FIRE WEATHER RETURNS

DEMOCRAT DOUG JONES WINS ALABAMA SENATE SEAT OVER ROY MOORE, NARROWING REPUBLICANS CONTROL OF U.S. SENATE

LAKE JENNINGS TIPI CAMPING PROVIDES FUN GETAWAY

RING IN THE NEW YEAR AT VIEJAS

DESTINATION EAST COUNTY: TOP FESTIVALS AND ATTRACTIONS DECEMBER 15-JANUARY 7

SDG&E RESTORES POWER AFTER PROLONGED OUTAGES; RESIDENTS WHO SUFFERED STRESS AND LOSS WANT CHANGES FOR FUTURE

FIRES IN RAMONA AND LEMON GROVE

LA MESA JOINS REGIONAL HOMELESS TASK FORCE, CHANGES COUNCIL MEETING TIMES

JOIN US AT EAST COUNTY MAGAZINE'S "FEASTING AND MERRYMAKING" HOLIDAY PARTY DEC. 17

ARSON REPORTED AT FLETCHER HILLS PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH

2-1-1 SAN DIEGO HELPING, CONNECTING PEOPLE DURING LILAC FIRE; VOLUNTEERS STILL NEEDED AT 2-1-1

LILAC FIRE HAS DESTROYED MANY STRUCTURES, 45 RACE HORSES KILLED

PARKWAY MIDDLE SCHOOL WARNS OF MAN IN BLUE VAN APPROACHING STUDENTS

East County News Service

December 16, 2015 (La Mesa) – Parkway Middle School e-mailed a safety alert to parents advising that at 8:20 a.m. yesterday morning, two Parkway students were approached by a Hispanic man in his late 30s, wearing a gray beanie and driving a rusty blue work van. The students were walking on Dallas Street near the fire department.  According to the notice to parents, the man waved to students and wanted them to come over to the van, but the students ran to the school instead.

LA MESA HERALDS END OF DOWNTOWN CONSTRUCTION, BUT SCALED-BACK CHRISTMAS IN THE VILLAGE LEAVES SOME RESIDENTS DISAPPONTED

 

Cutbacks raise key question: who should pay for security costs of festivals in La Mesa?

By Miriam Raftery

December 15, 2015 (La Mesa)—La Mesa Mayor Mark Arapostathis joined with students from Peter Pan Junior Theatre to sing carols amid holiday lighting in the downtown village at La Mesa Shimmers—a special event held December 9th to celebrate completion of the downtown streetscape construction project and reopening of the historic district.

The event was notably separate from the La Mesa Village Merchants Association’s  Christmas in the Village held December 11 and 12. This year, the merchants’ festival was dramatically scaled back due to lack of funds to shut down streets, leading some residents to ask why the city expects merchants to shoulder the full burden of police and security costs for celebrations that benefit the citizenry as well as local shopkeepers--particularly after construction hurt merchants' businesses for the past year.

TOPPING OUT CEREMONY CELEBRATES $13 MILLION STUDENT SUPPORT SERVICES AND ARTS BUILDINGS AT GROSSMONT HIGH

 
 
By Miriam Raftery 
 

December 16, 2015 (El Cajon)--Students and school officials held a “Topping Out” Ceremony Tuesday for the new student support services and arts classroom buildings under construction at Grossmont High School.

 

COUNTY HOMELESS OUTREACH TEAM LAUNCHED IN EAST COUNTY

 

County News Service

December 16, 2015 (San Diego’s East County)--The family of three—a couple approximately in their 40s, and their 17-year-old son and pet dog—slept in sleeping bags and blankets behind a Santee gas station last week. They were dressed in layers and were huddled or lying down on the concrete ground close to the building with their belongings in a few small carts. The family has been homeless since last December. Because the father works there five days a week, the gas station owner allows them to sleep on the property on occasion.

PARIS CLIMATE AGREEMENT SIGNED

Photo credit:  thebadastronomer | Flickr

East County News Service

December 16, 2015 (Paris) - World leaders from 195 nations have signed a landmark climate change accord in Paris.  The goals are ambitious, but there is no binding mandate to reach them.  That’s because the U.S. refused to agree to mandates, since that would have required approval by Congress, a politically unachievable feat given current control by Republican leadership that denies climate change is a problem.

SAN DIEGO GOES GREEN, ENACTS HISTORIC CLIMATE CHANGE PLAN

By Miriam Raftery

December 16, 2015 (San Diego)—By a unanimous vote, the San Diego City Council  on Tuesday enacted a plan to address climate change that may be the most ambitious in the nation. The plan sets a goal for the city to attain 100 percent of its energy from renewable resources by 2035, also reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 20 percent in 2020 and 50 percent by 2035.

Mayor Kevin Faulconer told Councilmembers, “We are a city where the quality of the environment is essential to our quality of life.”  Faulconer said the plan will create jobs and preserve the city’s leadership in the clean-tech industry, also improving public health and air quality, reducing dependence on imported water, and increasing use of clean energy.

Climate Action Campaign announced the San Diego is the largest American city to commit to producing all of its energy from renewable resources.

EAST COUNTY ROUNDUP: LOCAL AND STATEWIDE NEWS

ECM WORLD WATCH: NATIONAL AND GLOBAL NEWS

December 15, 2015 (San Diego's East County)-- East County Magazine's 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

LA MESA BANS MEDICAL MARIJUANA DELIVERIES, AFFIRMS PROHIBITION ON DISPENSARIES

 

By Mike Allen

December 15, 2015 (La Mesa)-Although it already prohibits such dispensaries, La Mesa won’t allow the growing, sale or delivery of medical marijuana in its city limits.

At its Dec. 8 meeting, the City Council approved two ordinances that re-affirm and confirm the city’s existing laws, also expressly banning delivery of medical cannabis. The actions were taken following the adoption of a series of regulations covering the sale and cultivation of marijuana by the state that were signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown earlier this year.

SHERIFF'S SENIOR VOLUNTEER PATROL SPREADS HOLIDAY CHEER

 

December 15, 2015 (San Diego) - During the holiday season, members of the Sheriff's Senior Volunteer Patrol work hard to make sure seniors who live alone feel extra special. Throughout the month of December, Senior Volunteer Patrol members will be delivering gift baskets or hot meals to seniors enrolled in the Sheriff's You Are Not Alone program.

 

SAN DIEGO COUNTY TO ENLIST INMATES IN EL NIÑO RESPONSE

 

 

Source: County News Service

December 15, 2015 (San Diego)--County Supervisors on Tuesday agreed to seek rapid deployment of state inmate work crews if El Niño packs a punch in the coming months.

The board voted to approve Supervisor Dianne Jacob’s proposal to team up with Cal Fire and ensure that the region’s nearly 500 work crew inmates are quickly available to assist with flood prevention and cleanup.

EL CAJON COUNCIL HEARS BUZZ OVER BEEKEEPING PROPOSAL, SDG&E ELECTRIC VEHICLE GRID PLAN, AND ABATEMENT OF SUBSTANDARD HOUSING

 

 

By Janis Russell

Photo: ECPD Chief Jeff Davis is sworn in.

December 13, 2015 (El Cajon)-El Cajon’s City Council had a busy agenda last Tuesday, including the East County Performing Arts Center (ECPAC), SDG&E’s  plan for vehicle grid integration, a beekeeping buzz, and issues faced by residents ranging from a home overrun by rabbits to a residence where residents were displaced due to flooding and a collapsed roof.  The City also swore in a new Police Chief and appointed a new Interim Mayor.

INDIGENOUS LEADERS SLAM JERRY BROWN, UN FOR BACKING POTENTIALLY "GENOCIDAL" CARBON TRADING





By Dan Bacher

Reprinted from EcoReport; originally published at https://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2015/12/10/18780871.php

Photo: Indigenous leaders challenged California Governor Jerry Brown's support of pollution trading and fracking after he spoke at Paris Climate Summit on December 8. Photo courtesy of Rae Breaux.

December 14, 2015 (Paris)--"REDD is a carbon offset mechanism which privatizes the air that we breathe and uses forests, agriculture and water ecosystems in the Global South as sponges for industrialized countries pollution, instead of cutting emissions at source," said Tom Goldtooth, Executive Director of the Indigenous Environmental Network. "REDD brings trees, soil, and nature into a commodity trading system that may result in the largest land grab in history. It steals your future, lets polluters off the hook and is a new form of colonialism. NO to Privatization of Nature!”

At the end of his keynote address at the World Climate Summit in Paris on Tuesday, December 8, Indigenous leaders heckled Governor Jerry Brown, challenging him on his support of controversial carbon trading polices that represent “a new form of colonialism” that could potentially cause genocide.

THE HEALING SOUND OF MUSIC

 

 

By Leon Thompson

December 13, 2015 (El Cajon) – Music heals the mind, body and spirit.  The healing power of music has been harnessed in Europe through a method called “Tune & Heal” by Dr. Barbara Romanowska who established the Sound Academy (Akademia Dzwieku) in Poland in 2004.  Writing as Barbara Angel, she is the author and teacher of the In-Depth Cellular Music Therapy Method on which the method is founded. 

A beautiful grand piano and an equally beautiful Barbara Angel greeted us to her home for a concert and healing co-sponsored by the Heartland Foundation last week.  There were about 40 of us.  On the chairs were tambourines, mariachis and drums. 

MAYOR WELLS STATE OF CITY ADDRESSS CITES ACCOMPLISHMENTS, CHALLENGES IN EL CAJON

 

By Janis Russell

December 12, 2015 (El Cajon)- El Cajon Mayor Bill Wells delivered his State of the City address last Tuesday, listing El Cajon’s accomplishments and improvements, as well as the outlook for the city’s future.

Mayor Wells began by noting that El Cajon was a farming community a hundred years ago. “Now it’s the largest city in East County…There are over 100,000 residents,” he observed. “We also have new friends who have gathered thousands of miles away,” he added, referring to the city’s large immigrant and refugee population. “There’s a multitude of stories that bind El Cajon.”

BIRTH DEFECTS LINKED TO MOSQUITOES

 

By Miriam Raftery

December 14, 2015 (San Diego)--A rare but serious birth defect in Brazil has been linked to a mosquito—the Aedes aegypti species, which has recently been found in San Diego County.

This type of mosquito was already known to carry diseases such as Yellow Fever, dengue fever, chikungunya and the Zika virus.  But now the Zika virus is suspected of causing microencephaly, a rare neurological disorder that results in infants having small heads and underdeveloped brains, resulting in severe developmental issues. The mosquito bites an expectant mother, transmitting the disease to her unborn child.  Babies born with this illness are likely to die young and require constant care.

PUMPING IRON AT FIRST ANNUAL POWERLIFTING COMPETITION IN EL CAJON

 

 

By Greg Dunne

December 13, 2015 (East County El Cajon) --The weekend of December 5th and 6th was the first annual Powerlifting competition to be put on here in San Diego County by the United States Powerlifting Association. The competition was hosted by Pivotal Sports Performance in El Cajon. Owner Andre Hernandez says that this was the first year they have put on an event here in San Diego and that it is being planned as an annual event in El Cajon. 

The meet was capped at 60 lifters per day. Saturday's event was for women and for men up to 181  pounds. Sunday's event was for men over 180 pounds.

READER’S EDITORIAL: NOW IS THE TIME TO WELCOME REFUGEES, NOT SHUT THEM OUT

 

By Rebecca Paida

December 13, 2015 (San Diego)--Now is the time to welcome refugees, not shut them out. Given the recent controversy over refugees, I am compelled to write about my refugee story and call on cities to create an inclusive Citizen Commissions on Refugee and Immigrant Affairs.

FEASTING AND MERRYMAKING PARTY WITH EAST COUNTY MAGAZINE SUNDAY: YOU'RE INVITED!

December 17, 2015 (Mt. Helix) -- Our holiday parties are legendary! Come join the fun Sunday, December 20 from 2-6 p.m. at our editor's home on Mt. Helix.

  • Delicious feast! Glazed ham and yams, cinnamon baked apples, beet/strawberry and eggplant salads from Baba al Hara,  pasta and salad from Olive Graden, desserts from New York Bakery
  •  Wine tasting with Grant James Vineyard and Pearson Bros. Winery, plus holiday beverages (21 and up.)
  • Live music (folk, rock, and holiday songs) with Paul Nichols, Cindy Burnham, Tim and Marijo Luranc,
  • Holiday games, prizes and surprises! Prizes include a mountain vacation,  wine lover’s baskets, dance lessons, silver jewelry, hand-woven shawl from Weaving Works in Santa Ysabel, California Wolf Preserve tour in Julian,  Passes and big-cat feeding for 2 at Lions Tigers &  Bears, dinner at Descanso Junction, Glamour Girlz gift basket, personal trainer for a month at CHN Fitness in Santee, yoga lessons at CHN Yoga, and much more. 

MIKE HARRISON: SEASONED CONGRESSIONAL AIDE AIMS TO REPRESENT EAST COUNTY IN SACRAMENTO

 

By Miriam Raftery

Hear our full interview with Mike Harrison, originally aired on KNSJ 89.1 FM Radio: http://k003.kiwi6.com/hotlink/0nrblk7onb/Newsmaker-Harrison-Mike-Assembly71Candidate.mp3

December 12, 2015 (San Diego’s East County) –“The 71s Assembly District is a great district…with a lot of little rural towns and communities,  and great people,” says Mike Harrison, who is running for the seat. He believes it’s important for the people across East County to have someone serving them in Sacramento “who knows each town and its issues" and believes his experience makes him the best qualified candidate for the job. He adds, "I do have a love of public policy and finding solutions to issues that people are facing.”

Harrison is a seasoned political policy professional who has spent 21 years working for political leaders representing East County. A Republican and Ramona resident, he is Deputy Chief of Staff for Congressman Duncan D. Hunter and previously worked for  Hunter’s father, the former  Congressman by the same name. Harrison also holds a master’s degree in government from Johns Hopkins University and an undergraduate degree from the University of California, Stanislaus.

CAMPO ROAD/CASA DE ORO IMPROVEMENTS MEETING DEC. 17

East County News Service

December 12, 2015 (Spring Valley ) – Institute for Public Strategies invites you to the third community meeting on alcohol-related harm in Casa De Oro.  

At the last meeting in November, members decided to create a formal community group and will choose a name at the next meeting, which is set for Thursday, December 17 from 6 to 8 p.m.  The meeting will be held at the Young Actors’ Theater, 9628 Campo Road, Suite J in Spring Valley.

READERS & WRITERS CALENDAR: FROM DECEMBER 13, 2015

 

 

This column is also published in

the http://EastCountyMagazine.org



 

Readers

 

December 12, 2015 (San Diego's East County) - December 13 (Sunday, 12:00 pm) — Local Author Meet and Greet. Mysterious Galaxy brings you the local talent of more than a dozen authors — in our genres and beyond — who are enthused to share their work. We will mingle, hear about each author’s work with some holiday refreshments to top off the afternoon. There will be a variety of genres and subjects ranging from pixies to ghosts, from memoirs to mystery, and from pictures books to novels to non-fiction. These fun gatherings are a great opportunity to meet new people and support our local authors. You might just be the first to support a future best-selling author of our time! Participants so far include: Dennis Greenhill, Lauri Taylor, Fraser C. Heston, Heather J. McAdams, Cindy C. Murray, William Anthony, Marcia Berneger, David J. Schmidt, Janet Elizabeth Lynn, Will Zeilinger, Dick Holt, Jill G. Hall, Leslie Johansen Nack, Elizabeth Comer, and Lynn Lipinski.

SDG&E ANNOUNCES SUPPORT FOR CITY’S CLIMATE ACTION PLAN

 

 

 

East County News Service

December 12, 2015 (San Diego)--On December 15th the San Diego City Council will vote on the City of San Diego's ambitious Climate Action Plan. In response, San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) issued the following media statement:

“SDG&E has a long history of partnering with the City of San Diego to lower the city’s carbon footprint. In fact, we recently celebrated the completion of a six-year sustainability effort with the City of San Diego, San Diego Green Building Council and Balboa Park Cultural Partnership, which reduced Balboa Park’s greenhouse gas emissions by 5,549 metric tons each year—the environmental equivalent of taking nearly 1,000 cars off the road.

THE LAND OF OPPORTUNITY: COVETING THE GREEN CARD

 

Coveting the Dream, by Jacintha Griffith (Katamja Press, Mckinney, Texas, 2012, 153 pages).

Book Review by Dennis Moore

December 12, 2015 (San Diego’s East County) - In this time of heightened awareness in immigration reform, highlighted by Immigrants from Mexico and our country’s reluctance to allow into the country Syrian immigrants, Jacintha Griffith has written a fictional account of what it must be like for immigrants pursuing the American Dream, Coveting the Dream. Herself an immigrant, originally from the island of Grenada in the West Indies, this is her first novel – which from its design and literary craftsmanship many more will follow.

HEARING ON HOSKINGS RANCH POSTPONED TO FEB. 5

 

By Miriam Raftery

December 11, 2015 (Julian) – The County Planning commission today granted a continuance for a hearing on 24 homes proposed on the 1,000-acre Hoskings Ranch at Highway 78 and Pine Hills Road in Julian.  A request for continuance until February 5 at 9 a.m. was requested by both the developer and an attorney representing residents opposed to the project.

Over 250 people signed up for the Hoskings Ranch Subdivision Action and Resource group on Facebook within two hours of its being formed.  About 50 concerned residents met December 8th at Julian’s town hall.

NEWSOM WITHDRAWS FROM MAYORAL RACE

 

December 11, 2015 (San Diego)--Gretchen Newsom announced today that she is withdrawing from the San Diego mayoral race.

She issued a statement today which reads, "I have decided that I will not run for Mayor. My husband and I have recently decided to divorce on an amicable basis and, therefore, I need to focus on our son. I appreciate everyone's respect of our privacy."

END OF AN ERA: GROVE PASTRY SHOP AND PINNACLE PEAK STEAKHOUSE CLOSE DOORS

 

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

December 11, 2015 (San Diego’s East County) – Two of East County’s most beloved businesses, Grove Pastry Shop and Pinnacle Peak Steakhouse,  have closed down, leaving  behind cherished memories.

I ordered my own wedding cake with raspberry filling and whipped cream frosting from Grove Pastry Shop in Lemon Grove 36 years ago, as have so many other brides since the bakery first opened its doors back in 1947. The wedding cake portion of the business will continue; you can custom order those through www.artisticweddingcakesbythegrove.com .  But gone is the pastry shop, rich with the aromas of freshly baked cookies, cakes, breads and buttery pastries.

HELIX WATER WINS TRANSPARENCY AWARD FOR GOVERNANCE, DROPS MEMBERSHIP IN GOOD GOVERNANCE ORGANIZATION

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

December 10, 2015 (La Mesa) – Helix Water District has received the “District Transparency Certificate of Excellence” from the Special District Leadership Foundation (SDLF), a nonprofit that promotes special districts that excel in governance and management.

Ironically, however, just one week after that announcement, Helix board president DeAna Verbeke asked staff not to renew the district’s membership in the California Special Districts Association (CSDA), which supports the SDLF and its goals.  The CSDA promotes good governance and improved local services for independent special districts(such as water and fire boards) that deliver public services.

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