10/14/10

A Word From Supervisor Bill Horn October 14, 2010

SUPERVISOR 5TH DISTRICT COUNTY OF SAN DIEGO

October 14, 2010

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Sex Offender E-Mail Notification System

We are closer to providing a sex offender e-mail alert service for County residents who subscribe to the system. My recommendation received unanimous approval by the Board for a one-year pilot program and now we wait for our Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) to work with County Counsel to develop a legislative proposal that would give local governments the authority to release the name, photo, address and offense of specific registered sex offenders within an e-mail alert.

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Last May I sought to create that system; however, in researching the implementation of such a service, County staff found that current state law prohibits this kind of direct notification regarding a specific offender. In my opinion, we are protecting the wrong people and the penal code needs to catch up with technology. Our communities must have every tool available to protect each other, especially our children.

For now, in order to abide by state law, the CAO has proposed a system that would notify subscribers of any changes on the Megan’s Law website within their registered area of interest. This e-mail would include a link to the Megan’s Law website and help facilitate the use of the website to search for offenders by city, address or radius of concern.

I will be pushing to get the system up and running as soon as possible and when that happens will notify you.

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In this edition of the Word, I’ll share what we are doing to bring greater awareness to our children’s safety. Other items include my ride-along with local law enforcement units to see first-hand how the bad guys and gals are caught, the latest workshop to help property owners understand their options under the General Plan Update, a scroll-signing event at the nearly completed Fallbrook Library, and why the people of Borrego Springs are thrilled to be in the dark.

Bill Horn

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Amber and Chelsea

We were touched by the emotional words of Sheila White, the grandmother of Amber Dubois of Escondido who bravely spoke at a Board of Supervisors meeting late last month. Her mother, Carrie McGonigle added her heartfelt thoughts.

Representatives for the Dubois and King families contacted me about naming the Lake Hodges Bridge over Interstate 15 and a portion of Highway 78 adjacent to the San Diego Zoo Safari Park in memory of the two girls. I brought their wishes forward and my fellow Supervisors approved a resolution in support of State legislation to designate the bridge as the Chelsea King Memorial Bridge and the highway to be the Amber Dubois Memorial Highway.

The authority to rename State Routes and Interstate Highways rests with the State Legislature, which must pass a resolution in order for a renaming to occur. I will now work with our local legislative delegation to see it through. With this symbolic gesture, it is my hope to honor the memory of Amber and Chelsea.

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Barked at and Busted!

I was asked to accompany a team of multi-jurisdictional law enforcement units in Vista, including San Diego County Sheriff’s deputies, who took part in Operation Allied Shield II late last month.

The focus was on drug smugglers, drug dealers, marijuana growers, and gang-related activities. The night raids at several locations resulted in many felony arrests and drug seizures.

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At one home that was raided, I saw first-hand the crime-fighting ability of a Belgian Tervuren assigned to the California Highway Patrol. The dog, named Doktor, definitely had an “attitude” (good for us, bad for the bad guys). He was given clothes of a wanted suspect to sniff and within seconds located a trap door to a basement. Hiding in the basement was a person wanted for various parole violations. As soon as Doktor stuck his head into the trap door and growled, the person in the basement wanted no part of the animal and surrendered. When officers went into the basement they found it was being used to grow rows and rows of marijuana.

While most of the County’s residents were asleep during the raids, we can all rest easier knowing we have such professional law enforcement officers (and their canine partners) looking out for our public safety.

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General Plan Update Workshop

I appreciate North County property owners who took advantage of a chance to see what changes may be in the offing for their land. I hosted a public workshop at the Fallbrook Public Utilities District office to explain what is happening with the General Plan Update (GPU) for the unincorporated portions of the county.

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Planners from the Department of Planning and Land Use were present with maps and the latest information on the GPU. Since the GPU will come before the Board of Supervisors on October 20th, I explained the procedures for filing objections to the plan.

As always, I appreciate the valuable contribution of the long-time Chair of the Fallbrook Community Planning Group, Jim Russell who was there to add his insight.

We will have a similar workshop October 14 from 2-4 PM at the San Diego County Farm Bureau, 1670 E. Valley Parkway, Escondido (760) 745-3023.

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Community Names for Posterity

It was fun to be in Fallbrook this month for a community scroll-signing event put on by the Friends of the Fallbrook Library. It was held in the parking lot of the soon-to-be completed library at Mission and Alvarado. I joined residents in signing a scroll that will be placed in a time capsule and buried at the dedication ceremony for our new $11.4 million facility.

We have had a tremendous partnership with the community during the years it has taken to bring us to the verge of opening the doors to what will be the center piece of the Village.

Special thanks to Friends of the Library leaders that include Marlo Miller, Bob Jacobsen, Arlene Ingold and Jerri Patchett. Representatives from County Libraries were there including Deputy Director Barbara Flynn, Principal Librarian/Community Relations Susan Moore, Fallbrook Branch Librarian Cecilia Rincon, Fallbrook Librarian August Diehl and Ruth Ketchum, Regional Principal Librarian for our North Region.

Three copies of the Village News one each for the day the library building contract was awarded, the groundbreaking day and dedication day will also be placed in the time capsule.


Supervisor Horn and Fallbrook Princesses sign the scroll.
Photo by: Cory Carrier www.n4i.com

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Big-Time Anza-Borrego Boost

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It’s not often that you can congratulate someone for being “in the dark,” however that is the case for the great community of Borrego Springs. The people out there have received the International Dark Sky Community designation, something that goes a long way to bring visitors to the desert.

The Borrego Springs Dark Sky Coalition worked for two years on Borrego Springs’ application. In 2008 I sent a letter in support of the community’s request and was pleased when Borrego Springs was recognized as California’s first official International Dark-Sky Community, and the second in the world.

I have long supported the Anza-Borrego Desert Natural History Association and its members who have worked hard to keep themselves “in the dark” and away from the intrusion of big city lights. There is a great three-page article about Borrego Springs after dark that you can see in the October issue of Sunset Magazine. Here’s a link:
http://www.sunset.com/travel/california/anza-borrego-desert-weekend-00418000069369/

I want to thank all those who have done so much to bring national attention to Borrego Springs as a travel destination for dining, lodging and one-of-a-kind experiences. The Borrego Valley Inn, the Borrego Springs Chamber of Commerce, the Boys and Girls Club, St. Barnabas Episcopal Church, XL Gas Station, and Borrego Springs Post Office all deserve recognition having outdoor lighting that is dark-sky friendly. San Diego Gas & Electric also gave cooperation.

Individuals deserving the dark “spot light” include Betsy Knaak, Joan Malone, Scott Kardel, Dennis Mammana, Sam Webb, Salley Theriault, Dr. James Rickard and Grace Rickard, and Joe Raffetto.

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It’s Up to Us

Our County Health and Human Services Agency professionals are leading the way in bringing attention to recognizing and addressing the symptoms of mental illness.

The “It’s Up to Us” campaign is designed to empower San Diegans to talk openly about mental illness and seek help. Other Counties are seeking our help in launching their own programs.

Studies show one out of every four adult San Diegans has a diagnosable mental disorder and nearly one out of every five children experience some type of emotional or behavior difficulty.

With funding from Proposition 63, the County of San Diego is part of a four year campaign that will help people look for specific patterns and gain knowledge while understanding attitudes and behaviors.

Individuals who have successfully handled mental illness challenges are being used as spokespeople to help change how people think and stereotype mental illness.

Often, people do not seek professional care or support, because of the stigma that is associated with mental illness.

By raising awareness through a media campaign and educating the community, it’s hoped people will have easier access to local organizations and services and change the perception, inspire wellness and reduce the stigma surrounding mental health challenges.

For more information visit www.Up2SD.org

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Top Crop

For the past 25 years, Indoor Flowering Plants and Foliage has been the number one valued crop in our region; however, that has changed and there’s a new crop king for 2009. The annual crop report issued by the San Diego County Department of Agriculture, Weights and Measures shows that Ornamental Trees and Shrubs has moved to the top of the table. That crop pumped in a little more than $365 million into our economy. Runner up at nearly $291 million is Indoor Flowering Plants and Foliage.

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The switch in positions could indicate a shift by local growers away from operating expensive greenhouses to less-costly outdoor nurseries.

There was also a tiny dip in the industry’s overall value of roughly ¼ of one percent. And while this is not good news, it’s literally a drop in the drought bucket compared with the rest of the State which had a nine percent decrease in total value in 2009.

The other top 10 crops in order of importance:

  • Bedding Plants, Color
  • Avocados
  • Tomatoes
  • Lemons
  • Cactus & Succulents
  • Herbaceous Perennials
  • Herbs
  • Poinsettias

You’ll be interested to know that nearly 27 percent of all San Diego County farms are operated by women. Our County has nearly 6,700 farms, more than any other county in the U.S.

We have the largest community of organic growers in the nation, with 374 farms growing more than 175 crops. San Diego County is number one in California for cucumbers, mushrooms, tomatoes, boysenberries and strawberries, grapefruit, Valencia oranges, tangelos and tangerines, honey and eggs.

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TERI

There is no organization in North County that I believe in and support more for the tremendous work they do than TERI, which stands for Training, Education and Research Institute. Based in Oceanside and recently expanded in San Marcos, TERI and its dedicated professionals bring a more secure future for people with autism and other developmental disabilities.

The campus for the non-profit, located at 555 Deer Springs Road in Twin Oaks Valley, just east of the San Marcos city limits, features an equestrian facility, agriculture fields and multi-use buildings on a 20-acre historical site. TERI has created a 16-week certificate program to train individuals to work with people who have a developmentally disabled family member.

TERI Inc. was founded 30 years ago and I was honored to be recognized as one of TERI’s heroes. The real heroes are the compassionate staff, volunteers and parents who bring smiles and accomplishment to the special people TERI serves.


Supervisor Horn and TERI CEO, Cheryl Kilmer
Photo by: Martin Mann

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