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Local News January 10th, 2008

Draft Environmental Impact Report Released for Sunrise Powerlink

State Favors Local Energy Generation Over SDG&E’s Devastating Powerlink

State and federal agencies have dealt a stunning blow to San Diego Gas and Electric’s proposed Sunrise Powerlink transmission line project with the release of a draft report that identifies local electricity generation as a far superior alternative to the Powerlink transmission line project. The release of the 7,000 page draft environmental impact report by the California Public Utilities Commission and U.S. Bureau of Land Management marks the start of a 90-day public comment period and eight public hearings.

This draft report is the first official government analysis of harm that would result from the Powerlink and a review of possible alternatives. The report confirms that SDG&E’s project would result in at least 50 “significant, unmitigable” impacts to nature and people. The report identifies and reviews two “environmentally superior” local energy generation alternatives, SDG&E’s proposed project, twenty four transmission line route alternatives, and a no project alternative.

SDG&E’s proposed Sunrise Powerlink project is a controversial, 150-mile-long electrical transmission line proposed for construction from the Imperial Valley desert to the north coastal city of San Diego that would cut across Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, the Cleveland National Forest, and through the heart of many other protected parks, preserves, and communities. Project costs are expected to exceed $1.3 billion and would be borne by California ratepayers. Company documents reveal that the Powerlink is just the first phase of a plan by the SDG&E and parent company Sempra Energy to extend the line north to expand the California market for imported cheap, polluting fossil-fuel power from its Mexico power plant and others.

“This could be a death blow for SDG&E’s project,” said David Hogan, conservation manager at the Center for Biological Diversity. “The report confirms that the wasteful Powerlink would result in tremendous harm to nature, people, and property. Now is the best opportunity for the public to get involved and help hammer the last nails in the coffin of this terrible project.”

Micah Mitrosky, conservation organizer for the Sierra Club’s San Diego Smart Energy Solutions campaign, commented, “This report underscores there are smarter ways to plan San Diego’s energy future than the unnecessary, fossil-fueled Sunrise Powerlink. This proposal would devastate the park, wreak havoc on local communities, and unravel efforts to reduce global warming greenhouse gases. The smarter alternative would boost our local green energy economy and free our region from depending on imported fossil fuels.”

Joe Rauh, Co-Director of the Community Alliance for Sensible Energy said, “We urge the CPUC, our public officials and the Governor to take a close look at this document. It is imperative that San Diego County’s open spaces and local communities not be sacrificed for corporate greed. SDG&E’s Sunrise Powerlink is a risky, multi-billion dollar boondoggle. We strongly believe that the smarter energy solution is to promote clean, local power.” Diana Lindsay, Vice-President Environmental Affairs for the Anza-Borrego Foundation and Institute said, “Under the guise of energy conservation through the use of renewables and solar energy, the Sunrise Powerlink would destroy one of the last wilderness preserves in California – Anza-Borrego Desert State Park – by directly impacting three wilderness areas and destroying a 90,000-acre viewshed of parkland. This is conservation in reverse.”

Bob Lustig Jumps On Board with US Marine Corps

“I heard about Operation Hero and wanted to become part of it.”

photoThat’s what prompted Bob Lustig, a sales associate at Toyota of Escondido to get involved with the Hidden Valley Kiwanis Club of Escondido and their “Operation Hero”program that honors wounded Marines. Lustig, one of the top sales producers at Toyota of Escondido, said, “these young men and women of the Marine Corps are protecting what is most important to our community. Our freedom, our liberty. I spoke with the management at Escondido Toyota and we’ve come up with a way to help these wounded Marines, as well as regular active duty Marines, to obtain top quality transportation with a tremendous discount for our fallen warriors. We had already adopted a Marine unit in Iraq, so when I heard about the Hidden Valley Kiwanis Club’s Operation Hero, this was a natural event we wanted to support.”

Once every quarter, the Hidden Valley Kiwanis Club invites a wounded Marine as its honored guest. At the close of the program the Marine is presented a check for $500 and the grateful thanks of the community.

Under Lustig’s Marine Plan, wounded Marines will automatically receive a significant discount on any vehicle, new or pre-owned. “Once we meet with the Marine and his/her family and learn more about them, for example whether they have a trade-in, we may be able to make it even easier to obtain top transportation. Whatever it takes, we’re here for the Marines.”

Lustig can be reached at Toyota of Escondido, 760.796.3838. The Hidden Valley Kiwanis Club can be reached by calling 760.747.7119. They meet every Tuesday at Cocina del Charro, 525 N. Quince St., Escondido, at 7am.

Yard Parking May be Forbidden in Escondido

Following discussions concerning overnight parking in Escondido, city councilmembers and staff saw another problem developing. People parking their cars on their front lawns. Not wanting that eyesore to develop, city officials discussed the matter in last night’s council "The desire to get parked cars off the street is not accompanied by a desire to see them in front yards," said Jon Brindle, Escondido’s Planning Director.

The proposed law would strengthen the city's existing prohibition against yard parking by allowing citations to be issued without a 24-hour warning and by including the Police Department in enforcement efforts. Including police would also close a nighttime enforcement gap, because police officers work around-the-clock and code compliance officers do not.

Councilman Dick Daniels said Monday that the yard-parking ordinance is not directly tied to the overnight parking restrictions, but he said it is important to make the city look better.

City of Vista Indoor Soccer

The City of Vista Park's & Community Services Department will be offering its Indoor Soccer Program from March 3 through May 3, 2008.

This is an excellent program for children in grades 1st - 8th who are looking for a noncompetitive coed format to improve their skills. Registration will begin February 4 at 8:00 am at the Brengle Terrace Recreation Center located at 1200 Vale Terrace. Please note that "NO" registration will be accepted prior to this day. Registration is on a first come, first serve basis with the program usually filling the first week. The cost is $63 for a resident of Vista and $76 for a nonresident. For more information please contact Rob Anderson at 726-1340 ext. 1576.

Fire Chief to Discuss Witch Creek Fire

The Witch Creek Fire was one of the most destructive in San Diego county history. Hear the story from the front line on January 16th from San Pasqual Fire Chief Gil Turrentine. His free lecture will take place on Wednesday, January 16 at 2pm at the Escondido History Center in Grape Day Park.

The History Center is located at 321 N. Broadway, Escondido, and is open every Tuesday through Saturday from 1pm to 4pm. For more information, contact the Escondido History Center at (760) 743-8207 or





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