RESIDENTS VOICE CONCERNS OVER CHECKPOINT DELAYS ON HIGHWAY 94

VINEYARD GRANT JAMES IN RAMONA DRAWS RAVE REVIEWS

ECM WORLD WATCH: NATIONAL AND GLOBAL NEWS

SDG&E GRANTS $1,500 FOR EAST COUNTY EMERGENCY ALERTS DURING EL NIÑO

VALENTINE’S OPEN RANCH AT ALPACAS OF SAN DIEGO IN DESCANSO FEB. 13

DESTINATION EAST COUNTY: TOP FESTIVALS AND EVENTS FEB. 12-28

DESSERT & WINE PAIRINGS AT SAN PASQUAL WINERY, LA MESA FEB. 12-14

SANDERS, TRUMP TROUNCE OPPONENTS IN NEW HAMPSHIRE PRIMARY

LA MESA SENDS MERCHANTS’ OKTOBERFEST DEBT TO COLLECTIONS

DEMOCRATS AND REPUBLICANS HOLD NEW HAMPSHIRE DEBATES

ON THE SILVER SCREEN: FOLLYWOOD (HAIL, CAESAR!)

FIRST “FLOWERS IN THE MOUNTAINS” GARDEN TOUR BLOOMS MAY 7

TAX SCAM ALERT: BEWARE OF FAKE IRS CALLS

 

By Miriam Raftery

March 20, 2014 (Washington D.C.)--The U.S. Treasury Inspector General  has issued a warning to taxpayers to beware of phone calls from people claiming to represent the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) but in reality these are scamsters seeking to defraud taxpayers.

“This is the largest scam of its kind that we have ever seen,” said J. Russell George, the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration. He said the agency has received reports of over 20,000 contacts and has become aware of thousands of victims who have collectively paid over $1 million as a result of the scam.

MOUNTAIN HEALTH PROVIDES TRANSPORTATION FOR SENIORS AND DISABLED RESIDENTS IN RURAL EAST COUNTY THROUGH VOLUNTEER PROGRAM

                          

 

March 20, 2014 (San Diego’s East County) --Raul was blind for four years due to diabetes.  He lives alone and couldn’t leave his house, walk to the store or do daily tasks.  Last winter he was very cold because he couldn’t see well enough to make a warm fire. 

With the help of Mountain Health’s Senior Transportation Program, Raul has been able to get to and from his doctor’s appointments including surgery for his eyes, and pick up his eye drops and diabetes medications.  Today, Raul can see 70% better in his right eye after having multiple surgeries.  He recently underwent surgery on his left eye that resulted in seeing shadows and light. 

Raul said, “Your program is God sent.  Without it, none of this would have happened.  It’s just a miracle!”  He has a better outlook on life and states with a huge smile on his face, “My future is looking brighter now that I can see my grandkids.”

WIND TURBINE AT IBERDROLA WIND FARM CATCHES FIRE

 

Part III in our "Wind Fire" series

Will Iberdrola use fire-prone Gamesa turbines in East County?

By Miriam Raftery

March 20, 2014 (San Diego’s East County) – Iberdrola wants to build Tule Wind, an industrial wind facility in McCain Valley. The company has claimed that the odds of one of its turbine catching fire are infinitesimal.  But on March 15, a wind turbine at Iberdrola’s Locust Ridge wind facility in Mahonay City, Pennsylvania caught fire, sending flames arcing out until ultimately the fire burned itself out, as shown on video. This is the latest in a long string of fires involving Gamesa turbines including some at Iberdrola facilities.

What would happen if this occurred in McCain Valley, amid fire-prone brush in a hard-to-access area where campgrounds are located at the end of a canyon with only one access road, set to be lined by wind turbines?  And why aren't Supervisors taking steps to protect public safety by barring fire-prone wind turbine products in our region?

COTTONWOOD GOLF ANNOUNCES UPCOMING TOURNAMENTS

 

March 19, 2014 (El Cajon) – If you’re ready to get in the swing of things this spring, Cottonwood Golf has announced a series of golf tournaments in April, May and June. Many of these events will benefit local charitable causes, from children’s programs to wounded veterans to the Mother Goose Parade.  In addition, Cottonwood will host brunch in its garden area each Sunday through June 15 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. with mimosas or champagne for adults and a menu with child pricing.  Cottonwood is located at 3121 Willow Glen Drive in EL Cajon. For reservations call:

619-442-9891 x 22.

EAST COUNTY ROUNDUP: LOCAL AND STATEWIDE NEWS

 

March 20, 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

STATE

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

SAN DIEGO TO HOLD HEARING MARCH 24 ON RAISING MINIMUM WAGE AND OFFERING EARNED SICK DAYS

 

By Miriam Raftery

March 19, 2014 (San Diego) – Should workers have the right to earned sick days? Should the minimum wage be raised in San Diego?  A City Council committee will hold a hearing on these issues on Monday, March 24 at 9:30 a.m. at City Hall.

A new organization, Raise Up San Diego (www.raiseupsandiego.org) will hold a rally outside Council Chambers at 202 C Street in support of these proposals.

COUNTY OFFERS VIDEOS ON WATER CONSERVATION GARDENING

 

March 20, 2014 (San Diego)--California is in the midst of a drought emergency, and there’s no relief in sight as our unseasonably warm winter continues. Gov. Jerry Brown is asking all residents to cut water use by 20 percent — something that may be easier than you think.

CUYAMACA COLLEGE SEMINAR FOCUSED ON NEEDS, CHALLENGES OF STUDENT VETERANS

 

March 19, 2014 (El Cajon) –  A half-day seminar at Cuyamaca College Friday opened many eyes to the experiences facing today’s military veterans as they pack away their service uniforms to join the civilian world, often coming to community colleges to begin a new chapter in their lives.

CHILDREN’S BALL MARCH 29 TO BENEFIT BOYS & GIRLS CLUBS OF EAST COUNTY

 

By Miriam Raftery

March 19, 2014 (San Diego’s East County)—The elegant U.S. Grant Hotel will be the site of the 48th annual Children’s Ball on March 29 at 6 p.m. This event benefits more than 3,000 children served each year by Boys & Girls Clubs of East County—and you’re invited.

Guests will enjoy the ambiance of the cocktail lounge complete with combo, designer drinks, silent auction, three grand drawing prizes and the ever famous seafood buffet.  In addition admission includes dinner, a live auction, dancing and an opportunity to meet some very special Club members. 

This special event honors Ron & Mary Alice Brady for their commitment to build The Brady Family Clubhouse & Teen Center and improving the lives of the children in La Mesa. “It’s better to build kids than try to mend adults” is not only Mr. Brady’s mantra, but has inspired the theme of this year’s Children’s Ball; Building a Better Future.

EXPERTS VOICE ALARM OVER SURVIVAL OF LOCAL BIGHORN SHEEP

 

By Miriam Raftery

March 17, 2014 (San Diego’s East County) – Could big energy projects proposed in East County lead to the decimation of federally endangered Peninsular Bighorn Sheep? 

From 1972 to the present, the Carrizo Gorge band of these bighorns has plummeted from about 120 sheep to less than 40.  “Off-road vehicles, trespassing cattle, poaching in the 1960s and ‘70s, drought, disease and Mountain Lion predation have worked together to push this population o the edge. We hope we can save this group before it is too late,” Mark Jorgensen, advisor to the Bighorn Institute and former Superintendent of Anza-Borrego Desert State Park wrote in the Desert News.

In his comments submitted on  four solar projects proposed by Soitec in Boulevard, Jorgensen writes that “Construction of yet another group of solar projects will further impede the free movement of wildlife by reducing habitat connectivity and ruining wildlife corridors.”  He further notes that Soitec’s sites are very near lands purchased and set aside specifically to protect species  the endangered bighorn, golden eagles and other species in peril.

GRANITE HILLS HIGH SCHOOL EARNS STATEWIDE AWARD FOR EXCEPTIONAL ARCHITECTURAL DESIGN AND PROGRAM IMPLEMENTATION

 

C.A.S.H., AIA California Council Recognize Projects Funded by Proposition H, Proposition U School Bonds

March 19, 2014 (El Cajon) -  Grossmont Union High School District (GUHSD) announced that one of its schools, Granite Hills High School in El Cajon, Calif., has earned an Award of Honor in the new-built category as part of the 2014 C.A.S.H./AIACC Leroy F. Green Design + Planning Awards Program. The award was announced at the 35th Annual C.A.S.H. Conference in Sacramento on Feb. 25.

BAJA BLOG: MULE 61, AREA'S NEWEST CONCEPT RESTAURANT

 

New column! 

(If you would like to sponsor the Baja Blog, or any column on ECM, contact editor@eastcountymagazine.org)

By Susan A Mahalick

Photos by Sitara Monica Perez

March 19, 2014 (Baja)--You walk into a long space broken up by curves of white walls, stained glass windows and a large bar with lights behind the stained glass at the base at night. Both bistro type seating and regular dining tables are available in the main dining room. There is a second room for events or private parties. A very large window at the rear overlooking the Pacific opens to the fresh salt air. Ceiling fans circulate in key locations. The ceiling is made from plastic, clear tiles which provide plenty of natural light.

BILL WOULD GIVE CONSUMERS CONTROL OF THEIR VEHICLES' DATA

 

By Lori Abbott, California News Service

March 19, 2014 (Sacramento). - Many newer vehicles come with fancy GPS and on-board computers that collect data about where a person drives, how fast, and any accidents they may have had. Legislation introduced at the state Capitol on Tuesday would give vehicle owners more access to that data, which is currently controlled mostly by automakers.

ECM WORLD WATCH: NATIONAL AND GLOBAL NEWS

March 19, 2014 (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 links to full stories, click “Read more” and scroll down.

BACH COLLEGIUM SAN DIEGO PERFORMS BACH'S CROWNING ACHIEVEMENT, THE B MINOR MASS, APRIL 5 - 6, 2014

 

First BCSD Performances of this Classical Masterpiece since 2008

March 19, 2014 (San Diego)--San Diego--Bach Collegium San Diego (BCSD) presents one of the best-known and best-loved works in the classical repertoire, Bach’s B Minor Mass, on April 5 and 6, 2014.

REPS. SUSAN DAVIS, SCOTT PETERS, MEDICAL RESEARCH COMMUNITY CALL FOR RESEARCH FUNDING FOR SAN DIEGO

 

March 18, 2014 (San Diego)-- Reps. Susan Davis and Scott Peters, along with members of San Diego’s medical research community have joined together to call on Congress to increase federal funding to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), which funds critical medical research.

HISTORY AND MUSIC APRIL 12 IN LEMON GROVE

 

March 18, 2014 (Lemon Grove)—The upcoming "Day at the Historic 1892 Troxell Manor & Gardens" in the heart of Lemon Grove on Apr. 26 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. promises to be a feast for both eyes and soul when guitarists Lorraine Castellanos and Jon Garner perform under the towering Moreton Bay Fig Trees, filling the air with the sounds of the great Latin American and European composers for classical guitar.

PASSAGES: ELAINE MURPHY, COFOUNDER OF SANTEE HISTORICAL SOCIETY

 

Memorial service set for March 29

March 18, 2014 (Santee) - “It is with great sorrow that we inform you of the death of one of our founding members, Elaine Murphy,” Rita Lee, Secretary of the Santee Historical Society wrote in an e-mail to members. “Ms. Murphy's great passion was the Santee Historical Society, and she was a leading force in reviving the Santee Historical Society after the death of Harriet Wade.  Ms. Murphy was President of the Santee Historical Society several times and was always there to give some helpful tips or a helping hand to any of our members.  Ms Murphy was not only part of the life’s blood of the Society, she was a dear friend. She will be sorely missed.”

BURGLAR BUSTED ACROSS STREET FROM POLICE DEPARTMENT

 

By Miriam Raftery

March 18, 2014 (El Cajon)—El Cajon Police received a 911 call on March 14 at 12:26 p.m. from a resident who came home to find a burglar in his home in the 300 block of Kentucky Avenue—across the street from the police department.

The homeowner wasn’t spotted by the thief, so he was able to notify policy without alerting the suspect, said Lieutenant Rob Ransweiler. The suspected exited the home, carrying a bag of the victim’s belongings. The victim told police the direction in which the suspect was heading.

CITY OF SAN DIEGO LAUNCHES BALBOA PARK EXPLORER PASSES

 

Limited-Time Charter Explorer Opportunity Locks in Low Price for Three Years

March 17, 2014 (San Diego)-- City of San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer and Council President Todd Gloria today announced the official launch of the complete Balboa Park Explorer family of passes, granting general admission to all 17 Balboa Park museums for one low price.

DOG TEAM, RESIDENTS’ TIPS HELP NAB BURGLARY SUSPECTS ON MOUNT HELIX

By Miriam Raftery

March 17, 2014 (Mount Helix) – A resident coming home this morning spotted a woman carrying stolen property from the residence at 5090 Mount Helix Drive in the unincorporated portion of La Mesa. The burglary suspect, later identified as 27-year-old Nicole Moore, took off running.

The resident called 911. Sheriff’s Deputies from the Rancho San Diego and Lemon Grove Sheriff Stations immediately responded and found Moore standing at the bottom of the long driveway. A vehicle registered to Moore was still parked at the top of the driveway next to the resident's house, said Sergeant James.Blanton. An unknown passer-by also advised deputies that a black male adult was seen running from the driveway holding some type of bag, possibly a pillow case.

AUTISTIC MAN MISSING IN SANTEE HAS BEEN FOUND

 

Update March 20:  Missing Persons of America has advised ECM that Joseph Swett has been found and is safe.

March 17, 2014 (Santee) – San Diego Sheriff’s Department and the family of 20 year-old Joseph Swett and the San Diego Sheriff's Department requests public help in finding the missing man, who has been diagnosed with autism.  He was last seen wearing a bright orange shirt, red shorts and black shoes.  He is white, has short brown hair, brown eyes, and was unshaven.  He stands five feet 10 inches tall and weighs 150 pounds.

Swett came to Santee with his mother and brother from Los Angeles to attend a Christian college for two weeks. Shortly after 3:00 p.m. today, his mother and brother left the motel room in the 10700 block of Woodside Avenue in Santee to get lunch.  Swett remained in the motel room to take a nap. When his mother and brother returned,  Swett was gone.

LUCK O’ THE IRISH: HOOLEYS NAMED BEST INTERNATIONAL IRISH PUB

 

By Miriam Raftery

March 17, 2014 (Rancho San Diego) – “To think that a little pub in Rancho Santa Fe could win this—it’s fabulous!” exclaims Craig MacDonald, owner of Hooleys Irish Pub & Grill in Rancho San Diego, hoisting a pint to celebrate his establishing being  named best international Irish pub in the world.

We caught up with MacDonald during a 15th anniversary party at Hooleys, where  he proudly showed his award--then told us how he learned of this fine honor.

FROM THE FIRE CHIEF'S CORNER: IS THAT A HAZARDOUS MATERIALS INCIDENT OR THE FLU?

 

By Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna

March 17, 2014 (San Diego)--During a hazardous materials incident, firefighters and first responders isolate the area and deny entry to keep it contained.  The same goes if you have the flu.  Both are toxic and pose an unreasonable risk to our Health, Safety and Environment!  Isolate yourself and stay away from others because it spreads through contamination.

BOARD ACTS TO EXPAND OPEN SPACE, OVERHAUL PARK IN JULIAN

 

March 17, 2014 (Julian)--The County is taking steps to buy more land at Volcan Mountain near Julian for open space. The Board of Supervisors voted Wednesday to hold a hearing April 16 to consider buying 114 acres of land located north of Banner Road and east of Farmer Road. The area is next to the Volcan Mountain Wilderness Preserve.

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