BARBECUE BASH WITH EAST COUNTY MAGAZINE! AUG. 30

SPEAKER TONI ATKINS PUTS SPOTLIGHT ON WAGE THEFT IN SAN DIEGO TOWN HALL AUG. 29

DIEGO VALLEY CHARTER SCHOOL HELPS IMMIGRANT AND DISADVANTAGED STUDENTS ATTAIN THEIR DREAMS

EAST COUNTY MAGAZINE PUBLISHER HEARTLAND COALITION SUPPORTS FREE HEALTH SCREENINGS FOR CHILDREN AT KIDS CARE FEST SEPT. 12

ZIP ZOOM! LA JOLLA INDIANS OPEN ZIPLINE

A WIN FOR EAGLES: COURT VOIDS 30-YEAR TAKE PERMITS

A SMOKIN' HOT EVENT: DESCANSO DEEP-PIT BBQ SEPT. 6

BRUSH FIRES IN EAST COUNTY

“GOLDEN STATE STANDARDS” BILL ADVANCES IN LEGISLATURE; SENATOR ANDERSON SPEAKS OUT TO OPPOSE MEASURE

SWEETWATER LITTLE LEAGUE STEPS UP TO THE PLATE

RESIDENTSAND AN ER DOCTOR SPEAK OUT AGAINST SAND MINING IN EL MONTE VALLEY

LAUREL AND HARDY “BACK TO SCHOOL NIGHT” AUG. 29 IN SPRING VALLEY

BURGLARY SUSPECT IN GRANITE HILLS ARRESTED

 

September 10, 2013 (El Cajon) – On September 8 at 3:13 p.m., Lemon Grove Sheriff’s deputies received a call of a residential burglary in progress at a home in the 1800 block of Granite Hills Dr., in unincorporated El Cajon. The homeowner reported that an unknown male suspect jumped out of a window to his home and fled in a black Ford Taurus northbound on Granite Hills Drive.

CHARGERS OPEN SEASON: ALL THEY NEED ARE BELIEVERS

 

By Derek Carlyon

September 9, 2013 (San Diego) -- Charger season is once again upon us, with the opening game tonight at 7:20 PST.  The buzz in the air is different than it normally is in San Diego; instead of lofty goals of the Super Bowl, fans seem to just be looking to avoid a historically bad year. Considering the Chargers haven’t made a playoff appearance since 2009, you can’t blame the pessimistic views of the Chargers’ faithful coming into the 2013 campaign. 

The Bolts have had their fair share of unfortunate off-season events, including the losses of linebacker Melvin Ingram and receiver Danario Alexander to injuries that will sideline them both for the season.

BRUSH FIRES IN JAMUL AND POTRERO

Photo, left:  Lyons Valley fire, Jamul, by Leslie Yoder

Photo, lower right: UCSD's HPWren webcam atop Lyon's Peak

Update September 10, 2013, 8 a.m.  – The Lyons Fire has charred 450 acres and is 15 percent contained. No structures have been lost.  Rain overnight brought help to firefighting efforts. 

Lyons Valley Road is closed between Japatul and Honey Springs and will remain closed for most of the day. Skyline Truck Trail is closed between Honey Springs and Skyline Spur; Skyline Spur is the alternate route, the Deerhorn Valley Antler advises.

Update 6:30 p.m. - Residents in Lyons Valley are being escorted back to their homes this evening, the Sheriff's media line has advised ECM.  ECM reporter Nadin Abbott advised the school that was listed by the Sheriff and County Emergency Services as an evacuation site is now closed.  The fire has charred 250 acres and is 10% contained.

Update 4 p.m. The Potrero Fire is 100% contained at 5 acres, Cal Fire reports. No structures were damaged but one burn injury was reported.  Lyons Fire in Jamul is 225 acres, Cal Fire confirms. Deerhorn Valley Antler editor reports all roads in Four Corners area are closed. Firefighters are concerned fire could move into Lawson Valley.  SDG&E is evaluating risk to Sunrise Powerlink.

COURT SETS MARCH TRIAL DATE FOR WATER AUTHORITY'S PUBLIC RECORDS LAWSUIT AGAINST RIVERSIDE COUNTY WATER AGENCY

 

Read the Water Authority’s lawsuit: www.mwdfacts.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/Petition-with-Exhibits-01221...

September 8, 2013 - A Superior Court judge has set March 5, 2014, as the trial date for the San Diego County Water Authority’s lawsuit seeking records about a covert public relations campaign in San Diego County run by the Eastern Municipal Water District on behalf of the Los Angeles-based Metropolitan Water District of Southern California and its member agencies.

The Water Authority filed its lawsuit under the California Public Records Act in January after Eastern, based in Riverside County, blacked out portions of documents it released and refused to produce all relevant records. The California Constitution and state law require public agencies to promptly provide complete copies of documents, emails and other records relating to the conduct of the public’s business. 

READERS CALENDAR FOR WEEK OF SEPTEMBER 8

 

September 9 (Monday, 7:30 pm) — Warwick's will host debut local novelist Lacy Crawford, who will discuss and sign her book Early Decision. This event is free and open to the public. In order to be signed the author's most current book must be purchased from Warwick's.

Background: A delightful and salacious debut novel about the frightful world of high school, SATs, the college essay, and the Common Application-and how getting in is getting in the way of growing up.

OCOTILLO RESIDENTS’ WOES CONTINUE AS NEW DUST STORM, FLOODING, WHITE SLUDGE FLOW STRIKES COMMUNITY

 

By Miriam Raftery

September 8, 2013 (Ocotillo) – A new dust storm, flooding and more white foam flowed through Ocotillo today, heightening residents’ concerns about impacts of Pattern Energy’s Ocotillo Express Wind Energy Facility on this desert community. 

At 4:40 p.m. a storm hit, sending massive amounts of dust into the air, this time coming directly from project access dirt roads created by Pattern Energy, according to Jim Pelley, who shot this video. Soon after, a storm brought flash flooding, which residents claim is worsened by drainage changes made by the wind developer.  The flood brought a repeat of an unknown white sludgy substance washing across the desert floor and into the town. 

“The white foam is back moving across the project. It was a bit eerie,” said Pelly, who took video of today’s white foam flood as well.

MEASURE TO AID VULNERABLE RESIDENTS IN EMERGENCIES, REPORT ON DISATER PREPAREDNESS ON SUPERVISORS’ AGENDA TUESDAY

 

By Miriam Raftery

September 8, 2013 (San Diego) – After visiting the Rim Fire (photo, left)  to learn more about large-scale disaster responses, Supervisor Dave Roberts announces he is introducing emergency preparedness legislation on Tuesday, September 10, along with Supervisor Ron Roberts.

“Our initiative seeks to assist our most vulnerable residents in the event of a disaster,” said Dave Roberts in a newsletter to constituents.   Also on Tuesday, the County’s Office of Emergency Services will update Board members on community preparedness and improvements made since the 2007 firestorms  as the height of fire season approaches.

Vulnerable residents include those with physical, cognitive or emotional disabilities.  A survey by the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research found a staggering 26 percent of San Diego County residents report they are disabled due to a physical, mental or emotional condition.  A 2009 survey asked if people were prepared for a major disaster and among those who replied “not prepared, 30.3% said they were disabled.   County records also list 25,000 individuals who need a personal care assistant to be independent.

SYCUAN BOOSTS REWARD TO $100,000 IN CASE OF XUSHA BROWN JR., VICTIM KILLED IN FREEWAY SHOOTING

 

Victim was gunned down on I -8 freeway in La Mesa on May 5

By Janis Mork

September 7, 2013 (La Mesa)- Four months ago, 22-year-old Xusha Brown Jr. was shot in the head while a passenger in a vehicle driven by Malcolm Hune, heading home on May 5 at 4:00 a.m. He lived on the Sycuan reservation, oldest of nine children, and also worked at Sycuan. 

His mother, Deborah Flores, described him as “very loving, very kind hearted” at a press conference in La Mesa. 

SDRES ‘INSIDERS’ SUSTAINABILITY TOUR FEATURING 7 COMMERCIAL ENERGY INNOVATORS SEPT. 20

September 7, 2013 (San Diego) - The non-profit San Diego Renewable Energy Society (SDRES) invites property owners, building and corporate sustainability managers county-wide to join San Diego’s leading solar and energy efficiency innovators and contractors for an interactive, behind-the-scenes tour of seven cost-cutting commercial energy solutions during the Commercial Leg of the San Diego Renewable Energy Society's 13th San Diego Sustainability Tour, September 20, from 10 am to 4:30 pm.

SPRING VALLEY LIBRARY BRANCH’S 8TH ANNUAL FIESTA SEPT. 21

September 7, 2013 (Spring Valley) – The San Diego County Library celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month with the 8th annual Spring Valley Library Fiesta on Sept. 21 from 1 – 4 p.m, at the Spring Valley Library, 836 Kempton Street.  The Fiesta will offer free entertainment and activities for all ages.

VIEJAS DOUBLES DOWN, TRIES TO SET 2 WORLD RECORDS ON SEPT. 13

 

September 5, 2013 (Alpine) – To celebrate its 22nd anniversary, Viejas Casino and Resort is aiming to break two Guiness World Records  on September 13—playing blackjack with the world’s largest deck of cards and later, opening the most bottles of wine at one time.

PHOTOS OF THE WEEK: EXTREME STORM SHOTS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

September 7, 2013 (Mount Laguna) -- Retired Fire Captain Greg Bishop sent us these photos taken during yesterday's extreme storms by the National Science Foundation’s HPWREN camera atop Mt. Laguna, a project of the University of California, San Diego. (http://hpwren.ucsd.edu)

RESIDENTS SWELTER DURING PROLONGED POWER OUTAGE IN BORREGO SPRINGS; COUNTY POWERS UP “COOL ZONE”

 

Update 3:30 p.m.: Power has been fully restored to all residents. 

By Miriam Raftery

September 7, 2013 (Borrego Springs) – Severe weather knocked out power yesterday afternoon ito 2700 SDG&E  customers in Borrego  Springs and nearby communities.  An estimated 760 households remain without power today in Borrego and Shelter Valley as temperatures climb to triple digits. 

SDG&E estimates power will be restored at 7 p.m.   “Currently, we have restored some emergency power to a portion of the community. This has enabled the county to open a cool zone at the library on Palm Canyon Drive,” an SDG&E advisory sent to residents advises.

“There was hardly anyone in town, no gas, can’t pump with no power,” Borrego resident Bob Kutscher informed ECM this morning. 

FIRE, FLOODING , MUD SLIDES AND SIG ALERT IN MOUNTAIN AREAS

 

Update: The fire is now out but the roadway remains flooded and there are many other hazards. Lightning strikes are reported in the Warner Springs area and other locations including the bolt shown at left, taken by Bob Kutscher. This strike apparently ignited the fire, with smoke visible on a second image moments later shot from Borrego.

September 6, 2013 (San Diego’s East County) – A fire truck en route to a fire reported in the Scissors Crossing area near Julian has become stuck in the mud.  Highway S2 is shut down from State Route 79 to S 22 and a Sig Alert has been issued.  The fire truck initially became stuck after encountering a road washed out by flooding at 79 en route to Montezuma, according to the California Highway webpage. Smoke is also reportedly visible form Vista Point; it is unclear if this is the same fire.

  On Mt. Laguna, mudslides are reported on Sunrise Highway between I-8 and mile marker 18; Cal Trans is responding. Rockslides are also occurring on Old 80, the National Weather Service reports. In the desert, downed powerlines are reported on Rango Way and Borrego Valley Road.

A flash flood warning remains in effect until 430 p.m. for Southeastern San Diego County.Shortly before 3 p.m. National Weather service Doppler radar continued to indicate moderate to heavy rain in the area from Cuyamaca Peak to Campo. Storm spotters reported flooded roads in Pine Valley. Locations in the warning include but are not limited to Morena Village, Potrero, Campo, Descanso, Cuyamaca Peak, Highway 79, Sunrise Highway, Tierra del Sol and Interstate 8. A flash flood watch remains in effect across many other areas, along with a high heat warning.

 

CPUC TO HOLD HEARING OCT. 1 IN SAN DIEGO ON WHETHER RATEPAYERS SHOULD PAY SDGE'S SAN ONOFRE COSTS

 

September 4, 2013 (San Diego) – On the heels of a hefty rate increase that took effect September 1st, SDG&E wants  ratepayers to  pay for $808 million in costs of decommissioning the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Stations.  Ratepayer advocates, meanwhile, say ratepayers should receive a refund for charges assessed when the nuclear facility was off-line for more than a year before being shut down permanently.

The California Public Utilities Commission will hold two hearings on Tuesday, October 1 at 2 p.m. and again at 6:30 p.m. Both will be held in the Al Bahr Shriners auditorium, 5440 Kaerny Mesa Road, San Diego 92111. The commission will consider whether or not ratepayers should be charged for the decommissioning costs, as well as whether ratepayers should receive refunds for charges assessed while the nuclear facilities were offline for more than a year before the shut-down decision.

SOLAR ADVOCATES PROTEST UTILITY-BACKED AB 327

 

 

By Paul Kruze

September 5, 2013 (San Diego)-- A small but passionate group of local environmentalists and workers for Sullivan Solar Power, a local solar panel installation company,  gathered in front of Sempra Energy’s downtown corporate offices on August 28 to protest the energy conglomerate’s backing of California Assembly Bill 327. Opponents here and at protests elsewhere in California said the bill would irreparably gut incentives for energy conservation and rooftop solar development.

Introduced by Assemblyman Henry T. Perea (D-Fresno), the proposed bill was approved by the California Senate Energy Committee late last week, with major amendments. If passed by the Legislature and signed by the Governor, it would replace  what utilities and other supporters say are outdated restrictions on how electrical rates are decided and approved.

MOST MEMBERS OF CONGRESS STILL UNDECIDED ON SYRIA STRIKE

 

 

4 of 5 local Congressional members not sure yet how they will vote; both CA Senators support military intervention

By Miriam Raftery

September 4, 2013 (San Diego’s East County) – Three days ago, NBC news reported that San Diego’s Congressional delegation had “mostly positive” reactions to news that President Obama had decided to ask Congresss for approval before waging a military air strike on Syria.  But a  poll by CNN of Congressional members found San Diego’s representatives remain mostly undecided on whether to vote for war or not.  Both California Senators, however, support the President’s call for military action.

Overall, the CNN poll found the majority in both houses of Congress have not yet committed how they will vote.  In the Senate, 24 Senators say that they will support the war declaration, 16 will oppose it, and 58 remain undecided. In the House, 27 support going to war, 91 oppose, 254 are undecided, and the positions of 61 others are unknown.

This is a rare issue in which the vote does not split down party lines. Both parties are split, with many members on each side of the weighty issue appearing ready to vote their consciences or the will of their constituents, not a party preference.

WAR WITH SYRIA: SHOULD THE U.S. LAUNCH AN ATTACK?

 

Senate committee approves military strike; full Congressional authorization still needed to launch war

By  Miriam Raftery

September 4, 2013 (Washington D.C.) – Should the U.S. attack Syria? What are the potential remifications for the U.S. and the world?  What are the key issues and arguments on all sides of this compelling questions -- and where do your representatives stand?

President Barack Obama has asked Congress for approval to launch a military air strike against Syria amid indications that the Syrian president  used chemical weapons against civilians in his own country, including children.  Today, the Senate Foreign RelationsCommittee voted 10-7 to approve limited authorization. Chairman John Kerry said there is "no question" that Syria used chemical weapons in violation of international law. The full Senate and the House of Representatives must both approve the action.

In the interest of providing our readers with a variety of views and information on this important issue, we’ve rounded up articles from around the world and across the nation in our special section below. Click any headline to view full text of these articles. We've even included "9 questions about Syria you were too embarassed to ask" for those who haven't kept up with the news on this emerging world crisis. 

Syria news stories:

BIG LEE HOUSE HAWAIIAN LUAU SEPTEMBER 14

 

August 28, 2013 (Lemon Grove) – The Lemon Grove Historical Society hosts its Big Lee House Hawaiian Luau on September 14 from 5:30 – 8:30 p.m. under the stars and twinkling lights of the Gazebo Courtyard at the H. Lee House, 3205 Olive, Lemon Grove.  The festivities will include island music, feasting, hula dancing and the dramatic spectacle of the Polynesian Fire Dance.  The no host Grass Shack Bar and a 50-50 drawing will round out the evening.

SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING ISSUED ACROSS SAN DIEGO COUNTY

 

September 5, 2013 (San Diego’s East County) – The National Weather Service has issued a severe weather statement covering all of East County and San Diego, along with warnings of severe thunderstorms, flash flooding and high winds occurring now in rural and mountain areas.

At 2:30 p.m., NWS Doppler radar indicated a severe thunderstorm capable of producing quarter-size hail and destructive winds in excess of 70 miles per hour. It was spotted near Santa Ysabel  and Julian, moving northwest along Highway 79 toward Cuyamaca State Park and the Cuyamaca Peak.

THE RACE FOR SAN DIEGO MAYOR HEATS UP

 

 

 

By Nadin Abbott

September 5, 2013 (San Diego)—The special election set for November 19 to replace Bob Filner, who resigned August 30, is starting to shape up.  To date, 21 people have thrown their hat in the ring. But thus far, only three candidates  have strong name recognition.

The first, and no surprise to any observer of San Diego politics, is former Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher who previously ran for Mayor against Filner. The second is Second District Councilmember Kevin Faulconer. The third is former City Attorney Mike Aguirre, recently recently has represented consumer groups fighting utility companies and big businesses.

HELIX WATER TO HOLD WORKSHOP SEPT. 13 ON FUTURE OF LAKE JENNINGS

 

By Miriam Raftery

September 5, 2013 (La Mesa) – Four years ago, Helix Water District took back management of Lake Jennings from the County.  But now the board is weighing options to reduce its operating costs or raise revenues generated by the 9,700 acre reservoir in Lakeside. Those options include closing the lake, offering a long-term lease to a neighboring district, or privatizing the lake’s facilities by turning over management to a company such as  KOA, which operates campgrounds nationwide.

On September 13 at 10 a.m., the District will hold a public workshop at its administration building, 7811 University Avenue in La Mesa. You can also send comments to the board at  board@helixwater.org

“SUSTAIN LA MESA” ENVIRONMENTAL FESTIVAL SEPT. 7

September 6, 2013 (La Mesa) – The City of La Mesa is holding its sixth annual “Sustain La Mesa” Environmental Festival September 7 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Harry Griffen Park, 9550 Milden Street, La Mesa.  The free event is presented by the La Mesa Environmental Sustainability Commission and will feature hydroponics, solar cooking, composting, electric vehicles, kid’s crafts and more.

ECM WORLD WATCH: NATIONAL AND GLOBAL NEWS

 

September 5, 2013 (San Diego's East County) --ECM 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 full stories, click "read more" and scroll down.

WHAT’S POLLUTING WATERWAYS IN OCOTILLO?

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

August 30, 2013 (Ocotillo) -- Thursday’s storm brought an unwanted surprise to residents of Ocotillo, where floodwaters swept through the desert town carrying a white,  foamy sludge. You can see a video of the sludge flood on our website at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cqtr8mKDbEo&feature=youtu.be

East County Magazine photographer Jim Pelley lives in Ocotillo.  He and other residents say that they have never seen the white foamy sludge before the Ocotillo Wind Energy facility was built.

“What is it?” he asked.  “What effect will it have on our sole source aquifer?” The underground aquifer provides the town’s only source of drinking water.  Pelley also wants to know if the contaminated water will be harmful to animals.  “It has been so dry out here, I’m sure all of the wildlife is very thirsty and will be drinking this water.”

EARTHTALK®: HUMAN OVERPOPULATION - STILL AN ISSUE OF CONCERN?

 

September 5, 2013 (San Diego) – Dear EarthTalk: Is it true that human overpopulation isn’t such a big issue any more as numbers are expected to start declining in a few decades?

-- Melinda Mason, Boone, IA

Ever since Thomas Malthus published “An Essay on the Principle of Population” in 1798, positing incorrectly that humans’ proclivity for procreation would exhaust the global food supply within a matter of decades, population growth has been a hot button issue among those contemplating humankind’s future. Indeed our very success going forth and multiplying, paired with our ability to extend our life expectancy, has meant that we are perpetually pushing the limits of the resource base that supports us.

JERRY SCHAD'S OUTDOOR CLASSIC "101 HIKES IN SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA" GETS MAJOR UPDATE

 

September 5, 2013 (San Diego’s East County) – In 2011, the SoCal outdoor community lost Jerry Schad, the seasoned hiker who spread his appreciation for the outdoors throughout the San Diego region through his popular books and photographs.

Now Wilderness Press has released the first update to Schad's classic 101 Hikes in Southern California since his passing two years ago. The first edition was published in 1996. 

David Money Harris – fellow outdoor writer, hiking leader, and frequent collaborator with Schad – took on this most recent update with Jerry's legacy in mind. Harris worked with Schad on the 2005 revision to the work, and has contributed to Schad's popular Afoot & Afield series.

FROM THE CHIEF'S CORNER: ARE YOU PREPARED? SEPTEMBER IS NATIONAL PREPAREDNESS MONTH!

 

By Sam DiGiovanna

September 5, 2013 (San Diego) – Are You Prepared? Jeeepers, What Next?

It seems there are so many things we need to be prepared for, says Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna. How do you keep up and prepare with all these life and worldly events?

September is the 10th Annual National Preparedness Month, which means that public safety agencies are busy working on a number of events to ensure that their communities are educated, informed, and ready to face any type of crisis situation. “This year’s national theme is ‘Be Your Own Hero,’” says Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna.

EAST COUNTY ROUNDUP: LOCAL AND STATEWIDE NEWS

September 5, 2013 (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 and click "read more."

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