five years. The legislation's title - the Agriculture Reform, Food and Jobs Act of 2012 - includes the word "reform," although some California farmers question the amount of reform it contains.

Dave Runsten, policy director for the Community Alliance with Family Farmers, supports eliminating direct payments to farmers who may or may not plant crops. He adds that the bill shifts much of that money into federally subsidized crop insurance. 

EARTHTALK® E - THE ENVIRONMENTAL MAGAZINE

 
Written and edited by Roddy Scheer and Doug Moss

June 11, 2012 (
 Norwalk, CT) --  Dear EarthTalk: I own a small business and would like to do what I can to minimize its impact on the environment. Can you help me? -- Jacob Levinson, New York, NY
 
There are many ways to green up any business, large or small—and an added benefit might just be saving money. Just like individuals, businesses can measure their carbon footprints to get a sense of where they are starting from and to get some initial ideas of areas to focus on to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

EUROPEAN UNION’S PUSH FOR WIND ENERGY WITHOUT PUBLIC INPUT VIOLATES INTERNATIONAL LAW, UNITED NATIONS FINDS

 
May 20, 2012 (Switzerland) –As in the United States, wind energy projects have been fast-tracked through much of Europe, including sites within protected preserves. Now the United Nations Economic Commission’s compliance committee has found the European Commission in violation of international rules under the Aarhus Convention by failing to allow citizens’ adequate participation in decision-making processes regarding siting of renewable energy projects.

 

SDG&E DONATES TO SUPPORT PALOMAR MOUNTAIN STATE PARK

 
May 14, 2012 (Palomar)--Rick Barclay, Chairman of Friends of Palomar Mountain State Park, is pleased to announce a $20,000 pledge from SDG&E that will help keep the park open and expand its educational programs for visitors and underserved communities. Palomar is one of 70 state parks slated for permanent closure due to recent budget cutbacks. Friends of Palomar Mountain State Park is the non-profit association working to close the gap between the park's revenue and operating expenses through community donations in order to keep the park open.

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