News Briefs — Oct. 12, 2018

Posted: October 12th, 2018 | Briefs, Calendar, Opinion & News Briefs, News | No Comments

SDG&E bills reduced after settlement

On Sept. 24, San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) announced that customers will see a reduction in their bill begin in October.

The reduction was initiated by a settlement agreement for the closure of the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS) which took effect following approval by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC). Originally set to begin in November, SDG&E sought CPUC approval to accelerate the reductions one month sooner to provide bill relief for customers.

“We’re happy to reach the final chapter in the SONGS settlement and provide these savings for our customers,” said Dan Skopec, SDG&E’s vice president of regulatory affairs in a press release.

There are two aspects to the customer bill reductions: a one-month refund of approximately $13.80 per typical residential customer beginning Oct. 1; and an ongoing average bill reduction of about $1.32 per month for a typical residential customer. CARE residential customers will see a one-month refund of approximately $8.50 and an ongoing average bill reduction of $0.81 per month. Bill reductions for non-residential customers will vary depending on a number of factors.

In 2013, Southern California Edison, as the majority owner and operator of SONGS, closed the nuclear power plant and began decommissioning activities.

The settlement agreement and resulting bill reductions come after a multi-year investigation by the CPUC into the closure of SONGS and related costs. In 2014, the parties reached a settlement regarding the allocation of costs between the utilities and their customers, which was approved by the CPUC.

After allegations of improper communications between SCE and the CPUC surfaced, however, the CPUC reopened the proceeding to investigate the claims and determine if the alleged communications impacted the previous settlement. No violations were alleged to have been committed by SDG&E and no penalties were assessed on SDG&E.

Crusaders Soccer Club in first place

Anthony Diaz maneuvers the ball in an Oct. 6 win over Adalante Soccer Club. (Photo by Jay Coulter)

Crusaders Soccer Club (CSC) Competitive Teams are in first place in their division in San Diego County as teams reach the middle of the fall soccer season. As of Oct. 10, four of the CSC Competitive Division teams are in first place; the Boys 2002 AA-A team, coached by Adam Smith, the CSC San Diego Development Academy Boys 2000 Flight 1 team coached by Erick Melendez, the Girls 2008 AA-A team coached by Ivan Melendez, and the San Diego Development Academy Girls 2000 Flight 2 team coached by Kevin Soares.

The fall season for the Crusaders Soccer Club is at the halfway point and World Club Soccer uniforms can be seen on more than 1,000 recreational division players on Saturdays all over soccer fields in Allied Gardens, Del Cerro and San Carlos.

Erick Melendez, one of the CSC Competitive Division coaches and one of the few “A” Youth Nationally Licensed coaches in the United States, will be supervising the boys and girls Thanksgiving Soccer Camps for competitive and recreational players on Nov. 19, 20 and 21. Both camps will be at Pershing Middle School from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. All players will learn proper techniques and skills to become better soccer players. For more information, and to register a player for one of the Thanksgiving camps, go to

The Competitive Division camp is for CSC competitive players born between 2007 and 2010. The camp will be taught by CSC professional coaches. The cost is $100 per player. The Recreational Division Camp is for recreational players born between 2006 and 2012. The cost is $65 per player. Coach Melendez will be supervising the recreational camp and it will be facilitated by members of the first-place CSC Boys 2000 San Diego Developmental Academy Team.

Visit the Crusaders Soccer Club website for more information about all their programs for recreational and competitive programs at

STEMM Foundation to hold fundraiser at Chipotle

The Henry Cluster STEMM Foundation has been granted a fundraiser at the Chipotle Mexican Grill located at 8005 Fletcher Parkway in La Mesa on Wednesday, Oct. 24 from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thirty-three percent of the price of meals will be donated to the HC STEMM Foundation by mentioning the foundation to the cashier. The foundation’s goal is to increase the level of engagement and academic achievement in science, technology, engineering, mathematics, music and the arts (STEMM) among Patrick Henry neighborhood schools. Proceeds from this fundraiser will be used to help fund two 2018-2019 For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST) robotics teams.

Both teams are community based; The Wizalos team is FIRST Tech Challenge team composed of seventh- and eighth-graders. The Dapper RoboNoodles is a FIRST Lego League team comprised of fifth- and sixth-graders.

STEMM Foundation board members Karen Miller and Michael Reed are working with both teams and are available to help parents, teachers, schools and community-based groups interested in forming their own teams. Interested parties should send requests to

“We thank Tommy Najarian, owner and director of Mathnasium, The Math Learning Center (located at 10330 Friars Road, Suite 109) for his firm’s $250 donation to help sponsor the Dapper RoboNoodles team,” said Henry Cluster STEMM Foundation President Scott Bailey in a press statement. “For more information about this program and/or to help sponsor a team, visit our website at Our foundation is a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit corporation. Please tell your friends and neighbors about our fundraiser and their opportunity to have a great meal at the same time.”

FIRST brings STEM topics alive through a dynamic, hands-on approach to robotics. The program challenges students to apply STEM concepts in real-world situations, and inspires tomorrow’s innovators and entrepreneurs. Teams of up to 15 students are responsible for designing, building and programming their robots to compete as alliances against other teams.

The HC STEMM Foundation continues to work with teachers and administrators at San Diego State University and schools within the Henry Cluster to strengthen partnerships and advance educational opportunities.

Humane Society offers free microchipping

San Diego Humane Society is offering free microchipping on select days in October in anticipation of Halloween, when shelters typically see a substantial increase in lost pets.

Creepy costumes, glowing jack-o-lanterns and candy galore make Halloween a treat for kids and grown-ups, but they can be seriously scary for pets. Opening doors for trick-or-treaters provides plenty of opportunities for spooked pets to flee, resulting in a higher number of stray animals entering the shelter after Halloween.

“There is typically a spike in the number of stray animals we receive the day after a big holiday like Halloween,” said Beau Archer, vice president of animal welfare for San Diego Humane Society in a press release. “We’re offering free microchips so people can protect their pets and reunite with them faster should they become lost.”

San Diego Humane Society will offer free microchipping at its San Diego campus, 5500 Gaines St., every Saturday in October, 8–10 a.m.

Microchips will be available while supplies last, and the Humane Society recommends arriving early. For pets that are already microchipped, the Humane Society recommends owners make sure the contact information is current. For people who cannot make a free event, microchips are always available at all campuses with no appointment necessary for $15.

For pets that go missing, ensuring your pet is microchipped and licensed will assist in a quick reunion. San Diego Humane Society also utilizes a facial recognition app, Finding Rover, to quickly reunite lost dogs with their owners. Registering photos on Finding Rover is free.

For more information, visit

San Diego Zoo offers free admission for children

October is the “month of the kids” at the San Diego Zoo and San Diego Zoo Safari Park, as children are invited to visit both facilities for free.

Kids Free presented by Mission Fed is an annual event that gives free admission to children ages 11 and younger, while providing special weekend activities for the whole family — including enrichment zone events at the zoo, and special keeper talks and fascinating stories about animals at the Safari Park.

At the zoo, kids can join in the African Treasure Hunt, following the clues on a treasure map to discover wildlife treasures. Zoo Corps teens present a discovery stations stocked with props, biofacts and cool things to do; and animal ambassadors educate and entertain guests at the “Wild About Animals” show at Wegeforth Bowl.

HalGLOWeen — the zoo’s glowing Halloween event — will return this year, during Kids Free month. As the sun sets on Oct. 26, 27 and 28, the zoo will glow under black light, with activities for all ages. HalGLOWeen entertainment will include a bubble dance party with the energetic Funky Monkeys, a cupcake walk, Boolahoops, “Dr. Zoolittle’s Spooky Revue,” performers, special animal experiences, a Boo Crew and much more. Kids may wear costumes for this event, according to the guidelines posted on the HalGLOWeen website.

The San Diego Zoo Safari Park will provide even more activities and experiences during Kids Free that will help kids connect with wildlife in exciting and fun ways. Each Saturday and Sunday in October, children and their families can experience animal ambassadors and a variety of keeper talks that will provide a new way of looking at wildlife.

This year, the Safari Park will extend free admission for kids through the first four days in November, to celebrate Día de los Muertos. This multi-day event, honoring Mexico’s traditional Day of the Dead festivities, will feature mariachi musicians, folklorico dancers, stilt walkers, crafts, decorations, and more.

Mission Fed — a longtime sponsor of Kids Free month — donated $5,000 to San Diego Zoo Global Wildlife Conservancy to further the organization’s mission to end extinction and continue vital conservation initiatives both locally and across the globe.

During Kids Free, the zoo is open 9 a.m.–6 p.m. every day — except during HalGLOWeen festivities, when the zoo will close at 8 p.m. The Safari Park is open 9 a.m.–5 p.m. daily. All children younger than 15 must be accompanied by a paid adult during their visit to the zoo or the Safari Park. For more information about Kids Free, show times and activity schedules, visit and

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