SDG&E

COUNTY AMENDS VARIANCE TO STOP SUNDAY HELICOPTER FLIGHTS ON POWERLINK FOR PORTIONS OF LAKESIDE AND ALPINE

 

Community meetings planned in Boulevard, Lakeside and Alpine

By Miriam Raftery

 


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DISCOVERY OF CULTURAL RESOURCES SITE HALTS CONSTRUCTION OF ACCESS ROAD FOR POWERLINK IN LAKESIDE

 

ECM Special Report
 

By Miriam Raftery

Photos by Pam Wilmers, Video by Billy Ortiz

Updated October 21, 2011


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SUPERVISOR JACOB SEEKS SHUT-DOWN OF SUNDAY POWERLINK FLIGHTS DUE TO RESIDENTS’ COMPLAINTS


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READERS’ EDITORIAL: STEALTH APPROVAL OF POWERLINK CONSTRUCTION ON SUNDAYS MUST BE REVOKED


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CPUC GETS AN EARFUL FROM IRATE RATEPAYERS AT EL CAJON HEARING ON SDG&E RATE HIKE PROPOSAL

 

“I urge the Commission to treat SDG&E’s proposal the same way SDG&E has treated East County in recent years: Ignore it. Reject it. Trash it.” – Supervisor Dianne Jacob

 

By Miriam Raftery
 


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SHOULD SDG&E RAISE YOUR RATES? SPEAK OUT WED. OCT. 12 AT CPUC HEARINGS IN EL CAJON

Ruling today on smart meter opt-out for SDG&E customers sparks added interest among local ratepayers

By Miriam Raftery

 

October 11, 2011 (El Cajon) – SDG&E wants to hike utility rates by over 17% in the next four years.  Tomorrow, East County residents will have a chance to voice their views on the proposal at two hearings held by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC). The public meetings will be held at 2 p.m. and at 7 p.m. at the El Cajon City Council Chambers, 200 East Main Street in El Cajon. 

 

An East County Magazine poll of readers has found that thus far, 93% of the 275 who voted think the CPUC should deny SDG&E's rate hike request.  TAKE OUR POLL: Should the CPUC approve SDG&E's rate hike?

 

The rate hike is opposed by the CPUC’s own Division of Ratepayer Advocates (DRA), which conducted an audit that found SDG&E inflated its costs. The DRA recommended that SDG&E lower—not raise—its rates.   

 


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CABLES STRUNG ACROSS ROADS IN OCOTILLO BY POWERLINK HELICOPTERS ENDANGER OFF-ROAD VEHICLES, MOTORCYCLIST CONTENDS

 

By Miriam Raftery

 

October 9, 2011 (Ocotillo) – ECM has received photos and an e-mail from Jim Pelley, a motorcyclist who reports finding metal cables strung two feet off the ground across roadways in Ocotillo frequented by off-road vehicle enthusiasts.

 

The cables were attached to an SDG&E helicopter “pulling cables from tower to tower,” Pelley reports.”This is a serious situation and I am worried that someone will not see this cable and a serious accident will result with either the off road vehicle or the helicopter.”


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THEY’RE BACK: SDG&E HELICOPTERS ALLOWED TO RESUME POWERLINK OPERATIONS

By Miriam Raftery

 

October 4, 2011 (San Diego’s East County) – Arocles Aguilar, Assistant General Counsel at the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) today sent a letter to Patrick T. Lee, vice president in charge of the Sunrise Powerlink project for SDG&E. The letter authorizes SDG&E to resume helicopter operations on the Powerlink project immediately.

 


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COMMUNITY LEADERS, READERS REACT TO NEWS OF POWERLINK HELICOPTER GROUNDINGS

 

"I have called on the CPUC to hold a public meeting in Alpine to look the community in the eye and prove that lives and property are not at risk."

By Miriam Raftery

 

 


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GROUNDED! CPUC ORDERS SHUT DOWN OF HELICOPTER ACTIVITIES ON SUNRISE POWERLINK


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CPUC RULES SDG&E RATEPAYERS CAN DELAY INSTALLATION OF SMART METERS


September 26, 2011 (San Diego) – The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) president Michael Peevey has issued a ruling ordering San Diego Gas & Electric Company and two other utility companies to allow consumers who don’t want a “smart meter” installed to place their names on a delay list, pending the outcome of upcoming workshops on the issue.

 


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A SOLAR FARM IN ALPINE: A BRIGHT IDEA?


September 23, 2011 (Alpine) –On the site of a run-down ex-chicken farm in Alpine, Sol Orchard wants to harvest sunshine.

 


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SUNRISE POWERLINK REPORT REVEALS DOZENS OF SERIOUS INCIDENTS, INCLUDING FIRES CAUSED BY CONSTRUCTION


ACPG meeting Thursday includes Powerlink issues as well as proposals for a solar farm, a hotel, zoning changes, and a new park for Alpine

 

By Miriam Raftery

 

September 21, 2011 (Alpine) – An already hot agenda for tomorrow night’s Alpine Community Planning Group meeting (set for 6 p.m. at the Alpine Community Center) just got hotter.

 

On September 19, Aspen, environmental consultant to the California Public Utilities Commission on the Sunrise Powerlink project, released a report on construction and compliance activites for the high-voltage power line.  The report reveals over 30 cases of non-compliance and serious incidents including fires, diesel spills, accidents, ignoring monitoring requirements, and heavy objects falling from helicopters--again. 


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LIGHTS OUT IN PINE VALLEY

September 21, 2011 (Pine Valley) -  A power outage has left some Pine Valley residents without power, SDG&E's outage map indicates. According to Incident Page Network, power is expected to be restored by approximately 12 noon.


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SDG&E WANTS TO RAISE YOUR RATES: CPUC SETS 4 HEARINGS OCT.10-13 IN SAN DIEGO & EAST COUNTY

 

“SDG&E has asked ratepayers to overpay for service, including funding long-term stock options and incentive programs in excess of what is reasonable,” Joe Como, acting director, Division of Ratepayer Advocates at the California Public Utilities Commission

 

 

September 21, 2011 (San Diego’s East County) – Consumers opening their bills in a month that saw the worst power outage in California history got another unpleasant surprise: a notice that San Diego Gas & Electric Company seeks a rate increase of $1.5 billion over the next four years.

The California Utilities Commission has scheduled several meetings in San Diego County on the proposed rate hike between October 10 and 13, including two hearings Oct. 12 in East County (El Cajon). Public Participation Hearings will be held at 2.p.m. and 7 p.m. at each of the following locations:


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POWERLINK WORKER SUFFERS MINOR INJURIES

East County Magazine News Service

 

September 20, 2011 (San Diego’s East County) – A worker on the Sunrise Powerlink suffered injury yesterday and was flown by private helicopter to an ambulance, where he was transported to a hospital, Incident Page Network reported.

 


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CPUC SETS UP TOLL-FREE HOTLINE FOR SUNRISE POWERLINK INQUIRIES—DIRECTS COMPLAINTS TO A PRIVATE CONTRACTOR


September 15, 2011 (San Diego’s East County) –The California Public Utilities Commission is now directing the public to send complaints about Sunrise Powerlink to a private consulting group, meaning complaint records would presumably not be disclosable to the media or to the public.

 


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MULTIPLE INVESTIGATIONS LAUNCHED INTO POWER OUTAGE

 

A key question is who, if anyone, bears responsibility for financial losses resulting from the outage


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LIGHTS ON! SDG&E RESTORES FULL POWER TO REGION; CALLS FOR ENERGY CONSERVATION


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OUTAGE LEAVES 5 MILLION WITHOUT POWER

Update 11:10 p.m.  SDG&E advises residents to turn off air conditioners to avoid overwhelming the system when power comes back on.  

 

BOIL WATER ORDERS are issued for several locations; scroll down for details. 


September 8, 2011 (San Diego) – A widespread power outage has left 5 million people in the dark across Southern California, Arizona and northern Mexico including all 1.4 million SDG&E customers in San Diego County. The outage occurred because a major power line between Arizona and California was tripped out of service. “Think of the system as linked by springs, when one part goes out the rest are affected," a Twitter message from SDG&E read. The San Onofre Power plant was also impacted and shut down as a precaution.

 

Tonight, power is beginning to be restored across portions of San Diego County including the South Bay, Rancho San Diego, Jamul and Mt. Helix areas. SDG&E blames the outage on “operator error.” FBI special agent Darrell Foxworth assures that there is no indication of terrorism.


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READER’S EDITORIAL: A YEAR DOWN THE ROAD—OR IN THIS CASE, ALPINE BOULEVARD

 

For three years, the Alpine Community Planning Group (ACPG) had a SRPL Ad Hoc Subcommittee...No one is quite sure what it did, since it never had agendas or minutes.

 

By Lou Russo


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SDGE SEEKS TO MOVE HEAVY TRANSPORMERS THROUGH I-8 STARTING TONIGHT

 

August 23, 2011 (San Diego’s East County) – Greg Fox, Chair of the Alpine Community Planning Group, has forwarded an announcement from the County Department of Public Works (DPW) advising that SDGE’s contractor, American Heavy Equipment (AHE) has submitted a moving permit application and traffic control permit request to transport seven large transformers from the San Diego Port to Bell Bluff Truck Trail (east of Alpine).

 

The truck will get onto I-8 from Greenfield Drive and will exit on Japatul Valley Road and will not be traveling through the Community of Alpine.  AHE is proposing the first move for tomorrow night (August 23, 2011). This is the first of seven roundtrip moves that will occur every two to three days apart after the initial move.


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READER’S VIDEO EDITORIAL: SAVE EAST COUNTY’S EAGLES

By Billy Ortiz

View video of eagle chick shot April 21, 2011 in Lakeside's El Monte Valley:  http://youtu.be/G__OAP57RW4

I am sending this in hope of raising awareness of our Golden eagles here in San Diego County. Recently these magnificent eagles have come under attack by the construction of the Sunrise Powerlink. This could be the last time we see footage like this video of an eagle chick here in Lakeside, California and in many other parts of the San Diego's East County.


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PHOTOS OF THE WEEK

 

 
 
August 21, 2011 (San Diego’s East County) – Photographer Wayne Brammer sent in these images of construction along the Sunrise Powerlink, with the following commentary on the Sunbird sky crane.

 
“Now if you’re a big kid like myself, you may like seeing choppers lifting BIG stuff.  Now this is a big chopper…”


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JUDGE CANCELS HEARING ON POWERLINK INJUNCTION


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FOR THE BIRDS: LAKESIDE EXOTIC BIRD BREEDER FIGHTS TO SAVE HER FLOCK

Owner attributes deaths to helicopter flyovers for SDG&E Sunrise Powerlink Construction

“The mitigation will be handled by the courts. Well by then, they will all be dead.” – Catherine Gorka, Pampered Parrots owner

 

“SDG&E should do the right thing TODAY to protect these endangered birds, up to and including relocating the birds to a safe location...It is unconscionable that they would knowingly allow the deaths to occur instead of proactively doing the right thing.” – Laura Cyphert, East County Community Action Coalition

August 11, 2011 (Lakeside) – “The house was shaking. It terrified me,” Catherine Gorka, owner of Pampered Parrots in Lakeside’s El Monte Valley, recalls the first flyover above her home and aviaries by an SDG&E helicopter working on Sunrise Powerlink on February 25, 2011. “I was waiving my arms, calling out for them to stop.”


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BURNED: FIRE DISTRICT REVOKES APPROVAL FOR SDG&E ECO-SUBSTATION


Update August 8: In a meeting between SDG&E and Rural Fire Protection District representatives on Thursday, SDG&e indicated it wants a single set of rules such as for vegetation clearance and sought to be exempted from overhead water sprinklers over electrical equipment. The RFPD suggested an inert gas fire fighting agent. “In the end, what we believe will happen is that SDG&E will comply, although there will be modifications,” said member Lou Russo.


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STUDY FINDS SEMPRA CROSS-BORDER TRANSMISSION PROJECT COULD COST 15,000 U.S. JOBS & $300 MILLION IN LOST TAXES; SEMPRA CALLS STUDY “BIASED”

By Miriam Raftery

August 1, 2011 (San Diego’s East County) – Sempra Energy has asked the U.S. Department of Energy for a presidential permit to construct a cross-border transmission line called Energia Sierra Juarez to import electricity from Sempra facilities in Mexico. The line would cross the border near Jacumba in San Diego’s East County.
 


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9TH CIRCUIT COURT DENIES SDG&E MOTION TO DISMISS REQUEST FOR STAY IN POWERLINK CASE, PENDING APPEAL

July 29, 2011 (San Diego’s East County) –California’s Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has denied a motion by San Diego Gas & Electric Company seeking to dismiss a lawsuit filed by three East County organizations. The groups have asked the court to issue an injunction halting construction on the Sunrise Powerlink on federal Bureau of Land Management property.


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BLM TO HOLD PUBLIC MEETINGS AUGUST 10 ON DESERT SOLAR PROJECTS

July 27, 2011 (El Centro) -- The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) will hold two public meetings August 10 as part of an environmental review of the proposed Ocotillo Sol solar energy project in Imperial County.

 


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