Wednesday, December 5, 2007

California Home Owners Affected By The Wildfires To Receive Free Deeds Service From - A New York City Document Retrieval Company

SOURCE: VP of Fast Deeds 12/5/07

(PRLEAP.COM) New York, New York - Fast Deeds ( is offering free copies of deeds to California homeowners affected by the wildfires. Over 200,000 homes in Southern California have been affected by this tragedy in the following counties: Los Angeles, San Diego, Ventura, Orange, and San Bernadino.

“We know that these homeowners in these areas are going through a lot and we’d like to do our part to by help by offering our services on a pro-bono basis. It’s one less thing that people affected by this tragedy need to worry about,” said Luca J. Catania, President of Fast Deeds.

With well over $1 Billion dollars in damages to real estate, insurance companies will require homeowners affected by the tragic fires to show proof of ownership, and may require certified copies of deeds as well. Fast Deeds ( will help each and every homeowner affected by this disaster by contacting their local county clerk and obtaining copies of their property deeds.

For immediate service, homeowners affected by the wildfires can call 877-90-DEEDS. It will take 7-10 business days to obtain their deeds.

About Fast Deeds - Fast Deeds through its website, is a premier New York based document retrieval company. is one of the most widely used sites by legal professionals and new homeowners.

Press Contact: Abe Kasbo

About This Release
If you have any questions regarding information in these press releases please contact the organization listed in the press release. Issuers of press releases and not PR Leap are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

El Cajon Disaster Recovery Center Transitions To An SBA Center

FEMA Release Date: December 5, 2007
Release Number: 1731-065

PASADENA, Calif. -- The Disaster Recovery Center (DRC) in El Cajon at 900 Rancho San Diego Parkway will become a U.S. Small Business Administration Disaster Loan Outreach Center (DLOC) this Saturday, Dec. 8.

The DRC will close on Fri., Dec. 7, at 7 p.m. and re-open as a DLOC on Sat., Dec. 8 at 9 a.m. with hours Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

SBA Customer Service Representatives at the DLOC will be available to issue and accept loan applications, answer questions about SBA's disaster loan programs, explain the application process, and help each individual complete their application.

The SBA is the federal government's primary source of money for the long-term rebuilding of disaster-damaged private property. SBA helps homeowners and renters, businesses of all sizes, and private, nonprofit organizations fund repairs or rebuilding efforts, and covers the cost of replacing lost or disaster-damaged property. These disaster loans cover losses not fully compensated by insurance or other recoveries and do not duplicate benefits of other agencies or organizations.

Businesses or individuals unable to visit the DLOC may obtain information by calling SBA's toll-free number: 1-800-659-2955 (TTY 1-800-877-8339) or visit SBA at

If you have not registered, you can do so by calling 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or TTY 1-800-462-7585. Lines are open from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m., daily. Those affected by the fires can also register online at

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Southern California Self Storage Facilities Join Forces to Provide Relief to Wildfire Victims by Offering 2 Months of Free Storage

In an effort to help aid workers and affected families of the Southern California wildfires, several local self storage facilities have formed the "SoCal Storage Relief Alliance" to give fire victims a safe place for their belongings while they rebuild their homes and businesses.

Ogden, UT based Storage Marketing Solutions has brought their Southern California based self storage clients together to form an alliance to help those in need. Participating self storage facilities are offering 2 full months of free storage to anybody in the area affected directly or indirectly by the fires.

This includes homeowners, renters, business owners and aid workers. "Anybody who is helping or that has been affected by these fires is welcome to 2 free months of storage with participating facilities on available unit sizes" said Derek Naylor, President of Storage Marketing Solutions.

Greg Houge, President of Storage, Etc. which operates multiple SoCal storage facilities said: "Our thoughts and prayers go out to the victims of the Southern California wildfiresStorage, Etc. was fortunate that our business was not destroyed and we're offering two months of free rent on storage space to those who have been displaced".

Mobile storage operator Alex Rosenberg commented: "Storage Valet stands ready to distribute it's mobile storage containers throughout it's coverage area (including Orange County, the Inland Empire, and parts of LA County) to help all of those afflicted by the fires. This includes victims of the fire, donation/collection sites, and assistance centers".

Victims are encouraged to contact one of the following participants:

* Crossroads Storage Santa Maria, CA 650 Southside Parkway Santa Maria, CA 93455. Phone: 805-918-4871.

* Storage Etc. Self Storage Woodland Hills, CA 6030 Canoga Avenue Woodland Hills, CA 91367. Phone: 818-332-3980.

* Storage Etc. Self Storage Chatsworth, CA 20550 Lassen Street Chatsworth, CA 91311. Phone: 818-332-3986.

* Storage Etc. Self Storage Calabasas, CA 5045 Old Scandia Ln. Calabasas, CA 91302. Phone: 818-332-3984.

* Storage Etc. Self Storage Torrance, CA 2545 West 190th Street Torrance, CA 90504. Phone: 310-256-3371.

* America's Best Self Storage Torrance, CA 380 Crenshaw Blvd. (at Del Amo Blvd.), Torrance, CA 90503 Phone: 310-212-7339.

* Storage Etc. Self Storage Gardena, CA 740 West 190th Street Gardena, CA 90248. Phone: 310-933-5304.

* Storage Etc. Self Storage Carson, CA 20501 S. Main St. Carson, CA 90745. Phone: 310-401-8299.

* Storage Etc. Self Storage Long Beach, CA 2911 Redondo Ave Long Beach, CA 90806. Phone: 562-364-1922.

* Orangethorpe Mini Storage Anaheim, CA 900 East Orangethorpe Ave. Anaheim, CA 92801. Phone: 714-948-2555.

* Storage Etc. Self Storage Stanton, CA 10850 Beach Blvd Stanton, CA 90680. Phone: 714-782-3321.

* Storage Etc. Self Storage San Diego, CA 1040 Sherman St San Diego, CA 92110. Phone: 619-399-3067.

* Storage Etc. Self Storage San Diego, CA 2150 Hancock St. San Diego, CA 92110. Phone: 619-377-0199.

* Storage Valet Corona CA delivers mobile storage containers throughout Orange County, the Inland Empire and parts of LA County. Phone: 877-798-2538.

All alliance facilities offer secure and modern service. Those interested should mention "Wildfire" to get their 2 free months of rent.

For more information and media contacts, please contact:

Derek Naylor
Storage Marketing Solutions
PO Box 13569 Ogden, UT 84412-3569
The Jamul Fire Help Distribution Center is fully functional and open to “shoppers.”

It is located at:

Jamul Community Church Offices
14866 Lyons Valley Rd.

New hours are:

Monday and Wednesday from 11:00am-4:30 pm
Saturday from 9:00am-2:00 pm

Current needs are:

NEW bedding (pillows, sheets, comforters, mattress pads)
Kitchen items (dishes, pots & pans, bake ware, small appliances)
New bath towels
Laundry detergent, diapers, diaper wipes
Irons, ironing boards
Home entertainment electronics

Please NOTE! If you are donating furniture, you must call ahead first to coordinate as their storage space is limited. They do however except things like beds and dressers as there is a need for them. But again, just CALL FIRST!


Sunday, December 2, 2007

Knitters Re-Covering San Diego


With the help of our yarn vendors, and anyone who is looking for a way to give to the fire victims, we hope to make enough blankets to give to all those who have lost their homes; approximately 1350 San Diego families.

So far we have contacted three of our yarn vendors, Plymouth, Berroco, and Skacel Yarn Company. They have all agreed to donate yarns to be used to make blankets for those who have lost their homes. The yarns are arriving and ready to be picked up and made into squares. We invite you to come to the store and pick up a ball of yarn or two and make a few squares. The yarn is complimentary, but we have had several knitters ask to pay for their yarns. If that is you, know that the proceeds will go toward incidental cost, such as mailing and other costs we can’t think of presently. Our hope is that the donated yarns will keep coming.

The squares need to be 9” by 9”. They can be knitted or crocheted, in any pattern you choose. If you can’t come to the store to pick up a ball but want to make a square, you can either use any washable yarn you already have or send us a self addressed stamped envelop and we will send you a ball. Send to : Common Threads 466 S. Coast Hwy. 101 Encinitas, Ca. 92024. We have made name tags to go with each square made. Our plan is that when the blankets are given to a family, we would like them to know who made it. The name tags will be at the store, and at some point in the near future they will be on our site to print out.

We have started a blog site for the project:

This is our first blog site, so we are learning how it works, but our hope is that participants in the project will use it to communicate with one another and post their stories and progress with their knitting. As the completed squares start to arrive we will be planning assembly parties, and invite you to join us for those parties as well.

It is our understanding that there are several other groups in the San Diego area who are also making blankets for fire victims. We hope to coordinate with these groups when it comes to distributing the blankets. So with our combined efforts we truly might reach our goal of Re-Covering all San Diego families with a blanket.

Last Updated ( Monday, 26 November 2007 )


Salmon Dinner and Silent Auction
DEC. 15th, 6pm at San Rafael Parish Hall

We need silent auction items. Please don’t hesitate to ask your favorite restaurant or leisure activity.

We will need bar-tenders, ticket takers, youth assistance coordinators, clean up crew, buffet captains, Silent Auction Coordinators, etc, etc – plenty to do for all.

We have 240 servings of Salmon, so please encourage early purchase of the tickets so we can plan for more if needed. Thanks for your help in advance.

Tickets are $20 each. Come and meet old and new friends and support those who have lost their homes.

Paul Thoreson
(858) 673-7392

Community Christmas Boutique

December 7, 8 and 9th
A Gift to the Families Of the 2007 San Diego Firestorms

The women of Rancho Bernardo Community Presbyterian Church would like to invite you to help us create a Community Christmas Boutique for over 500 families in the Rancho Bernardo and surrounding North County areas who lost their homes in the 2007 San Diego Fire Storms. Our goal is to provide these families with boutique and keepsake quality Christmas ornaments and decorations that will help start new family traditions.

In order to help families find the ornaments most meaningful to them, the ornaments will be displayed on 13 theme decorated Christmas trees. These lists are merely suggestions- please follow as your heart leads.

Ornaments (please package by theme if possible):

1. Religious: crèche, crosses, Joy, Peace, Stars
2. Snow: snowmen, skis, sleds, icicles, snowflakes
3. Angels: heavenly hosts of all types
4. Children: primary colors, children oriented themes
5. Musical: instruments, carols, musical notes
6. Sports: all sports, skates, balls, helmets, bats etc.
7. Glitz: anything silver or gold, glittery, gilded
8. Homespun: country themed, homey, handcrafted feel, gingerbread
9. Nature/Fruit: ornaments inspired by nature, birds, branches, berries
10. Santa: Santa, elves, North Pole
11. Traditional: balls, glass, flocked, sequined, smocked, candy canes
12. Creative: unique and artistically designed ornaments
13. For the men: outdoors, golf, hobbies, occupation, pets, motorcycles

Children’s Christmas Books: Please choose books that have special meaning to you or your family.

Donation Logistics: A local warehouse in Poway, CA will be used to store the ornaments and decorations. The week after Thanksgiving, the warehouse will be transformed into a beautiful and inviting Christmas boutique .

All donations may be shipped directly to the home of:

Theresa Suzuki
12917 Lomas Verdes Drive
Poway, CA 92064

Please include an inventory check list and contact information, including your email. We will send a confirmation of receipt.

Rental Listings for Fire Families

List of Rentals:

Fjellestad, Barrett & Short Property Management has a list of available rental properties.

For more information, please contact:

Pam Neillo, Rancho Bernardo Operations Manager
(858) 487-8519 and (858) 487-4004.

Coldwell Banker ~ Rancho Bernardo - Rental Assistance

List of Rentals:

Coldwell Banker - Rancho Bernardo Real Estate is offering space in their office to facilitate the search for temporary housing.

You can receive a list of area property managers/landlords with current rentals, and use their phone to contact landlords directly.

16363 Bernardo Center Drive, (858) 487-3333 - Need A Home? Have a Rental Home To Offer a Fire Family?

How It Works

For people in need of housing:

When you register as a person needing housing, your information is stored our database. This information is confidential and will only be shared when a match is found (the closest match to your needs).

When a person offering housing sees your profile, they will contact you directly to talk one-to-one about what they can offer. Please respect their hospitality and provide any details they may request to confirm your information.

Any supporting documents (for your identity or status) are strictly between you and the person offering housing. These are people just like you, so be respectful. Honest communication is key. Please provide truthful information for people offering housing and respect their home rules.

Once you find housing, please come back to the site and remove your name from the database so it will not be forwarded to anyone else.

For people offering housing:
When you register and indicate your housing availability our system will work to locate a match to your requirements and will send you information on people in need of housing who meet your criteria.

PLEASE NOTE: THIS IS A ONE-WAY EXCHANGE - as a volunteer your information is NOT provided to anyone else. It is up to YOU to contact someone who needs housing directly, person-to-person. It's also up to you to determine if you want to offer housing to anyone - you are under no obligation to house anyone! This is a citizen-to-citizen exchange, so use your own good judgment if you want to offer your home to share with someone else.

Thank you for your help and together we'll overcome this disaster!

Rancho Bernardo Fire Station in need of Extreme Home Makeover

They put their lives on the line and fought for our community during this recent devastating fire storm. San Diego Fire Station 33, in Rancho Bernardo, is in need of an EXTREME HOME MAKEOVER.

It was built almost 40 years ago for a 3 man crew and one engine. Now the station inadequately accommodates 6 men and women and a fire engine, a brush truck, AND an ambulance. 30 years of deferred maintenance have left the station in terrible disrepair. An RB Family made a video (which we would love to see!), that KNSD featured, asking EXTREME HOME MAKEOVER to makeover our fire station. We would like to start a letter writing campaign to ABC asking them to help our community rebuild by supporting our RB firefighters.

If you are interested in writing a letter, please address it to:

Lock & Key Productions
c/o Family Casting
P.O. BOX 38670
Los Angeles, CA. 90038

Or if anyone wants to make a donation:Make your check to:

San Diego Foundation and then in the memo section write: Account #69/Friends of Fire Station 33 and mail to:

Rancho Bernardo Community Council
PO Box 28729
San Diego, CA 92198

RB Community Presbyterian Church Free Store

Hours 10 am to 8 pm.

Many new items including clothes, food and household items.

Open to all fire impacted families in San Diego.

Check in at the front office with information verifying your fire-damaged address.

Contact Valerie Brown (959-485-1292) for more information.

Free Shoes: Footwear etc.

Footwear etc.
(858) 613-1221
16777 Bernardo Center Drive

Footwear etc. has a section of their store dedicated to new and used shoes that households who have lost their homes can take home. Some of the shoes are donated by other families, others are from Footwear etc and Naot (a shoe manufacturer that has just donated an additional 200 pairs of new shoes). Store

Hours: M-F 9:30am-7:00pm, Sat. 9:30am-6:00pm, Sun. 11:00am-6:00pm.

Free Used Office Furniture

It is in good condition and there is a lot of it.

We can deliver!

Contact: Phyllis Pizzuto, Controller, HMS Construction, Inc.

760-736-3093 or

Linders Furniture: FREE Mattress

Linders Furniture is donating free mattresses for fire families. Lines are busy, so please be patient.


FREE Consults: Rebuilding

I helped re-design homes in the Crest fire of 2003 … if there is any thing I can do to help IE; permits, building plans, or answer any general questions on rebuilding as it pertains to the city or county please call. Free consultations.

Kelly Salmans
Salmans + Assoc.
619 444 5590

Rancho Bernardo: Sandbag Assistance

Sandbag Assistance:

Coordinate with Janet DiPrinzio ( )
to have a group directly put sandbags at your property.

Poway: Free Internet Access For Fire Families

Computing 101 near Michael’s in Poway is offering FREE internet access.
12-12am 7 days/wk - 858-513-3774

Jewelry Refurbishment

Artistry in Gold, 13525 Poway Road, is offering to refurbish jewelry damaged in the fires for FREE. They are also offering those who lost Lladro, Swarovski or Lenox items, replacements at their cost.

Call Jim or Roxann at 486-4373.

VSP/RB Eyes: Eyesglasses/Contac Replacement

Kelvin Nguyen, O.D.
Gary R Saks, O.D.
Jacquelin Le, O.D.

17631 W Bernardo Dr.Suite ASan Diego, CA 92127

Great news from the largest vision provider in
the country, Vision Service Plan (VSP).

Please contact VSP and local Red Cross if you lost your glasses/contact lenses
from The fire or during evacuation.

The below information was passed on to network doctors.

VSP members who have lost or broken their eyewear can call us at 800.877.7195.

We’ll reinstate their benefits regardless of eligibility.

Individuals without VSP coverage can contact their local American Red Cross chapter and request a VSP eyecare voucher.

Sincerely, RB Eyes Staff

Concrete After a Fire

Fire can cause severe concrete damage because of shock heating. Concrete expands as it's heated. In the extreme heat of a fire, the outer layer will expand much more quickly than the inner portion, causing it to fracture and break away. This phenomenon is known as differential expansion. It can also occur in reverse when the fire is doused by fire hoses or a sprinkler system. In this case, hot concrete is cooled suddenly, causing the outer layer to shrink and break away.

TIP: Concrete is damaged by fire no matter what your claims representative or others may tell you. CARe will can provide documentation for homeowner use so damaged retaining walls and foundations are properly paid for and correctly replaced. Here is something to start with:

Concrete pathology
Routine monitoring and maintenance of concrete structures can extend service life and reduce long-term repair and maintenance costs.

By Michael J. Drerup, Project Engineer, Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates, Inc., New York, New York, June 25, 2001

SOURCE: CARe, Inc. site -

Replacing Musical Instruments

Like many others, I am involved in the fire relief efforts. My task is locating musical instruments for those students of Poway Unified School District (I am hoping to include Ramona Unified in this) who lost their instrument in the fires (Insurance will cover most instruments, but you will have losses that there is not insurance).

Right now, Poway USD is taking an inventory of the instruments lost in the fires. Hopefully, we will be able to fill the needs of the students. The plan is that the instruments would be donated directly to Poway USD, which would then provide a receipt for tax purposes. I won’t know exactly what is needed until the School District provides me their list.

If you are interested in donating an instrument, know of someone who might, or might have connections in the music industry, please contact me either by email or phone (858-679-1360).

I am working with Cindy Hicks of Poway USD and her contact information is:
858- 668-4040

Regards,Roger C. Covalt

Rancho Bernardo: Floor Plans

Mcmillin Realty has copies of many of the original builder floor plans in their Rancho Bernardo office. If you would like a copy of your floor plan, please contact McMillin Realty at 858-487-2002. Or call Lori Shannon at 619-204-3517

SBA: Reapply if you are Denied

If you are DENIED by SBA, you should apply/appeal AGAIN.

SBA will reconsider up to 3 denials, SO GIVE IT A SHOT.

And just to remind EVERYONE: If you lost your home/rental, APPLY FOR SBA.

It provides loans TO REGULAR RESIDENTS IN DISASTERS — not just businesses. The loans cover shortfalls in insurance — and at this point,
you don’t know if you’re underinsured or not so FILE. The loans are about 2.9% interest (RIDICULOUSLY CHEAP MONEY) and go up to $200,000.

You can have multiple attempts - SO REAPPLY IF DENIED. BE PERSISTENT!!!

Out of the Ashes ~ Organizing Totes From Cedar Fire Survivors

To assist families who lost their homes in the Witch Creek fire, a group of nearly 100 Scripps Ranch volunteers have designed, assembled and are now distributing 1,000 free file system totes, customized to the needs of recovering fire victims.

Each portable, plastic tote contains pre-labeled hanging files and manila folders to help organize the many important forms, receipts, and documents acquired during the recovery process.

Many of this project’s volunteers lost their Scripps Ranch homes in the 2003 Cedar Fire and are therefore eager to “pay it forward” by sharing their post-fire experience and knowledge with those who are beginning the recovery process in Rancho Bernardo, Poway, Ramona and other surrounding areas. They reveal that ”Getting organized helps you feel in control of your life again”.

The totes are currently available (free of charge) at the Rancho Bernardo Assistance Center (on West Bernardo Drive, San Diego, CA 92127). Plans are currently underway to distribute totes to additional Relief Centers.

Permitting To Move Forward

In the aftermath of the Cedar Fires, the City set up a special task force to push permits through quickly, often in as little as a week for a complete rebuild. They will be taking this approach again. The Permitting Departments’ lead is Kelly Broughton,

If you don’t have your plans and want to rebuild the same house: Check with the office of your builder if they are still in business - they may have a set on file. Contact Kelly Broughton–there are many arthitects, etc., whio are offering pro bono services if you want to rebuild the same plan. There may be another house in the neighborhood that may be used as a model to draw up blueprints.
If you want a new design: Check with Kelly Broughton regarding architects who are donating services.

IMPORTANT: You need the approval of your HOA before you build.
Westwood requires that ALL construction by approved by the Architectural Committe. Before you submit plans to the City for approval, Westwood’s HOA must approve the plans. The Architectural Committe is expanding and boosting resources to help expedite this process. Proceeding withouth

Architectural Committee approval is a violation of our CC&R’s and may lead to delay and/or requirements to undo your work, which would be a shame. The form and instructions are available for download at:

Incentives to build “green”. SDG&E and the state are offering all kinds of incentives for the energy-efficiency of your home. Contact Linda Pratt at SDG&E

(858) 492-5088 for more information.


USA Baby has generously made arrangements with a top crib manufacturer, Munire, to make available at least 100 FREE new Munire cribs to recent San Diego fire victims.

USA Baby will also make available other special packages and deals for San Diego fire victims.

To make arrangements for your free or discounted crib call USA Baby at (858) 578-3334

Disclaimer: Verification and proof of loss of home is required, USA Baby reserves the right to limit this offer to ONLY individuals that can show proof of their loss and hardship. See store for details.Valid only at this store location: 9262 Miramar Road San Diego, CA 92126 858.578.3334

Police Warn Poway Residents About Water Testers

POWAY ---- Police are warning residents against suspected scammers posing as water-quality testers and seeking entry to people's houses in Poway.

Residents told police that people have been going door to door saying they're ready to test the homes' water quality. They carry a badge and present blue door hangers written in Spanish.

Police said city crews are not conducting water-quality tests and do not ask for entry into houses. Anyone approached by a would-be tester should call the city at (858) 668-4401 or the sheriff's office at (858) 513-2800.

Volunteer Services of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints San Diego County Fire Damages Clean-up

How We Can Help

Over 1200 home owners in San Diego County have completely lost their homes due to the fires. Thousands of others have damage and clean up issues for which we would like to offer volunteer labor to assist in the effort.

Services we can provide:

Clean up of yards – the winds have blown tree limbs, leaves, ashes, and other debris into most of the yards surrounding the fires. While we can't haul off the debris, we can clean it up and organize it at curb side for pickup.

Fence damage – many wood fences have portions which have blown down. Panels or boards may have to be re-attached. Supporting posts may have sheared off, in which case new posts will need to be installed. Depending on the extent of damage we may be able to assist in repairing.

Blown over objects – many patio covers and awnings are sitting in yards upside down and sideways. They may just need to be reset or re-attached to the home. They may be damaged or destroyed and may need to be dismantled to be hauled away. Patio furniture and BBQ's may need to be righted. We can help.

Cleaning of walls and windows – many homes near homes that burned have smoke and ash on their windows. We can wash the windows and broom clean the soot off the walls. City ordinances prohibit the use of water that may go into the street to clean roofs or walls.

Patios, walkways and driveways - we can broom clean these areas of ashes, leaves, branches, debris.

Trees down – many have trees or portions of trees which have fallen onto homes and into yards. We may be able to assist in cutting the fallen branchs and stacking them for removal.

Broken sliding glass doors and windows – we can assist in boarding them up until glass replacement can be arranged.

Other: If there things you need done that are not on this list, call and we may be able to help


We can't remove trees or large trunks.
We can provide labor but not the materials needed for the above services.
We do not have the resources to haul debris away.
We can't use water to clean soot and debris that may go into the public drains due to govt regulations
Work requests will be handled in order of urgency.

Hotlines for help: 24/7 760-535-1257 858-602-7773

Best Christmas Present for a Fire Family

I’m sure you’re wondering what the BEST Christmas/Hannukah present for the fire families you know would be . . . .Here it is:

Make copies of all the photos with any member of their family. PRINT them out!!! Also, burn a CD and give it to them.This would be HUGE, HUGE, HUGE in helping them.

If you’re an organizer, set up an online album and contact all their friends and have them all put their photos up onto the website.

And if you’re crafty - make albums!!

Were they at church with you? In school photos? In sports??

Help them recreate their past and build memories. This is worth ALL EFFORT you can give.

And this would be the most treasured gift you could ever give (and to the fire families - ASK ALL YOUR RELATIVES FOR THIS FOR CHRISTMAS/HANNUKAH!!!) .


Rancho Bernardo Community Fire Recovery Update

Valerie Brown (phone: (858) 485-1292, fax (619)699-6612), Project Coordinator - ReBuilding RB Coalition, is working to get assistance to families in need after the fire. She needs to get current contact information for the affected families so she can deliver donated items to them. She would love to hear from any RB households that have lost their homes, have been displaced, or have been otherwise impacted. Valerie has access to a lot of resources including volunteers, some rental properties, gift certificates and donated items! Please feel free to contact her with needs or additional resources.

Free Family Portraits - Dec 4 in Rancho Bernardo

For anyone who lost photos in the recent fires HP is doing free family portraits.

Family Portraits
Westwood ClubWest Bernardo Drive, Rancho Bernardo
December 4, 2007
Please call 858-722-9193 for a sitting time.

HP is also doing a photo restoration / community replacement program similar to what we did after the Cedar Fires. It launches Thursday Dec 13 at the Westwood Club teen center. And will run Thursday-Sunday starting at 12 noon through early evening. Sessions are scheduled for Dec – Jan. More details will be available shortly.

Sempra Energy Foundation’s 2007 Fire Assistance Fund

2007 Fire Assistance Fund available for your employees who were affected by the recent fires Hundreds of San Diego residents were impacted by the October firestorm. Many of these individuals may be employees at your business. To help both individuals and communities, Sempra Energy, the parent company of SDG&E, has set up a $5 milllion dollar relief fund through the Sempra Energy Foundation.

The Sempra Energy Foundation 2007 Fire Assistance fund is available to anyone affected by the fires. It’s not neccesary to be an SDG&E customer.

Anyone wishing to receive aid should apply to the Sempra Energy Foundation. The Foundation will review all applications and make the best effort to provide relief to those most in need until all funds have been exhausted. Applications for aid are available in both English and Spanish.

Fund information and applications can be obtained, the following two ways:

1. Online at Applying online is the quickest and most convenient way to apply for aid.

2. By calling the Sempra Energy Foundation toll-free at (866) 262-4842 to request an application be sent in the mail. This toll free number is available from 8am to 5pm, Monday - Friday.

Please feel free to forward the information provided to your employees. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me or visit

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Garth Brooks tickets for wildfire charity show on sale at 9 a.m.

December 1, 2007 11:53 AM PST
PAM KRAGENStaff Writer
North County Times

LOS ANGELES ----- Tickets go on sale at 9 a.m. today for a concert by country superstar Garth Brooks at the Staples Center next month that will raise money for fire victims and firefighters in San Diego, L.A. and Orange counties.

Brooks, who emerged last month from a nine-year retirement to perform a series of charity concerts, will donate 100 percent of the proceeds from the Jan. 26 Staples Center show to the Southern California 2008 Fire Relief Campaign. Brooks is performing without pay and AEG Live is donating the use of Staples Center to maximize the proceeds to the wildfire relief campaign. Other sponsors ---- American Express, the Los Angeles Times and the McCormick Tribune Foundation (which is administering the Fire Relief Campaign) ---- are joining forces to raise an additional $2 million or more for the cause.

"Garth was extremely aware of what our region has had to endure and was on-board the very moment our city and state leaders requested that he perform," said Tim Leiweke, president of AEG, in a prepared statement.

In San Diego, where more than 1,000 homes were destroyed by wildfires in October, Mayor Jerry Sanders expressed his gratitude to Brooks.

"To have a star of Mr. Brooks' stature dedicate his talent and time to help raise funds for those who lost their homes and to better equip our brave firefighters is truly uplifting," Sanders said in a statement.

Brooks is the No. 1 solo artist in U.S. history, having sold more than 123 million albums, according to the Recording Industry Association of America. During his career in the 1990s, he racked up two Grammys, 17 American Music Awards, 11 Country Music Association Awards, 18 Academy of Country Music Awards and 36 Billboard Music Awards, among others. Citing family concerns in the wake of a highly publicized divorce, Brooks retired from touring in 1998 to focus on raising his three daughters in rural Oklahoma. Since then, Brooks --- who married fellow country singer Trisha Yearwood in 2005 --- has re-emerged only to perform periodic concerts for charity. Last month, he performed nine concerts in Kansas City that sold out in a matter of minutes, so the L.A. concert tickets are expected to disappear even quicker.

Tickets to the L.A. concert are $38.60 each, plus $6.40 in taxes and handling fees. A maximum of six tickets will be available per person. Tickets will be sold through all Ticketmaster outlets. Locally, Ticketmaster can be reached by calling (619) 220-8497 or visit

Fire Closures Hit Working Poor in the Wallet

North County Times
By: TERI FIGUEROA - Staff Writer

When North County businesses locked their doors during last month's fires, the temporary closures left many rank-and-file, hourly employees with shrunken paychecks.

At the end of the month.

With rent coming due.

"We had to ask my husband's boss for money to pay rent," said Lorena Castellanos. "It's hard, but what can you do? You can't stop time and ask for another week to make up (for the money we lost)."Her husband works in construction. She works in a Fallbrook nursing home. And on top of raising the couple's 3-year-old son, Lorena Castellanos also attends school full-time to become a licensed vocational nurse.

Finding out how many businesses closed during the fires ---- and thus the number of people with smaller paychecks ---- is difficult, said Gary Knight, the head of the San Diego North Economic Development Council.

He noted anecdotally that while one shop may have stayed open, a neighboring business was often shuttered for a few days.

"There is no reporting system," Knight said.

"There is no central collection service to indicate this kind of data.

"One clue may be to look at the unemployment claims made, he said.

By Tuesday, about a month after the fires began, the state's Employment Development Department had received nearly 6,600 unemployment claims from people who cited the blazes as the reason they were out of work, said Kevin Callori, a spokesman for the department.

Of that number, about 12 percent ---- 789 applicants ---- qualified for the Disaster Unemployment Assistance program, which comes from federal coffers, Callori said.

Since the wildfires, about 512 of those disaster-assistance applications have come from San Diego County. San Bernardino County had 228 people apply for the aid, and Riverside County had 16 such applications, Callori said.

Like the Castellanos family in Fallbrook, many of those affected by the loss of work are people who "really can't afford any interruption in income," said Katherine S. Newman, a professor of sociology and public policy at Princeton University in New Jersey. "It immediately plunges them into trouble.

"Newman's new book, "The Missing Class," highlights the challenges facing a class of people often dubbed the "working poor," or people just above the poverty level ---- those who earn between $20,000 and $40,000 a year.

After the fires, people in such situations can become the "collateral damage of a geographic disaster," Newman said in a telephone interview earlier this month.

What of, say, substitute teachers in Oceanside or Carlsbad who were stuck at home when school districts shut for the week? What of day-care workers who missed out on a week's pay because the child care center that employs them shuttered for the week? And the mom who had to skip work because the schools and day-cares were closed? Or the construction worker who saw much-needed work dry up for the week?

Some, it turns out, may qualify for unemployment checks from the state. But for those who don't, there may be little recourse to recover lost wages.

Professor Arnold Rosenberg at the Thomas Jefferson School of Law in San Diego said that, generally speaking, employees are not entitled to be paid for hours they did not work.

It may mean tough times for families like the Castellanoses, who will have to stretch their pay in this, the costly Christmas season, to cover the hole in their monthly income.

"We still have the same amount of bills, just less money coming in," Lorena Castellanos said. "That payback will hit now."

"There is tremendous vulnerability in natural disasters," said Newman of the economic crisis confronting the "missing class." "I think it inspires a feeling of frustration, like pushing a rock up a mountain, and every time you are at the top, it tumbles down on top of you.

"For instance, Newman said, people in the working class make too much to qualify for the usual help available to those in poverty. These are people, she said, who work hard and earn money. But savings? For people in this "missing class," people living paycheck to paycheck, who has money to set aside?"

Their struggles don't provide them a buffer or safety net that is very strong," Newman said. "Any type of disaster will dash them down.

"For the lucky few, there may be some relief from the state through the disaster assistance program. It boils down to an unemployment check to cover lost wages due to the fires.Among those who may be eligible for unemployment checks are those who were supposed to begin jobs that wound up disappearing when the fires raged. The unemployment program also covers people who were injured in the disaster and left physically unable to work.

Other people who might qualify are those who were "unable to reach work because of the disaster," which is the phrase the state's Employment Development Department used in a press release Oct. 26.

Because eligibility for help is determined on a case by case basis, it is difficult to say if assistance is there for workers whose place of employment in, say, Valley Center may have been open, but unreachable because authorities were keeping folks from entering the evacuation areas.

Also unclear is whether unemployment checks would be available for employees of businesses outside the evacuation area that closed up shop the week of the fires.

So Callori, the employment department spokesman, has a simple piece of advice: "We tell people to apply if they think they qualify."

The deadline to apply for the Disaster Unemployment Assistance program is Monday.

To learn more about unemployment assistance through the state, go to The information is available in English and Spanish.Residents can also apply directly online at, or by calling toll-free (800) 300-5616 for English; (800) 326-8937 for Spanish; or (800) 815-9387 for TTY for those who are deaf or hard of hearing.

Contact staff writer Teri Figueroa at (760) 631-6624 or

Friday, November 30, 2007

CA Fmworkers Struggle After Fires

Wildfires leave farmworkers in precarious financial situation.
BY VICKI DESORMIER SAN DIEGO November 14, 2007 /Disaster News Network

Picking through the charred leaves and crisp remains of fruit and flowers, growers and farmworkers in San Diego County may feel alone in the fields.

Each farmer has had to take a look at the wildfire damage to his crops and make the hard decisions about how to handle the situation and get back on the road to recovery. For farmworkers, their road back to recovery will be especially long and difficult.

Eric Larson, executive director of the San Diego County Farm Bureau, said there are few agencies offering fire recovery planning assistance to area growers.

"They're pretty much on their own," he said.

Larson's organization recognizes that each farm and nursery has been affected in a unique way because of the way natural disasters grab with indiscriminate fingers at one location while ignoring other spots nearby.

Overall, he estimated, the county's $1.5 billion agricultural industry suffered a $42 million loss from the recent wildfires. At some farms, there was only minor damage. At others, there was 100 percent loss.

For those who work in the fields and whose livelihood depends on the crops, the fires imposed a more personal toll. Most live paycheck to paycheck and income lost during the fires has left the already struggling workers in dire financial need.

Most of the workers in the San Diego area are permanent employees who work year-round, Larson said. Migrant workers are added to the rolls in the spring to pick strawberries and in late summer to harvest tomatoes.

The rest live in the urban areas of the county.

"Many of them are at an economic disadvantage already. They are in single paycheck houses and are either uninsured or underinsured," said Michelle Scott of the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR).

Scott said the employees are the ones who have been affected most immediately by the fires. Because of their fragile financial situation, they are quick to fall behind on their bills and to face homelessness for themselves and their families, she said.

The Farm Bureau and the Federal Emergency Management Agency are offering assistance to the farm owners and growers. Farmworkers were put out of work by the fires and were not paid while the farms and nurseries burned.

Even a short time without a paycheck is devastating to the workers, Scott said. Many have now returned to their places of employment to clean up and start over, but they have already fallen behind in their financial responsibilities, she said.

Larson said the full extent of the damage to crops won't be known for some time. Dawn Neilson, of the Department of Agriculture, Weights and Measures for San Diego County, said that the figures for losses for tomato, avocado and floral crops might not be compiled for several months.

"We have a preliminary figure about the losses at the farms and nurseries in the county, but we won't have the final figures for some time," she said.

Scott said the financial losses from the burned plants could be recovered within a year or two, but many of the farmworkers that lost what is often their only source of income will not bounce back so easily.

"They still have a roof over their heads because they live in areas that weren't affected by the fires," she said. "But they are just a few dollars away from homelessness in some cases because they haven't got enough money to keep going very long without work."

UMCOR has set up a variety of assistance programs designed to help farmworkers navigate through the difficult times. Donations were being solicited to help those who lost paychecks or who may have been injured by the fires while still at work.

"Many of the agricultural workers are either uninsured or underinsured," Scott said. "Some of them were hospitalized in addition to not having income during the recovery period."

She said that while the fires caused a great deal of financial woes for the agricultural industry in San Diego County, the human suffering was also great.

"We are helping people who have lost their livelihoods as well as those who are hurt and in need of medical care," she said. "We are doing what we can to make things easier."

Larson said the fires have been devastating in San Diego County. Because the blazes destroyed some properties while doing only minor damage or missing other properties, it is sometimes difficult to help relief organizations find the people who need help the most.

"We do our best," he said. "And the relief organizations that are here are doing a lot for the people who are in trouble. There's a lot to be done in San Diego County, but people like UMCOR are making a difference."

Finding Temporary Employment

In the rebuilding efforts after the wildfires, a number of short-term jobs may become available.

The U.S. Department of Labor has given a $50 million grant to the California Employment Development Department (EDD) to help counties affected by the wildfires. Part of this money will be used to create temporary jobs on projects related to cleanup, repair, and rebuilding in places damaged by the wildfires.
Additionally, as rebuilding continues in the coming months, more temporary jobs, especially those related to construction, will become available.

Check the EDD job website, job centers, and other online job websites for these types of jobs ( Job postings will be rolling in over the coming months, so check back regularly if you are looking for work.

Rebuilding After the Southern California Wildfires: What Consumers Should Look Out For On Insurance

By Carmen BalberConsumer Advocate
Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights

As consumer advocates, the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights has joined state Senator Dean Florez to offer advice to consumers affected by wildfires across Southern California, and caution policymakers to watch the insurance industry closely to protect consumers as the fires subside and rebuilding begins.

Can homeowners rebuild?

After the 2003 fires, many homeowners discovered that their insurance coverage would not fully repair or replace their homes. The 2007 fires will be the test of whether insurance companies corrected the problems of the past and lived up to the obligation to provide adequate coverage to homeowners. If insurers fail the test, legislation will be necessary to hold insurance companies responsible for setting adequate policy limits for homeowners.

Premiums should not go up

Insurance companies have made enough money in California to cover any losses from the current fires. Profits for California homeowners insurers are estimated at $6 billion between 2004 and 2006. In fact, homeowners insurance companies have been reducing rates over the last year because loss ratios – the amount insurers pay customers in claims – had reached record lows. Allstate Insurance is the only major insurer bucking that trend and is currently subject to a Department of Insurance investigation of its request to increase rates.Consumers pay premiums diligently month after month to be protected in the event of disaster. Rates that were adequate the week before the fires should not go up now that the expected has occurred. Regulators should have a zero tolerance policy for rate hikes in the wake of the fires.

Non-renewal not an option

Everyone in a disaster area should be protected from losing their insurance coverage. However, many insurers nationally have adopted cut and run policies that find them leaving areas they consider risky just as customers need their protection the most.

A law passed after the 2003 fires prevents insurance companies from canceling coverage for at least one policy period for California consumers whose homes are damaged during a declared emergency. However, insurers may still pull out of an area that was threatened during the emergency. Consumers who were for example evacuated but whose homes were not harmed are not protected. The Insurance Commissioner and lawmakers should make sure that families in the communities affected by the fires, whether or not they sustained damage, don’t lose their coverage.

The first offer isn’t the only offer Insurance companies have responded to the fire areas in force, promising quick resolution of homeowners’ claims. Lawmakers and regulators will be responsible for making sure that attention continues when the television cameras go home. Consumers should know they have the right to fair resolution of their claim. Homeowners can visit for the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights’ disaster checklist of who to talk to, what records to keep, and when they may need outside help when filing a claim.Policyholders who are having difficulty with their insurance claim should contact the Department of Insurance Consumer Hotline at 1-800-927-HELP (4357).

Consumer Advocate Carmen Balber has been with the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights for over six years. She holds a B.A. in Politics from Pomona College.

FREE Wi-Fi for SoCal Wildfires Impacted Residents

AT&T Offers Free Wi-Fi Access in Southern California

Company Provides Free Wi-Fi Connectivity at Nearly 600 Hot Spot Locations Across Seven Counties

To help California residents affected by the fires stretching across Southern California, AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) today announced that AT&T Wi-Fi service will be offered free of charge at nearly 600 hot spot locations across Riverside, San Diego, San Bernardino, Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, Orange and Ventura counties.

Residents will have free access to the AT&T Wi-Fi service 24 hours a day beginning tomorrow, Saturday, Oct. 27.

"We want to help residents in Southern California in any way that we can," said Denise Cunningham, vice president and general manager for AT&T in San Diego. "By enabling free Wi-Fi at hundreds of AT&T hot spot locations, we're hoping to provide families and friends with another way to stay connected — and to reconnect — throughout this difficult time."

Residents or travelers can use Wi-Fi-enabled devices, such as laptop computers, iPhones or personal digital assistants (PDAs) to connect to the Internet or corporate networks by using any of the AT&T Wi-Fi locations.

From e-mailing to instant messaging and getting news online, Wi-Fi customers will be able to continuously access the Internet via the designated hot spot locations, at no cost, through the coming weeks as many try to reconnect in the aftermath of the fires.

"Our commitment is to leverage whatever communications support that we can to aid families and residents affected by these fires," said Cunningham. "We welcome and invite anyone in need to use AT&T's Wi-Fi network in these hot spot locations — we are here to help."

Customers can view a full list of AT&T Wi-Fi hot spots in California by visiting

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Dogs from California Wildfires Need Homes

Dogs from California Wildfires Need Homes
Dogs now available for adoption in Colorado
Dogs now available for adoption in Colorado
Tuesday, 27 Nov 2007, 6:06 AM MST
Dogs need homes

Dozens of dogs from Southern California are available for adoption into new homes in Colorado.

66 dogs were taken from crowded shelters and brought here last weekend.
Organizers say most of them came from loving families who lost their homes in the devastating wildfires.

The dogs are available at the Denkai Animal Sanctuary in Carr, which is in northern Weld County. The phone number is (970) 897-3122. The address is:

10375 Weld County Road 118

Local Assistance Center To Serve Malibu Area Fire Victims

FEMA Release Date: November 26, 2007
Release Number: 1731-049

PASADENA, Calif. -- The state of California, along with county and city officials, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will open a Local Assistance Center (LAC) near the Malibu area scorched by the fire that began on Saturday.

The LAC will be located at the Malibu Bluffs Park, 24250 Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu.

The center will open on Tuesday, Nov. 27 at 9 a.m. Hours are from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday; 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday; and from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sunday. The center will operate through Friday, December 7.

"The Malibu center will serve anyone affected by the fire who may need recovery information," said Federal Coordinating Officer Mike Hall of FEMA. "We want to be sure that we’ve reached fire-affected residents in the Malibu area who may have questions on available disaster recovery assistance or FEMA registration."

Fire victims are encouraged to register with FEMA before they visit the LAC by calling the FEMA toll-free number: 1‑800‑621‑FEMA (3362) or TTY 1-800-462-7585. Online registering is also available at The deadline to apply is Jan. 9, 2008.

At the Malibu LAC, those affected by the fire can get information on:

~FEMA rental assistance and emergency home repairs;

~U.S. Small Business Administration low-interest disaster loans for homeowners, renters and businesses of all sizes;

~Additional state grants to help with rental assistance, emergency home repairs, and other needs;

~National Flood Insurance to guard against losses from mudslides where vegetation has burned;

~Disaster unemployment assistance;

~Crisis counseling information; and

~Advice on insurance matters.

FEMA coordinates the federal government’s role in preparing for, preventing, mitigating the effects of, responding to, and recovering from all domestic disasters, whether natural or man-made, including acts of terror.

State Grant Program Gives Funds to California Wildfire Victims

FEMA Release Date: November 28, 2007
Release Number: 1731-050

PASADENA, Calif. -- The California Department of Social Services (CDSS) has begun awarding grants to individuals and households through the State Supplemental Grant Program (SSGP), officials with the Governor's Office of Emergency Services (OES) announced today.

The State of California's SSGP may provide assistance to those who have additional eligible losses after receiving the maximum grant award from the Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA) Individuals and Households Program.

So far, nearly $1.3 million in grants have been approved, with the majority of those being the maximum grant award of $10,000.

"These additional funds provided by the California Department of Social Services will assist many Californians who were the unfortunate victims of these devastating wildfires," said CDSS Director John Wagner.

"We are proud to be one of the few states that have a state grant for disasters, one that supplements the federal dollars to help individuals and families rebuild from such a devastating loss," said Henry Renteria, Director of OES and State Coordinating Officer for the fire recovery effort.

There is no separate application process and applications will be forwarded from FEMA to CDSS. The state grants will not duplicate benefits. The maximum grant from the State is $10,000.

Every recipient receives a letter from CDSS prior to receiving the money outlining the following categories for using the funds.

Housing - such as:

~Repairs to return the home to a safe and functional condition: These may include repairs to windows, doors, water and ventilation systems, or other structural parts of a home;

~Reimbursement for hotel or motel lodging expenses if their home was damaged as a direct result of the disaster: Receipts for these expenses are required; and

~Rebuilding a home that has been completely destroyed.

Personal Property - such as:
~Specialized tools for employment;
~Household items and appliances;
~Vehicle repair or replacement;
~Medical, dental and funeral expenses; and
~Moving expenses and other disaster-related needs.

Rental Assistance:

Applicants who must remain in temporary housing until their home can be re-occupied or their permanent housing arrangements can be made may request additional rental assistance. Applicants must provide verification of their permanent housing progress and can only receive rental assistance up to their SSGP maximum.

State grants are tax-free and are not loans. They are not counted as income for welfare or for other federal and/or state benefit programs and cannot be garnished.

All expenditures must be disaster-related. If not, the recipient may have to pay back the grant, and may lose eligibility for further help. Grants are subject to audit and recipients are strongly encouraged to fully document their disaster-related expenses. They must keep receipts or bills for three years to demonstrate how all the money was used in meeting disaster-related needs.

FEMA coordinates the federal government's role in preparing for, preventing, mitigating the effects of, responding to, and recovering from all domestic disasters, whether natural or man-made, including acts of terror.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Vets & Vet Facilities Offering FREE or Reduced Cost Services for 2007 SoCal Animals

San Diego County Veterinary Medical Association

Veterinarians & Veterinary Facilities Offering Free or Reduced Fee Services
Related to Firestorm 2007 As of 10-30/07

Country Pet Clinic 2525 Alpine Blvd Alpine 91901 619/445-9815

Otay Lakes Veterinary Clinic 736 Otay Lakes Rd Chula Vista 91910 619/482-2000

Rolling Hills Pet Hospital 2457 Fenton St Chula Vista 91914 619/656-6400

Parkway Pet Hospital 8200 Parkway Dr La Mesa 91942 619/463-9151

California Veterinary Specialists 2310 Faraday Ave Carlsbad 92008 760/431-2273

Jamacha Veterinary Clinic 693 Jamacha Rd El Cajon 92019 619/579-0377

Animal Medical Center of East County 600 Broadway Ave El Cajon 92021 619/444-4246

Animal Urgent Care & Specialty Grp 2430 S Escondido Blvd Ste A Escondido 92025 760/738-9600

California Veterinary Specialists 100 N Rcho Santa Fe Rd San Marcos 92069 760/734-4433

San Marcos Veterinary Clinic 145 S Rancho Sante Fe Rd San Marcos 92078 760/744-5400

Countryside Veterinary Hospital 29209 Cole Grade Rd Valley Ctr 92082 760/749-3656

Colina Veterinary Hospital 5530 University Ave San Diego 92105 619/286-3360
Shelter Island Veterinary Hospital 1270 Scott St San Diego 92106 619/222-0597

Grand Animal Hospital 1033 Grand Ave San Diego 92109 858/272-1320

Morena Pet Hospital 1540 Morena Blvd San Diego 92110 619/275-0888

Ark Animal Hospital 6171 Balboa Ave San Diego 92111 858/277-3665

Animal Internal Medicine 5610 Kearny Mesa Rd Ste B San Diego 92111 858/560-7778

Veterinary Surgical Specialists of SD 5610 Kearny Mesa Rd Ste B San Diego 92111 858/560-8006

Kensington Veterinary Hospital 3817 Adams Ave San Diego 92116 619/584-8418

Mission Gorge Animal Hospital 6690 Mission Gorge Rd Ste M San Diego 92120 619/280-1503

Companion Animal Clinic 1215 S Escondido Blvd Ste A Escondido 92025 760/743-2751

Center Veterinary Clinic 8977 Mira Mesa Blvd San Diego 92126 858/271-1152

Carmel Mtn Ranch Veterinary Hospital 11925 Carmel Mtn Rd Ste 802 San Diego 92128 858/592-9779

Penasquitos Pet Clinic 9728 Carmel Mtn Rd Ste E San Diego 92129 858/484-1260

California Veterinary Specialists 25100 Hancock Ave Ste 116 Murrieta 92562 951/600-9803

IRS eases tax timeline for those in burn areas

10-30-07 / Union Tribune

The Internal Revenue Service yesterday gave residents of California counties hit by wildfires additional time to file tax returns.

The agency said those affected by the fires will have until Jan. 31 to file returns and pay taxes on items due on or after Oct. 21, when the fires began. Those items include the federal withholding tax return, Form 941, normally due Oct. 31, and the estimated tax payment for the fourth quarter, normally due Jan. 15.

Taxpayers in seven counties covered by a presidential disaster declaration are eligible for the delay. Those counties are San Diego, Riverside, Orange, Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Santa Barbara and Ventura.

Certain penalty deposits due between Oct. 21 and Nov. 5 will also be waived as long as the deposits are made by Monday, the IRS said.

The IRS said its computers identify taxpayers in the disaster areas and apply automatic filing and payment relief. The agency said taxpayers in the areas also have the option of claiming disaster-related casualty losses on their federal income tax return for either this year or last year.

The state Franchise Tax Board also announced yesterday that taxpayers affected by the wildfires in any of the federally declared disaster areas will be given special tax relief.

For more information, taxpayers can check the Franchise Tax Board's Web site at People who have questions about their accounts can call (800) 852-5711 from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday

Non-Citizens May Be Eligible for Disaster Recovery Aid

FEMA Release Date: November 2, 2007
Release Number: 1731-007

PASADENA, Calif. -- People who are not U.S. citizens may be eligible for disaster assistance through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) following the California wildfires that began in October.

Disaster assistance is available to residents and businesses in Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernadino, San Diego, Santa Barbara, and Ventura counties, which were designated disaster areas by President Bush.

The aid is available to U.S. citizens, non-citizen nationals, and qualified aliens. Their immigration status will not be jeopardized by applying for FEMA assistance.

Qualified aliens include:

-Legal permanent residents (those with green cards);
-Those with refugee or asylum status;
-Those whose deportation has been withheld;
-Those on parole into the U.S. for at least one year for humanitarian purposes;
-Those with conditional entry;
-Cuban-Haitian entrants; and
-Those with petitions for relief based on battery or extreme cruelty by a family member.
-Non-citizen parents of a minor child who is a U.S. citizen can apply for assistance on the child's behalf. The guardian only certifies for the child. No information will be gathered on the adult's status.

The application for assistance from the FEMA requires applicants to certify that they are U.S. citizens, non-citizen nationals, or qualified aliens. FEMA conducts random audits of applications to verify U.S. citizenship and qualified alien documentation issued by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. However, assistance can be given as long as someone in the household has qualified. No information will be gathered regarding the status of others in the household.

Assistance for eligible individuals and households includes funds for temporary housing and necessary home repairs, funds for the repair or replacement of personal property and other disaster-related needs, disaster unemployment assistance, low-interest loans for homeowners, renters and businesses from the U.S. Small Business Administration, and other programs.

Undocumented immigrants affected by the wildfires may still be eligible for programs run by state, local or voluntary agencies. They may also be eligible for short-term, non-cash aid from FEMA, such as disaster legal services, crisis counseling, food, water, and shelter.

Some Treasures Can Be Saved From Soot and Ash Damage

FEMA Release Date: November 3, 2007
Release Number: 1731-012

PASADENA, Calif. -- Among the tragedies left behind by fire is the loss of family valuables. Guidelines from Heritage Preservation and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) may help residents and businesses salvage some keepsake items from the recent wildfires.

Cherished heirlooms that survive a fire are often covered with soot and ash, requiring prompt and gentle attention to avoid further damage. The following tips for cleaning soot and ash are based on the experience of respected conservation professionals who care for our nation's treasures in museums and libraries.
· Safety first! Avoid skin or lung irritation. Wear plastic or rubber gloves, an N95 mask, and goggles during cleanup.

· Get started promptly. The longer soot or ash sits on a surface, the more damage it does.

· Handle objects as little as possible. If you must move them, use a tray or hanger, and grasp them in places that are normally hidden from view.

· Resist the urge to wipe soot and ash-covered surfaces with a clean cloth; wiping will embed the soot and ash in the object and make it much more difficult to recover.

· Remove soot and ash with a vacuum on the lowest setting. Do not let the nozzle touch the object and do not use a brush attachment; let the wand float over the surface.

· After vacuuming, you may need to clean the object with a soot sponge, which can be purchased at major hardware stores. Unlike other sponges, these are used dry. Lay the sponge on the surface, press gently, and lift without rubbing. Cut off sections as they become dirty.

· If soot and ash are wet – from fire hose water or a burst pipe - don't do anything to remove the objects from wet surfaces. Attempting to remove them will cause further damage. Get advice from a professional.

· Do not rinse sooty or ash-covered treasures.

· When cleaning textiles, do not unfold them - this will only disperse the soot.

· Call in a pro. If a valuable family treasure is badly damaged, a professional conservator may be able to help. The American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works has a free referral service 202-452-9545 or The Regional Alliance for Preservation 800-843-8482 or has information on preservation services.

Federal and State Officials Remind Farmers and Ranchers in Southern California to Apply for Emergency Loan Assistance

Applications Now Being Accepted

FEMA Release Date: November 3, 2007
Release Number: 1731-013

PASADENA, Calif. -- Farmers, growers and ranchers who have suffered damages or loss of livestock structures, such as fences and barns, livestock, poultry, nursery stock, orchards and fields are encouraged to apply for funding through the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Crop Disaster Program (CDP) and utilize state assistance for victims of natural disasters.

Although it's still too early to know the full extent of the loss and injury from the wildfires, state and federal officials are anticipating widespread wind, heat and fire damage to nursery, grove and field crops including avocados, oranges, lemons, evergreen trees, wine grapes, pumpkins, strawberries and potted plants.

Farmers and growers who suffered quantity losses to their crops in recent years can now enroll in the Crop Disaster Program 2005-2007 at local Farm Service Agency (FSA) service centers.

Subject to final rules for the program, CDP provides benefits to farmers who suffered losses to the 2005-2007 crops from natural disasters like the Southern California wildfires.

Producers must have suffered quantity losses in excess of 35 percent to be eligible for CDP. The payment rate is set at 42 percent of the established price. Assistance, together with any crop insurance or Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program payment received for the same crop and including the value of the crop production not lost, must not exceed 95 percent of the total value of the crop absent the disaster.

FSA offices may accept information from producers about quality losses when producers submit applications for quantity losses. However, FSA will only consider quality loss applications complete after FSA announces the quality loss sign-up date. FSA will not consider applications completed for any loss, including quantity losses, until a final rule has been issued for this program.

John Smythe, Executive Director of USDA's Farm Service Agency in California confirmed his commitment to working with his state counterparts to bring relief, "As the FSA director in charge of assessing agricultural damage, I will be touring and inspecting the damaged areas and reporting back to Washington, D.C., my observations and recommendations for assistance," said Smythe. "I look forward to working closely with the CDFA staff, the county agricultural commissioners, and the Governor's Office of Emergency Services to coordinate requests for assistance."

California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) has been assisting dairy farms within the region to continue milk shipments to processors by coordinating with the California Department of Transportation and the California Highway Patrol to allow trucks through restricted thoroughfares. CDFA and the San Diego emergency operations center have also been facilitating movement of feed trucks through roadblocks for several chicken ranches in that county. CDFA veterinarians remain deployed in Southern California on high alert standby in preparedness for more fires that could result in strong weekend winds.

CDFA secretary A.G. Kawamura echoed that sentiment. "Weather-related catastrophes have been setbacks in the past, but our industry remains strong and resilient. I have confidence that the indomitable spirit of California farmers, growers and ranchers will prevail through this calamity and enable them to reestablish their livelihoods. As people begin to rebuild their lives and businesses after these devastating wildfires, I'm mobilizing CDFA to assist them in any way possible."

Primary counties affected: Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, Santa Barbara, and Ventura; contiguous counties: Imperial, Inyo, Kern, and San Luis Obispo, La Paz, and Mohave in Arizona, and Clark County Nevada.

Don't Be a Victim Twice

Be Aware of Possible Frauds or Scams

FEMA Release Date: November 4, 2007
Release Number: 1731-014

PASADENA, Calif. -- In the wake of the devastating California fires, those who have suffered damages and losses may be visited or called by someone claiming to be an official disaster aid worker or inspector.

State and federal officials caution residents to check the identification of anyone wanting to enter their home or property and to watch out for scams and fraud that may surface.

"FEMA is dedicated to helping those affected by these life-changing fires rebuild their lives," said Federal Coordinating Officer Mike Hall of FEMA. "It is shameful that some would choose to take advantage of disaster victims during a time when so many are offering their generosity to those who have suffered."

"The Governor, the Attorney General and other state officials have made it clear that fraud and other attempts to take advantage of fire survivors will not be tolerated," said State Coordinating Officer Henry Renteria of the Governor's Office of Emergency Services (OES). "I urge those who have been affected by the fires to error on the side of caution."

It is important that residents carefully check the photo identification of FEMA inspectors, U.S. Small Business Administration loss verifiers, and insurance adjusters who may be visiting their homes. All inspectors are required to carry a photo ID. Residents who have questions concerning the authenticity of a credential should contact their local law enforcement officials.

California residents need to be aware of some common ploys, such as phone calls from people claiming to be with FEMA and asking for personal information. Never casually give out any personal information over the phone. If you have any doubts about the caller, call them back to make verification.

Those beginning the rebuilding process can get tips on hiring contractors and how to avoid contractor fraud by going online at You can also check to see if a contractor is licensed at the same online address or by calling 1-800-321-2752.

FEMA encourages anyone who believes she or he may have witnessed fraudulent activity to report it immediately through the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Office of Inspector General's hotline: 1-800-323-8603 or the California Consumer Protection hotline: 1-800-952-5210.

Another helpful information resource for those rebuilding their lives is online at

Disaster Aid Means No Loss Of Benefits For Those Receiving Social Security

FEMA Release Date: November 7, 2007
Release Number: 1731-021

PASADENA, Calif. -- Californians who receive Social Security should not be concerned that applying for, or receiving, state and federal disaster-related financial assistance may cause them to sacrifice their benefits.

"A state or federal grant will not add to taxable income, as long as the grant is given as assistance to recover from a disaster," said State Coordinating Officer Henry Renteria of the Governor's Office of Emergency Services (OES). "This means that receiving disaster aid will not affect Social Security benefits."

Additionally, disaster grants will not affect income levels to the point where a senior would no longer be eligible for Medicaid, welfare assistance, or food stamps. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) grants are not repaid by the recipient.

Those who suffered damages and losses as a result of the recent California wildfires should register with FEMA to find out about services that may be available to them.

To apply for federal and state assistance, call FEMA at 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or (TTY) 1-800-462-7585. Lines are open 24-hours, daily until further notice. Disaster victims may also register online at

After applying with FEMA, disaster victims may receive, in the mail, a U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Disaster Loan Application. To be considered for other forms of disaster assistance, it is important to complete and submit the SBA application.

Those who receive a disaster loan application, and have questions, can contact SBA at 1-800-659-2955 or TTY 1-800-877-8339 or visit: They also can go to any disaster assistance center (see attached list of all disaster assistance centers) to get help filling out the application.

Motel Vouchers for SoCal Wildfire Survivors

Interfaith Community Services:

Providing Motel Accommodation Vouchers

Escondido 760-489-6380


Oceanside: 760-721-2117

Maranatha Chapel is Offering FREE Help with Housing for SoCal Wildfire Survivors

Many families in North County San Diego have lost their homes in the recent fires, and some have contacted us looking for potential homes to rent. We would like to help connect people who need to rent a home while they are rebuilding, with homeowners who have houses to rent.

For example, we know of at least one family who needs a five bedroom home. If you are a homeowner with an available house, please contact us with the following information:

~Size and location of home
~Type of dwelling (house, condo, duplex, etc.)
~Duration of availability (six months, one year, or?)
~Approximate amount of monthly rent

We will not give out your name and number to anyone until we have contacted you.

If you are someone in need of a home, please contact us with the following information:

~Size needed (how many bedrooms, etc.)
~How many people will live in the home, and their ages
~If you have pets and what kind
~Range of rent you can afford
~Preferred area
~How long you will need the home, if you know
~During this difficult time, people who have already suffered loss are facing price gouging and unethical business practices as some try to take advantage of a dire situation. Our desire is to help those in need find housing at fair prices to both parties involved.

Pastor Ray and the entire Maranatha Chapel staff would like to extend our concern for those in need and our condolences for those suffering loss. We are here to help!

You can contact us at: or call:


Maranatha Chapel
10752 Coastwood Road, San Diego, CA 92127

Attention San Diego Realtors

The San Diego Association of REALTORS® would like to express our deepest sympathies to those who have been affected by the wildfires in our region and wish to assist fellow San Diegans and REALTORS®.

If you need help:

* If you have been impacted or know someone who has been impacted by the fires, please contact Lisa Laguire at (858) 715-8005 or e-mail

* SDAR is developing a program to assist REALTOR® members whose principal residence has been significantly or completely destroyed by the fires. Details coming soon. For a temporary housing list go to

* The California Association of REALTORS® C.A.R. is offering grants $1,000 to $5,000 to REALTOR® members and their families. Visit, or contact Elizabeth De Cateret at (213) 739-8308 or e-mail

If you want to help:

* Temporary Housing List - SDAR is identifying temporary housing sources. Please provide information on available housing, include location, type of property, number of bedrooms, pet policy, start and length of availability, furnished or unfurnished, monthly cost and lease term. Send info to or call (858) 715-8026

* To help SDAR members and California REALTORS® - If you would like to donate, please contact

* Visit for updated information and resources

Free Life Coaching for So. Calif. Fire Survivors

Were you impacted by the fire? Are you still reeling with all of the changes this has caused in your life? Over 40 life coaches have joined together to offer their services to survivors of the SouthernCalifornia Wildfires. The group consists of practicing life-coaches who are graduates of the Coaches Training Institute (CTI:

Pro-bono (that means free) programs we areoffering:

o Three months of free weekly coaching sessions with your own personal coach

o "Catch your breath": Free Coach-facilitated Sunday evening group conversations.

Please contact Stephanie Monroe @ (415) 370-5493

San Diego Wildfires Blanket Project

During the week of October 21, 2007, 1588 homes were destroyed in the seven fires that raged throughout San Diego County. In an effort to make blankets for community members who lost their homes, we are collecting donations of 8" knit or crocheted squares. _e squares need to be:

• Machine washable & dryable, made preferably from worsted-weight acrylic yarn.
• Please enclose a note letting us know the fiber content if the yarn used is not 100% acrylic.
• Pattern is your choice - knit or crochet. Have fun with it!
• If you would like to enclose a note, a prayer, well wishes, please do!• If you would like to help join the squares together, please edge squares in single crochet first, then join by mattress stitch, whip stitch, or single crochet into strips 7 blocks long.

Finished squares or strips can be sent to:

GeorgeAnne Smith
San Diego Wild Fire Blankets
PO Box 261859
San Diego, CA 92126

We would really love to get blankets to every family for the holidays, but as we learned with the Cedar Fires of 2003, the rebuilding process is a slow and steady one. Therefore, starting in November 2007, our goal is to deliver at least 25 blankets to families each month. We hope this goal is an underestimate and can be exceeded!

You can follow our progress at:

If you know someone who lost their home, please visit the blog to download a nomination form. If you have any questions, please feel free to e-mail:

Thank you for your support!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

INTUIT Offers Free Or Replacement Software & Services

INTUIT offers free or replacement software & services:

INTUIT Software is offering assistance to those affected by the wildfires. Their offer includes free replacement software, technical support, supplies such as checks, and a lot more!

Check it out at

FREE Pampering for Fire Survivors & Rescue Workers!

The Poway Academy at:

13266 Poway Rd. offering complimentary spa services throughout November 2007 to those who lost their homes to the recent fires. This includes hair services, manicures, pedicures and facials.

You must make an appointment in advance and bring your Red Cross voucher, insurance claim # or other documentation.

Free Hatha Yoga classes are being offered through Thanksgiving through:

Affirmations Body, Spa & Yoga Studio
12222 & 12234 Poway Rd Suite 14 & 200

For more info call 858-513-0034

Bridget Malcolm at Akin To Skin is offering free aesthetician and massage therapist services to firefighters and police officers to thank them for their hard work.

For fire victims she is offering a 50% discount on massage and 25% off on facials to help in healing and relaxation.

Call 619-990-4500 for more info

So. Baptist Convention Assistance for 2007 SoCal Wildfires

Southern Baptist Convention San Diego County Wildfires Operations:

Currently feeding 50,000 meals a day to fire evacuees and responders;

Cleanup operations; homeowners MUST have their insurance adjuster come in before anyone steps foot onto the property to help sift or do any kind of clearing;

Priority system for providing help:

Priority 1 – Homeowner who have insurance.
Priority 2 – Homeowners who have no insurance.
Priority 3 – Rental Occupants

Forms to request FREE help from the Southern Baptist organization in sifting and cleaning can be accessed at:

Property Clean-up:

If you'd like to request Southern Baptist Disaster Relief help in property cleanup, please follow these steps:

1. First, make arrangements for a FEMA inspector to visit your property and clear it for cleanup.

2. Next, arrange for your insurance company to send an adjustor to the property.

3. Then, fill out the following form and return it to Vision San Diego or the San Diego Association (see contact info on the right). Feel free to submit the form at any time, but cleanup work cannot begin until steps 1 and 2 are completed.

For the forms go to:

Contact Information:

Vision San Diego
Contact: Anne Decker
858.444.4439 (FAX)
7220 Trade Street, Suite 105
San Diego, CA 92121

San Diego Southern Baptist Association
Contact: Pat Lalond
619.275.5267 (FAX)
4608 Gardena Avenue
San Diego, CA 92110

Red Cross spent millions accommodating nonresident volunteers during wildfires
By Maureen Magee
November 10, 2007

Volunteers from as far away as Alaska, Hawaii and New York are packing up and leaving San Diego County, as the largest Red Cross disaster relief effort since Hurricane Katrina winds down in fire-ravaged Southern California.

Davis said she was turned away at other sites because of the mass of nonresident volunteers. More than 5,200 Red Cross workers, including 2,509 who came to San Diego County from all 50 states, helped wildfire evacuees in Southern California. By the end of the weekend, about 100 will remain in the county as the recovery work is handed off to locals.

Shortly after fires began burning out of control last month, the local Red Cross called its national office for help. Officials in Washington, D.C., launched a 16-day deployment of registered volunteers.

They prepared for the worst. As a result, they may have overstaffed the effort.
“If I had the whole thing to do over . . . I probably would have brought in fewer (volunteers), but I didn't have the hindsight I do now,” said Joe Becker, senior vice president of disaster services for the national Red Cross headquarters. “In the early days, I was worried. I didn't know how bad it was going to get.”

Even more so than hurricanes, tornados and floods, fires are perhaps the most unpredictable disasters to manage, Red Cross officials said. And the Southern California wildfires were especially tough to gauge.

Fueled by powerful Santa Ana winds, the series of blazes in the county began Oct. 21 and forced 600,000 residents from their homes. The fires killed at least nine people and destroyed nearly 1,700 homes. Other wildfires hopscotched a path of destruction north to Santa Barbara.

Although the relief effort relied on volunteers, costs added up.

Officials have yet to tally expenses for the effort, but the Red Cross estimates that its average daily cost per volunteer – based on a 10-day stay – was $139. That includes shared hotel rooms and rental cars, airfare, meals and incidentals.

More than 2,500 nonresidents volunteered.Based on those figures, the out-of-town volunteers will cost the Red Cross more than $2.6 million.

Some local Red Cross volunteers question whether the money was well-spent. They say too many out-of-towners descended on the region, pushing aside capable residents.

“It was all very frustrating because I wanted to help,” said Mira Mesa resident Marcia Davis, who volunteered at the Red Cross relief efforts after Hurricanes Rita and Katrina. “San Diegans like to help out fellow San Diegans, but it seems like everyone was from someplace else.”

Local Red Cross officials turned to the national headquarters as the enormity of the disaster became apparent.

“We integrate our people in with the direction of the national director,” said Joe Craver, interim CEO of the San Diego/Imperial Counties chapter of the American Red Cross.

Local and national Red Cross officials said they were unaware of any discontent, and locals have priority in relief work.

Although many local volunteers were evacuating their own homes, hundreds sprung into action early in the disaster.

In the first two days of the fires, all Red Cross volunteers – 135 on the first day and 225 on the second – were from the chapter serving San Diego and Imperial counties. On the third day, 1,505 local volunteers were aided by 113 out-of-towners sent by the national headquarters, according to Red Cross data.

But by Oct. 27, all but 14 of the 1,584 Red Cross volunteers were from out of town.

The number of locally based volunteers has been rising since the beginning of the month.

Officials point out that the national effort relies on volunteers who are specially trained to carry out 37 jobs – everything from food preparation and warehouse management to nursing and mental health care.

High-end arrangementsThe total cost of the Red Cross' disaster relief for the Southern California wildfires is estimated at $12 million to $15 million, officials said. About three-quarters of that will be used in San Diego County.

About $15.7 million has been donated to the Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund specifically for Southern California wildfire recovery. An additional $4.3 million in undesignated money has been given to the Disaster Relief Fund since the fires started. Expenses include the cost of providing shelter, food, clothing and counseling to evacuees.

The Red Cross estimates that it will provide financial assistance to about 2,000 families.

The Red Cross was criticized for housing some volunteers in luxury venues, such as the Hotel del Coronado, La Costa Resort and high-end Hiltons. Becker, however, noted that the organization negotiated sharply discounted room rates. Still, Becker said the high-end accommodations were inappropriate.

For some local volunteers, word of the swanky resort stays for their out-of-town counterparts strained already-tense relationships. But mostly, the locals were upset that their offers of help were turned down.

Cameron Peter of Point Loma had volunteered for the Red Cross during the deadly 2003 Cedar fire and wanted to lend a hand once again. Like Davis, the volunteer from Mira Mesa, Peter said she was sent on several assignments that fizzled.

“I'm not sure why I kept going back,” Peter said. “I felt like they really didn't want me there, like I was in the way.”

Free Golf For Police, Firefighters, Sherrifs To Say Thanks - Salt Creek Golf Club

Police, firefighters offered free golf Salt Creek Golf Club is offering free golf to all San Diego County police officers, sheriff's deputies and firefighters Monday through Nov. 18 to thank them for their work during the fires. The club is at:

525 Hunte Parkway
Chula Vista

Call (619) 482-4666, ext. 1 for reservations. For more information, go to:

LDS Volunteer Services Available For Wildfire Cleanup

Volunteer Services of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
San Diego County Fire Damages Clean-up

How We Can Help

Over 1200 homeowners in San Diego County have completely lost their homes due to the fires. Thousands of others have damage and clean up issues for which we would like to offer volunteer labor to assist in the effort.

Services we can provide:

Clean up of yards – the winds have blown tree limbs, leaves, ashes, and other debris into most of the yards surrounding the fires. While we can't haul off the debris, we can clean it up and organize it at curbside for pickup.

Fence damage – many wood fences have portions that have blown down. Panels or boards may have to be re-attached. Supporting posts may have sheared off, in which case new posts will need to be installed. Depending on the extent of damage we may be able to assist in repairing.

Blown over objects – many patio covers and awnings are sitting in yards upside down and sideways. They may just need to be reset or re-attached to the home. They may be damaged or destroyed and may need to be dismantled to be hauled away. Patio furniture and BBQ's may need to be righted. We can help.

Cleaning of walls and windows – many homes near homes that burned have smoke and ash on their windows. We can wash the windows and broom clean the soot off the walls. City ordinances prohibit the use of water that may go into the street to clean roofs or walls.

Patios, walkways and driveways - we can broom clean these areas of ashes, leaves, branches, and debris.

Trees down – many have trees or portions of trees that have fallen onto homes and into yards. We may be able to assist in cutting the fallen branches and stacking them for removal.

Broken sliding glass doors and windows – we can assist in boarding them up until glass replacement can be arranged.
Other: If there things you need done that are not on this list, call and we may be able to help.


We can't remove trees or large trunks.
We can provide labor but not the materials needed for the above services.
We do not have the resources to haul debris away.
We can't use water to clean soot and debris that may go into the public drains due to gov’t regulations.
Work requests will be handled in order of urgency.

Hotlines for help: 24/7 760-535-1257 858-602-7773

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Free Post Disaster Counseling - Palomar Family Counseling Service

Counseling Services:

The Palomar Family Counseling Service is offering free support groups for families with children who have emotional issues as a result of the Firestorm. The Groups began the week of October 29th. For a schedule and more information, please contact:

(858) 748-3610.

City of Poway Provides Sand and Sandbags for Fire Damaged Property

Press Release:

City of Poway Provides Sand and Sandbags for Fire Damaged Property
Posted Date: 11/6/2007

MICKEY CAFAGNA, Mayor MERRILEE BOYACK, Deputy Mayor BOB EMERY, Councilmember DON HIGGINSON, Councilmember BETTY REXFORD, Councilmember


Contact: Kevin QuinnStreets & Drainage Supervisor(858) 668-4711

Poway, CA – The City of Poway has placed sand and bags at four locations, to assist residents who sustained property damage due to the Witch Creek Fire. Sandbags can be used as an erosion control device. The empty bags are located in a trash container near the sand at each site. Remember to bring a shovel to fill the bags with sand. Sand and bags are available at the following sites:
  • Valle Verde Park: parking lot. The park is north of Espola Road;
  • Lake Poway Road: “overflow” parking lot on the right, approaching the Lake;
  • Midland Road: east side, across from the Train Barn at Old Poway Park;
  • Garden Road: south side, across from Garden Road Elementary School.
The Boy Scouts have volunteered to fill bags when they are able, so if you find bags already made, you are welcome to take them.

The Rebuild Escondido Assistance Center is Now OPEN



11/5 4:50 p.m. - The Rebuild Escondido Assistance Center is now open. Fire victims in Escondido and nearby unincorporated areas are urged to visit or call (760) 746-FIRE for information on federal funding, temporary shelter and how to rebuild.

National Conflict Resolution Center Offers Wildfire Survivors Mediation Services

National Conflict Resolution Center offers mediation services to fire victims In the aftermath of the southern California wildfires, many victims may find themselves in disputes along their paths to recovery. The National Conflict Resolution Center (NCRC) is a full service alternative dispute resolution provider qualified to resolve these challenges and is offering to do so at a low- or no-cost fee for fire victims.

Through mediation at NCRC, victims will get their questions answered in an environment where they can find an agreeable solution. NCRC can help fire victims avoid the hassles of court time and costs, allowing them to move forward with their lives. Disputes are common in the wake and recovery of such devastating events.

Examples include:

• Disputes over property lines
• Fire hydrant and water supply issues
• Code compliance issues
• Problems with the permitting process
• Disputes with building contractors
• Disputes over debris removal
• Lingering insurance issues

NCRC operates as a private, non-profit corporation. For more information or to schedule a mediation call NCRC at (619) 238-2400.

Information is also available at