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FBI ISSUES STATEMENT CONFIRMING NORTH KOREA LAUNCHED CYBER ATTACKS ON SONY

JOIN US IN FEASTING AND MERRYMAKING WITH EAST COUNTY MAGAZINE DEC. 21!

SDSU FRAT SHUT DOWN OVER HARASSMENT AND HAZING COMPLAINTS

INCUBATING NEW BUSINESSES IN EAST COUNTY: HEAR NOORI BARKA’S PLANS TO CREATE GOOD JOBS FOR OUR REGION

ECM WORLD WATCH: GLOBAL AND NATIONAL NEWS

THREATS ON MOVIE THEATERS PROMPTS CANCELLATION OF "THE INTERVIEW" FILM DEBUT SET FOR CHRISTMAS DAY

EL CAJON TURNS THE CORNER: MAYOR BILL WELLS DELIVERS OPTIMISTIC STATE OF THE CITY 2014 ADDRESS

COWLES MTN. WINTER SOLSTICE WALKS DEC. 20-22

PHOTO OF THE MONTH: GUESS WHAT'S SPOTTED IN DESCANSO?

GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN AVERTED; PRESIDENT SIGNS CONTROVERSIAL BUDGET BILL

RAIN! STORM COULD BRING FLOODING, WAVES 14 FT. HIGH

HEAR OUR INTERVIEW WITH RAMONA WINEMAKERS ABOUT THE HOLIDAY WINE TRAIL “GET YOUR MERRY ON” EVENT DEC. 13-14


STORM TO HIT REGION ON TUESDAY

December 17, 2012 (San Diego) – A cold front is predicted to sweep through the county on Tuesday, with moderate to heavy rain and snow accumulating above 4500 feet. Dense fog will make travel difficult in mountain areas at night, the National Weather Service warns. In addition, a wind advisory is in effect for inland valley areas.

The weather is expected to improve Thursday through Saturday, though another storm is possible next Sunday or Monday—and with it, the prospect of a white Christmas for East County’s mountain communities.

ON THE SILVER SCREEN: BLOTTO PILOT (FLIGHT)

Doing some catch-up on films I’ve missed.

By Brian Lafferty

December 15, 2012 (San Diego) – Every now and then someone writes to Dear Abby, saying his friend or relative is addicted to alcohol and drugs.  The friend thinks nothing is wrong with him, but doesn’t realize the damage his addiction is causing to his relationship with his friends, family, and significant other.  Invariably, all Abby can advise the writer is that – as much as he’d like to believe otherwise – he can't change or rescue his friend or loved one from their problem.  Only the friend can change and, unless he admits he has a problem, there’s nothing that anyone can do.

SAN DIEGO COUNTY CLERK SERVED 116 COUPLES ON A “ONCE IN A LIFETIME WEDDING DATE”

December 16, 2012 (San Diego)--This year many couples tied the knot on 12.12.12, a once in a century wedding date. The date is popular across the globe. 12.12.12 is the last of the repeating dates until January 1, 2101 and is also popular because it is an easy date to remember.

Assessor/Recorder/Commissioner of Civil Marriages, Ernest J. Dronenburg, Jr., announced that all couples that who wished to obtain a wedding license or get married were served on that special day.

SANTEE DEDICATES NEWLY ACQUIRED SAN DIEGO RIVER PROPERTY AS FUTURE PUBLIC TRAIL AND PARKWAY SITE

December 14, 2012 (Santee) -- The city of Santee dedicated on Tuesday, December 11 a 107-acre open space parcel along the San Diego River as a future public trail and parkway at a ceremony located at the 9600 block of Magnolia Avenue.

The event marked the transfer of the property from private to public ownership, a project spearheaded by the San Diego River Conservancy that was four years in the making.

“The San Diego River Conservancy is proud to have been the catalyst for the conservation of the Walker Property,” said Mike Nelson, executive officer for the San Diego River Conservancy. “It is a remarkable addition to a river park that will someday extend from the Cuyamaca Mountains to the Pacific Ocean.

6.3 QUAKE OFF MEXICO COAST RATTLES SAN DIEGO COUNTY

December 14, 2012 (San Diego)—Residents across San Diego County were awakened at 2:36 a.m. by a 6.3 earthquake centered 172 miles to the southwest, off the coast of Mexico.

The quake struck at a depth of seven miles.  Aftershocks have occurred, the strongest measuring 4.7.  No tsunami warnings have been issued.

According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the temblor occurred due to “shallow normal faulting within the oceanic lithosphere of the Pacific plate.” 

TROLLEY PASSENGER ROBBED OF CELL PHONE

December 14, 2012 (La Mesa) – Last night at approximately 10:54  p.m., the La Mesa Police Department received a report that a female was robbed of her cell phone at the 70th Street Trolley Station, located at 7255 Alvarado Road in La Mesa. The victim reported to officers that just minutes before, she was traveling on the MTS Trolley Green Line from Fashion Valley to the Grossmont Center Station. 

SDSU STUDENT MARCO FAGOADA DIES OF MENINGOCOCCAL DISEASE

Anyone exposed should seek medical treatment; vaccine is available to prevent potentially deadly  infectious disease

December 13, 2012 (San Diego) – Marco Fagoada, a 30-year-old Chula Vista resident enrolled as a graduate student in San Diego State University’s Latin American Studies program, died Monday night from meningococcal disease caused by the bacteria Neisseria meningitides, County Health and Human Services reports.

According to the Medical Examiner, Fagoada became ill on Sunday, December 9 and went to a clinc on December 10 with shortness of breath and a high fever. He was transported to Scripps Mercy Chula Vista emergency room, where is suffered cardiorespiratory arrest.  Despite aggressive medical intervention, he was pronounced dead soon after.

JULIAN’S “A CHRISTMAS CAROL” BRINGS SCROOGE TO LIFE THIS WEEKEND

December 13, 2012 (Julian)--A Julian holiday tradition, Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol," will be performed this weekend at the Julian Town Hall at 2129 Main Street. Adapted by best-selling novelist Don Winslow and directed by Sandi Bennett, the show will take stage on Thursday Dec. 13, Friday Dec. 14 and Saturday, Dec. 15. There will also be a matinee on Saturday, Dec. 15.

Come and enjoy the charm of Christmas in Julian, with spiced cider, apple pie, horse drawn carriages and strolling carolers. And maybe even a visit from St. Nick himself.

WILD WEATHER HITS COUNTY: SNOW IN MOUNTAINS, FLOODING AND ROCKSLIDES ACROSS REGION

By Miriam Raftery

December 13, 2012 (San Diego’s East County) – Following today’s heavy rains, snowfall is forecast to blanket local mountains as low as the 4,000 foot level tonight with several inches of snow at higher elevations. 

Flooding caused several serious accidents, including a semi-truck collision in the Bonita area and a fatal school bus –car collision on I-805.  Normally dry culverts and flood channels in the Mount Helix, Spring Valley and Bonita areas overflowed.

BACK TO ITS ROOTS: EL CAJON APPROVES COMMUNITY GARDENS AND CHICKEN OWNERSHIP

Elf visit, BMW dealership, and Hanson-Cox support letters also hot topics at council meeting

By Miriam Raftery and Janis Mork

December 13, 2012 (El Cajon) – “We’re going back to our roots in El Cajon, because this was agricultural community,” Councilman Gary Kendrick told East County Magazine after the El Cajon Council unanimously approved both community gardens and chicken ownership for city residents. 

Kendrick noted that the El Cajon valley was the grape-growing capital of the United States before Prohibition and orange groves once occupied the hillsides.  “There is great soil on the valley floor,” he said, adding that residents will now be able to grow fresh vegetables on numerous vacant lots in the community.

MAYOR FILNER AND NAAC ANNOUNCE FREE HOMEOWNERS CONFERENCE DEC. 15 IN SAN DIEGO

Do you qualify for compensation due to wrongful foreclosure in 2009 or 2010? Find out and get help--free

December 13, 2012 (San Diego) -- San Diego’s newly-elected Mayor Bob Filner and the National Asian American Coalition (NAAC) are co-sponsoring what could be the largest Independent Foreclosure Review (IFR) event and resource fair in California this year. 

Under the IFR review, the 14 largest banks/servicers are required to pay homeowners who were improperly foreclosed upon up to $125,000 each in compensation. But since only 5% of homeowners have been properly contacted by the banks and none have received any relief, federal banking regulatory agencies have committed to holding this pre-Christmas event.

RAMONA MECHANIC KILLED IN BUS ACCIDENT

Photo courtesy 10 News

December 13, 2012 (Ramona) – A school bus mechanic, 32, from Ramona has died of injuries following a collision .  The mechanic was working to repair a San Diego Unified School District bus that had broken down on the right shoulder of I-805 southbound under El Cajon Boulevard at 6:55 a.m. when a 2005 Nissan Altima driver lost control in heavy rain and slammed into the bus.

According to the California Highway Patrol, the Nissan driver, a 41-year-old woman, lost control due to her speed on the wet roadway. Her vehicle struck the rear of the bus, trapping the mechanic in the engine compartment and causing serious injuries.

STATE REDUCES FIRE FEE ON RURAL EAST COUNTY RESIDENTS



December 13, 2012 (San Diego's East County--The Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE) , after working with the San Diego County Fire Authority along with several other agencies, today announced that residents within County Service Area (CSA) 135 are eligible for the $35.00 reduction on the State’s Fire Prevention Fee.

“CSA 135 includes all unincorporated areas of East County including the backcountry,” Captain Mike Mohler, public information officer at Cal Fire, told East County Magazine.  The new Fee, which is being assessed on all habitable structures within the State Responsibility Area, is set at $150, but has a $35 reduction when the home is within a local fire protection agency.

LA MESA ADULT ENRICHMENT HOLIDAY OPEN HOUSE DECEMBER 18

December 13, 2012 (La Mesa)--The La Mesa Adult Enrichment Center is inviting La Mesa citizens to its holiday open house on December 18 from 9:30 a.m. until 11:30 a.m. Fun will be had by all with refreshments and entertainment.

The event is being sponsored by Walmart Neighborhood Market.

TEAM MEMBERS AND GUESTS FROM VIEJAS CASINO & OUTLETS DONATE OVER 7,000 TOYS TO LOCAL SALVATION ARMY

December 13, 2012  (San Diego)– As an air of excitement and anticipation hung over the 37th Annual Stoney & Rob’s Holiday Party and Fundraiser, the curtain was raised on the stage of the DreamCatcher at Viejas Casino last week to reveal more than 7,000 toys that will go to needy families in the area. The exact number this year was 7,217—more than twice the 3,000 gifts raised last year by Team Members and guests at Viejas Casino and Outlets.

NOMINATIONS SOUGHT FOR EL CAJON CITIZEN OF THE YEAR; DEADLINE FOR NOMINEES IS DECEMBER 21

December 13, 2012 (El Cajon ) -- Since 1955, El Cajon's civic, service, and fraternal organizations have helped to select an El Cajon “Citizen of the Year” from the many people in El Cajon who contribute to the city through years of volunteer civic and community service. Anyone may make a nomination for this year's Citizen of the Year award by the December 21, 2012 deadline. This award is for volunteer (un-paid) service to the community which benefits the city and residents of El Cajon.  Applicants for El Cajon Citizen of the year need not live within the city limits of El Cajon, but must live in East County.

CHALDEAN LEADERS PRESENT 300 TOYS FOR NEEDY CHILDREN IN EL CAJON

December 13, 2012 (El Cajon) – Two community leaders,  Hani Daymia, President of the Chaldean American Association, and Ben Kalasho today donated 300 toys for children in East County to brighten their holiday season.

The Chaldean American Association is a social club located in El Cajon. Chaldean Americans represent 38% of El Cajon’s population, a segment that continues to grow each year. Daymia is the current president of the Chaldean American Association and has been a leading advocate for community involvement and outreach.

SDG&E WARNS BUSINESS CUSTOMERS ABOUT PAYMENT SCAM

December 13, 2012 (San Diego)--San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) is alerting business customers to be aware of an ongoing wire fraud that has been targeting SDG&E commercial customers. Reports indicate that individuals are misrepresenting themselves as utility employees by calling customers and threatening to turn off electric and gas service if an immediate payment is not made. Customers are instructed to purchase a pre-pay credit card, and are directed to another phone number where information is then obtained from the card and the cash value is then removed.

WORKERS DEMAND BETTER PAY AT GROSSMONT HOSPITAL

By Nadin Abbott

December 13, 2012 (La Mesa) Housekeeping and dietary workers were once again outside Grossmont Hospital walking the sidewalk yesterday.  The employees work for Sodexo, a subcontractor whose workers are paid less than Sharp Hospital employees but are charged more for their healthcare, say union representatives who seek fairer wage and benefit terms for Sodexo workers.

Sodexo, a contract company that provides hospital personnel, was not available for comments on the ongoing labor negotiations.

FATAL MOTORCYCLE CRASH

December 13, 2012 (San Diego) – Rosalio Cardenas, 29, has died of injuries suffered in a motorcycle accident yesterday at 7:51 a.m. on Highway 15 northbound near University Avenue. 

According to the California Highway Patrol, two motorcyclists were splitting lanes in heavy traffic when the Harley Davidson motorcycle driven by Cardenas slowed and was struck by the rider of the Hyosung motorcycle.  Both riders were ejected. Cardenas landed in front of a Freightliner semi truck and was struck by the right front tire.

BOOK REVIEW: ATHENIA TORPEDOED

Athenia Torpedoed: The U-Boat Attack that Ignited the Battle of the Atlantic. By Francis M. Carroll. Annapolis, MD. Naval Institute Press, 2012. 254 pp. 41 photographs. Notes, bibliography and index. $29.95

Reviewed by Walter Hall

“It’s the end of the world; the end of everything.” US Ambassador Joseph P. Kennedy reported to President Roosevelt on eve of Britain’s declaration of war, Sept 3, 1939.

December 14, 2012 (San Diego)--Very few readers today will remember that the first Americans killed in World War II were not at Pearl Harbor. Almost two years earlier, 30 Americans were among the 112 lost when the German torpedo that opened the Battle for the Atlantic struck and doomed the Donaldson Lines ship Athenia

MAJOR ACCIDENTS AND FLOODING: I-805 SOUTH

December 13, 2012 (Bonita) 8:35 a.m. -- Avoid 805 through the Bonita and Southbound areas this morning, where major flooding is reported by CHP and at least two serious accidents have occurred.  At I-805 south in Bonita, a four-vehicle collision has occurred including a semi-truck, CHP report.  At I-805 and Meade, IPN reports an accident involving two school buses with a driver trapped in the engine compartment.

COUNTY SUPERVISORS VOTE TO RESTRICT ROLE OF COMMUNITY PLANNING AND SPONSOR GROUPS

Local planning group members and residents voice concerns over stifling of powers for communities and heavy influence of developers

By Miriam Raftery

December 12, 2012 (San Diego’s East County) – By a 5-0 vote, San Diego’s Board of Supervisors this week unanimously voted to  place limits on the powers and influence of community planning group and sponsor group members.   

The action follows recommendations made by a developer-stacked Red Tape Reduction Task Force, which had sought to eliminate planning and sponsor groups completely.  Supervisors previously voted to retain the groups, but make some changes.  But changes approved this week are sparking concern and outrage among many local planning and sponsor group members, as well as the public that they serve.

One local planning representative is even calling for a ballot measure to shift power from Supervisors back to local planning group members and the people in rural communities.

GROSSMONT HIGH GRADUATE AMONG VICTIMS OF OREGON SHOPPING MALL SHOOTING

By Miriam Raftery

December 12, 2012 (El Cajon ) – Cindy Waddell graduated from Grossmont High School in 1976 and later lived in Scripps Ranch, earning her nursing degree from San Diego State Universtiy before moving to Oregon. Also known as Cindy Passalacqua and later Cindy Yuille, she lost her life in a shooting rampage yesterday at the Clackamas Town Center shopping mall near Portland, Oregon.

Former neighbor Linda Hughes recalled the slain woman as a “devoted mother, a sweet person,” ECM news partner 10 News reports. She was working as a hospice nurse in Oregon at the time of her death.

READER’S EDITORIAL: HAS THE TIME COME FOR ALPINE TO DECLARE INDEPENDENCE FROM THE COUNTY BY INCORPORATING?

By Lou Russo

“We in Alpine …seem to be saddled with governments that cannot or will not serve us, but instead seem to serve everyone else but us.”—Lou Russo

When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

ECM WORLD WATCH: GLOBAL AND NATIONAL NEWS

December 12, 2012 -- (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

Read more for excerpts and links to full stories.

EAST COUNTY ROUNDUP: TOP LOCAL AND STATE NEWS

December 12, 2012 -- (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

Read more for excerpts and links to full stories.

MAJOR INJURIES IN FERTILIZER TRUCK COLLISION IN ALPINE

December 12, 2012 (Alpine)—Major injuries are reported at a collision on I-8 east at Tavern Road in Alpine.  According to the CHP website, a  black Lexus struck a semi-truck from behind, then plummeted off the roadway. 

The truck, which lost an axle, was hauling fertilizer.  A major gouge in the roadway is reported at the CHP website and the right lane is blocked. A helicopter has been called to the scene and SDG&E has also been dispatched due to damage to a power pole.

COUNTY GIVING FREE SAND & BAGS TO RESIDENTS

People Encouraged to Protect their Properties, Keep Roadways and Storm Drains Clear

December 12, 2012 (San Diego County)--Winter rain is on its way, and San Diego County’s Department of Public Works (DPW) is once again giving away free sandbags to people in unincorporated communities to help them protect their homes, neighborhoods and streets from flooding, erosion, mud and debris flows.

LIGHTS, BLADE SHADOWS DISTURB RESIDENCES IN OCOTILLO AFTER PATTERN ENERGY BRINGS WIND PROJECT ONLINE

By Miriam Raftery, videos by Jim Pelley

View video of shadow flicker.

View video of  flashing lights

View lights as seen through photographer's home windows.

December 9, 2012 (Ocotillo) –Ocotillo Express Wind,  built on 12,500 acres of public, formerly protected federal Bureau of Land Management property, is now filled by dozens of towering wind turbines. Each massive turbine flashes red lights all night long. During the day, long blade shadows whirl across the desert sands, so there is no time when beleaguered Ocotillo residents or campers may escape the industrial impacts.

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