FIRE KILLS PUPPY THAT SAVED FAMILY; FIREFIGHTERS TEAM UP TO INSTALL SMOKE ALARMS FOR NEIGHBORING MOBILE HOMES
September 21, 2012 (Spring Valley) - On July 12 at 8:45 a.m., San Miguel Firefighters responded to a fully involved mobile home fire located in the 10700 block of Jamacha Blvd. Even though the first unit was on scene in six minutes, the doublewide mobile home could not be saved. Two vehicles were also destroyed and another vehicle damaged.
Five people inside evacuated only after being awakened by the family pet. There was no working smoke alarm in the residence. In the process of alerting and saving the family, the puppy died.
By Fire Chief Dan DiGiovanna
It’s not just the health concerns and power outages associated with hot days…we are stepping right into our first high pressure system of the season and if you ask any fire service authority, all will agree this will be an extremely dangerous fire season according to Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna.
September 21, 2012 (Ocotillo) -- Parke Ewing forwarded these images showing transformation of the desert landscape in Ocotillo, where public outcry and seven lawsuits have thus far failed to stop the Pattern Energy's wind project.
The first image reveals excavation for just one of the 112 wind turbines; this hole measures 16 feet deep. In the sunset shot, towering wind turbines now replace the century-old ocotillo forest that once stood here, sacrified for "green" energy.
Merger highlights the decline of independent media
By Miriam Raftery, Editor, East County Magazine
September 19, 2012 (San Diego)—The U-T San Diego’s purchase of the North County Times for $11.95 million dollars has sent shudders across the journalism community locally and nationally. The deal also includes acquisition of the Californian in Riverside County(no relation to the East County Californian), which was owned by North County Times.
Demise of one of San Diego’s largest independent media outlets highlights two growing problems: fewer voices controlling the media due to consolidation and a decline in quality including slashing investigative/watchdog reporting and abandoning journalistic standards—most importantly, impartiality.
Two teens find fashion makeovers to be an unforgettable experience
By Sierra Robinson
ECM editor Miriam Raftery also contributed to this report
September 19, 2012 (La Mesa) – From an early age, Kim Romano developed a passion for fashion—and a keen eye for detail. At age five, she liked to sketch paper dolls in stylish outfits. By age nine, she enjoyed playing dress-up.
“My Mom would bring home bags of hand-me down clothes. I had the best closet in town,” says Romano, owner of Fashion Exchange at 8270 La Mesa Blvd. in La Mesa. She went on to attend a fashion college, then worked as a traveling makeup artist at Nordstrom’s, Bloomingdale’s and Macy’s department stores.
In 2009 she opened up her shop—which despite the weak economy has thrived. “It’s better every year,” she told ECM.
Candidates Clash Over Their Visions for City’s Future
By Mark Gabrish Conlan
September 15, 2012 (La Mesa)--Five candidates for two seats on the La Mesa City Council — Kristine Alessio, Patrick Dean, Laura Lothian, Shannon O’Dunn and 20-year incumbent Ruth Sterling — met September 13 for the first candidates’ forum of the campaign. Held at the La Mesa Community Center on Memorial Drive and sponsored by the La Mesa Chamber of Commerce, the 90-minute forum centered mostly around finances and development, specifically around downtown and the La Mesa Village area, but it also touched on issues like the city’s responsibility towards homeless people and whether it should declare itself a fair-trade zone.
September 20, 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:
- County invokes state suspension of meeting laws (UT San Diego)
- SDG&E to pay federal government $643 million for fire damage (North County Times)
- Cal-Trans wins fatal crash suit, asks family to pay (UT San Diego)
- 2 former Navy Seals from San Diego killed in embassy attack (10 News)
- Scientists weigh effects of climate change: Scripps conference seeks solution to sea level rise (North County Times)
- Sycamore landfill approved after years of litigation (Santee Patch)
- Lawsuit aims to reveal misuse of baseball funds at Grossmont High (La Mesa Patch)
- Cal State system to hike tuition 5% if Prop 30 fails (Los Angeles Times)
- Jerry Brown and Molly Munger both want to raise taxes to help schools, but differ on approach (Sacramento Bee)
- Brown signs overhaul of California’s worker compensation (Sacramento Bee)
- 700 bills on Brown’s desk (Sacramento Bee)
- State restricts military funeral protests (UT San Diego)
- California Legislature approves public pension changes (Sacramento Bee)
- The Salton Sea: Death and Politics in the Great American Water War (Wired)
Read more for excerpts and links to full stories.
Editor's note: Also see video interviews with Santee mayoral and council candidates posted here.
By Nadin Abbott
September 20, 2012 (Santee)—Candidates for Santee’s City Council and Mayoral races met at the City Council complex for a candidate forum organized by the League of Women Voters and moderated by Dana Quitner. Mayor Randy Voepel squared off against Rudy Reyes, while long-time Councilman Jack Dale faced off against challenger Maggie Acerra.
The mostly-friendly debate touched on a series of issues of importance for the city. These ranged from the budget and how the end of redevelopment agencies has affected the city to public safety, including how the Cedar fire affected both Reyes and Voepel. Marijuana medical collectives, also a hot issue, drew some fiery responses.
September 20, 2012 (Valley Center) – The San Diego Sheriff seeks public help to locate Michael Dale Garritson, 40, of Valley Center, one of two hired caregivers caught on tape repeatedly abusing a 23-year-old severely autistic man who is unable to speak. A second suspect, Matthew Alexander McDuffie, 27, of San Diego was arrested by detectives from the Sheriff’s Fugitive Apprehension unit.
By Miriam Raftery
September 17, 2012 (Alpine) –What could be more heavenly than a day at Alpine’s new spa for a stressed-out news editor and her assistant? With high hopes, Mayan and I headed out to Native Dreams Day Spa in the Viejas Outlet Center, where our expectations were met and exceeded by the excellent services and products as we savored an afternoon of pampering and primping.
September 20, 2012 (La Mesa)--The Grossmont Healthcare District’s Dr. William C. Herrick Community Health Care Library, 9001 Wakarusa St. in La Mesa, will host a free seniors discussion group on “Demystifying Diabetes” from 10 to 11 a.m., Wednesday, Sept. 26. The public is invited to attend, and RSVP is not required.
September 20, 2012 (San Diego) -- Join SAME and The "Centro Cultural De La Raza" as we Co-Host this important subject on September 29th, 2012 from 6 –9p.m. at Centro Cultural de la Raza, 2004 Park Blvd., San Diego, 92101.
Experienced attorneys will speak about issues impacting LGBT immigrants, refugees and asylum seekers, including the progress made in adjudicating claims by same-sex bi-national couples, the impact of DOMA litigation or repeal of DOMA on LGBT immigrants and much more.
GROSSMONT SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA AND MASTER CHORALE TO PERFORM “THE PLANETS” SEPT. 26—WITH VISUALS FROM NASA
September 21, 2012 (Lemon Grove) -- Join the members of the Grossmont Symphony Orchestra & Master Chorale in the second concert of the 2012-2013 performance season entitled THE PLANETS—a multimedia performance combining music with high definition graphics & animations from NASA and EUROSPACE.
By Rebecca J. Williamson
September 20, 2012 (Santee)Almond milk - check. Soy milk - check. Coffee? Checkmate. Where? At Kaffee Meister---which opened September 17 in the Carlton Oaks Plaza in Santee. The original Kaffee Meister is a coffee bar and drive-thru located next to the Big Red Barn in Lakeside.
“It will be a quality, community coffee shop,” according to Chester McLaughlin, son-in-law to owners Mike and Lesley Emmons.
September 20, 2012 (San Diego)—Wine is one of life’s little luxuries. While the majority of us love it, most of us would be hard-pressed to pick the perfect meal pairing, spot those subtle flavors and notes or even decipher the difference between a Malbec and Merlot.
This year’s San Diego Wine Show has something for amateur imbibers and carafe connoisseurs alike. Venture to the Del Mar Fairgrounds on September 29 and 30 to sample hundreds of selections from some of the Pacific Coast’s finest wineries, including Freemark Abbey, Orfila Vineyards, South Coast and many more. Savor wonderful whites and refreshing reds while schmoozing with sommeliers about all things wining and dining.
By Nadin Abbott
Miriam Raftery also contributed to this story
September 14, 2012 (San Diego)—Former El Cajon Councilwoman Jillian Hanson-Cox appeared today before U.S. Magistrate Judge William W. Gallo. Her voice flat and without emotion, Hanson-Cox pled guilty to one count of mail fraud and one count of failing to report income on her tax returns.
Charges filed against her state that “beginning no later than April 2004, and continuing through at least October 2008,” Hanson- Cox devised a plan to defraud her employer, Century Design, INC. (CDI). The plea agreement states that Hanson-Cox embezzled over $3.5 million from her employer, where she served as Comptroller.
September 15, 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 reflecting 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:
- Obstacles may delay drones access to U.S. skies (UT San Diego)
- State court ruling deals blow to U.S. mortgage system (Reuters)
- FBI warns of U.S. violence over anti-Islamic movie (ABC)
- Republicans split on Mitt Romney remarks (Politico)
- Debunking Romney’s attack on Americans who don’t pay income taxes (L.A. Times)
- New Romney ad rips Obama on coal energy (The Hill)
- Libyans see Al Qaeda hand in U.S. embassy attack (Wall Street Journal)
- Anti-American fury sweeps Middle East over film (Reuters)
- Protests sweep Islamic world, fueled by domestic politics and anti-U.S. anger (CS Monitor)
- Prince Harry targeted in Taliban attack in Afghanistan (Telegraph)
- Police clash with Muslims at protest in East Jerusalem (Jerusalem Post)
- Peacekeepers attacked in Egypt’s Sinai Penninsula; foreigners injured (CS Monitor)
- Large anti-austerity protests in Spain, Portugal (UT San Diego)
- India opposition parties protest economic reforms (UT San Diego)
- Anti-Japan protests sweep China on anniversary of invasion (Reuters)
Read more for excerpts and links to full stories.
By Miriam Raftery
September 13, 2012 (Ocotillo) – Two new lawsuits were filed September 11, 2012 against federal officials and the U.S. government seeking an injunction to halt construction at Pattern Energy’s Ocotillo Express industrial wind project.
One suit targets U.S. Fish & Wildlife officials for allegedly violating the Endangered Species Act and failing to protect endangered Peninsular Bighorn Sheep. Active signs of bighorn activity on the site have been spotted as recently as this week and photos clearly document recent sitings in the heart of the project.
The second suit takes aim at Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Department of Interior officials for ignoring California Desert Conservation Area protections passed by Congress to conserve fragile desert areas for future generations. This suit alleges that officials also ignored many other laws intended to protect natural and cultural resources, views, archaeological sites, and the health of local residents.
By Janis Mork
September 18, 2012 (San Diego’s East County)- Several local school districts have ballot propositions on the November ballot, including Cajon Valley, Mountain Empire, San Diego Unified, Dehesa, Ramona Unified, Grossmont- Cuyamaca Community College, Chula Vista, and South Bay. All need 55% to pass instead of the usual 2/3 majority vote, according to Prop 39 that was passed several years ago. Below are details on each proposition, along with comments from Superintendents in each district.
September 19, 2012 (Potrero) – A man was hospitalized Monday after suffering gunshot wounds to his legs. A Sheriff’s media spokesman informed ECM that “We are looking at a couple of suspects. They were off-roading,” he added.
Petition launched urging President Obama not to appeal decision
September 14, 2012 (New York) – On September 12, 2012, Judge Katherine Forrest ruled that the so-called “indefinite detention” provision of the fiscal 2012 National Defense Authorization Act violates the Constitution and issued a permanent injunction against its use. The law would have allowed the military to indefinitely detain civilians -- even Americans -- without charge or trial if they are accused of certain crimes, or even associated with certain criminals.
There are six plaintiffs in the case including writer Chris Hedges, Noam Chomsky, and the leaker of the Pentagon Papers Daniel Ellsberg.
Swainston is one of four challengers and three incumbents running for El Cajon City Council.
By Miriam Raftery
September 15, 2012 (El Cajon) – Duane Swainston wants to end the “good ole boy” network on El Cajon’s City Council. “There seem to be a lot of back room deals and not enough transparency where people know what’s going on,” he says of the current council members.
Swainston aims to bring his 16 years of experience in management at private sector manufacturing companies to the job as councilmember if elected. He holds a degree in business management and has worked for two of El Cajon’s largest employerse, Senior Aerospace Ketema and GKN Aerospace Chem-Tronics.
“It’s a cost-conscious, schedule-dominant world focused on quality,” he told ECM in an exclusive interview. “If you’re not doing things faster, better, cheaper, then you’re getting bypassed by your competition.”
September 19, 2012 (El Cajon) -- On September 14, the El Cajon Police Department in conjunction with Communities Against Substance Abuse (C.A.S.A.) and the Neighborhood Market Association will be delivering letters to 138 El Cajon businesses asking them to voluntarily decline selling the psychoactive drugs known as Spice and Bath Salts.
"The distribution and use of psychoactive herbal incense (most commonly marketed as “Spice”) and psychoactive Bath Salts (marketed under multiple brands) appears to be reaching epidemic proportions in the United States. These products are being disingenuously marketed and sold as if they were standard bath salts and incense whereas in fact they are not. Instead, they are being snorted, smoked and used intravenously," states a press release issued by El Cajon Police.
By Jamie Reno
The Reno Dispatch
Sept. 19, 2012 (San Diego)-- I'm not a bleeding-heart liberal. I certainly recognize that the violent anti-American protests this week throughout the Middle East and beyond in response to a stupid video denigrating the Muslim religion are a real threat to the United States and need to be taken very seriously.
PACE PROGRAM LAUNCHES IN SAN DIEGO: BUSINESSES CAN NOW PAY FOR CLEAN ENERGY INVESTMENTS SUCH AS SOLAR VIA PROPERTY TAXES-- WITH NO UP FRONT COSTS
September 19, 2012 (San Diego)—A new state program to help business owners invest in solar and other energy-saving projects with zero up-front costs launched yesterday in San Diego County.
The Property Assessed Clean Energy Program (PACE) enables commercial property owners to use their properties as collateral for energy upgrades—and to pay off those costs through their property tax bills.
By Miriam Raftery
September 19, 2012 (San Diego’s East County) – Author H. Jackson Brown once observed that “Our character is what we do when we think no one is looking.”
Now a video shot secretly during a fundraiser for Mitt Romney with wealthy donors is sparking controversy over his apparent insensitivity to nearly half of the American people. In the video, which Romney admits is authentic, the presidential candidate is seen insulting Americans who receive any form of public assistance—including recipients of Social Security and Medicare, as well as military veterans, students, the disabled and the poor. He also slammed those who pay no taxes—from retirees to some of his own wealthy patrons.
His remarks have drawn sharp criticisms even from many conservative Republican commentators.
JAY STEIGER SEEKS TO PROVIDE "OUTSTANDING EDUCATION" FOR KIDS IN LA MESA-SPRING VALLEY SCHOOL DISTRICT
“If I’m on the board, I will have an open door policy and be able to work with all groups.”- Jay Steiger
By Janis Mork
September 17, 2012 (San Diego’s East County)- Challenger Jay Steiger is running against Incumbent President William ‘Bill’ Baber and Board member Emma Turner. He hopes to join the La Mesa-Spring Valley School District Board, which includes El Cajon, Santee, and La Mesa this November. View map of the district here: http://www.lmsvsd.k12.ca.us/cms/lib2/CA01001633/Centricity/Domain/184/MAP-Schools.pdf
September 18, 2012 (Lemon Grove) -- The Lemon Grove Historical Society is sponsoring a Big BBQ Party in Civic Center Park, 3200 Main Street, Lemon Grove on September 29 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The event will feature West Texas Barbecue from Coop’s, music by Two Guys Will Move U, and demonstrations from Apollo Stables, face painting and much more.
September 18, 2012 (San Diego) – The 2nd Annual Adams Avenue Beer Taste is being held in conjunction with the Adams Avenue Street Fair on September 29. There will be over 15 brewers in attendance, with more than 30 beers to sample.
From left to right: Linda Crompton, BoardSource President & CEO; Ann Hix and Rob Gaan from SDYS; David Nygren, BoardSource Chair and Prudential representative