The coast news january 1, 2016

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JAN. 1, 2016

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Volunteer Dovie Christensen is ready to begin the count with a species checklist, binoculars, and identification book in hand. Over 100 volunteers took part in the Buena Vista Audubon Society bird count. Photo by Promise Yee

Audubon Society holds annual bird count By Promise Yee

REGION — Over 100 volunteers gathered early in the morning at meet up points around the Buena Vista Lagoon for the annual Audubon Christmas Bird Count on Dec. 27. The Christmas Bird Count happens nationwide

from mid-December to early January. The bird count is touted to be the largest citizen collection of scientific data. The count provides biologists and researchers a coast-to-coast snapshot of local ecosystems. Infor-

mation is used to identify trends in species and habitats, prioritize conservation efforts, and plan and manage land use. “It’s the largest, most successful, and most important citizen science project,” Andy Mauro, an ornithologist who oversees

the Buena Vista Audubon Society count, said. Twenty-five teams of volunteers count birds within eight miles of the Buena Vista Nature Center. Each team has specific sites within the overall TURN TO BIRDING ON A15

New mental health facility plans moving forward By Steve Puterski

ESCONDIDO — The San Diego County Board of Supervisors are moving forward with plans to construct a new facility for mentally ill patients in crisis. Two weeks ago, the supervisors unanimously approved $900,000 to demolish existing buildings on county-owned proper-

ty, which will lead to the construction of the North Inland Crisis Residential Facility on East Valley Parkway. In addition, the county received a $3,688,468 grant from the California Health Facilities Financing Authority. In February, the board authorized advertising for a design-build contract for

the facility and appropriated $3,578,425. According to Supervisor Dave Roberts, the demolition will “hopefully” be completed in the next several months. As for the new building, Roberts said plans have not detailed an exact completion date. Nevertheless, Roberts said the facility is a major boost for those suffering

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from mental illness. “We did several studies and one of the biggest needs was in North County,” he explained. “You never know when mental health issues will affect the family. A lot of times … people end up at the emergency room at the hospital.” Roberts said those paTURN TO FACILITY ON A15

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As part of its outreach program to educate Del Mar residents and businesses about a proposed single-use plastic bag ban, the city’s Sustainability Advisory Board is planning a public screening of “Bag It: Is Your Life Too Plastic?” Courtesy image

Outreach for bag ban getting under way By Bianca Kaplanek

DEL MAR — With the first reading of an ordinance to ban single-use plastic bags scheduled to go before City Council in about a month, the group that requested the prohibition is ready to begin its outreach program to educate residents and businesses about the new law. At their Dec. 17 meeting, members of the Sustainability Advisory Board, or SAB, outlined their upcoming efforts, which include providing information and a frequently asked questions section on the city website and distributing posters and signs to businesses.

They are also planning at least one public showing of a documentary that describes the environmental effects of plastic, including the single-use bags provided by many grocery and retail stores. SAB members said they would like to screen “Bag It: Is Your Life Too Plastic?” at Powerhouse Community Center before the draft law is introduced next month. A discussion with Emelia DeForce, a biologist who has studied the impacts of plastic in the ocean, will follow if she is available. They are also looking TURN TO BAG BAN ON A15

JAMES JAM #1 Individual BHHS Agent, in San Diego County 858.210.0509

james@jamesjam.com jamesjam.com

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