Multiple hit-and-run driver in Pacific Beach pleads guilty
Jun 01, 2015 | 265 views | 0 0 comments | 1 1 recommendations | email to a friend | print
A hit-and-run driver who damaged five cars during a collision-filled rampage in Pacific Beach pled guilty Monday, June 1, to driving under the influence of drugs. Jon Michael Richards, 27, was arrested on Feb. 11, 2014, after a hit-and-run spree that was witnessed by scores of people in busy lunch-hour traffic. Over the course of 17 minutes, Richards: · ran a red light on Grand Avenue and hit his first victim’s car in the intersection. That car spun out and hit another car, and Richards fled the scene, leaving behind one of his car bumpers bearing his license plate; · rear-ended a second vehicle at a red light at 1800 Garnet Ave. while police were investigating the first collision. Witnesses said Richards was speeding and did not slow down. The driver of the car he rear-ended told Richards to follow him to a nearby parking lot, so they could exchange insurance information, but instead Richards drove around the accident scene and fled; and then · hit a parked car in the 2700 block of Garnet Avenue from behind, reversed, drove against traffic, sideswiped another car, and fled the scene. Pursued by witnesses, Richards drive to his residence in the De Anza Cove Mobile Home Park. When police found him outside his mobile home, Richards initially claimed he had no involvement in the accidents. Only after being identified by several witnesses did he admit he was the driver. As they interviewed Richards, officers noted that he was slurring his speech and mumbling, swaying and staggering, and that, while he was agitated and had an elevated pulse rate, he nodded off when placed in a patrol car. He admitted to having taken Klonopin and “some blue pills” earlier. Blood tests subsequently showed high levels of methamphetamine and Clonazepam, the nervous system depressant marketed as Klonopin and prescribed for people suffering from panic attacks and epilepsy. The case was prosecuted by Deputy City Attorney Taylor Garrot, who specializes in drugged driving cases under federally funded grant administered by the California Office of Traffic Safety. Garrot has successfully prosecuted cases in which drivers were under the influence of such drugs as methamphetamine and cocaine; painkillers such as ketamine, antidepressants such as Seroquel; opiates, including morphine, codeine, heroin and hydrocodone; and benzodiazepines, such as Ativan, Valium and Xanax. Richards was sentenced to 120 days in a residential treatment program and five years’ probation, and fined $2,133. Restitution rights were reserved for all of his victims. The City Attorney’s Office receives all misdemeanor DUI arrest reports occurring within Poway, 4-S Ranch and the City of San Diego, except its South Bay communities. Garrot works with the State’s Traffic Safety Resource Protector Program to expand knowledge and resources in the office and throughout the county through training programs with law enforcement personnel. “Taylor’s expertise in prosecuting these cases helps not only our office, but other law enforcement agencies deal with the growing problem of drug-impaired driving,” City Attorney Jan Goldsmith said. “Each year our county experiences thousands of serious injuries and deaths caused by motorists impaired by drugs and alcohol, and his work is keeping dangerous drivers off our streets.” The $263,000 grant comes from the California Office of Traffic Safety through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Comments
(0)
Comments-icon Post a Comment
No Comments Yet
State-mandated water cuts have started in San Diego
Jun 01, 2015 | 260 views | 0 0 comments | 0 0 recommendations | email to a friend | print
In response to the state mandate to reduce water usage, Mayor Kevin L. Faulconer and several of the San Diego region’s other mayors united Monday, June 1, to urge residents to step up their water conservation efforts by reducing outdoor irrigation and taking advantage of conservation programs. “There is no greater challenge facing the state than the ongoing drought and we all must do our part to conserve water,” Faulconer said. “As mayors, we know that we’re all in this together and we will work together to reduce water usage throughout the San Diego region. The easiest way to save water is to scale back on watering of outdoor lawns.” As the fourth straight year of drought conditions continues, the state has set various water reduction mandates for individual cities and water districts, ranging from 12 percent to 36 percent, with the City of San Diego set at 16 percent. The mandates begin today and remain in effect until February 2016. Agencies that don’t comply face daily fines of up to $10,000. Most water experts agree that reducing outdoor irrigation – which accounts for roughly 50 percent of residential water use – provides the most effective path to meeting those mandates. The County Water Authority recently approved new rules that restrict outdoor irrigation to two times each week countywide and the City of San Diego is crafting an ordinance to enforce that new rule. Standing at The Water Conservation Garden in El Cajon, Faulconer was joined by El Cajon Mayor Bill Wells, Escondido Mayor Sam Abed, Imperial Beach Mayor Serge Dedina, Lemon Grove Mayor Mary Sessom and Poway Mayor Steve Vaus. They urged their residents to adhere to the new two-days-a-week outdoor watering restriction and to take advantage of available conservation programs, including turf replacement rebates and free water surveys. “I have no doubt that the people of San Diego County will rise to the challenge of water conservation for as long as is needed,” Wells said. The five-acre Water Conservation Garden, which is funded in part by the City of San Diego, showcases water conservation through a series of themed water-wise gardens and exhibits on artificial turf, mulch and irrigation. Public admission is free. “It is critical that everyone in San Diego County help to conserve water,” Dedina said. “There is nothing more effective in doing this than reducing outdoor irrigation and turning lawns into water conservation gardens that are beautiful to look at. At the City of Imperial Beach, we are in the process of transforming grassy areas into drought tolerant and native plant gardens in order to play our part in water conservation.” Vaus added, “This is a critical challenge we face. With no end in sight to the drought, every gallon we save today will be desperately needed in the future.” Sessom said, “The City of Lemon Grove no longer has it acres of dairy farms and lemon orchards, but it is still green and moving. We can keep it that way by understanding how we use our water in our homes through free water surveys and taking advantage of rebates, such as those for turf replacement.”  There are a host of resources throughout the region to help residents conserve water. For example, the City of San Diego offers: ·         Free-of-charge water surveys. A Water Conservation representative will tour your property to identify leaks and water-saving opportunities. Participants can receive free water-saving equipment, including low-flow showerheads and faucet aerators, among other things. ·         Rebates for rain barrels that catch and store rain water. ·         Rebates for removal of a grass lawn that is replaced with water-wise plant material. ·         Rebates for converting an overhead spray sprinkler system to low application rate micro-irrigation (i.e. drip, micro-spray, etc.). ·         Free mulch. City residents can get up to two cubic yards of mulch from the Miramar Greenery. Applications for City of San Diego rebates will be accepted when the City’s new budget goes into effect July 1, 2015. Faulconer has included $1.15 million for grass lawn replacement rebates in his budget proposal. For more information on those and other city programs, go to wastenowater.org. For more information on resources outside of the City of San Diego, go to socalwatersmart.com. Rebates are currently available from the Metropolitan Water District and San Diego County residents are encouraged to apply.
Comments
(0)
Comments-icon Post a Comment
No Comments Yet
A seafood and pasta dish at Old Venice. / Photo by Dave Schwab
A seafood and pasta dish at Old Venice. / Photo by Dave Schwab
slideshow

DAVE SCHWAB

Work

Articles

Peninsula Beacon’s annual photo contest returns
Jun 01, 2015 | 310 views | 0 0 comments | 1 1 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The Peninsula Beacon’s annual Amateur Photo Contest is back. Enter your best photo portraying the Peninsula area taken since June 2014 and let our readers decide its fate. Photos will be displayed at the Peninsula Beacon booth during the Ocean Beach Street Fair and Chili Cook-Off Festival on Saturday, June 27. The public will vote for its favorite pictures. Prizes will be awarded for the top three photos, which will be published in the Beacon. Deadline to receive entries is Tuesday, June 23. Contest rules: • Photos must be taken by an amateur photographer and must have been shot in the 92106 or 92107 ZIP codes between June of 2013 and June of 2014. Possible locations include Ocean Beach, Point Loma, Shelter Island, Loma Portal or the Sports Arena/Midway District. The subjects of eligible photos may include anything in the area suitable for public viewing. • Do not email photos. Instead, drop them off or mail them to: The Peninsula Beacon, Attn: Photo Contest, 1621 Grand Ave., Suite C, San Diego, CA 92109. • Retouched, Photoshopped or computer-enhanced photos will not be accepted. • Color or black-and-white prints are eligible. Slides are not allowed. Entries should be no larger than 8 by 10 inches and no smaller than 3 by 5 inches. Please don’t send a framed photo. • Only one entry per photographer is allowed. • Amateur photographers only, please. A professional category may be on display but is not a part of the judging. • Include photographer’s name, address, phone number, date the photo was taken and a brief description of the subject. • The safe return of entries is not guaranteed. Remember, these photos will be mounted for public display — expect some wear and tear. Photos may be picked up at the Beacon office beginning Wednesday, July 1. Stop by the Beacon booth As long as you’re visiting the Ocean Beach Street Fair and Chili Cook-Off Festival, be sure to come by and check out the Peninsula Beacon’s booth and say hello. Our special street fair edition will be delivered to homes and news racks Thursday, June 25, and more will be available at our booth on June 27 to help you navigate your way around the festival. Also, be sure to grab a copy of our annual Ocean Beach/Point Loma Visitors Guide, which gives you complete listings of community activities and attractions throughout the year.
Comments
(0)
Comments-icon Post a Comment
No Comments Yet