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

2 CANDIDATES AIM TO HALT RATE HIKES IN HELIX WATER DISTRICT

DESTINATION EAST COUNTY: TOP FESTIVALS AND EVENTS OCT. 23-NOV. 2

GROSSMONT HOSPITAL SHARES EBOLA READINESS DETAILS

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

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?


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!

MUD FLIES IN LA MESA MAYORAL RACE

 

By Miriam Raftery

October 22, 2014 (La Mesa)—The campaign for La Mesa’s Mayoral race has turned negative.  Mayor Art Madrid’s campaign committee has sent a mailer to voters titled “The Real `Dr. A’ regarding his opponent, Councilman Mark Arapostathis. 

Arapostathis has responded with a detailed e-mail to East County Magazine saying the claims are untrue and “intended to deceive.” He added that La Mesa residents are “sick and tired of negative politics; that is why we need to change.”

FROM THE FIRE CHIEF'S CORNER: DON'T BE A PUMPKIN HEAD!

 

By Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna

October 21, 2014 (San Diego's East County) - There’s a lot to cover for Halloween Safety and rather be a Pumpkin Head, let go over a few safety reminders advises Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna. Avoid trick-or-treating alone. Walk in groups or with a trusted adult.  Fasten reflective tape to costumes and bags to help drivers see you. Examine all treats for choking hazards and tampering before eating them. Limit the amount of treats you eat.  Hold a flashlight while trick-or-treating to help you see and others see you. Always walk and don't run from house to house.

ECM WORLD WATCH: NATIONAL AND GLOBAL NEWS

 

October 22, 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.

EAST COUNTY ROUNDUP: LOCAL AND STATEWIDE NEWS

 

October 22, 2014 (San Diego’s East County)-- East County Roundup highlights top stories of interest to East County and San Diego’s inland regions, published in other media. This week’s top “Roundup” headlines include:

LOCAL/REGIONAL

STATE

For excerpts and links to full stories, scroll down.

2 CANDIDATES AIM TO HALT RATE HIKES IN HELIX WATER DISTRICT

 

 

East County News Service

Four candidates are running for two seats on the Helix Water District Board.  We invited all four to be interviewed on our radio show and two of them responded. In our radio interviews, we asked candidates their views on the drought, creating new regional water supplies, the tiered rate structure, budget priorities, the future of Lake Jennings, and transparency, among other issues.

You can listen to their interviews here:

Kathleen Hedberg interview: http://kiwi6.com/file/cg9yf06gmm

Steven Rotsart interview: http://kiwi6.com/file/o49k8zokbs

Hedberg is an incumbent and civil engineer who is running as a ratepayers’ advocate. She voted against rate hikes passed by the board majority.  Her opponent is Maria Mariscal, who has worked for the County Water Authority. 

Rotsart says he’s running because rates are too high, having nearly tripled in the past nine years. He He believes his experience in nonprofits will help him bring financial accountability to the board. He is running against incumbent Deana Verbeke, whose website says she is a voice of ratepayers but who voted consistently to raise rates despite objections from the vast majority of ratepayers who submitted public comments.

CAL FIRE CHIEF DISPUTES CANDIDATE STATEMENTS IN SAN MIGUEL FIRE RACE

 

By Miriam Raftery

October 22, 2014 (San Diego’s East County)—CAL FIRE Tony Meacham, head of the County Fire Authority,  has contacted East County Magazine to dispute statements and factual claims made by two candidates running for the San Miguel Fire District Board in their responses to our candidate questionnaire.  

Chief Meacham states that he is not endorsing any candidate but adds, “There are numerous statements that are factually false.”

BARNES & NOBLE: LOCAL AUTHOR NIGHT

 

By Dennis Moore

October 22, 2014 (Valencia, California) - Steve Springer, co-author of Laker Girl, with Jeanie Buss, the NBA Los Angeles Lakers President and Governor, will be one of 10 authors at the annual Barnes & Noble “Local Author Night” in Valencia, California on Friday, October 24th, 2014 at 7:00PM. This writer had the distinct pleasure and honor of writing a review of Springer’s book for the East County Magazine in San Diego several months ago. Steve Springer is a former sportswriter who spent 25 years at the Los Angeles Times. He is the author of 11 books, including four on the Los Angeles Lakers, and the coauthor of the New York Time bestseller American Son with Oscar De La Hoya. Another memorable book by Springer, and a keepsake, is 50th Anniversary: The Los Angeles Times Encyclopedia of the Lakers. This is a must have for all Lakers fans, me included.

BAJA BLOG: LA MISION EQUESTRIANS - MORE ABOUT HORSES IN BAJA

 

By Susan A Mahalick

October 21, 2014 (Baja, Mexico)--In my previous article about Black Cross Winery and the Pretty Horses Ranch, I touched on how important both wine and horses are in this part of Baja. Now I want to expand on a group founded by Carla Jesme to help pay for the upkeep of her horse. She arrived here and fell in love with horses and the way of life in La Misión, with all the unpaved roads and trails up in the hills, along with beach rides.

ZOO'S SAFARI PARK WORKS TO SAVE RARE RHINOS

 

By Miriam Raftery

October 22, 2014 (San Pasqual) – The San Diego Zoo Safari Park in San Pasqual is working to save one of the most endangered animals on earth.

SKATE, TRICK-OR-TREAT AND SHOP AT VIEJAS ICE RINK'S OCTOBER 31ST GRAND OPENING

 

October 21, 2014 (Alpine)– Viejas Outlets kicks off the holiday season a little earlier this year with the October 31st opening of the popular Viejas Ice Rink – the largest outdoor ice rink in Southern California.

MORE RABID BATS FOUND; CHILDREN EXPOSED TO DEADLY VIRUS SOUGHT

 

East County News Service

Photo: Bureau of Land Management

October 21, 2014 (San Diego) – Five bats have tested positive for rabies in North County, the County reports. County health officials are asking for public help to identify five children who found a bat on Saturday outside the Pizza Nova outlet on North Twin Oaks Valley Road in San Marcos. The bat later died and was confirmed to have rabies.

ARTS AND CRAFTS FAIR OCT. 25 IN EL CAJON TO BENEFIT CHARITIES

 

October 18, 2014 (El Cajon )—Hundreds of handmade and handcrafted items by local artists and artisans will be available at an Arts and Crafts Fair on Saturday, October 25 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the First Presbyterian Church, 500 Farrugut Circle in El Cajon.  All proceeds will benefit local charities.

THE ATTORNEY'S CORNER: BENEFITS OF A REVOCABLE TRUST

 

“Articles Concerning Trusts, Wills, Probate, Family Law & more”

By Stephen C. Ross, Esq.

October 10, 2014 (San Diego County) – The primary benefit of a revocable trust is often considered to be avoidance of probate. Although it is true assets held in trust avoid probate, there are several other benefits of a revocable trust to consider. The following are trust benefits that may, or may not, be important to you.

CALIFORNIA HAS THE NATION'S WORST POVERTY RATE

 

East County News Service

October 21, 2014 (San Diego’s East County) – The U.S. Census Bureau’s data is in—and California has the highest level of poverty in the nation.   Nearly one in four Californians – 23.4 percent--are living in poverty.  That’s nearly 9 million people.

RECALL ON 4.7 MILLION 2001-2007 VEHICLES DUE TO DEFECTIVE AIRBAGS

 

 

Consumer urged to take immediate action 

October 22, 2014 (Washington D.C.) -- The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration urges owners of certain Toyota, Honda, Mazda, BMW, Nissan, and General Motors vehicles to act immediately on recall notices to replace defective Takata airbags. This is the latest in a series of recalls that now span from 2001 to 2013.

PROP 2 BACKERS MAKE DECEPTIVE CLAIMS ON WILDFIRE FIGHTING

 

East County News Service

October 19, 2014 (San Diego’s East County)--A television ad featuring Cal-Fire director Ken Pimlott advises voters that a yes vote on Propositions 1 and 2 will “protect the water and the fire services we need” for the future.  The ad features video of wildfires and suggests that the measures are needed to make sure that California improves its water infrastructure to be better prepared for drought--and to assure that firefighting budgets won’t be cut in future economic downturns.

SAN DIEGO MINIMUM WAGE HEADS TO BALLOT

 

East County News Service

October 20, 2014 (San Diego)--If you’re a minimum wage worker in San Diego, the raise that the City Council voted for won’t be taking effect after all – at least, not until voters weigh in on the June 2016 ballot.

DESTINATION EAST COUNTY: TOP FESTIVALS AND EVENTS OCT. 23-NOV. 2

By Miriam Raftery

Radio show hosted by Rebecca Williamson and Leon Thompson

October 21, 2014 (San Diego’s East County) --This week’s Destination East County includes some spooky Halloween happenings, a picnic with parrots, and our very own Party with the Press benefit event, all this weekend right here in East County. 

Plus we’ll have previews of coming attractions, including a wine festival at a castle in Ramona and a hot chili cook-off in Lemon Grove.

So stay tuned for all of these events and much, much more, from East County Magazine!

GROSSMONT HOSPITAL SHARES EBOLA READINESS DETAILS

 

 

 

A joint report by East County Magazine and Reporting San Diego

By Miriam Raftery and Nadin Abbott

October 21, 2014 (La Mesa) – How prepared is East County's major hospital to handle an Ebola patient?

We contacted Grossmont Hospital to find out.  Although the risk of this occurring here is considered low by experts, errors in a Dallas hospital's handling of an Ebola patient pointed out the importance of proper planning.  Moreover, a survey published last week by National Nurses United revealed that 85 percent of hospitals had reportedly not provided any training for nurses on Ebola and most are short on equipment for handling a patient with the infectious disease that kills 70% of victims.

We sent a detailed list of questions to Sharp Grossmont Hospital’s director of marketing and communications, Bruce Hartman, on topics such as training and protective equipment for healthcare workers, whether patients are asked about their travel histories, and plans for sanitizing areas where an Ebola patient might have been waiting or treated. He responded with this detailed statement, followed by answers to our questions below.

The Hospital's responses include changes in procedures being made to reflect new guidelines just issued by the federal government, such as providing full protective suits with no skin exposed and training in how to safely remove such gear. Below is the full text of Hartman's response:

READER’S EDITORIAL: TERM LIMITS A BAD DEAL FOR LA MESA

By Kristin Kjaero

October 20, 2014 (La Mesa) -- Don’t be fooled by Prop K. La Mesa voters have a term limits proposal for City Council on their ballots, but it’s unnecessary, undemocratic, and won’t work as advertised.

This election we'll have a majority with two years or less experience on our City Council. Yes, you read that correctly: no matter who wins, there will be two new people, plus a third half way through a first term - all without term limits in place.

And although it’s called the “three consecutive terms limit,” Prop K would actually allow candidates to run again after sitting out one 4-year cycle. The only thing it would limit is voters’ choices.

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

 

Updated October 22, 2014 - CAL FIRE Chief Tony Meacham, head of the County Fire Authority, has written to dispute statements made by two candidates in this race, which he says are "factually false."  You can read details of the Chief's statements here

By Nadin Abbott

October 18, 2014 (San Diego)--In 2012, the San Miguel Fire Board voted for CAL FIRE to take over firefighting operations. The board voted unanimously 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,  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 arrangement 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 and four 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

Three candidates, challengers Theresa McKenna and Jim Ek, along with incumbent Chris Winter, have responded.  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. She has since been removed from life support and her organs were donated to help save several lives.

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.

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.

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