Lake Wohlford Road to Remain Closed

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Joyce Masterson, 760-839-4621

Lake Wohlford Road will remain closed to all traffic between Lake Wohlford Court and Oakvale Road at least through March 29, 2011, pending further evaluation of the stability of the hillside.

Lake Wohlford and the surrounding community can be accessed following the detour route which is north on S6 Valley Center Road to Woods Valley Road which returns you to North Lake Wohlford Road.

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Note to Editors:  A news release will be distributed once the road is opened to traffic again.

Clarification About City Consultant

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Joyce Masterson, 760-839-4621

Escondido City Manager Clay Phillips announced today that there was no truth to the assertion made at the March 16, 2011 City Council meeting that Charles Black, a consultant representing the City of Escondido in minor league ballpark negotiations with the Moorad Group, was a current member of the Padres’ Board of Directors. The assertion appears to have been based on erroneous information found on the Bloomberg Businessweek website.

City officials noted that Charles Black, of C.B. Urban Development, was chosen to assist Escondido with its ballpark negotiations because of his years of experience in the development of Petco Park and other municipal projects, including the San Diego Civic Center and the Convention Center expansion.

Mr. Black had been member of the San Diego Padres Board of Directors prior to 2005. He was formerly president of the Padres and had responsibility for the development of Petco Park. In late 2002 he left the Padres and was employed by JMI (John Moores Interest) with responsibility for developing the ballpark district in San Diego. He continued in that role until early 2006 and then became regional manager for the Irvine Company, LLC.

The City is in negotiations with Jeff Moorad to build a Triple A ballpark in Escondido. Mr. Moorad was not affiliated with the San Diego Padres during Mr. Black’s association with the Padres.

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Escondido Road Closure

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Rafael Rivera, 760-802-0760

On Monday, March 14, 2011, the City of Escondido will close the intersection of Redwood Street and 15th Avenue beginning at 7:00 a.m. in order to make street repairs to the cross gutter. The road will remained closed until approximately 10:00 a.m. on Friday, March 18.  Detour signs will be posted. NO vehicles will be able to get through, including emergency vehicles.

Motorists are advised to use an alternate route during the hours of construction listed above. Should you have any questions or comments, please contact 760-839-4668.

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SoCalGas, City of Escondido Create Renewable Energy From Sewage

Contact: Denise King, Southern California Gas Co., 877-643-2331, www.socalgas.com

Contact: Joyce Masterson, City of Escondido, 760-839-4621, www.escondido.org

Demonstration project is first in California to purify methane gas from wastewater
treatment plant for potential use in homes and businesses

LOS ANGELES, Calif. - Feb. 8, 2011 - Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) and the city of Escondido today announced the official start-up of the first renewable energy project in California to purify wastewater biogas so that it meets state standards for natural gas delivered to homes and businesses.

The city of Escondido’s Hale Avenue Resource Recovery Facility is the test site of an innovative new pressure swing adsorption system that takes raw gas produced from the facility’s normal operation and upgrades it through a multi-stage process to pipeline-quality natural gas. Biogas from wastewater treatment plants is a largely untapped source of renewable energy. Typically, the raw gas originating from sewage treatment facilities is not suitable for natural gas pipelines and has to be burned, or flared, into the atmosphere.  By employing this new technology, the city of Escondido can produce enough natural gas to serve about 1,200 homes.

"The city is always looking for opportunities to take advantage of green technologies,” said Sam Abed, mayor of Escondido. “This project will demonstrate a new technology that will potentially reduce our city's carbon footprint by decreasing greenhouse gas emissions at the Hale Avenue Resource Recovery Facility,” he said.  “An added bonus is the fact that the recovery and reuse of this methane gas will save money for our city’s ratepayers."

The $2.7 million demonstration project is expected to continue for up to 12 months in order to prove that this technology can cost-effectively produce renewable natural gas that reliably meets California’s stringent gas quality standards. After that, the equipment will be put into commercial use on-site or, if necessary, moved to an alternative location.  The demonstration project will be funded by SoCalGas’ research and development group.

“This project puts the city of Escondido on the map for being the first to actually produce renewable natural gas from sewage wastewater so that it meets gas quality standards for injection into the natural gas pipeline system,” said Hal Snyder, vice president of customer solutions at SoCalGas and San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E).  “This means San Diego residents might some day be heating their homes and cooking their food using renewable natural gas.”

Today’s announcement supports SoCalGas’ vision for sustainable energy.  In November, SoCalGas and SDG&E filed a proposal with the California Public Utilities Commission seeking authorization to develop, own, operate and maintain bioenergy production and gas conditioning facilities that would transform organic waste from water treatment plants, farms and other operations into renewable natural gas suitable for power production or injection into utility pipelines.

Power generated using biomethane as a fuel qualifies as clean, renewable power.  Thus, the increased availability of pipeline-quality biomethane is expected to help electric utilities meet California’s aggressive renewable energy goals.

Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) has been delivering clean, safe and reliable natural gas to its customers for more than 140 years.  It is the nation’s largest natural gas distribution utility, providing safe and reliable energy to 20.9 million consumers through nearly 5.8 million meters in more than 500 communities.  The company’s service territory encompasses approximately 20,000 square miles throughout Central and Southern California, from Visalia to the Mexican border.  The Gas Company is a regulated subsidiary of Sempra Energy (NYSE: SRE).  Sempra Energy, based in San Diego, is a Fortune 500 energy services holding company.

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Escondido Wins Three Wastewater Awards

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Nicki Branch, 760-839-4298

On Saturday, January 29, 2011, the California Water Environment Association, San Diego Section (CWEA) awarded the City of Escondido's wastewater facility and staff three awards for excellence.

The City's Hale Avenue Resource Recovery Facility (HARRF) was awarded "Plant of the Year, 2010" Award criteria included certification level of operators, facility accomplishments, permit compliance, benchmarking, process control, pretreatment strategy, biosolids processes, financial condition, training & safety, public relations, energy conservation, inventory control, innovations, maintenance strategy, maintenance efficiency, and in-house trades of staff.

Sarah Hooper, Operator at the HARRF, won the "Operator of the Year" award for outstanding performance and dedication to the field of plant operations.

Christina Moran, Associate Chemist at the City's HARRF Laboratory, won the award of "Laboratory Person of the Year", for outstanding performance and dedication to laboratory water quality analysis.

CWEA is an association of professionals in the wastewater industry, committed to keeping California's water clean. The CWEA program seeks to recognize outstanding achievements within the wastewater field, improve the professional status of all personnel working in the wastewater industry and related fields and stimulate public awareness of the importance of wastewater treatment to public health and the water environment.

three City of Escondido award winners will now go on to compete at the CWEA state of California level.

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Annual State of the City Address to be Held in Morning

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Joyce Masterson, 760-839-4621

In a departure from past practice, Mayor Sam Abed and the City Council will hold Escondido’s Annual State of the City Address at a morning meeting co-sponsored by the Escondido Chamber of Commerce. The event will be held in Salons 1-3 at the California Center for the Arts, Escondido on Wednesday, February 16, 2011 beginning with a breakfast at 8:00 a.m. followed by the program at 8:30 a.m.

The meeting is open to the public.  A breakfast is available for $10 per person by prior reservation to Michele Pacheco at 760-745-2125 or at mpacheco@escondidochamber.org. The deadline to reserve breakfast is 5:00 p.m. on February 8, 2011. Persons wishing to attend the event may do so at no cost, if they are not eating breakfast.

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Escondido Residents Asked to Curtail Non-Critical Water Use

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Lori Vereker, 760-839-5432

Due to the exceptionally heavy rainfall, runoff is seeping into the Escondido sewer system creating a strain on the Hale Avenue Resource Recovery Facility’s ability to process wastewater. Residents are asked to curtail non-critical water use, such as operating washing machines, dishwashers, etc. until the heavy rain stops. This will help to avoid having to discharge tertiary-treated wastewater into Escondido Creek.

Secondary-treated wastewater normally is discharged into the ocean through the outfall off of the San Elijo Lagoon, however the heavy flows are on the verge of overwhelming that system.

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Workshops on Water and Wastewater Rates

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Lori Vereker, 760-839-5432

The City of Escondido will hold the following public workshops to provide information and answer questions on the proposed water and wastewater rate adjustments:

Tuesday, January 4, 2011
Workshop for Agriculture customers
Mitchell Room, 201 N. Broadway
6:00 pm – 7:30 pm

Thursday, January 6, 2011
Workshop for all customers
Mitchell Room, 201 N. Broadway
6:00 pm – 7:30 pm

Tuesday, January 11, 2011
Workshop for Spanish speaking customers
Mission Middle School, 939 E. Mission
6:00 pm – 7:30 pm

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Road Closure

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Lt. Craig Carter, 760-839-4487

Lake Wohlford Road Northbound and Southbound from East Valley Parkway through Oakvale Road will be closed until further notice due to roadway obstructions (rocks and debris).

Motorists traveling in this area should expect delays and are encouraged to use an alternate route, if possible.

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Applications Accepted for Potential Appointment to Escondido City Council

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Marsha Whalen, City Clerk, 760-839-4617

The City of Escondido is accepting applications for a potential appointment to the City Council to fill a vacancy that will be created when Councilmember Sam Abed is sworn in as the elected Mayor of Escondido on December 1, 2010.

The term of the Council seat is from the date of appointment to the next regular municipal election on November 6, 2012. Candidates must be 18 years of age, reside within the city limits of Escondido, and be registered to vote in the City at the time the application is accepted.

Candidates must complete an application and respond to a supplemental questionnaire in order to be considered. Verification of voter registration will be confirmed upon submittal of the application. The packet is available online (PDF / Word), by request to the City Clerk, or by phoning 760-839-4617. The deadline to apply is Wednesday, November 24, 2010, at 5:30 p.m.

The City Council will be discussing the vacancy procedures and potential appointment following the swearing-in ceremony on December 1, 2010, at 7:00 p.m. They may take action at that time or within the required 30-day period thereafter.

In accordance with California law, the City Council has 30 days from the swearing in of the newly elected officers to either call a special election for June 2011 or make an appointment to fill the vacancy.