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DESCANSO’S WATER BOARD ACCUSED OF COVER-UPS ON URANIUM CONTAMINATION AND MORE

SAN MIGUEL FIRE BOARD RACE IS HOT

HEALTH DEPT. AND COURTS BACK NEIGHBORS IN COMPLAINTS AGAINST TWO WIND FARMS

NEW 500 kV POWER LINES PROPOSED ACROSS EAST COUNTY : MEETINGS OCT. 20-21

ALPINE TAXPAYERS AND ALPINE SCHOOL DISTRICT SUE GROSSMONT HIGH SCHOOL DISTRICT

PARTY WITH THE PRESS! A "FUN" RAISING EVENT FOR EAST COUNTY MAGAZINE OCT. 26 AT NEXT DOOR WINE & CRAFT BREW BAR

BEST HAPPY HOURS IN EAST COUNTY

IMAGINE! CREATING WATER FROM AIR TECHNOLOGY TO BE FEATURED AT AFRICA TRADE & BUSINESS CONFERENCE IN SAN DIEGO OCT. 18

WHO WILL BE LA MESA’S MAYOR?

EXCLUSIVE! ECM RADIO INTERVIEW WITH JAMES KIMBER, 50TH CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATE, NOW ONLINE

STATE & FEDS LAUNCH INVESTIGATION INTO CPUC SCANDALS; CPUC IGNORES CONFLICTS, AIMS TO HOLD VOTE ON CHARGING RATEPAYERS FOR SAN ONOFRE SHUTDOWN

STAFFER ACCUSES CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATE CARL DEMAIO OF SEXUAL HARASSMENT


DESCANSO’S WATER BOARD ACCUSED OF COVER-UPS ON URANIUM CONTAMINATION AND MORE

 

Open letter sent to District Attorney, Grand Jury, ratepayers and regulators

October 18, 2014 (Descanso) – An open letter sent to ratepayers, the County Grand Jury, health officials, legislators, media and District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis accuses the Descanso Community Water District board of covering up matters that could endanger health and property values—including uranium contamination. (ECM has previously reported on uranium in Descanso's water supply; see story here.)

The letter, titled “Secrecy—The Diseases of Corrupt Public Officials” urges ratepayers to attend the water board’s next meeting on Monday, October 27th at the Descanso Town Hall on Viejas Grade Road.  It is signed by Jeff Rzendal, BoardVice President, GarySanner, incoming Director, John LaPlante, former Director and Treasurer, and Ivan Heckscher, a ratepayer. Below is the text in full. We have asked the Board President, Lee Jonnson, for a response to the allegations raised and will publish his response once received.

SAN MIGUEL FIRE BOARD RACE IS HOT

 

By Nadin Abbott

October 18, 2014 (San Diego)--In 2012, the San Miguel Fire Board voted for CAL FIRE to take over operations. The board majority voted for the five-year contract because the agency was deep in a hole economically and had already closed a fire station. Those in favor argued that this decision would allow the board to continue operations, recover financially, reopen the closed station and keep service at comparable levels. But critics including at least one challenger running for the board have sharply criticized the deal with Cal-Fire, including citing loss of local control and potential delays in response times, also faulting other board actions.

East County Magazine e-mailed questions to all candidates, including inquiries about the CAL FIRE takeover and a letter the district received from the State Comptroller raising questions over the board’s finances.

The six candidates include two incumbents (Chris Winter and Rick Augustine) seeking reelection andfour challengers. Three of the challengers are running together as a slate (Theresa McKenna, Jim Ek, and Mike Vacio). The other challenger is Cindy Croucher. Bios for incumbents Winter and Augustine are available on the San Miguel Fire district website

Only two candidates, challenger Theresa McKenna and incumbent Chris Winter, responded by last night’s deadline.  Below are the questions, and their answers, posted in full in the order received.

HEALTH DEPT. AND COURTS BACK NEIGHBORS IN COMPLAINTS AGAINST TWO WIND FARMS

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Wind turbines dwarf homes and barns in rural Illinois

October 17, 2014 (San Diego’s East County)--Neighbors battling wind energy projects locally just got some new ammunition in two separate cases. 

In Wisconsin, the Brown County Board of Health this week voted to declare Duke Energy’s Shirley Wind energy project a human health hazard to residents, visitors, workers and other people  up to six miles away from the wind turbines. Here in San Diego’s East County and neighboring Imperial County, wind turbines have been built within a half mile of homes and new setbacks proposed remain much less than six miles, raising questions over potential dangers to residents if those projects are built.  

In Vermont, a federal district court has found that plaintiffs provided ample evidence to allow a private nuisance claim over the Sheffield Wind Project to proceed in court for creating unreasonable noise.

NEW 500 kV POWER LINES PROPOSED ACROSS EAST COUNTY : MEETINGS OCT. 20-21

 

 

East County News Service

October 17, 2014 (San Diego’s East County)—The most controversial project in memory in East County was the construction of the 500kV Sunrise Powerlink, which was built despite objections of a coalition representing 79,000 people--though the route was changed amid public outcry. 

Now, a new set of 500 kV power lines are proposed through San Diego’s East County and Imperial County as part of the draft Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan (DRECP) which is currently available for public review and comment at www.drecp.org. The plan aims to open 22 million acres up for energy development including vast swaths in our region.

ALPINE TAXPAYERS AND ALPINE SCHOOL DISTRICT SUE GROSSMONT HIGH SCHOOL DISTRICT

 

Forum on unification of Alpine, Grossmont districts set for Oct. 20 in Alpine

 

East County News Service

October 17, 2014 (Alpine) – Two lawsuits have been filed against the Grossmont Union High School District this week over its failure to fund construction of an Alpine High School. The litigation was filed by Alpine Taxpayers for Bond Accountability (ATBA) along with individual Alpine taxpayer plaintiffs who allege waste and misuse of Propositions H and U bond funds under the California Code of Civil Procedure. The ATBA law suit was filed simultaneously with an action by the Alpine Union School District (AUSD). Both suits seekan injunction to prevent the further expenditure of Prop H and Prop U bond funds until a decision is rendered by the State Board of Education in the coming months on how GUHSD assets will be allocated with regard to Alpine’s proposed unification of its school district. 

Amid the controversy, a forum on the proposed unification of the GUHSD and Alpine Union School District organized by supporters of unification is scheduled for Monday, October 20th at 6:30 p.m. at Alpine Elementary School’s auditorium, 1950 Alpine Blvd. in Alpine.

SDSU STUDENT DECLARED BRAIN DEAD FROM BACTERIAL MENINGITIS; HUNDREDS POSSIBLIY EXPOSED

 

Correction:  An SDSU press release Friday incorrectly stated that Stelzer had died.  The university later clarified that she was brain dead and being kept on life support pending possible donation of her organs.

East County News Service

October 17, 2014 (San Diego) – An 18-year-old freshman at San Diego State University has died of meningococcal meningitis.  Sara Stelzer from Moorpark, who was studying pre-communications, passed away at a local hospital after flu-like symptoms, SDSU announced today.

According to CBS News in Los Angeles, Stelzer was a member of a sorority at SDSU and had recently attended two fraternity parties and her sister’s 21st birthday party. She was also in Moorpark over the weekend for homecoming at Moorpark High School.  County health officials are seeking those who have been in close contact with Stelzer and may have been exposed.

PARTY WITH THE PRESS! A "FUN" RAISING EVENT FOR EAST COUNTY MAGAZINE OCT. 26 AT NEXT DOOR WINE & CRAFT BREW BAR

PARTY WITH THE PRESS!

We cordially invite you to "Party with the Press" & benefit East County Magazine's nonprofit community media:

Sunday, October 26 from 4-7 p.m.  at Next Door Wine & Craft Beer Bar

7235 El Cajon Blvd.in San Diego  (just east of La Mesa; take I-8 to 70th, left on El Cajon Blvd.)

Includes wine tasting & craft beer tasting, great foods, fabulous prizes, & fun galore! 

Reserve early - space is limited!  Details below. Cheers!

LEADING A CHARMED LIFE!

 

Sticks and Stones and Broken Bones: What a Charmed Life I Lead, by Linda Lee King (Abbott Press, Bloomington, Indiana, 2014, 269 pages).

Book Review by Dennis Moore

October 17, 2014 (San Diego)--Linda Lee King, a recovering Catholic, news reporter, and publisher of a weekly newspaper, the Free Press News, who has struggled with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) since childhood, encapsulates that and all her experiences in a riveting book, Sticks and Stones and Broken Bones: What a Charmed Life I Lead. Growing up in 1950s America where children did not speak until spoken to and when the Catholic Church concealed many occurrences of inappropriate behavior, one moment in her young life caused trauma that would haunt her into adulthood. That sets the tone for this well-written book.

MENINGITIS AT SDSU

 

October 17, 2014 (San Diego) - A San Diego State Student has been diagnosed with meningitis, a potentially fatal bacterial infection that causes inflammation in the brain and spinal cord.

BEST HAPPY HOURS IN EAST COUNTY

 

 

Part IV in a series

By the East County Eaters

Week 4:  Downtown Café (El Cajon) and Anthony’s Seafood Grotto (La Mesa)

October 16, 2014 (San Diego’s East County) –In our fourth week of savoring great happy hours across our region, we stopped in at two establishments with deep roots in the community: Downtown Café, located in a historic brick that dates back to El  Cajon’s pioneer past, and Anthony’s Fish Grotto, a landmark restaurant serving up fresh seafood in La Mesa since 1946.

IMAGINE! CREATING WATER FROM AIR TECHNOLOGY TO BE FEATURED AT AFRICA TRADE & BUSINESS CONFERENCE IN SAN DIEGO OCT. 18

Here our interview with Vickie Butcher, Water for Children Africa:  http://kiwi6.com/uploads/new

Water for Children Africa launches pilot program in Africa that could be applied here, too

October 6, 2014 (San Diego) – What if we could create pure alkaline water from the air?  This futuristic technology will be explored as pilot projects for rural villages in Africa next summer, says Vickie Butcher, executive director of Water for Children Africa.

WHO WILL BE LA MESA’S MAYOR?

 

Key issue: Does the city need a full-time mayor, or can the job be done part-time?

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Mayor Art Madrid (left) and Councilman Mark Arapostathis (right)

October 15, 2014 (La Mesa) – La Mesa’s mayoral race is shaping up to be one of the hottest political contests in East County this election season, with two long-time community leaders vying for the city’s top job.  Both are long-time La Mesa residents with extensive experience in politics and community service. East County Magazine sat down for in-depth interviews with both candidates to talk about their records, their views on leadership, and their visions for La Mesa.

LA MESA MAYOR ART MADRID RUNS ON RECORD OF SUCCESS, SEEKS TO FULFILL HIS VISION FOR CITY IN A FINAL TERM

 

 

Hear our interview with La Mesa Mayor Art Madrid, originally broadcast on KNSJ radio:  http://k007.kiwi6.com/hotlink/b9yva37xb6/Newsmaker-ArtMadrid-FINAL.mp3

By Miriam Raftery

October 16, 2014 (La Mesa)—La Mesa Mayor Art Madrid has been serving the city for the past 33 years, as Mayor since 1990 and on the Council before that since 1981. He led the city through its centennial celebration and has held numerous other leadership positions including chair of the San Diego Association of Governments, president of the League of California Cities San Diego Division, and as a member of 125 different boards and commissions.

In an in-depth radio interview on the East County Magazine Show on KSNJ, Mayor Madrid discussed his history of accomplishments, his views on leaderships, and his vision for La Mesa for the future if reelected.  To read highlights of our interview, click "read more" and scroll down.

MARK ARAPOSTATHIS, “DR. A” AIMS TO BRING “POSITIVE” ATTITUDE TO MAYORAL JOB IN LA MESA

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

October 15,2014 (La Mesa) – Councilman Mark Arapostathis, twice named Teacher of the Year (by the County and La Mesa-Spring Valley School District), says a lesson he’s taught his students for 23 years is to always “be positive.”  He’s running against long-serving Mayor Art Madrid and says that if elected, he wants to bring “greater unity to the Council, which has been a bit divided.”  He holds a PhD degree and also heads up the Peter Pan Jr. Theater and C. Hook Theatre programs. 

He’s served on the La Mesa City Council for eight years.  Now with a term limits initiative on the ballot, he observes, “My window of opportunity may close” to run for mayor, since passage of the measure would limit the ability of long-serving council members to later run for mayor.

SOMETHING DIFFERENT THAT HAPPENS IN ALPINE: DIDGERIDOO

 

 

 

October 15, 2014 (Alpine) - Alpine is southern California’s home to a very small group of didgeridoo players who gather to hear music played by top talents from around the world. http://www.ididge.com – check out past events- very colorful.  Next up is a concert, workshop and potluck on Friday, October 17.

FROM KABOOM TO PBID AT THE LA MESA CITY COUNCIL MEETING

 

By Janis Russell

October 15. 2014 (La Mesa)- At yesterday’s La Mesa City Council meeting, Council unanimously approved submitting an application to the Let’s Play Community Construction Grant Program through KaBoom! to support a playground upgrade at Vista La Mesa Park.

READER'S EDITORIAL: THE PUBLIC SAFETY CHOICE FOR JUDGE

 

By: Ernie Susi, President, San Diego County Probation Officers Association;

Ben Kelso, President, San Diego Black Police Officers Association;

Alan R. Alvarez, President, National Non-Partisan Latino Peace Officers Association for Law and Order; and

Kevin McQuillen, President Fraternal Order of Police (San Diego Lodge #10)

October 11, 2014 (San Diego)--We expect judges to understand public safety issues.  We hope they come to the bench with a track record of experience and supporting law enforcement and the community.  In the November election there’s only one contested Superior Court Judge race, seat #25.  The obvious choice is clear: Deputy Attorney General Brad Weinreb.

THE NEWS YOU CARE ABOUT: OUR MOST-READ ARTICLES IN THE PAST MONTH

 

By Miriam Raftery

October 14, 2014 (San Diego’s East County) -- Ever wonder what news stories attract the most interest among our local readers?  We decided to find out, so we looked at the number of readers who clicked open each story for the past month.  The results were surprising. Some major news stories, such as Iraq air strikes, didn’t make the top 20-perhaps because that’s news available everywhere else. What DID get your attention was primarily stories relevant to East County, especially news that you can’t get anywhere else.

COMMUNITY COLLEGE RACE PITS RELIGIOUS CONSERVATIVE AGAINST SOCIAL JUSTICE ADVOCATE

 

By Miriam Raftery

October 13, 2014 (San Diego)--One of the more colorful election contests locally this year is a race for a seat on the San Diego Community College Board of Trustees between Donna Woodrum, a religious conservative, and  Maria Neito Senour, a professor with a commitment to social justice and diversity.

SHERIFF'S DEPT. SEEKS HORSE OWNERS AND RIDERS FOR VOLUNTEER MOUNTED PATROL

 

October 15, 2014 (Santee)--The Sheriff's Department is looking for horse owners and riders who would like to become members of the Volunteer Mounted Patrol. They conduct patrols on horseback across San Diego County, including the Santee and Lakeside areas.

CHP TO INCREASE PATROLS IN EAST COUNTY

 

By Miriam Raftery

October 15, 2014 (San Diego’s East County) - The California Highway Patrol has received a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety to fund more CHP patrols on East County highways and roadways.

The number of CHP officers will be increased on Interstate 8, State Routes 54, 95 and 125, as well as Jamacha Road, Dehesa Road, and Winter Gardens Boulevard.

MAYOR PRO TEM GARY KENDRICK VIES FOR RE-ELECTION AGAINST CHALLENGER ELWOOD ALEXANDER

 

By Janis Russell

October 14, 2014 (El Cajon)- Mayor pro tem Gary Kendrick is up for re-election this November against challenger Elwood Alexander. Kendrick served on the City Council and was then elected as Mayor Pro Tem a year ago.

REP. HUNTER NAMED "BEST PARTY ANIMAL" IN CONGRESS BY STAFFERS ON CAPITAL HILL

 

East County News Service

October 15, 2014 (Washington D.C.)—For the past 28 years, the Washingtonian has surveyed Congressional aides about the leadership qualities (or lack thereof) of House members in its “Best and Worse of Congress” annual report .  While some districts’ representatives achieved such honors as being named the top workhorse , rising star or wisest member of Congress, the designation as the top “party animal” in the House  of Representatives was awarded to 50th Congressional district Representative Duncan D. Hunter (R-Alpine).

ECM WORLD WATCH: NATIONAL AND GLOBAL NEWS

 

October 15, 2014 (San Diego's East County)-- East County Magazine's World Watch helps you be an informed citizen about important issues globally and nationally. As part of our commitment to reflect all voices and views, we include links to a wide variety of news sources representing a broad spectrum of political, religious, and social views. Top world and U.S. headlines include:

U.S.

WORLD

For excerpts and links to full stories, click “read more” and scroll down.

ZONING ORDINANCE UPDATE AND COUNTY CODE AMENDMENTS NOW GO TO THE BOARD OF SUPERVISORS

 

October 13, 2014 (San Diego)--The County Board of Supervisors (Board) will evaluate proposed amendments to the Zoning Ordinance (POD-13-003) when they meet on Oct. 29. The proposed improvement includes changes to various definitions, use regulations, procedures and other miscellaneous revisions and clarifications. They also include proposed amendments related to setbacks, detached garages and barns and recycling.

CALVET LAUNCHES VETERAN AFFORDABLE HOUSING PROGRAM AND PARTNERS WITH HOMES FOR FAMILIES

 

October 13, 2014 – Today, the California Department of Veterans Affairs (CalVet) launches a new affordble home ownership program, Residential Enriched Neighborhoods (REN), for Veterans and their families through a partnership with Homes for Families. This important new program offers manageable loan payments and enrichment services, with permanent home ownership for California’s Veterans.

YOUTH CHOIR OF SAN DIEGO AND EAST COUNTY CONCERT OCT. 16

 

October 13, 2014 (San Diego's East County) - Youth Choir of San Diego will perform its first concert on Thursday, October 16 at 7 pm. in the Cuyamaca College Performing Arts Center ( 900 Rancho San Diego Parkway, El Cajon).  This is a new nonprofit organization that has formed a group of high school students who gather twice a week, blending their communities as well as their voices to make music under the direction of Jason Prater - Artistic Director and Jonni Glaser - Musical Director. There are several San Diego City and several East County schools represented.

CITY CONSIDERS CRAFT BREWERY LEGISLATION

 

By Miriam Raftery

October 14, 2014 (San Diego) – San Diego is gaining a reputation nationally as one of America’s leading craft brewing cities.  Breweries have been opening up beer tasting rooms countywide—including urban or suburban areas, not just at breweries in industrial locations.

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