SDCDP Chair, Francine Busby
SDCDP Chair, Francine Busby

Congratulations to East Area Vice Chair, Eric Hereford, and Caucus member, Charlotte Reed, for a fantastic event:  A Taste of the Blue Life 2, held Sunday at San Pasqual Winery in La Mesa. Democrats enjoyed the wonderful wine, terrific appetizers, and a good old Rock and Roll band.

Old Skool
Old Skool

Our next Fundraiser will be on June 27, at the home of Stu Strenger in La Mesa.

Assemblywoman, Dr. Shirley Weber
Assemblywoman, Dr. Shirley Weber
Vice Chair, Eric Hereford
Vice Chair, Eric Hereford

Veteran Peace Activist and Author

Veteran Peace Activist and Author

 to Headline May Meeting for Local Dems

7th Annual Yard Sale also on May Calendar

The La Mesa Foothills Democratic Club, with members from San Carlos, Allied Gardens, Grantville, Del Cerro, College Area, La Mesa, Mt. Helix, Spring Valley, Santee and other East County areas will be holding a very memorable meeting on Wednesday night, May 6th.

Our speaker will be Peggi Chute, author of “Soul of a Nation:  A Historical Novel About Selma.”  She published the book in time for the 50th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act, and attended the recent Commemoration of the Pettus Bridge crossing in Selma.  Peggi will have copies of the book available for autograph and sale.

Peggi is a life-long activist for peace and social justice.  After the Columbine, Colorado mass shootings, Peggi created the Teaching Peace Project for the Council of Churches and Synagogues in Stamford, Conn.  She served as its director and taught the program in three school districts.  She served on Mayor Dannel Malloy’s Council on Youth (he’s now Governor of Connecticut), and also ran a workshop at the first United Nations NGO conference at the UN in New York.

Peggi now lives in Lake San Marcos and has been a San Diego County resident for 4 years.  She’s a proud UCLA graduate in Film Studies and was a film editor in Hollywood for a number of years.  She’s also lived in the Monterey Peninsula area where she taught music and worked for Planned Parenthood as an Outreach Educator.  Don’t miss her presentation and buy a book to take home.

Several days prior to our May 6th meeting, LMFDC will hold it’s now famous and very popular YARD SALE.  On Saturday, May 2nd, from 8 AM-1 PM, scores of bargain hunters will descend on 5009 Randlett Dr. in La Mesa.  Our sale is known for its quality and quantity of unique items as our members have saved special merchandise just for this sale!  If you have goods that you would like to donate to our sale, please contact Mary Jane Tanquary at 619 818-5883.  Goods must be in clean, saleable condition and easily transportable.  Help contribute to our popular sale as either a buyer or contributor.  Please don’t bring donated goods the day of the sale.

Our April meeting was a very educational affair, with Port Commissioner Rafael Castellanos teaching us all we needed to know about the Unified Port District and its great responsibility in maintaining our tidelands, waterfront, and airport.  The Port’s many environmental programs and initiatives were a particular point of emphasis.  Rafael also announced his entry into the 2016 SD City Attorney’s race.  We wish him well.

While the Port District has already set in motion it’s Climate Action Plan to reduce waste and greenhouse gases, Nicole Capretz walked us through the many reasons the cities of San Diego County need to adopt and implement their own versions of similar programs.

As author of the City of San Diego’s CAP under Mayor Gloria, Nicole and her Climate Action Campaign are a major force in getting San Diego to adopt and implement an aggressive greenhouse gas reduction plan of it’s own.  We are at a tipping point in SD County, and efforts like Nicole’s and others must pave the way for live-able communities for all residents for generations to come.

La Mesa Foothills Democratic Club meets on the first Wednesday of every month at the La Mesa Community Center, 4975 Memorial Dr., at University Ave. in La Mesa.  We have social hour beginning at 6:30 PM with business and speakers to follow at 7 PM.  Refreshments are served as provided by our members and all guests are welcomed.  Please find us at www.lamesafoothillsdemocraticclub.com and like us on Facebook.

Linda Armacost, President

La Mesa Foothills Democratic Club

May 6 – Soul of a Nation Author Peggi Chute

Be sure to join us for our May 6th Meeting with noted author, Peggi Chute who recently returned from Selma, AL. Ms. Chute will be offering her book, Soul of a Nation for sale and signing. We meet at the La Mesa Community Center, 4975 Memorial Drive in La Mesa. Social Time begins at 6:30 pm and the Business Meeting begins at 7:00 pm.

SELMA, ALABAMA

Where the VOTING RIGHTS MOVEMENT Took Center Stage in 1965

SOUL OF A NATION tells the riveting story of “ordinary people” who kept the movement alive with their determination, courage, and daily protests. They put their lives on the line as they spoke truth to power and stood up to Southern rule. Marchers were beaten, tear-gassed, and their children cattle prodded.

People of conscience, both white and black, came together in a movement that forever changed America … but not without great sacrifice. Three activists – Jimmy Lee Jackson, James Reeb, and Viola Liuzzo – were murdered before one of the most significant pieces of legislation in U.S. history, the Voting Rights Act of 1965, was enacted

THE AUTHOR:

Peggi Chute is a retired educator, educational filmmaker, and Hollywood film editor who read about the events in Selma, Alabama, and couldn’t believe such injustice happened during her lifetime. Thus began her long process of painstaking research to find her voice and speak through her strong characters to tell their story. SOUL OF A NATION is Ms. Chute’s first novel. She resides by a small lake in San Marcos, California.

WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING:

“P.E. Chute has woven together a dramatic ‘historical novel’ in which newspaper and TV accounts of the march from Selma to Montgomery are brought to life with a cast of lovable characters of her own creation. In the midst of this 50th anniversary year, we need to be reminded of both the ‘real people’ and the bit players whose lives and deaths we celebrate. SOUL OF A NATION does just that!”

–Orloff W. Miller (Minister who marched with Martin Luther King, Jr.)

May 2 – 7th Annual Yard Sale

yard.sale.open

La Mesa-Foothills Democratic Club

7th Annual Yard Sale

Saturday, May 2 from 8:00 to 1:00

The Yard Sale is our Club’s biggest fundraiser and we depend on our wonderful members for donations. Donation drop-off begins Sunday, April 26 from 1:00 to 5:00 pm. Drop-off continues Monday through Thursday from 5:30 to 8:30 pm.  Friday drop off until noon.

For more information please contact Mary Jane Tanquary at (619) 818-5883

The lack of water for the populous and yet we still grow the Almonds.

Drought could push California to rethink water strategy

California Gov. Jerry Brown announced a sweeping executive order Wednesday that imposes mandatory water restrictions across the state as California copes with a historic drought and water shortage. AP

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California’s historic drought has thrown the state into crisis mode, but some experts hope it will force long-term improvements in how the state manages water.

Gov. Jerry Brown announced California’s first-ever mandatory water restrictions Wednesday, calling for a 25% reduction in water use and encouraging water districts to charge consumers more for excessive consumption. His executive order will also lead to new rebates for water-efficient appliances, as well as new funding for replacing lawns with drought-tolerant landscaping.

But California’s underlying problem, some experts say, is bigger than the current drought. Considering the state’s burgeoning population and the likelihood that climate change will make droughts more frequent and more severe, they say, policymakers should use the current crisis to lay the groundwork for more sustainable water management.

“We have to think about this as an opportunity to do better for the future,” said Brian Stranko, California water program director for The Nature Conservancy, an environmental advocacy group. “We can only do so many things in this crisis. Our options are limited.”

Speaking during a Thursday conference call hosted by Circle of Blue — a Michigan-based media organization that covers water issues — Stranko said the drought has had major consequences not only for people, but for fish and wildlife as well. Rivers have dried up and wetland habitats along the Pacific Flyway, a major migratory bird route that includes the Salton Sea, have been diminished, leading to death and disease among bird populations.

“Nature is suffering alongside our people, our farms, our communities,” Stranko said.

Brown’s executive order is a good first step toward addressing California’s water problems, Stranko said, but more is needed. He called for “dynamic conservation” measures that would use dams and other reservoirs to provide water to natural environments in short bursts, when it’s most needed. Those kinds of measures, Stranko said, would make it easier to balance the water needs of people and nature.

“We have to take advantage of the crisis and take action,” he said.

Upmanu Lall, director of the Columbia Water Center in New York City, struck a similar note during the conference call. The combination of California’s record-breaking drought and the need to make costly upgrades to aging water infrastructure, he said, creates an opportunity to fundamentally rethink how the United States manages water.

Lall called for policymakers to reevaluate long-entrenched water rights, to consider more centralized water management and to think about water as a human right rather than a commodity. He also highlighted emerging wastewater treatment technology that could make water recycling much less energy-intensive than it is now.

One of the worst droughts on record has had far-reaching consequences throughout the state. Video provided by Newsy Newslook

“I understand that the drought has severe consequences, but these are times when it actually pays to think about your larger picture and your longer-term strategy, in addition to thinking about what you need to do now,” he said.

Like Stranko and Lall, William Patzert — a climatologist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in La Cañada Flintridge — believes California must emerge from the drought with a fundamentally different system for managing water.

The main reason for that, Patzert said in an interview Wednesday, isn’t climate change — it’s population growth. The state’s population ballooned from less than 24 million in 1980 to nearly 39 million last year.

Toll Road Extension defeated.

Water Quality Board Adopts Legal Reason for Rejection of Toll Road Extension Project Permit

tesoro-extension_The-Toll-Roads.jpg
The Toll Roads
The road to somewhere?

The San Diego Regional Water Quality Control Board adopted legal findings Monday to support its unanimous June 2013 rejection of a water quality permit for the 241 Foothill/Eastern toll road Tesoro Extension project.The Foothill/Eastern Transportation Corridor Agency (TCA) has said the extension is a singular project and not the first five-mile leg of a 16-mile road to connect the 241 with the 5 freeway in San Diego County. Foes accuse the TCA of trying to build the full extension one leg at a time.

That would be due to TCA’s original proposal to fully extend the 241 through San Onofre State Park, San Onofre State Beach and the protected natural lands in the Donna O’Neill Conservancy having been flatly rejected by the federal government, civic leaders, environmentalists and 78 percent of Orange County voters.

On Monday, the San Diego Regional Water Quality Control Board for the third time rejected a 241 extension. The board’s grounds for its 6-0 rejection of a requested Waste Discharge Requirements permit are the TCA failed to disclose the full environmental impacts of the entire road project. (The California Parks Department has indicated one major environmental impact: the full extension would prompt the agency to abandon 60 percent of San Onofre State Park due to toll road damage.)

“The board today voted to protect our water quality, our parks and beaches from this destructive toll road project,” says Elizabeth Goldstein in a Save San Onofre Coalition statement issued Monday. “We commend the board for upholding California’s water quality laws and protecting the public interest.

“The board responded to the overwhelming evidence that the Tesoro Extension is no more than an attempt to commence construction of a larger, environmentally destructive [project] that has been rejected by the board and every other agency that has considered the project to-date. This project needs to be rethought from the ground up, or abandoned, rather than twisted to accommodate every rejection the TCA experiences.”

The coalition accuses the TCA of having spent more than $300 million in public funding for the project.

The TCA submitted a letter to the regional board before the meeting that argued extending the 241 from Oso Parkway in Rancho Santa Margarita to Cow Camp Road in San Juan Capistrano is desperately needed to alleviate traffic congestion.

“The regional board’s concerns focus primarily on former alignments that are not part of TCA’s existing application,” according to the TCA, which claims “the Tesoro Extension can function to provide traffic relief independent of any future extensions; therefore, it has independent utility and should be judged on its own merits.”

The TCA accused the regional board of failing to provide detailed findings to support the rejection of waste water discharge permits, refusing to take into consideration the “minimal” environmental impact of the project and “setting a dangerous precedent that could prevent future infrastructure projects throughout the state from proceeding in stand-alone phases.”

Finally, the TCA said it “acknowledges and respects the authority of the regional board to restrict water discharges of any future extension of the 241,” so “there is no reason for the regional board to deny the Tesoro Extension permit.”

Maybe the fourth time will be the charm for the TCA.

Email: mcoker@ocweekly.com. Twitter: @MatthewTCoker. Follow OC Weekly on Twitter @ocweekly or on Facebook!