Escondido Neighbors United files comment on Chatham related Felicita Creek Feasibility Study

Today, ENU filed our comment letter April 25 letter to DTSC from ENU  on the  Felicita Creek Feasibility Study.  This study evaluates some options to reducing or eliminating the presence of VOC pollutants from the contaminated groundwater originating from the Chatham Barrel Yard site.
In summary, ENU is requesting:
1.  an option of restoration and containment be pursued to reduce VOC contamination in the creek;
2. a multi-jurisdictional effort to address all the problems in the creek be created and tasked with implementing a solution; and,
3. a public meeting be held to update the public on the cleanup project and receive input on this important issues.

You are invited and encouraged to communicate your comments to DTSC as well.
Together, we can cleanup and restore the creek

GREEN Jewel of Escondido: TERRA MADRE GARDENS Come enjoy the Peace on Earth Festival, April 24 from 1-5

As part of our Jewels of Escondido series, we’d like to share a new Green Jewel.  The beautiful organic farm and community center of Terra Madre Gardens.  New owners are ‘growing experiences one seed at a time.’  a family has taken over the organic farm in north Escondido that was once La Milpa and the Stone Brewery farm.

A good opportunity to visit Terra Madre Gradens is tomorrow, April 24, Sunday, from 1-5 for their Peace on Earth Festival

Here’s what they say about Terra Madre and their vision:

We are farmers, artisans, healers, educators and yogis who want to help create a better world and are dedicated to the betterment in our surroundings and in ourselves.  

Our goals have always been to help bring about an awakening of consciousness that allows for the spreading of peace and love throughout the world.

We are creating a place that allows us to grow ideas to help promote home gardening, self-healing, healthy eating, exercise, artistic expression and happy living. Whether it be through attending a workshop, tasting our fruits & veggies or simply walking the gardens, every visitor is bound to have a magical experience.

It’s hard to argue with that!

Come and experience this wonderful addition to our community!

It’s Earth Day: Easy Ways to Improve your Life and Help the Planet

Happy Earth Day!  We know our Earth is in trouble and our survival is at risk from climate change. Lots of actions that we need to take are difficult.  But, there are also many that are pretty easy, reduce our carbon footprint, and improve our lives and health at the same time.  Try some of these.  Your heath and happiness will improve and the Earth will be better for them.

De-carbonize your maintenance.
It is easy now to change 2-cycle engines to electric.  Dixieline has the electric leaf-blowers, chainsaws, hedgers on sale.  If you have a gardener, think of their health too.  Anyone using the high-pollution 2-cycle engines in close proximity is harming their health.  Or even better, buy a broom and hand shears.

Pull weeds, don’t spray them.
Pulling weeds is good exercise and doesn’t have any of the health and environmental impacts of poisons in herbicides.

Befriend bees and butterflies.
It is easy to plant a pollinator garden.  These are gardens for bees, butterflies, and other important pollinators.  Remember, our very lives depend on pollinators–plus it is fun to have butterflies to watch! Plant a Monarch Butterfly Waystation  Check out Pollinator Partnership

Love animals, don’t eat them. 
Plant-based dishes are better for the climate, the planet, and your health. Plus, they save money and reduce cruelty in the world. Try reducing the amount of meat and dairy you eat for one week.  If you need plant based food ideas there are tons of recipes online.  Here are some good sources:Vegan Recipes.  If you like more ‘tude with your food try Thug Kitchen Vegan Recipes.  (language alert!)

Stay home more.
Plan Staycations instead of expensive vacations.  Make friends with your neighbors, explore your local area, support local businesses, drive less, and save money.  All of these are benefits to staying closer to home and reduce carbon footprint of pleasure travel.

Take time to enjoy your happy moments.
We already have so many conditions of happiness in our lives. We have water to drink, air to breathe, two eyes to see, our family and friends, and a beautiful earth to live on.  These are already enough conditions to be happy if we can just notice them.  If we see that we are already happy, we will consume less and live more lightly on the planet.

Of course, this isn’t all it will take, but these are easy and can help. We will share more actions in the coming months.

Happy Earth Day!

DON’T SIGN the Lilac Hills Initiative for massive development– Spread the Word

One item from the excellent Workshop last night was that the Lilac Hills Developers are circulating a petition to put an initiative on the November Ballot.  You’ll know it by its size (over 800 pages)!


Per the presentation, the initiative exempts the project from CEQA and removes the few reasonable conditions that had been added by the County Planning Commission. Like other projects it is seeking a General Plan Amendment to upzone the area.

It bears repeating that the County General Plan already allows and locates over 70,000 new housing units.  There is no need to amend and upzone the County General Plan as is being done repeatedly.  It also includes what some are calling ‘get out of lawsuits cards’ meaning providing safe haven from laws required to protect the public and the environment. Voice of San Diego story

If you have already signed it and want to remove your signature, you can request a Signature Withdrawl Card from the Registrar of Voters.  The signatures are due on June 1.  Please tell your friends too!

Together we can protect our region!

Workshop Tonight: Learn About the Development Onslaught in North County 6 pm San Marcos

A workshop presented by the North County Climate Change Alliance will examine the many development projects threatening our quality of life and that will accelerate climate impacts.

PLEASE ATTEND at 6 pm at the Hitkze Auditorium at 251 Autumn Drive in San Marcos.  Hear from Dianne Nygaard who lead the No on A victory on the coast and from other leaders working to stop sprawl development in North County.



Oak Creek water permit to be issued allows mitigation in different watershed

The Water Board issued its final response to the many comments they received on the Oak Creek Water Quality Permit.  Unfortunately, the Board ignored requests to require mitigation in the Felicita/San Dieguito Watershed where the damage will be done.  Instead, they will allow the San Luis Rey river to improve at the expense of Felicita Creek.

We appreciate our Supervisor Dave Roberts for weighing on this issue with the community.  Supervisor Roberts Comments

The Board only made one change to the final permit. They did not respond to ENU requests for a public meeting

The permit is expected to be issued on April 20 or soon thereafter.   Final Response to Comments on Oak Creek.    Tentative Final Certification

Escondido Neighbors United does not support with this permit or its findings. We do not agree that avoidable impacts were avoided and that all reasonable measures were taken to protect the precious habitat in the area.  In our view, this project represents a failure of our environmental laws to protect the environment and a failure of our process to mediate the best, or even an acceptable, outcome.

We have tried very hard to work within the system to improve this project.

We encourage everyone to stand up for your neighborhoods and quality of life. Please attend the workshop tonight on the development onslaught.