ASSEMBLY SPEAKER TONY ATKINS SPEAKS AUG. 5 IN LA MESA

ICE ISSUES RESPONSE ON IRAQI DETAINEES AT OTAY: 5 ORDERED DEPORTED, 1 FACES CHARGES OVER FALSE PAPERS, 22 REMAIN BEHIND BARS

WHITE HOUSE RACE 2016: THE RUN FOR THE ROSE GARDEN

CONDITIONS MUST BE MET BEFORE LA MESA OKTOBERFEST PERMIT WILL BE ISSUED

EAST COUNTY CHALDEANS PLEA FOR RELEASE OF CHRISTIANS DETAINED BY HOMELAND SECURITY AT OTAY

EAST COUNTY MAGAZINE WINS 3 AWARDS FROM SOCIETY OF PROFESSIONAL JOURNALISTS

MEDICARE TURNS 50, CALIFORNIA CHILDREN EXCEL

SISTER OF HANNAH ANDERSON’S KIDNAPPER FILES $20 MILLION WRONGFUL DEATH CLAIM WITH FBI

TRUCK HAULING BACKHOE HITS BRIDGE OVER HIGHWAY 163: FORCES LONG-TERM LANE CLOSURES

LA MESA - MT. HELIX AUGUST ACTIVITIES

EDISON SIGNS POWER PURCHASE AGREEMENT FOR TULE WIND, CPUC APPROVAL STILL NEEDED

ECM WORLD WATCH: GLOBAL AND NATIONAL NEWS

I-15 CLOSED THIS WEEKEND NEAR STATE ROUTE 56

 

July 24, 2013 (Rancho Penasquitos) – Attention, motorists: Interstate 15 southbound will be closed this weekend between State Route 56 (the Ted Williams Parkway exit) to Rancho Penasquitos Boulevard/Poway Road.

The closure Saturday to Monday is due to drainage improvements. Southbound express lanes will be open as a detour and will be available to all drivers free of charge.

FROM THE CHIEF'S CORNER: DAD, THE BURGERS ARE BURNING, AND SO IS THE HOUSE!

 

“July has been dedicated National Grilling Safety Month…”

July 24, 2013 (San Diego’s East County) – Dad, the burgers are burning, and so is the house!” Not something one wants to hear. While gas grills contribute to a higher number of home fires than their charcoal counterparts, all grills pose a risk for fires and burns, says Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna.

CALTRANS BUILDING TO BE DEMOLISHED AT SITE OF ANCIENT KUMEYAAY VILLAGE

 

By Paul  Kruze

July 23, 2013 (San Diego's East County) -- After nearly a decade of wrangling between the State of California and Caltrans, Old Town State Park is set to be expanded and revitalized with approval of the new California state budget, which includes $436,000 in bond money allocated to demolish the old Caltrans building on Taylor Street.  Most significantly, the abandoned 115,735 square foot Caltrans building sits on top of an ancient Kumeyaay village which allegedly dates back to 500 AD, and which was once a thriving Mexican settlement.

BIRD TALK: NESTS - HOMES FOR BIRDS

 

By Greg Dunne

July 24, 2013 (San Diego’s East County) – Bird nests can be hard to observe. We usually just stumble across them out in nature. One place you can always see a large variety of Egret and Heron nests is in the Eucalyptus trees at Lindo Lake.

“Large” fledgling Egrets and Herons are leaving the nest at this time of the year. I say large because the Snowy and Great Egret babies getting ready to leave the nest are as big as their parents. It always looks a little odd to see Mother Egret feeding a bird nearly her own size in a very crowded nest.

JUDGE RULES TAXPAYERS ASSOCIATION HAS STANDING IN FIRE FEE CASE

 

By Miriam Raftery

July 23, 2013 (San Diego’s East County) – A lawsuit challenging fire parcel fees was heard Friday in Sacramento Superior Court.  The Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association sued the State of California, arguing that fire parcel fees assessed on taxpayers in state responsibility areas should be considered taxes, not fees.

A two-thirds majority vote of the State Legislature is required to pass a new tax, though this requirement does not apply to fees.

The State had argued that the Jarvis group did not have standing to represent taxpayers in the class action lawsuit, but the judge disagreed, ruling that the Jarvis organization does have legal standing. The state has 10 days to file a response to the ruling.

RISING FROM THE ASHES: FUNDRAISER AUG. 9 FOR SHRINER’S CAMP FIRE VICTIMS

 

 

Photo by Tom Lemon

On Friday, August 9, the Rising from the Ashes fundraiser will be held to cover cleanup costs of the Shrine Camp on Mount Laguna, which was devastated by the Chariot Fire.

The Al Bahr Shrine Center in San Diego will host the event from 5 to 11 p.m. in the Red Fez Room at the Al Bahr Shrine Center, 5440 Kearny Mesa Road in San Diego.  The event, which costs $20 will include dinner and entertainment.

The camp lost 23 buildings to the fire, including the Shriners’ 99-year-old lodge.

TICKETS NOW ON SALE FOR “GREASE” PRESENTED BY YOUNG ACTORS THEATRE

July 23, 2013 (Spring Valley) -- The Young Actors Theater is presenting “Grease” August 15-18 and 22-25 at Encore! Theatre, 9620 Campo Road, Spring Valley.  At Rydell High's senior class of 1959, duck-tailed, hot-rodding "Burger Palace Boys" and their gum-snapping, hip-shaking "Pink Ladies" in bobby sox and pedal pushers, evoke the look and sound of the 1950s in this rollicking musical. Head "greaser" Danny Zuko and new (good) girl Sandy Dumbrowski try to relive the high romance of their "Summer Nights" as the rest of the gang sings and dances its way through such songs as "Greased Lightnin'","Beauty School Dropout" plus many others that became the soundtrack of a generation.

SUIT FILED AGAINST MAYOR FILNER OVER SEXUAL HARASSMENT

 

By Nadin Abbott

Photos by Tom Abbott

July 23, 2013 (San Diego)—Two press conferences were held yesterday regarding the scandal in San Diego City Hall involving Mayor Bob Filner.

Prominent attorney Gloria Allred announced that she has filed a civil lawsuit against Mayor Filner on behalf of Irene McCormack-Jackson in Superior Court. McCormack-Jackson read a statement and her lawyer answered some questions from the media.

MISSING SPRING VALLEY MAN WITH DEMENTIA

 

July 23, 2013 (Spring Valley) -- The San Diego Sheriff seeks public help to locate Kenneth Lamb, 79, who has dementia and takes blood-thinning medication. According to friends and neighbors, he became increasingly confused in the past week.  He was last seen at 2 a.m. on July 20 standing in a neighbor's yard in Spring Valley, where he has lived for 30 years. His routine includes church and working in yards in the La Mesa area.

His vehicle, a gold 1999 Ford Franger pickup truck with extra cab, is also missing.  The California license is 6N22819.  It had a piece of plywood in the truck bed.

NEARLY 400 ARRESTED IN MULTI-AGENCY SWEEP

 

Over the weekend, over 1,000 federal, state and local law enforcement officers conducted Operation Allied Shield, resulting in nearly 400 arrests, including 34 gang members.

The operation included parole and probation checks, traffic stops, and serving search and arrest warrants to locate and arrest gang offenders.   Command posts were established in Spring Valley, San Diego and Vista.

SAN DIEGO PLANNING COMMISION MOVES FORWARD WITH CASTLEROCK PROJECT, DIRECTS TO SAN DIEGO CITY COUNCIL

 

 By Janis Mork

July 22, 2013 (Santee)- At the July 11 meeting, the San Diego Planning Commission voted 4-2 in favor of the annexation scenario to place the proposed Castlerock master-planned community in Santee. The controversial housing project could include up to 430 residential units on 204 acres near the Santee-San Diego border.

COUNTY CLERK ANNOUNCES CONTINUATION OF "WALK IN WEDNESDAYS" FOR MARRIAGES AND MARRIAGE LICENSES

 

July 22, 2013 (San Diego) – Summertime is the busiest marriage season. To help with increased demand the County Clerk’s Office has added “Walk in Wednesdays” to their services. For the past three Wednesdays, the County Clerk’s Office has been issuing marriage licenses and performing marriage services at the County Administration Center (CAC) without requiring a prior appointment. 468 marriage licenses and 270 ceremonies were performed at the CAC during that span. The “Walk in Wednesdays” will continue until September 25th.

PHOTOS OF THE WEEK: COOPER'S HAWKS

 

July 22, 2013 (San Diego’s East County) – Bird Talk columnist Greg Dunne shared these images. He writes, “Out at my six-mile walk around Lake Murray Thursday towards the dam, I was treated to five fledgling Cooper's Hawks. I was able to observe them for quite a while.” The darker-backed Cooper's Hawks are the adults, he noted. “I could also tell the fledglings by their behavior, hopping around from branch to branch, making noise with their screeching, and just seeming unsure what to do next, while there was one that seemed a bit annoyed at all this commotion, and was a bit darker on the back side, and was a bit more poised than the young ones. A bit far away for good photos, but I really had a good time watching them.”

RECYCLE YOUR ELECTRONICS ITEMS FREE JULY 27 IN ALPINE TO BENEFIT U.N.I.T.Y.

 

On July 27, the United Indian Tribal Youth Council (U.N.I.T.Y.)  is hosting an electronics recycling event in Alpine. You can bring your old computers, laptops, TVs, monitors or anything else electronic to recycle free of charge. That includes everything that plugs in or that is battery operated.

The event takes place at the Viejas Recreation Center, 1B Viejas Grade Road in Alpine on Saturday, July 27 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

FLASH FLOOD WATCH THROUGH MONDAY; DEBRIS BLOCKS LOCAL ROADWAYS

 

Photo: Debris in roadway at Ocotillo; photo by Jim Pelley

July 21, 2013 (San Diego’s East County) -- A flash flood watch has been issued for San Diego County’s mountains and deserts through Monday evening. Thunderstorms and heavy showers are forecast over  mountain and desert areas.  Flash flooding threat will remain high through early Monday night, especially in  areas recently burned by fires. 

This evening, flash flooding caused a rocky ride for motorists on roadways in East County’s mountains and deserts.  Mudslides caused major delays along Highway 78 at Yaqui Pass in the Anza-Borrego area.  Boulders in the roadway are blocking Montezuma Valley Road, forcing closure. Portions of S-2 and Borrego Valley Road are also shut down due to flooding and debris.

CONGRESSMAN JOHN LEWIS LAUNCHES CIVIL RIGHTS BOOK AT COMICON

 

Representatives John Lewis and Susan Davis talk with ECM on civil rights and voting rights

“Comics can change history.” – Andrew Aidyn, coauthor

By Nadin Abbott

Photos by Tom Abbott

July 21, 2013 (San Diego)—Congressman John Lewis (D-GA-5) came to San Diego Comicon International to launch his story from the Civil Rights movement. This graphic novel is the first in a trilogy put out by Top-Shelf called March. It will be released to the general public next month.http://www.topshelfcomix.com/catalog/march/760

“This is another way, another method of reaching people, telling the story, making it come alive,” the Congressman said, “especially for young people.”

COUNTY TO INTRODUCE NEW ZONING/DESIGN CODES FOR RAMONA AND ALPINE

 

July 21, 2013 (San Diego’s East County) – The County’s Planning and Development Services (PDS) staff is finalizing new Form-Based Codes for the communities of Ramona and Alpine.  Drafts of the new FBC for Ramona and Alpine are now available for review at http://www.sdcounty.ca.gov/pds/ordamend.html. The deadline for public comment is August 5.

According to the PDS July newsletter,  the new codes introduce new zoning/design criteria that will “encourage and promote the village character within these communities while revitalizing their economic capabilities.  Unlike traditional zoning which separates land uses and regulates individual uses on a property, a FBC deemphasizes uses and puts greater emphasis on regulating building appearances within given neighborhoods.  FBC also take into account the buildings’ relationships to one another, the public streets and the streetscape.”

MOUNTAIN EMPIRE MEN’S CLUB SCHOLARSHIP FUNDRAISER SHOWS REGION WHAT IT TAKES TO GIVE BACK

 

By Ariele Johannson

July 21, 2013 (Descanso) Efforts of the Mountain Empire Men’s Club culminated in a demonstration of the maxim “It takes a village to raise a child.”

An outpouring of volunteer effort, donations, and pitching-in from the mountain community of Descanso made this year’s scholarship fundraiser on June 28 event another success. Tammy Cooker and her crew from Descanso Junction and Catering served up a fabulous barbecue dinner of Jack Daniels tri-tip and chicken, while the Blue Mountain Band performed live music onstage at the historic Descanso Town Hall.

COUNTY CLERK PETITIONS COURT TO STOP ISSUANCE OF SAME-SEX MARRIAGE LICENSES

July 21, 2013 (San Diego) – San Diego County Clerk Ernest Dronenberg Jr. has filed a petition with the California Supreme Court asking justices to prohibit County Clerks from issuing same-sex marriage licenses.  The marriages resumed after the U.S. Supreme Court upheld a ruling invalidating Proposition 8.  But Dronenberg argues the ruling should apply only to the two couples who sued over Prop 8.

Today Greg Cox, Chairman of the San Diego Board of Supervisors, made clear that Dronenberg acted on his own.  “No one else from the County was consulted or had any part of ths court action, including the Board of Supervisors,” Cox said in a statement sent to media.  “The County’s position is and always has been that we, the County, will follow applicable law with regards to same sex marriage.”

FLASH FLOOD WATCH FOR BURNED AREAS IN EAST COUNTY

 

July 20, 2013 (San Diego’s East County)—The National Weather Service has issued a flood watch effective now through Sunday evening in burned areas of San Diego County’s mountains and deserts. Showers and isolated thunderstorms are also forecast.

Monitor later forecasts and be prepared to take action if the flash flood watch is elevated to a flash flood warning.

“AN EVENING OF MUSIC IN THE GARDEN” JULY 21

 

July 19, 2013 (El Cajon) – The San Diego Concert Band presents “An Evening of Music in The Garden”, along with The Water Conservation Garden for an inaugural joint fundraiser on July 25 at 5 p.m. at 12122 Cuyamaca College Drive West, El Cajon.  The evening’s outdoor program depicts our American heritage through music that includes light classics, historical themes and modern compositions for concert band.  The concert will be held in The Garden’s outdoor amphitheater.

POLITICAL REFLECTIONS: FILNER - MAYOR BEHAVING BADLY

 

By Mark Gabrish Conlan

July 19, 2013 (San Diego) – Just when you thought the current sex scandal involving San Diego Mayor Bob Filner couldn’t get any weirder, it did. On July 17 KGTV Channel 10 broke the news that Filner had been booked to be the keynote speaker at the National Military Women Veterans’ Association of America’s gala event in San Diego August 30-31. They had originally planned to give him a “Lifetime of Leadership” award honoring his work on behalf of veterans in general and military veterans in particular. But with allegations that Filner routinely harassed women, including his staff members, in the workplace and at community events, the group decided to rescind the award but keep him on as a speaker. “He is now the keynote speaker for these injustices,” said the group’s official statement.

LITTLE SAIGON LANTERN FESTIVAL BEGINS JULY 19

July 19, 2013 (San Diego) – The Little Saigon 5th Annual Lantern Festival begins tonight at 5 p.m. and preparations are underway at Hoover High School, 4474 El Cajon Blvd., San Diego, as volunteers are assembling and hanging thousands of lanterns, erecting vendor booths and building the stage and Vietnamese Cultural Village.  This year’s festival celebrates the formal designation of the new Little Saigon Cultural and Commercial District.

MAYOR CALLS FOR CONVENTION CENTER EXPANSION

 

July 19, 2013 (San Diego) – Yesterday, during opening day at Comic-Con, Mayor Bob Filner announced support for expanding the San Diego Convention Center.

“I am dedicated to keeping Comic-Con here in San Diego.  That dedication includes my support for expanding the San Diego Convention Center.   I am pleased to announce that I have been working closely with the Center’s Board of Directors and San Diego business leaders to develop a solid plan for the expansion effort,” he said. “I support what the Board has in mind and will be working with City staff at all levels to ensure we do everything necessary to get the project underway and completed in a timely fashion.”

SUPPORTERS SAY MAYOR BOB FILNER DESERVES DUE PROCESS

 

By Nadin Abbott

Photos Tom Abbott

July 18, 2013 (San Diego)—Supporters of San Diego Mayor Bob Filner held a rally today to urge that the Mayor be provided due process to allow claims of sexual harassment to be investigated before rushing to judgment.

David Vallalodid, a long-time activist, noted that allegations have “not been substantiated” and charges “have not been filed.”

HOW SHOULD FILNER CONTROVERSY BE HANDLED? REACTIONS MIXED AMONG SAN DIEGANS

 

By Miriam Raftery

San Diegans are speaking out on the anonymous sexual harassment allegations against Mayor Bob Filner--and their opinions are as diverse as the city's population. While some have called for the mayor's resignation or a recall election, others are urging him to stand his ground pending outcome of any investigaiton--and object to anonyous allegations being leveraged to try and force the mayor from office.

A rift has also occurred within the Democratic Party, with some prominent former supporters and multiple members of the City Council now calling for his resignation. But others say the Mayor is entitled to due process and that demands for his resignation are inappropriate absent proof of  illegal actions. In addition, the party is divided over who should replace Mayor Filner should he step down or be forced from office.

GOVERNOR SIGNS MEASURES TO REFORM ENTERPRISE ZONE PROGRAM

 

By Miriam Raftery

July 18, 2013 (San Diego) – Governor Jerry Brown has signed legislation into law that overhauls the state’s enterprise zone program of tax credits for employers hiring in designated areas.  The old Enterprise Zone system had been criticized as wasteful and ineffective at creating jobs.

The reforms were backed by labor and manufacturing interests, though some business representatives have raised concerns over elimination of the old enterprise zone program.

The new measures, including Senate Bill 90 and Assembly Bill 93, were signed into law  in San Diego on July 11 at Takeda, a local biotech firm.

FIREFIGHTERS PULL WOMAN FROM BURNING VAN AFTER SIX-VEHICLE CRASH IN RANCHO SAN DIEGO

 

Photo courtesy San Miguel Fire District/Cal Fire

July 18, 2013 (Rancho San Diego )–Firefighters from Cal Fire/San Miguel Fire District responded to a six vehicle incident at Jamacha Road and Cuyamaca College Drive in the Rancho San Diego Area shortly after 11 a.m. today.

According to witnesses, the driver of a silver van was traveling eastbound on Jamacha Road when her vehicle sped up and hit five other vehicles, plunging over an embankment.  The vehicle also knocked over  a tree and continued through a Mobile gas station parking lot, then up a slight embankment, crashing into a light pole at  Rancho San Diego Town Centre before bursting into flames.

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