||August 2nd, 2007|
Escondido Police Department Nails Commercial Vehicles at Checkpoint
An alarming number of commercial vehicles were cited last week (July 25th) as the Escondido Police Department and California Highway Patrol conducted a Commercial Vehicle Checkpoint in the area of Washington Avenue and Tulip Street from 7:00 AM until 12:00 PM. The emphasis of this checkpoint was to detect commercial vehicle violations as well as to provide a highly visible operation to deter unsafe commercial vehicles from being driven on city streets.
The following activity resulted from this checkpoint:
75 commercial vehicles were inspected, a total of 130 violations were noted.
65 vehicles were found to have multiple mechanical violations which included being overweight, unsafe brakes, steering problems, frame / suspension problems, lighting problems, unsafe tires, etc.
15 vehicles were taken out of service as they were unsafe to operate on public roads.
46 citations were issued.
Two drivers were taken out of service for driver license violations.
One vehicle was impounded as the driver did not have a commercial driver license.
46 vehicles were inspected by the Air Resources Board for smog violations.
16 citations were issued for smog violations.
This checkpoint was operated in conjunction with the California Highway Patrol, California Air Resources Board, San Diego Police Department and the North County Law Enforcement Traffic Safety Council.
Palomar Station Supporters Step Forward
In the face of a small but highly vocal group of protesters opposed to the recent approval by both the San Marcos Planning Commmission and the San Marcos City Council, several prominent individuals involved in analyzing the project have moved forward to reassure area voters about the efficacy of the project.
Steve Kildoo, Chair of the San Marcos Planning Commission and active supporter of the Palomar Station project, recently sent out email to a number of influential area residents concerning the possibility of two separate referendums that are being circulated in opposition to the Palomar Station.
“The first referendum will be trying to overturn the Palomar Station Mixed Use Project approval and the second wants to put all planning decisions to the voters, similar to the Prop. S initiative that guided Escondido for almost two decades.
When you ask active Escondido citizens, they will tell you that the Prop S Voter driven planning literally put Escondido 20 years behind the growth curve, cost the city countless quality projects, and led ultimately to the look and feel of Escondido that so many have decried lately in the immigration debate.
Public voter approval of planning issues equates to no approvals at all, every time.
People will not take the time and energy to read 200-1,000 page documents to determine the good or bad of a given project, so they simply vote no because it's safe and easy. That is not the way to plan and certainly not the way to plan with vision and foresight.
Palomar Station was approved by both the Planning Commission and the City Council, and I am happy to discuss with anyone the concerns about the project. There will be a lot of hyperbole and exaggeration about these concerns tossed about as signatures are gathered and I simply ask that you get informed before you sign.
He invites area residents to call him if they have questions. He can be reached at: 760.798.4710.
Darrell Gentry, a Land Use Planner and former member of the San Marcos City Council said, “The Palomar Station project itself has a lot of good design elements. I do, however, have some land use questions. We are facing the loss of land for industrial development which is a reversal of the public policy for San Marcos. We’ve held that industrial land as an incubator of industrial businesses . . . and we’ve seen some fairly significant industrial businesses move out of our area because of the growing lack of industrial land. I don’t really have so much a problem with the location itself . . . I’m more concerned about the loss of industrial land. The industrial land tends to bring in higher paying jobs . . . we’re slowly beginning to see service sector paying jobs, which tend to run quite a bit less. That’s not a positive step, to my way of thinking. I guess I have a question as to whether the Palomar Station is an inappropriate project location. It might make good sense to analyze where else it might be utilized. That’s an urban planners perspective.”
Sheriff Denies Illegal Immigrant Visits to Inmates
The Maricopa County (Arizona) Sheriff's Office is developing a system designed to keep illegal immigrants from visiting county jail inmates. Sheriff's deputies would do background checks on every one who comes for a jail visit.
"We will be looking at some type of procedure where we identify illegals coming into the jail. They won't be able to come in."
When someone comes to the jail to visit an inmate, they're required to show ID. Sheriff Joe Arpaio says the background check will be completed before their next jail visit. Those who can't prove citizenship would be denied a second visit and could be arrested.
Sheriff Arpaio says one man decides who gets to visit an incarcerated loved one. "I run the jail. I decide who goes in there. I run the jail and I have to be careful for security reasons."
Arpaio says screening jail visitors is nothing new. Since 2004, over 1,600 people with felony criminal histories have been turned away when trying to visit a Maricopa County jail inmate.
Major Ruling Issued Against “Sunrise Powerlink” Transmission Line Project
California Agency Delays Permitting Proceedings, Undermines SDG&E Rationale for Project
In a stunning setback to San Diego Gas and Electric, the California Public Utilities Commission has delayed a decision on the Sunrise Powerlink through at least the summer of 2008.
Utilities Commission Commissioner Dian Grueneich ruled last week that the release of draft environmental review documents for the Powerlink will be delayed until January 2008, and final documents delayed until June 2008. This will likely push back a final decision on the Powerlink for at least six months.
Commissioner Grueneich admonishes SDG&E for the delay. According to the ruling, SDG&E only recently revealed several key pieces of new information about the Powerlink including:
SDG&E’s desire to expand the project in the future (most likely to the Greater Los Angeles region)
The need for a major new substation to interconnect the Sunrise Powerlink with wind power
SDG&E’s new position that renewable facilities will not be developed in the Imperial Valley without the Powerlink (The company previously claimed that renewables would be developed with or without the Sunrise Powerlink)
The Commissioner’s ruling ultimately reads as a fundamental condemnation of SDG&E’s rationale for the entire Sunrise Powerlink when she concludes that the delay is not significant for the following reasons:
SDG&E can meet its obligation to provide significant renewable energy to San Diego by 2010 without the Powerlink
Delay of the Powerlink until at least 2013 would benefit ratepayers
Other options like local generation are available to ensure that San Diego lights don’t go out.
“The Commissioner’s ruling is a stunning setback for the Sunrise Powerlink project and SDG&E,” said David Hogan, Conservation Manager for the Center for Biological Diversity. “This ruling totally dismantles SDG&E’s arguments for the project and is really a wake up call to misguided San Diego political and business leaders who have supported this white elephant. The ruling also supports what we have been saying all along: Sunrise Powerlink has little to do with benefiting San Diego and everything to do with moving dirty energy from Mexico power plants to the Greater Los Angeles region. SDG&E has no one to blame but itself for the delay, and should take a close look at whether to proceed with such a costly, harmful, and unnecessary project.”
Lost Boy of Sudan Holds Kiwanis Audience Spellbound
Benjamin Ajak was the guest speaker at a standing room only crowd for the Hidden Valley Kiwanis Club’s feature presentation this past Tuesday morning.
Ajak is one of the three Lost Boys of Sudan living in San Diego and who wrote a book, “They Rained Fire On Us From the Sky,” together with local author Judy Bernstein. He, at the age of five, walked 1000 miles to safety at a refugee camp in Kenya from his agricultural home in southern Sudan. En route, he saw many children of his age and older eaten by lions, crocodiles, hyenas and/or shot and killed by wandering government soldiers who used children for target practice. He saw his own mom and dad killed . . . but he survived. About 16,000 children suvived. Of that number approximately 3800 of them were airlifted out to America, Canada and Australia.
Ajak’s concern today is Darfur. “What is happening there today,” he says, “is what happened to me and my people in Southern Sudan. We need to get the word out to the world that Darfur needs help. Children are dying and being killed by a repressive regime that cares nothing about the people, only about the oil that lies beneath the ground.” While the atrocities in southern Sudan were carried out by Islamic terrorists against Christian and Animist natives, most of those in Darfur are already Muslim, so the religious element of the war is not there. It’s purely about money. They want to kill as many people as they can. He also points out that the current dictator, Omar al-Bashir, comes by his bloodthirstiness naturally. He is a cousin of Osama bin Laden.
A number of the over 75 guests in attendance bought autographed first edition books. A number of audience members also expressed interest in getting involved in trying to help. Plans are being formulated to see how aid can best be gotten to those in Darfur and those Lost Boys of Sudan who have emigrated to America.
Benjamin Ajak, one of the Lost Boys of Sudan, speaking to Escondido’s Hidden Valley Kiwanis
“Operation Hero” Featured Next Week at Hidden Valley Kiwanis Club of Escondido
Once each quarter the Hidden Valley Kiwanis Club of Escondido salutes a member of the armed forces who has been injured while serving his or her country.
Thus far, most of the ‘wounded warriors’ have been Marines but the award is open to any member of the military.
A ‘wounded warrior’ is selected by MilitaryOne Source, the contract agency for the federal government who looks after the welfare of military patients. The recipient of the award appears as the day’s special guest, describes his injuries and circumstance . . . and then is given a check for $500. Mayor Lori Holt Pfeiler will present the check on behalf of the club. Persons interested in attending should call 760.747.7119.